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

New thread posted: https://saidit.net/s/CultureWarRoundup/comments/8os5/offtopic_and_loweffort_cw_thread_for_december_13/


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

That said, here is the cross-link to the current OT/LE on reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/CultureWarRoundup/comments/ra06gd/december_06_2021_weekly_offtopic_and_loweffort_cw/

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Will California ever be safe? The affluent look away while their cities burn

What makes this affluence particularly damaging is the fact that the rich are the furthest removed from the consequences of their negligence. In California, those with enormous wealth are often also the loudest advocates for leniency towards criminals. Those individuals, who have the least contact with crime, are frequently the most enthusiastic proponents of reforms that reduce the safety of the average American. Democratic donors give their money to candidates who support defunding the police. They campaign against stop-and-search, three strikes, and “broken window” policies. They argue for lighter sentences or even the decriminalisation of certain crimes — shoplifting, for example, has been all but legalised in San Francisco.

Wealthy liberals for some reason feel more compassion for those committing crimes than for their victims. They believe in a form of “progress” that ignores human nature and social reality. As Mary Harrington recently wrote: “Team Empathy… tends to skew wealthy: it’s easier to believe people are naturally good if you’ve led a sheltered life.”

Meanwhile, some of the politicians they support, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, even deny problems such as smash-and-grab exist. Others urge the public not to be distracted by rising crime, but to follow the “arc of history” towards the utopia of social justice, diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism. Melina Andullah, founder of Black Lives Matter LA, recently said of those concerned about the rising tide of crime: “They’re trying to move us backward. We don’t want to move backward; we want to move forward.”

On December 1, Jacqueline Avant, the wife of Clarence Avant and mother-in-law of Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, was shot and killed in her home in Beverly Hills. The suspect, Aariel Maynor, was attempting to rob her home when he shot her. He also attempted to kill her security guard.

On hearing the news, Abdullah’s response was to condemn it as “appalling”, yet also called on officials not to use it as an excuse to introduce tougher measures on crime. Elsewhere, Oprah Winfrey mourned the loss of her friend with a social media post that ended with the comment: “The world is upside down. And deeply in need of some love today.”

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Parents ask why cops shot knife-wielding, physically abusive son at Florida Tech

The parents of a Florida Institute of Technology student want to know why police shot and killed their son who was chasing students around with a knife. Law enforcement also suspected the male student of assaulting several women.

Police shot and killed Alhaji Sow on December 3 after he “was reportedly armed with a knife and assaulting students around 11 p.m. [December 3],” according to WSB 2. “Witnesses said he went into a residential building on campus.”

He ended up dropping his knife and grabbed a pair of scissors, which he held when he tried to attack local cops.

“During the confrontation, police said Sow lunged at an officer, which led to a police officer and a campus security officer shooting at him,” WSB reported several days later. “Officers attempted lifesaving measures, but Sow died at the scene.”

The news station said the family’s attorney wants to know why cops did not use a non-lethal option instead of a firearm. Attorney Greg Francis said the response by the university is being investigated. He is a personal injury attorney based in Florida. Francis said Sow “posed no threat to other students” according to WSB 2’s paraphrasing of his comments.

Truly a mystery for the ages.

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California school district reportedly encourages using witchcraft on people who say 'all lives matter'

A California school district reportedly removed a link to resources that, among other things, outlined how to cast a spell on people who said things like "all lives matter."

That content was included as part of a Google Drive for a "Black Lives Matter Resource Guide." A document on "Writing Prompts on Police Brutality and Racist Violence" encourages high school students to write a "curse" for police and others.

"Hexing people is an important way to get out anger and frustration. Make a list of specific people who have been agents of police terror or global brutality," it reads.

"This list can be wide-ranging, from small microaggressions to larger perpetrators (i.e., people who say ‘all lives matter’ to the police officers who arrest non violent protestors to George Zimmerman). Pick one of those people on your list."

It adds: "Read Martin Espada’s poem 'For the Jim Crow Restaurant in Cambridge Massachusetts Where My Cousin Esteban was Forbidden To Wait Tables Because He Wears Dreadlocks.' Write your own hex poem, cursing that person." Another prompt asks students to imagine a world "with no police."

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The Media’s Color-Coded Parenting Standard: White parents of school shooters are culpable; black parents of inner-city gangbangers are blameless.

On April 19, 2021, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski suggested in a text to Chicago’s mayor that the parents of two children recently killed in Chicago’s gang activity had “failed those kids.” Kempczinski’s text became public in November 2021, prompting widespread accusations of racism and calls for his resignation. Kempczinski confessed to his white privilege and apologized profusely for holding parents responsible for the fate of their children.

On December 3, a district attorney in Michigan filed involuntary manslaughter charges against the parents of Ethan Crumbley. The 15-year-old Crumbley allegedly killed four fellow students during a shooting rampage at his Oxford, Michigan high school on November 30. The prosecutor based her indictment of Crumbley’s parents on the fact that they had allowed Ethan to access a legally purchased handgun and ought to have known that the boy was primed to kill his classmates. The press, Democratic politicians, and gun control advocates greeted the homicide charges against the Crumbley parents with ecstatic approbation.

The divergent reactions to the Kempczinski text message and the Crumbleys’ indictment illuminate the different standards to which minority parents and white parents are held. When black juveniles perpetrate street violence, the press and public officials almost never ask: where were the parents? The less involved a parent is in a child’s life, the less society expects of him. These double standards may have a benign intent, but they enable a cultural dysfunction whose effects are thousands of times more lethal than school shootings.

Kempczinski made his ill-fated suggestion of parental responsibility after seven-year-old Jaslyn Adams was gunned down by her father’s gang rivals. Jaslyn and her father Jontae Adams were parked in a McDonald’s drive-thru lane on Chicago’s West Side on April 18, 2021, when two gunmen jumped out of a car and unleashed at least 45 shots at their car. Jaslyn was struck six times and died; Jontae was seriously wounded. A convicted heroin dealer, Jontae knew that his gang’s enemies were out for his blood. The day before the shooting, he tweeted: “Opps probably downstairs waiting on me.”

[...]

Kempczinski would pay the price for saying the unsayable. After activists obtained and released the text message in November, a coalition including Color of Change and Showing Up for Racial Justice released an open letter to the CEO: “Your text message was ignorant, racist and unacceptable coming from anyone,” the letter read, “let alone the CEO of McDonald’s, a company that spends big money to market to communities of color and purports to stand with Black Lives.” McDonald’s employees and race advocates protested outside the company’s headquarters and demanded reparations. U.S. representative Bobby Rush joined calls for Kempczinski to resign. A McDonald’s worker told a local TV station that Kempczinski was “putting the blame on parents for the violence in the streets. He can’t relate because he is wealthy.” Jaslyn Adams’s mother, heretofore a cipher, emerged from her obscurity to vent her anger: “How dare you judge me! . . . You come from privilege. You can’t speak about me.”

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Wow, Media Openly Advising Public to Use The Safari Rules When Entering Democrat Municipal Regions

An inevitable evolution now takes place as rampant crime, violence and anarchy take over the municipal regions controlled by leftists and Democrats. What is described, in the video excerpt from ABC news in Maryland, is what we have described as the “Safari Rules.”

As stunning as it may seem at first glance, the media are informing the public on how to behave when entering any area were Democrats are in charge of civil society. It is important not to accept this new normal; instead think about this broadcast in the larger picture of what it represents. The media no longer question if you will be attacked; the media are now advising us on how to mitigate our pending attack. The attack itself is a foregone conclusion.

The deeper blue the region, the more dangerous the crime within it. This is the natural outcome of policy on a local level that allows criminal elements to operate without fear or accountability. Smash and grab robberies, armed robberies, carjacking, looting and the general breakdown of law and order is well underway in the municipal regions under the control of the Democrat Party apparatus.

These outcomes are the natural cause and effect from leftist policy being carried out. This is exactly the type of social anarchy that is predictable from a process of demonizing law enforcement, promoting social justice and letting the criminal elements within society take over.

The evolution of the Safari Rules has been ongoing for several years; however, now it appears the point of no return has been crossed. The situation is no longer reversible because the law enforcement mechanisms have been deconstructed entirely. Additionally, the application of law and consequence has been withdrawn from the system.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJlpsu3sLMw

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Closures and Consequences: Politicians in both parties, but especially Democrats, need to understand just how unpopular school shutdowns are with parents.

School closures are persisting, and not just because of Covid-19. Across the country, officials have closed schools to solve other, long-standing issues that predate the pandemic. As education site The 74 has reported, 621 schools across 58 districts announced new closures, many of which weren’t virus-related, during the last full week of November. Burbio, a data company that has monitored school reopening patterns during the pandemic, has identified nearly 1,000 school districts that have enacted temporary closures during the 2021–22 school year. Reasons for these sudden disruptions have ranged from teacher burnout to mental health and staff shortages; some officials have even justified closures by citing the need to perform “deep cleanings” of school facilities, despite scant evidence that Covid is transmitted via surfaces.

These school closures aren’t just gratuitous—they’re having political consequences. Our research suggests that if they continue, they could be devastating for Democrats in the 2022 midterm elections.

Before reviewing the data, consider the attitudes that surfaced in a Virginia focus group held after that state’s gubernatorial race. Several participants—women who lean Democratic and supported both Ralph Northam in 2017 and Joe Biden in 2020 but voted for Glenn Youngkin in 2021—cited school closures as their main motivation for supporting Youngkin. As many parents saw it, the so-called laptop class was insulated from the costs of prolonged school shutdowns, while those parents who work outside the home struggled to balance their own jobs and their kids’ education. As The Intercept reported:

The anger [these voters] felt at Democrats for the commonwealth’s COVID-19 school closure policy became further evidence of a cultural gap between these working people and Democratic elites, who broadly supported prolonged school closures while enjoying the opportunity to work remotely. . . . One Latina woman talked about how remote school foisted so much work on parents. . . . As she put it: “They asked us [parents] to do all this work for months and then [McAuliffe] says it’s none of our business now.”

What are the political consequences of this frustration? Across Virginia’s 132 school districts, we examined Youngkin’s performance relative to Donald Trump’s in 2020, in an effort to assess the effect of district school closures. As the figure below clearly shows, school closures were associated with significant movement toward the Republican candidate. In districts with local public schools open for less than a full month of in-person learning, Youngkin outperformed Trump by nearly 2 percentage points. When we controlled for other factors that could explain Youngkin’s overperformance—such as the percentage of the eligible electorate that is white in each school district and the district’s baseline level of support for Trump in 2020—the margin narrowed, but school closures still explained anywhere from one-half to one percentage point of Youngkin’s overperformance in a given locality.

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Doctors Warn New Medical School Guidance Would Lead to Unqualified Physicians and Unscientific Medicine

The two accrediting bodies for American medical schools now say that meritocracy is "malignant" and that race has "no genetic or scientific basis," positions that many doctors worry will lower standards of care and endanger lives by discouraging vital genetic testing.

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which accredits all medical schools in North America, is cosponsored by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)—the same groups that on Oct. 30 released a controversial guide to "advancing health equity" through "language, narrative, and concepts."

Those concepts include the ideas that "individualism and meritocracy" are "malignant narratives" that "create harm," that using race as a proxy for genetics "leads directly to racial health inequities," and that medical vulnerability is the "result of socially created processes" rather than biology.

Integrating these ideas into medicine, five professors and practicing doctors told the Washington Free Beacon, would be a catastrophe, resulting in underqualified doctors, missed diagnoses, and unscientific medical school curricula.

The guidance won't just influence the way doctors talk, these practitioners said, but also what they know and how they treat patients. It could even make them unwilling to screen racial minorities for serious conditions—including many types of cancer—that they are more likely to inherit, on the mistaken belief that genes play no role in racial health disparities.

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GA Mom Says Rittenhouse’s “Bad” Parents Are To Blame; She Is Then Killed By Her Own Son On Thanksgiving

A Georgia family is still in shock as on Thanksgiving, Marcia Chance, 42, was fatally stabbed by her own son. Arriving on the scene, police found Chance inside a Lawrenceville home, on the floor – lifeless.

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Having received reports of domestic assault, the Gwinnett County police arrested her 18-year-old son, Varian Alexander Hibbert, who was living at the residence and charged him with felony murder and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony.

While this is of course a tragic event for a family, days before her untimely death, Chance took to social media to blast the Kyle Rittenhouse trial and how his “bad” parents were to blame.

It should come as no surprise that the mainstream media is only reporting on the fact that Chance was murdered by her son. But in the video, which is featured below, host Greg Foreman of Black Conservative Perspective, dives deeper into the life of Chance and what she was doing the days leading up to her death.

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Ontario union votes two extra days off for black employees only

An Ontario union has voted overwhelmingly and without debate to allow black employees two extra days of mental health leave to deal with the impact of “anti-black racism.”

True North had previously reported that the Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees (AMAPCEO) was considering the motion for its annual conference.

The chairperson of AMAPCEO’s black caucus, Elaine Spencer, claimed this coverage “demonized” black employees and provided all the more reason to give her members special consideration.

“Many of our members have volunteered their time to combat the anti-racism struggle in the Ontario Public Service (OPS) and that has led to burnout, a tremendous amount of re-lived traumas and exhaustion,” she said.

The motion was pushed through with no debate and no indication of the vote tally after considerable discussion ensued in response to a similar black caucus motion.

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George Floyd’s Nephew Arrested for Intimidation of Kyle Rittenhouse Jurors

A man who’s been identified as both a relative, close friend, and nephew of the deceased George Floyd was arrested sometime on Thursday for alleged intimidation of jurors assigned to Kyle Rittenhouse’s homicide trial, having previously threatened to publicly identify jurors and expose them to violence and harassment. Cortez Rice was reportedly arrested Monday in accordance with a warrant accusing him of communicating with jurors.

Leftist militants immediately proceeded to raise money for Rice’s bail.

It’s unclear at this time of Rice was arrested for the threats made in his video uploaded during the Rittenhouse trial, or subsequent jury intimidation following Rittenhouse’s acquittal. Considering Rice’s warrant alleged communication with jurors, it’s possible Rice either encouraged or communicated with jurors themselves subsequent to the trial.

Cortez Rice, who has variously been identified as a associate and relative of the armed robbery convict Floyd, previously threatened to identify Rittenhouse jurors during the trial in a social media video.

“I ain’t even gonna name the people that I know that’s up in the Kenosha trial. But it’s cameras in there. It’s definitely cameras up in there. There’s definitely people taking pictures of the juries and everything like that,”

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Go woke, go broke? Americans don’t care for corporate activism

A new warning to woke CEOs: Americans don’t want corporations meddling in divisive political issues, and they perceive such activism as phony pandering. There’s also a huge gap between what consumers believe about woke activism compared with out-of-touch executives, according to a study conducted by the Brunswick Group, a management firm.

Amazon yanks a documentary about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. EBay scraps Dr. Seuss books. Disney fires actress Gina Carano. Do consumers agree with these moves?

Brunswick found 63 percent of corporate executives “agree unequivocally that companies should speak out on social issues,” but a mere 36 percent of voters agree. Corporate brass also has “a highly inflated sense of how effective corporate communication has been on social issues compared to voters.”

An overwhelming 74 percent of business executives think corporate activism is effective, compared with just 39 percent of voters. Companies spend billions of dollars building brand equity through marketing campaigns. Turns out their virtue-signaling could be counterproductive because voters believe it’s inauthentic.

The study found more than 60 percent of voters think “companies only speak out on social issues to look better to consumers and are not being sincere,” even as 57 percent of executives said companies “speak out on social issues because they want to achieve real change.”

Archive.org is misbehaving, will replace with archive link later.

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Next Step for the Parents’ Movement: Curriculum Transparency

The last year and a half has demonstrated the need for transparency measures. As many public schools migrated to “virtual only” learning in response to the pandemic, parents received a first-hand look at the divisive, racialist curricula being taught to their children. They learned that public schools were forcing third-graders to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities, showing kindergarteners dramatizations of dead black children and warning them about “racist police,” and telling white teachers that they were guilty of “spirit murdering” minorities. These were not isolated incidents.

These revelations prompted parents to demand to know exactly what was being taught to their children. They felt that the public-school bureaucracies had been hiding controversial materials and exerting undue influence over their children, all in the service of fashionable left-wing ideologies.

Frustrated parents understandably pushed back, protested at school board meetings, and, in some cases, forced the resignations of school superintendents who refused to listen to their concerns. School officials often responded to parents’ concerns with resentment. Some were so agitated by the parental pushback that they sought federal intervention—including through a well-publicized (and since retracted) letter from the National School Boards Association comparing parents to “domestic terrorists.” Other school officials insisted that they, not parents and not voters, should be in charge of children’s pedagogy. This is precisely backward. While government schools necessarily cannot meet every parent’s demands, parents have a fundamental right, long recognized in law, to guide their children’s education and moral conscience. To exercise those rights, parents need accurate information about the learning materials and activities their kids are encountering in government schools.

Our model for transparency adequately balances the needs for robust curricula and parents’ rights in a pluralistic society. It does not attempt to define specific concepts, methods, or ideologies. Nor does it seek to ban, restrict, or discourage any materials, activities, or pedagogies. Its aim is simply to provide parents with information about the curricula used in the classroom across all subjects—and to let families, teachers, and schools negotiate disagreements at the local level. If they cannot resolve their differences, parents have options: petition elected leaders or run for school board seats themselves, move to a different area, or remove their children from the public school system.

According to the Education Liberty Alliance, 11 states already have state-law provisions for parental review of curricular material. Legislatures in Utah, Arizona, and Wisconsin have recently seen bills introduced to require online access. More states will surely follow.

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[Glenn Greenwald] To Deny the "Lab Leak" COVID Theory, the NYT and WPost Use Dubious and Conflicted Sources: A bizarre and abrupt reversal by scientists regarding COVID's origins, along with clear conflicts of interest, create serious doubts about their integrity. Yet major news outlets keep relying on them.

For months, that letter shaped the permissible range of debate regarding the origins of COVID. Or, more accurately, it ensured that there was no debate permitted. The Science™ concluded that COVID was a zoonotic virus that naturally leaped from non-human animal to human, and any questioning of this decree was deemed an attack on The Science™.

That Lancet letter has fallen into disrepute due to the key role in its publication played by one of its signatories, Peter Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance. To say that Daszak had a gigantic but undisclosed conflict of interest in disseminating this narrative about the natural origins of COVID is to understate the case. Daszak had received millions of dollars in grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH) to conduct research into coronaviruses in bats, and EcoHealth awarded part of that grant to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the lab which would be the leading suspect, by far, for any COVID lab leak.

Daszak's enormous self-interest in leading the world to believe that a lab leak was impossible is obvious. It would be a likely career-ending blow to his reputation if the Wuhan laboratory to which EcoHealth had provided funding for coronavirus bat research was responsible for the escape of a virus that has killed millions of people around the world and caused enduring suffering among countless others due to lockdowns and economic shutdowns.

In July of this year, The Lancet published a new letter from the same group which signed that seminal letter in February of last year. The July 2021 letter included two fundamentally new additions. First, the language about COVID's origins was radically softened from the smug certainty of the February letter that closed debate to humble uncertainty given the lack of proof. While continuing to affirm a belief that COVID was naturally occurring (“our working view” is “that SARS-CoV-2 most likely originated in nature and not in a laboratory"), they moved far away from the definitive posture of that original letter, acknowledging that “opinions are neither data nor conclusions” and urging further investigation on what they called “the critical question we must address now": namely, “how did SARS-CoV-2 reach the human population?” In other words, after telling the world in February that any questioning of the zoonotic origin was a malicious "conspiracy theory,” they now acknowledge it is “the critical question we must now address.”

The other major change was that this July Lancet letter included what the February letter shamefully omitted: namely, the key fact that Daszak's “remuneration is paid solely in the form of a salary from EcoHealth Alliance,” and that EcoHealth had received funding from NIH to study coronaviruses in bats, and used some of that funding to support research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This disclosed conflict of interest about Daszak was included in the new July, 2021 letter as well as a separate “addendum” called “competing interests and the origins of SARS-CoV-2.” No explanation was provided about why these "competing interests” on the part of Daszak were not disclosed in that crucial, debate-closing February letter in the The Lancet.

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Not My Kids: Recovering victims of woke abuse have had enough.

Women who get out of abusive relationships sometimes say that what gave them the courage to finally leave was the recognition that the abuser had turned his attention to her children. Actions that were overlooked or excused away for herself are seen with clarity and horror when directed at her child.

For years, many of us have overlooked woke manipulation tactics when they were directed at us. “Ok, maybe I have harbored some deep-seated racism of which I have been entirely unaware, and which has never manifested itself in any concrete, culpable act. Mea culpa anyway! I will raise my fist and take a knee, say the words I am supposed to say, be silent when told, and commit to doing the lifelong work of constantly interrogating my inner world for subconscious biases, knowing that I will always be complicit in evil because I am white. Can I go about my business? Or would you like to do a social justice riot on it?

“And yes, corporate overlords, every June please do send me an email from every company I’ve ever patronized telling me to enjoy a transgender burrito at your business, or to #rideproud on your exercise bicycle, and scoop up my ‘love is love’ non-binary tote bag. Such gestures of celebration are the least I can do to compensate for my hegemonic bigotry. I am a bit uncomfortable with the idea that some women have penises so perhaps I deserve this.”

But such coercive manipulation was never supposed to stop with adults, and in fact they were just grooming you to get at your kid.

It is an effective strategy. When transgender story hours garnered national attention, many stared quizzically at videos of woke moms across America clapping and nodding while little Ashleigh and Aster learned to twerk from men in heels and minis at the local library.

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Why Woke Organizations All Sound the Same

A more immediate form of coercive isomorphism pushing schools toward wokeness is accreditation. As Aaron Sibarium reported for the Washington Free Beacon, the National Association of Independent Schools exercises a quasi-governmental role as the accreditation board for top prep schools. NAIS mandates ever more strenuous and belligerent diversity programs so that a school that wants to remain in the club of elite prep schools—with all the prestige and resources that implies—must ratchet wokeness ever upward.

Normative isomorphism means that skilled professionals shape the field toward their expectations. In its original formulation, normative isomorphism meant professionals shaping organizations to act how they learned an organization ought to when they were in graduate school. In this light, it’s worth noting that schools of education have been extremely woke for a generation, far before the rest of the culture, so teachers and administrators have imbibed the doctrine that social justice is inextricably a part of the mission of educational institutions.

In the era of the Great Awokening, it’s increasingly clear that employee activism is a powerful force for shaping firm behavior. For instance, Apoorva Ghosh recently demonstrated in Socio-Economic Review that employee LGBT caucuses are the most important explanation for why corporate America began covering gender transition in employee health plans. As wokeness has rapidly gained popularity with college-educated liberals, they have demanded that their workplaces reflect their values on the “antiracism” movement. Elite prep schools are no different.

Mimetic isomorphism is the tendency of organizations to model their behavior on industry leaders. A practice derives its prestige from association with prestigious organizations. For instance, the private education diversity-consulting firm Pollyanna proudly lists 77 of America’s top high schools as clients. This sends the message that any school that considers itself a peer of Harvard-Westlake or Dalton should hope that Pollyanna is willing to take them on as a client. Pollyanna also illustrates the other two isomorphisms: coercive, since NAIS demands that prep schools hire them; and normative, as consulting agencies are by nature.

Neo-institutionalism helps explain why we see organizations engage in practices that don’t serve the bottom line. Ultimately, legitimacy trumps efficacy. Suppose that you’re a manager who reads the academic literature, sees that the heavy-handed self-criticism styles of sexual-harassment or racial-diversity training are somewhere between useless and counterproductive, and proposes canceling next year’s training. Legal is going to complain that this will look bad if you face a wrongful-dismissal suit anytime soon. And some of your biggest contracts require that co-located employees from your firm have to be certified as having received the training. Many employees will complain that they expect the firm to express their values, which includes holding seminars featuring “privilege walks” to reaffirm the firm’s commitment to ending white supremacy and other forms of domination. These stakeholders will point to the fact that all your leading rivals in the industry hold such seminars; it is a “best practice.” So you go on propitiating the gods, even knowing full well that they don’t exist, because everyone around you believes in the spirits and even more so in the rituals that honor them and would consider neglect of such piety a sign of illegitimate leadership.

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

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

NYC's Tenement Museum faces backlash after it REPLACES story of white Irish immigrants with woke tale of black New Jersey family who never even lived in the Lower East Side building

The Tenement Museum is facing backlash for scrubbing the history of the white immigrants who inhabited the building on Manhattan's Lower East Side with stories about black and other races that never stepped foot in its now-hallowed hallways.

Chief among the complaints is the museum replacing the story of an Irish family who resided at the building at 103 Orchard Street in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with that of a black man - who worked near the building and lived in New Jersey for much of his life.

When the museum opened in 1988, it was devoted to re-creating the immigrant experience of the more than 7,000 people who inhabited the 22 apartments in the five-story building during the 19th and 20th centuries.

During that time period, the inhabitants mirrored that of the nation's migration, beginning with the influx of Irish, then German, then Jewish and finally Italian immigrants. There is no historical evidence any black people lived in the cramped quarters of the building during that time period.

However, the museum has decided to set up one apartment in the tenement museum to re-create how a black man named Joseph Moore, and his wife, Rachel, lived at the time, and is revising all of its apartment tours to examine how race and racism shaped the opportunities of white immigrants.

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

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

At UT-Austin, teaching white 4-year-olds that they’re racist is funded by taxpayer dollars

Here, with GoKar, the university actively chose to provide $100,000 of state money to engage in political persuasion aimed at 4- and 5-year-olds based on the claim that it would be too late to wait until they are adults, or even slightly more mature children, to get them to come around to the political views of the researchers.

GoKar is just one, though a particularly egregious, case of UT-Austin diverting money intended for the support of teaching and research to political activism.

The provost’s DEI grants provide a laundry list of such diversions, with many not even having the pretense of research projects. I assure you there is no equivalent list of provost grants to promote alternative perspectives on any of these DEI issues.

The diversion of state resources to political advocacy through bureaucratic means, with extreme resistance to outside monitoring or oversight by the democratically elected branches of government, is not an exercise in academic freedom but instead a grave threat to the free exchange of ideas.

If certain ideas are so advantaged through government support, as they are at universities, both through state appropriations being diverted and through direct federal programs, then we do not have a true marketplace of ideas.

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

Waukesha Killings Make the Media Colorblind Again: The contrast with the Kyle Rittenhouse case illustrates the double standard.

The Biden administration has picked up where the Obama administration left off. The unwarranted racialization of the Kyle Rittenhouse saga, which concerned one white man shooting three other whites, was a clumsy attempt by President Biden and his allies to further a narrative about bias in the criminal justice system. To their credit, jurors stuck to the facts of the case and Mr. Rittenhouse was acquitted, but liberals and their friends in the media are playing a dangerous game when they selectively invoke race to advance a political agenda.

The same press outlets that portrayed Mr. Rittenhouse as a white supremacist have had remarkably little to say about the racial identity of Darrell Brooks, the black suspect in Wisconsin who is accused of plowing his car through an annual Christmas parade last month and killing six people, including an 8-year-old boy, all of whom were white. Given the suspect’s history of posting messages on social media that called for violence against white people and praised Hitler for killing Jews, you’d think that his race and the race of his victims would be relevant to reporters. Race is all anyone would be talking about if a white man had slammed his vehicle into a parade full of black people. Yet suddenly the left has gone colorblind.

Liberals want us to believe that racial disparities in police shootings and incarceration rates stem from a biased system and have little to do with racial disparities in criminality. They want to talk about so-called hate crimes that involve white assailants and black victims, but not those involving black assailants and white or Asian victims. They want headlines to read “White Cop Shoots Black Suspect,” even when there’s no evidence that the encounter was racially motivated. This is playing with fire.

“Once we go down this road and get into the habit of racializing such events, we may not be able to contain that racialization,” said Brown University economist Glenn Loury in a recent speech for the Manhattan Institute. “Soon enough, we may find ourselves in a world of instances where black thugs killing white citizens come to be seen though a racial lens as well. This is a world no thoughtful person should welcome since there are a great many such instances.”

The political left’s hyperconsciousness about race might help Democrats turn out their base, but at a steep cost. National cohesion in a country as large and ethnically diverse as this one has always depended on our ability to focus not on our superficial differences but instead on what unites us as Americans. The sooner we start choosing political leaders who understand this—and punishing the ones who don’t—the better off we’ll be.

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

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New York’s Parent Revolt: An activist fighting Bill de Blasio’s plan to scrap merit-based K-12 programs looks back on the last three years.

Asian-American parents of gifted students have not traditionally been an activist constituency. But Mayor Bill de Blasio’s attempts to remove merit from the equation for New York City’s specialized high schools and gifted programs brought a forceful response from those whose children would be affected. Beginning in 2018, many parents—especially, but not exclusively, Asian-Americans—entered the political arena for the first time. Three years later, we have secured some important victories: Asian-Americans made their voices heard in the 2021 elections, incoming mayor Eric Adams has shown signs that he understands these parental concerns, and even de Blasio has expressed some regret for his handling of the issue. But if resistance to these plans largely succeeded in making the mayor back down, progressives haven’t given up the fight to make the specialized schools more “equitable”—or, rather, to equalize outcomes. The fight, in which I have been deeply involved, continues.

With a budget of $38 billion, the New York City Department of Education spends $46,000 per student, triple the U.S. average. But the DOE makes every excuse to avoid accountability for its failures. Its continued attacks on certain students based on their race imperils the accelerated learning opportunities that are often the only reason for families to stay in the city’s public school system.

[...]

The attack on the specialized high schools was only one of many attacks on education during the months before the lawsuit was announced in December 2018. The issue was affecting not only Chinese-Americans but also Koreans, Bangladeshis (the fastest-growing group in specialized high schools), Russians, and all who worked hard but did not fall into the administration’s favored groups. This was an assault on all; alliances needed to be built. Non-Asians had to meet with Asians.

The specialized high schools were just a starting point. After a meeting mid-summer between Chinese groups and a multiethnic group of parent and alumni leaders, CEC2 and Stuyvesant school leadership team member John Keller said ominously to me that city hall’s next targets would be the gifted programs and screened schools. I agreed. Parents had to decide: would you fight to save your kids’ chance at opportunity, or vote with your feet?

Under the guise of diversity, equity, and inclusion, the DOE was pursuing a path of division, exclusion, and intolerance. Defenders of the system argued that K-8 should be fixed for all students, but the DOE strategy, with Chancellor Carranza leading the charge, was different: to eliminate objective standards, gifted programs, and screened schools; to ignore basic academic skills; to allow for grade fraud so that failing students could pass; to prioritize identity over education; to move children around so that schools could be brought down to the same level; and to call anyone disagreeing with these policies racist.

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

EU wants to ban the word ‘Christmas’: The terms Miss and Mrs. as well as standard Christian names like John and Mary need to go in the name of inclusiveness

The European Commission wants to erase all references to Christmas along with all gendered terms, according to a recent internal document obtained by Italian daily Il Giornale.

According to the document “Union Of Equality. European Commission Guidelines for Inclusive Communication,” in the future any references to gendered terms such as “workrmen or policemen” must be avoided. That means the use of a masculine pronoun as a predefined pronoun is forbidden along with any attempts to organize discussions with only one represented gender (only men or only women). It is also forbidden to use “Miss or Mrs” the person referred to requires it explicitly.

It doesn’t end there, either. The new rules mean the expression “Ladies and gentlemen,” to address the public is not permitted at a conference. Instead, only the term “dear colleagues,” will be allowed. A desire to cancel the male and female gender reaches paradoxical levels when the Commission writes that it is necessary to avoid using expressions such as “fire is the greatest invention of man” but the fair way to say it is “fire is the greatest invention of humanity.”

The European Commission is also keen to “avoid considering that everyone is Christian,” therefore “not everyone celebrates the Christmas holidays (…) we must be sensitive to the fact that people have different religious traditions.” However, there is a huge difference between respecting all religions and being ashamed or erasing the Christian roots that are the basis of Europe and our identity.

In the name of inclusiveness, the European Commission goes so far as to “cancel Christmas” by inviting us not to use the phrase “the Christmas period can be stressful” but to say “the holidays can be stressful.” A desire to eliminate Christianity that goes further with the recommendation to use “generic names” instead of “Christian names” therefore, instead of “Mary and John are an international couple,” one should say “Malika and Giulio are an international couple”.

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

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

Baby Book Wars: Kids' lit gets lit.

When the frizzy-haired Marxists at my local library start ranting about seizing the means of production, they’re not talking about factories anymore. They’re talking about you, your womb, and its output.

We have put childless despots like this in positions of authority over our kids. They have cleverly figured out that their great nihilistic cultural project requires your children to see it through to the end. And they are coming for them. You can hear the plains vibrating as the great galloping horde approacheth your elementary school.

After all, their harebrained schemes will only work if they can fool a large majority of people to do what they say. You, dear reader, are too smart to fall for their lies! But three-year-olds? Those idiots will believe anything.

Just look around. From the outside, these creatures look normal: young bookstore clerks heaping tables full of rainbow flags and Margaret Sanger hagiographies, lumpy school board officials quietly slipping descriptions of “extreme bestiality and pornography” into middle-grade curricula, feminist librarians proudly displaying Transgender Toddler board books and other government propaganda on the low racks so little kids can easily see them.

Do not be fooled by a Regime functionary’s harmless outward appearance! They are harpies who have swooped into every burgh and barn. They peer at you through jealous eyes as you push your stroller through the park, rubbing their claws together and snapping their beaks as they hatch their plans to ensnare your kids. When I think of these wretched people, I think of Quentin Blake’s drawings for Roald Dahl books like The Witches and The Twits, the evil giants in The BFG, or Giant Peach James’s horrible spinster aunts.

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

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

School Board Meeting Ends Early When Parents Applaud Man's 'Racist' Comments

The man, who identified himself only as Mark from Gladstone, accused the Bernards Township School Board of "teaching our kids about race and how to hate each other."

"This is horrible: teaching our kids about race, how to hate each other," the man said. "Teach white kids, 'Oh, you got to give up your opportunity, if you get one, and give it to somebody of color.' And then we teach the kids of color, 'It doesn't matter how good your are. You're brown, so you just get.'"

"Nobody seems to care about these kids anymore," the man continued. "It's all about virtue signaling. It's all about politics and it's all about hating Donald Trump, anyone that's a conservative or a Republican. ... You want to talk about racism and being called names? It's called 'toughen up.' It's called 'grow a set.'"

[...]

Board member Ruchika Hira spoke against the man's comments near the meeting's end.

"I am beyond upset to the point I really want to wait to respond," she said according to the news website Patch. "What is the most upsetting part is someone did come up here and made racist comments. They basically said our children should learn to 'grow a set' and you know what the community members did? They clapped, and that to me is appalling."

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

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

[Freddie deBoer] Racial Disparities in the SATs Are Exactly What Antiracists Should Predict: it's implied by their most elementary observations of the world

The SAT is officially gone from the University of California because they’re desperate to reduce the Asian student population they want greater racial diversity. Many prominent liberals have celebrated this news, largely because they already went to college and don’t mind pulling up that ladder behind them. (Also a lot of them didn’t get the scores they wanted and never got over it.) Unfortunately for them, essentially all educational metrics show the racial and income stratification that the SAT shows. That includes GPA, which the people who complain about the SAT constantly nominate as an alternative to… the racial and income stratification of the SAT!

Note too that this is before adjustment via the black-box algorithms that elite universities use to adjust for the inherent noise in GPA. (I say again: some big-time publication should absolutely send someone to report that story out for a year. It’s an area of major public interest in which the industry works under remarkable secrecy.) It’s such an audaciously dishonest conversation that we’re having, attacking one quantitative indicator for demonstrating the same dynamics as the quantitative indicator that’s been nominated to replace it. But then, of course GPA and SAT data agree. It would be bizarre and concerning if the SAT did not agree with GPA data, NAEP data, state standardized test data, attendance and behavioral data, data from academic research, and sundry other educational data that shows these racial and income dynamics. The SAT showing racial and income stratification isn’t a mark of the SAT’s weakness but of its strength. That the SAT demonstrates these effects shows that the test is accurately measuring its construct. It can’t assess the broader sociopolitical conditions that created this dynamic, nor their fairness, as it wasn’t designed to do that.

Now, I suppose my saying that the SAT and other metrics show that poorer students and Black and Hispanic students are genuinely less prepared (on average) would inflame the sensibilities of people who identify as antiracists. But I find that strange - such students being held back in the classroom by structural disadvantage would seem to fit perfectly well with the antiracist worldview. Antiracists (an obnoxious term but let’s roll with it) will tell you that many Black students face all manner of disadvantages in life that can depress their academic performance, and they are correct to do so. But then isn’t it profoundly odd that they’re so angry at the SAT for demonstrating the outcome of that disadvantage? If the test shows Black and poor students struggling, it’s only an indicator of precisely the conditions they think are real and meaningful and troubling. Why would they want to silence that indicator? How does it help them?

You could say that this just proves that we need muscular affirmative action programs to help address this inequality, and I agree, with some important caveats. The first is to understand that actually-existing race-based affirmative action, in many contexts, simply serves as another means for schools to cream the students whose parents are most able to donate, as I’ve discussed here several times. If you create rules for preferential treatment you’ll get colleges that honor the letter of those rules and not the spirit and you’re just further benefiting applicants who already have a host of advantages. The second qualification is this: it’s an act of cruelty to let students you know are less prepared into your college without providing robust (and mandatory) remediation. You let them in despite worse academic preparedness than their peers; if you don’t address that lack of preparedness in a systematic fashion you’re setting them up to fail. But remediation is expensive for institutions and potentially for students if the school doesn’t agree to eat the costs. Then again, what’s the point of letting them in if they don’t get the degree, or getting them the degree if it doesn’t connote actual learning and skills?

And that gets at the essential point that while these disparities are the product of unfairness they are nevertheless real. The average Black student really does struggle more with reading and algebra etc. than the average white student, and the average rich student really does perform better than the average poor student. Again, this is absolutely what you’d expect if you have a progressive outlook on structural disadvantage. But we can’t get anywhere if we pretend that these gaps are the product of measurement error, nor by positing an immense conspiracy among millions of teachers and administrators to pretend that Black and poor students are struggling when they aren’t. In the long run, such denialism hurts precisely the students it ostensibly helps, as it does nothing to fill in the gaps of human capital under which they suffer. I have very few good things to say about old guard education reform types, but they have always been willing to look at such gaps and understand that the gaps themselves, the underlying lack of ability, are the core problem, the core injustice. Disadvantaged students struggling to get into college is a symptom, not the disease. And the SAT are merely a thermometer that diagnoses that disease.

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

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

See It: Picture Emerges of the Loudoun Rapist the Superintendent Claimed Was Not ‘Gender-Fluid’

A newly-verified picture of the Loudoun County Public Schools rapist, and a letter from the sheriff, raises fresh questions about the honesty of Superintendent Scott Ziegler in his handling of the now-notorious bathroom rape.

The picture shows the teen wearing a skirt and a girls’ shirt designed to expose cleavage, striking a feminine pose and standing in front of a rainbow flag. His hair is tied in a bun, and he is wearing a choker necklace that says “kitten” as well as rainbow socks.

The family of his victim confirmed to The Daily Wire that the boy pictured is the person who was ultimately found responsible of the ninth-grader’s rape in a girls’ bathroom at school, and that he was wearing the same feminine shirt during the assault. The assailant previously acknowledged in court that he was wearing a skirt during the rape.

LCPS officials did not tell the public, report it to the state on mandatory statistics, or remove the student from school after the May incident. On June 22, weeks after the rape, the school board discussed a proposed policy that would allow transgender students to use girls’ bathrooms. To address parents’ concerns about safety, school board member Beth Barts asked Ziegler whether there was a history of bathroom or locker room assaults.

Ziegler responded that there were no bathroom assaults of any sort on record. Barts replied that she was confused because there was a well-known locker-room incident several years prior among male athletes.

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

[Freddie deBoer] Life Goes On: we move on, from Covid or anything else, whether we want to or not

There is a new variant, apparently. I know because our newsmedia breathlessly and relentlessly reports on bad Covid news. Unfortunately, they simply refuse to report on good Covid news, at least with anything like equal scale; I invite you to investigate the archives of even the most sober of news sources and compare how they cover cases going up compared to cases going down. Meanwhile, the public health authorities react to every twist of the narrative as an excuse for more fear and greater restrictions, insisting that “an abundance of caution” is always the way to proceed. (No word on whether a correct amount of caution would be a good idea.) Meanwhile the virus does discriminate, despite what you’ve heard over and over again, and in fact it discriminates against very particular and easily-identifiable subpopulations, and most people are not among them, and so every turn of this thing that does not result in mass death and disruption for the larger populace makes that populace feel lied to by the endlessly-panicky media and the abundantly cautious public health officials. We are approaching two years of Covid-19 as a crisis and yet no one in a position of authority has seemed to put it together that the public is exquisitely sensitive to those who cry wolf. Maybe Omicron really is “the big one,” but they’ve said that about every last development in this endless story, so how would we ever know?

Meanwhile we live among a Praetorian guard of busybodies who want everyone to know that the rest of us aren’t taking Covid seriously enough. These are people who are existentially similar to the “Karen,” 2020’s favorite archetype, except that they’re used to calling other people Karens. But they are precisely that figure of clueless white deference to authority that self-nominates as the world’s hall monitor. And while they want you to mask up and vaccinate and obey other rules, what’s much more important to them than regulating your behavior is that they let you know that you don’t feel the right way about Covid. You aren’t taking it seriously enough! You aren’t frightened enough! Who told you that you ever get to go back to normal? It’s not enough that you follow the rules and perform these weird rituals that we’re all compelled to. You are damned if you want things to return to normal. To want that is the gravest sin. To prefer the before times is a mark of terrible unseriousness. Covid is not, to these people, a simple public health emergency but some sort of divine test of our character, and what is weighed in that test is not our actions or their outcomes, but our neuroses, our noble anxiety, our sacred attachment to feeling bad and wanting to go on feeling bad.

These people worship “the science” but have, shall we say, a selective understanding of it. We’ve known for a long time that it’s very hard to catch Covid outdoors, and that children face very little risk, and again most adults are vaccinated. And yet if you took your kid trick or treating a month ago there’s a Greek chorus that wants you to know that it was terribly selfish and irresponsible, and some such thing as the science says so, irrespective of what the iterative, provisional, and antagonistic rhetorical processes of epidemiology might have to say. We have created an entirely new epistemology of public health science in the past couple of years, one that is somehow not a branch of medicine or biology but of public relations. Its vectors are not pathogens but perceptions. It tracks not the spread of disease but the spread of blame.

What people of this school demand is not sound public health policy or compliance with common-sense Covid regulations, much less an end to the epidemic. (That would end the fun.) What they want is for the world to stop. They want Covid to matter so much that we all look around and realize that something is fundamentally out of order and thus grind human life to a halt, in much the same way that they said “this is NOT normal!” when Trump was elected, as if that were true, as if the world would care if it was. And thudding around in the background is the palpable sense that they are attached to this condition that they say frightens and disturbs them, that they need it, as they imagine that finally something has come along so extreme and so wrong that it will arrest the world’s progress, stopping the ride so they can get out and cluck their tongue at the ridiculousness and injustice of it all.

But the people are voting with their feet. They’re going about their lives, fitfully but unapologetically. I look around and New York is awake and alive. And the question as to whether all these people returning to normal is good or responsible or sound public health practice just isn’t relevant, isn’t meaningful. People were not going to rot in their houses forever, and this was and remains a statement of fact, not of value. The world is reawakening. Whether it should reawaken is angels dancing on the head of a pin, a trolley problem, a dorm room pass-the-bong puzzler. It can’t be answered and doesn’t matter. Time only spins forward, for good and for bad, even during a pandemic, even when THIS. IS. NOT. NORMAL. No time stays special forever, and people like living life. It’s no more complicated than that.

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 3 insightful - 1 fun3 insightful - 0 fun4 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Leftist Arizona State U. groups demand Kyle Rittenhouse be booted from campus

Progressive student groups at Arizona State University are planning a rally this coming week to demand the expulsion of Kyle Rittenhouse from campus.

This actually might be a bit tough to accomplish given that Rittenhouse — recently acquitted of all charges in the shootings of three people (two of whom were killed) in Kenosha, Wisconsin last summer — is enrolled online.

[...]

Organizations including MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán), Students for Socialism, Students for Justice in Palestine and the Multicultural Solidarity Coalition intend to gather on December 1 to “get murderer Kyle Rittenhouse off [the] campus.”

“Even with a not-guilty verdict from a flawed ‘justice’ system — Kyle Rittenhouse is still guilty to his victims and the families of those victims,” the groups’ Instagram statement reads. “Join us to demand from ASU that these demands be met to protect students from a violent, blood-thirsty murderer.”

Those demands include that ASU withdraw Rittenhouse’s enrollment, put out a statement condemning “racist murderer” Rittenhouse and white supremacy in general, and redirect funding from campus police to the ASU Multicultural Center.

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

The Cynical and Dangerous Weaponization of the "White Supremacist" Label

It continues to be staggering how media outlets which purport to explain the Rittenhouse case get caught over and over spreading utter falsehoods about the most basic facts of the case, proving they did not watch the trial or learn much about what happened beyond what they heard in passing from like-minded liberals on Twitter. There is simply no way to have paid close attention to this case, let alone have watched the trial, and believe that he carried a gun across state lines, yet this false assertion made it past numerous Post reporters, editors and fact-checkers purporting to "correct the record” about this case. Yet again, we find that the same news outlets which love to accuse others of “disinformation” — and want the internet censored in the name of stopping it — frequently pontificate on topics about which they know nothing, without the slightest concern for whether or not it is true.

Those who continue to condemn Rittenhouse as a white supremacist — including the author of The Post op-ed published four days after the paper concluded the accusation was baseless — typically point to his appearance at a bar in January, 2021, for a photo alongside members of the Proud Boys in which he was photographed making the “okay” sign gesture. That once-common gesture, according to USA Today, “has become a symbol used by white supremacists.” Rittenhouse insists that the appearance was arranged by his right-wing attorneys Lin Wood and John Pierce — whom he quickly fired and accused of exploiting him for fund-raising purposes — and that he had no idea that the people with whom he was posting for a photo were Proud Boys members ("I thought they were just a bunch of, like, construction dudes based on how they looked”), nor had he ever heard that the “OK” sign was a symbol of "white power.”

Rittenhouse's denial about this once-benign gesture seems shocking to people who spend all their days drowning in highly politicized Twitter discourse — where such a claim is treated as common knowledge — but is completely believable for the vast majority of Americans who do not. In fact, the whole point of the adolescent 4chan hoax was to convert one of the most common and benign gestures into a symbol of white power so that anyone making it would be suspect. As The New York Times recounted, the gesture has long been “used for several purposes in sign languages, and in yoga as a symbol to demonstrate inner perfection. It figures in an innocuous made-you-look game. Most of all, it has been commonly used for generations to signal 'O.K.,’ or all is well.”

But whatever one chooses to believe about that episode is irrelevant to whether these immediate declarations of Rittenhouse's "white supremacy” were valid. That bar appearance took place in January, 2021 — five months after the Kenosha shootings. Yet Rittenhouse was instantly declared to be a "white supremacist” — and by “instantly,” I mean: within hours of the shooting. “A 17 year old white supremacist domestic terrorist drove across state lines, armed with an AR 15,” was how Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) described Rittenhouse the next day in a mega-viral tweet; her tweet consecrated not only this "white supremacist” accusation which persisted for months, but also affirmed the falsehood that he crossed state lines with an AR-15. It does not require an advanced degree in physics to understand that his posing for a photo in that bar with Proud Boys members, flashing the OK sign, five months later in January, 2020, could not serve as a rational evidentiary basis for Rep. Pressley's accusation the day after the shootings that he was a "white supremacist,” nor could it serve as the justification for five consecutive months of national media outlets accusing him of the same. Unless his accusers had the power to see into the future, they branded him a white supremacist with no basis whatsoever — or, as The Post put it this week, “despite a lack of evidence.”

The only other “evidence” ever cited to support the rather grave accusation that this 17-year-old is a "white supremacist” were social media postings of his in which he expressed positive sentiments toward the police and then-President Trump, including with the phrase "Blue Lives Matter." That was all that existed — the entirety of the case — that led the most powerful media outlets and politicians to stamp on this adolescent's forehead the gravest accusation one can face in American culture. This is really the heart of the matter: this episode vividly demonstrates how cheapened and emptied and cynically wielded this "white supremacist" slogan has become. The oft-implicit but sometimes-explicit premise in liberal discourse is that everyone who deviates in any way from liberal dogma is a white supremacist by definition.

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Between-Group Mean Differences in Intelligence in the United States Are >0% Genetically Caused: Five Converging Lines of Evidence

Abstract

The past 30 years of research in intelligence has produced a wealth of knowledge about the causes and consequences of differences in intelligence between individuals, and today mainstream opinion is that individual differences in intelligence are caused by both genetic and environmental influences. Much more contentious is the discussion over the cause of mean intelligence differences between racial or ethnic groups. In contrast to the general consensus that interindividual differences are both genetic and environmental in origin, some claim that mean intelligence differences between racial groups are completely environmental in origin, whereas others postulate a mix of genetic and environmental causes. In this article I discuss 5 lines of research that provide evidence that mean differences in intelligence between racial and ethnic groups are partially genetic. These lines of evidence are findings in support of Spearman's hypothesis, consistent results from tests of measurement invariance across American racial groups, the mathematical relationship that exists for between-group and within-group sources of heritability, genomic data derived from genome-wide association studies of intelligence and polygenic scores applied to diverse samples, and admixture studies. I also discuss future potential lines of evidence regarding the causes of average group differences across racial groups. However, the data are not fully conclusive, and the exact degree to which genes influence intergroup mean differences in intelligence is not known. This discussion applies only to native English speakers born in the United States and not necessarily to any other human populations.

Hasn't turned up on Sci-Hub yet. Could anyone with an institutional subscription PM me a copy?

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Units of Indoctrination: A Language Arts curriculum widely used in U.S. schools ignores academic fundamentals in favor of radical pedagogy.

Few parents of school-age children would recognize the name Lucy Calkins, but her English Language Arts curriculum, Units of Study, is used in thousands of classrooms across the United States. Calkins’s curriculum is “built on critical theories,” including critical race theory (CRT), which Democrats and the media have repeatedly denied is taught in K-12 schools.

Those denials are true in a narrow sense: K-12 students aren’t reading the primary documents of CRT any more than they’re reading the works of John Dewey or Jean-Jacques Rousseau. But the works of writers like Kimberlé Crenshaw, bell hooks, Angela Davis, and others directly inform Calkins’s Units of Study, which focuses on identity-based power dynamics, victimhood, white supremacy, microaggressions, and the like.

It’s hard to determine precisely how many schools use Calkins’s Units of Study. One professor of education acknowledged that publishers “aren’t very forthcoming” with this “very basic data.” The curriculum’s publisher claims that it is used in “tens of thousands of schools around the world,” and a poll from EducationWeek estimates that 16 percent of U.S. elementary school teachers use it, including, one education journalist estimates, at least 55 districts in Massachusetts. It isn’t a stretch to say that thousands of teachers rely on its lesson plans, assessments, and other materials.

One unit in particular stands out for its embrace of principles inspired by critical race theory. The opening pages of Critical Literacy: Unlocking Contemporary Fiction, meant for students in seventh through ninth grade, explain that the unit will engage with “the politics of race, class, and gender.” One activity asks students to break down “hegemonic masculinity” in the books they’re reading. Another builds “identity lenses”’ through which students can analyze various texts, including “critical race theories” and “gender theories.” References to identity pervade nearly every page of the unit. Accompanying materials declare that the curriculum is “dedicated” to teaching “critical literacies” that will “help readers investigate power.”

This unit underscores a problem far larger than a few lesson plans. It exposes a radical approach to education that pervades our schools and upends all of our former notions of what education should be, replacing the goal of fostering inquisitive, capable minds with ideologically trained readers, who already know what a text has to say. Headline-making stories of racialized “affinity groups” and “privilege walks” are only the most visible elements of this pedagogy. Other seemingly innocuous practices are also rooted in a philosophy that treats the immutable characteristics of students as their most central attributes.

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New Olympic Committee Rules Essentially End Women’s Sports

After years of having very specific rules regulating testosterone levels and in what way biological males would be able to compete in women’s athletic events at the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has determined that there should be no barriers at all to men competing in women’s events. Its new ruling overturns the previous 2015 guidance, and should mean that all women everywhere, whether athletes or spectators, boycott the Olympics entirely, in every category, in every form, across the world.

The previous rules for the participation of men in women’s sports were already unfair, with male athletes having to show that their testosterone levels were below 10 nmol/liter of blood for 12 months or more. Women’s standard amount of testosterone is .09 nmol/liter of blood. Even with the application of testosterone during a British medical study, women were only able to increase to 4.3 nmol/liter. The normal, healthy range for men is 9.2 to 31.8 nmol/liter.

The new rules are couched in ideas of anti-discrimination, but they are only about not discriminating against gender-nonconforming biological males who identify as transgender and use female pronouns, and in so doing, they directly discriminate against women.

The rules say that sports organizations’ eligibility criteria should “not systematically exclude athletes from competition based on their gender identity, physical appearance, and/ or sex variations.”

Overturning the entirety of human history and understanding about biology, the IOC states that “No athlete should be precluded from competing or excluded from competition on the exclusive ground of an unverified, alleged, or perceived unfair competitive advantage due to their sex variations, physical appearance and/or transgender status.”

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Ignorant and Afraid: Politicians and bureaucrats aren't immune to their own propaganda, and they really are as ill-informed as they seem.

I’ve mentioned this episode a few times: On 11 March 2020, Angela Merkel held a press conference where she remarked that the best hope was to slow the spread of SARS-2, and that 70% of Germans could be infected. The Italian lockdown was only a few days old, and it was plainly not Merkel’s intent to go down the path of mass containment. The United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden and likely a few other countries too still planned for an ordinary approach to Corona, with minimal mitigations.

All the while, though, Team Lockdown was hard at work behind the scenes, to bend policy in their direction. As this leaked email from 20 March shows, German medical bureaucrats deputised by the Ministry of the Interior were soon consulting experts on how best to instil “fear and a willingness to obey in the population.”

Because Western governments doubted their capacity to enforce Chinese-style lockdowns, fomenting mass panic became a non-pharmaceutical intervention in its own right. The histrionic media messaging has continued to this day, and it has contributed to a profoundly important division in our society: There are on the one hand those people in essential roles, who have endured exposure to Corona from the beginning, and most of whom have had the virus by now. And there are on the other hand those in Martin Kulldorf’s “laptop class,” that is to say well-off urban professionals, who have spent most of the last 21 months at home, hiding from a virus that many of them believe is approximately as dangerous as SARS. Mass infections among these people are only starting to happen right now.

[...]

To the profound disappointment of Merkel and everybody like her, the vaccines have not eradicated Corona. Every day, the prospect of personal infection looms for these people as a new, uncomfortable certainty. Every day, they and the rest of the work-from-home bureaucracy become ever more terrified. The prime minister of Austria is so afraid that he has confined all unvaccinated Austrians to their homes. When asked, he declared that this measure would have no end date. The Chief Minister of Australia’s Northern Territory is terrified. New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern is terrified.

You know who isn’t terrified right now? Everyone outside these circles. I and many of the people I know have had Corona, and we’re not terrified. Blue-collar workers have mostly been infected, and they’re not terrified. Grocery clerks, nurses, police officers and bus drivers aren’t terrified. All of the terror is at the top, blaring down at us all of the time. All these people know they are going to get sick in the next few months, and they are railing against this reality.

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School pulls event with former Islamic State sex slave over fears it would 'foster Islamophobia'

A Canadian school has been forced to apologise after a book club event with Nadia Murad, a Nobel Prize-winner and former Islamic State sex slave, was cancelled over fears it would "foster Islamaphobia.”

Helen Fisher, the superintendent at the Toronto District School Board, voiced her concerns over Ms Murad’s ‘The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight Against the Islamic State’ and said that her students would not participate in a sit-down event with the author scheduled for February.

The move drew wide criticism, and the board has been forced to clarify that these views are not its official position and that it will be reviewing the books.

Ms Murad’s frightening story details her family being executed and how she was snatched from her home and sold into sexual slavery. She was raped, tortured and exchanged among militants in northern Iraq before escaping.

She is a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, UN Goodwill Ambassador, and a leading advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence.

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Indiana teacher who exposed CRT teaching put on leave, has email locked, banned from school buildings

An Indianapolis school administrator who went viral for explaining how his district is pushing Critical Race Theory on children has been locked out of his email and Google Drive accounts and been told to work from home because he was causing other staff members "anxiety."

"As of one hour ago, Indianapolis Public Schools has suspended my access to email & Google Drive," Indianapolis district science coordinator, instructional coach, and administrator Tony Kinnett posted on Twitter along with a screenshot.

"I've been required to work from home the last two weeks, as staff reportedly have 'clinical anxiety' over working with me," Kinnett added. "When I came to get books from my office, phone calls were made to each team member so they'd be clear of the building."

Kinnett added that he has been banned from going to any school building or from hosting professional development while also pledging to continue to release more information that he has already downloaded from the district.

"It's a good thing I downloaded all of the other racist documents & videos from the public server weeks ago," Kinnett added in the Twitter thread.

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Swedish scientists prosecuted for finding that most rapes are committed by immigrants

A recent case in Sweden could explain why politicians and human rights activists often claim there is no scientific evidence for higher criminality within immigrant communities in Western societies.

A recent case in Lund University is now serving as a clear-cut example of what happens when researches try to gather scientific evidence regarding issues that might not support the officially sanctioned political narrative. It also demonstrates that how funds are restricted for studying the impact of immigration, how research into the subject is not permitted by universities, and how scientists who disobey the restrictions face serious persecution.

This is what has happened to Professor Kristina Sundquist from Sweden’s Lund University, who alongside two other colleagues, conducted detailed research into the profile of those who commit sexual violence in Sweden. The research was not aimed at racially profiling the offenders, as the scientists themselves put it, but they nevertheless have discovered some facts about the ethnic profile of rapists by accident.

Sundquist, who is the most cited professor at her university regarding social research, is now being investigated for publishing an unauthorized research report, and may face prosecution for coming to the conclusion that the vase majority of rapes are committed by immigrants to the country.

But what does the research show? The published results show that immigrants are not only disproportionately overrepresented in rape cases, but despite being a minority in Sweden, they commit the vast majority of sexual violence. This is despite the fact that the study only analyzed cases between the period of 2000 and 2015, that is, before the enormous 2015 influx of migrants from the Middle East and Africa.

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Catholic university’s painting of George Floyd as Jesus draws outrage

A painting that depicts George Floyd as Jesus Christ on display at Catholic University of America that’s hanging in not one — but two — locations at the Washington D.C. institution has drawn outrage and prompted the launch of a petition calling for its removal.

“As students at the Catholic University of America, we believe that it is extremely grave that our university, the official university of the Catholic Church in North America, would cast another in the image of our Lord in this way, particularly for political purposes,” states the petition, which had more than 1,500 signatures as of Tuesday evening.

“No political or social cause ever justifies depicting another in the place of Jesus Christ.”

[...]

The Daily Signal, which first reported the story, notes that students are upset by the images, with one calling it “blasphemous” and another saying “nobody should be portrayed as Jesus except” Jesus himself.

The Signal also reports that “Catholic University appeared to shrug off responsibility for the painting Monday, telling The Daily Signal that artist Kelly Latimore’s painting ‘Mama’ depicts ‘the Virgin Mary supporting the body of the dead Christ’—although the artist has indicated repeatedly that his painting depicts both Floyd and Jesus.”

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Girls who don’t like dolls are treated as transgender, claims Tavistock clinic whistleblower

NHS services treat girls who "don't like pink ribbons and dollies" as if they have been born in the wrong body, a Tavistock whistleblower has warned.

Dr David Bell, a former governor at the gender identity NHS trust, said that under the influence of political lobby groups such as Stonewall, clinicians believe that the “only acceptable explanation” for a range of complex issues is that a young person is transgender.

The consultant psychiatrist described his former employer, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, as a “gateway to puberty blockers”, which put children and young people on the path of a lifetime of medical treatment.

Around 98 per cent of teenagers who were put on to puberty blockers went on to take cross sex hormones, he added.

Dr Bell said that rapid progression to drugs and even surgery in the NHS was “a form of conversion therapy” as with “proper” treatment, many of the children would go on to be gay or lesbian.

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[Freddie deBoer] The Failure of Occupy is Almost Complete

Occupy Wall Street’s deficiencies have been chronicled by many, including me, in the past decade. Even its signature idea, “We Are the 99%,” has its flaws. Most obviously it obscures meaningful class differences within the 99% that are arguably more consequential for day-to-day life than the 99%-1% split. I argued in my book, as did Richard Reeves in Dream Hoarders, the top 20% - an income range in which I myself reside - are in fact pulling away from the 80% to a degree that has profoundly deleterious effects on our society. And this matters beyond mere class war symbolism, as what too many left-of-center people don’t want to admit (and Democrats definitely don’t want to acknowledge) is that to pay for the kind of social safety net we want, people like me have to pay higher taxes too. Too much progressive messaging suggests that we can just tax Elon Musk and be done with it. But it will take a lot more, and the trouble is that liberalism’s takeover by an educated elite is now complete, and so the people who would fight for these tax increases are the people who would receive them, and so unsurprisingly it’s not happening. Either way, the 99% vs. the 1% obscures just how far much the upper middle class is pulling ahead as well, and makes the political task before us seem far easier than it is. So that’s bad.

And yet “we are the 99%,” frequently attributed to the late David Graeber, was elegant, direct, and fundamentally class-oriented; it stressed that people of all colors and kinds were united by our mutual exploitation by the ruling classes of society. It insisted that we were all in this together and that economic class, money, the haves and the have nots, were the basic poles of American political life. Occupy stressed a rhetoric of togetherness and the need for unity to fight against the forces of wealth and privilege. They needed to, as it really will take all kinds of people to defeat the guys in suits who don’t give a shit about BLM or what pronouns to use as long as they can extract every penny they can from ordinary people. The moneyed and the powerful have the money and the power. All the left has is people power, the potential of great masses to come together and, despite their demographic and cultural and lifestyle differences, recognize their shared self-interest and demand change.

And, well… how’s that going now? All contemporary liberals and leftists want to do is to chop that 99% up into smaller and smaller chunks, insisting to many of them that their problems aren’t really problems, setting up a hierarchy of suffering that is as inhospitable to real solidarity as I can imagine. There’s almost zero interest in a politics oriented around opposition to the kleptocracy that runs our system and steadily takes from those with too little and gives to those with too much. Yet that’s the biggest source of real human suffering in this country, need, unnecessary economic need that could be ameliorated by more equitably spreading the wealth. This is deeply related to the identity-based injustices that liberals are now fixated on seemingly to the exclusion of all others. I promise you, as desperately as we need policing and criminal justice reform in this country, poverty hurts more Black people more deeply every day than police do, by a country mile. And yet even the racial justice conversation has little time for questioning the basic distribution of money and power in our society. It’s far more invested in what I’ve called the Rainbow Oligarchy, diversifying our autocratic elite rather than tearing it down.

The lack of any clear class consciousness permeates the left (or “left”) conversation and its priorities. I think about the wearying discourse of deplatforming. “Deplatforming WORKS!” they snidely exclaim, not seeming to realize that, for example, it was conservatives who effectively canceled Milo Yappadapolous, not leftists, or that Alex Jones still has an audience of millions and is a very wealthy man. But those points are less important than recognizing that their targets are all fundamentally irrelevant media personalities, and that they fixate on them precisely because they can’t deplatform the forces that actually hurt poor people in this country. Richard Spencer lost his platform? Damn! Let freedom ring! I mean, he’s always been an utterly irrelevant figure, and every building in the financial district in Manhattan is filled with anonymous figures who do more damage to vulnerable people than Spencer will ever do in his life and then retreat to their tony Boerum Hill townhouses, but sure. We got ‘em, guys, mission accomplish. All 500 of Spencer’s followers have been defeated.

This is what happens when the left gives up on its core commitment to restructuring society at the economic level. You get caught up in this politics of celebrity, where what matters to your movement is the people who most defy its cultural leanings, rather than the structures of money and power that condition human lives.

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Kyle Rittenhouse and the hysteria of the elites

America’s liberal elites are broken. They are now totally deranged and detached from reality. That’s become brutally clear in the past 24 hours. While we all knew it was coming, the collective media and political meltdown over the acquittal of 18-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse has revealed a ruling class so warped, so unprincipled, so governed by partisan prejudice, that it essentially lives in a parallel universe.

Yesterday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a jury found Rittenhouse not guilty of homicide and attempted homicide over his shooting of three men, two of whom he killed, amid riots in the city on the night of 25 August 2020. The riots erupted after a police shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake. Unrest ripped through the city. The defence successfully argued that Rittenhouse fired in self-defence, while he was being chased and attacked.

[...]

As the trial wore on, it became all the more clear that the narrative cast about Rittenhouse and that night last August was utterly false. A narrative neatly summed up by Democratic congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who said Rittenhouse was a ‘17-year-old white supremacist domestic terrorist’ who ‘shot and killed two people who had assembled to affirm the value, dignity and worth of black lives’.

There is no evidence that Rittenhouse has white-supremacist leanings. Unless being pro-cop and pro-Trump counts, which apparently it does for many allegedly intelligent people. The idea that he was some out-of-towner who went to Kenosha just to take aim at protesters is also nonsense. While he lives in nearby Antioch, Illinois, his father, grandmother, aunt and uncle live in Kenosha. He also had a job there and was staying with a friend that night. Those he clashed with weren’t all ‘protesters’, either. Joseph Rosenbaum was, by all accounts, a deeply disturbed individual who went downtown that night to look for trouble.

But, with some notable exceptions aside, much of the great and good doubled down on their ridiculous takes even as the trial disproved them. ‘White supremacy maintains its cover’, thundered one MSNBC contributor in the wake of the acquittal. The fact that the three people Rittenhouse shot were white continues to escape the attention of many, including the UK’s Independent newspaper, which told its readers yesterday that Rittenhouse had killed two black men.

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Hamilton high school students fired from co-op placement over “OK” hand gesture

A 17-year-old high school student was fired from a hospital co-op placement after her employer alleged that an “OK” hand gesture she made in a social media photo was a symbol of white supremacy.

The hand gesture, frequently used to indicate satisfaction or approval, has been painted by the far-left as a sign meant to signal “white power.”

According to Grade 12 student Megan Breeze, she had no knowledge the sign could be misinterpreted that way.

“It wasn’t meant to be racist and it wouldn’t happen again. I thought it means ‘OK.’ Like a thumbs-up sign,” Breeze told the Hamilton Spectator.

Breeze was accepted into a co-op program at the beginning of the school year with Juravinski Hospital.

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Pedro Gonzalez on Twitter:

Youngkin got elected on culture war issues about race and sex

So, Youngkin chose a guy with pronouns in his bio to do his comms who also served on the Georgetown Latinx Leadership Forum and supports virtually everything Youngkin's voters voted against

This is peak GOP

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Dem Nadler Calls on DOJ to Review Rittenhouse Verdict

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, called on the Justice Department to review the not guilty verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse case, calling it a "miscarriage of justice."

Nadler pushed a debunked claim about Rittenhouse in his call for the federal review, saying that the teenager was "armed" when he crossed state lines to attend a protest in Kenosha, Wis., where he fatally shot two men and wounded another.

Rittenhouse, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, said he shot the men in self-defense after they attacked and threatened him at a protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Rittenhouse, an Illinois native, claimed he went to Kenosha to protect small businesses from riots that erupted following Blake's shooting.

A jury acquitted Rittenhouse of all charges Friday. Nadler called the verdict "heartbreaking" and said it set a "dangerous precedent" that warranted federal review. He asserted that Rittenhouse crossed state lines "looking for trouble." He also suggested that Rittenhouse targeted people engaged in "First Amendment-protected protest."

Rittenhouse's critics claimed in the lead up to the trial that he acted as a vigilante, in part by crossing from Illinois to Wisconsin with his gun in tow. But the claim was debunked at trial. Rittenhouse, who testified in his own defense, said he picked up his gun at a friend's house in Kenosha after driving there from Illinois. The friend, Dominick Black, corroborated Rittenhouse's statement in his testimony as a witness for the prosecution.

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Former New York Times journalist says the paper deliberately HELD her story condemning Kenosha rioters until after 2020 election: 'The reality of what brought Kyle Rittenhouse into the streets was one we were meant to ignore'

A former New York Times journalist has claimed the paper deliberately held a story about how Kenosha rioters destroyed local businesses until after the 2020 election.

Nellie Bowles is the partner of Bari Weiss, a fellow disillusioned former New York Times columnist who says she was bullied out of the newspaper because she didn't align entirely with its views.

Writing for Weiss's Substack channel Common Sense, Bowles revealed on Friday that after the August 2020 riots, she went to Kenosha to speak to the owners of small local businesses that had been razed between August 23 and August 28, after Jacob Blake's shooting.

She found in her reporting that the rioters were indiscriminate in who they targeted, often going after businesses and properties in the poorer parts of town. She focused on the fact that those smaller business owners had a harder time claiming back portions of their money from insurance, and that the riots left them down and out.

She submitted the story but was told 'The Times wouldn’t be able to run my Kenosha insurance debacle piece until after the 2020 election.'

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

Missouri AG sues Springfield for allegedly hiding critical race theory training for teachers

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against the Springfield school district, alleging that the district violated a transparency law by restricting access to teacher and staff training that promoted critical race theory.

"Today we sued Springfield Public Schools on behalf of parents to find out exactly what is being taught to their children, especially as teachers and staff are attending trainings where they’re required to consult an ‘oppression matrix’ and other materials," Schmitt told Fox News on Tuesday. "Springfield Public Schools have stonewalled parents and a state representative, but they will not stonewall the Attorney General’s Office."

The lawsuit alleges that Springfield Public Schools publicly acknowledged that it had been instructing teachers and staff on critical race theory – a framework that involves deconstructing aspects of society to discover systemic racism beneath the surface. In a December 2020 report, the school district reported that it had required district leaders and staff to participate in a one-day training from the Facing Racism Institute, and the district claimed the goal of the training was to "introduce the components of critical race theory from educational research with applications to the district."

In one training session, an instructor told teachers and staff to consult an "oppression matrix" and identify where they fall on it. According to the matrix, "privileged social groups" include "white people," people with "male assigned at birth," "gender conforming CIS-men and women," "adults," and "Protestants."

Instructors also presented staff with a figure on "covert white supremacy," which presented "BIPOC as Halloween costumes," "tokenism," "All Lives Matter," and "Eurocentric curriculum" as examples of "socially acceptable" "covert white supremacy."

[–][deleted] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

really so they are saying we shouldn't use tokenism anymore because that is covert racism! Ok let's stop hiring black people just to have tokens.

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

🤔

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(Reposting from elsewhere) I have a question that is both Culture and War but not Culture War: How did the US produce no Afghanistan war music despite being there for almost 20 years? Russians were there for less half the time and they produced some gems:

Обычный Автобус, и все как обычно / The Usual Bus

Три вертушки на Моздок / Three Choppers to Mozdok

Привет Сестрёнка / Hello Sister (Don't tell mom I'm in Afghan)

Седой Парнишка / Grey-Haired Boy

За что мы пьём / For This We Drink

But I can't think of any music popularized by US intervention in Afghanistan like I could for the Revolutionary War (Yankee Doodle), Civil War (Battle Hymn of the Republic), WWI (Over There), WWII (Der Fuehrer's Face), Vietnam (Fortunate Son, Khe Sanh, Gimme Shelter, etc). Even the (second) Iraq War gave us American Idiot but for Afghanistan, bupkis. All of the aforementioned wars have Wikipedia categories for music associated with them with the exception of Afghanistan. What gives?

My first guess is that conscript armies are more likely to contain artists and creative types than the all-volunteer force that we sent to Afghanistan but I'd be interested to read your theories.

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Allegations of bigotry and calls for impeachment rock College Democrats

The College Democrats of America — the Democratic Party’s national organization presiding over 500 chapters on campuses across the country — is in turmoil.

The group’s leaders are publicly firing off accusations of anti-Blackness, Islamaphobia and anti-Semitism at each other. Impeachment proceedings are now in the works against the organization’s new vice president, Nourhan Mesbah, who is Muslim. College Democrats say that screenshots of tweets that their peers sent in adolescence spread rapidly through group texts, which already caused a student running for president of the group to withdraw their candidacy in September. And national advocacy groups for Muslim and Jewish Americans are now weighing in with criticism.

The conflict has gotten so messy that the Democratic National Committee is considering disaffiliating with the national collegiate organization altogether and creating a partnership with the state groups underneath the national umbrella, according to a Democrat familiar with the discussions. The DNC declined to comment.

The clashes over religious bigotry and race within the College Democrats of America (CDA) reflect, to a degree, larger debates happening throughout politics. But the next generation seems poised to escalate them further. Some CDA members argue that the internal frictions constitute a turbulent but morally necessary reckoning with systemic racism. Other Democratic officials see it as a bunch of college-educated, hyper-woke kids trying to play politics in a way that’s off-putting to many voters.

“They are caught up in their own drama and playing ‘Boys State’ government,” said the same Democrat. “They think they’re the hottest s--- on Earth.”

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

America’s Authoritarian Left

A troubling development in contemporary American politics is the emergence and normalization of authoritarian tendencies. I refer not to Donald Trump and his supporters—the usual object of this accusation—but to the American Left. Prominent voices on the Left are now illiberal by the standards that were developed and defended by liberals, sometimes the same ones, of an earlier generation.

Last month, left-wing news and opinion outlets published headlines blaring that Senator Ted Cruz had defended the use of the Nazi salute. This claim was then predictably amplified throughout the Twitterverse. The headlines, however, and the simple-minded and indignant Tweets that followed, were misinformation designed to discredit Cruz, long an object of the Left’s hatred.

Cruz’s remarks took place in a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee at which Attorney General Merrick Garland was testifying. Cruz, in the first place, was not even talking about the use of the Nazi salute to signal allegiance to Nazism. He was instead talking about its use by people who wished to protest—by mocking and insulting—the actions of public officials.

More to the point, however, Cruz was not “defending” the use of the Nazi salute at all. He merely pointed out that its use is, under the prevailing interpretation of the First Amendment, a form of constitutionally protected expression, and that it therefore cannot properly be treated as a reason for a federal investigation. This is not a controversial opinion and would not seem to merit denunciation. Indeed, in his own testimony, Garland immediately agreed with Cruz that the salute is protected by the First Amendment.

There is a serious problem here, beyond the by now very tiresome and predictable dishonesty of much of the American news media. If defenses of First Amendment protections of offensive expression are going to be popularly equated with defenses of the offensive expression itself, then it will, sooner or later, become disreputable to defend constitutional norms of free expression. And as a further result those norms will decay and finally vanish. Constitutional norms cannot live without actual human beings who are willing to uphold them, and such willingness will evaporate if upholding them makes you the object of mass media denunciation.

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

The future of France? Civil war and then Islamist dictatorship, says famed Algerian writer

“Strike hard and fast, that’s what the living and the dead are calling for,” said famous Algerian writer Boualem Sansal in an interview with Le Figaro, calling on France to take decisive, hard, and politically incorrect action.

According to him, only a “big reversal” gives a chance to save France from “Lebanonization” or “Algerization.” Sansal, who won the Arab Literature Prize, shared his opinion on the anniversary of the terrorist massacre at the Bataclan Club in Paris.

On Nov. 13, 2015, individuals sworn to the Islamic State terrorist group burst into the Bataclan club in Paris, where a concert was taking place, and shot 80 people with automatic weapons. These terrorist attacks, committed six years ago, were, according to Sansal, “an act of unimaginable violence, to which the French President (Francois Hollande) responded with tears and lamentations.”

As a result, the French were humiliated, as were the French army and police.

“In the face of Islam, France has lost all ability to think, rule and act. It submits and is about to submit again,” he warned.

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

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

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

[Glenn Greenwald] Kyle Rittenhouse, Project Veritas, and the Inability to Think in Terms of Principles: Those whose worldview is bereft of universally applied principles, and based solely on tribal allegiances, assume everyone else is plagued by this very deficiency.

The reason this is such a grave press freedom attack is two-fold. First, as indicated, any attempt to anoint oneself the arbiter of who is and is not a "real journalist” for purposes of First Amendment protection is inherently tyrannical. Which institutions are sufficiently trustworthy and competent to decree who is a real journalist meriting First Amendment protection and who falls outside as something else?

But there is a much more significant problem with this framework: namely, the question of who is and is not a real journalist is completely irrelevant to the First Amendment. None of the rights in the Constitution, including press freedom, was intended to apply only to a small, cloistered, credentialed, privileged group of citizens. The exact opposite was true: the only reason they are valuable as rights is because they enjoy universal application, protecting all citizens.

Indeed, one of the most passionate grievances of the American colonists was that nobody was permitted to use the press unless first licensed by the British Crown. Conversely, the most celebrated journalism of the time was undertaken by people like Thomas Paine — who never worked for an established journalistic outlet in his life — as he circulated the pamphlet Common Sense that railed against the abuses of the King. What was protected by the First Amendment was not a small, privileged caste bearing the special label "journalists,” but rather the activity of a free press. The proof of this is clear and ample, and is set forth in the video we produced on Monday night.

But none of this matters. If you express concern for the FBI's targeting of O'Keefe, it will be instantly understood not as a concern about any of these underlying principles but instead as an endorsement of O'Keefe's politics, journalism, and O'Keefe himself. The same is true for the discourse surrounding Kyle Rittenhouse. If you say that — after having actually watched the trial — you believe the state failed to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in light of his defense of self-defense, many will disbelieve your sincerity, will insist that your view is based not in some apolitical assessment of the evidence or legal principles about what the state must do in order to imprison a citizen, but rather that you must be a "supporter” of Rittenhouse himself, his ideology (whatever it is assumed to be), and the political movement with which he, in their minds, is associated.

On some level, this is pure projection: those who are incapable of assessing political or legal conflicts through a prism of principles rather than personalities assume that everyone is plagued by the same deficiency. Since they decide whether to support or oppose the FBI's actions toward O'Keefe based on their personal view of O'Keefe rather than through reference to any principles, they assume that this is how everyone is determining their views of that situation. Similarly, since they base their views on whether Rittenhouse should be convicted or acquitted based on how they personally feel about Rittenhouse and his perceived politics rather than the evidence presented at the trial (which most of them have not watched), they assume that anyone advocating for an acquittal can be doing so only because they like Rittenhouse's politics and believe that his actions were heroic.

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

Connecticut School Teaches Kindergarteners About Transgenderism as Part of Its 'Social Justice' Lessons

An elementary school in Connecticut is requiring its students to engage in its "Social Justice Lesson Standards," which includes transgender content being exposed to children as early as kindergarten.

Parents of students attending West Hartford Public Schools contacted nonprofit parent group Parents Defending Education about the material, and expressed concern over it being used by the district to push group identities through books about transgenderism that are included in the curriculum.

District officials informed parents that they will not be allowed to opt out of the curriculum.

[...]

Meanwhile, kindergarteners are taught about a text entitled, "Introducing Teddy," which tells the story of the character's teddy bear explaining their wishes to change from a boy teddy bear to a girl teddy bear.

"One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas is sad, even when they are playing in their favorite ways, the description reads. "Errol can't figure out why, until Thomas finally tells Errol what the teddy has been afraid to say: 'In my heart, I've always known that I'm a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly, not Thomas.' And Errol says, 'I don't care if you're a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend.'"

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Yes, there is an educational divide over ‘wokeness’

The Atlantic poll found, in common with other surveys, that most Americans agree the country is too politically correct. But around 55% of both college and non-college educated respondents agreed. The share of respondents who say cancel culture is a problem is only slightly higher (51%) among those with degrees compared to those without (45%). From views on defunding the police, to using gender-neutral pronouns to endorsing the use of ‘Latinx’, only a few points separate college graduates from those with a high school diploma.

In many ways this is not surprising. Indeed, scholars of public opinion repeatedly find that people are generally more concerned about society than their own situation because they form their opinions from the media and peers, and are influenced by the ideological lens through which they view the world. In Britain, for instance, Bobby Duffy’s work showed that 70% of people thought immigration was a problem in the country, but only 20% said it was in their local area. Views on immigration and other emotive issues are shaped far more by perceptions of what is going on nationally than personal experience. Hence it is unsurprising that the Atlantic survey finds that 70% those who voted for Trump said ‘cancel culture is a big problem in society,’ compared with 31% of Biden voters.

So does that mean cancel culture is just a Right-wing moral panic? Not quite. Cato and YouGov’s 2020 National Survey of 2,000 adults — twice the sample of the Atlantic survey — showed that 32% of Americans said they personally worried about missing out on career opportunities or losing their job if their political opinions became known. Overall, 23% of those without a degree worried compared to 34% of those with one, a statistically significant difference. 62% of Americans also said the ‘political climate these days prevents me from saying what I believe.’ On this question there was no significant difference between those with a college education and those without.

Emily Ekins, who authored the study, was kind enough to share the raw data with me. The numbers show that exposure to higher education really matters for how fearful conservatives are about expressing themselves. There are also important demographic differences. Young people, men and those who live in more ethnically diverse ZIP codes — all indicators of potential exposure to more sensitive speech environments — are significantly more fearful of their views becoming known.

Let’s focus on education level. In figure 1, controlling for age, gender, race and the share of minorities in ZIP code, we can see that among those who voted for Trump, those with higher levels of education are more worried about their career if their views became known. Among Trump voters with at least a Masters degree, 6 in 10 are worried for their careers.

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The culture war against Kyle Rittenhouse: The media’s coverage of the Rittenhouse shootings has been disgracefully biased and dishonest.

Officially, it’s Kyle Rittenhouse who’s on trial in Kenosha County Courthouse. But to some of us it looks like the mainstream media are in the dock, too. We await the jury’s decision on whether Rittenhouse is guilty or not guilty of homicide. But we already have a pretty good sense of the culpability of the media in fashioning an almost entirely skewed narrative around the Rittenhouse shootings. The more the trial has dug into the events of that fateful day of 25 August 2020, when a 17-year-old Rittenhouse fatally shot two men and injured another, the more we have seen just how cynical, partisan and outright deceptive so much of the media coverage of this tragic affair has been. There’s no doubting it: the media are guilty of pursuing a culture war against Mr Rittenhouse and against what he is seen to represent – problematic white men.

Growing numbers of people, even some people on what passes for the left today, are watching the Rittenhouse trial and saying to themselves: ‘I didn’t know these facts…’ A writer for the Chicago Sun-Times sums up this startled mood. Despite being someone who has ‘made no secret of his predisposition against Rittenhouse and those of his ilk who would hold him up as some sort of hero’, the writer now thinks, having watched the trial, having witnessed the marshalling of information that much of the media studiously ignored or downplayed over the past 15 months, that it would be ‘shocking if [Rittenhouse] is convicted of anything more than a weapons charge’. Or as one tweeter more pithily summed it up, after learning via the trial that Rittenhouse has many relatives in Kenosha and did not just travel there for fun or to kill people, ‘Was this reported ANYWHERE before the trial?’.

Before the trial. Let’s go back there for a moment. Before the lawyers in Kenosha County Court did what lawyers are meant to do – that is, explore an allegedly criminal incident from all angles to establish who, if anyone, was in the wrong – the liberal media weaved a simple, highly moralistic tale around the Rittenhouse shootings. In August 2020, Kenosha in Wisconsin found itself battered by sustained rioting and mob violence. Following the police shooting of a black Kenosha resident named Jacob Blake – who had a knife and had fought with officers prior to being shot – Black Lives Matter-style unrest exploded. Businesses were burned down, shopfronts were smashed with baseball bats, and widespread looting occurred. It is estimated that the three nights of devastating riots caused $50million worth of damage.

Into this mayhem came a young man from Antioch in Illinois, around 20 miles from Kenosha. Rittenhouse offered to help protect a used-car business. He was armed with a rifle. But something went terribly wrong and before long this 17-year-old – now 18 – had fired his rifle at three people, killing two and injuring the third. The media elites’ characterisation of this bloody incident was swift and ferocious. Rittenhouse was a white-supremacist type, they suggested, who had ‘crossed state lines’ – possibly the most widely used phrase in relation to the Rittenhouse affair – in order to rain hell upon people who were merely protesting in defence of black people. This almost cartoonish view of a youth’s embroilment in a messy, violent incident was most clearly expressed by Democratic representative and ‘Squad’ member Ayanna Pressley, who tweeted on 27 August 2020: ‘A 17-year-old white supremacist domestic terrorist drove across state lines, armed with an AR-15. He shot and killed 2 people who had assembled to affirm the value, dignity, and worth of Black lives.’ That was retweeted close to 100,000 times.

Virtually all of this narrative has now unravelled. The Rittenhouse monster created by media and political elites desperate for Bad White Men they might rage against has proven to be a myth. The ‘white supremacist’ storyline was ridiculous from the very start, given the three men shot by Rittenhouse were all white. No evidence has emerged suggesting Rittenhouse harbours white-supremacist views. As to his being a ‘domestic terrorist’ – Ms Pressley might need to lawyer up as much as Mr Rittenhouse had to. And of course the depiction of the gatherings in Kenosha as mere assemblies designed to express sympathy and concern for ‘black lives’ is a grotesque fantasy. These were riotous, looting mobs, whose baseball bats, petrol cans and guns caused as much harm to black businesses and black lives as they did to other folk in Kenosha. The idea that white boy Rittenhouse violently invaded a modern version of the 1963 march for jobs and freedom was always a delusion of the most wretched kind.

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

Student suspended for ‘only two genders’ comment sues school

The lawsuit, filed on Nov. 4, said that the suspension in September was in violation of the student’s constitutional right to free speech and the New Hampshire Bill of Rights because he expressed his religious beliefs, The Portsmouth Herald reported.

The plaintiff is also aiming to prohibit enforcing Exeter High School’s gender-nonconforming student’s policy because of what he says is its infringement on his First Amendment rights.

The policy says that students have the right to be addressed by a name and pronoun that relates to a student’s gender identity. It also reprimands students who intentionally and repeatedly refuse to respect another student’s gender identity.

According to the lawsuit, the suspended student had been involved in conversations surrounding Spanish language pronouns on the bus. A female student who overheard the conversation said there were more than two genders, to which the suspended student argued that there was not.

Soon after the bus incident, the lawsuit stated that the two students got into a text exchange about gender identity. Those texts were given to the administration which resulted in the one-day suspension.

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[Michael Tracey] US Government Kept a Ludicrously Irrational COVID Ban in Place for Months and Months, but Media Bashes the Supposed Irrationality of Private Citizens

For months, elected officials and ordinary citizens alike in both countries have been puzzling over the strange fact that Canadians were legally permitted to fly into the US via commercial aircraft — after having gone to a crowded airport and inhaling whatever particles happened to be in circulation — but barred from driving over the border alone in their private cars. Surely there must be some profoundly convincing epidemiological rationale for this policy, somewhere.

But here’s the incredible part, which should be eye-opening even if you have no particular investment in whether the Canadian land border is open or closed: there appears to have never been any explanation for the policy. Nobody in a position of authority even attempted to justify the continuation of this ban until nearly the end of 2021. It just existed, months after there was any conceivable rationale for it. If you were hoping for someone in the Executive Branch to at some point divulge whatever rationale they were in fact operating on, you were out of luck.

One of the main advocates for re-opening the land border for the better part of the past year has been Rep. Brian Higgins, a Democratic congressman representing the Buffalo, New York region — which is of course economically and culturally intertwined with Southern Ontario, with multiple heavily-trafficked border crossings like the Peace Bridge and the Rainbow Bridge.

[...]

And so Higgins is exactly the elected official you’d assume would be able to obtain an explanation from the Executive Branch for the reasoning behind this policy. He is, after all, a relatively senior House Democrat dealing with a Democratic administration. But his statements over the past several months became progressively angry and desperate, as no explanation could apparently be ascertained.

In June, Higgins was relegated to tweeting that the Department of Homeland Security’s explanation-free monthly extensions of the ban were “bullshit.” By October, the extensions had become so maddening that he went on Canadian TV to speculate whether the Biden Administration was basing its decision-making, or lack thereof, on “something other than what they say is the only relevant issue.” Which, supposedly, was a standard “follow the science” mantra involving binational vaccination rates. What could’ve been that “something other” factor? One was left to conjure increasingly cynical and/or nonsensical theories. (DHS never responded to my requests for comment.)

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

School board president allegedly kept files on ‘lunatic, psycho’ parents

According to AZ Free News, Scottsdale Unified School District is “scrambling to do damage control” after a parents group revealed Governing Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg “had access to a Google Drive full of personal information, documents, and photos of about 47 people, including children.”

The district assured parents their “personal and educational data is safe”; however, the fact that it noted the Google Drive was registered to Mark Greenburg — Jann-Michael’s father — didn’t exactly assuage concerns.

The Daily Caller notes the files became known after President Greenburg emailed parent Kim Stafford accusing her of antisemitism after she criticized progressive billionaire George Soros. The email included a link to the Google Drive.

The drive included info on parents opposed to mask mandates and critical race theory, as well as “photographs of some children of district parents […] personal information on parents includes portions of social security numbers, addresses, mortgage payments, divorce filings, and bankruptcy filings.”

Folders on the drive were titled “Press Conference Psychos,” “Anti Mask Lunatics,” and “SUSD Wackos.” Both Greenburgs deny any knowledge of the Google Drive.

"Do not forget that these people want you broke, dead, your kids raped and brainwashed, and they think it’s funny"

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

Reporting on Muslim Persecution of Christians Offends Facebook’s ‘Standards’

The problematic article in question, which I published online and shared on Facebook back on Feb. 15, 2021—a full eight months ago—is titled “New Film Commemorates 21 Coptic Christian Martyrs.” In it, I discussed how an Arabic-language film was being made about the 21 Egyptian Christians savagely slaughtered by the Islamic State in Libya in 2015.

To be sure, I’m familiar with and a regular recipient of Facebook’s other tactics—especially “shadow banning”: making my posts appear live on my end, though no one or only a few can actually see them. I only know this because I’ve gotten so many messages over the years from Facebook users saying, “How come you haven’t posted anything in months,” even though I upload some 3-4 posts every week. Others regularly message me saying things like, “Facebook has disconnected the ‘Share’ button on the top menu of your page” (from a 10/27/31 message).

So what is it about that particular article that caused it to be banned—again, eight months after it first appeared on Facebook—and me “punished”? If it’s the accompanying picture, which is hardly that graphic, Facebook could’ve done what it has done to other articles of mine: keep the post but remove the image. Aside from mentioning the movie, that article recaps the execution of 2015, quotes some family members’ views on the forthcoming film, and closes by mentioning how a memorial for the 21 Christian martyrs was erected in the Egyptian village of Al Our, whence several of them hailed.

The following excerpt from that article is the only thing I can think of that might have especially vexed Facebook (even though it’s 100% true):

It’s worth recalling that, at the time of their abduction and subsequent butchery, Western media were largely absent. Indeed, before the video appeared, the BBC had falsely reported that the majority of those now slaughtered Copts were “released.” (Such downplaying of Muslim persecution of Christians is not uncommon for the BBC.)

Around the same time that article got taken down from Facebook, on Oct. 15, 2021, the following comment appeared under another much more recent article on my website—one also about the Muslim persecution of Christians in Egypt:

I shared this article on Facebook and Facebook took it down saying it violated “Community Standards” with no further explanation given.

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Social Media Companies Suppressed Claims of Kyle Rittenhouse’s Innocence: Twitter, Facebook deemed defendant guilty immediately after Wisconsin shooting

Immediately after the anti-police riots that thrust Rittenhouse into the national spotlight, social media companies began to block users who expressed support for the Illinois teen. Twitter suspended the accounts of users who called Rittenhouse innocent, including the defendant's own lawyer. Facebook said it "designated this shooting as a mass murder and … removed the shooter’s accounts from Facebook and Instagram." The platform also blocked searches for "Kyle Rittenhouse."

Social media platforms often intervene to suppress posts expressing a particular stance on controversial issues. Both platforms censored news stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop in the month before the 2020 election. Facebook blocked a Gold Star mother’s criticism of President Joe Biden and suppressed a song that criticized the president. Twitter and Facebook also suspended users who oppose vaccine mandates.

The fundraising platform GoFundMe also removed a page set up to support Rittenhouse, which the company said violated its ban on fundraisers involving "the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance." GoFundMe supported fundraising for the family of one of Rittenhouse’s assailants, Anthony Huber. The site regularly hosts fundraisers for individuals associated with Black Lives Matter. ​

When smaller platforms began raising funds for Rittenhouse, hackers breached the donation lists. News outlets doxxed paramedics and police officers who gave small donations to Rittenhouse’s defense.

Twitter is still banning or suspending users for supporting Rittenhouse, even as the trial proceeds. Facebook searches for Rittenhouse’s name turn up no results. Neither platform responded to requests for comment.

[–]mo-ming-qi-miao 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

[–]Node 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

What's disgusting here is that all they did was file a lawsuit.

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

If plan on doing something else it's best not to announce it to the media ahead of time, IYKWIM.

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👌

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Being ‘LGBT’ has become cosplay for millennials: Sexual identity has become a jamboree of naff posing

I’m reminded of my first experience of a Rocky Horror night at a student union in the late 80s, with a variety of very ordinary middle-class youngsters adorning themselves in fishnets and cosmetics applied paint-roller style; a dismal, sanctioned attempt at transgression, like a medieval carnival with everybody safely back tilling the fields the day after. ‘Queer’ is merely an extension of such tourism.

It’s no surprise that the United States is the great leader in all things LGBTQ. This was after all the nation that codified pop music that was only very slightly different to the mainstream as ‘Alternative Rock’ and turned it into a billion dollar industry. The genius of corporate capitalism, expert at selling the slightly outrageous, has merely applied glittery varnish to the nails of its invisible hand.

It’s all so deeply, tragically pathetic. You can’t identify out of your whiteness — even to consider adopting the customs, or the appearance, of other racial groups is haram. But roll up, roll up, come one come all for LGBT, for queer, and for instant high status as a cool victim. This is the culture (such as it is) that anyone can appropriate, no questions asked — a permanent celebration, with colourful flags and regular feast days.

It is, of course, highly ironic that at the same time as these jamborees and fallals, actual, morally neutral, day-in day-out, boring homosexuality is very much on the cultural back burner.

In the western world it’s now heavily frowned upon for lesbians even to associate on the basis of same-sex attraction, either socially or politically, without including kinky straight men, who it has transpired, perhaps surprisingly, are the most oppressed lesbians of all. Objecting to this is apparently not just party-pooping but (according to Stonewall’s Nancy Kelley among others) next door to Nazism. When the dull, basic rights of homosexual people are concerned, ‘allies’ and ‘queers’ are either nowhere to be seen or tutting like the horrified maiden aunts of yore.

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There is now one administrator for every undergrad student at Yale

There is now one administrator for every undergrad student at Yale.

There are 4,664 undergrads at the Ivy League institution, according to the Yale Facts page. Yet there’s 5,000-plus administrators currently working there, the Yale Daily News reports:

In 2003, when 5,307 undergraduate students studied on campus, the University employed 3,500 administrators and managers. In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on student enrollment, only 600 more students were living and studying at Yale, yet the number of administrators had risen by more than 1,500 — a nearly 45 percent hike. In 2018, The Chronicle of Higher Education found that Yale had the highest manager-to-student ratio of any Ivy League university, and the fifth highest in the nation among four-year private colleges.

A Yale spokesperson, in a statement to the News, largely blamed the growth on its School of Medicine, especially due to the COVID pandemic, and university President Peter Salovey argued administrative growth has been proportional with growth in faculty size and revenue.

Personnel costs totaled $2.7 billion in 2021 — a five percent increase from 2020, the News reports. One of the primary concerns with the growing administration is that it leads to increased tuition, the student newspaper points out.

Imagine if we treated cost disease like COVID.

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Google is racist, according to UMN research guide

Two librarians at the University of Minnesota recently published a research guide claiming, among other things, that statistics and search algorithms like Google's are racist.

The guide “was developed in response to librarians fielding multiple requests from UMN researchers looking to incorporate anti-racism into their research practices,” according to the university website.

The digital resource also mentions Critical Race Theory, which it characterizes as a positive force.

[...]

Additionally, the guide tells researchers to take into account the race of an author when they decide whether to cite their work to ensure enough “BIPOC” scholars are included in their work.

The next section, dubbed “Acknowledge that data is not objective”, criticizes modern statistics for being racist.

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[Glenn Greenwald] Democrats Are Profoundly Committed to Criminal Justice Reform -- For Everyone But Their Enemies: Principles of rehabilitative justice, reform of the carceral state, and liberalized criminal justice evaporate when Democrats demand harsh prison for their political adversaries.

Why are so many Democrats simultaneously chanting radical criminal reform slogans to abolish or greatly reduce the police and the prison state while simultaneously demanding harsh prison terms for so many people under the classic law-and-order ideology they claim to oppose? The answer is clear: Democrats believe that the only real criminals, or at least the worst ones, are those who reject their political ideology and are their political adversaries. And thus, while they work with one hand to usher in radical reforms to the policing and prison state, they work with the other to concoct theories to justify the long-term imprisonment of their political opponents, even when their alleged crimes involve no violence.

This internal contradiction in Democratic politics was vividly illustrated by the fact that — though they will now deny it — the most revered and admired figure over the last five years in liberal politics was Robert Mueller, named in 2001 by George W. Bush to be FBI Director and then in 2017 by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be Special Counsel investigating Russiagate. Liberals did not even bother hiding their glee at the prospect that Mueller was coming to arrest and imprison as many of their political adversaries as possible. They sung songs in his honor and danced to their fantasies about the next convictions. Every indictment was cheered, every prosecution applauded, every punishment lamented for being insufficiently harsh, as their favorite cable channels were filled to the brim with the very life-long federal prosecutors their ideology ostensibly opposed. Throughout the Trump years, Democratic politics was driven at its core by a bloodlust to imprison Trump, his family, his aides and his supporters for as long and as harshly as possible. Cravings for punishment and prison, at its core, was what drove the arousal of Russiagate.

To accomplish this, they often championed the exact theories of criminal justice which liberal jurists had long warned were abusive and even unconstitutional. Few convictions excited them as much as the one obtained by Mueller against former Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, whose grave crime was lying to the FBI by falsely denying that he had spoken to a Russian official about foreign policy during the transition, weeks before he was to assume his White House job. The most admired liberal judges, such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens, had long argued that lying to the FBI in the way Flynn did should not even be a crime at all, that making it one was a violation of the constitutional right against self-incrimination and bestowed the FBI with the power to turn citizens into criminals through entrapment. But no matter: Flynn was a Trump supporter, and therefore they were thrilled he was prosecuted and outraged he spent no time in prison.

Then there is Julian Assange, who has been effectively detained for a decade and confined to a harsh high-security British prison for two years on charges that he committed “espionage” by publishing authentic documents in 2010 that exposed crimes by the U.S. Government. As someone who has long reported on WikiLeaks and advocated for Assange's rights, I vividly recall how much support there was for him back then on the liberal-left. Yet virtually all of that support disappeared in 2016, when he committed the real crime that caused Democrats and liberals to hate him and want him in prison: namely, he published true and publicly relevant documents that reflected poorly on Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.

As a result of the political impact of Assange's work, there is little opposition to his prosecution among Democrats and a great deal of glee over his imprisonment, despite the consensus view from press freedom and civil liberties groups that the prosecution of Assange poses the greatest threat to press freedoms in years, and despite its reliance on dangerously broad interpretations of what the wildly authoritarian 1917 Espionage Age encompasses. Here one finds the same dynamic: Democrats believe that the gravest crimes, the only ones that merit harsh prison, are not murder, rape or assault but political and ideological opposition to their leaders, the only real crime which Assange committed in their eyes.

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‘Why deny the obvious?’ – French presidential hopeful says ‘Great Replacement’ is happening

In a televised debate between five French politicians vying to be the presidential candidate for Les Republicains (Republicans), only French MP Éric Ciotti was open to using the expression “Great Replacement,” which describes the phenomenon of White Europeans being replaced through low birth rates and foreign immigration across the Western world.

“Sixty-seven percent of French and 84 percent of Republicans use the term ‘Great Replacement,” Ciotti said in the debate on television channel LCI, referring to a poll from last month showing just how concerned the French are over demographic replacement. “You can call this phenomenon what you want, but I wish that France remains French. We are the inheritants of a magnificent history: that of the light but also that of a Judeo-Christian civilization.”

Ciotti later went on CNews to further discuss what he said is clear evidence of the Great Replacement happening in French society.

“Why deny the obvious? We can see that our society is changing, moreover, I repeat, here again it is in the France Strategy which is placed alongside the prime minister who gave these figures which show that today there are more and more births in France linked to foreign parents or of foreign origin, this has accelerated considerably over the last ten or 20 years,” declared Ciotti.

“There are some who can be satisfied with it, such as Emmanuel Macron, and the left, who advocate a multicultural society. I am not satisfied with it… I would like us to take measures today to stop the mass immigration that is fueling this situation and this change in society. It is mass immigration, mainly of Arab-Muslim culture, that is the cause of this modification, so we must tackle the source,” he continued.

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San Francisco is living the neo-Feudal dream: Its super-elites, serf class and biosecurity state are a pointer of things to come

At the top, Vogue‘s breathless account of the San Francisco wedding of heiress Ivy Getty suggests what life for this overclass is like. From the Barbarella-themed pre-wedding party where the bride changed between three different vintage designer outfits; through the description of every designer detail; to the mezzanine hotel floor cleared of other furniture so a ‘styling room’ could be filled with ‘all the extra clothes’; to the Margiela boxes engraved with the name of each bridesmaid; it’s a starry-eyed account of bottomless wealth ordered purely to the whims of one aesthete.

There were also hints of the 21st century’s emerging biosecurity governance, a regime that’s at worst a minor inconvenience to the ultra-rich. Guests at the pre-party “arrived on the scene in […] ready to party just as soon as their vaccination cards were checked”. They were offered IV drips at the following day’s picnic lunch, and ritually asked to mask up before Nancy Pelosi entered the room — though neither Pelosi nor the bride, groom and bridesmaids followed suit, another indicator of hierarchy also seen at New York’s Met Gala.

The same biosecurity rituals are taken far more literally on the next rung down, which Kotkin calls a ‘clerisy’. This is the class whose role, according to Kotkin, is to report (as Vogue does) on the aesthetic whims of the feudal overclass, and also to mythologise its class interests and follow its shibboleths.

[...]

Meanwhile, what of the Bay Area’s serfs? Well, last year fentanyl killed more people in San Francisco than Covid. But this hasn’t triggered a push to eliminate fentanyl equivalent to the fantastically neurotic Covid precautions Madrigal describes. Just billboards advising people to take drugs with friends rather than alone.

Meanwhile shoplifting has soared, but it’s also been effectively decriminalised. And if a recent post from the clerisy who staff the San Francisco Chronicle is anything to go by, the best response to rising burglary rates isn’t tougher enforcement but better locks, and redoubled efforts to devise therapeutic measures capable of eliminating evil from the human soul.

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Goodbye, MIT: As the university increasingly caves to “wokeness,” two alumni explain why they are withdrawing their financial support.

We object to MIT’s politically correct measures, including the firing of its Catholic chaplain. In the early days of the George Floyd protests, before the details of Floyd’s death were clear, Father Daniel Moloney sent a letter outlining his thoughts on the event to the university’s Catholic community. It was a sincere examination of conscience from a person whose job it was to examine conscience, yet it prompted his immediate dismissal. MIT’s leadership apparently took umbrage at his statement of these simple facts: that George Floyd “had not lived a virtuous life” (based on his multiple criminal convictions) and that “most people in the country have framed [Floyd’s death] as an act of racism. I don’t think we know that.”

Moloney did not present these statements as justification for Floyd’s death; to the contrary, his letter begins, “George Floyd was killed by a police officer, and shouldn’t have been.” But MIT found the letter intolerable and fired the chaplain. (We are not Catholic, by the way, but believe fairness transcends religion.)

We also deplore MIT’s new mandatory diversity training. In the autumn of 2020, MIT sent an email to new and current students informing them that they would be unable to register for spring classes if they failed to undergo wokeness instruction. In the email, MIT outlined two required trainings: one on “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” and the other entitled “Sexual Assault Prevention Ongoing: Healthy Relationships.” Portions of the training materials are available here. The compulsory videos contain deftly worded but fatuous questions implying that straight white males are at the “intersection” of all oppressive behaviors. Everyone else is an oppressed victim, with extra points for being a member of multiple minority groups. Thus, the concept of “intersectionality” is a kind of conspiracy theory of victimization.

The most vivid illustration of how far the university has sunk is the disgraceful cancellation of University of Chicago professor Dorian Abbot. When MIT invited the distinguished geophysicist to give a public lecture, he seemed a natural choice, “a scientific star who studies climate change and whether planets in distant solar systems might harbor atmospheres conducive to life,” in the words of the New York Times.

But Abbot had committed the mortal sin of arguing, in Newsweek, that the implementation of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives on college campuses “violates the ethical and legal principle of equal treatment” and “treats persons as merely means to an end, giving primacy to a statistic over the individuality of a human being.” He proposed instead “an alternative framework called Merit, Fairness, and Equality (MFE) whereby university applicants are treated as individuals and evaluated through a rigorous and unbiased process based on their merit and qualifications alone.”

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VIDEO: Bolivian women use whips to chase pro-abortion feminists out of church during mass

A number of Bolivian women took it upon themselves to defend the conduction of a Mass at the Santa Cruz de la Sierra Cathedral in Bolivia with whips.

The event was interrupted by a group of feminists who entered the church with a set of posters and distributed flyers during the Mass.

One of the women who responded to the feminist group said that none of the people present in the cathedral reacted to the provocation. Therefore, the women had to run up to the feminists and use their ‘chicotes’ (a kind of traditional whip) to defend the church. She added that people were completely ambivalent to the interruption and they acted as if there had been no interruption at the church.

When asked by media how she and her colleagues chased the intruders out, the woman showed her whip and said, “With its help, we will deal the same way with all those who come here to enslave us, want to do evil things and are vandals, since it is our tradition to use this measure.”

https://youtu.be/Du4Vim1CSfA

Another woman who also took part in the incident emphasized that she would use the whip to “teach respect for our church.” She pointed out that the women’s fathers had done the same when they were girls and now, they would do the same to teach respect in Santa Cruz and all of Bolivia.

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Basingstoke 'It’s okay to be white' posters spark investigation

Posters saying "It's okay to be white" have sparked a police hate crime investigation.

They were found on lampposts in two roads in Basingstoke and near Basingstoke College of Technology.

Hampshire Constabulary was alerted to the posters by a resident on Thursday and said they are being treated as a hate crime.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has arranged for the posters to be removed.

Resident Priya Brown said: "These tactics are divisive and they have no place in today's world. They're tactics that are used to divide deliberately by neo-Nazi groups and white supremacy groups. It started in the US but we have seen it here in the UK."

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State Street bank staff need special approval to hire white men

Staff at one of the world’s largest investment companies have to get special approval if they want to hire a white man, rather than a woman or an ethnic minority candidate.

The policy is part of a drive by State Street to improve diversity within its middle and senior management, with executives receiving lower bonuses if they fail to meet robust equality targets. It has set out to triple the number of black, Asian and other minority staff in senior roles by 2023.

A photograph on the company’s website celebrating State Street Global Advisors being founded in 1978 shows a room full of white men, all wearing shirts and ties.

Jess McNicholas, the bank’s head of inclusion, diversity and corporate citizenship, said: “This is now front and central for State Street — it’s on every senior executive’s scorecard.

“All of our leaders have to demonstrate at their annual appraisals what they have done to improve female representation and the number of colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds.”

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The Covid War Is A Class War: Covid was merely a pretense for the elites to wage a war on the working class.

More importantly, the survey does not specify how many of these workers are employed by large companies that would be covered under the mandate. Those who are not employed by a large company will likely approach the question from the perspective of a consumer, soliciting a much different answer than that of an employee. It’s sensible for someone to want to feel safe from Covid when shopping at a big retail chain or grocery store knowing that the employees stocking the shelves are vaccinated (although we already know Covid-19 rarely spreads on surfaces). From the perspective of purely a consumer, a vaccine mandate for large businesses has few drawbacks. In the case of the worker, the stakes are much higher. A vaccine mandate forces a medical decision upon you that you may not be comfortable with in order to maintain your livelihood, which likely already hovers just above subsistence.

Understanding the difference between workers and consumers in relation to vaccine mandates is crucial in parsing out whether someone truly is in favor, because when the Kaiser Family Foundation survey asked workers whether or not their employer has already implemented a vaccine requirement, or would like them to do so, a majority of workers (51%) said their employer has not and would like it to stay that way. To no surprise, the percentage of workers who already have or would like a workplace vaccine requirement is positively correlated to the level of household income.

For decades, both Republicans and Democrats opted to battle for the good graces of Wall Street and capital to fund their campaigns or get a cushy lobbying job after leaving public service, and in the process largely forgot about the working class. With two parties of capital at the wheel, it’s no surprise that the Department of Labor and its OSHA subsidiary stopped representing the interests of blue-collar labor and embraced big business and big labor.

Despite the occasional Republican tax cut, Democrats have won the battle over capital and the institutional power that comes with it. Blame it on the university system, the digital age, the collapse of the family, or whatever you want—it doesn’t change the truth of the matter.

Though President Donald Trump was not reelected, one of the silver linings of the 2020 election was that some Republicans seemed to finally wake up to this reality. The inroads Trump made with middle and working class voters in the 2016 election continued in 2020 and were essential to Republican candidates for the House and Senate outperforming expectations.

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‘Let’s go Brandon’ and the hysteria of the elites: A viral joke at Joe Biden's expense is being treated as a threat to American democracy.

It really is everywhere. Last week, a Southwest Airlines pilot even signed off his passenger address with a ‘Let’s go Brandon’. Which makes a change to being told to check if you’ve got all your belongings.

The popularity of the meme isn’t hard to understand, especially among long-demonised Trump supporters. Firstly, it provides a mockery of that endless, loud-hailed, celeb-mouthed ‘Fuck Trump’ that accompanied much of the previous president’s time in office. Secondly, it emerged from what looked like an all-too-typical mainstream media attempt to airbrush out any criticism of Our Saviour Joe Biden. And thirdly, liberals find it really, really annoying.

As a result, the ‘Let’s go Brandon’ meme has provoked a flurry of po-faced criticism from the liberal mainstream. Associated Press treated the phrase as if understanding it required a PhD in the hermeneutics of right-wing subculture, calling it ‘conservative code for something far more vulgar’, and deeming it a ‘slur’. Dana Milbank, writing in the Washington Post, says that while ‘half of America’s leaders are trying to govern… the other half are hurling vulgarities’. Another comment piece claims that those deploying the phrase are ‘weaponising the vulgar dehumanisation of our entire democratic – small-d – experiment’.

Can they hear themselves? They’re talking about a bit of accidental rhyming slang, not a far-right call-to-arms.

Besides, where exactly were all these self-appointed guardians of civility during Trump’s fractious tenure? He was serenaded by ‘Fuck Trump’ for every single day of his four years in power. No anti-Trump protest was complete without a four-letter salute to The Donald. Back then, bien pensant liberals celebrated these f-bombs. At the 2018 Tony Awards, Robert De Niro memorably announced, ‘I’m gonna say one thing. Fuck Trump.’ He was given a standing ovation.

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Professor canceled because he wasn't upset over a fake racial bias incident

On Sept. 16, a non-White visiting artist working with non-White theatre students at the South Carolina university wrote a list of names on the board so that the students could connect as a group.

When the next class arrived, those students jumped to the conclusion that the list of names had been written with malicious intent. In response, they staged a protest.

The Department of Theatre’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee concluded that the names had been presented “as a resource for newer students who are looking to be in community with other BIPOC students.” But that finding didn't stop them from apologizing for the confusion in an email to the department.

[...]

Earnest then responded to the email, “Sorry but I dont think its a big deal. Im just sad people get their feelings hurt so easily. And they are going into Theatre?”

[...]

FIRE, which is advocating for Earnest, is also reporting that Humanities and Fine Arts Dean Claudia Bornholdt requested that Earnest no longer teach his classes.

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France: Poll reveals vast majority worried about ‘Great Replacement’

A new survey has revealed that more than 60 percent of the French population believe in the “the Great Replacement” theory, which posits that White Europeans are being systematically replaced through mass immigration. The survey also shows that nearly seven in 10 Frenchmen and women are at least concerned about it taking place.

The survey, carried out by market research firm Harris Interactive along with the weekly Paris-based business magazine Challenges, found that 61 percent of the French public believe in “the Great Replacement” theory, while an even greater percentage of the population — 67 percent, to be exact — are worried that the phenomenon is or will occur, Le Figaro reports.

The theory’s thesis, which holds that native European populations are being replaced by migrants from the global south, was initially put forward by French author and intellectual Renaud Camus, then later brought to the forefront of public consciousness by Éric Zemmour, a political journalist who may be running for president in next year’s French elections.

Other eminent French intellectuals like Michel Onfray, a writer and philosopher, have argued in support of the theory’s validity, citing demographic data — not only in France but in much of the Western world as well — which supports the theory’s thesis, as well as notable individuals on the left who’ve publicly cheered on the extreme demographic change.

Although Camus’ idea, which has become a major topic of discussion across Europe and North America, is commonly derided by establishment politicians and the mainstream press as a “conspiracy theory,” figures from this poll show that an absolute majority of the French population accept it as true and correct.

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[Matt Taibbi] The Red-Pilling of Loudoun County, Virginia

“The GOP ran a master class on race-based identity politics,” wrote CNN’s Bakari Sellers. “The return of the Lee Atwater playbook. Pretty grim,” is how former Harry Reid chief of staff Adam Jentleson put it. “Hats off to the depraved cynicism and villainy and race baiting. It worked in Virginia,” seethed Wajahat Ali of The Daily Beast. Van Jones last night called Youngkin the “Delta variant of Trumpism.”

Just as McAuliffe had no message apart from trying to tie Youngkin to Trump, these commentators seem helpless to do anything but fall back on a cookie-cutter formula for responding to Republican electoral victories in the Trump era. This drive-by commentary misses the weedsy, multi-layered nature of the Loudoun County mess. Some of the parents I interviewed last night, for instance, didn’t agree with Tanner Cross, the Christian gym teacher who spoke out at a school board meeting this past May, saying his religion would prevent him from complying with a proposed transgender policy requiring the use of preferred pronouns. “I’m a teacher, but I serve God first,” he said. However, some were still furious that Cross was suspended after his speech, essentially for violating a rule not yet put in place.

I met people who didn’t care about “Critical Race Theory,” if they even knew what it was, but were still offended by the existence of a closed Facebook group — the “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County” — that contains six school board members and apparently compiled a list of parents deemed insufficiently supportive of “racial equity efforts.” Still others were troubled by a controversy involving the process by which an outside consultancy called the Equity Collaborative came to be hired, at a cost of roughly $500,000, to conduct an “equity assessment” based on a report of racial insensitivity at one school.

There is a version of that latter story that is almost too comical to be believed — one reason I have to go back is to nail down those particulars — but it’s undeniable there are Loudoun County parents, many of whom are high-powered professionals working at banks or white shoe law firms, who initially smelled a rat on the finance side and only later worried about the politics.

Also complicating the “Lee Atwater” narrative is the role of Asian and South Asian parents in yesterday’s results. “A lot of immigrant families came here specifically for the school system,” is how one Indian-American parent put it to me yesterday. “When you start messing with that, and say, we don't have a say, that’s when people who’ve always voted Democratic will flip on them.” Reporting about Asian and South Asian families upset about new initiatives to deemphasize admissions criteria like test scores has often been dismissive or caricatured, and that certainly seems to have been the case in Loudoun County, where a significant portion of the people seriously being cast today as dupes answering a dogwhistle are immigrant, minority residents who’ve given Democrats their votes for decades.

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University of Minnesota sued for cutting men’s gymnastics team to comply with Title IX

Plaintiff Evan Ng, now a sophomore, accepted a scholarship offer to compete as a gymnast starting in the 2020-2021 school year with the University of Minnesota, one of only fourteen Division I schools with a men’s gymnastics team.

PLF attorneys said university officials “unceremoniously cancelled” Ng’s career when it axed the team to comply with Title IX.

“In other words, the men’s gymnastics team was cut because the University sought to reduce the number of male athletes in its varsity athletics program,” the attorneys said.

“Evan Ng is no longer a varsity NCAA gymnast at the University of Minnesota solely because of his sex,” because of the decision.

But instead of complying with Title IX, the university violated the education law, the lawsuit alleged.

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Australia’s lockdown hypocrisy: Ordinary Aussies have suffered under restrictions while celebs have got a free pass.

Australian society has been transformed into something unpleasant and authoritarian. That, at least, has been the experience of the majority of Australians. But it seems that some – celebrities, sports people, the rich – have been given a free pass.

Take, for example, the treatment of one young woman compared with that of Aussie-rules footballers.

In August 2020 a woman, pregnant with twins, was suffering from birth complications. She was living in northern New South Wales at the time. So, in search of emergency treatment, she headed to healthcare facilities in Brisbane, in neighbouring Queensland. When she arrived at the Queensland border she was reportedly denied entry because of lockdown border restrictions. Instead of making the roughly 160-kilometre trip to Brisbane, she was forced to wait 16 hours and travel 600 kilometres to a Sydney hospital. During this trip she lost one of her unborn babies.

Fast forward a few weeks to September 2020 and the Queensland government was only too happy to relax the hitherto strict border restrictions for around 400 people involved in the Australian Football League Grand Final – including players, staff and family members. They were forced to quarantine… at a resort hotel, where they were filmed mingling poolside and drinking cocktails.

These inhumane double standards have been typical of Australia’s entire response to Covid. State governments have subjected Australians to incredibly harsh rules, while bending these same rules for the rich and famous.

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How Journalism Abandoned the Working Class: What explains the media's obsession with race and power? It has very little to do with social justice and everything to do with class.

Journalism has become a profession of astonishing privilege over the past century, metamorphosing from a blue-collar trade into one of the occupations with the most highly educated workforces in the United States. And along with this status revolution has come the radicalization of the profession on questions of identity, leaving in the dust anything commensurate to a similar concern with economic inequality.

The recent obsession with identity has allowed these journalists to pretend—indeed to believe—they are still speaking truth to power, still fighting on behalf of the little guy, even after they have themselves ascended to the ranks of the powerful, even when they are speaking down to an audience who, in more cases than not, have less than them on every measurable scale. It has quite simply been a displacement exercise; instead of experiencing economic guilt about rising inequality and their status among America’s elite, members of the news media—along with other highly educated liberals—have come to believe that the only inequality that matters is racial inequality; the only guilt that matters is white guilt, the kind you can do absolutely nothing to fix, given that it’s based on something as immutable as your skin color.

In other words, despite a no doubt well-intentioned desire to ameliorate racial inequality, their enthusiasm for the language of wokeness has allowed affluent white liberals to perpetuate and even excuse a deeply unequal economic status quo.

If journalists once fought the powerful on behalf of the powerless, in 21st century America, they are the powerful. While the average pay for a journalism job is quite low at around $40,000 a year, that’s because entry-level jobs pay so little; at the higher levels, journalists now make quite a bit more than the average American. More importantly, journalists now have social and cultural power, and they are overwhelming the children of economic elites. After all, to even be able to make it on $30,000 a year while living in the most expensive cities in America (the only ones left with a functioning journalism industry, thanks to the rise of the Internet and the collapse of local newspapers), you have to come from a family with enormous economic privilege who can help you out. Once a blue-collar trade, journalism has become something akin to an impenetrable caste. And what journalists have done with that power, perhaps inadvertently, is to wage a cultural battle that enhances their own economic interests against a less-educated and struggling American working class.

Once working-class warriors, the little guys taking on America’s powerful elites, journalists today are an American elite, a caste that has abandoned its working class roots as part of its meritocratic climb. And a moral panic around race has allowed them to mask this abandonment under the guise of “social justice.”

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Swedish politician convicted for citing facts about South Sudanese IQ

It was at the end of April that Bertil Malmberg at a meeting of Sörmland’s regional council pointed out the research about the average level of intelligence of South Sudanese after the Swedish Migration Agency, in its lack of wisdom, placed a number of South Sudanese quota refugees in Sörmland. This population is among the nations who have the lowest intelligence in the world, which is well documented, according to Malmberg.

Bertil Malmberg was reported to the police by the RFSU-linked Social Democrat Christine Gilljam, who had commented: “The statement expresses racial biological thinking based on the premise that humanity can be divided into different races, where some are more valuable than others.”

When Swedish weekly Nya Tider interviewed Bertil Malmberg in connection with the verdict, he said that he only tried to explain how difficult it has been for these people to integrate in Sweden, and that it would therefore be wiser to help them in their own country.

“There are lots of those who are now brought here as quota refugees, and I do not think that is good. Not only for society but also for the poor people of South Sudan. I have the greatest sympathy for them, they have for decades been employed by the northern part of Sudan which they broke away from in 2011. They have one of the world’s lowest levels of education and widespread illiteracy, the majority have worked as farmers and herders for generations. Placing them in northern Europe is not very wise as I see it,” Malmberg explained.

Malmberg was found guilty on October 7 and he was sentenced to a 40-day suspended sentence and a total fine of 24 000 kronor, for his statement. When Nya Tider interviewed Bertil Malmberg after the verdict, he said: “My lawyer and I agree that we will appeal.”

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Americans turn against Black Lives Matter: A majority of adults now oppose the movement

Researchers Civiqs have been tracking public opinion on the activist group every week since 2017, interviewing a total of 278,076 adults across the country. For most of that period BLM has enjoyed majority support. It reached peak popularity (53% support, 28% against) immediately after the killing of George Floyd in June 2020, but has been drifting downwards ever since. Crossover was reached this week, with 44% of the American public opposed to BLM, and 43% in favour.

The divisions in the data, perhaps predictably, are strongest among race and partisan lines. 85% of Democrats support the movement; 87% of Republicans oppose it — but independents now tend to be opposed as well, with 49% against and only 34% in favour. White people are the only racial group likely to oppose the movement (53% to 34%) whereas 82% of the Black and African American group remains in favour.

Perhaps the most revealing detail in the study was the division along class lines. Support for BLM is highest among the highly educated elite, with postgraduates tilting strongly in favour, and non-college graduates tilting against.

This reinforces a common critique of antiracist activists that they are often privileged and out of touch; it will no doubt also add to concerns that highly theoretical concepts like ‘critical race theory’ and ‘equity’ are predominant on university campuses.

The researchers did not specify whether the question referred to BLM the broad philosophy, the organisation, or the protests, but it represents a significant shift in a short period of time. Alongside the dramatic drop in public support for President Biden since his election, observers will be keen to see if it represents a broader shift in political attitudes ahead of the midterms next year.

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Loudoun docs show sheriff's frustration with school board, treatment of residents: Sheriff purportedly complained that school board was asking law enforcement to clean up its mess

Emails also show the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) rejecting what it said were "extraordinary" security requests – including an explosive sweep and undercover presence – by the superintendent for future school board meetings. The documents were initially obtained via public records request from Fight for Schools PAC, which has been fighting the school district's equity initiatives.

[...]

Chapman wrote: "[Y]our request is extraordinary and would likely constitute LCSO's commitment of a minimum of approximately 65 sworn deputies. Despite this, you fail to provide any justification for such a manpower intensive request."

[...]

A letter from August also details a phone conversation in which Chapman purportedly defended his decision not to provide additional security. Notes provided by Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) show that Chapman thought the school board was asking LCSO to clean up what he apparently thought was a mess.

"School board is firing people up and calling LCSO to clean it up," read a note from Kevin L. Lewis, LCPS' chief operating officer who wrote the letter.

[...]

Chapman, according to the letter, also said the school board unilaterally decided to limit public comment and beef up its security without consultation from LCSO.

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[Michael Tracey] COVID Gives Joe Biden A Permanent Excuse To Stay Hidden

In 2020, Joe Biden earned the questionable distinction of presiding over the first presidential campaign perhaps in all of US history — though it’s possible I missed something from the Martin Van Buren era — to adopt the practice of habitually holding “public” campaign-style events that the general public was not actually allowed to attend. So far did the strange secrecy go, that basic informational details which interested citizens would have previously been able to easily obtain — such as the time and location of a “rally” — were kept conspicuously hidden. Unlike in past election cycles, Joe and Jane Sixpack could no longer attend such rallies to hear directly from a major party’s presidential or vice presidential candidate. Instead, access was limited to those with insider info; if you were just a normal person who wanted to go, as had generally been available to you for the past couple hundred years, you were out of luck.

[...]

And so it has gone well into Biden’s first term, with a weird air of secrecy surrounding normal events of his that continue to follow this innovative quasi-privatized model. On October 25, Biden visited a New Jersey Transit maintenance facility in Kearny, NJ, which is about 10 minutes from where I live. Ever an intrepid journalist, I decided to go take a look. Ostensibly the purpose of Biden’s visit was to promote the gigantic “Build Back Better” mystery bill currently pending in Congress, but New Jersey also has state and local elections coming up next week, and Gov. Phil Murphy is running for a second term. So the idea was apparently to bring Biden in for an “official” visit to boost Murphy, as opposed to a traditional campaign stop, because the trappings of an “official” visit are more politically salient. Murphy’s main selling point for why he ought to be re-elected Governor of New Jersey seems to be that it would deliver a huge blow to a former president who’s been out of office for nine months, Donald Trump. He seldom mentions Biden, whose approval ratings even in New Jersey have dropped starkly, but this event was a brief exception.

So I headed over to the maintenance facility, and the police officer guarding an entrance pretended not to know that the President of the United States was inside, telling me only that he heard “some dignitaries” were on hand, and there was no chance in hell I was getting in. Attending a public event featuring the president (and governor) without submitting reams of paperwork ahead of time, and/or pulling some strings with your professional political network? Unfathomable.

A senior NJ Transit worker, who was absolutely adamant that he/she must not be identified because they could get in serious trouble for talking to the media, later told me that employees who ordinarily work in that maintenance facility were instructed by their higher-ups to stay home that day. No chance that they’d be allowed to attend this event, it was decreed, even though the event was taking place in their literal workplace — a public facility to boot. The justification? Who knows. Probably some half-baked combination of COVID, terrorism, and whatever other hyped-up existential danger is said to be lurking in the background on any given week. They won’t explain their reasoning if you ask; just as with all manner of completely arbitrary policies deriving from COVID which still remain in effect, people in positions of authority typically can’t be bothered to even offer a rationale for this or that leftover measure — content instead to blithely acclimate to the “new normal” rather than buck the bureaucratic inertia.

Just this afternoon I spoke to my local city council member here in Jersey City, who’s up for re-election next week, and she claimed to me that the primary reason for requiring children as young as two to wear facemasks when playing outside at recess — something I continue to see around town disturbingly often — is “psychological.” Or in other words, children that age need to be taught that wearing a mask for hours on end, each and every school day, is the “right” thing to do. It was a candid admission in a sense, to acknowledge that children’s health is not really the thing guiding this policy calculation — a recurrent pattern in COVID governance. Did you know that still, today — October 29, 2021 — Canadian citizens are barred from driving over the land border into the US, but they can fly into the US on commercial aircraft? So they can’t enter the US driving alone in their private vehicle, but they can go to a crowded airport and inhale whatever particles are floating around, and then head right into their US destination aerially. What’s the justification for that? More unspecified “psychology”? Don’t bother asking anyone, because I’ve tried, and they usually just shrug.

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[Christopher F. Rufo] “White People, You Are the Problem”: AT&T’s new racial reeducation program promotes the idea that “racism is a uniquely white trait.”

I have obtained a cache of internal documents about the company’s initiative, called Listen Understand Act, which is based on the core principles of critical race theory, including “intersectionality,” “systemic racism,” “white privilege,” and “white fragility.” CEO John Stankey launched the program last year and, subsequently, has told employees that private corporations such as AT&T have an “obligation to engage on this issue of racial injustice” and push for “systemic reforms in police departments across the country.”

According to a senior employee, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, managers at AT&T are now assessed annually on diversity issues, with mandatory participation in programs such as discussion groups, book clubs, mentorship programs, and race reeducation exercises. White employees, the source said, are tacitly expected to confess their complicity in “white privilege” and “systemic racism,” or they will be penalized in their performance reviews. As part of the overall initiative, employees are asked to sign a loyalty pledge to “keep pushing for change,” with suggested “intentions” such as “reading more about systemic racism” and “challenging others’ language that is hateful.” “If you don’t do it,” the senior employee says, “you’re [considered] a racist.” AT&T did not respond when asked for comment.

On the first page of AT&T’s Listen Understand Act internal portal, the company encourages employees to study a resource called “White America, if you want to know who’s responsible for racism, look in the mirror.” The article claims that the United States is a “racist society” and lays out its thesis plainly: “White people, you are the problem. Regardless of how much you say you detest racism, you are the sole reason it has flourished for centuries.” The author, Dahleen Glanton, writes that “American racism is a uniquely white trait” and that “Black people cannot be racist.” White women, she claims, “have been telling lies on black men since they were first brought to America in chains,” and, along with their white male counterparts, “enjoy the opportunities and privileges that white supremacy affords [them].”

Another resource included in the program argues that “COVID-19 may have actually helped prepare us to confront in a deeper, more meaningful way the many faces of racism and how entrenched it is in society.” According to the article, written by Andrés Tapia of the consulting firm Korn Ferry, the pandemic has created a “brooding sense of always feeling vulnerable” for white Americans, which has forced them to fear imminent death, which “many Blacks live with every day.” Furthermore, as millions of Americans have lost their jobs and secured unemployment benefits, they “have more time” to attend street protests, which provided “a way to feel like one could have an impact.” As a result, Tapia argues, the pandemic established the conditions for a sense of “shared helplessness” that has resulted in political activism.

In the “Act” section of the training program, AT&T encourages employees to participate in a “21-Day Racial Equity Habit Challenge” that relies on the concepts of “whiteness,” “white privilege,” and “white supremacy.” The program instructs AT&T employees to “do one action [per day for 21 days] to further [their] understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity.” The challenge begins with a series of lessons on “whiteness,” which claims, among other things, that “white supremacy [is] baked into our country’s foundation,” that “Whiteness is one of the biggest and most long-running scams ever perpetrated,” and that the “weaponization of whiteness” creates a “constant barrage of harm” for minorities. The 21-Day Challenge also directs employees to articles and videos promoting fashionable left-wing causes, including “reparations,” “defund police,” and “trans activism,” with further instruction to “follow, quote, repost, and retweet” organizations including the Transgender Training Institute and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

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Antiracist Harvard theatre group hosts blacks-only ‘Macbeth’ performance

Harvard University is hosting an “exclusive” performance of an adaptation of the Shakespeare play “Macbeth.”

The Friday performance of “Macbeth in Stride” is “an exclusive space for Black-identifying audience members.” Based on the theatre’s photo album, white actors are allowed in the play.

“For our non-Black allies, we appreciate your support in making this a completely Black-identifying evening,” the description for performance says. “We invite you to join us at another performance during the run.”

“Macbeth In Stride” is a version of the classic play that “examines what it means to be an ambitious Black woman through the lens of one of Shakespeare’s most iconic characters,” according the American Repertory Theater, which is housed at the Ivy League university. The theatre holds “anti-racism as a core value.”

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education called on the university to end its segregated event and open up attendance to all people.

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‘Austrians are becoming strangers in their own country’ – Fears grow as Austria’s foreign born population reaches record high

In Austria, the number of people born abroad has reached a new high, and one of the country’s top parties is ringing the alarm about Austria’s continous influx of foreigners. Almost 1.8 million (20.1 percent) of the people living in Austria were born abroad, according to the latest 2020 migration report by the Austrian Integration Fund.

Five years ago, the proportion was 18.3 percent.

“More than 20 percent of the population were not born in our country. Austrians are increasingly becoming strangers in their own country. It is particularly worrying that well over a quarter of the children in schools no longer have German as a colloquial language,” said the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) spokesman Hannes Amesbauer in reponse to the new government report.

[...]

However, the non-European share of Austria’s population is growing, and the statistics also point to another sea change that many newspapers are glossing over. The Integration Fund also evaluated the number of students in Austria’s school system who speak a non-German language at home. This share increased by 3.6 percentage points compared to 2015 to 27.4 percent. That means that around 300,000 of the almost 1.1 million students communicate in a non-German language at home.

In short, while ethnic Austrians age, the youngest generation is increasingly non-Austrian and increasingly not speaking German. Many of the fact-checkers, such as the Wiener Zeitung, also make projections out to 2050, but stop short there. However, other countries have released data that looks at trends over a longer horizon, including Norway’s official statistical office, and have determined that ethnic Norwegians will become a minority in their own country within this century. Pew Research has also found that migration and demographic trends mean that Europe’s Muslim population could triple by 2050 to 75 million.

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Atlanta’s elites have had enough: The city's richest and whitest district wants to secede

In Buckhead, as in so many places across the country, calls for secession are being driven by one factor: crime. “We feel like we’re living in a war zone,” says Bill White, who is running the campaign. White says the problem has driven many Buckhead residents out of town. “They’re not leaving because of the potholes,” he tells me. “It’s crime, crime, crime.”

Atlanta is one of the many major American cities that has seen violent crime spike in recent years. Between 2019 and 2020, the city’s murder rate rose by 62%. The problem has worsened further this year; as of June, the city’s homicide rate was up by another 58%, while in the first half of 2021, shootings rose by 40%. Meanwhile, the number of arrests has nearly halved. The city’s mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms, once a rising star in the Democratic Party who was even talked about as a possible Vice-Presidential pick for Joe Biden, has been chastened by the crime explosion on her watch and is not seeking re-election.

Were Buckhead to go its own way, it would take with it a fifth of Atlanta’s current population and threaten to do real damage to the city’s finances. According to one estimate, Atlanta would lose 38% of its tax revenue were it to gain city status. David Sjoquist, Professor of Economics at Georgia State University and an expert of public finances, predicts grave fiscal consequences from Buckxit, as well as a tangle of lawsuits over a move that is without precedent; no neighbourhood in Georgia has ever broken off to form its own city. “Atlanta would be much worse off,” he tells me.

Buckxit, then, has the potential to be fiscally ruinous for a major American city. And Atlanta’s political and business elite are firmly opposed. Bottoms argues that Buckxit would not solve the city’s problems: “Even if an impermeable wall were built around this proposed new city, it would not address the Covid crime wave that Atlanta, the state and the rest of the nation are experiencing,” read one recent statement. “That is why the measure is opposed by many residents and the business community. A better use of this energy would be to work together to address the challenges facing our city, not divide Atlanta.” Every candidate in the crowded field to replace Bottoms agrees.

White, unsurprisingly, paints a rosier picture of a world after Buckxit — both for Buckhead residents and the rest of Atlanta. Much like a Brexiteer shrugging off “Project Fear”, he is dismissive of a political system that he says has become a “cesspool of corruption”. Under a plan put forward by Buckxit campaigners, an independent Buckhead would more than triple police numbers in the area, from 80 to 250, and ensure Buckhead City police were better paid than any other cops in the state. (Atlanta’s police force saw 200 officers retire last year.)

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“Even if an impermeable wall were built around this proposed new city, it would not address the Covid crime wave that Atlanta, the state and the rest of the nation are experiencing,”

I think it would, lol they should do that, not sure if it could really be impermeable but using that word means yeah it'd keep the criminals out.

Wall St is named that because walls work. The rich live in gated communities because it works.

Interesting the ycall it a covid crime wave too, was that slip up?

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Interesting the ycall it a covid crime wave too, was that slip up?

Nah, just the crimestop kicking in to stop him from Noticing.

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Texas university punished Christian student group that requires leaders to believe in God: lawsuit

Ratio Christi is open to all students, but it requires its membership to be Christians, a policy that led university officials to deny it Registered Student Organization status.

The denial means Ratio Christi “cannot reserve space, invite speakers, or access the pool of funds they paid into that is reserved for student organizations, speakers, and events,” according to a news release from Alliance Defending Freedom, the nonprofit legal group representing the students.

“Ratio Christi is a student organization at UHCL comprising students who share a mutual faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior,” the federal lawsuit filed on October 25 said. “Its identity is distinctly Christian, as is its purpose to share and defend the Christian faith,” ADF attorneys said.

Its executive officers must “profess a personal relationship with Jesus Christ” and “agree to live consistently with their Christian faith.”

The lawsuit said that secular groups are allowed to have leadership policies similar to Ratio Christi’s. For example, the Vietnamese student association has limited leadership roles to Vietnamese students. A military veterans’ student group on campus requires leaders to have served in the armed forces, the lawsuit said.

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White Supremacy Ate Harvard Student’s Homework

When the history of our insane age of cultural breakdown is written, this op-ed in the Harvard Crimson, by a black female student dropping out of the pre-med program, will be a primary document. Kyla G. — who, as a Harvard student, is one of the most privileged people on the planet — explains to the university community how white supremacy drove her out. Excerpts:

While this isn’t just another story about the toxicity of pre-med culture, getting weeded out, or leaving my academic path for some earth-shattering love of another aspiration, it is a story of how white supremacy lives and breathes in each of our bodies, spreading between each of us — body to body — like contagion. It is a story of trying to mitigate chronic pain to create the possibility for genuine healing and recovery. A story of a great act of resistance: a Black woman choosing herself.

I took an inorganic chemistry exam the same day that a grand jury failed to charge two police officers with the murder of Breonna Taylor. That day, my body inhaled molecules of white supremacy as they seeped out of my computer from that proctored Zoom room. They entered my bloodstream and catalyzed a metabolism that would allow for the invasion of my body by a violently infectious life form. A chronic pain, caused by the perpetuation of lethally unjust practices and compounded by the silence and avoidance between myself and my educators when it comes to Black women’s lives, would make its way through and onto neighboring cells within my physical being. The presence of the germ of white supremacy would cause a steric hindrance within me, slowing down and even preventing the reactions of learning and healing that I desperately needed for myself and from others in that moment. The exam began, and I haven’t been able to show up mentally or emotionally in a science class since.

Steric hindrances? Golly. There’s more:

But no more. I have chosen a path to justice and healing that is rooted in self-love and preservation.

For Black women, self-care is an act of liberation. It disrupts systems of power — even at places like Harvard — that hold a stake in patriarchy and institutionalized racism. It is a way for us to free ourselves and dilute our pain from historical patterns of trauma caused by everyday violences. It is a crucial aspect of embracing and valuing our dignity and self-worth because trauma doesn’t have to be our destiny. We deserve to heal, to grow, to change. And sometimes it looks like distancing ourselves from potentially toxic, or infectious, scenarios or spaces to protect our energy and safeguard it for our own well-being.

Well done, Kyla! You couldn’t handle pre-med classes, so you blamed your failure on whiteness, and claimed that your dropping out was a revolutionary act. Read the whole thing.

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The ACLU is now siding with the censors: Its advocacy of trans rights has come at the cost of free speech.

Asserting their First Amendment rights against compelled speech, elementary-school teachers in Loudoun County, Virginia, are challenging a school-board rule requiring them to address transgender and ‘gender expansive’ students by their preferred pronouns. The teachers claim that the pronouns convey messages about transgenderism that violate their religious beliefs as well as their understanding of biology. As a compromise, in an effort to balance their speech rights with students’ interests in being recognised, the teachers have offered to address the students only by their names, eschewing the use of any offending pronouns. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has sided against them.

Confirming its transformation from a free-speech organisation into a progressive advocacy group, it has submitted a brief in Cross v Loudoun County, advocating restrictions on fundamental First Amendment freedoms. According to the ACLU, public-school teachers should be required to affirm controversial, state-imposed orthodoxies about sex and gender in violation of their conscience, in order to protect students from discrimination.

Sad to say, the ACLU’s brief against the First Amendment is neither a shock nor a surprise – it was predictable. Its retreat from defending speech that conflicts with progressive values and ideas dates back at least 15 years. Still, there is a difference between avoiding litigation that requires defending the right to use whatever progressives consider harmful speech and engaging in litigation to suppress it or to compel speech aimed at mitigating its alleged harms. The ACLU has crossed a line, effectively advancing arguments about the direct, indisputable dangers of offensive language and ideas that have long been used to justify bans on ‘hate speech’.

This erstwhile free-speech champion now asserts that transgender and non-binary students possess civil rights to be called by their preferred pronouns, while teachers have no civil liberties to refrain from doing so. The ACLU did not even try to balance the respective rights and liberties of students and public-school teachers. It has declared that the teachers have no rights or liberties to consider.

This dismissal of any cognisable First Amendment claims partly reflects the alleged dangers of not using transgender pronouns. The ACLU brief condemns the proposed compromise of addressing transgender and non-binary students by names and never by pronouns as discriminatory, ‘disrespectful’ and ‘discourteous’, stressing that it would ‘conspicuously single out’ the students, marking them out as ‘different’. Not using their chosen pronouns would also ‘exacerbate gender dysphoria’ and harm their ‘physical and mental health, safety and wellbeing’. It is a ‘discriminatory practice’ that ‘exposes them to harassment and abuse’, and increases ‘the risk of anxiety and depression, [and] low self-esteem’, as well as ‘self-injurious behaviours [such as] suicide, substance abuse, homelessness and eating disorders’.

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Woke at Wellesley Public Schools: Parents sue over policies that segregate students and chill speech.

Wellesley has promoted “affinity groups” that hold events for specific races. Parents Defending Education alleges these groups are racially exclusionary “by definition and design,” given that “certain Wellesley students” including the plaintiffs’ children “are prohibited from participating in certain school activities because of their race and ethnicity.” The parents say this violates the Civil Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The parents group raised similar concerns earlier this year in a complaint to the federal Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, but the agency hasn’t acted. In May Wellesley superintendent of schools David Lussier and director of diversity, equity and inclusion Charmie Curry told us that no students or staff were barred from participating.

But email correspondence obtained by the nonprofit Judicial Watch and cited in the complaint adds credence to the Wellesley parents’ worries. After a March 2021 shooting in Atlanta that killed several Asian women, Ms. Curry promoted a “Healing Space for Asian and Asian American Community.” A white teacher asked whether it was “appropriate for me to go.” Ms. Curry responded that “this time, we want to hold the space for the Asian and Asian American students and faculty/staff.”

Parents say a seventh grader received an email that described the healing space as “for our Asian/Asian-American and Students of Color, not for students who identify only as white” and added, “if you need to know more about why this is not for White students, please ask me!” The complaint says that “other middle school teachers sent similar messages to their students.” Mr. Lussier and Ms. Curry didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The Wellesley parents also take issue with the school district’s handling of so-called bias incidents, which they say penalize and chill speech. Under school policy, a bias incident can encompass “conduct, speech or expression” that “has an impact but may not involve criminal action” or demonstrates even “unconscious bias,” among other acts.

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Surviving the Modern Age

That is the other novel quality. Not only are modern people constantly rustled by the endless flow of mass media, but they are also hooked on it. There is a segment of the population that gets visibly angry when you point out that most mass media is just laughable nonsense. The people pushing it don’t even believe it. The response is similar to when you try to intervene with an alcoholic.

Marx famously said that “religion is the opium of the people,” by which he meant that people seek comfort in religion. It suppresses their natural desire to be free, preventing the masses from revolting against those in power. He was wrong, in that religion protects the soul of man from the cruel reality of the human condition, a condition that is immutable, despite the utopian dreams of men like Marx.

Mass media, however, is proving to be something vastly more potent than the drugs with which Marx was personally familiar. Mass media is the fentanyl of the masses that eats at their soul, depriving them of their liberty. Like the man-made narcotic, mass media is highly addictive, causing the addict to crave that which he knows is enslaving him by causing him to distrust his own mind.

Whether by design or by accident, mass media is a form of menticide, a systematic destruction of the conscious mind of the people. Instead of the quiet predictability of familiar routines, the modern mind is a riot of chaos, doubt, and outrage. The natural human desire to live a peaceful life is drowned out by a riot in the head, triggered by the constant stream of insanity from the mass media.

It is reasonable to wonder if such a world can exist for very long. Modern America seems to be shaking itself to bits. All of the ways we measure the health of a society are pointing in the wrong direction. Perhaps like an addict, the ragged and broken end of a society is just the final chapter of a story that started much earlier. The addiction is just a symptom of other pathologies.

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Le Woke has arrived at French newsrooms: Intergenerational wars are erupting inside France's liberal bastions

Whenever the French huff that some unwished-for social development, from school shootings to “safe spaces” in universities, could “only happen in America” (or, more broadly, “chez les Anglo-Saxons”), you can reliably bet on it reaching France within five years. And so it is with new intergenerational woke wars among the staff of liberal media institutions like Libération (founder: Jean-Paul Sartre, 1972, at the height of his Maoist phase), now restyled as “Libé”; or Le Nouvel Observateur (now “L’Obs”), the anti-colonial newsweekly founded by Jean Daniel in 1950; or even — whisper it — in some departments of the venerable Le Monde.

On one side, most well over 50, are the heirs of the founders and of the old French universalist Left. On the other are twenty-somethings newer hires who despise l’Esprit Charlie, analyse everything through the prism of American-style “systemic racism”, and believe reporting on any conservative issue (e.g. Éric Zemmour’s rise in the polls) should be reduced for fear of “giving a platform to the fascistosphere”.

A shrewd Le Figaro report by Claudia Cohen, published yesterday, points to the moment when the battle started: last summer, when a member of the Le Monde and L’Obs boards, the respected writer and media consultant Édouard Tétreau, refused to stay on as a L’Obs administrator. Facing his board colleagues, Tétreau pointed to a special issue entitled “Slavery, a French History”, arguing that deconstructing the entire national narrative through a single ideology was dangerous and that it was a betrayal of the French Left, from Jean Jaurès, Georges Clemenceau, Albert Camus to the magazine’s own founders. The rest of the board stared at him in horror before they started abusing him. No one, not even L’Obs’s owner, the banker Louis Dreyfus, wanted a piece of this heresy. Tétreau was, apparently, using the arguments of the extreme-Right.

Yet, says Cohen, many journalists at L’Obs, or at Libé, express the same worries — privately. “You can’t make jokes any longer”, one tells her. The young generation is “obsessed with political correctness.” The previous editor in chief of L’Obs, Dominique Nora, wrote, shortly before her departure a year ago, an editorial criticising the radical feminist Alice Coffin for calling all husbands and fathers “rapists” and “molesters”. She went on by suggesting that parity and abuses against women would be better fought with the help of male allies. The website staff, younger and more radicalised, started agitating against Nora — the same demographic, tech and social-media obsessed, who led the bullying of the journalist Bari Weiss at the New York Times at about the same time.

At Le Monde, reports Cohen, the editorial staff is similarly divided over secularism, the French principle of laïcité, which since 1905 guarantees State neutrality toward every faith — and the right for all to practice their religion as a private matter. The line of the younger generation apes the American one, with the French ban on religious symbols, such as crosses and headscarves, in the public sphere (schools, the civil service, but not universities) accused of racist intentions. At Libé, the hiring of the Charlie-Hebdo cartoonist Coco, a survivor from the 2015 massacre, caused rumbles — and almost every one of her biting cartoons is criticised internally, sometimes brutally.

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Deleted Government Report Celebrates How Public Loves to “Conform”: Climate change technocrats plan on using same methods that convinced public to obey lockdown.

A deleted government report exploring how to make the public alter its behavior to accept the new ‘green economy’ reveals how COVID-19 restrictions have created a population with a “deep set reverence” for authority and a “powerful tendency to conform.”

The report was inadvertently published by the British government before being hastily pulled down, but numerous journalists were able to retrieve its contents.

The document explored how to weaponize behavioral psychology to ‘nudge’ the public into supporting measures and adopting behavior without them explicitly knowing they’re being manipulated.

The investigation found that the same techniques the government used to force people into accepting lockdown could be used to make them change their lifestyles in the name of preventing climate change.

Under the heading “principles for successful behaviour,” the paper noted;

“Government statements, actions and laws powerfully shape perceptions of normative and acceptable behaviour. For instance, even with public criticism being high, many still perceived government approval as the yardstick for safe behaviour during COVID-19 ‘we’re allowed to do this now [so must be safe]…’. This reveals, for many, a deep set reverence for legitimate government authority, regardless of one’s personal political views.”

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Seminal 'Diversity = Profits' Research Doesn't Fare Well Under the Microscope

Solomon gave no source for this assertion, and Goldman did not reply to a request for comment. But much of the authority for claims like his rest on three studies done between 2015 and 2020 by the consulting company McKinsey, which were trumpeted as proof that large companies can boost their profits significantly by adding women and people of color to their boards of directors. “Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to have above average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile,” the 2020 report says, while those in the top quartile for ethnic diversity are 36 percent more profitable than those in the bottom quartile.

[...]

Even as the McKinsey’s conclusions have become conventional wisdom in America’s power centers, there has been little outside scrutiny of its claim that companies enjoy bottom line benefits when they replace white men in leadership positions with women and people of color. But a new academic paper – the first detailed, independent analysis anybody has made of McKinsey's findings and methods – concludes that while there is nothing wrong with diversity per se, McKinsey provides no evidence that it “wins.”

“Our results suggest that despite the imprimatur often given to McKinsey's (2015, 2018, 2020) studies, caution is warranted to support the view that U.S. publicly traded firms can deliver improved financial performance if they increase the racial/ethnic diversity of their executives,” the authors report in a summary statement of their findings.

The study, carried out by Jeremiah Green, an associate professor of accounting at Texas A&M University, and John R.M. Hand, distinguished professor of accounting at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, also suggests that McKinsey has misleadingly characterized its own findings to make the case for diversity.

[...]

The McKinsey study, written by four of the company's consultants in its London, Chicago and Atlanta offices -- gives each firm that it studied a “diversity score,” based largely on pictures and descriptions of executives on that company's website and reports. It then measures each company's economic performance. But as McKinsey acknowledges in the methodology section of its 2020 report, the financial data it collected on companies came from the period 2014 to 2018, while the data on diversity was compiled from Dec. 2018 to November 2019 -- showing that the diversity data comes after or at the same time as the financial data, not before.

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Your New Woke 401(k): Biden proposes to rewrite Erisa to steer investment choices.

The Administration says the rule will make it easier for retirement plans to offer 401(k) funds focused on ESG (environmental, social and governance) objectives. In fact, the rule will coerce workers and businesses into supporting progressive policies.

An important Trump Labor rule last fall reinforced that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Erisa) requires retirement plan fiduciaries to act “solely in the interest” of participants. The rule prevented pension plans and asset managers from considering ESG factors like climate, workforce diversity and political donations unless they had a “material effect on the return and risk of an investment.” The rule effectively barred plans from placing workers who don’t select a 401(k) fund option into a default ESG fund.

The Biden DOL plans to scrap the Trump rule while putting retirement sponsors and asset managers on notice that they have a fiduciary duty to include ESG in investment decisions. The proposed rule “makes clear that climate change and other ESG factors are often material” and thus in many instances should be considered “in the assessment of investment risks and returns.”

A fiduciary’s duty may “often require an evaluation of the effect of climate change and/or government policy changes” such as electric vehicle mandates on an investment, the rule-making says. Retirement plan sponsors won’t merely be allowed to prioritize climate and social factors in how they invest. They could be sued if they don’t. Workers won’t get much say because plans won’t be required “to solicit preferences” on ESG.

[...]

The Biden rule would let plan sponsors enroll workers in ESG 401(k) funds as the default, so workers could unknowingly end up paying higher fees. It also threatens retirement plan sponsors with legal liability if they don’t support progressive shareholder resolutions, such as those requiring companies to reduce CO2 emissions or disclose political donations.

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Pass Tents: A hobo no-go zone report

Meanwhile, those of us not inside the tent world can see with our own eyes what is happening. Our urban tent situation, already dire, has degenerated into dangerous degenerates running wild. And not just tents—in some cases the dirty tents have been replaced with ramshackle two-story wooden structures with electricity, and hot showers. There are heaps, piles, skyscrapers of garbage and detritus, all over, everywhere, in every doorway, median, park, freeway onramp, freeway off ramp, freeway overpass, beach boardwalk, sidewalk, street, campground, children’s playground, and rest stop.

California’s motto is “Eureka!” but I propose we change it to “You Reek. Gah.”

Our current slumlord Mayor Garcetti is trading one tent city for another as he heads to India to run the embassy there. How will he even know he left? Hollywood Boulevard is skid row. Venice Beach boardwalk is skid row. Santa Monica is skid row. The entire San Fernando Valley is skid row. And in Downtown Los Angeles, the original Skid Row is skidding harder than ever.

[...]

The homeless crisis is fake. By fake I mean, it’s an engineered social dysfunction created on purpose to ensure a steady flow of suitcases stuffed with unmarked nonconsecutive bills to City Halls around the country. It is a racket. A money laundering operation, just like the Department of Defense budget, and almost at the same astronomical scale.

[...]

Liberal politicians understand that homelessness works. Homelessness is good. The more tents the better. The more lunatics who threaten and harass you with their pants around their ankles, the more likely you are to vote for new taxes and more spending.

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Increases in COVID-19 are unrelated to levels of vaccination across 68 countries and 2947 counties in the United States

At the country-level, there appears to be no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases in the last 7 days (Fig. 1). In fact, the trend line suggests a marginally positive association such that countries with higher percentage of population fully vaccinated have higher COVID-19 cases per 1 million people. Notably, Israel with over 60% of their population fully vaccinated had the highest COVID-19 cases per 1 million people in the last 7 days. The lack of a meaningful association between percentage population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases is further exemplified, for instance, by comparison of Iceland and Portugal. Both countries have over 75% of their population fully vaccinated and have more COVID-19 cases per 1 million people than countries such as Vietnam and South Africa that have around 10% of their population fully vaccinated.

Across the US counties too, the median new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the last 7 days is largely similar across the categories of percent population fully vaccinated (Fig. 2). Notably there is also substantial county variation in new COVID-19 cases within categories of percentage population fully vaccinated. There also appears to be no significant signaling of COVID-19 cases decreasing with higher percentages of population fully vaccinated (Fig. 3).

Of the top 5 counties that have the highest percentage of population fully vaccinated (99.9–84.3%), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies 4 of them as “High” Transmission counties. Chattahoochee (Georgia), McKinley (New Mexico), and Arecibo (Puerto Rico) counties have above 90% of their population fully vaccinated with all three being classified as “High” transmission. Conversely, of the 57 counties that have been classified as “low” transmission counties by the CDC, 26.3% (15) have percentage of population fully vaccinated below 20%.

Since full immunity from the vaccine is believed to take about 2 weeks after the second dose, we conducted sensitivity analyses by using a 1-month lag on the percentage population fully vaccinated for countries and US counties. The above findings of no discernable association between COVID-19 cases and levels of fully vaccinated was also observed when we considered a 1-month lag on the levels of fully vaccinated (Supplementary Figure 1, Supplementary Figure 2).

We should note that the COVID-19 case data is of confirmed cases, which is a function of both supply (e.g., variation in testing capacities or reporting practices) and demand-side (e.g., variation in people’s decision on when to get tested) factors.

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Have we reached the high water mark of woke?

Yet there are signs that the woke progressive model may be losing its appeal, even among some liberals. The bulk of public opinion is not in progressives’ favour. In the US, activist progressives, notes a recent study, represent eight per cent of the electorate – barely half the size of moderates and barely a third of the size of conservatives. What they lack in numbers, however, they make up for with single-minded determination; progressive whites, notes the Atlantic, are the most intolerant of all Americans, led by those in the Boston area, while people in smaller towns and cities seem far more open.

The scalps of those targeted by the woke are strewn across the landscape. There’s the cancellations of ideologically unacceptable speakers, the delisting of books and the increasingly selective media coverage, evident particularly in the 2020 election and its aftermath. Yet the very vehemence of progressives, their lack of humour or grace, may prove to be their undoing.

Among Republicans, wokeness drives them further away from the mainstream media, as many of them now regard certain outlets as little more than vehicles for proselytising progressivism. But it’s not just the nutjobs of the far right. A recent Rasmussen survey found that 58 per cent of likely voters ‘at least somewhat agree that the media are the enemy of the people, including 34 per cent who strongly agree’.

‘Cancel culture’ is no more popular than the rest of the woke agenda. More millennials oppose than support cancel culture, notes a recent Morning Consult poll. The older generations are much more firmly against it. But most heartening is that those in the younger generation, the so-called Zs, are the most hostile to cancel culture, with 55 per cent disapproving of it and only eight per cent supporting it.

Simply put, what progressives are offering the populace does not much like, particularly on social issues. There’s been a record-breaking surge of violent crime, but some progressive politicians and media enablers have refused to combat disorder. Some have even embraced riots, particularly the looting, and backed defunding or even abolishing the police. This has not worked out well for the progressives. In the New York City mayoral elections, a black ex-cop won the Democratic nomination against candidates sympathetic to the ‘defund the police’ approach. Even left-leaning constituencies are horrified by crime, disorder and massive homelessness, as demonstrated when Austin voted overwhelmingly to end camping on the street.

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The Very Intersectional Caterpillar: Lefty children’s literature is coming to a library near you.

Like most boys their age, my sons would much rather play video games than read for pleasure, which they consider an oxymoron. I still buy them books, but every year it gets harder to find titles where the focus is on storytelling rather than politics.

Recently, I perused three emails from bookstores offering children’s book recommendations from a national “Indie Next” program organized by the American Booksellers Association (ABA). Amid 93 new books, all published since May, I couldn’t find one that would appeal to my boys. The choices included a “feel-good contemporary romance” about a young trans athlete fighting against a “discriminatory law targeting trans athletes”; a book about a young lesbian with pansexual and nonbinary friends who denounced her white privilege; a “queer coming of age story” about a young lesbian who joins the boy’s football team; a young-adult novel about genderfluidity by a non-binary writer who is the mother of a transgender child; a “tale of self-discovery” about a bisexual love triangle; a book about a transgender witch named Wyatt; and a “fabulously joyful” novel about “drag, prom, and embracing your inner queen” that featured “a fat, openly gay boy stuck in a small West Texas town.” Other titles included the tale of a Puerto Rican eighth-grader who “navigates . . . the systemic pressures of toxic masculinity and housing insecurity in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn”; a young-adult thriller with a bisexual protagonist that explores the “politics of systemic racism”; and Don’t Hate the Player, a novel about gamers I thought would appeal to the boys until I realized it was about a young feminist battling misogyny from the “male-dominated gaming community.”

A host of new children’s books available on Amazon appeals to the same set. These included a new release for 8–12-year-olds about a young Muslim living in a xenophobic town in Texas where “hostile” townspeople protest the construction of a new mosque; a “swoony” gay pirate adventure story heralded by NPR; a queer ghost story featuring a bisexual teenage paranormal podcaster; and a polemic for 7–12 year-olds called Palm Trees at the North Pole: the Hot Truth About Climate Change.

The protagonists in these books included pigs, porcupines, dogs, cats, dinosaurs, mice, Navajos, immigrants from Vietnam and Pakistan, transgender witches, a lonely raccoon named Grub, gay pirates, lots of young feminists, and very, very few straight, white males. If a story is a page-turner, the complexions and identities of the characters are irrelevant; my priority is to give my children good books. But the focus of many of these woke new children’s titles appears to be identity politics and indoctrination, not storytelling. Moreover, the lack of representation for one group in particular is striking. As a recent analysis in the Wall Street Journal recently illustrated, men now make up just 40 percent of college students. Enrollment rates for poor and working-class white men are now lower than those of young black, Latino, and Asian men from the same economic backgrounds. Given that reality, and the fact that boys read for pleasure far less than girls, shouldn’t there be a push to get underprivileged white boys reading at an early age?

Literary agents serve as the gatekeepers for the publishing industry. Many explicitly advertise that they’re looking for books by and for “marginalized and underrepresented communities.” A nonprofit called We Need Diverse Books also strives to help authors publishing books with “diverse characters.” But diversity of thought and opinion isn’t a priority in the publishing world; neither are poor white kids who live in gross exurbs or in the sticks and have parents who voted for Donald Trump. I asked a representative from the ABA about the left-wing slant in their recommendations and was told that they represented “the titles (booksellers across the nation) are most excited about recommending to customers.” As for conservative books, when I asked for such titles at my local Barnes & Noble, a bookseller looked at me as if I’d asked her for child pornography and replied, “There could be some on our website but without knowing the name of the book you want, I have no idea.”

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Kneel Before Fauci: Disney+ lionizes the good doctor in a ludicrous hagiography

Simply put, we can’t avoid Fauci. So much so, in fact, that a documentary on the man while the signature crisis of his career is still playing out seems both premature and entirely unnecessary. Yet, a Fauci biography is exactly what National Geographic Films has decided the world needs right now, and so the feature-length “Fauci” is currently available to stream on Disney+.

[...]

While the film interviews Fauci’s defenders directly, it depicts his detractors nearly exclusively in short clips gathered from perennial media bogeyman FOX News. The intended audience for this documentary clearly comes from one side of the political spectrum, that being a side for which FOX is shorthand for “right-wing falsehoods, please disregard.” We don’t see much substance in the anti-Fauci remarks, but none is necessary. A loudmouth disagreeing with Fauci with the diabolical FOX logo on screen is all the evidence we need to discern that Fauci was telling the truth when he claimed to be.

And herein lies the chief problem with even producing a Fauci documentary at all in 2021. We’ve heard about the polarization and political tribalism in 21st Century America so ad nauseum as to make the phrase “ad nauseum” nauseous. But its particularly challenging to snap out of it because our two tribes cannot even agree on the same facts. Two diametrically opposed camps are shouting entirely past each other into the void, making arguments that are incomprehensible to the other because the talking points being presented as fact are so different they may as well be in different dialects.

The online reviews for ‘Fauci’ perfectly encapsulate this. The certified critics of Rotten Tomatoes currently praise ‘Fauci’ with a 91% “fresh” rating, while the Internet users of IMDb bestow upon it a 1.5 out of 10 at the time of this writing. As with the larger political issues at play in America, neither side really gives you the complete story. Many of the media elites surely saw a positive review of Fauci and a positive review of ‘Fauci’ as synonymous. And it’s a safe bet many if not most of the Internet reviewers didn’t think actually watching the movie was a prerequisite for bashing it. This gets us nowhere. The only way to discern the actual truth is to go see for yourself.

[...]

The most emblematic moment of both this documentary and arguably our entire sorry COVID era comes towards the end. We see Fauci working in his home office, surrounded by masks and multiple containers of hand sanitizer. Looming above his desk: A larger-than-life-sized acrylic painting on canvas of himself. Two Faucis on one screen at one time. If Fauci is The Truth, and Fauci is The Science, it is only fitting that the man works from home in a sanctuary of his own making, able to gaze upwards and to the left of his desk whenever he needs inspiration, taking it in from the only source that matters. As for the rest of us, it may be time to start seeing other people.

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[Christopher F. Rufo] Walmart vs. Whiteness: The company’s new training program tells hourly employees that they are guilty of “internalized racial superiority.”

Walmart Inc. has launched a critical race theory training program that denounces the United States as a “white supremacy system” and teaches white, hourly wage employees that they are guilty of “white supremacy thinking” and “internalized racial superiority.”

According to a cache of internal documents I have obtained from a whistleblower, Walmart launched the program in 2018 in partnership with the Racial Equity Institute, a Greensboro, North Carolina, consulting firm that has worked extensively with universities, government agencies, and private corporations. The program is based on the core principles of critical race theory, including “intersectionality,” “internalized racial oppression,” “internalized racial inferiority,” and “white anti-racist development.” Since the program’s launch, Walmart has trained more than 1,000 employees and made the program mandatory for executives and recommended for hourly wage workers in Walmart stores. When reached for comment, Walmart confirmed that the company has “engaged REI for a number of training sessions since 2018” and has “found these sessions to be thought provoking and constructive.”

The program begins with the claim that the United States is a “white supremacy system,” designed by white Europeans “for the purpose of assigning and maintaining white skin access to power and privilege.” American history is presented as a long sequence of oppressions, from the “construction of a ‘white race’” by colonists in 1680 to President Obama’s stimulus legislation in 2009, “another race neutral act that has disproportionately benefited white people.” Consequently, the Walmart program argues, white Americans have been subjected to “racist conditioning” that indoctrinates them into “white supremacy,” or the view “that white people and the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions of white people are superior to People of Color and their ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions.”

Following the principle that “diagnosis determines treatment,” the Walmart program seeks to create a psychological profile of whiteness that can then be treated through “white anti-racist development.” Whites, according to the trainers, are inherently guilty of “white privilege” and “internalized racial superiority,” the belief that “one’s comfort, wealth, privilege and success has been earned by merits and hard work” rather than through the benefits of systemic racism. Walmart’s program argues that this oppressive “white supremacy culture” can be summarized in a list of qualities including “individualism,” “objectivity,” “paternalism,” “defensiveness,” “power hoarding,” “right to comfort, “and “worship of the written word”—which all “promote white supremacy thinking” and “are damaging to both people of color and to white people.”

[...]

The solution, according to Walmart’s program, is to encourage whites to participate in “white anti-racist development”—a psychological conditioning program that reorients white consciousness toward “anti-racism.” The training program teaches white employees that ideas such as “I’m normal,” “we’re all the same,” and “I am not the problem” are racist constructs, driven by internalized racial superiority. The program encourages whites to accept their “guilt and shame,” adopt the idea that “white is not right,” acknowledge their complicity in racism, and, finally, move toward “collective action” whereby “white can do right.” The goal is for whites to climb the “ladder of empowerment for white people” and recreate themselves with a new “anti-racist identity.”

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Michigan school district ditches Halloween, Valentine’s Day in the name of ‘inclusion’

In a letter sent home to families, the East Lansing Public Schools’ Elementary Principal Team noted that some families “did not celebrate Halloween” and “children’s excitement over the spooky holiday [made] it difficult to learn,” WLNS reports.

As for Valentine’s Day, “some families and students are uncomfortable with students celebrating ‘love.’”

[...]

Mitcham also noted that “alternative celebrations” will be held throughout the year for “students meeting academic or behavioral goals.” (Note the wording; it’s a good bet these celebrations won’t include a group of students who got straight As as that wouldn’t be “inclusive.”)

East Lansing Mayor Jessy Gregg (left) rushed to assure constituents that the city still will be holding Halloween and Valentine’s Day events despite her remarks about holidays like Christmas and Easter being “unwelcoming.”

“I have mentioned to several staff members that I think our seasonal programs would be more welcoming if we didn’t include things like pictures with Santa or the Easter Bunny,” Gregg posted on Facebook. “Yes, Christmas and Easter have become mainstream commercial holidays but they are religious traditions and including them in City sponsored programs makes those events unwelcoming to large segments of our population. We can host a beautiful winter themed festival without including religion.”

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Teen Girls Are Developing Tics. Doctors Say TikTok Could Be a Factor. When teens started turning up in doctors’ offices with sudden, severe physical tics, specialists suspected social media: The girls had been watching Tourette syndrome TikTok videos

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New developments in the Gil Ofarim case, he's now looking like the German Jussie Smollett.

Last week: Protests grow after singer says German hotel refused him over Star of David

Gil Ofarim, a 39-year-old singer and dual citizen of Israel and Germany, posted a video to social media Tuesday night in which he accused the Westin Leipzig hotel of denying him service because he was wearing a Star of David necklace. The video, which he titled “Antisemitism in Germany 2021” in all capital letters, has gone viral, with antisemitism watchdogs and others sharing it widely.

“I am speechless,” Ofarim said in the video, which recorded of himself sitting outside the hotel shortly after the incident.

After waiting in line to check in, Ofarim said he asked why others who arrived after him were admitted before him. According to Ofarim, another customer replied telling him to “take off the star.” At least one employee then told Ofarim he needed to remove the pendant to get service, the singer said.

The employee, described by Ofarim as the “manager at the check-in counter” and whom he identified only as “Mr. W.” said to him, “Put away your Star [of David.]

Ofarim, who appeared visibly distraught, said he has been wearing the Star his “whole life.”

This week: Police Has “Serious Doubts” About Westin Leipzig Anti-Semitism Case

In Germany anti-Semitism is criminal, and Ofarim decided to file a criminal complaint against the employee in question. The police has now conducted an investigation, and the findings are surprising.

The police of Leipzig has “serious doubts” about Ofarim’s version of events:

  • The surveillance footage from the Westin shows that there was no chain with a Star of David around Ofarim’s neck when he checked into the hotel, spoke to someone at the front desk, or exited the hotel
  • Rather the musician wore an open leather jacket with a t-shirt underneath
  • During interrogation with the police, Ofarim stated that he did not remember whether he had worn the Star of David chain around his neck (even though in his Instagram video right after the incident he claimed that he did)
  • Now Ofarim states that this is not about the chain as such, but rather is about something much bigger; he thinks that someone else recognized him and decided to make an anti-Semitic comment — “it’s not about whether the chain was seen in the hotel or not, it’s about the fact that I was insulted in an anti-Semitic way”

The Westin employee who was accused of anti-Semitism by Ofarim has now filed a complaint against him for defamation, as he has a very different version of events.

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The Art Institute of Chicago fires all 122 of its (unpaid and volunteer) docents because they aren’t sufficiently “diverse”

This is a story that, for obvious reasons, has gotten almost no airplay in Chicago, and none nationally, with no reporting in the major media. So let me tell you about it.

The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC), one of the world’s finest art museums, harbors (or rather, harbored) 122 highly skilled docents, 82 active ones and 40 “school group greeters.” All are volunteers and are all unpaid. Their job is to act as guides to the Museum’s collection of 300,000 works, which they explain to both adults and schoolchildren. I’ve seen them in action at the Museum, and they’re terrific.

Despite the lack of remuneration—they do this to be helpful and because they love art—their training to be docents is extremely rigorous. First, they have to have two training sessions per week for eighteen months, and then “five years of continual research and writing to meet the criteria of 13 museum content areas” (quote from the docents’ letter to the Director of the AIC). On top of that, there’s monthly and biweekly training on new exhibits. Then there are the tours themselves, with a docent giving up to tw