"I love your "Malaysian Accent", can you say it again?"
"几够力一下有没有"

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Friday, December 31, 2021

Links - 31st December 2021 (2)

Facebook
Collection of Channel 8 drama screenshots on taking your medicine

Left-wing candidate who threatened to blow up school bus endorsed by bus-riders union - "Ubax Gardheere, the embattled progressive county council candidate, who threatened to blow up a school bus filled with children, has been endorsed by a radical activist transit union whose logo is ironically, a bus. The Transit Riders Union (TRU) is well known in Seattle for being activist foot soldiers for radical causes and Marxist candidates like Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant... Democrat State Senator Rebecca Saldana said in her endorsement of Gardheere, "I will follow Ubax anywhere." Former radical Seattle City Council Member and activist Mike O'Brien called Gardheere "An amazing leader." Ghardeere's campaign has been boosted on social media by Riall Johnson and Prism Washington, both of which have a history of representing and promoting activist socialist candidates such as socialist Seattle City Council Member Tammy Morales, who advocated for riots during last summer's unrest. Morales, even after the original story regarding Ghardeer went viral, still endorsed the candidate, as did another local progressive Varisha Khan of the Redmond City Council. Gardheere received additional prominent left-wing support even after the story came to light recently from the local SEIU and The Urbanist, a local activist outlet... In a recent interview with the South Seattle Emerald, Gardheere revised her own history and claimed that when she threatened school children with a bomb on a bus she was being criminalized for mental health issues... This conflicts not only with the court documents and police reports of the incident, but also with her own statements years earlier to The Seattle Weekly... Gardheere posted a video from an event that was held in Seattle which she appears to have attended, lamenting the failure of the attempted genocide of Jews in the Middle East. In her position at the City of Seattle, Ghardeere recently co-wrote a letter which referred to ultra-progressive Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan as a "dictator" and again referenced her "mental health."... Additionally, Ghardeere said she is an advocate for the radical Green New Deal and that rather than terrorism or a pandemic, "Climate change and growing inequality are among the greatest threats to our nation and County.""

Meme - "Translation: "I started a friendship with August" = I started to cheat on you with August behind your back.
"I got into entanglement" = I cheated on you every single day and didn't even care that you knew.
"The only person who can give a permission is myself" = I don't really respect you as my husband and I'm so selfish that I can cheat on you anytime I want and not feel a little bad about it.
"I was going through the process of healing" = I know I probably should feel bad about cheating on my husband who I have been with for over two decades and who is the father of my children, but I really don't, so I'm just gonna talk nonsense here and because I'm a woman, everyone will be on my side anyway."
On Jada Pinkett

Video shows woman duct-taped to seat after trying to open airplane door on American Airlines flight

Meme - "Companies shouldn't get mad at me for "pirating" content, would just never watch it otherwise. this way i might at east talk about it, thereby giving it Exposure"

Meme - "Wine and cheese pair well together because they are both the expired byproducts of other foods. Enjoy your trash snack, everyone!"

Meme - "Liberals: "McCarthyism was so bad and oppressive in the 1950's hundreds of Americans were falsely accused of being Commies and their entire lives were ruined based on little to no evidence."
Also Liberals: "FASCIST! NAZI! HE'S A NAZI FOR NOT SHARING MY BELIEFS, DOX HIM FOR BEING A FUCKING NAZI FACIST"

Uncle Bumpy Knuckles on Twitter - "Family members and peers are often best positioned to witness signs of mobilization to violence. Help prevent homegrown violent extremism. Visit https://go.usa.gov/x6mjf to learn how to spot suspicious behaviors and report them to the #FBI. #NatSec"
"Hello, FBI. I'd like to report Portland. You're welcome"
Weird. We're told that under Communism family members were encouraged to report on each other, and that this was bad
Of course someone claimed everyone in Portland was an FBI agent

Dear Girls, We Love You For Your Brains, Not Your Bodies.Sincerely Zombies

Meme - "Why Calling a Person of Means a "B******AIRE" is Toxic Class Reductionism."
Meme - "CAPITALISM IS INTERSECTIONAL. The free market inclusively allows for the open expression and commodification of ALL identities. People of Means should be celebrated for the inherently wide-ranging diversity of those their income has been made in collaboration with."
Apparently it's third party satire, but this is a good jibe at leftists

Meme - Teen Vogue: "Fidel Castro has died at age 90"
Teen Vogue: "Accused war criminal and torture defender dead at 88" *Donald Rumsfeld*

Meme - Man with trans-Muslim flag, mask, "Black lives matter", "CNN", Google logo, Hammer and Sickle, Female symbol with fit, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook & Tumblr logos and more: "they brainwashed you"
Man with MAGA hat, Crucifix, American flag: "really?""

Meme - ""normalize--" NO. normalize nothing. everything you do is weird now. you're free"

Sheriffs hold celebration for Elsie Eiler, the lone resident of Monowi, NE - "In Nebraska, there is a small town called Monowi. It's the smallest incorporated town in the entire United States.  But Monowi wasn't always so small. It used to have a population of two, consisting of Elsie Eiler and her husband Rudy.  When Rudy died in 2004 Elsie became the town's sole resident.  The town has two attractions, a library which was run by Elsie's late husband Rudy, and a bar that's still operated by Elsie.  Elsie is the cook. She's also the town's mayor, granting herself a liquor license."

Tom Gara on Twitter - "Randomly on this subject, my (Egyptian) wife had never heard of Stonehenge when I mentioned it recently, so I showed her photos of it, assuming she’d recognize the look but not the name etc, and she was just like, this is pathetic, your ancestors were small and weak"

Many Middle-Class Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck - The Atlantic - "either a sizable minority or a slim majority of Americans are on thin ice financially. How thin? A 2014 Bankrate survey, echoing the Fed’s data, found that only 38 percent of Americans would cover a $1,000 emergency-room visit or $500 car repair with money they’d saved. Two reports published last year by the Pew Charitable Trusts found, respectively, that 55 percent of households didn’t have enough liquid savings to replace a month’s worth of lost income, and that of the 56 percent of people who said they’d worried about their finances in the previous year, 71 percent were concerned about having enough money to cover everyday expenses. A similar study conducted by Annamaria Lusardi of George Washington University, Peter Tufano of Oxford, and Daniel Schneider, then of Princeton, asked individuals whether they could “come up with” $2,000 within 30 days for an unanticipated expense. They found that slightly more than one-quarter could not, and another 19 percent could do so only if they pawned possessions or took out payday loans. The conclusion: Nearly half of American adults are “financially fragile” and “living very close to the financial edge.” Yet another analysis, this one led by Jacob Hacker of Yale, measured the number of households that had lost a quarter or more of their “available income” in a given year—income minus medical expenses and interest on debt—and found that in each year from 2001 to 2012, at least one in five had suffered such a loss and couldn’t compensate by digging into savings. You could think of this as a liquidity problem: Maybe people just don’t have enough ready cash in their checking or savings accounts to meet an unexpected expense. In that case, you might reckon you’d find greater stability by looking at net worth—the sum of people’s assets, including their retirement accounts and their home equity. That is precisely what Edward Wolff, an economist at New York University and the author of a forthcoming book on the history of wealth in America, did. Here’s what he found: There isn’t much net worth to draw on. Median net worth has declined steeply in the past generation—down 85.3 percent from 1983 to 2013 for the bottom income quintile, down 63.5 percent for the second-lowest quintile, and down 25.8 percent for the third, or middle, quintile. According to research funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, the inflation-adjusted net worth of the typical household, one at the median point of wealth distribution, was $87,992 in 2003. By 2013, it had declined to $54,500, a 38 percent drop. And though the bursting of the housing bubble in 2008 certainly contributed to the drop, the decline for the lower quintiles began long before the recession—as early as the mid-1980s, Wolff says... Financial impotence is an equal-opportunity malady, striking across every demographic divide. The Bankrate survey reported that nearly half of college graduates would not cover that car repair or emergency-room visit through savings, and the study by Lusardi, Tufano, and Schneider found that nearly one-quarter of households making $100,000 to $150,000 a year claim not to be able to raise $2,000 in a month... If you ask economists to explain this state of affairs, they are likely to finger credit-card debt as a main culprit. Long before the Great Recession, many say, Americans got themselves into credit trouble... Part of the reason credit began to surge in the ’80s and ’90s is that it was available in a way it had never been available to previous generations. William R. Emmons, an assistant vice president and economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, traces the surge to a 1978 Supreme Court decision, Marquette National Bank of Minneapolis v. First of Omaha Service Corp. The Court ruled that state usury laws, which put limits on credit-card interest, did not apply to nationally chartered banks doing business in those states. That effectively let big national banks issue credit cards everywhere at whatever interest rates they wanted to charge, and it gave the banks a huge incentive to target vulnerable consumers just the way, Emmons believes, vulnerable homeowners were targeted by subprime-mortgage lenders years later. By the mid-’80s, credit debt in America was already soaring. What followed was the so-called Great Moderation, a generation-long period during which recessions were rare and mild, and the risks of carrying all that debt seemed low. Both developments affected savings. With the rise of credit, in particular, many Americans didn’t feel as much need to save. And put simply, when debt goes up, savings go down... Not that Americans—or at least those born after World War II—had ever been especially thrifty. The personal savings rate peaked at 13.3 percent in 1971 before falling to 2.6 percent in 2005. As of last year, the figure stood at 5.1 percent, and according to McClary, nearly 30 percent of American adults don’t save any of their income for retirement. When you combine high debt with low savings, what you get is a large swath of the population that can’t afford a financial emergency. So who is at fault? Some economists say that although banks may have been pushing credit, people nonetheless chose to run up debt; to save too little; to leave no cushion for emergencies, much less retirement... It is ironic that as financial products have become increasingly sophisticated, theoretically giving individuals more options to smooth out the bumps in their lives, something like the opposite seems to have happened, at least for many. Indeed, Annamaria Lusardi and her colleagues found that, in general, the more sophisticated a country’s credit and financial markets, the worse the problem of financial insecurity for its citizens. Why? Lusardi argues that as the financial world has grown more complex, our knowledge of finances has not kept pace. Basically, a good many Americans are “financially illiterate,” and this illiteracy correlates highly with financial distress... Real hourly wages—that is, wage rates adjusted for inflation—peaked in 1972; since then, the average hourly wage has essentially been flat. (These figures do not include the value of benefits, which has increased.)"
I was told that billionaires were not well-positioned for success by their own rich families but their talent and hard work, and that the fact that the average startup needs $30k in investment was nothing and anyone could do it, because the US was not Haiti and $30,000 wasn't a lot of money, and that in the US everybody has a family member or friend who can lend them money, or one can just take a business loan. The same person also acknowledged most businesses fail. So apparently if you don't want to risk going bankrupt you don't deserve a shot at becoming a billionaire. I then got accused of being a Marxist/Communist

2019 National Teacher of the Year apologizes for tweet he has since called ‘bad joke’ - "The 2019 National Teacher of the Year, Richmond’s own Rodney Robinson, is apologizing after sending a tweet calling for the attack of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  The tweet has since been deleted, but read, quote “who are Mitch McConnell’s neighbors? I’m just saying Rand Paul’s neighbor did what a true Kentucky hero should do. iI’s your turn to step up.”  The attack on Rand Paul left the senator with serious injuries three years ago.  In an apology posted this morning on Medium, Robinson said he was unaware the attack was that serious and said he was “100-percent wrong” for posting what he called a “bad joke.”"
Imagine if the "joke" had been targeted at the left

Neoliberal on Twitter - ""What will be your job after the revolution" is one of my favorite tweet genres"
Meme - "whats your job on the leftist commune?? im gonna be leading discussion on theory some days, making clothes from scraps other days, and making lattes whenever needed."
"I'm reading tarot, birth charts and transits, while providing trauma- informed supportive counseling groups and teach-ins on topics for the next generations and those sharing our information outside the community"
"I'd be the neighborhood herbalist who teaches anarchist theory with an intersectional lens and shares their love of breath work and the healing/ transformative power of movement/ dance."

When Evidence Says No, but Doctors Say Yes - The Atlantic - "doctors perceive disease-screening tests and found that they tend to underestimate the potential harms of screening and overestimate the potential benefits; an editorial in American Family Physician, co-written by one of the journal’s editors, noted that a “striking feature” of recent research is how much of it contradicts traditional medical opinion...  A 2007 Journal of the American Medical Association paper co-authored by John Ioannidis—a Stanford University medical researcher and statistician who rose to prominence exposing poor-quality medical science—found that it took 10 years for large swaths of the medical community to stop referencing popular practices after their efficacy was unequivocally vanquished by science.  According to Vinay Prasad, an oncologist and one of the authors of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings paper, medicine is quick to adopt practices based on shaky evidence but slow to drop them once they’ve been blown up by solid proof."
"Experts" can believe false things - or disbelieve the greater experts (expert experts, if you like)

Women's urinal six times quicker to use, creators says - "Amber Probyn and Hazel McShane designed the hands-free Peequal because they were fed up with long queues for the ladies toilets at festivals.  "No funnels are involved and it's semi-private, you can't see anything from the waist down""

Half of U.S. hospitality workers won’t return to those jobs, survey says - "  More than half of U.S. hospitality workers wouldn’t go back to their old jobs and over a third aren’t even considering reentering the industry, according to a survey that underscores hiring challenges for restaurants, bars and hotels.  No pay increase or incentive would make these workers return to their previous workplace, according to a poll of about 13,000 job seekers during the second quarter from Joblist, an employment-search engine. These former hospitality employees cited wanting higher pay, a less physically demanding workplace and better benefits, the survey finds."

Ben & Jerry's to stop sales in Israeli settlements in occupied territories
Naturally, they are still available in China and Hong Kong

After 21 Yrs: Ben & Jerry’s Graphic Designer Quits Over Israel Boycott - "Ben & Jerry’s long-time graphic designer, Susannah Levin, quit her job last week after 21 years of working for the company in the wake of its boycott on Israel.  “Effective immediately, I have quit my job of 21 years at Ben & Jerry’s, over the statement on Israel”"

Vivian Bercovici: Ben & Jerry's support for anti-Semitic BDS campaign isn't about social justice - "When Unilever acquired Ben & Jerry’s in 2000 the deal also included a franchisee who produced Ben & Jerry’s products in Israel under license. By all accounts, he did very well, until several days ago, when Unilever issued a weird statement advising that Ben & Jerry’s would no longer be sold in the “Occupied Territories” of Israel.  Unilever’s statement carried on to confirm that it will still allow its products to be sold within the 1967 borders of Israel. This position, apparently, was not cleared with the independent board of the actual ice cream company, chaired by Anuradha Mittal, a prominent California-based activist. In a recent interview with NBC news, Mittal indicated that the whole kerfuffle was about board independence, not Israel. However, NBC reported that the board had wanted to send a different statement that did not mention Ben & Jerry’s continued presence in Israel, suggesting the board may want to pull out of the country altogether, a move which Unilever does not support. It’s no secret that during and after the the war in May, in which Hamas barraged Israeli civilian areas with thousands of rockets over a two week period, BDS activists turned up the heat. Ben & Jerry’s was attacked relentlessly, causing them to de-activate their social media accounts. For Mittal to suggest that this dustup has nothing to do with Israel, or  BDS, is disingenuous, at best...   I am neither a big fan of the Jewish settlement enterprise nor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. However, I do have a thing for logic, consistency and honesty. And I have significant problems with anti semites who tart up their hatred in the language of social justice to demonize Israel and Jews. I’m certain that the C-suite at Unilever HQ now realizes that they’ve stepped on a hornet’s nest. They’re surely poring over maps and have retained the best communications and strategic risk advice available. Perhaps they’ve even added a middle east expert or two to the team.  What is clear is that they have a royal mess on their hands. For a start, if even one of the  35 American states that have pledged to ban commercial activity of any enterprise that supports BDS actually does so, that will be a big wallop. Ben & Jerry’s does not want to be banned anywhere, especially in the U.S.   I’ll bet that more than a few of the 35 will announce in coming days that they are “assessing” the issue.  That will be the signal for Unilever to get their act together, sort out their social justice warriors in Ben & Jerry’s, and negotiate a smooth license transfer directly with the owner of the Israeli franchise. This would be an elegant solution to the zeal of BDSers, obsessed as they are with demonizing and isolating Israel. The movement targets no other state in the world. No other country merits the constant diplomatic and commercial harassment...   Ben & Jerry’s has not advocated a boycott of any other country, or part thereof, in the world. Ever.  But we’re suppose to believe this is about principle and social justice. And not Israel. My stars."

Opinion: Ben & Jerry’s serves up a scoop of hypocrisy - The Globe and Mail - "  The antisemitism summit was followed the next day by another devoted to tackling Islamophobia. Why, you might ask, in a country that prides itself on tolerance, couldn’t the Trudeau government just hold a single event to discuss strategies to combat racism and hate? Well, because that would have defeated the political purpose of holding separate summits.  The antisemitism and Islamophobia summits targeted separate political constituencies. Some of the same people and groups leading campaigns against Islamophobia are accused by supporters of Israel of disseminating antisemitism. For politicians, this can be a tricky minefield to navigate... Hypocrisy abounds as politicians court progressive voters for whom there exists a hierarchy of hate that deems racism against BIPOC minorities to be a greater evil than antisemitism, to the point of harbouring antisemites within their own ranks... pandering to progressive groups that demonize Israel as a serial oppressor of disenfranchised minorities feeds into the very stereotypes that Wednesday’s summit on antisemitism sought to debunk."

Ben & Jerry's gives Unilever an ice cream headache

Parents of children called Alexa challenge Amazon - "Parents of children called Alexa say their daughters are being bullied because it is the same name that Amazon uses for its virtual assistant.  Some have even changed their child's name because they say the barrage of Alexa jokes is "relentless".  They are calling on Amazon to change the default wake word for its devices to a non-human name... Since Amazon's Alexa devices were introduced in the UK in 2016, the popularity of the name has dramatically fallen. Then it was the 167th most popular baby name in England and Wales, but by 2019 it was 920th... One adult called Siri, resident in the UK, has previously told the BBC that she received quite a lot of jokes from people about her name, including one from an Apple helpdesk employee."

Immigrant children twice as likely to graduate than white peers – but they still struggle for a job - "Children of immigrants from deprived backgrounds are up to twice as likely to have a degree compared to their white peers, but this doesn’t translate into greater employment prospects, research has found.  Second-generation ethnic minorities are “substantially” more likely to achieve higher education qualifications, compared to the white majority, according to a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS).  Over 50 per cent of Indians and 35 per cent of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis have degree-level or equivalent qualifications, compared to 26 per cent of the white majority... Pakistani women – across all education levels – have a three percentage point lower chance of being employed compared to their white counterparts, while Caribbean women have a two percentage point lower chance.
One wonders why, according to liberal logic, schools don't discriminate but employers do
This can have nothing to do with Pakistani culture where women stay at home

KTV or Condo - "Can you tell Singapore's KTVs from our Condos just by the name? Put your skills to the test in this quiz!"
I got 60%

Reddit Ridiculousness - Posts | Facebook - "The entire #colby2012 story"
"I think my teenage son may have sodomized our dog. I'm not sure what to do. Help me Reddit"
"I am the father and redditor whose son sodomized our dog with a hairbrush 2 months ago. He's done it again and don't know what to do, please help"

Adopt quotas for female MPs or face extinction - John Hewson, 2018

John Hewson on Twitter - "Sad Nine terminated my regular SMH/Age column this week. Neither Morrison Govt nor MSM actually believe in free press(noun) not controlled or restricted by govt or their sycophantic mates censorship in political or ideological matters" - John Hewson, 2021
Lisa Davies on Twitter - "Thank you for your contributions to debate over a number of years John, our readers have valued your insights. However we are committed to refreshing and diversifying our rotation of columnists, especially in line with our pledge for 50/50 gender balance."

Meme - "DANGER: NOT ONLY WILL THIS KILL YOU IT WILL HURT THE WHOLE TIME YOU'RE DYING
My Electrcian Son's Boss Put This Warning Label Up After the Code Inspector Said His Warning Labels Were Not Clear Enough"

‘My daughter’s killers are like my children’ - "“They drive me absolutely mad,” Linda Biehl roars with frustrated laughter.  We’re in a comfortable hotel room in central Cape Town and Biehl is talking about Ntobeko Peni and Easy Nofemela – two of the four men who, in August 1993, stabbed and stoned her daughter, Amy, to death... Amy Biehl was 26 when she was murdered in Gugulethu less than a year before South Africa’s first democratic elections.  She was living in Cape Town as a Fulbright scholar, studying the role of women and gender rights during South Africa’s transition... After a long conversation, I still find it hard to understand her decision to befriend her daughter’s killers.  “We had a choice. We didn’t have to come and learn about this place. But we knew Amy. We know what legacy she wanted to leave: one of peace, restorative justice and harmony. She would not have been happy if we had become bitter, ugly, unhappy people. That would have been a huge disappointment to her.”"
Her parents must be feminists too

PNW Selina 🇺🇸 on Twitter - "Imagine a Senate majority that believes in science."
"Imagine a Senate majority that treats science like some sort of mystical belief system that cannot be questioned"
Some people still say scientism is a myth and that faith in science is not like religious faith

QUEEN VIVIAN on Twitter - "Men if DNA confirms the baby is not yours, it doesn't change the fact that You must take responsibility of the baby... Women go through alot in Marriages and women deserve better."

Image of pilot hanging out window captures heroic story 30 years on - "Flight 5390 is one of the most storied and remarkable near-misses in British Airway's history. Most remarkable perhaps is how all those onboard the flight in June 1990, lived to tell the tale: It was 27 minutes into the flight from Birmingham to Malaga, Spain, somewhere over the English Midlands two of the cockpit windows smashed, depressurising the cabin.
Captain Tim Lancaster who was at the controls was instantly sucked out of the cockpit. In interviews with the cabin crew, they described the chaos that followed. Exposed to the rushing wind and pressure difference at 7000m altitude the cockpit door was ripped off its hinges.  Remarkably one quick thinking flight attendant, Nigel Ogden, was able to grab his captain's ankles, before he disappeared out the window... Without his quick reactions the pilot likely would have been lost out the window and, a greater danger still, they avoided the grim risk of the captain being caught by the engines – causing the entire plane to be lost."

If you lose one sense, your other senses are enhanced and this is why people with no sense of humor, have a heightened sense of self-importance. : oneliners

Tempa on TwitterHow US Activists Are Trying to Halt the Killing of Kangaroos in Australia - The New York Times - "These critics, he said, just don’t understand how life actually works here in the middle of Australia. Kangaroos have been hunted on the continent for thousands of years, “and there are still more of them than people”... He insisted that Australia’s commercial kangaroo industry isn’t like a John Wayne western with guns blazing. It’s a regulated business that works with the government. Hunters must pass a sharpshooting course to ensure a humane kill, and kangaroo numbers are closely monitored by state and federal officials, who set quotas to ensure sustainable populations.  Most important, said Mr. White, 58, a third-generation full-time shooter who goes by “Whitey,” kangaroos produce healthy meat, strong leather and the jobs that keep small towns whole... In 1971, California banned the import of kangaroo parts. Three years later, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did the same for three commercially shot kangaroo species — all based on concerns about declining kangaroo populations, concerns that many Australians did not share.  George Wilson, a professor at the Australian National University who has spent 50 years in wildlife management, recalled telling a worried American biologist who visited in the mid-70s that there was a reason so many trucks in Australia had metal bars on the front.  “It’s in case they hit a kangaroo,” he said. “That’s how abundant they are.”... Seeing the animals starving and hit by cars — or worse, seeing farmers massacre them to preserve feed for cows and sheep, a culling that happens outside the formal kangaroo industry, and often illegally — has made most of Surat believe that commercial shooters are helping kangaroos by minimizing the suffering of the outback’s boom-and-bust cycles... while distance can deliver perspective, it can also overlook facts and oversimplify complicated truths.  The fires that sparked calls for regulation last year, for example, were concentrated in New South Wales, hundreds of miles from where Mr. White hunts. In his state, Queensland, survey data earlier this year put the kangaroo population for the three species that are harvested at 16.7 million — a far cry from endangered... kangaroos from Surat were mostly used for meat. The animals are increasingly seen as a more ethical alternative to beef and lamb because kangaroos do not contribute to climate change by belching out methane, and because they are harvested in their habitat. The industry’s critics, Mr. Mickelbourgh said, “don’t understand our country.”"
When life is too good, you invent bullshit to bitch about

The Sperm Count Culture War

The Sperm Count Culture War

"Hotly debated issues such as climate change, biotechnology/genetic engineering (GMOs), carcinogens in our food and the environment, 5G wireless communications, vaccines, stem cell research, abortion, and nuclear power show that conformity with a powerful political or religious position can impede a nuanced discussion of complex, highly technical questions. Although no longer wielded principally by a powerful religious body or the state, present-day forms of ideological influence are more subtle, varied, and pervasive in contemporary societies, and, therefore, more difficult to hold up for critical evaluation...

A group of feminist academics from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology waded into the longstanding controversy over declining sperm counts and what, if anything, this phenomenon portends for the future of humanity. Evidence of declining male fertility first emerged in studies dating to the 1970s. The decline was found to be particularly acute in the most industrialized West, North America and Europe. This finding touched off a debate that has raged in recent decades over its causes and consequences.

Declining sperm count is more than just a medical issue; falling male sperm concentrations could have profound societal impacts by reducing fertility rates. If the observed trends are accurate, addressing the causes is critical. But determining those causes requires a level of scientific dispassion that is disappearing from some social-science-focused research centers, as ideology has crept into science...

The latest entry in the sperm count debate comes from a Harvard-MIT research team led by philosophy professors Marion Boulicault and Sarah Richardson. They recently published a paper in the journal Human Fertility entitled “The Future of Sperm Variability for Understanding Global Sperm Count Trends.” They also published an article in Slate summarizing their findings for a lay audience. While the scientific paper is dense and difficult to navigate, the Slate article gets straight to the point with its title: “The Doomsday Sperm Theory Embraced by the Far Right.” Its subheading elaborates: “The idea that male fertility is on the decline is an old myth dressed up as science.”...

The authors all but ignore the science to focus on what they believe is more important—the ideological framing of the issue in socio-cultural discourse. Their article is a response to what is widely considered to be the most definitive research on science of sperm count decline, a 2017 meta-analysis of worldwide sperm count trends by Hagai Levine, Shanna Swan, and colleagues. The study, which reviewed more than 50 years of research, documented evidence of declining sperm counts in different countries.

The authors analyzed 244 estimates between 1973 and 2011 grouped into “Western” countries (US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand) and “Other/non-Western” countries (including Asia, Africa, and South America). They found that total sperm count had declined by more than 52 percent among Western men between 1973 and 2011, whereas no significant decline was seen in “Other” countries...

Before deconstructing their argument, it’s helpful to understand the political and ideological prism through which the Harvard-MIT team views this issue in particular, and science in general. Neither Boulicault nor Richardson is a scientist. Both are philosophers, who openly proclaim their fealty to feminist scholarship—the focus of the GenderSci Lab, a cooperative started by Richardson in 2018.

GSL focuses its scholarship on “the intersectional study of gender in the biomedical and allied sciences” and “specializes in analyzing bias and hype in the sciences of sex, gender, and reproduction and in the intersectional study of race, gender, and science.”...

Boulicault et al. propose an alternative hypothesis, not for its intrinsic scientific merit, but because they recoil at the effects on the public discourse unleashed by the scientific findings in the Levine review of a half-century of data. In opposition to what they see as the implicitly racist and Eurocentric view of what they say is Levine’s “sperm count decline hypothesis,” they offer their alternative perspective, which they call the “sperm count biovariability hypothesis.”

To the extent that they frame their own hypothesis as an alternative to Levine’s, they are making a mistake because their central claim that low sperm counts have no implications for reduced fertility is simply wrong. Their second mistake is to restrict their attention to the offending Levine meta-analysis, which itself addresses just one narrow question. By doing so, they fail to consider a number of crucial phenomena.

Compared to other animals, humans have poor fertility. That is, the chances of a male impregnating a female are much lower...

It is incorrect that a low sperm count has no implications for fertility. Above a certain level—40 million/ml—there is no further improvement in fertility. However, when it comes to the lower range, there is a big difference between having a sperm count above 20 million/ml and having one below this level. In the former case, the chances of fathering a pregnancy are 65 percent—in the latter case 36 percent. As Richard Sharpe, a reproductive expert in the UK’s Medical Research Council Human Reproductive Science Unit in Edinburgh, Scotland, has concluded, “[H]aving a low sperm count makes you less fertile, although it does not exclude the possibility that you will impregnate your partner over a span of time.”

In addition, Boulicault et al. barely mention that low sperm count is associated with reduced sperm quality. Nor do they mention that only a minority of human sperm (five to 15 percent) are morphologically normal even in fertile men, in contrast to the situation in animals, where 90 percent or more of sperm are normal. This difference between human male fertility and that of other animals has profound implications.

They also fail to note that reduced sperm count is associated with higher mortality: the lower your sperm count, the greater your chances of dying. Sperm count is associated with other reproductive pathologies in males, including testicular dysgenesis syndrome, cryptorchidism, hypospadias, and testicular germ cell cancer. There is solid evidence that rates of testicular germ cell cancer have been increasing in recent decades, and it is a disease predominantly of young men in the prime of their life. And they fail to contextualize the issue. In advanced industrial countries, as in Europe, where fertility is declining and fecundity is below the replacement level, and where women tend to have children at an older age, the fertility of couples is further reduced when the male has the added burden of a low sperm count.

Although most evident in European countries and Japan, a trend toward an aging population, smaller family size, and a shrinking work force is discernible wherever prosperity is increasing. These trends will have profound effects on society’s economic base and the allocation of resources. The Chinese government’s recent decision to allow families to have three children—a further unwinding of its “one-child policy”—is a response to these trends. For people who are concerned about the impact of biology on society, it is curious that the authors ignore this salient phenomenon.

Boulicault et al. rightly question the hype about “endocrine-disrupting chemicals” as a favored hypothesis to explain declining sperm counts, but they neglect to mention recent, high-quality work that suggests exposures early in life may affect reproductive health. Specifically, in utero exposure of the fetus to pharmaceutical products taken by the mother deserves careful study. In addition, a study examining cases of cryptorchidism requiring surgical correction in France over a 13-year period revealed 24 hotspots, suggesting that fetal exposure to industrial pollutants, including metals, coupled with socioeconomic deprivation could be contributing to this condition.

Although Boulicault et al. charge Levine with being a prisoner of “culturally-determined categories,” they are so caught up in their own ideological narrative that they feel no obligation to check it against the empirical data. The result is dismaying. A telling error is their strenuous objection to the grouping of populations into “Western” and “other/non-Western,” which they seem to think is evidence of some kind of Eurocentric intellectual imperialist bias. But this decision was simply motivated by the relative dearth of studies from other parts of the world.

Their programmatic approach is further illustrated by a hyper-focus on the societal impact of the “falling sperm counts narrative” and the anxieties it has provoked, particularly among men’s rights activist groups on the political Right, who are responding to what they see as a crisis of masculinity. The problem is that the authors start from a set of sociological and political concerns regarding women’s roles, healthcare, colonialism, and racism, while not bothering to delve into the science regarding human fertility. Rather than being interested in learning and integrating the best information relating to the question, they frame it as a culture war issue.

Expertise does matter. None of the seven authors on the paper has published on male reproductive pathology. And while they indicate that they received input from andrologists, none is named. These consultations clearly did nothing to correct the inadequate picture the authors paint of male fertility, and many of the papers they cite reach conclusions at odds with their claims. This raises a serious question about how the paper could have passed peer review.

I was struck by the authors’ failure to cite work by Richard Sharpe, who has probed this topic for over four decades and has written about the urgent need to remedy our extensive ignorance about normal male reproductive development in order to understand where it can go wrong. When I wrote to Professor Sharpe asking his opinion of the Boulicault article, he wrote back, “In my opinion you are right to be sceptical about the Boulicault et al. hypothesis—it shows what happens when you let folk who are not reproductive experts loose on reproductive data!”...

None of the news stories, however, so much as remarked on the inflammatory rhetoric of the Boulicault paper, which will appear to the fair-minded reader as an activist manifesto masquerading as a scientific hypothesis...

It is difficult to explain the deference paid to the Harvard paper by various commentators. Perhaps we are in a time in which even trained scientists are reluctant to call out an uninformed but ideologically fashionable treatment of a high-profile issue. Or perhaps when the rhetoric and packaging are artful enough, the lack of substance isn’t even noticed...

As Professor Sharpe remarked to me, “It continues to amaze me how gender/PC issues have begun to distort our views on society—I presume it’s the age-old pendulum effect. A neglected area which once dragged into the spotlight then begins to veer towards the ridiculous, of which we have all too many examples at present … Whatever happened to common sense and a balanced perspective?”...

As a recent article in the Economist asked apropos of another gender theory dispute, “How did an ideology that brooks no dissent become so entrenched in institutions supposedly dedicated to fostering independent thinking?”"

Links - 31st December 2021 (1 - Covid-19)

Facebook - "So, a 90% effective Covid vaccine has been developed. One week too late for his administration. Operation Warp Speed was a risky deal - to fund the production of vaccines before they are even proven effective, accepting the risk of millions of wasted doses being thrown away.  Yes, yes, I'm probably being dumb. No one wants to risk association with a loser these days, getting called a whole bunch of names in the process ranging from racist to sexist just for the crime of holding on to one's ethics. But here on my page, I give credit where it is due, and before it is written out by the media and winners of history. [Additional note: For avoidance of doubt, Pfizer was not funded by Operation Warp Speed in the development of their vaccine. However, Pfizer did have the assurance of having their vaccine pre-ordered. I am of the opinion that such confirmed orders have the effect of mitigating Pfizer's risk.]"
Facebook - "Moderna has a vaccine too, and this time, it has unquestionably taken R&D funds from Operation Warp Speed. But fear not, for history has already been rewritten in the last two days.
*Wikipedia screenshots on Operation Warp Speed, with edits to no longer mention Trump*"

China finds coronavirus on packaging of Brazilian beef - "The Chinese city of Wuhan said on Friday (Nov 13) it had detected the novel coronavirus on the packaging of a batch of Brazilian beef, as it ramped up testing of frozen foods this week as part of a nationwide campaign."
We already know that fomite transmission is insignificant, so you have to be a China shill to believe this
"China punishes Brazil for halting Chinese vaccine trials. This is the same shit with Australia - making up charges to suspend exports from Australia."

Jabs do not reduce risk of passing Covid within household, study suggests - "People who are fully vaccinated against Covid yet catch the virus are just as infectious to others in their household as infected unvaccinated people, research suggests."
Vaxholes will still pretend that the unvaccinated are super dangerous and harming others, since they equate unvaccinated to infected and vaccinated to uninfected

Community transmission and viral load kinetics of the SARS-CoV-2 delta (B.1.617.2) variant in vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in the UK: a prospective, longitudinal, cohort study - "Vaccination reduces the risk of delta variant infection and accelerates viral clearance. Nonetheless, fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral load similar to unvaccinated cases and can efficiently transmit infection in household settings, including to fully vaccinated contacts."
The paper referred to above. Vaxholes will then pivot to claiming that since the vaccinated are less likely to be infected, vaccines still reduce transmission - while at the same time claiming that the fact that most covid cases are in the vaccinated doesn't mean anything, since the vaccines were never intended to reduce infection, only serious disease

Ontario doctor critical of COVID-19 response ordered to halt practice - "An Ontario doctor and outspoken critic of the pandemic response who was previously banned from offering COVID-19 vaccine and mask exemptions has now been suspended... The CPSO has directed that physicians have a professional responsibility to not communicate “anti-vaccine, anti-masking, anti-distancing and anti-lockdown statements and/or (promote) unsupported, unproven treatments for COVID-19.”  Kilian, of Owen Sound, has been vocal in her criticism of COVID-19 vaccines, and how the medical community and governments have responded to the pandemic."
Of course, this doesn't mean there's a "consensus" because medical and scientific professionals are afraid of losing their jobs

New Thinking on Covid Lockdowns: They’re Overly Blunt and Costly - WSJ - "Prior to Covid-19, lockdowns weren’t part of the standard epidemic tool kit, which was primarily designed with flu in mind.  During the 1918-1919 flu pandemic, some American cities closed schools, churches and theaters, banned large gatherings and funerals and restricted store hours. But none imposed stay-at-home orders or closed all nonessential businesses. No such measures were imposed during the 1957 flu pandemic, the next-deadliest one; even schools stayed open.  Lockdowns weren’t part of the contemporary playbook, either. Canada’s pandemic guidelines concluded that restrictions on movement were “impractical, if not impossible.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in its 2017 community mitigation guidelines for pandemic flu, didn’t recommend stay-at-home orders or closing nonessential businesses even for a flu as severe as the one a century ago.  So when China locked down Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province in January, and Italy imposed blanket stay-at-home orders in March, many epidemiologists elsewhere thought the steps were unnecessarily harmful and potentially ineffective.  By late March, they had changed their minds. The sight of hospitals in Italy overwhelmed with dying patients shocked people in other countries.
And yet past flus were more deadly than covid. Delaying herd immunity just prolongs the pain

China locks down 13 million people in Xi’an after detecting 127 Covid cases - "The snap lockdown on Thursday comes little over a month before Beijing is set to host the Winter Olympics. All residents in Xi’an are barred from leaving their houses except to buy living necessities every other day or for emergencies, while travel to and from the city is suspended save for in exceptional circumstances requiring official approval. All non-essential businesses have also been closed... The lockdown has separated family members with no notice."
The price of covid "success". Good luck for the Olympics. At least as of now, they are not going to quarantine the vaccinated on arrival, so there's going to be an explosion of cases, plus the exemption will not be politically popular. Even if they do quarantine the vaccinated, there will most probably still be an outbreak. But then probably no one is going to go to the Olympics. Tokyo didnt require a quarantine, and covid spreads more in the winter

Beijing Olympics: China to Ease Covid Guidelines for Athletes in Bubble - The New York Times - "Currently, all overseas arrivals to China must undergo quarantine."

Quarantine laws in China could kill NHL participation in Olympics: report - "“If an athlete tests positive, you cannot leave China until cleared by local health authorities. Maximum quarantine could be 3-5 weeks.” Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reported on Saturday night’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast. “If an athlete does test positive and is symptomatic, to get out of quarantine, [they] need to be symptom-free and pass two COVID tests within 24 hours. If asymptomatic, they can be allowed out of quarantine with two negative tests at 24 hours apart.”"
They pulled out after that

China Sticks to Covid-Zero Policies, Despite Rising Pressure to Ease Restrictions - WSJ - "China is adhering to its playbook of neighborhood lockdowns, location tracking, weekslong quarantines and indefinitely delayed visas, in an effort to eradicate every single case of the virus. The country was again carrying out mass testing and imposing domestic travel restrictions this week in some areas, including Beijing, to stem the spread of an outbreak after a retired couple from Shanghai who were on a cross-country trip tested positive for the virus on Oct. 17. Chinese authorities reported 43 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Monday, in which 29 were locally transmitted. Officials have yet to say when their strategies might shift, even with about 76% of the population fully vaccinated. While the policies have been successful at largely keeping Covid-19 out for most of the pandemic, the travel restrictions are beginning to wear on foreign workers and businesses, who argue that adhering to the strict policies will carry mounting costs for China’s economic growth, which is already slowing.   “It’s not an issue, it’s the issue,” said Ker Gibbs, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, who cited one of the business group’s recent surveys where 45.1% of respondents said Covid-19 restrictions had hurt operations. Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association, the industry group in Hong Kong, said in its open letter to the government that 48% of firms they surveyed are contemplating moving staff or functions out of Hong Kong due to these operational challenges caused by the uncertainty over when quarantine restrictions will be lifted. The group, which counts as members more than 150 companies in the financial services industry—including some of the largest Wall Street and Chinese banks—said 73% reported experiencing difficulties attracting and retaining talent in Hong Kong, a third of whom rated the difficulties as “significant.”... the day after the financial industry group called on Hong Kong to provide an exit strategy for its zero-Covid-19 policies, the Hong Kong government said it would be removing most quarantine exemptions, which had previously been extended to diplomats and senior executives. It will further require patients who had recovered from Covid-19 and tested negative to spend an additional two weeks in hospitals, bringing the policies into closer alignment with the mainland...   “International travel is important, international business is important, but by comparison the mainland is more important,” the city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, said earlier this month, referring to a more open border with the mainland. Visitors from Hong Kong currently need to quarantine when they enter the mainland.  Mainland China has been even more strict in some ways. Many foreign executives have had their dependent visas delayed, keeping many people from seeing their families...   The policies are also rippling outward. Ships have routinely been held up in ports such as Shanghai as crews are tested for the virus, for example, creating supply-chain disruptions...   The restrictions have also meant that tourists from the mainland have been grounded, which has been particularly devastating for economies in the region such as Thailand that rely heavily on them... But Chinese officials have so far offered no hint that they are deterred by the potential for further economic damage...   “This policy is also still very popular in China and receives strong public support: People are very proud of how well state leaders have controlled the virus,” said Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York... clinical trials showed vaccines made by Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and Sinopharm to be less effective overall than the mRNA vaccines made by Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, although the Chinese vaccines have been shown to be effective at preventing severe cases of the disease. The World Health Organization has recommended a booster shot for those over 60 who have received Sinovac or Sinopharm.  Major events set for next year give China additional incentives to keep the virus under wraps. China is hosting the Winter Olympics, which are scheduled to open on Feb. 4. China will hold its 20th Party Congress next fall, when Mr. Xi is expected to secure an unprecedented third-term as the leader of the Chinese Communist Party.  “The approach helps bolster party legitimacy ahead of that,” said Mr. Huang. “Abandoning ‘Zero Covid’ now is tantamount to admitting the former approach doesn’t work.”"

Why China Is the World’s Last ‘Zero Covid’ Holdout - The New York Times - "The rest of the world is reopening, including New Zealand and Australia, which also once embraced zero tolerance. China is now the only country still chasing full eradication of the virus... The government’s strict strategy is the product of a uniquely Chinese set of calculations. Its thriving exports have helped to keep the economy afloat. The ruling Communist Party’s tight grip on power enables lockdowns and testing to be carried out with astonishing efficiency. Beijing is set to host the Winter Olympics in February.  For many Chinese, the low case numbers have become a source of national pride. Xi Jinping, China’s leader, has repeatedly pointed to the country’s success in containment as proof of the superiority of its governance model. But experts — both in China and abroad — have warned that the approach is unsustainable. China may find itself increasingly isolated, diplomatically and economically, at a time when global public opinion is hardening against it... When Zhang Wenhong, a prominent infectious disease expert from Shanghai, suggested this summer that China learn to live with the virus, he was attacked viciously online as a lackey of foreigners. A former Chinese health minister called such a mindset reckless. Professor Ong said the government was afraid of any challenge to its narrative of pandemic triumph.  “Outbreaks have become so commonplace that it’s really a non-event,” she said. “But the Chinese authorities want to control any small potential source of instability.”... China’s economic growth is slowing, and domestic travel during a weeklong holiday earlier this month fell below last year’s levels, as a cluster of new cases spooked tourists. Retail sales have proven fitful, recovering and ebbing with waves of the virus.  The country may also suffer diplomatically. Mr. Xi has not left China or received foreign visitors since early 2020, even as other world leaders prepare to gather in Rome for a Group of 20 summit and Glasgow for climate talks... roughly 10,000 tourists are trapped in Ejin Banner, a region of Inner Mongolia, after the emergence of cases led to a lockdown. As consolation, the local tourism association has promised them free entry to three popular tourist attractions, redeemable within the next three years."
Perhaps this is by design, since Xi wants China to be insular and reject the rest of the world and its ideas

China doubles down on COVID-zero strategy - "An expansive compound of buildings covering the equivalent of 46 football pitches was recently erected on the outskirts of Guangzhou, China’s bustling southern metropolis.  The sprawling complex of three-storey buildings contains some 5,000 rooms and is the first of what is expected to be a chain of quarantine centres built by the Chinese government to house people arriving from overseas as it forges ahead with its zero-tolerance approach to COVID... the appearance of the quarantine centre nearly two years after the trauma of Wuhan has left some wondering why China is not relaxing its virus strategy now that the vast majority of its one billion people have been fully vaccinated...   “It’s been almost two years since I last saw my parents, but the ridiculously expensive flight ticket and the prolonged quarantine time are making it difficult for me to return home,” Yang lamented of his failed efforts to try to go back to China... the government banned people from transiting in a third country to return to China if there was a direct flight from their original departure place. Coupled with a notorious flight arrangement policy that allows one airline to operate only one flight per week from any specific country that is aimed at controlling the number of international arrivals, the moves have driven up the cost of air travel. “Flight tickets used to cost about $150 to fly from Bangkok to Chengdu,” a Chinese national who has been stuck in Bangkok for more than two years and is from the southwestern city told Al Jazeera.  “Now I’d call myself lucky if I manage to find a ticket for less than $3,000.” Different destinations in China also apply different quarantine measures: the shortest quarantine is 21 days, in cities such as Shanghai, where arrivals are put under 14 days of centralised quarantine followed by seven days of home isolation. Cities such as Beijing require a further seven days of “health monitoring” on top of the 21-day quarantine.  Additionally, in countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Iraq, the Chinese embassies, which are in charge of distributing the green code, have instructed passengers to self-quarantine for 14 days before departure. That means some travellers could end up spending nearly a month and a half in some form of quarantine.   Apart from restricting international arrivals, the government is also determined to prevent its citizens from travelling abroad. The immigration authority issued a “do not travel unless it is necessary and urgent” guidance earlier this year, with the interpretation of “necessity and urgency” varying at different border control points. Under the guidance, the government stopped issuing passports to people without “urgent and necessary reasons” to leave the country; and those who try to leave the country “without urgent and necessary reasons” are also being barred from departing.  Beijing’s doubling down of the strategy has inevitably brought havoc to many – not just Chinese nationals, but to members of the international business community who might live in China or do business there.  A similarly punishing regime in the semi-autonomous Chinese city of Hong Kong has drawn warnings that it could undermine the territory’s status as a global financial hub. It has not deterred the government there; it insists its focus is to be able to reopen its border with the mainland and on Wednesday removed almost all exemptions on Beijing’s recommendation...  if every other country moves to ease its approach to COVID-19 and allow more international travel, while China maintains its highly risk-averse approach it would appear an outlier, says CFR’s Yanzhong Huang. The strategy that was once a demonstration of the superiority of the Chinese model would just “show its inferiority to the more realistic alternative""
When you know your vaccines don't work

UK economy to grow faster than China’s for first time since Mao - "China was the first big economy to rebound to its pre-Covid GDP, but now Beijing’s iron-fisted zero Covid policy is expected to hold the country back as the nation’s factories and ports are routinely forced to shut by new outbreaks.   A crunch in the property market, centred around troubled developer Evergrande, will also remove a key driver of growth. Meanwhile, enforced limits on energy-intensive aluminium smelters intended to conserve scarce power resources have hit output, something the investment bank expects to continue or intensify.  Such low growth will pile pressure on China’s leaders, BNP Paribas warns, particularly with the crucial 20th party congress on its way and a reshuffle of top officials - excluding President Xi - expected."
Covid hystericists will still claim lockdowns work and China is proof

Communist Party culture of fear makes China the last redoubt for 'zero-Covid' lockdowns - "As winter sets in yet again, China has clocked more than 600 cases, pushing authorities into renewed frenzy. Beijing has refused to lift border controls and continues to enforce its Covid-19 containment strategy – centralised quarantine, mass testing, contact tracing, local lockdowns, mandatory masks – despite achieving a 75 per cent vaccination rate in the country of 1.4 billion people. "Most governments in the world have had the underlying principle that public health measures that disrupt the community, whether it’s lockdown or other kinds of social distancing, are needed to buy time until vaccines can be offered to everybody,” said Ben Cowling, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Hong Kong.  “But in China, there is a different perspective; they’re going to keep it at zero.”... authorities stopped two high-speed trains travelling to Beijing, because a single passenger on each was considered a close contact of a confirmed case.   All 350 train travellers were shuttled into centralised quarantine, even though none were confirmed to be at risk or positive...   Local officials have gone so far as to chain people into their homes during lockdowns and anyone found to be non-compliant have been arrested and thrown in detention.  Pharmacies are also required to report individuals coming into buy over-the-counter cold and flu medicines as those symptoms could potentially indicate coronavirus; those failing to do so have been shut down...   Authorities are taking no chances – partly because their careers are on the line; if cases are found in their patch, they’ve almost always been sacked as punishment.   There’s little indication that Chinese authorities will relax coronavirus controls anytime soon given a spate of upcoming high-profile events... The government has also built permanent quarantine facilities in cities like Guangzhou for overseas arrivals – often Chinese nationals returning home given the border closures – to fulfill requirements to isolate for as long as 28 days...   Propaganda – and officials – have gone so far as to scoff at what they perceive as the lax measures used by Western governments, accusing leaders elsewhere for simply letting their people die.   “Australia has recently announced a new policy of ‘living with the virus,’” boasted state media. “This allows for infections and deaths to occur rapidly.”...   For now, the government has been able to engineer continued public buy-in but it’s unclear how long that could last especially as the disruptive measures have started to hit economic growth.    China's economy has seesawed all year, posting a stunning 18.3 per cent growth in the first quarter compared to last year, and moderating to 7.9 per cent in the next quarter before slumping to a new low of 4.9 per cent in the most recent quarter.   Politically speaking, China is also growing increasingly isolated at a time when geopolitical tensions are on the rise. Mr Xi, for instance, chose not to attend the recent G20 meeting in Rome and the Cop26 international climate talks ongoing in Glasgow"
Covid hystericists claim that lockdowns work if they are enforced. Apparently China is not brutal enough, apparently

Thousands of guests locked in Shanghai Disneyland after woman tests COVID-19 positive - "A small county in eastern China’s Jiangxi province turned all its traffic lights to red after one case was detected, breaking the province’s 610-day Covid-free track record. The move, which local authorities said was an emergency measure aimed at reducing mobility, was decried on Chinese social media, where dissent is typically censored. It was soon repealed and the lights resumed... In Beijing, the escalating restrictions are having farcical consequences. Some residents who leave the capital have reported not being able to come back because they are recorded as recently being in the city, parts of which are currently classed as high risk because of a small outbreak. Stranded at airports and train stations around China, many have taken to social media to ask for help and to criticize the rules.   Perhaps nowhere is the full force — and increasing absurdity — of China’s devotion to Covid Zero evident than in the small southeastern city of Ruili, on the remote border with Myanmar. People there have been locked down four times in the past seven months alone. The 268,000 residents are largely barred from leaving as the virus keeps creeping over from Myanmar, where it is rampant...  Local media over the weekend reported about a baby who had been tested as many as 74 times for Covid since September last year, with mass testing of entire cities and populations a key part of China’s toolkit."
China is going to be cut off from the rest of the world for the rest of time

Singapore Falls Down Covid Resilience Ranking Due to Slow Travel Recovery - Bloomberg - "Singapore now occupies the lowest spot ever in Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking for a former No. 1 as the city-state confronts a trail-blazing, but polarizing, shift to living with the virus.   Ranked in pole position in April and never lower than 19th until now, Singapore has tumbled 20 places in the past month to No. 39 on October’s lineup as it sees record cases and deaths. While vaccination coverage is one of the highest in the world and overall death toll one of the lowest, it scores poorly in most other indicators: strict domestic curbs have crimped mobility and stringency metrics, while a slow travel reopening and flight capacity recovery is still far behind that of Europe and the U.S. This worst-of-both-worlds situation is likely to be temporary transition pains, as Singapore forges an unprecedented path to being among first Covid-Zero countries to pivot to treating the virus as endemic. If it succeeds, it will have the distinction of being one of the only places in the world to normalize without waves of death."

Fully Vaccinated 35-Year-Old Heather Greeley Dies of Coronavirus Waiting for Last-Ditch ECMO Treatment - “Heather did everything right, she did everything she was supposed to do and is now suffering because people didn’t do their part.”
Since the media likes to obsess over stories of unvaccinated people dying...
As usual, vaxholes don't believe the vaccines work

Flu deaths could hit 60,000 in worst winter for 50 years, say experts - "Flu deaths could be the worst for 50 years because of lockdowns and social distancing, health chiefs have warned, as the NHS launches the biggest ever flu vaccination drive.  More than 35 million people will be offered flu jabs this winter, amid concern that prolonged restrictions on social contact have left Britain with little immunity.  Officials fear that this winter could see up to 60,000 flu deaths – the worst figure in Britain since the 1968 Hong Kong Flu pandemic – without strong uptake of vaccines.   There is also concern about the effectiveness of this year’s jabs, because the lack of flu last year made it harder for scientists to sample the virus and predict the dominant strains.   Health chiefs said the measures introduced over the past 18 months to protect the country against coronavirus would now put the public at greater risk of flu."
Clearly the solution is to lockdown again! Every life is precious!

Covid may no longer be the most 'significant' threat to health, Dr Jenny Harries says - "Covid may no longer be the most “significant” threat to health, Dr Jenny Harries has said.   The chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency said today that Covid was possibly no more dangerous than flu, as she warned that there would be a lower immunity to the illness this year.   She said: “It is important to remember that for an average flu season it's about 11,000 deaths a year, it’s somewhere between four (thousand) to 22,000 over the last four to five years.   “So we are starting to move to a situation where, perhaps Covid is not the most significant element, and many of those individuals affected will of course have other comorbidities, which will make them vulnerable to serious illness but other reasons as well.”"

We risk being frightened back into lockdown - "England can lay claim to being one of the most liberal Covid societies on earth, save for the few that have removed restrictions altogether. Here, it sits in refreshing contrast to much of the West. Italy, the first European country to impose a national lockdown, crossed another unhappy Rubicon last week. Its legislators enacted far-reaching laws requiring vaccine passports or a negative Covid test for the entire national workforce, both public and private, if they wish to earn a living. President Biden has announced a similar wave of vaccine mandates in the US, requiring all employees of the state and of larger private firms to be either vaccinated or tested regularly.   French citizens must show a health pass to take a long-distance train, or even to enter a restaurant, while police patrol outdoor cafes carrying out random vaccine passport checks. In "liberal" Canada, Justin Trudeau has banned unvaccinated children as young as 12 from travelling. With its curfews, draconian bans on protest and travel restrictions, Zero-Covid Australia has descended into a nightmarish police state.  Even within the UK, Wales and Scotland are notably more restrictive (Scottish children over the age of 12, for instance, must wear masks at school). In England, those rules which do remain, such as mask-wearing on public transport, are in practice largely voluntary.  Recent findings from the consultancy Kekst CNC by the pollster James Johnson suggest a corresponding sea change in public opinion. Far fewer of us now believe that controlling the virus at all costs should be the country’s top priority while a greater share than ever favour the once-heretical belief that protecting the economy matters more. Given the UK’s widespread vaccine uptake, and a “vaccination dividend” thought to be disrupting the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths by as much as 90 per cent, this seems logical. The end of furlough, rising inflation and a cost-of-living crisis has certainly fixed minds, while each day brings new reminders of the collateral health damage of lockdown. There’s doubtless an overall sense of “Covid fatigue”, too, just as Britons eventually tired of talking about Brexit all the time. But it’s also due to a decided shift in government rhetoric. The public generally followed the advice of politicians and official scientists during the pandemic. Not having them out there each day saying how terrifying everything is can only have made a vast difference.   This is not enough for some politicians, or that rich vein of commentary which consists of highlighting rules in more draconian countries and hinting, none too subtly, that Britain should follow suit. The recent spike in case numbers is driving this narrative...   A strong element of culture-war pantomime remains: while Labour MPs invariably wear masks in the Chamber, Tories – with a few exceptions – don’t. Having attended both party conferences, I can attest that neither side bothered to cover their faces away from the main Chambers and out of sight of those pesky TV cameras. Yet arguments over lesser issues like masks may shift vital political capital away from more important interventions, such as building up ICU capacity and doubling down on booster jabs for the most vulnerable as their immunity wanes. This, above all, should be the focus of any "Plan B". The trouble with “panic mode” isn’t just that it sparks fear, it is that it often prompts rash over-correction for the wrong problem, while ignoring the major concern."
All the covid hystericists were predicting that after Freedom Day, Britons would start dying off, and calling Boris Johnson an evil murderer. When that didn't happen they rationalised their failed prophecy by saying it was because school was out and the dieoffs would come when kids returned. I wonder what their subsequent cope was

There is no case for new Covid restrictions - "why are the UK’s Covid rates so high? Those demanding greater action say it is because the UK is ‘running hot’ with a ‘vaccines only’ policy, while other countries have ‘vaccines plus’ strategies – incorporating mask mandates and vaccine passports. This view does not hold water. Scotland and Wales, unlike England, have kept their mask mandates in place and have introduced vaccine passports. Yet their Covid rates are just as high as in England... Booster jabs not only increase antibody levels, but data from Israel suggest that they can also stall a rise in infections.  Not everyone needs a booster jab, however. Most ‘breakthrough’ infections in young, vaccinated people are mild and these will strengthen their immunity to Covid. New treatments, including Regeneron’s antibody mixture and Merck’s molnupiravir pill, will help to keep patients out of hospital, so we should start using them urgently.   We must also maximise the number of hospital beds and prepare for a rough winter in the NHS. The challenges for the health service will include Covid, a backlog of patients and a likely resurgence of other respiratory viruses. These viruses were suppressed by last year’s lockdowns, but they are now returning, finding susceptible people with diminished immunity.  But beyond all of that, there is a great deal we should definitely not do. We should not activate ‘Plan B’. There is no evidence that it will achieve any good. The evidence in favour of masks is weak. And introducing mask mandates has never led to a step change in Covid cases. My objections to vaccine passports are even stronger. They are illiberal and discriminatory. Plus, they are largely futile, given the extent of Covid infections among the vaccinated. Data from Public Health England show that most adult Covid cases (though not deaths) are now among the vaccinated. Excluding the unvaccinated minority from large events is therefore unlikely to bring cases down by much.   ‘Plan C’ – ie, more lockdowns – should be ruled out unequivocally. It begs the question of when do we ever stop. I did not support last winter’s lockdowns, as I considered their collateral damage to be disproportionate. But I could understand the logic of those who said that because vaccines were around the corner, we should just be patient for a few more weeks. Now we are wiser to the limits of these vaccines, and there are no further vaccine breakthroughs in sight. To argue for another lockdown now is tantamount to arguing for indefinite and recurring lockdowns, despite all the collateral harms they cause to society. This would clearly be unsustainable. An NHS that is ‘protected’ by indefinite lockdown could not survive very long. The NHS needs a functioning economy to sustain it... from an ethical standpoint, vaccinating kids against Covid begs the question: since when was it children’s duty to protect their elders?   Ultimately, there are three brutal and unavoidable facts we have to contend with. Firstly, SARS-CoV-2 is here to stay. ‘Zero Covid’ is unattainable.  Secondly, the vaccines are extremely valuable but they are imperfect. The protection they confer is incomplete and transient.  Thirdly, we will never develop the kind of herd immunity that squeezes Covid cases down to minimal levels, as with measles or rubella. Instead, as with common-cold coronaviruses, we are destined to live with the virus in a messy ‘dynamic equilibrium’ of occasional infection giving us immunity, followed by waning immunity and then reinfection. This is what ‘living with Covid’ means. And if you haven’t caught the virus yet, you will in time. When it happens, I hope your infection is mild and blunted by the vaccine. Occasional pandemics of respiratory viruses are simply part of the human condition. Boosters and new treatments will help the vulnerable. But new restrictions will merely delay our journey to reaching a dynamic equilibrium, at great cost to society...
  David Livermore is a professor of medical microbiology at the University of East Anglia and is on the editorial board of Collateral Global."

Revealed: The devastating impact Covid-19 and lockdowns had on physical activity - "one million more people became inactive.  The drop-off was especially alarming among young people, with some 446,000 fewer people between the ages of 16 and 24 deemed active compared to the most recent reporting period before the pandemic.  Of the entire adult population, some 12.5 million people (27.5 per cent) averaged less than 30 minutes of even moderately intense exercise a week.   The Active Lives survey, which was published by Sport England, provides the most extensive annual analysis of activity trends and found that existing inequalities relating to ethnicity, socio-economic status and disability were worsened during the various national lockdowns"
Since covid is more deadly to the unfit and the fat, this is a great self-fulfilling prophecy. No wonder covid hystericists love lockdowns

The NHS isn't facing another Covid crisis and Sajid Javid knows it - "In January, 30 per cent of hospital beds were occupied by Covid patients. Now it’s 6 per cent. So it’s not a crisis. It’s not even close.  The huge difference is that, back in January, hardly anyone was vaccinated. Now, 93 per cent of adults are estimated to have antibodies so any new wave of Covid will, as was originally envisaged, meet a wall of vaccinated people. Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer, is even arguing against vaccine passports, telling colleagues that they may help vaccine-hesitant countries but could mess things up here. A papers-please ID-card system, he tells colleagues, may breed resentment and give vaccines a bad name.  Contrary to the BMA’s jeremiads, hospitals are doing well. The latest NHS figures show more empty hospital beds (4,940) than beds with Covid patients (4,901). Covid patients do need more resources but it’s worth remembering that even last year, the NHS never did melt down. At the Covid peak last April, at least a third of hospital beds (and ventilators) lay unused, as did the overflow Nightingale centres.   Matt Hancock tended not to pass this information on. It suited his purposes to talk about an NHS on the brink as he thought such scary messages encouraged lockdown compliance. Javid sees it differently: his message is one of reassurance. Covid alarmism, he thinks, can deter millions of patients from seeking the help they need and result in avoidable deaths. His priority now is to keep all healthcare moving and get the waiting list falling – which means keeping calm about Covid... This will be the first cold season in which Britain learns not how to suppress the virus, but how to live with it. To bring back restrictions in a fully vaccinated nation – and one not facing an emergency – risks ushering in a new way of life. These would be new rules not for a pandemic, but for winter. We’re about to test the “new normal”."

Lockdown fanatics should be ashamed of themselves - "At the start of this week, certain people, such as the Labour Party and the “Independent Sage” group of scientists, were calling for coronavirus restrictions to be brought back. They warned that, without them, the NHS would collapse this autumn and winter. They were wrong. As cases have since trended downwards, some of them have gone strangely silent.  These prognosticators of doom have been wrong time after time after time. And not just a little bit wrong – epically wrong, all while morally condemning their more accurate opponents. As cases rose in early July, in the run-up to England’s full reopening on July 19, restrictions advocates said that it was inevitable we would reach 100,000 cases per day. Keir Starmer released a video statement in which he declared that “Boris Johnson’s recklessness means we’re going to have an NHS summer crisis. The Johnson Variant is already out of control.” A set of academics wrote a letter to The Lancet condemning the reopening as a “dangerous and unethical experiment”.  What happened next was that cases crashed, immediately after July 19, in precisely the week my model said that would happen. In late August, after a small rise as behaviour adjusted to the absence of restrictions, cases started falling again. But restrictions advocates were unfazed by their failures of a few weeks before. Next they declared that if restrictions were not reimposed in the autumn, there would be 300,000 new cases per day, with 100,000 per day being inevitable and 200,000 likely... despite being hideously wrong both in the summer and as regards September/October, restrictions advocates still expect us to believe their new prognostications of doom"

The lockdown myths need to be challenged - "  The first myth is that the UK has had the highest Covid death rate in Europe and that this is mainly due to locking down too late in both waves. While it is true that we were highest after the first wave, the situation has changed significantly. Ranked against EU countries, the UK is 11th on Covid deaths and 15th on excess deaths.  Many claim that thousands of lives would have been saved if we had locked down earlier in the first wave, but almost every country with a higher death rate than the UK did lock down early. This gave them very small first waves in spring 2020 but these were followed by very large second waves in the autumn/winter 2021.  really happening Raghib Ali 23 October 2021 • 7:00pm  Calls are growing for restrictions to be introduced in response to rising Covid cases and hospital admissions. While these calls are undoubtedly well-intentioned, I believe that they are often based on certain myths or misunderstandings of the evidence that lead to the effectiveness of lockdowns and restrictions being overestimated.  The first myth is that the UK has had the highest Covid death rate in Europe and that this is mainly due to locking down too late in both waves. While it is true that we were highest after the first wave, the situation has changed significantly. Ranked against EU countries, the UK is 11th on Covid deaths and 15th on excess deaths.  Many claim that thousands of lives would have been saved if we had locked down earlier in the first wave, but almost every country with a higher death rate than the UK did lock down early. This gave them very small first waves in spring 2020 but these were followed by very large second waves in the autumn/winter 2021.    Similarly, the claim that the UK made the same mistake in the second wave and that thousands died due to the failure to have a “circuit-breaker” lockdown last October isn’t supported by the evidence. Wales – which did have one – ended up with similar Covid and excess death rates to England.    The current myth is that the UK has the highest Covid rates in Europe now and this is due to our lack of vaccine passports and mask mandates. But these comparisons are flawed. First, because they are based on case rates and ignore the fact that the UK does a lot more testing (test positivity rates also need to be compared – the UK is about average). Secondly, because other countries are at different stages of their third waves and their immunity will wane later than in the UK because their vaccine programmes started later. The other problem with this interpretation is that Scotland and Wales (which are more valid comparisons) kept their mask mandates and recently brought in vaccine passports, but their rates have been higher than England’s...   The next myth is that only restrictions or lockdowns bring down cases, hospital admissions and deaths. This is clearly not true given what happened in July and September when there were no restrictions and cases fell, most likely due to people voluntarily changing their behaviour in response to risk.  The last myth is that “going early and going hard” with restrictions is always better than waiting. Again, given what happened in July and September when a huge surge was predicted by many, that would have been the wrong advice. Cases actually fell significantly."

Coronavirus in UK: Britons, Unfazed by High Covid Rates, Weigh Their ‘Price of Freedom’ - The New York Times - "For some who objected to Britain’s recurring lockdowns, the return to normalcy was both welcome and overdue. But some said the tensions between freedom and security could easily resurface.  “The intensity has gone out of the debate, but it will come back if there is another wave,” said Jonathan Sumption, a former justice on Britain’s Supreme Court who has been an outspoken critic of the lockdowns.  “If it does come back,” he added, “we’ll then be in the position that even the vaccines don’t work. What is the exit route?”"
Clearly, eternal lockdown is the only solution

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Links - 30th December 2021 (2 - General Wokeness)

Brigitte Gabriel on Twitter - "Christopher Columbus died in 1506, if he’s ruining your happiness in 2020 you should probably seek therapy!"

Critical Based Theory on Twitter - "@Columbia is named after Christopher Columbus who is being cancelled all over the US. Columbia was renamed before..it’s time What should Columbia University be renamed? #cancelcolumbus #ColumbusDay @Harvard @Princeton @Yale @dartmouth @Cornell @BrownUniversity @penn @IvyLeague"

Mastrangelo: How Columbus Day Became a Holiday to Combat Racism Against Italian Americans - "Today, in the era of wokeness, Italian Americans face a new type of mob, one that seeks to ban the federal holiday celebrating Italian heritage... the 1892 proclamation was made in the wake of one of the worst episodes of racial violence in American history — the mass lynching of Italian Americans in New Orleans in 1891 that claimed the lives of eleven Italian immigrants... the largest mass lynching in American history...   The next day, the New York Times celebrated the mass lynchings in New Orleans with a headline that read, “Chief Hennessy Avenged: Eleven of his Italian Assassins Lynched by a Mob.”... Now, in the era of cancel culture and wokeness, Italian Americans face a new type of mob — one that seeks to scrap the federal holiday celebrating Italian immigrants and replace it with an “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” claiming that Columbus Day offends Native American communities.  On Friday, President Joe Biden issued the first-ever presidential proclamation for Indigenous Peoples’ Day, adopting the practice long pushed by the left as a replacement for Columbus Day."

DeSantis Hails 'Courage, Risk-Taking, Heroism' of Christopher Columbus

LA Times: 'Islamophobia' Led Columbus to Discover America - "Christopher Columbus was the “progenitor of a continental genocide,” claims Alan Mikhail in the Los Angeles Times Monday, and Mikhail is not part of some affirmative action plan at the Times to give a voice to those who propagate insanely ahistorical anti-American garbage. Mikhail is, in fact, the chair of the Department of History at Yale University, and if that isn’t evidence of the advanced state of rot in American academia today, nothing is. Columbus, in Mikhail’s febrile fantasies, was something even worse than a genocidal maniac: he was an “Islamophobe”: “A primary force behind Columbus’ Atlantic crossings was a fear and hatred of Islam.”...   While portraying the discovery of America as an exercise in gratuitous racial hatred, Mikhail doesn’t bother to mention what really led up to Columbus making his voyage. He did so because the land route to Asia had been closed to Europeans since the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The fall of the city was the occasion for an unforgettable demonstration of jihadi bloodlust. As The History of Jihad shows, the warriors of jihad entered the great city on May 29, 1453, and made the streets run with rivers of blood. Muslims raided monasteries and convents, emptying them of their inhabitants, and plundered private houses. Mikhail says nothing about that. Nor does he inform his hapless Los Angeles Times readers that in this course of this plunder, pillage, and wanton murder, the jihadis entered Hagia Sophia, which for nearly a thousand years had been the grandest church in Christendom. The venerable old building was filled with Orthodox Christians: the faithful had gathered within its hallowed walls to pray during the city’s last agony. The Muslims halted the celebration of Orthros (morning prayer), while the priests, according to legend, took the sacred vessels and disappeared into the cathedral’s eastern wall, through which they shall return to complete the divine service one day. Right in the church, the jihad warriors then killed the elderly and weak and led the rest off into slavery... after they conquered Constantinople, the Ottomans made more or less continual war against Europe, and conquered and occupied large portions of Eastern and Southern Europe for hundreds of years. Mikhail, however, gives the impression that the Europeans’ fear of Islam was baseless, an irrational “Islamophobia” that right-thinking people must eschew.   The LA Times article is yet another in the apparently endless series of articles marking the West’s cultural suicide. All of them are based on the assumption that the West has been uniquely violent, even genocidal, and hateful, while the (largely Islamic) East has been more sinned against than sinning and encapsulates a wisdom and nobility that we have lost. Making Americans ashamed of their history and culture is a big business nowadays. And no good can come of it."

The Historical Falsification of Columbus’ ‘Crimes’ - "The first step in liquidating a people is to erase its memory. Destroy its books, its culture, its history. Then have somebody write new books, manufacture a new culture, invent a new history. Before long that nation will begin to forget what it is and what it was. The world around it will forget even faster.  — Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting...   Consult, not secondary sources written centuries later by individuals with a political agenda, but primary (i.e., contemporary) sources in the original Spanish: Los Cuatro Viajes del Almirante y su Testamento, and, Brevísima Relación de la Destrucción de las Indias, both by Bartolomé de las Casas. De las Casas, as every schoolchild in the Caribbean and Spain knows, was The Apostle of the Indians, an indefatigable defender of the Indians who fulminated endlessly against the Spanish crimes on the indigenous people. More importantly, he chronicled the atrocities against the Indians, fearlessly naming the criminals. Not once does he mention Columbus as an evildoer. On the contrary, he documented the exact opposite, that Columbus repeatedly defended the Indians against Spanish depredations.  The third primary source is the biography of the explorer written by his son, Fernando. Should the reader cynically discount his son’s biography as whitewashed because his son somehow saw that 500 years later his father’s statues were going to be vandalized in a new country called the United States and he had to salvage his reputation, think instead that, considering the zeitgeist, Fernando could have easily portrayed his father as a great conqueror of satanic, evil savages who practiced cannibalism (after all, look at all the hagiographies written on Napoleon, who turned Europe into a charnel house). Significantly, Fernando also portrayed the natives in a benevolent light — and this was long before the syrupy “noble savage” mythos that we have been force-fed to this day. He was being faithful to facts.  Lastly, there is the Capitulations, the documents between the Spanish monarchy and the Admiral... primary sources show that he was complaining to the Crown of the mistreatment of the natives by the Spaniards, like sexual slavery, including that particular 9-year-old girl. Again, this falsehood went against Columbus’ true self and it is a lie. In fact, we can read in the original texts that time and again, he ordered the men not to steal anything from the Indians, to treat them well, and to simply trade for the gold nuggets that were lying around. Furthermore, gold was abundant in Hispaniola and the natives willingly traded with it. Another accusation portrays him as being overly greedy: a reward had been set aside for the first person to discover land; Columbus is supposed to have been so greedy that he stole the credit. In reality, he was the first to sight light at night, hours before landing; the next day, a sailor sighted land. But it was the King of Spain who decided that the reward should go to the Admiral. Another is that on his first voyage he brought back thousands of enslaved Indians. That must have been some feat, considering that he had two of the three caravels left; I have been on a caravel and they are one of the smallest ships in existence. Caravels are about the size tugboats... best of all—that Columbus was responsible for crimes committed in North America.  State Rep. Rachel Talbot-Ross (D) of Maine called him “a war criminal.”  Nowhere did he set foot — or sail — in North America... as Yevgeny Zamyatin said, “America existed before Columbus for ages, but only Columbus found it.” Hans Selye, though, clarified it best: “The important difference between the discovery of America by the Indians, by the Norsemen, and by Columbus is only that Columbus succeeded in attaching the American continent to the rest of the world.”... In a way, the recent vandalism of Columbus’ statues is not surprising when one considers that statues of Thomas Jefferson, Raoul Wallenberg, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Julius Ceasar, Earl Grey, Robert the Bruce, Caesar Rodney, Sir Charles Napier, George Washington, General Kosciuszko, Abigail Adams, Calvin Griffith, Indro Montanelli, Winston Churchill, Napoleon, Ulysses Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, St. Junípero Serra and other saints, Andrew Jackson, Hans Christian Heg, Robert Peel, Charles Dickens, Jesus, Captain Cook, Francis Drake, Edward Colston, Francis Galton, Miguel de Cervantes (author of Don Quixote), William Gladstone, Sir John A. Macdonald, the Ten Commandments statue, Frederick Douglass, Mahatma Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln have also recently been vandalized by other vandals here and abroad (Earl Grey, Ulysses Grant, Sir Charles Napier, and Abraham Lincoln, if you did not know, abolished slavery while Abigail Adams and Hans Heg were abolitionists). In Boston, these Red Guards also vandalized the Glory monument of the Civil War’s African-American 54th Regiment and a statue of the Virgin Mary, along with the Holocaust Memorial, Thompson Elk Fountain in Portland, the “Little Mermaid” statue in Denmark and the UK’s Penny Lane (famed by the Beatles), and Robert Baden-Powell (founder of the Boy Scouts). Additionally, The Guardian wants suppressed the image of St. Michael subduing Satan because it is … “racist.” Pair that with the looting, the killing, and the burning in cities, and it should be obvious by now that the goal of these vandals is not just against Columbus, or Confederate statues, but against civilization itself, or, put another way, cultural destruction. Regardless of the slogans used to rationalize the vandalism by the self-admitted Communists, the participants are destroying for the joy of destroying.  We haven’t been invaded by barbarians; it would appear that we have created barbarians.  And, as someone recently pointed out, history shows that after statues are destroyed, people are next."

Howard Zinn lied about Christopher Columbus. Here’s how. - "Howard Zinn rode to fame and fortune on the “untold story” of Christopher Columbus—a shocking tale of severed hands, raped women, and gentle, enslaved people worked to death to slake the white Europeans’ lust for gold...   Stanford anthropology Professor Carol Delaney, who was quoted in a Courthouse News Service article to provide a counter-narrative, informed reporters that Columbus acted on his Christian faith and instructed his crew to treat the native people with kindness. But such inconvenient facts are inevitably drowned out by the Columbus-hate that Howard Zinn has succeeded in spreading... Zinn just entirely omits the passage in which Columbus expresses his respect and concern for the Indians. Zinn also suppresses—and, where he doesn’t suppress, downplays— the evidence from even the sympathetic Las Casas that the Indians could be violent and cruel. Zinn has to admit that they were “not completely peaceful, because they do battle from time to time with other tribes.” But, like Koning, he is eager to explain their violent behavior away, arguing, “but their casualties seem small, and they fight when they are individually moved to do so because of some grievance, not on the orders of captains or kings.”   In Zinn’s telling, the Arawaks—or black slaves, or Cherokees, or New York Irish, or whoever—must always be persecuted innocents and the condemnation of their sufferings must be absolute. The officially oppressed cannot be blamed even for any crimes they themselves commit, which are inevitably the fault of their oppressors.   According to Zinn, there’s no such thing as objective history, anyway: “the historian’s distortion is more than technical, it is ideological; it is released into a world of contending interests, where any chosen emphasis supports (whether the historian means to or not) some kind of interest, whether economic or political or racial or national or sexual.”  Once ideology has become a moral virtue, Zinn can discount standards of scholarship—such as those of the American Historical Association—as having to do with nothing more important than “technical problems of excellence”—standards of no importance compared to his kind of history, which consists in forging “tools for contending social classes, races, nations.”  Thus it would seem that the noble political purpose behind Zinn’s history justifies him in omitting facts that are inconvenient for his Columbus-bad-Indians-good narrative."

Facebook - "With a mostly Latino cast, ‘Diary of Anne Frank’ brings a new vision — and some controversy — to the classic play"
"Hollywood - oppressed groups subject to racism and genocide should be portrayed by members of that group in theater and film.
Also Hollywood - "The Dixry of Annx Frankx"
The thing to object to isn't the story being cast in a different ethnic context per se. Anyone here who has complained about Hollywood's scathing criticism for Scarlett Johansen playing a trans woman or white actresses playing asian roles have no leg to stand on in objecting to this in principle.  Historical stories *can* be recast through a different ethnic or historical lens to great artistic merit. Those of us who want black actors to have their shot at King Lear or Hamlet on account of their artistic ability should not shrink away from supporting this in principle.
The real objection here is holding these rules for some and not others. Zimmerman here is likely Jewish himself, but it does not change the fact that this reflects the leftist cultural cache around the 'whitening' of the Jews, even when re-telling the story of how they suffered the worst genocide in modern history. Casting the Jews as "not really oppressed" mostly has its roots in justifying hatred of Israel, much of it linked to Russian efforts in the Cold War to organize the Arab world, heavily leaning socialist at the time."

Books deemed 'harmful to staff and students' are being removed from region's public school libraries - "Earlier this year, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board removed William Golding's classic Lord of the Flies from its curriculum after its advisory committee on equity agreed with a student who said the book’s themes were outdated and too focused on white, male power structures.  Other books recently removed from Canadian school libraries and/or curriculums in response to complaints about racist, homophobic, or misogynistic language and themes, include Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid’s Tale."
Liberals will continue to pretend that only the "right wing" is for censorship and shutting down free thought
Removing books from libraries is good to prevent "oppression" and "harm" to "minorities"

Ontario school board reviews every book in every library to cull those 'harmful' to students - "An Ontario school board is reviewing every book in its 121 school libraries to remove titles considered “harmful” to students or staff. The culling begins at the Waterloo Region District School Board, west of Toronto, as schools and libraries around North America debate reviews that often provoke a clash between notions of free speech and racial or social equity... “We recognize as our consciousness around equity, on oppression work and anti-racist work has grown, we recognize some of the texts in the collections that we have are not appropriate at this point,” Shantz said at the meeting.  “We will be doing a review of each of our library collections at each of our schools over the next few years and removing any of those texts that can be harmful to either staff or students.”  In the past, libraries emphasized adding books rather than removing them, Shantz said.   “We’ve done a great job over the years of adding collections that promote the diversity, both of our workforce and our students and our community as a broader point, but we haven’t spent the concentrated effort that we need to spend on ensuring that we’re removing inappropriate or texts that are questionable and don’t have the pedagogical frameworks that we need.” No information was provided about the criteria for assessing books... Joanne Weston, school board chair, told National Post the pruning details are a work in progress.  “As part of the 2021-2022 operational plan, staff set a goal to develop a framework to formalize the process. This framework is being developed as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure each and every child feels welcomed”... That is part of the problem for some trustees: transparency.  “People have a huge connection to literature. Some people are concerned this is going to be a book banning,” trustee Cindy Watson said in an interview.  “The concern, from what I’ve been hearing, is the books will just go away and no one will ever know.  “They don’t know what the framework is. I don’t know what that framework is. And I don’t know what the process is, and I don’t know if it will include students, or parents or community members, or whether there will be any consultation.”  Trustee Mike Ramsay said he is concerned that “censoring or book burning” is being done under cover of human rights and equity.  “Not only as a person of colour on the board but also after being around for many years now,” Ramsay said, “my concern is that the criteria for banning books comes only from staff being informed by a select few. “Parents and taxpayers should have more of a right to say what is done with their own children and their own money. I find this very troubling.  “Where do we draw the line?” At the school board meeting, Watson asked Shantz if the review will extend to books used in the classroom.  Shantz said many teachers maintain “a mini-library” in their classroom and he hopes the process will be applied to those as well...   Peel District School Board, west of Toronto,  issued a memo in 2018  cautioning English teachers against To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. That memo also cautioned against Lord of the Flies by William Golding and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men."
So much for diversity only adding, never subtracting

Meme - "When the squad gettin ready to go out and be oppressed"

Simon Mol - Wikipedia - "Simon Mol (6 November 1973 – 10 October 2008) was the pen name of Simon Moleke Njie, a Cameroon-born journalist, writer and anti-racist political activist. In 1999 he sought political asylum in Poland; it was granted in 2000, and he moved to Warsaw, where he became a well-known anti-racist campaigner and spreader of the HIV virus. In Poland, Mol was accused of knowingly spreading the HIV virus and was charged in the cases of eleven women and remanded in custody. However, Mol's trial was suspended due to his severe illness. He died from HIV-related complications on 10 October 2008... South African Press Association (SAPA) and Agence France Presse in their article described him as "a darling of Poland's liberal press" due to his political campaigns. Some of his victims were reportedly intimidated and threatened and for a long time Polish police did not arrest him because of his political connections, thus allowing him to infect new victims. In February 2006, one of his partners requested that he take an HIV test. Mol refused and published a post on his blog explaining why:
Character assassination isn't a new phenomenon. However, it appears here the game respects no rules. It wouldn't be superfluous to state that there is an ingrained, harsh and disturbing dislike for Africans here. The accusation of being HIV positive is the latest weapon that as an African your enemy can raise against you. This ideologically inspired weapon, is strengthened by the day with disturbing literature about Africa from supposed-experts on Africa, some of whom openly boast of traveling across Africa in two weeks and return home to write volumes. What some of these hastily compiled volumes have succeeded in breeding, is a social and psychological conviction that every African walking the street here is supposedly HIV positive, and woe betide anyone who dares to unravel the myth being put in place.
According to the police inspector who was investigating his case, a witness stated that Mol refused to wear condoms during sex. An anonymous witness in one case said that he accused a girl who demanded he should wear them of being racist because she thought he must be infected with HIV just because he was black. After sexual intercourse he used to say to his female partners that his sperm was sacred... According to the newspaper Rzeczpospolita, he was diagnosed with HIV back in 1999 while living in a refugee shelter, but Polish law does not force an HIV carrier to reveal his or her disease status. In an unusual move, the then Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro ordered that a photograph of Mol with an epidemiological warning attached be displayed publicly. MediaWatch, a body that monitors alleged racism, quickly denounced this decision, asserting that it was a breach of ethics with racist implications, as the picture had been published before any court verdict. They saw it as evidence of institutional racism in Poland, also calling for international condemnation.   After his arrest, Mol stated he had no knowledge of being an HIV carrier and accused the police of racism... Until his death he stated he had no knowledge of being infected by HIV, claiming that his case was political...
After police published Mol's photo and an alert before the start of court proceedings, Warsaw HIV testing centers were "invaded by young women". A few said that they knew Mol, and some of the HIV tests have been positive. Genetic testing showed that three women were infected with a strain of HIV found specific to Cameroon.  A record number of HIV virus cases were detected in Mazovia and Poland as a whole in January 2007 due to large amounts of testing caused by the panic. Simon Mol had visited Gdańsk in September 2006, where he helped organize the anti-racist "Music against Intolerance and Violence" festival. After Mol's epidemiological alert was published, the number of HIV tests in the Gdańsk provincial centers exceeded 100 a day, including two worried males who learnt that their partners had slept with Mol, while the usual number had been hovering around a dozen cases daily beforehand"
Once again, political correctness kills

Mencius Moldbugman on Twitter - "Simon Mol has slept with over 300 Polish girls and infected over 40 of them with HIV. Many of them were activists in Poland’s human rights and antifa movements. Even after his arrest, Simon claimed no knowledge of his status and accused apolosh police of racism...
After his death, reporters contacted Simon’s mother back in Africa. Her response was: “The White Man killed my son.”
Simon picked up many of his women from the “Warsaw Salon” - an artistic, liberal circle. In his writing Simon described these girls as ‘white mice’ - “sensitive, and adoring women who believed they were doing their duty towards political correctness by helping the poor refugee." One girl infected by Simon explained later: “I was fascinated by human rights activist fighting with racial stereotypes. Soon we started to meet, went to bed. I didn’t suspect that he could infect me with HIV virus and even less, hide from me that he is infected. I also thought that suspecting him of being infected would equal giving way to stereotypes. Thus we made love unprotected.”
Let us end this thread by looking at his most well known poem “Polish Goddess”. Think about everything you have read so far and consider what Simon may have been really trying to say when he wrote this.
“Then - as the Moon lit the path
of the beautiful Goddess
illuminating the darkness of the night
two tears ran down her left eye
ending their journey
burying all the nightmares
healing wounds foisted upon me
and upon my Brothers
by those like her.”"
Clearly whitey's fault!
"Allies" are those who are held in contempt - and like it

Ex-MP Fiona Onasanya attacks Kellogg's cereal box 'racism/a> - "An ex-MP has questioned breakfast foods giant Kellogg's over its use of a monkey and "white boys" on cereal boxes, suggesting it is racist.  Fiona Onasanya, who was jailed for lying to police about speeding, spoke about her concerns on Twitter.  "So I was wondering why Rice Krispies have three white boys representing the brand and Coco Pops have a monkey?", the former Peterborough MP wrote.  Kellogg's said the company "stands in support of the black community"... Her tweet was widely ridiculed, with a number of people pointing out the "three white boys" were "elves"... The monkey mascot was created in the 1980s "to highlight the playful personality of the brand", a spokeswoman said, adding it also had "tigers, giraffes, crocodiles, elves and a narwhal" on its cereal boxes."
Isn't it racist to compare black people to primates?

So I am privileged for being able to wipe my ass properly *noted* : fatlogic - "thin privilege is wiping your butt from front to back."

Gong Simi Singapore - Posts | Facebook - "SPP Jose Raymond got caught with his pants down for crying racism on the Indian character portrayed as a cleaner in the Singapore Kindness movement poster. There are actually 3 different posters portraying 3 main Singapore ethnicities.  Instead of apologising, he turns around questioning and blaming the Singapore Kindness Movement on the names used for the different ethnic characters?  How lame can he go? Maybe he wants to blame the use of the colours for the poster too?
Once grievance mongering gets going...

Brown University Infused Diversity And Inclusion Into Hundreds Of Courses - "Brown University has infused diversity and inclusion into hundreds of courses across nearly 40 departments, according to an email from the university’s president.   Brown President Christina Paxson sent an email to faculty and students touting the school’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) and new classes on social justice. Paxson claimed that the social justice courses — which were introduced in the 2018-19 school year — have reached a majority of the students at Brown. In 2018-19 alone, there were 211 DIAP courses offered across 37 different departments... Brown’s DIAP is expanding beyond the classroom and into the admissions process as well. In the diversity plan, the Office of Admissions announced that it would reserve half of the school’s enrollment for black applicants only.   “The Office of College Admissions will implement a plan to increase the representation of Black/African American applicants in the Early Decision and Regular Decision pools, and increase the undergraduate Regular Decision yield for Black/African American identified students to 50% of the enrolled class.”"

Extinction Rebellion says dairy in food at Brighton schools is racist - "Alison Plaumer, from the global environmental movement, has led a petition for more plant-based meals to be served in schools and other venues. She told one council there is a "racist element" to serving dairy because she believes a large percentage of the BAME communities is lactose-intolerant... The petition, seen by the authority, requests two plant-based days are introduced at state-run schools as soon as possible – and for all council-run events to be plant-based once the pandemic is over."

Meme - "The secretly-gay anti-homosexual has been replaced with the openly- racist anti-racist."

Meme - "The reason Africa and the Middle East are so screwed up is because the colonial powers drew borders with ZERO consideration of ethnic groups and cultures, that's why there's so much conflict!"
"So, mixing multiple ethnic groups and cultures causes conflict?"
"What??? No."

Since Sykes-Picot is to blame for the Sunni-Shia split...

In full: Lawrence Wong's speech at the IPS-RSIS forum on race and racism in Singapore - "I will ask those who criticise SAP schools to consider: Would our society be better off if standards of our spoken and written vernacular languages were to fall, and Singaporean Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures were to wither and dissipate? For that is the primary reason for the SAP schools. They were pure Chinese-medium schools before. We retained some of them in this new form so we can still have a sufficient number of bilingual and bicultural students, equally strong in English as well as Chinese. Similarly, we have programmes in a few schools to enable our students to deepen their proficiency in Malay and Tamil, and to nurture their bicultural interests. We also have Madrasahs, strong vernacular media, as well as a huge variety of Chinese, Malay and Indian cultural organisations – from the Chinese Orchestra to the Malay Heritage Centre to the Indian Fine Arts Society. Now, should all this be done away with on the grounds that they perpetuate racial consciousness and are not inclusive of other races, other languages, other cultures, other traditions? Obviously not, for that is not what we mean when we pledge ourselves to become “one people, regardless of race, language or religion”. The Singaporean is not only the English-educated cosmopolitan, up-to-date with the latest trends in London, Paris or New York. The Singaporean is also our fellow citizens who are more comfortable in Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, or other languages, or who have different cultural perspectives and views... Sometimes people talk about “Chinese privilege” in Singapore. There may well be biases or blind spots that the Chinese community should become aware of and to rectify. But please understand that we still have a whole generation of Chinese Singaporeans who are more comfortable in Chinese than English, and who consider themselves at a disadvantage in an English-speaking world. They feel that they have already given up much to bring about a multi-racial society: Chinese-language schools, Nanyang University, dialects, and so on. “What do you mean by ‘Chinese privilege’?” they will ask, for they do not feel privileged at all. Naturally many of them would object to being so characterised... we should not insist on maximum entitlements and rights for our respective groups, construe every compromise as an injustice that needs to be condemned, or put the worst interpretation on every perceived slight or insensitivity. Because when one group jostles aggressively to assert its identity and rights over others, it will not take long before other groups feel put upon, and start to jostle back. We already see this playing out in so many places around the world: When one side uses identity politics to push their cause, it invariably emboldens another to up the ante and make greater demands. We end up fuelling our worst tendencies – our tribalism, hostility and vengefulness. And if we go down this path, insisting on differences over commonality, minority groups will not win, and the outcome will be most unhappy for the majority community too."

Anti-woke - "This is where we are now at with woke politics, with identity politics, with the eccentric and narcissistic politics of the new so-called left. We’re in a situation in which it is tantamount to a speechcrime to call a mother a mother. Where it is shocking to say mothers give birth and fathers do not. All that the High Court really said is that 2 + 2 = 4. But apparently you shouldn’t say that these days... That therapeutic quest for official recognition of a personal whim apparently overrides everything else. It is more important than social convention, truth, meaning and reality. It’s the most important thing in the world, it seems.I think this is where we get to the heart of woke politics.The new, switched-on, woke approach to issues presents itself as a form of leftism. But to me it looks like a celebration of extreme individuation, of epic narcissism, to the detriment of collective ideals and collective institutions. I don’t want to single out Freddy McConnell. I think the same can be said for woke politics across the board: it values the psychic comfort of the individual, of the self, above the health and freedom of society. It treasures the self-esteem of the individual more than the solidarity of community life and all the things that solidarity requires: common language, common meaning and common values. The woke think nothing of trampling all over the ideas and institutions of collective life. From marriage to the family, from the community to the nation – they tend to view all of these things as oppressive institutions that are a barrier to the preservation of their own self-esteem... Democratic solidarity is under assault, too, not only by the woke but by virtually all sections of the political elite. The war on Brexit – and of course woke people loathe Brexit with a passion – is another effort to undermine people’s search for solidarity, their preference for the collectivity of democratic decision-making over the dog-eat-dog atomisation promised to us under the technocratic and neoliberal rule of the EU.And then there’s the nation. How the woke dislike the nation! They see it as the key unit of oppression; as the starting point of all racism and hatred and fear. If you ever go on a protest these days, you will notice that the most woke attendees will be carrying banners saying ‘Borders = Death’. This is more than a plea for a liberal immigration policy – it is a demand for the erasure of borders and nations. It’s the infantile, nihilistic John Lennon approach: imagine no countries. And they despise national flags. It is now a risky business to wave a Union flag or an English flag in this country. Emily Thornberry will sneer at you on Twitter; people will call you a fascist. All of this is an assault on the most important building block of collectivity and solidarity: the nation. Leftists used to understand how important the nation was. They supported national-liberation struggles. They opposed foreign meddling in self-determining countries. They knew that democracy was only really possible within national borders... Who else behaves so cavalierly towards social institutions and community life? Who else is this contemptuous of community integrity and of the nation itself?Then it struck me: the capitalist class. And in particular it’s the neoliberal elites... far from being a new kind of leftism, the woke ideology is really the militant wing of neoliberalism. It is a campaigning arm of the neoliberal outlook. This is why woke activists and big business make such comfortable bedfellows... Both prefer the divisive dynamic of identity politics and racial politics over the powerful, post-racial solidarity of working-class communities. Both prefer the technocratic expertise of the EU bureaucracy over the wisdom of the throng, of the masses, of the democratic crowd. Both are obsessed with re-educating the plebs. The capitalists do it with advertising; the woke do it via the education system and the political sphere.And both despise borders. And they do so not because they truly believe in freedom of movement, but because they see borders as a restriction of their own narrow and eccentric needs. The woke loathe borders because they restrict the movement of people who might one day be their students or their au pairs or their cleaners; capitalists loathe borders because they restrict the movement of people who could be their underpaid, exploited workers. I think this is the best way to view the woke so-called left. Wokeness makes a virtue of the atomisation that is a key feature of life in capitalist society. Wokeness doesn’t challenge the individuation and corrosion of social solidarity that neoliberal society brings about. It simply repackages it as PC and celebrates it. It commodifies our atomisation and sells it back to us as right-on politics... none of this is really about struggling for individual freedom, which explains why the woke are so hostile to freedom of speech, the most important freedom of all"

Black student activists ask for race quotas in admissions starting with next year’s class - "It turns out black student activists at Pitzer College are just as bold as its faculty, who tried to ax its study-abroad program with Israel in the name of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement... Without calling for an explicit quota, the BSU called on Pitzer to hire “at least one Black faculty member” by next fall – specifically an unnamed person they already have in mind who is “certified to teach in Sociology, Political Science, and History.” The college should undertake a comprehensive review of faculty hiring to ensure that “field groups” (analogous to departments) “are both gender-inclusive and racially diverse.” The address cited 10 field groups without any black faculty advisors, including gender and feminist studies, philosophy and religious studies. The list also asks for more black administrators in the admissions and student affairs offices, the former of which currently has none. The college must shell out more specifically for black students’ financial aid, the BSU requests. It said the college expects students to take out “an increasing amount of loans every year,” which is racist... The BSU wants a “racial equity” module added to the orientation programs for transfer and first-year students, in which a speaker discusses implicit bias with students. Pitzer should take its educational approach to “sexual-assault prevention” and apply it to preventing “racism and microaggressions,” the list says. The most confusing suggestion may be for mental health resources to deal with the “mental strain” of being in a predominantly white environment... The list flatly states that campus security has a practice of “racial profiling,” and it implies that the college imposes “immediate punitive actions on Black students on incidents involving mental health,” apparently meaning that campus security responds to mental-health incidents. (The BSU appears to use the term “violence” loosely, not limited to physical incidents.)... BSU also posted a petition that accuses anyone who doesn’t sign it of violating “the core values of our Pitzer Community.”"
Since a "predominantly white environment" causes blacks to have "mental strain", "anti-racists" need to petition for blacks to be banned from predominantly white spaces

Families buy 100 acres in Georgia to create safe haven for Black people - "The Freedom Georgia Initiative, a group of 19 Black families, got together in July and bought the 97 acres and have lofty goals for the land."

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