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Thursday, December 08, 2022

Links - 8th December 2022 (1 - China's 'peaceful' rise)

Sri Lanka meltdown exposes China loan policy: 5 things to know - Nikkei Asia - "Numbers crunched by Verite Research, a Colombo-based think tank, show that the interest rates on Chinese loans averaged 3.3%, versus 0.7% for Japan's. And the maturity period averaged 18 years for Chinese debt, shorter than India's 24 years and Japan's 34 years. None of this hindered the Rajapaksas' appetite for Chinese credit, opening the door for the Asian powerhouse to fund over a third of 313 debt-funded projects in post-conflict Sri Lanka... China's position threatens to scupper plans by Sri Lanka's central bank to treat all creditors equally about an inevitable haircut during its debt restructuring negotiations at the IMF. Beijing's detractors in the West and in India have scrutinized the Chinese lending that has underwritten Sri Lanka's post-conflict growth. The China-funded Hambantota Port in the south has been painted as the poster child of Beijing's "debt-trap diplomacy." Now, in capitals across small Southeast and South Asian nations where Chinese loans have also poured in, officials are following how China handles Sri Lanka's economic woes. Beijing's debt map spans Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to the Maldives and Nepal. As one senior Southeast Asian government official put it, "All eyes will be on the Chinese haircut or if Beijing will balk and worsen the situation for Sri Lanka.""

Victor Gevers on Twitter - "Megvii is building its own "Skynet". This is an excerpt is from Vice on HBO's documentary, “How China Tracks Everyone”. They mention how they match the data with a "criminal database." These tech companies get free access to Chinese police systems."

Meme - "Comforting to know that China has amassed the largest navy in the world while we focus on race, gender and which cartoon character could offend. Sleep well."

China Unscripted: #172 China Is Tracking You Through Your Phone - "Chinese apps don't have to steal your data from you, you give them permission to steal your data when you download them. And even after you delete Chinese apps from your phone, Beijing can still track you. Watch this episode of China Unscripted for more on how China is tracking you through your phone, other reasons Chinese apps are so dangerous, and what China could be doing with your data. Joining us in this episode is Dr. Jaswinder Singh Sekhon, a cybersecurity expert and assistant professor at GTB National College Dakha."
He claims that by getting your IMSI number (via the deleted app) they can surveil you after you delete it - but doesn't say how. If you're worried, just change your SIM card regularly

David Chou, suspect in deadly California church shooting, charged with murder - The Washington Post - "A 68-year-old Nevada man accused of killing one person and wounding five others in a Taiwanese congregation in Orange County, Calif., was allegedly motivated by anti-Taiwan sentiment in what law enforcement is calling a politically motivated hate crime... Officials have offered differing accounts on Chou’s background. A representative from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles told The Washington Post that Chou was born in Taiwan in 1953. During a Monday news conference, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes originally described Chou as a Chinese-born U.S. citizen who has lived in the United States for “many years” and who was “upset by political tensions between China and Taiwan.” However, late Tuesday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office clarified that Chou had told them he was born and raised in Taiwan.  Barnes said notes written in Mandarin were found in Chou’s vehicle that supported “his hatred [of the] Taiwanese people” and his beliefs that Taiwan should not be an independent country. Barnes said he believed that hate manifested when Chou was living as a youth in Taiwan, where he was “not well-received.” China claims Taiwan, a self-governing democracy, as its own and has asserted it could one day use force to take control of Taiwan."
California church shooting: Gunman targeted us as Taiwanese Americans - "When I was younger, I didn’t understand all the complexity behind my grandparents' adamance that we retain our Taiwanese identity. I just knew I was proud to be Taiwanese because they were proud to be Taiwanese. They would tell us, “Never say you are Chinese. We are Taiwanese." "Goan shi Taiwan lang.”"

China reckons with its first overseas debt crisis | Financial Times - "The 350m Lotus Tower that looms over the skyline in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo is one of the tallest buildings in South Asia. Funded by a Chinese state bank and designed to look like a giant lotus bud about to burst into flower, it was intended to be a metaphor for the flourishing of Sri Lanka’s economy and the “brilliant future” of the bilateral co-operation between Beijing and Colombo.  Instead, the tower has become a symbol of the mounting problems facing China’s overseas lending scheme, the “Belt and Road Initiative”. The construction suffered from lengthy delays and an allegation of corruption levelled by Sri Lanka’s then-president Maithripala Sirisena against one of the Chinese contractors. Now, three years after its official launch, the tower’s amenities including a shopping mall, a conference centre and several restaurants stand either unfinished or largely unused while outside on the streets outrage over Sri Lanka’s financial mismanagement has boiled over into popular protests... a large number of projects, such as the tower, have failed to yield a commercial return while the huge loans it takes to build such infrastructure can exacerbate financial pressures on vulnerable governments.  Those pressures have converged in Sri Lanka, which defaulted on its sovereign debt in May, the first Asia-Pacific country to do so for more than two decades.  Such cases are becoming much more common. A Financial Times examination of the financial health of the Belt and Road Initiative — once hailed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping as the “project of the century” — has uncovered a mountain of non-performing loans... Critics argue that the Belt and Road credit was extended at high interest rates for infrastructure projects — like the Lotus Tower, and a port and an airport in the southern city of Hambantota — that have often failed to generate returns.  The money from the binge in foreign borrowing was misspent on “ports, airports, cricket stadiums, all sorts of stupid-looking towers . . . all bullshit,” says Harsha de Silva, a member of parliament from Sri Lanka’s opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya party... Another big recipient of Chinese loans is Zambia, which defaulted in 2020 on its external debt. China is Lusaka’s biggest bilateral lender with about $6bn out of the country’s $17bn of external debt.  Zambia had been presented as a star of the Belt and Road Initiative on the African continent. As recently as 2019 — just months before the country’s default — the Chinese embassy in Lusaka was extolling the virtues of the scheme in a public statement... Such financial problems are prompting a quiet but fundamental rethink in Beijing as economic risks around the world rise, says a senior government adviser in Beijing, who declined further identification.  “A lot of investment in Belt and Road countries didn’t make commercial sense and was in effect a form of capital flight,” the adviser says. “What’s more, the economic prospects in many BRI countries, led by African ones, has worsened dramatically in recent years. That makes it more imperative for us to think twice before going on another lending spree.”... Chen Zhiwu, professor of finance at the University of Hong Kong, also sees a clear downsizing under way. “Especially given the changed geopolitical landscape after [Russia’s] invasion of Ukraine, China is significantly downsizing the BRI,” he says.  “I have not seen the BRI being mentioned so much at all in mainstream Chinese media. It is not the same BRI as a year or two ago.”"
China shills claim that because Chinese debt is only 10% (?) of Sri Lanka's debt portfolio, it's racist to pinpoint it as a problem. But this assumes that all debt is created equal: on the same terms, subject to the same amount of oversight and spent on equally sustainable projects
Damn CIA, forcing Zambia to default! We all know the Chinese would never lie!

Meme - "You never actually own a Chinese stock. You merely look after it for the Politburo."

China Property Crisis Is Spiraling With Homebuyers’ Boycott - Bloomberg - "Mounting signs of stress this week in an industry that accounts for about a quarter of the world’s second-largest economy have roiled China’s credit markets, dragged down the nation’s bank stocks and pummeled commodities from iron ore to copper.  After a burst of optimism earlier this year that looser regulatory curbs might stem the industry’s debt crisis, investors are getting spooked by rolling Covid lockdowns and a rapidly escalating homebuyer boycott of mortgage payments on stalled projects. The bigger worry is that a widespread loss of confidence in real estate will put major strain on China’s economy and financial system, which is sitting on 46 trillion yuan ($6.8 trillion) of outstanding mortgages and still has 13 trillion yuan of loans to the country’s beleaguered developers... What started as trouble with China Evergrande Group is now snowballing into a crisis that risks engulfing the majority of the country’s developers, its biggest lenders and a middle class that has significant wealth tied to the property market. China’s home prices have tumbled 10 months straight... Housing in China has gone from being a sure bet over the past two decades to a growing risk."

University of Minnesota student is jailed in China after tweeting pictures of a cartoon villain - "Luo Daiging, 20, was sentenced to six months behind bars for comparing the general secretary of China's Communist Party of China to a cartoon villain and Winnie the Pooh... He is accused of tweeting pictures of a cartoon villain from the TV show Biker Mice from Mars.   Lawrence Limburger supposedly resembles President Jinping... Luo's arrest comes just one month after Chinese government officials allegedly ordered library workers to burn 'illegal books and religious publications' in a library.  In April, a church was fined $1,400 after South Korean versions of the bible were found which hadn't been approved by the state.  And a new internet game, created by the state, called Everyone Hit the Traitors involves hitting Hong Kong pro-democracy supporters with baseball bats. In December when Arsenal player Mesut Ozil showed support for Uyghur Muslims, the club's game against Manchester City wasn't televised in China and and his character was removed from video games such as Fifa."

China economy's 3 big problems risk Xi Jinping's third-term plans | Fortune - " thousands of people in central Henan province have protested at banks that have refused to give them back their deposits; tens of thousands of homebuyers across the country have boycotted the mortgage payments they owe on stalled housing projects; and people across the country have fled from COVID lockdowns. Combined, the social unrest amounts to the largest collective mobilization of disaffected Chinese citizens in years; individually, they each stem from one of Xi’s signature policies, blotting the president’s track record as he vies for another five years in power.  “People in China are clearly unhappy with the state of the economy,” says Steve Tsang, director of the SOAS China Institute at the University of London. “And many see the problems as driven by [the government’s] misguided policies.”  Last week, Xi stuck to his guns by not making any major changes at a Politburo meeting of China’s top leaders to set economic policy for the rest of the year. Xi’s decision to maintain his current economic policies is a risky bet, experts say. Until now, Xi has staked his legitimacy on delivering a GDP that grows year after year. Standing by policies that are hurting China’s economy and igniting social dissent may not deny him a third term, but they could dilute his mandate and make it harder for him to carry out his vision. For decades, Chinese citizens have snapped up homes as a means of investment... Evergrande, a property giant that built up a $300 billion debt load, became the prime example of Xi’s attempts to curtail the sector’s excesses. Last year, Evergrande struggled to meet the Xi administration’s new ‘three red lines’ rules that forced developers to limit their debt. The firm plunged into free fall while struggling to meet its debt obligations. Evergrande’s crisis contaminated other indebted developers, and China’s housing market suffered. The prices for new homes in China have fallen for 10 straight months, and analysts expect prices to keep dropping in coming months...  “It’s not actually that Chinese citizens are becoming bolder,” says Alfred Wu, a Chinese politics professor at the National University of Singapore. “Housing is just a life-or-death issue for Chinese families…they spend so much money on it.” At least one Chinese city is establishing a bailout fund to quell the concerns of boycotters and ensure that property developers finish their projects. But experts say such measures may only provide a temporary reprieve...  Due to the Omicron subvariant BA.5, cases are once again on the rise in China. But people are also finding new ways to resist the government’s policies. In recent days, people in places like Shenzhen have climbed fences and run away on foot to escape mandatory quarantines. “There is clearly this growing unhappiness with the COVID zero policy,” says Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. “We’ve seen this simmering social discontent. But so far, it’s mainly confined to cities like Shanghai that were directly impacted by the policy and has not resulted in mass incidents or widespread violence against the government.” Still, there’s a risk that China’s COVID-zero policy could backfire in coming months, Huang says, especially since the BA.5 subvariant is so transmissible it escapes traditional containment measures. “There’s a chance that BA.5 may lead to nationwide outbreaks that would render the COVID-zero strategy useless,” says Huang. “The social economic cost may increase to a level that it’s not acceptable anymore to even Xi himself.”"

Hebe Tien Accused Of Supporting Nancy Pelosi’s Visit To Taiwan After Posting Pictures Of Herself Eating Pasta - "the 39-year-old posted two pictures of her eating spaghetti, which is also known as ‘Italian noodles’ in Chinese, on her IG Story... Chinese netizens took Hebe’s post as a sign that she’s in favour of Nancy’s visit to Taiwan 'cos Nancy is of Italian descent.  They then went on to declare that this means Hebe "supports Taiwan's independence from China".  Incensed, these netizens then took to leaving heated comments on Hebe’s social media, demanding that the singer-actress explain herself."
How come they don't believe the myth that pasta was from the Chinese?

Celebs called out for not showing support for 'One China' - "Many Chinese celebrities, including those from Hong Kong and Taiwan, have shared CCTV’s post to show their support. Some of these celebs are Charmaine Sheh, Angela Chang, Rainie Yang, Joe Chen and Amber Kuo.  A Chinese netizen later posted on Weibo, filtering and naming the celebrities who have yet to share the “One China” post.  The list, which has since been deleted, had sorted them based on their nationalities, such as Singaporean, Malaysian, American, Canadian and Taiwanese... Several of these lists even name celebrities who are not even ethnically Chinese like BoA, G-Dragon, Blackpink members, Adele, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna... the original list creator rebutted that it is the duty of these celebrities to share the post if they’ve come to China to earn money.  “If they don’t share (the post), it’s obvious what kind of attitude they hold (towards China)”... In China, it is a common practice for Chinese celebrities to re-post on Weibo as a form of showing their love and respect for the country. When there are key events or significant dates, such patriotic posts tend to circulate around Weibo. The “One China” post has now been shared more than 9.9 million times."
Is dual loyalty still racist if it's the same race promoting it?

China spokeswoman's Taiwan restaurant tweet sparks ridicule online - "A senior Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman has prompted a storm of ridicule online, after a late-night tweet where she used restaurant listings to assert Beijing's claim over Taiwan.  "Baidu Maps show that there are 38 Shandong dumpling restaurants and 67 Shanxi noodle restaurants in Taipei," spokeswoman Hua Chunying posted on the social media site late on Sunday (Aug 7).  "Palates don't cheat. #Taiwan has always been a part of China. The long lost child will eventually return home," she added...   "There are over 100 ramen restaurants in Taipei, so Taiwan is definitely a part of Japan," a Twitter user with the handle "Marco Chu" wrote in Hua's replies. "Google Maps show that there are 17 McDonalds, 18 KFCs, 19 Burger Kings, and 19 Starbucks in Beijing. Palates don't cheat. #China has always been a part of America. The long lost child will eventually return home," Twitter user "@plasticreceiver" wrote in a parody of Hua's tweet.  Others wondered jokingly if Hua's logic meant Beijing could place claims on territories far beyond the Asia Pacific region.  "There are 29 dumpling houses in the Greater Los Angeles area not to mention 89 noodle restaurants," a person tweeting under the name "Terry Adams" wrote."

Chinese universities should produce inquisitive thinkers who are totally loyal to the Communist Party, Xi Jinping saysPost

Has Xi Jinping overplayed his hand? - The Spectator World - "the party has often neglected to point out that the abject state from which the nation has had to ‘rejuvenate’ was largely self-imposed by People’s Republic founder Mao Zedong. During the post-World War Two economic boom, Mao prioritized emulating other countries’ economic growth by commanding China’s agrarian economy into an industrialized one. Food production plunged as farmers left their fields and crops to work in steel production, resulting in a great famine that caused untold death. Some experts estimate the death toll to be as high as 45 million. To date there has been no moral reckoning of Mao’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ by the CCP, which continues to primarily blame natural disasters for the famine in official party history. It wasn’t until the party gave up on its central planning and collectivist fantasies that the Chinese people were able to lift themselves out of the poverty for which the CCP was responsible in the first place. And then came the laughable claim in Xi’s speech that China does not ‘carry aggressive or hegemonic traits in its genes’ and has never ‘bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country’. Vietnam’s history is littered with bouts of Chinese invasion, occupation and retaliation since ancient times, culminating in the Sino-Vietnamese War in 1979. Ask just about any local Vietnamese about war and they think China, not the US. The bad blood continues between the two countries at odds with Chinese expansionism and militarization of the South China Sea. Certainly the Tibetans, Uighurs, Mongolians, Taiwanese, Hong Kongers and those on the China-India border in Ladakh would also have something to say about Xi’s denial of ‘bullying’ and ‘oppression’.   For Hong Kong, today also marks the grim one year anniversary of the implementation of the National Security Law. Since then, 117 people have been arrested under the law, popular newspaper Apple Daily was forced to close as its founder and senior executives were imprisoned, and for the first time ever, pro-democracy protests on July 1 were entirely smothered. Almost nothing has been left of the autonomy guaranteed to Hong Kong by the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ framework that was set to expire in 2047. Speaking forcefully to a 70,000-strong crowd in Tiananmen Square, Xi delivered a message for China’s rivals: anyone who attempts to bully China will ‘surely break their heads on the Great Wall built with the blood and flesh of 1.4 billion Chinese people’. These comments were later edited to soften its aggressive tone in the CCP’s own English-language translation of the speech...   After 100 years, what does the CCP, with more than 91 million members, have to show for it? To its credit, the party has reinvented itself several times, including abandoning old Soviet models, embracing economic reforms and the ‘open-door policy’ that ushered in foreign investment and encouraged the development of the private sector. Still, its Marxist-Leninist foundation inculcated a totalitarian impulse that has never changed — and that today under Xi has only become more visible.  Deng Xiaoping introduced market reforms and China ascended to the WTO in 2001 after the West had spent decades trying to get the CCP to play by the rules of the international world order. The opposite happened — the CCP eroded the world order from inside. China could have taken advantage of Western gullibility for longer, coasting for a few more decades as it played the long and quiet game, enriching itself at the expense of the West while keeping its ambitions for global domination shrouded in secrecy. But the party’s increasing insecurity about its grip on power led China to turn inward and ultimately, with the rise of Xi Jinping who purged corruption in the politburo to preserve loyalists and removed presidential term limits, it fell back to a personality cult not seen since Mao. Steadily in the last few years and particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic, China has turned the world against it by proving itself to be an irresponsible world actor. For starters, after mismanaging the pandemic in its early days and shutting down domestic travel while broadcasting how banning international travel was racist, China continued to hamper independent investigations into the origins of the virus. It retaliated strongly against countries like Australia who demanded a full inquiry by slapping huge tariffs on Australian imports and then absurdly claiming that the virus came from frozen Australian meat. Aggressive vaccine diplomacy involving the questionable efficacy of Sinovac, military excursions in the South China Sea and Taiwan Straits and belligerent wolf-diplomacy all signal China’s deep insecurities and fragility. Few nations have so thoroughly indoctrinated sentiments of historical grievances into the public consciousness than the Chinese about the decline and turmoil brought upon by the Opium Wars beginning in the 1840s, in what has been dubbed the ‘century of humiliation’ at the hands of the West. With a party too suspicious of foreign entities and influence, too flushed in ethnocentric and national pride, too proud to reverse course and too paranoid to reciprocate on the global scene, the CCP is only hastening the demise of its global reputation."

How Chinese Communist Party under Xi Jinping has fallen; details on China's brutal moves to retain power - "Numerous testimonies and revelations by CCP officials and members have exposed the double standards of the party--the stark difference between principles and actions. In one of the recent testimonies, Cai Xia, a life-long member of the CCP and a frontline cadre of the party revealed how her once unshakable faith in the party ideology was eventually converted into creeping doubts... under the leadership of Jinping, the CCP government has fallen further into the regime's old habits and appears to be determined to use brutality and ruthlessness to hold on to that power. A personality cult has developed around Xi Jinping and China under him has further transformed into a repressive regime that has been the author of countless tragedies over the years.  Xia in her writings also highlights how when her faith in the party ideology was challenged. She began criticizing the party to her friends and colleagues, which ultimately brought her under the scrutiny of party officials until China, her home, no longer became safe for her.  She further revealed that through the course of her academic career, through her lectures, and interaction with Colleagues and party officials, she realized that the ideology that was being promoted by CCP was just Propaganda meant to keep the party in power and it has entirely become a hollow ideology. In her testimony, she reveals that she had begun to feel and disgusted with the ‘superficial methods of the party's publicity apparatus and that the multitude of ideas that were promoted by the CCP was merely serving tools that were meant to deceive the Chinese people’.  The Chinese Communist Party, since the time of Mao Zedong, has relied on three main pillars, or the three Ps, in order to maintain its iron grip on China. These are control of personnel, propaganda, and the People's Liberation  Army...  Chinese academia believes that Jinping ‘lacked basic knowledge’. Xi Jinping's reform plan delivered in 2013 also did not stir confidence as the plan purposefully avoided mentioning key issues on political reform... Chinese officials also made veiled threats against her daughter in China and her young son and that is when she realized that there was no going back to her country... Xia is not the only open critic of the CCP and Xi Jinping to be expelled from the party. Recently, the former chairman of a real estate company that was owned by China, Ren Zhigiang, was expelled from the CCP for publicly criticizing Jinping and his administration's poor handling of the COVID-19  pandemic.  Ren has been absent from public life after her article got published. As soon as Ren’s views came out in public, the CCP announced that Ren will be charged with corruption charges. He was well known for speaking up about excessive state censorship by the Chinese government and other sensitive issues. Cai Xia was born into a Communist military family and from a young age, she possessed an unshakable faith in the CCP and its ideology. But over the years, as her understanding and knowledge grew, she began to realize that the party and China desperately needed democratic reforms. She came to realise that CCP’s stubborn grip over power had stagnated the country and under the leadership of Xi Jinping, China has even intensified the pre-existing regression."

China’s Leader Attacks His Greatest Threat - The Atlantic - "Xi, now the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, has launched a broadside against private business in China. Along with tightening regulations governing firms—mandating that companies have Communist Party committees, which can have significant input in their direction, for example—he is also targeting entrepreneurs themselves, as a collective and as individuals. In September, he directly oversaw the imposition of an 18-year prison sentence, the longest for a political crime since the 1970s, on a real-estate executive who’d criticized him in a private email... he personally axed what would’ve been the world’s largest initial public offering, that of the financial firm Ant Group. Then, in November, a leading private businessman who ran an agricultural conglomerate, was arrested—ostensibly because of a dispute between his company and a state-owned farm, though a person close to him, who declined to be identified discussing the case, told me he was in jail because he’d spoken in favor of political reform. Finally, until a recent low-key appearance, Jack Ma, the founder of both Ant Group and the e-commerce giant Alibaba, hadn’t been seen in public for months after he criticized the party’s handling of financial reform... since Xi took the reins of power in China—first as party boss in 2012 and then as president in 2013—he has moved to reverse much of the country’s economic liberalization of recent decades. The number sequence 60/70/80/90 is used to delineate its contribution: As a rough rule of thumb, private firms churn out 60 percent of China’s GDP, generate 70 percent of its innovation, constitute 80 percent of urban employment, and create 90 percent of the country’s new jobs. Why is he messing with this golden goose? In a word, control. Despite his chatter to the Americans in 2007, Xi, like many others in the party, has long feared that the private sector could serve as a separate locus of power in China. The bourgeoisie contributed to the fall of Europe’s aristocratic class in the 18th and 19th centuries, and Xi worries that private business in China could play a similar role. He recently told entrepreneurs to model themselves on Zhang Jian, an early-20th-century businessman who made substantial amounts of money not by innovating, but by sucking up to China’s government. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the party wasn’t so paranoid about private business. On July 1, 2001, one of Xi’s predecessors, Jiang Zemin, made a historic speech that welcomed leading Chinese citizens, including entrepreneurs, into the party’s ranks. Even though Jiang wrapped his announcement in party-speak, the word salad didn’t mask the momentousness of the change. Communist China’s founder, Mao Zedong, had stolen private property from the country’s capitalist class and relegated its members to the bottom rung of society. Deng Xiaoping later returned some property and gave entrepreneurs a leg up by acknowledging that with economic reforms some people would “get rich first.” And here was Jiang inviting them to enter at least the margins of political power... The turn against entrepreneurs began under Xi’s predecessor, Hu. In the past, private businesses were small—a corner noodle shop or a guy with a local-delivery van. But by the early 2000s, they had begun competing with lumbering state-owned monopolies... Known by the nickname “Big Cannon,” Ren was famed for his bluntness. He’d spoken out against Xi’s views before, contradicting his missive in 2016 that China’s state-run media must be loyal to and serve the party. “Since when has the people’s government turned into the party’s government?” he asked soon after, in a post to his then–37 million Weibo followers. The party responded by placing Ren under investigation. Auditors pored over his accounts in an attempt to finger him for corruption, an old tactic, but found nothing to justify prosecution. Ren’s friends pleaded with him to stop commenting on politics. For a while, it worked: He got into woodworking and exhibited his art at a Beijing gallery in December 2019. The Global Times, a newspaper owned by the party’s Central Committee, even ran a short news item about the show.  Then the coronavirus took hold in Wuhan, China. Parts of the government covered up the news. In February, Xi gave a speech in which he claimed that the party’s handling of the pandemic demonstrated its Communist system’s superiority. Soon after, Ren wrote in a short essay that, watching the speech, he “saw not an emperor standing there exhibiting his ‘new clothes,’ but a clown stripped naked who insisted on continuing being emperor.” Ren emailed the piece to 11 friends, one of whom leaked it. Ren, his son, and an accountant who’d worked for him were arrested. In jail, according to five sources with knowledge of the executive’s case, Ren was told that unless he admitted to whatever crimes he was going to be accused of, his son would be sentenced to life in prison. Ren was subsequently charged with corruption, even though he’d already been cleared in the 2016 probe. He pleaded guilty. On September 22, a Chinese court sentenced him to 18 years in prison. Ren did not challenge the verdict. The party, however, has yet to keep its side of the bargain: Ren’s son remains in jail. Ma has not been charged with any crimes, but the handling of his case also reveals Xi’s handiwork. As Ant Group readied for its IPO, Ma made a speech criticizing Xi’s campaign to control financial risks, alleging that it was stifling innovation... Experts such as Dexter Roberts, the author of The Myth of Chinese Capitalism, believe that the economic consequences of Xi’s move to limit private business could be severe. He sees slower growth, weakened innovation, and less competition all contributing to economic stagnation. Already, the lurch back to reliance on state-owned firms has affected productivity: The amount of capital needed to generate one unit of economic growth has nearly doubled since Xi took power. This attack on entrepreneurs sets China back politically as well. Xi seems to have embraced Leninist logic essentially unchanged since the days of Mao: Only in times of crisis does the party loosen its grip, allowing more free enterprise and more freedom. It always does so reluctantly and then reverts to form."

Behind Xi Jinping’s Steely Façade, a Leadership Crisis Is Smoldering in China - "The party also appears to be facing internal challenges to its authority at the grassroots level, prompting repressive action against its own members. In early September, the Associated Press reported that 23 people had been detained in Inner Mongolia in relation to widespread protests that erupted in August over efforts to replace Mongolian-language textbooks with Chinese versions. Among those targeted were several CCP members, including teachers, who were suspended without pay or turned over for investigation because they refused to carry out the new policy. Prominent academics from top universities are among those speaking out, and in some cases facing punishment. Law professor Xu Zhangrun, whose eloquent essays criticizing Xi’s leadership have gone viral online, was detained for six days in July. His employer, the prestigious Tsinghua University, fired him upon his release. In September, a letter written by another well-known intellectual — Leng Jiefu, a retired dean of the Politics Department at Renmin University — began circulating widely online. Leng explained in a media interview that he had actually written the letter, addressed to Politburo Standing Committee member Wang Yang, in April and was uncertain why it only emerged now. The letter echoes many of the same points raised by the other prominent critics, voicing concerns about China’s mounting internal crises and international isolation, and recommending several steps to help extract the country from its predicament, including calls for Xi Jinping to retire honorably from all his positions in the party, state, and military and for China to adopt a federal model of government that grants greater autonomy to regions like Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong... On the day that Cai Xia’s expulsion was announced, managers at the Central Party School reportedly convened a meeting of 60 department heads and senior officials, urging them to meticulously ensure that current, former, and retired staff remain loyal to the party, while increasing scrutiny of foreign travel to curb future defections. In August, central leaders close to Xi announced an almost unprecedented “rectification” campaign aimed at the political-legal apparatus — covering judges, prosecutors, police, prisons, and other parts of the criminal justice system. The campaign will begin in full next year and run through 2022, but several “pilot programs” have already begun in select locales. As Chinese political expert Ling Li notes, the entire endeavor is highly unusual, even in the context of the rough-and-tumble reality of CCP politics. In a more mysterious case, China-born Australian citizen Cheng Lei, an anchor for the state-run China Global Television Network (CGTN), was abruptly detained in mid-August in Beijing. The charges against her and the impetus for her detention remain unclear, but CGTN has apparently scrubbed all mention of her from the station’s site and past posts to social media. Despite the bold and impressive image that Xi Jinping and the party-state’s media apparatus seek to display at home and abroad, these developments point to a deeply insecure regime that perceives a threat even from its own members... It is not entirely uncommon for waves of internal criticism or factional fighting to peek through the cracks of the CCP’s opaque armor, but the thoughtful nature of the recent critiques and the profile of those voicing them should give pause to anyone inside or outside China who is attempting to assess the country’s direction. The fact that professors from top academic institutions — including the party’s own national training center — are calling Xi’s leadership a failure, urging his removal from power, and explicitly envisioning a transition to a more democratic and federally structured political system is simply incredible. It indicates that Xi is facing a serious crisis of faith within the party, even if no one has the power to act on it at present. It also underscores the reality that Xi and his enforcers do not speak for all Chinese. There are many, many people who would like to see China change course."

Wednesday, December 07, 2022

Links - 7th December 2022 (2 - Euthanasia in Canada)

Regina resident applied for medically assisted death after consistent surgical delays - "Despite not having a terminal diagnosis, Jolene Van Alstine from Regina has considered medical assistance in dying (MAiD) due to the extreme pain she has suffered while waiting for surgical treatment... Van Alstine has been living with her diagnosis for six years. She has experienced abdominal pain, low blood pressure, frequent bone fractures, anxiety and depression. After waiting for a medical exam for a year, she has now been told it may be two additional years before she can see a specialist and be placed on a surgical wait list, let alone have her procedure."

Medically assisted deaths could save millions in health care spending: Report - "Doctor-assisted death could reduce annual health-care spending across the country by between $34.7 million and $136.8 million, according to a report published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal on Monday.  The savings exceedingly outweigh the estimated $1.5 to $14.8 million in direct costs associated with implementing medically assisted dying."
I'm sure this has nothing to do with why it's being promoted

Conrad Black: Canada's immoral solution to spiralling health-care costs — kill the patients - "The court pitched the previous Canadian concern about a “slippery slope,“ the gradual dilution of any notion of the sanctity of life into the facilitation of induced accelerated death: the retreat of palliative care into a notion of humanitarian homicide. In an extraordinary act of casuistry, the Supreme Court found the right to die was implicitly included in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ guarantee of the right to “life, liberty and security of person.” To round out this acrobatic reasoning, the court maintained that disallowing physician-assisted killing would be a deprivation of life because the individual in question might otherwise do away with himself earlier, and unassisted... The latest step in this sequence was Bill C-7, passed in March of this year, which removes the 10-day wait period for those whose death is reasonably foreseeable and allows those with a much broader range of ailments, who are not facing an immediate risk of death, to access the service."

Meme - Cam Dabby Drip Drop: "Finally seeing commercials with all white people again"
End Wokeness @EndWokeness: "Canadian retailer Simmons promotes assisted suicide in new ad campaign:"

Opinion | What Euthanasia Has Done to Canada - The New York Times - "according to a lengthy report by Maria Cheng of The Associated Press, the Canadian system shows exactly the corrosive features that critics of assisted suicide anticipated, from health care workers allegedly suggesting euthanasia to their patients to sick people seeking a quietus for reasons linked to financial stress. In these issues you can see the dark ways euthanasia interacts with other late-modern problems — the isolation imposed by family breakdown, the spread of chronic illness and depression, the pressure on aging, low-birthrate societies to cut their health care costs. But the evil isn’t just in these interactions; it’s there in the foundation. The idea that human rights encompass a right to self-destruction, the conceit that people in a state of terrible suffering and vulnerability are really “free” to make a choice that ends all choices, the idea that a healing profession should include death in its battery of treatments — these are inherently destructive ideas. Left unchecked, they will forge a cruel brave new world, a dehumanizing final chapter for the liberal story... in the Canadian experience you can see what America might look like with real right-wing power broken and a tamed conservatism offering minimal resistance to social liberalism. And the dystopian danger there seems not just more immediate than any right-authoritarian scenario, but also harder to resist — because its features are congruent with so many other trends, its path smoothed by so many powerful institutions."
Of course, the same people who claim the death penalty is bad because you may kill an innocent person love euthanasia. And even if you restrict euthanasia to what it was before the slippery slope started slipping, there is always a chance that terminal illness will recede (or be cured)

Nova Scotia Catholic hospital will offer assisted dying after policy change - "Catholic hospital in Nova Scotia must now offer patients access to medically assisted dying on site — a change advocates say should be noted by other provinces with faith-based hospitals.  St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish, N.S., which was formerly run by the Sisters of St. Martha, had been exempt from Canada’s medical assistance in dying legislation under a 1996 agreement signed with the Catholic order when the province took over control of the facility."

Delta hospice reopens after bitter fight over medically assisted death - "The hospice shut down Feb. 25 after the organization that previously operated the facility, the Delta Hospice Society, lost $1.5 million in annual public funding over a decision to stop offering medical assistance in dying (MAiD) services.  Fraser Health, which has authority over health-care services in the region, severed its operating agreement with the Delta Hospice Society and served it with a one-month eviction notice on the same date."
Just as elective abortion is considered "healthcare", so is euthanasia

Assisted dying: a warning from Canada - "Canada has fallen a long way down the slippery slope...   No doubt even the supporters of the assisted-dying proposals going through the UK parliament are horrified by the developments in Canada. I’m sure they will want assurances that we will not go down this path. But the Canadian experience shows why any such assurances are worthless, and why taking this first step is so dangerous.  Canadian lawmakers did give assurances that the MAID law would be narrow and have robust safeguards. But campaigns to extend the law began before the ink had dried on its first iteration. Assisted-suicide campaigners operating in the UK are similarly poised to challenge and extend assisted-suicide legislation through parliament and the courts as soon as it is passed."

Canada will soon offer doctor-assisted death to the mentally ill. Who should be eligible? - "Most mental disorders lack “prognostic predictability,” which makes determining when psychiatric suffering has become “irremediable,” essentially incurable, particularly challenging. Some say practically impossible... in March 2023, Canada will become one of the few nations in the world allowing medical aid in dying, or MAID, for people whose sole underlying condition is depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, schizophrenia, PTSD or any other mental affliction. In the Netherlands, MAID for irremediable psychiatric suffering has been regulated by law since 2002, and a new study by van Veen and colleagues underscores just how complicated it can be. How do you define “grievous and irremediable” in psychiatry? Is it possible to conclude, with any certainty or confidence, that a mental illness has no prospect of ever improving? What has been done, what has been tried, and is it enough?... In March 2021, Bill C-7 was passed that made changes to the eligibility criteria. Gone is the “reasonably foreseeable” criterion and, as of March 17, 2023, when a two-year sunset clause expires, MAID will be expanded to competent adults whose sole underlying condition is a mental illness... The expert panel has been instructed to recommend safeguards. For Dr. Sonu Gaind, a past president of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, the most fundamental safeguard has already been bypassed, because there is no scientific evidence, he says, that doctors can predict when a mental illness will be irremediable.  Everything else goes out the window.  Gaind isn’t a conscientious objector to MAID. He’s the physician chair of the MAID team at Humber River Hospital in Toronto, where he’s chief of psychiatry. He works with cancer patients. He’s seen the positive, the value that MAID can bring. But unlike cancer, or progressive, neurodegenerative diseases like ALS, “we don’t understand the fundamental underlying biology causing most major mental illnesses.”... Euthanasia for mental illness has, in fact, already occurred in Canada... While most people with anorexia nervosa recover, or eventually find some stability, “a minority of those with severe and enduring eating disorders recognize after years of trying that recovery remains elusive, and further treatment seems both futile and harmful,” Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani and colleagues write in a controversial paper that sparked an outcry among some colleagues for suggesting people with severe, enduring anorexia — “terminal” anorexia — have access to assisted dying."

Opinion: Canada’s proposed expansion of assisted-death threatens to push the mentally ill out the door - The Globe and Mail - "We are less than 50 years removed from the end of eugenics boards in this country, barely out of living memory of our institutions sterilizing those deemed “degenerate” and “feeble-minded” (as I would have been). During this shameful time, eliminating “polluted” stock (per W.L. Hutton, of the Eugenics Society of Canada) through sterilization was viewed as a logical means to end the “suffering” of hereditary disease.  This still informs how many Canadians view disability: not with the requisite humanity, but through the lens of suffering. And where the suffering doesn’t exist, Canada can provide by immiserating the day-to-day lives of disabled people with our embarrassing lack of accommodation in public spaces, the workplace, medicine and society at large... We laud our progressive approach to “dignity in death,” even while the United Nations stands alarmed at the potential for “subtle pressure” being applied through “lack of services or lack of community living options” in such legislation. We see Indigenous peoples in the grip of a suicide crisis but, according to Denesuline elder François Paulette, consultation with their communities was apparently too much to ask for."

Experts ask for delay in MAID for those with mental illness - "Canada is not ready to expand medical assistance in dying for people with a mental disorder, leaving psychiatrists across the country "incredibly concerned" about patients needing better access to care, including for addiction services, says a group representing the specialists across the country.  The Association of Chairs of Psychiatry in Canada, which includes heads of psychiatry departments at all 17 medical schools, issued a statement Thursday calling for a delay to the change set to be implemented in mid-March.   Lack of public education on suicide prevention as well as an agreed-upon definition of irremediability, or at what point someone will not be able to recover, are also important, unresolved issues...  Dr. Jitender Sareen, head of the psychiatry department at the University of Manitoba, said many controversial issues were discussed at the group's annual meeting in October regarding which patients with a mental disorder could be eligible for MAID, seven years after the practice was legalized in Canada for those with a physical ailment.  "If a person wants MAID solely for mental health conditions, we don't have the clear standards around definitions of who's eligible. How many assessments and what kinds of assessment would they actually need?"...   The panel relied on evidence from Belgium and the Netherlands, which it said have the most extensive set of safeguards, protocols and guidance overall."
Ironic, considering how out of control it is in Belgium

Canada's harrowing euthanasia experiment should be a warning to the world - "The representative of the medical regulator spoke in a straightforward, unemotional voice, as though his statements were self-evidently true. Sick children between the ages of 14 and 17, he told the parliamentary committee, should be allowed to choose to commit suicide with medical assistance.  Parents of babies who are born with severe disabilities should be allowed to kill them. Elderly people for whom “life no longer makes any sense” should also be able to end theirs. And so should the mentally ill, and so on and on. Members of the committee ask some follow-up questions, but no one pushes back.  Ever since it burst into the public consciousness almost a year ago, details of Canada’s assisted suicide scheme, known euphemistically as MAiD — medical assistance in dying — have shocked and astonished people around the world in equal measure. Harrowing tales of disabled poor people choosing to end their lives because they could not survive on paltry benefits have since proliferated, as have horror stories of doctors and bureaucrats trying to pressure patients into ending their lives.  Yet the parliamentary committee charged with reviewing the regime seemed to take for granted that access to euthanasia should be expanded to include even more people. The only remaining question will be by how much.   True, there had been warnings that once euthanasia became legal in Canada, its scope would widen rapidly beyond the initial target group of terminally ill people, as had happened in almost every country where it had been legalised. But the Canadian supreme court loftily dismissed these concerns as a “slippery slope” fallacy when it struck down the criminal prohibition on assisting suicide in 2015.  Then a Quebec court ruled that to limit euthanasia access to those whose deaths were “reasonably foreseeable” discriminated against those whose illness were not terminal — euthanasia was, after all, a human right according to the courts.   Fast-forward a few years, and the Canadian parliament is now calmly discussing whether disabled children could be euthanised by doctors. In other words, infanticide. Nor will euthanasia be limited to physical illness: from next year, mental illness will become a qualifying condition. Already, depressed teenagers on social media are speaking about applying to die once they turn 18.   It might be comforting to dismiss the Canadian experience as an aberration and Canada as an alien country inhabited by a barbarous people. But Canada is a country with a culture much like that of the UK, with an overextended healthcare system, a social care system that is perpetually near collapse, a strained exchequer, and an ageing population.  The perverse incentives which led to Canada’s predicament, in other words, are all present in the UK as well. As is the same heightened culture of human rights discourse, whereby any rights-based claim is given automatic deference, and which has made opposition to euthanasia so politically toxic in Canada. No politician, after all, wants to be seen as taking away rights from the people.   Indeed, the cultural centrality of the National Health Service may make the UK an even more fertile ground for abuse... one only needs to remember the Liverpool Care Pathway scandal, when elderly patients were denied basic medical care and even food and water without their consent, to see how catastrophic systemic failure may easily happen once again and shorten many lives.   The Scottish Parliament will shortly be debating a bill to legalise euthanasia. Its proponents will make the same usual arguments about choice and autonomy, trot out heart-rending cases, and talk about the ironclad safeguards within their proposed system."

Federal minister says she's 'shocked' by suggestion of assisted deaths for some babies - "Canada's minister of disability inclusion says she's offended by a Quebec doctor's suggestion that infants less than a year old should have access to medically assisted deaths if they are unlikely to survive and are dealing with severe health issues... Dr. Louis Roy, of Quebec's College of Physicians, said his group believes assisted death could be offered to babies up to one year old "with severe deformities and very serious syndromes for which the chances of survival are virtually nil, and which will cause so much pain that a decision must be made to not allow the child to suffer."... Qualtrough also said she hears frequently that some people with disabilities are seeking assisted deaths because they can't find adequate housing or sufficient care... Qualtrough said it should not be easier to access a medically assisted death than to get a wheelchair — but it is.  Before the law changed, the federal government was warned by many disability advocates of the risk of disabled people seeking assisted deaths because inadequate supports left them feeling they had no other options."

To Quebec doctors group, killing babies is just another 'form of care' - "The president of the Quebec College of Physicians wants to explore the prospect of euthanizing suffering babies and believes it’s nobody’s business but doctors’. To be fair, Dr. Mauril Gaudreault would let parents have a say as well, so he’s not being totally arrogant. Gaudreault’s rather obscene suggestion illustrates just how far down the slippery slope we have plunged when it comes to mercy killing, euthanasia, Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID), call it what you will...   “Medical assistance in dying is a form of care, a medical act that may be appropriate in certain circumstances,” he said, according to the parliamentary translator. “It is not a political or moral or religious issue. It is a medical issue.”...   Alicia and Christie Duncan told how their mother, Donna, a psychiatric nurse, suffered a concussion in a car accident in 2020. COVID caused delays in treatment and Donna Duncan suffered headaches, anxiety and depression.  Eventually, Donna Duncan went to her doctor of 20 years and asked to be approved for MAID. He declined but she managed to get another doctor and a nurse practitioner to approve her request.  Christie Duncan told the committee: “How did the opinion of someone who had cared for my mother for 20 years carry less weight than the opinion of two people who had just met her and simply ticked off boxes on a MAID assessment form?” Meanwhile, Kerri Joffe, of the ARCH Disability Law Centre in Toronto, told of a disabled person in their 30s, living in their own home and with a part-time job because of the support of family, friends and volunteers. But the death of a family member left the disabled person facing the prospect of going into a long-term care home with the loss of home, independence and community. The person had requested MAID...   When euthanasia was introduced in 2016, we were told there would be safeguards. There would be no slippery slope. Now we are euthanizing mothers who can’t access proper health care and the disabled who want to live but can’t get home support.  And now Quebec wants to explore the option of killing babies. What can go wrong?"
Once again, euthanasia is now considered "healthcare"
Pretending that bioethics are irrelevant and everything is a "medical issue" is one way to force things through

Veterans Affairs says worker ‘inappropriately’ discussed medically assisted death with veteran - "A Canadian Forces veteran seeking treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury was shocked when he was unexpectedly and casually offered medical assistance in dying by a Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) employee... a VAC service agent brought up medical assistance in dying, or MAID, unprompted in the conversation with the veteran... the combat veteran never raised the issue, nor was he looking for MAID and was deeply disturbed by the suggestion. Multiple sources and VAC have told Global News that the discussion took place...  the veteran was seeking services to recover from injuries suffered in the line of duty, and had been experiencing positive improvements in his mental and physical health. They say the unprompted offer of MAID disrupted his progress and has been harmful to the veteran’s progress and his family’s wellbeing... the agency apologized to the veteran but only after he lodged multiple complaints with VAC...       Sources who spoke to Global News are concerned this is not an isolated incident and that more veterans could be inappropriately offered assisted dying, putting their lives and mental health at risk. They added they are worried other veterans have already received similar offers"
Someone was claiming that physicians never propose assisted suicide in lieu of social support

Canadian veterans were offered assisted suicide in five instances - "As many as five Canadian Armed Forces veterans were offered medically assisted death by a now-suspended Veterans Affairs Canada caseworker, the minister responsible for the department has testified. The case has now been turned over to the RCMP for investigation, Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay told members of the House of Commons veterans affairs committee... “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it once again, what happened was totally unacceptable,” MacAulay told committee members.  “There is no way to justify it, and I will not try to do that today, or ever.”...   The first case made public over the summer occurred on July 21, where the caseworker repeatedly suggested MAID to an unnamed veteran who had called seeking help with PTSD and other injuries — telling him that Veterans Affairs had helped other veterans end their lives, and that it was a better alternative to “blowing your brains out.”... the veteran involved in the December 2021 case has since died  after medically assisted suicide."
Just wait a few years and not doing so will be considered bad

Denied 'assisted life,' chronically-ill Ontario man is offered death instead: lawsuit - "An Ontario hospital that wants to discharge a suicidal man with a crippling brain disease threatened to start charging him $1,800 a day, and suggested his other options included medically assisted death, according to a new lawsuit. It also claims Canada’s new assisted dying laws are unconstitutional and should be struck down because they do not require doctors “to even try to help relieve intolerable suffering” before offering to kill a terminally ill patient... Critics have long feared that, once assisted dying was legalized, its legal borders would creep ever wider to include children and the mentally ill, and that hastening death would become the knee-jerk solution to the many intractable problems of end of life care... After months in the hospital, he claims administrators threatened to force his discharge, while at the same time offering assisted death. “In other words, the defendants gave Mr. Foley a choice between suicide or medically assisted suicide, rather than simply working with him to relieve intolerable suffering in a respectful patient-centred manner,” the lawsuit reads."

Chronically ill man releases audio of hospital staff offering assisted death - "Tim Stainton, a professor at University of British Columbia’s School of Social Work, says the two audio recordings “present a deeply concerning picture.”  “It would seem to indicate that the hospital has determined, not Mr. Foley, that MAID (medical assistance in dying) would be a reasonable option,” he tells CTV News.  Stainton says the recordings highlight issues that are “of great concern among many in the disability community with regards to MAID,” including the fear that assisted death will become “a cheaper option to providing quality community supports.”  Berger says Foley’s case is “just a microcosm of the broader issue” of how patients with disabilities and high needs are treated.   “What we are suggesting is that there are too many individuals being assisted to their death and if you are going to put in place assisted dying, you have to ensure that you assist people to live,” he says.  Another ethicist, Tom Koch, says he found the recordings sad and shocking.  “The larger concern is when the issue of the care of the fragile becomes simply a matter of financial expediency,” he says. “When we are given the option for a rapid death rather than a complex life then we are all at risk.” “I have heard from other friends of mine elsewhere in palliative care that they are all facing this enormous pressure towards the rapid, cost-effective ending rather than the complex and perhaps more expensive but skilled homecare that we all deserve.”"

'Disturbing': Experts troubled by Canada’s euthanasia laws - "Alan Nichols had a history of depression and other medical issues, but none were life-threatening. When the 61-year-old Canadian was hospitalized in June 2019 over fears he might be suicidal, he asked his brother to “bust him out” as soon as possible.  Within a month, Nichols submitted a request to be euthanized and he was killed, despite concerns raised by his family and a nurse practitioner.  His application for euthanasia listed only one health condition as the reason for his request to die: hearing loss.  Nichols’ family reported the case to police and health authorities, arguing that he lacked the capacity to understand the process and was not suffering unbearably — among the requirements for euthanasia. They say he was not taking needed medication, wasn’t using the cochlear implant that helped him hear, and that hospital staffers improperly helped him request euthanasia... Euthanasia “cannot be a default for Canada’s failure to fulfill its human rights obligations,” said Marie-Claude Landry, the head of its Human Rights Commission...
— Unlike Belgium and the Netherlands, where euthanasia has been legal for two decades, Canada doesn’t have monthly commissions to review potentially troubling cases, although it does publish yearly reports of euthanasia trends.
— Canada is the only country that allows nurse practitioners, not just doctors, to end patients’ lives. Medical authorities in its two largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec, explicitly instruct doctors not to indicate on death certificates if people died from euthanasia.
— Belgian doctors are advised to avoid mentioning euthanasia to patients since it could be misinterpreted as medical advice. The Australian state of Victoria forbids doctors from raising euthanasia with patients. There are no such restrictions in Canada. The association of Canadian health professionals who provide euthanasia tells physicians and nurses to inform patients if they might qualify to be killed, as one of their possible “clinical care options.”
— Canadian patients are not required to have exhausted all treatment alternatives before seeking euthanasia, as is the case in Belgium and the Netherlands...
The hospital says Alan Nichols made a valid request for euthanasia and that, in line with patient privacy, it was not obligated to inform relatives or include them in treatment discussions... Trudo Lemmens, chair of health law and policy at the University of Toronto, said it was “astonishing” that authorities concluded Nichols’ death was justified.  “This case demonstrates that the rules are too loose and that even when people die who shouldn’t have died, there is almost no way to hold the doctors and hospitals responsible”... In one recording obtained by the AP, the hospital’s director of ethics told Foley that for him to remain in the hospital, it would cost “north of $1,500 a day.” Foley replied that mentioning fees felt like coercion and asked what plan there was for his long-term care... “It’s difficult to quantify it, because there is no easy way to track these cases, but I and other advocates are hearing regularly from disabled people every week who are considering (euthanasia),” she said.  Frazee cited the case of Candice Lewis, a 25-year-old woman who has cerebral palsy and spina bifida. Lewis’ mother, Sheila Elson, took her to an emergency room in Newfoundland five years ago. During her hospital stay, a doctor said Lewis was a candidate for euthanasia and that if her mother chose not to pursue it, that would be “selfish”"
Euthanasia is already officially "clinical care"

Canada advocates warn of worsening trends in euthanasia - "Theresia Degener, a professor of law and disability studies at the Protestant University for Applied Sciences in Germany, said that allowing euthanasia based exclusively on disability was a clear human rights violation.  “The implication of (Canada’s) law is that a life with disability is automatically less worth living and that in some cases, death is preferable”"

Is Choosing Medically Assisted Death Too Easy in Canada? - The New York Times - "Canada is among 12 countries and several American states where assisted death is permitted in certain circumstances. Since last year, it has been one of at least three — including Belgium and the Netherlands — that allow an assisted death if the person is suffering from a chronic painful condition, even if that condition is not terminal... critics are saying Canada is now going too far.  Among those critics are three United Nations disability and human rights experts, who said, in a letter to the Canadian government, that in legalizing assisted suicide for disabled people who are not terminally ill, the law, as written, has devalued their lives by suggesting “that significant disability can be worse than death.” “You can have a good death, you can have your family there with you,” said Ms. Romaire.  Some say that with the law’s expansions, Canada is turning assisted suicide into an almost routine medical option, instead of treating it as an extraordinary measure taken in limited situations. “Canada has the least safeguards of all of countries that allow it,” said Trudo Lemmens, the chairman in health law and policy in the faculty of law at the University of Toronto, referring to the assisted suicide legislation generally, “and it has the most open-ended system.”  “It’s a state-funded, state-organized, medical system providing end of life,” he continued. “What I find particularly troublesome is that there is no other jurisdiction that treats the ending of life by a physician as a standard medical practice.”... Many characterized the amended law as a dangerous assault on people with disabilities and have raised the possibility that people facing economic or housing challenges may now simply give up and opt to die.  Others worried that including mental disorders will undermine suicide prevention efforts, or that death was being inappropriately raised as an alternative to treatment or more support... Canada’s move toward assisted suicide was driven by the courts. The original 2016 law was a response to a 2015 decision by the Supreme Court of Canada that federal criminal law prohibiting assisted death violated the country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The amended law was a response to a 2019 ruling by a Quebec court that parts of the system were unconstitutional by being too restrictive."
The "myth" of the slippery slope strikes again

Expanding MAID program leading to crisis in supply of willing doctors - "Some doctors, burned out from the stresses of the pandemic, are dropping the “add on” work of MAID, other “early adopters” are retiring or moving on to other areas of practice and more doctors still may opt out of MAID over the increased “legal risk and moral hazards” related to ever-widening eligibility, they said.  Many MAID providers are already curtailing their practices and limiting MAID to those for whom the law was originally intended, those suffering intolerably at the end of life.  The number of MAID deaths has grown from just over 1,000 in 2016, when assisted dying in Canada was formally legalized, to 31,644 in total by the end of 2021. More than 10,000 people died by MAID in 2021 alone... MAID is no longer restricted to people whose natural death is reasonably foreseeable. And, as of next March, people whose sole underlying condition is a mental disorder will also be eligible for euthanasia. A joint parliamentary committee is studying whether MAID criteria should be further expanded still, to include mature minors and advance requests. Many MAID providers already struggled with last year’s adoption of Bill C-7, which allows MAID not only for people whose death is reasonably foreseeable (so-called Track 1 patients) but for anyone with a “grievous and irremediable” condition, even when natural death isn’t imminent. (Track 2). Track 2 requests often involve chronic pain conditions... MAID providers have their own moral and ethical compasses, he said. “I don’t think anyone wants to deny someone’s suffering.” But for some, “Track 2 is a bridge too far,” Naik said. The expansion wasn’t what they signed up for."
Time to sue these heartless doctors who refuse to provide "basic healthcare"

Canada's already liberal euthanasia laws will soon expand, permitting 'mature' children under 18, mentally ill to qualify - "Tim Stainton, director of the Canadian Institute for Inclusion and Citizenship at the University of British Columbia said that Canada's euthanasia law is "probably the biggest existential threat to disabled people since the Nazis’ program in Germany in the 1930s." Now, the country's euthanasia laws will expand so that "mature" minors under the age of 18 and those with exclusively mental conditions can qualify, according to the AP. Mary Vought, founder of Vought Strategies is particularly troubled by the latter group since government lockdowns over the past two years may have instigated or exacerbated experiences of mental illness, and that "an explosion of new deaths from euthanasia" may soon result... Because the safeguards in place may not have protected some patients, Trudo Lemmens, chair of health law and policy at the University of Toronto, argued that "the rules are too loose and that even when people die who shouldn’t have died, there is almost no way to hold the doctors and hospitals responsible.""

Jews and the 109 Countries they have supposedly been expelled from (Part 5)

(Part 1)

(Part 2)

(Part 3)

(Part 4)

78. 1654 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Little Russia (Beylorus)
This was in the context of a war between Russia and Poland, as they were associated with the Polish nobility. Atrocities, Massacres, and War Crimes: An Encyclopedia, edited by Alexander Mikaberidze, the Cossacks also attacked Poles and Catholics - in particular Roman Catholic clergy.

79. 1656 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Lithuania
I can't find anything on this alleged expulsion. The Jewish population of Vilnius did decrease after its occupation by Muscovite forces, but then the whole city's population fell.

80. 1669 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Oran (North Africa)
This is listed as North Africa, but Oran was under the Spanish, who had already expelled them. But in any event, Jonathan Israel finds that it "had relatively little to do with the traditional role of the Jews in the Spanish North African strongholds or the long-standing friction between Spanish Christianity and the Jews" but rather " the Shabbatian frenzy in the Sephardi world of 1665-66, the temporarily heightened tension between the three great faiths of the Mediterranean following the resumption of the Ottoman offensive against Venetian Crete in 1667, and the precarious grip on power in Spain of the Austrian Jesuit, Father Nithard, who was then inquisitor-general and chief minister".

81. 1669 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Vienna
Animosity against the Jews was due to a non-Jewish woman being found drowned and the crown prince dying at 3 months, as well as the Queen's anti-Semitism. The city was also under pressure from the Ottomans. This was only a partial expulsion, of poorer Jews, with the rest expelled the following year. But they were allowed back in in 1675.

82. 1670 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Vienna
Coming just 1 year after the previous entry and being attributed to the same city, this is the most blatant example of double-counting in this list.

83. 1712 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Sandomir
This town is also known as Sandomierz. This was instigated by the blood libel, where a Christian woman threw the dead body of her illegitimate child into the yard of a Jew. Nonetheless, though they were ordered to leave, they probably did not and in 1764 there were already/still Jews there.

84. 1727 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Russia
According to The Jewish Minority In The Soviet Union by Thomas E Sawyer, this was linked to backlash to the Judaizing heresy and fears of Jewish influence.

85. 1738 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Wurtemburg
This was linked to the execution of Joseph Süss Oppenheimer, who was executed for political reasons, and they were expelled in 1739 but soon allowed to return.

86. 1740 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Little Russia (Beylorus)
I can't find any information on this, and it does not seem to have happened.

87. 1744 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Prague, Bohemia
This was a 1745 expulsion due to anti-Semitism on the part of Maria Theresa, who called them a "plague". There were also rumours that they had sided with the Prussians, and there was pressure from Prague's burghers. A contemporary, Nathaniel William Wraxall, said that she "nourishes many narrow and illiberal prejudices" and "firmly believed every heretic excluded from the divine mercy"; she also deported Protestants. The expulsion was cancelled and 4 years later they could return. Indeed, in the 1760s she started protecting Jews.

88. 1744 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Slovakia
This is double counting, as Slovakia was ruled by Maria Theresa at the time.

89. 1744 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Livonia
I am unable to find any information about this. Livonia was under the Russians at the time.

90. 1745 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Moravia
This is double counting, as Moravia was ruled by Maria Theresa at the time.

91. 1753 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Kovad (Lithuania)
I was unable to find any trace of this expulsion. The Jews seemed to live happily in Lithuania at this time. Kovad doesn't even appear to be a real place in Lithuania.

92. 1761 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Bordeaux
The Jews were supposed to be expelled in 1760, but this was just a reaffirmation of the 1394 expulsion. And this was never carried out.

93. 1772 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Deported to the Pale of Settlement (Poland/Russia)
This was not a deportation, but an area Jews were allowed to live in. And in practice there were many exceptions for Jews living outside the Pale.

94. 1775 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Warsaw
There was persecution in 1775, but no expulsion. There was supposed to be an expulsion in 1784 but that didn't happen.

95. 1789 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Alsace
There was no expulsion. In fact, they were given more rights (emancipated) in 1791.

96. 1804 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Villages in Russia
According to Pinkus's The Jews of the Soviet Union : the history of a national minority, the Minister of Justice Derzhavin saw them as greedy "parasites" and said they hated Christianity, and exploited others, but his views were balanced by liberals. While Jews were expelled from some villages, this was only part of Russia, and they could live in the Pale of Settlement (which was extended). Notably, Tsar Alexander I also issued a “Jewish Statute”, affirming Jewish rights, so it was not just persecution. The expulsion was started in 1807 but was suspended. In 1824 there was expulsion from a 50 verst wide strip (53km) on the Western frontier.

97. 1808 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Villages & Countrysides (Russia)
This is double counting.

98. 1815 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Lübeck & Bremen
According to The Cambridge History of Judaism, they were expelled from these places in 1816. I can't find any information on the reasons for Lübeck's expulsion and I can find even less about Bremen's expulsion. Yet, there seems to have been de facto Jewish presence in Bremen through this period.

99. 1815 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Franconia, Swabia & Bavaria
I am unable to find any information on any of these expulsions. Certain nothing seems to have happened in Bavaria around this time.

100. 1820 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Bremen
I can't find anything on this. And anyway, it would be double counting.

101. 1843 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Russian Border Austria & Prussia
This is double counting (I only found one source on this, but anyway see 1827 above).

102. 1862 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Areas in the U.S. under General Grant's Jurisdiction[1]
This was during the American civil war in response to military corruption. It was also countermanded by Abraham Lincoln less than a month later.

103. 1866 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Galatz, Romania
According to Carol Iancu's  texts Jews in Romania, 1866-1919 : from exclusion to emancipation, there was some persecution and local expulsions in Romania. They were seen as foreigners and vagrants. Minister Ion Bratianu called them "a social plague". This was partly motivated by religious discrimination, economic resentment and xenophobia (the Jews were seen as foreign and didn't assimilate)

104. 1880s - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Russia
This might be referring to the 1886 expulsion in Kiev, but anyway this is double counting.

105. 1891 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Moscow
This is double counting. And anyway it was at least partly due to anti-Semitism: Tsar Alexander III approved of the persecution with the words "But we must never forget that the Jews have crucified our Master and have shed his precious blood".

106. 1919 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Bavaria (foreign born Jews)
I can't find anything on this at all. There was a short-lived Bavarian Soviet Republic around this time, but I can't find any expulsions.

107. 1938-45 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  Nazi Controlled Areas
This is the famous one everyone knows about. And we know it was motivated by anti-Semitism, economic resentment and political factors around World War II.

108. 1948 -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Arab Countries
This was due to political factors (war with Israel) and anti-Semitism. But this was not pure expulsion - many also moved to Israel (or other countries) due to pull factors.

Note that even the original list doesn't have 109 "countries" - only 108.

So after reviewing all of these examples, we can see that they mostly fall into the following categories:

- "Expulsions" that don't seem to have happened and which are included to inflate the count (31)
- Announced but not implemented/partly implemented expulsions (10)
- Double counting (or more) of the same "country" (including a slippage of terminology of city and country) (20)
- motivation by Christian anti-Semitism and/or conspiracy theories (including dodgy accusations) (18)
- religious motivation in the sense that in many cases, conversion to Christianity saved them from expulsion; the fact that conversion to Christianity was an option in many expulsions suggests that animus against the Jewish religion - rather than the Jews being inherently bad people (as the accusations go) was a key motivator (4 where conversion was an option)
- motivation by the desire to seize the Jews' wealth (7)
- "Eat the rich" sentiment (3)
- political reasons like wars (7)

These cover 100 of the 108 examples.

In addition, many of the expulsions were short lived. And the fact that Islamic areas are almost unrepresented in this long list suggests that Jewish expulsion was more due to cultural context than Jewish iniquity (as the accusations go).

In short, Jews have not been expelled from 109 countries, and their being expelled from some locations is not proof of Jewish iniquity.

Links - 7th December 2022 (1 - James Bond)

Thought 007 could never be a woman or black? Well, she's both! James Bond will hand the number over - "Since Daniel Craig announced he was standing down as James Bond, debate has raged whether the next 007 should be a woman, or black.  Now The Mail on Sunday can reveal that she will be both – thanks to the intervention of feminist TV writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge.  In what's been called a 'popcorn-dropping moment', British star Lashana Lynch, will be given Bond's licence to kill in the 25th movie in the franchise... the phrase 'Bond girls' is now forbidden, saying: 'We were all told that from now on they are to be addressed as 'Bond women'.'...  'Lashana is absolutely brilliant and Phoebe's script is as sharp and funny as you would expect. This Bond pays tribute to some of the earlier films with a lot of humour.'"

James Bond was ‘basically’ a rapist in early films, says No Time to Die director
No Time to Die Director Says Bond Needs Strong Female Characters
No Time To Die Director Cary Fukunaga Hit With #MeToo Accusation For Allegedly Firing Actress Raeden Greer After She Refused To Do Nude Scene
Male feminists strike again!

James Bond was a rapist, says new 007 director - "Dr Funnell told The Telegraph: “Affirmative consent is strikingly absent in the Connery-era James Bond films as well as their source novels. The confusion of director Cary Fukunaga might stem from the fact that sexual violence is prominently featured in both Goldfinger and Thunderball.”  In Goldfinger’s Pussy Galore scene, Dr Funnell said the film “sends the message that with enough pressure, a woman, and in this case a lesbian (as noted in the source novel and suggested in the film) will change her mind and give in to the desires of a man.  “While the early James Bond films and their source novels were products of their time, the ideas conveyed through them about sexual violence were never OK.”   However, she added: “The assumption that the James Bond films have progressed (simply because time has passed) is incorrect”, pointing to Skyfall, in which Daniel Craig’s Bond seduces a woman who has been forced into sex work and remains a captive."
Now they're pushing affirmative consent into Bond. Most women don't find that sexy, but screw them - only feminist voices matter

The next James Bond should be a woman, says Sir Keir Starmer - "The remark sparked a backlash in some quarters, with Tory MPs seizing on the fact the Labour leader was calling for Bond to be played by a woman before the Labour party had been led by one... Halle Berry, who played the Bond girl Jinx in Die Another Day, argued against changing the sex of the role on the basis that the film franchise, deriving from Ian Fleming’s novels, was “steeped in history”.  In a bid to end chatter about the part being reimagined in future, last year the franchise’s producer Barbara Broccoli said: “James Bond can be of any colour, but he is male.”  She told Variety: “I’m not particularly interested in taking a male character and having a woman play it. I think women are far more interesting than that.”"

Nolte: 'No Time to Die' Director Smears Sean Connery's Bond as Rapist - "Well, of course, it wouldn’t fly today, you goddamn simpleton. But the only reason it wouldn’t fly today is because we now live in a world where everything is rape. Look at a woman wrong; it’s rape. Some woman later regrets her life choices; it’s rape. Micro-aggressions are rape. Everything is rape except when Joe Biden is credibly accused of rape.   The scene this goddamn simpleton is talking about is in Thunderball, where Connery’s Bond is recovering at some sort of rest spa and seduces a luscious therapist into a tryst.  It’s not rape. It’s nothing close to rape. It’s doesn’t even graze rape. What it is is a complicated, adult, nuanced, and sexy seduction. And it is also a seduction that’s making a much larger social point.   Bond and the therapist obviously want one another, and the only reason she’s all “No, no, no” is because having sex with the customers is just not done. So this scene is not about James Bond forcing a woman to have sex with him. It’s about what much of the sixties was about, and that’s overcoming your sexual inhibitions.  Bond isn’t raping this woman. He’s not forcing himself on her. He’s sexually liberating her... And let’s not forget the payoff to this Thunderball subplot. Later in the movie, after Bond has liberated this woman from her sexual hang-ups and inhibitions, we see that Bond is servicing her. He’s giving her a massage with the mink glove. Right there at work, she’s allowing one of the customers to give her a massage.  The message here is ridiculously clear. She’s happier now, less uptight, more of a free spirit, and yes, liberated."

Can any actor play James Bond? - "Brian Cox, star of Succession, has become the latest actor to express concerns over today’s casting process. He claims that so-called authentic casting, in which roles go to actors with the same lived experiences as the characters, ignores ‘the craft of acting’. Scarlett Johansson made a similar argument to Cox in 2019. She said that, ‘as an actor, I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job’. This sounds like a rational criticism of the woke politics of casting today. Acting, by definition, is pretending to be what you are not... The ‘Bond movie’ is a realist genre – James Bond is a character with a small, irreducible (and unpleasant) set of fixed qualities that have to be represented realistically. Unfortunately, these qualities, from a belief in the superiority of the British Empire to a patriarchal condescension to women, are now either irrelevant or taboo. The Daniel Craig era of James Bond solved this problem as well as it could by minimising these qualities. Craig’s Bond was a wounded beast, a bull in a china shop – Craig literally embodied and put on screen the absurd physical characteristics of a bull, with a massive chest, squat legs, bristly hair and a thousand-yard stare.  It is an interesting thought experiment to imagine who could play James Bond if a Bond movie were not tied to the conventions of realism... Of course, any production team should be free to cast anyone it wants for a particular role. The woke casting diktats of representation should be rejected – they are an attack on artistic freedom.  The big loser in the culture wars is culture itself. Those demanding realism and authenticity close down artistic possibilities. Ultimately, they restrict our capacity to express and communicate to one another the richness and contradictions of the world."

Leave James Bond Alone - "Whether 007 is pretentiously critiquing an “indifferently blended” cognac (to M’s obvious irritation), sneaking caviar into a health resort, or carping about the proper temperature of champagne, James Bond is a white Brit who is not only a snob but also one who intends to move up a social ladder that was designed and put in place sometime around the writing of the Magna Carta... Fans of casting a Black actor (or a woman) in the role talk about Bond changing with the times and how the series should experiment artistically with the character. These and other arguments boil down to gutting the character, keeping the name—James Bond® or 007™—and homogenizing the series into spy generica.  This series already exists. It’s called Jason Bourne, and it’s terrible. With the possible exception of the first film, the Bourne series eviscerated Robert Ludlum’s books, cast Matt Damon as a superspy (sure, whatever), and then replaced plot and character with jiggly camera work and car chases. Why do this to Bond? The movies are an enjoyable action franchise with a flawed antihero. They have nothing to teach us, and there is nothing in them that requires updating for relevance or modernity.  But perhaps even more to the point, why would we want to make a Black actor the target of taunting lines such as “James Bond, Her Majesty’s loyal terrier, defender of the so-called faith”? This would seem weird directed at Idris Elba. Would M slapping down Bond’s appraisal of the cognac come across as merely annoyed - or racist? Would a Black Bond laugh it up as he celebrates escaping a killer in India by shoveling money out of a cab while he yells “rupees!” and urchins clog the streets to scoop up the cash? (Watch the scene, I dare you.)... We already saw the effort to soften up and humanize Bond—while leaving aside some of Fleming’s bad stuff—in the Craig movies, which were the worst of all worlds: a moody, lovesick, sensitive Bond in need of a good therapist. Which makes perfect sense in a series where his worst enemy—Blofeld—was not a brilliant psychopath (as he was in the books) but an angry little boy who’s mad that his daddy liked James better.  No, really. I am not making that up. That’s Blofeld’s beef with 007. This, in the words of writer Parul Sehgal, is the trauma plot, a thoroughly modern literary device that filmmakers “can’t resist” but that “flattens, distorts, reduces character to symptom, and, in turn, instructs and insists upon its moral authority.” This reveal in Spectre was inane and made a laughable hash of both the Bond and Blofeld characters... why change famous characters just to engage in stunt casting? The urge to change Bond says something about the homogenizing and fragile nature of our culture now. If we’re not big boys and girls who can enjoy a flawed, ruthless hero saving the world, then maybe the Bond series has come to a natural end and we should all stick to Disney princess movies."

Paul Verhoeven Says Films Are Sexless Today, Slams Bond Movies - "“Sex is the essence of existence,” the filmmaker, whose 2021 “Benedetta” is now releasing in the U.K., told The Times. “Without it, there are no species anymore. So why is that a big secret? There is a new purity.”... Hollywood has shifted to big-budget, high-concept blockbusters that are about “crashing and blowing up. Sometimes these movies are fun, but the narrative tells you nothing about us now,” Verhoeven said. “I don’t see any other thought in Marvel or Bond movies.”  And the lack of sensuality in modern Bond films is another cause for concern: “There was always sex in Bond!” Verhoeven concluded. “They did not show a breast, or whatever. But they had some sex.”"

Nolte: Woke James Bond Nosedives at Box Office - "It’s bad enough Craig’s Bond series took all the fun and sex and escapism out of the franchise. What makes Bond unique is that he’s a super-spy who knows he won’t live long and therefore lives his life to the fullest as a devil-may-care libertine. But Craig’s Bond is a moody brooder. And then, on top killjoying the very quality that makes James Bond James Bond, No Time to Die went woke. The director trashed Sean Connery’s Bond as a rapist (which only proved he knows nothing about his own franchise), the producers bragged about how No Time to Die would introduce a black woman as 007, and Q turned gay... Let me explain why you cannot blame the pandemic for this massive fail of this opening weekend. Just a couple of weeks ago, Venom 2 opened to $90 million on fewer screens (4,225). A few weeks before that, something called Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opened to $75.3 million on fewer screens (4330).  The suck-ups are also attempting to blame No Time to Die’s insane run time (2 hours and 43 minutes), which is just pure hogwash. First off, these same experts knew the run time when they predicted an opening somewhere between $60 and $80 million. Secondly, long runtimes only hurt the box office when fewer screenings force theaters to turn people away for lack of seats. Well, when you have a $56 million opening in 4,400 theaters, there are plenty of open seats.   The bottom line is this…  Woke is a violation of human nature, which makes it a lie, and no one wants to spend $12 to be lied to."

Daniel Craig has given us ‘woke’ James Bond, says Charlie Higson - "Craig, who moonlights as a producer on No Time to Die, has been vocal about his work to ensure the inclusion of strong women in the Bond franchise, and even revealed that he chose to wear his now famous blue swimming trunks in 2006’s Casino Royale as an antidote to bikini-clad “Bond Girls”... Higson highlighted the level of change since Ian Fleming devised the character of Bond in 1953. “Would the original Bond survive in our modern world, or would cancel culture succeed where Spectre has failed so often and finish him off for good,” he writes in the Radio Times... But he maintained that the writer also “kicked against the old-fashioned, 1950s view that women should be simpering housewives, put on a pedestal and wooed. Many in his books were athletic and independent just like the heroines in the new film.”"

Liam Neeson says Natasha Richardson told him not to play James Bond - "Darling, if you're offered James Bond, and you're going to play it, you're not going to marry me"

Daniel Craig doesn't believe a woman should ever play James Bond

Do we really need Bond films that say something? - "There was a time when Bond’s job was simply to entertain, solidly, like an air horn of male fantasy, exotic locations and dual-purpose nail clippers, blasted in the face for 90 solid minutes and then, with one last outrageous innuendo, off. These days, the films seem to want to say something, about stuff."

How James Bond became the prisoner of woke - "IT’S JAMES RUDDY BOND – we don’t go to see his films so we can fret about him falling over at a skating rink!...   There was no turning back from taking a walk on the mild side, with even the great, tough Roger Ebert praising Dalton’s successor, Pierce Brosnan, as ‘sensitive… vulnerable’. Brosnan was in turn succeeded by Daniel Craig, a fine actor with an expression of permanent distaste which one is never sure stems from having to go around killing people or not having yet given us his Lear. Women were no longer totty, and a dressing down from Judi Dench was never far away... Over the years, Bond has mutated from an ice-cold killing machine to ‘a wounded animal’, according to the director of the new one; now even 007 wants a medal in the Victim Olympics."

'No Time to Die' to Lose Millions in Theatrical Run

The next James Bond will be more in touch with his feelings, producers say - "The next James Bond films will have bigger roles for women and a more sensitive 007, according to the producers, who said “Bond is evolving just as men are evolving”.  Barbara Broccoli said that the next actor to take the role will continue the work of Daniel Craig, who “cracked Bond open emotionally”...   Craig’s last film, No Time To Die, humanised Bond by making him a devoted family man. It also featured meatier roles for female characters, including Lashana Lynch as a fellow secret agent... Broccoli is director of the UK chapter of Time’s Up, which describes itself as “an independent, intersectional organisation focused on rooting out sexual harassment at its source: the power imbalance that leaves women unequal in every industry”. She and Michael G Wilson, her fellow producer and half-sibling, said it was “early days” in the search for the next actor to play Bond."
They didn't lose enough money

A Curmudgeon's Guide To The New James Bond - "This film revolves around Bond eventually ‘dying’ after being emotionally exposed as a very real and flawed human (yawn). All extremely typical and ridiculous ‘contemporary university screenwriting 101’ pseudo-intellectual tropes, tropes that are not only tired and trite but anathema to the entire point of a character like James Bond. Why do they bother holding the rights to him when they obviously despise this specific genre, spy pulp? Is it just in order to insult and frustrate the fans?...   The reason this new incarnation of Bond does not work, fundamentally, is that they have rejected the heroic (at times quasi-comical) exaggerated invincible polymath format for just another flawed modern guy. The pulp heroes of Bond’s true era like Flash Gordon, The Shadow, and later Indiana Jones and Buckaroo Banzai, have one fundamental rule: take no shit from anyone. Not women, not bosses, not supernatural evil, nobody. It is for this reason that the introduction of ‘the PC Bond’, played first by Pierce Brosnan, was the instant death of the character"

Meme - "007
1997: *riding motorcycle with woman in lap*
2021: *riding pillion behind woman on scooter*"

If this mega Chinese blockbuster is propaganda, what are Bond and Captain Marvel? - "Bond has been beaten. Not by Blofeld, or Goldfinger, or Rami Malek’s megalomaniacal Lyutsifer Safin, but by The Battle at Lake Changjin. The Chinese blockbuster, a war epic set during the Korean War, has bested not only No Time to Die in the global box office rankings, but everything Hollywood’s had to offer in 2021 so far."
Because James Bond is commissioned by the propaganda department of the UK government and made with support from the government (tax credits given to all "British" films are not discretionary), and always makes the British government look good like when 006 and Raoul Silva were traitors, and American films always make their government/military look good

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