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Thursday, September 02, 2021

Links - 2nd September 2021 (2) (Masculinity)

Facebook - "Stop letting chicks with no dad tell u wat a real man is"

Elijah Wood on Twitter - "i think you’ve missed the definition of what a man is. masculinity alone does not make a man
in fact, it’s got nothing to do with it"
Apparently there is no semantic meaning to "man"

Meme - "Hey guys, I'm trying to unlearn toxic masculinity, but didn't realize how much of my thinking it's affected. I could use some encouragement."
"Stop letting women tell you what it means to be a man"
"The term "toxic masculinity" is often introduced to sceptics as having less to do with masculinity itself and more to do with the environment men were raised in. This is obviously not the case or else they wouldn't be calling masculinity toxic."
"Anyone who tells you that "a real man does this, that, or the other" has no interest in real men. They only desire to control you through shame. Don't give up your free will to satisfy someone else."

Students rail against ‘toxic masculinity,’ but don’t have any idea what it is - "Gillette made waves with its recent anti-toxic masculinity ad, encouraging men to be "better" than they have been in previous generations. Emma Meshell of Campus Reform headed to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where she asked students for their thoughts on the viral Gillette ad, as well as their opinions on toxic masculinity.  As predicted, many of them supported the ad, but also appeared to have zero clue as to what "toxic masculinity" actually is or means."

Oh great, now Sherlock Holmes is an example of "toxic masculinity" - "The college sophomores who run Salon must be having a slow week"

jOuRnALiSt says women distrust health experts due to "sexism," while men's distrust springs from "tOxiC mAsCuLiNiTy" - "You may remember columnist Arwa Mahdawi from a few months ago, when pictures of her contradictory Woke jOuRnAliSm made the rounds on the internet... Mahdawi lamented how criticisms of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's haircut were sexist reminders of the oppressive patriarchy in which we live.The problem is, a month earlier, Mahdawi wrote an article telling us why we should be "afraid" of Ivanka Trump's new haircut... Instead of issuing an apology (or at the very least not write hypocritical opinion hit pieces masquerading as real journalism), Mahdawi doubled down on her Woke contradiction spree by opining on why so many women don't trust the COVID-19 vaccine. Her answer? Why, the rampant sexism of society, of course!Back in May, however, she wrote a piece on why so many men don't follow the advice of the healthcare industry – in that case relating to masks – and said such action was the result of tOxiC mAsCuLiNiTy."

Men in name only: New study shows testosterone levels in American males are dropping dramatically. Why would that be? - "Men’s testosterone is supposed to decline naturally with age, but this study, which was presented last October to the Sexual Medicine Society of North America, showed a shocking decline in the levels of cohorts of young American men throughout since 1999. The authors tested the serum testosterone (total amount of testosterone present in the blood) of 4,045 men aged between 15 and 39—making sure to control for confounding factors such as age, race, and level of physical activity—and still the results were unmistakable. In fact, they have been slashed by over one-quarter in the last two decades.This is hardly surprising news. Data showing how sperm counts have fallen has been widely reported in recent years. Since the testes produce both testosterone and sperm cells, it is probable that the causes overlap partially or entirely. Laptops too close to the crotch, anyone?... Whereas once American workplaces were crucibles of masculine competition, worshipping a single God—real-world business success—and ruthlessly capitalistic in their incentive structure, now they are anything but. Even the private sector is strangulated by sprawling human resources departments holding bosses to ransom over innocuous jokes, and thereby incentivizing mediocrity and absolute subservience as a career trajectory. It is easy to see how the natural aggressive juices of men who have been defanged and declawed at work (to say nothing of their home lives) could be staunched. Americans are getting it in the neck here, but are things even any different in other agribusiness-run hyper-feminized societies like, for instance, Western Europe? Here’s anxiously awaiting a similar study. It would be interesting if the authors next looked at American men’s levels of the female hormone estrogen, as well as American women’s levels of testosterone. Could both have increased?... Not only is low testosterone deficiency linked to a range of negative health outcomes, it is even associated with a higher risk of death—not to mention fertility. One who didn’t know better might say that plummeting testosterone levels are at once the cause of and a perfect metaphor for an existential crisis in American masculinity."

Testosterone levels in modern men are lower than in the past - "This wasn't just limited to Americans either; a Danish study found similar results. Anecdotally, sex counselor Ian Kerner told CNN that he's noticed "an increasing number of young guys are complaining of sexual concerns, such as diminished libido and erectile problems, more commonly seen in older men."... One study, published in the spring, found that people with a testosterone deficiency (defined as less than 300 nanograms of testosterone per deciliter) were at greater risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other diseases. It's important to note that this is correlational data; it's very difficult to definitively prove that low testosterone causes these negative outcomes. But the odds are that doing the activities that keep your testosterone levels up will also help prevent these very undesirable conditions."

Least Masculine Society In Human History Decides Masculinity Is A Growing Threat | The Babylon Bee - "As society becomes increasingly dominated by nerds, hipsters, and computer programmers, people have fixated on what they think is our biggest problem: masculinity."

How Feminism Is Driving The Growing Trend Of Anti-Women Subcultures - "Imagine yourself as a woman who had been disappointed by her romantic history. She turns her bitterness towards all males by deeming men to be horrible, irredeemably predatory scum. She became this way after being indoctrinated by an ideology that preaches the inherent evilness of masculinity and therefore must be destroyed. We’d call her a bitter man-hating, radical feminist. The MGTOWs are essentially the same... my buddy explained how despite persuading his friend against becoming MGTOW, he was still sympathetic to his friend’s excuse for doing so. In his words “Men are disgusted with women in almost every way today and are finding happiness in just cutting them out of their lives.” He continues, “And I can’t really argue against anything they (MGTOW) say because I relate to it all myself.” I pressed harder to ask if he could elaborate on exactly what he meant by that. “Look around you. Every girl acts like a dude and has to have more guy friends than her actual boyfriend. Relationships are no longer partnerships. They’re just mutual debauchery based on meaningless sex and fickle mind games. And in most relationships, I see the women being an overbearing * constantly humiliating their dudes.”... wanted to hear the uncensored truth from him because he (unlike the women hating MGTOWs, Incels, and PUAs) had never viewed women in this way before. He was brought up in one of those traditionally wholesome, family oriented, Christian household, whereby the reverence for women was ingrained in him since a young age... I realized we’re in a turning point of history where men no longer held a reverence for women like they did in a previous generation. What changed? Why is this happening?The answer is blatantly clear. Men are losing their reverence for women because feminist ideology promotes the culture of anti-male nihilism through the feminization of men. By extension, it is actively destroying everything that is sacred about women since it robs femininity and masculinity of any meaning. For instance, when my friend mentioned his observation of wives and girlfriends humiliating their partners, this is, in essence, a reflection of the larger cultural trend where women are encouraged to emasculate men... When the child’s own father is incapable of raising his children, he hands over his responsibilities as a father to “the village” — namely, the government — which will assist the child’s all-capable mother to raise his offspring. In doing so, the man also relinquishes his adulthood because he accepts his role as the eternal boy. He’ll never have to grow up, and he’ll never become a man. It is not a coincidence that feminism brands strong, capable, action-oriented masculinity as toxic because feminism scorn men for being men. The excesses of the Puer Aeternus psychology, in turn, created the woman-hating subcultures of the MGTOWs, Incels, and PUAs. These manboys behave in hideous, imbecilic, vulgar and obnoxious fashion — in short, they’re borne out of their defective philosophical mother — the radical feminist."
Interestingly this is in Evie Magazine, "the next-generation digital publication for young women by women covering the most interesting and important subjects of our lives"

Bed Tundy on Twitter - "Gotta love the “toxic masculinity” crowd. They say that because of toxic masculinity we can’t show emotion yet when we get upset about being painted as a bunch of abusive sex pests that’s our toxic masculinity showing"

Newtown Fire Station forced to apologise over sign defending masculinity - "Firefighters have taken a break from putting out fires to instead create one of their own by raising an inflammatory sign defending masculinity.Staff at Newtown Fire Station in inner west Sydney were forced to apologise after they updated their sign to read: 'House fires are toxic, our masculinity isn't'."
And yet, we are told, condemning "toxic masculinity" doesn't mean you're condemning masculinity as toxic

Toxic masculinity message in front of Aussie fire dept. forced down, sparking outcry: 'STOP apologizing' - "It's worth pointing out that the Newtown Fire Station is known for placing humorous, witty public service messages outside its building, along with some social commentary
Given that half the examples promote progressive values, this is a great example of the liberal circular firing squad

Geoffrey Miller on Twitter - "American Psychological Association responds to our Twitter criticisms of their anti-male statement by doubling down with preachy, vague, gender-feminist, social-justice rhetoric ('masculinities come in many forms' ; we must respect all genders' etc). They fail to distinguish masculinity from psychopathy, for example. Psychopathic behavior by males is framed as mostly an outcome of patriarchal conditioning & masculine stereotypes, rather than a mental disorder in its own right. Equates being a 'real man' with being evil."

The Feminist Mission to Undermine Heterosexuality - "There is a rich literature of anti-male diatribes—often in the form of utopian (or dystopian) fantasies, or bizarre tracts such as Valerie Solanas’s 1968 SCUM Manifesto (SCUM = The Society for Cutting Up Men), or the writings of Mary Daly, Sally Miller Gearhart, Marilyn Frye, Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, and numerous others whom I labeled heterophobes in the mid-1990s.. Specifically, heterosexuality was renamed heteronormativity, to separate it from its biological basis, and set it firmly in the realm of socially constructed artifices in much the same way that the term cisgender is now being used. Such views quickly gained traction in the new field of Women’s Studies that developed in the 1970s. Still, fierce conflicts occurred between different kinds of feminists in the early years: anti-pornography vs. free speech, pro-sex vs. anti-sex, and so on, but rarely was there a direct challenge to the growing anti-heterosexual bias in Women’s Studies. An attitude of appeasement (perhaps born from guilt) on the part of heterosexual feminists was a component from the beginning. The idea that rape is about power, not sex, was readily accepted and soon became an unquestioned orthodoxy—unhelpful in understanding or preventing rape–and the definition of rape and sexual assault continuously broadened.But antagonism toward men (in particular, white men) hadn’t yet spread throughout the university. It did so over the years via expansive and poorly defined campus sexual harassment rules, which routinely denied the accused due process, along with policies aimed at impeding personal relations wherever there existed “power differentials,” which in fact characterize virtually all relationships since human beings are rarely identical in their positions, skills, and attributes, and “power” resides in numerous forms. The demand for “verbal consent” at every stage of sexual intimacy, which began as an oddity in a few progressive schools, is now taken as normal and desirable by many people.In other words, it wasn’t just rape that was “really” about power; everything was... political movements must have antagonists, for alliances are often forged and maintained by sharing intense negative feelings. This is a major reason why there persists such exaggerated rhetoric today of women’s vulnerability at the hands of men and the patriarchy, scare statistics about a “rape culture” on campus, and a tireless search for microaggressions. These are all necessary to rally the troops... feminist cohesion is always likely to be threatened by women’s attraction to men.Hence an elaborate ideology and intense group pressure have been—and still are–applied to keep women from consorting with the enemy. Early on, heterosexual feminists acquiesced, shamed into not flaunting their (politically suspect) heterosexuality. Yet the rampant misandry seen today doesn’t seem to have succeeded in eliminating heterosexual attraction, any more than social pressure in the past managed to eliminate same-sex attraction.Perhaps, however, heterosexuality can be driven underground."

Conversion Therapy Isn’t the Cure for ‘Toxic Masculinity’ - "“Too many boys are trapped in the same suffocating, outdated model of masculinity, where manhood is measured in strength, where there is no way to be vulnerable without being emasculated, where manliness is about having power over others,” the comedian Michael Ian Black lamented in February. “They are trapped, and they don’t even have the language to talk about how they feel about being trapped, because the language that exists to discuss the full range of human emotion is still viewed as sensitive and feminine.” Inspired by Mr. Black’s essay, two New York Times writers offered conversion therapy in the form of a lesson plan. It’s supposed to prevent mass shootings.We guys, evidently, find ourselves caged in a world without emotion or even language. We are accounted for as evolutionary throwbacks. Adapted to hunting mammoths, our services are no longer required in a world of yoga studios, chai lattes and universal love. This too—the gentle hint that men are baboons as much as humans—is quite a traditional way of devaluing very large groups. This trend has transcended think-pieces and entered real life. The “Boys to Men” program in the Maine public schools retrains middle- and high-school boys away from pathological machismo... These interventions use a hyper-general idea about a whole population—call it a stereotype—as an explanation for specific phenomena. It isn’t much more insightful than blaming mass shootings on “society” or “social media.” Seldom can anyone explain how masculinity specifically affected the shooters or put them in motion. Unless they can make that connection directly, the critics of masculinity haven’t explained anything. And I would caution against sheer stereotyping or bigotry as a plausible style of inference. Taking a few problematic people and tainting whole groups as inherently flawed, inferior or pathological—it’s never ended well. Nor should boys be trained in femininity. There isn’t any reason to believe it will ameliorate the problems, and it isn’t anyone’s job. We ought to leave each person’s gender to himself or herself. That the conversion therapy is directed in this case at a “dominant” group does not make the thinking clear, the ethics decent or the treatment effective."

The American Psychological Association goes to war against boys and men - "For an interesting contrast and a kind of “control” to the APA’s guidelines for treating boys and men, we turn to the 2007 APA Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Girls and Women. Here we find no criticism whatsoever of femininity, traditional or otherwise, but we do learn about the many “stressors” in girls’ and women’s lives... Hmm. Many of these stressors apply equally to boys and men. Intimate Partner Violence is largely bilateral (and rates are statistically elevated amongst lesbians.) Nobody is more subject to “devaluation” in our culture than white heterosexual men. Men also suffer from “limited economic resources.” Same for “relationship disruptions.” What does “unrealistic media images of girls and women” mean? In my reading of the media, men are often portrayed as stupid, incompetent and/or immature. Women are very often portrayed as smart, sexy, high-achieving and confident.The general idea promoted in these Guidelines is that women are victims. We are told they are seven times more likely than boys to be depressed, and nine times more likely to experience eating disorders. Is that men’s fault? There is no literature to my knowledge that gives evidence of any such causal link, but the APA does actually make a stab at blaming men anyway... they are giving licence to impressionable psychologists to encourage their women patients to blame the men in their lives for disorders that can have numerous other influences, including a certain kind of perfectionism one finds more often in girls than boys (which boys and men did nothing to create), and negative relationships with mothers or female peers. Or here’s a thought: All this depression and anxiety “may” come from female ideologues, who as educators and role models: routinely tell girls they can “be anything” and “have it all,” which causes anxiety when “all” fails to emerge, as it almost invariably does; who encourage girls to explore their sexuality without letting emotion get in the way of healthy pleasure, but fail to warn them that promiscuity can leave them feeling sad and empty and humiliated; who valorize abortion, but fail to warn of abortion’s frequent psychological impact; who deplore early commitment, even when a young woman and man happen to be right for each other; who encourage misandry by belittling or ignoring men’s legitimate concerns, or fail to acknowledge men’s legitimate contributions to society; who value career ambitions over motherhood; who confuse girls regarding the difference between being wooing and sexual misconduct; and of course who persuade girls and women that if they are unhappy, the reason never lies within, or from poorly-considered choices, but is always the fault of a “traditional” male asserting his privilege, or “social construction” that thwarts their self-realization... Instead of exploring the possibility that feminism, the most influential ideology of our era, has apparently not led to an increase in girls’ and women’s mental health and – this time I am serious, not sarcastic— “may” very well be at the root of much of female unhappiness, they double down and theorize that “the continuing presence of more subtle forms of sexist and racist bias” are in play.

Jordan Peterson: It’s ideology vs. science in psychology’s war on boys and men - "The American Psychological Association (APA) recently released its Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men... Gender, Cisgender, Gender Bias, Gender Role Strain, Masculinity Ideology, Gender Role Conflict, Oppression, Privilege, Psychological Practice, and Gender Sensitive... There’s absolutely no indication in the guidelines that these concepts, or their definitions, constitute the axioms of a primarily political viewpoint. Instead, they are presented as if they are foundational, scientifically credible and beyond question.Yet there is no consensus among psychologists, for example, about the definition, let alone the existence, of, for example, “masculinity ideology.” There is also no agreement that gender exists solely in the form of “roles” that are learned (as opposed to innate) — although all reasonable scientists agree that much of human behaviour, including that related to sex, is learned. And there is nothing intellectually credible and certainly nothing “scientific” — and therefore worthy of definition in a document purporting to discuss psychology — about American feminist and activist Dr. Peggy McIntosh’s polarizing concept of “white privilege.”... The document opens with the claim that “socialization for conforming to traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict, and negatively influence mental health” – a claim derived in no small part from the “research” published by the very people who wrote the guidelines, and one presented, like the definitions, with no indication whatsoever that this claim by no means constitutes anything resemblng established scientific fact.Let me translate this opening salvo into something approximating clear and blunt English. The authors are claiming that men who socialize their boys in a traditional manner destroy their mental health... “Men are overrepresented in prisons, are more likely than women to commit violent crimes, and are at greatest risk of being a victim of violent crime (e.g., homicide, aggravated assault; Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2015).” So, it’s not only that men who encourage their boys to be “self-reliant, strong and manage their problems on their own” destroy the mental health of their children; they also produce adults who are a primary menace to their families and society... there is no scientific evidence that aggression, per se, is learned. Like fear, pain, hunger and thirst, rage is instinctual. The biological evidence for this is crystal clear and unshakeable... Aggression is easy. Civilized behaviour is difficult. It is the integration of aggression that is learned. And it is primarily men who teach it, particularly to aggressive boys. How do we know this?It’s simple – and it is this simple fact that is absolutely damning to the claims in the APA document. What kind of families produce violent young men? Fatherless families. The pernicious effect of fatherlessness is exceptionally well-documented"
If someone wrote about blackness what the APA wrote about masculinity...
Strangely the APA says masculinity is pathological, but not transgenderism

Gillette and the war on masculinity - "Courage, stoicism and bravery were once considered virtuous, not ‘problematic’. To many men and women this is still the case.Today, masculinity is demonised as toxic. As a result, all its positive associations – many of which are fundamentally necessary for society to function – are derided. If a house is on fire, if a festering pile of rubbish needs removing, if a risky business decision needs to be taken, if my life needs defending – I want a man or woman who is brave, resilient, strong and courageous to step up"

We Need Stoicism More Than Ever: A Response to the New APA Guidelines - "The APA lists “stoicism”—alongside “competitiveness, dominance and aggression”—as one of the tenets of traditional masculinity. And, while there are certainly moral and psychological arguments against dominance and aggression (both inherently negative emotions, which motivate individuals to gain power over others) the APA’s attack on stoicism is misguided and harmful... a heaping dose of stoicism—both as a general demeanor and a philosophical practice—is exactly what American men and women need right now.We live in an increasingly hysterical society, plagued by constant outrage, political upheaval and an abiding, ubiquitous feeling of cultural despair. Driven by bombast and fury in our politics and culture, we’ve entered a period of tribal warfare, defined by self-righteousness and by blind solidarity with our cultural allies and fear and hatred of our supposed cultural enemies. This is having a measurable impact on both our culture and our individual psyches: politics is driving people into therapists’ offices, and depression, anxiety, drug use and suicide are skyrocketing.These unfortunate trends are encouraged and exacerbated by a cable news outrage industrial complex"
The claim that it is only "toxic" masculinity that is being attacked is false

Blaming Masculinity Will Only Make The Male Crisis Worse - "the APA should be a science-based organization, but its guidelines lack hard science. Ruben and Raquel Gur, Tracey Shors, Louanne Brizendine, Sandra Witelson, Daniel Amen, and the hundreds of scientists worldwide who use brain scan technology to understand male-female brain differences do not appear in these guidelines. Practitioners like myself and Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D., who have conducted multiple studies in science-based practical application of neuroscience to male nurturance in schools, homes, and communities, are not included. Included are mainly socio-psychologists who push the idea that maleness is basically socialized into “masculinities” that destroy male development... In the same way that it is misogynistic to claim femininity is inherently flawed, it is misandrist to claim that masculinity is also thus.

The unending war against masculinity and men | The Spectator - "The word ‘transgender’ occurs more often (56) than ‘masculine’ (53). This isn’t impartial, evidence-based advice. It’s a manifesto... The effect of telling men that their desire to protect and provide is ‘sexist’, as well as persuading women they’re better off without us, has been to unleash an epidemic of family breakdown. A whopping 25 per cent of American children are being raised by single mothers. No doubt the APA thinks boys who grow up without fathers are better off. After all, they’ve been spared exposure to noxious male role models. But the grim reality is they’re more likely to drop out of school, become alcohol and drug addicts and end up in the criminal justice system.Meanwhile, the men who’ve been told that they’re no longer needed spend their lives playing video games, getting addicted to opioids and, in increasing numbers, committing suicide. The average life expectancy of American males last year was 76, down for the second year in a row. If the APA is looking for toxicity, it should start by examining itself."

It’s Time to Stop Blaming Men for Their Mental Health Woes - "many men’s mental health campaigns focus attention on men’s supposed silence and reticence to discuss problems. This can lead to a harmful narrative that blames and berates men for their mental health woes, implying that their own behavior is the root cause. This approach is known as ‘victim-blaming’ in public health, and is studiously avoided in women’s mental health campaigns, where social context is often acknowledged as a key determinant of mental health.Indeed, my own research indicates that media portrayals of women with mental illness tend to be much more empathic and sympathetic than portrayals of men with mental illness, which tend to be harsh and punitive. Famed Stanford University Professor Philip Zimbardo rightly calls this an ‘empathy gap’, where societal sympathy for men is in short supply... numerous men in my own research studies have noted that they have tried talking about their mental health issues, but few men or women in their social circle have been prepared to listen. Some even report that family and friends have simply told them to 'man-up', or worse still ostracized them as black sheep.So who is really to blame for men's alleged taciturnity?... much research suggests that many men prefer action-based modalities of healing over talk-based modalities. This includes regular exercise, which has been shown to effectively reduce depressive symptoms. Likewise religious and traditional healing based on prayer, ritual or ceremony can be effective in improving men’s mental health, especially for minority, immigrant and aboriginal men."

APA & Traditional Masculinity: Backlash against New Guidelines Unavoidable - "the assault on traditional masculinity — while liberating to men who don’t fit traditional norms — is itself harmful to the millions of young men who seek to be physically and mentally tough, to rise to challenges, and demonstrate leadership under pressure. The assault on traditional masculinity is an assault on their very natures... according to the actual, enduring guidelines (not the public-relations response), “traditional masculinity” actually includes a number of very common, inherent male characteristics. Are boys disproportionately adventurous? Are they risk-takers? Do they feel a need to be strong? Do they often by default reject stereotypically “feminine” characteristics. Yes, yes, yes, and yes... The APA issues guidelines that do indeed target traditional masculinity as commonly understood. Then, under pressure, they issue a statement that redefines the term. This is a form of “motte-and-bailey” argument."

Training the Masculinity Out of Children - "During my PhD, I studied soldiers specifically trained to kill people. However, I found that the masculinity displayed by these professional warriors to be more complex than expected. On the one hand, these men seem to possess the attributes of a hyper-masculine male: toughness, aggression, dominance, and suppression of fear. On the other, they accept the realities of being a soldier, which require the individual to be subservient, obedient, and almost totally dependent, which are traditionally not masculine traits. This is to say nothing of the well documented and complex displays of platonic love among soldiers in war, who one minute may be charging a gun nest to protect one another, and the next may be sharing intimate and detailed stories of loss, regret, and fear.Masculinity is complex, and understanding it requires sophisticated discussions that shed light on those components of masculinity that are harmful and those that are benign or beneficial... Sommers contends that when we pathologize masculinity as a malevolent force to be extirpated, it is like saddling young boys with original sin. The result? Universities are setting up re-education programs for male students that hope to recondition  them to ‘unlearn’ the toxicity that teaches them to rape and be violent."

Students told term ‘be a man’ represents toxic masculinity - "‘Lesson made it seem like masculinity was an unacceptable human trait’ ... Students who “identify as male” were shown a docudrama film about masculinity. The film, titled “The Mask You Live In,” was part of the lessons warning students that the notion of masculinity comes with harmful side effects, he said... Other sessions involved informing students of various conduct policies and campus life programs.Upperclassmen who volunteered to assist with orientation performed skits and monologues for the first-year students. A portion of these involved performances by the ty Peer Educators that touched upon “diversity and inclusion topics related to the student experience,” according to Kiera Kant, associate dean of college life at Gettysburg College.Goodman said skit topics included microaggressions, gender identity issues and the Confederate flag."

US university offers course for men to 'deconstruct toxic masculinities' - "A university in the United States has begun offering classes in “constructive male allyship,” providing a space where male students are able to “question and deconstruct toxic masculinities.”Duke University, based in the city of Durham, North Carolina, held its first Learning Community session last week. The women’s centre has organised a nine-week series of seminars, as part of the Duke Men’s Project"

‘Masculinity is not toxic’ — The Guardian and the new Men’s Movement - "men connecting, supporting and challenging each other in a male only environment — is essential for a few different reasons. The first is that men inevitably change their behaviour around women — the second is that finding true brotherhood with other men beyond a place of competition makes all of our relationships better — the third is that there is often far too much pressure placed on intimate relationships to be the sole source of strength — and in our experience most women WANT their men to have deep and close friendships with other men and to bring masculine polarity to relationships... In our experience denying the different polarities of men and women in relationship leads to good friendships and bad sex... “Many of the world’s oldest wisdom traditions, from Buddhism to Taoism to Hinduism, have concluded that the world manifests itself fundamentally as polarities, yin/yang, masculine/feminine."... That’s why Jordan Peterson has become so staggeringly popular — saying the things that young men should have been told by their fathers and their culture but aren’t... Men, on the whole, are sick of discussing rights ad infinitum — what’s more enticing, and what really motivates us, is taking responsibility.We are also not interested in ‘rallying around a cause’ — this points to an overall fixation in the piece around politics and identity, typical of most Guardian articles over the last few years"

Is Toxic Masculinity a Valid Concept? - "Female fiddler crabs and hens prefer males with extravagantly large claws and tails respectively. Ewes (female rams) will mate with the ram that wins the brutal intrasexual head-butting contest. They reward targeted aggression by granting sexual access. Needless to say, there are innumerable other examples of sexual selection that I might describe, but I suspect that you get the general gist. Are rams exhibiting toxic masculinity? Are female fiddler crabs succumbing to antiquated notions of masculinity as promulgated by the crab patriarchy?... In no culture ever studied have women repeatedly preferred to mate with pear-shaped, low-status, tepid men possessing high-pitched, nasal voices. In no documented culture do women’s sexual fantasies revolve around granting sexual access to unemployed, unambitious men who occupy the lowest stratum of the social hierarchy. Instead, women are attracted to “toxic masculine” male phenotypes that correlate with testosterone, and they are desirous of men who are socially dominant, who are strategically risk-taking in their behaviors, and who exhibit patterns of behaviors that will allow them to ascend the social hierarchy and defend their positions from encroachers... When engaging in sexual role-playing in the bedroom, few women ask that their male partners wear their Google C++ programmer uniform. They ask for the fireman suit to make its presence. James Bond, the epitome of “toxic masculinity,” does not cry at Taylor Swift concerts. His archetype is desired by women and envied by men."

The Real Problem With “Toxic Masculinity” - "Both boys and girls need masculine types to toughen them, and feminine types to make them more delicate and attentive. Cross-cultural research has shown that fathers usually favor rough-and-tumble play over fine-motor subtle play. Universally, male caregivers also favor some version of the child-father camping or hunting trip ritual.All cultures recognize the complementarities of men and women, from the anatomical complementarity that makes coitus and reproduction possible, to the complementary ways in which men and women use their strengths to help keep the species alive. The spectrum of masculine and feminine ideal types is also universally recognized as porous... The risk of over-aggression in males and over-nurturing in women is recognized in all societies. The same is true of social cluelessness in males and social manipulation in women... most young people schooled after the 1990s have been taught that all morality is relative, and that everything from sex to power to success is “socially constructed.” This leaves little room for identifying evolutionarily stable patterns of behavior and places the locus of — or the "blame for" — all problems on nebulous “social forces.”The next contradiction is harder to discern. In spite of its relativist claims, the culture of social justice actively promotes one kind of highly rigid morality about power, sex, and human relations. This moral story is then grounded in highly stereotyped models and ideal types of “identity.” All those who are not identified in the “cis-heteronormative white supremacist patriarchy,” then, get to leverage their “disempowered” identity status as a marker of virtue. This is an example of an overly simplistic, logically flawed, “superstitious” moral story... In the traditional men’s huts of the Amazon and Papua New Guinea, ethnographers report that common talk among men centers on the awe-inspiring, terrifying power of the all-swallowing vagina. Gossip from the female hut usually centers on the gullibility of baby-like men who think with their penis. This is the cultural equivalent of the men-in-the-sauna and women-at-the-hair-salon rituals."

Aboriginal campaigner against domestic violence Jacinta Price slams term 'toxic masculinity' - "Jacinta Price, who herself had been in a violent relationship, said demonising men did nothing to address the issue of assaults against women by their husbands and boyfriends... 'As a society, we've got a lot of pressure on our men in general,' she said. 'Being the mother of four sons, I think it's really important that everyone should understand they have a place in society, no matter what.'... Her latest comments about 'toxic masculinity' were made after feminist writer Clementine Ford slammed Studio 10 personality Joe Hildebrand for claiming not all men are to blame for violence against women... A year ago, suicide prevention group Lifeline removed Ford as a keynote speaker after she tweeted 'kill all men' and 'all men must die'."

"My body, my choice": Covid vaccines vs Abortion

Many liberals are accusing those who are against mandatory* covid vaccination of being hypocrites if they use the slogan "my body, my choice".

* - For the sake of argument I will ignore one facile covid hystericist claim I've seen that vaccination is voluntary unless someone is physically tying you down and injecting you. Apart from being inconsistent with how we use the term everywhere else, it also recalls the puerile quip that freedom of speech exists everywhere - just not freedom after speech.

Quite apart from the possibility that many of the people using this slogan are precisely pointing out liberal hypocrisy by using the slogan, one could easily make an argument which used bodily autonomy (i.e. "my body, my choice") to be against mandatory covid vaccines and at the same time still be anti-abortion.

If you believe that fetuses (to simplify things, assume that we're not counting embryos) are human, then abortion is murder, and with every abortion you're sure that you're killing (at least) one human.

However, with a covid vaccine, refusing to take one does not mean that you are murdering someone, since:

- Covid has an under 1% IFR
- Vaccinated people can still get infected by and transmit covid: the vaccines are very good in protecting those who get them, but are much less effective when it comes to preventing infection and transmission
- The non-vaccinated can take steps to mitigate the risk they pose to others, e.g. getting tested, social distancing and wearing masks (if you believe they work)
- The people the unvaccinated person comes into contact with can be protected from covid by getting vaccinated themselves; relatively few people have medical conditions which mean they can't get the jab (ironically, covid hystericists are very keen to force others to get the jab by saying few people should get medical exemptions, while at the same time pretending that many people have medical exemptions, which is why everyone else gets to get jabbed to protect them)
- People do not typically infect others on purpose and non-consensually (there are covid parties, but here non-infected attendees choose to attend)
- Not being vaccinated does not mean that you have covid
- Even being infected does not mean that you will infect others (superspreaders are responsible for a disproportionate share of transmission)

So there're multiple layers of probability here and we can also apply the principle of double (or even triple) effect - as opposed to abortion, in which it is a certainty that you are ending a life (indeed, that is the very aim).

Links - 2nd September 2021 (1)

Furious driver taunts Trump fans and flips the bird before CRASHING into car in front of her - "Twitter user @WOP_45 wrote: "KARMA IS A B***H!!!"Biden supporter gets triggered over TRUMP street corner rally and causes a fender bender in front of the POLICE."The woman is seen yelling and holding up a middle-finger with one hand out her driver's side window.She appears to become more enraged as the demonstrators continued cheering.She then proceeded to lift both her middle-fingers into the air - while leaning out the window of her car.Distracted by her protest, the driver quickly tries to hit the breaks after picking up speed. However, she was too late and struck a large vehicle in front of her - to the delight of the Trump fans.Police sirens were then heard before two police officers walked over to the irate woman."

Treasure chest hidden in Rocky Mountains finally found - "A bronze chest filled with gold, jewels, and other valuables worth more than $1 million and hidden a decade ago somewhere in the Rocky Mountain wilderness has been found, according to a famed art and antiquities collector who created the treasure hunt.Forrest Fenn, 89, told the Santa Fe New Mexican on Sunday that a man who did not want his name released — but was from “back East” — located the chest a few days ago and the discovery was confirmed by a photograph the man sent him.“It was under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than 10 years ago,” Fenn said in a statement on his website Sunday that still did not reveal the exact location. “I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot.”Fenn posted clues to the treasure’s whereabouts online and in a 24-line poem that was published in his 2010 autobiography “The Thrill of the Chase.” Hundreds of thousands have hunted in vain across remote corners of the U.S. West for the bronze chest believed to be filled with gold coins, jewelry and other valuable items. Many quit their jobs to dedicate themselves to the search and others depleted their life savings. At least four people died searching for it.Fenn, who lives in Santa Fe, said he packed and repacked his treasure chest for more than a decade, sprinkling in gold dust and adding hundreds of rare gold coins and gold nuggets. Pre-Columbian animal figures went in, along with prehistoric “mirrors” of hammered gold, ancient Chinese faces carved from jade and antique jewelry with rubies and emeralds. He said he hid the treasure as a way to tempt people to get into the wilderness and give them a chance to launch an old-fashioned adventure and expedition for riches.Fenn told The New Mexican in 2017 that the chest weighs 20 pounds (9 kilograms) and its contents weigh another 22 pounds (10 kilograms). He said he delivered the chest to its hiding place by himself over two separate trips."

A suspect package sent six people to hospital and caused an evacuation -- but it turned out to be a very smelly fruit - "Twelve German postal workers received medical treatment and dozens more were evacuated due to a pungent suspect package -- which turned out to be a shipment of the notoriously smelly durian fruit.Police, firefighters and emergency services were called to a post office in the Bavarian town of Schweinfurt on Saturday after staff noticed the smell coming from a package... It's not the first time durian has caused a panic. Last year, staff at the University of Canberra library were forced to evacuate the building due to a suspected gas leak, but a search revealed the stench was in fact caused by the fruit.And in November 2018, a cargo of durian caused an Indonesian plane to be temporarily grounded after passengers complained about the fruit's room-clearing stench in the cabin."

Hacked Vacuum Cleaner Can Record Your Conversations—No Microphone Required - "This is worrying stuff when you consider that most vacuum cleaners don't come complete with microphones. The same techniques could, theoretically, be applied to any LiDAR sensor-equipped device."

Pranay Pathole on Twitter - "Tech enthusiasts: My entire house is smart. Tech workers: The only piece of technology in my house is a printer and I keep a gun next to it so I can shoot it if it makes a noise I don't recognize."

Man Uses Live Alligator For His Baby’s Gender Reveal Party

Cardboard collecting auntie in Tiong Bahru does it to pass time & exercise: Mummy Yummy - "A Facebook post about a Porsche SUV almost hitting an elderly woman collecting cardboard has been making its round this week. The Facebook user — one Vladimir Guevarra — said that social services could perhaps help the woman, who he said looked "too old and frail" to be collecting cardboard. Two days later, vegetarian hawker stall Mummy Yummy shared on Facebook that they had found the woman — identified as Madam Cha — and that she is being taken care of by her son, and collects cardboard as a way to pass time and exercise, while earning a small income... Guevarra wrote that he was struck by the juxtaposition of the elderly woman and the rich man in the Porsche, and was "stunned" by how big the woman's stack of cardboard was.He said that he gave her money and told her to have some dinner, and asked in his Facebook post whether social services might be able to help her."She looked too old, and shouldn't be doing this. #richpoordivide"... Madam Cha told them that she does not need help from the Social Service Office or government agencies, but that she is getting some money every three months from Silver Support, which is managed for her by her son.Mummy Yummy said that they contacted Madam Cha's son and asked to do a house visit, to see if it is possible to provide meals for Madam Cha.The food stall also wrote that they tried to convince Madam Cha to stop collecting cardboard, but that after chatting with her, they compromised and agreed as long as she looks out for health and road safety."
Poor oppressed elderly auntie who must be lying because she is embarrassed!

US judge says parents owe son over trashed porn collection - "A US judge in Michigan has ruled that a 42-year-old man can seek compensation from his parents for destroying his pornography collection.David Werking, who was living with his parents following a divorce, sued them over the items, which he claims were worth over $25,000 (£18,500)."

Hillary Clinton on Twitter - "Wasn't @TheAmandaGorman’s poem just stunning? She's promised to run for president in 2036 and I for one can't wait."
Comment (elsewhere): "TIL that writing a good poem means you'd make a good Presidential candidate. I suppose you could say that having a reality star as a President has set the bar low! Awesome judge of character this Hilary is!"

Behold: The Fresca button - "There are a ton of hilarious anecdotes about Lyndon Johnson but this might be my favorite. Dude was way too awesome to pick up the phone or use the intercom or heaven forbid, actually get up and walk out of his office to grab a Fresca. He had a special Fresca button installed so he didn’t have to bother with all that."

Preservation Photography Series by Blake Little - "There’s something almost unearthly or otherworldly about Blake Little‘s photography. When you first view his work, it’s like discovering a new form of the human race, some strange underground or earth dwelling people. It is perhaps the honey that they are dripped in that gives them a crystalline quality, as though emerging from an amber, fluid sack. But the images also share a strange eerie quality, as though the subjects were petrified, immortalised in the golden, orange liquid."

sofie halili on Twitter - "men who expect sex from a girl cuz they paid for dinner: you think i'm worth 60 dollars???????"
sofie halili (top 0.5%) OnlyFans - "subscription $15 per month"

Myopia correcting 'smart glasses' from Japan to be sold across Asia - Nikkei Asia - "Can a pair of unique spectacles banish nearsightedness without surgical intervention? Japan's Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings says its wearable device can do just that, and it plans to start releasing the product in Asia, where many people grapple with myopia. The device, which the company calls Kubota Glasses or smart glasses, is still being tested. It projects an image from the lens of the unit onto the wearer's retina to correct the refractive error that causes nearsightedness. Wearing the device 60 to 90 minutes a day corrects myopia according to the Japanese company."

Confused, jealous wife stabs husband after seeing her younger self in old photos - "A woman stabbed her husband several times after thinking she found photos of him with a younger woman.It turns out that she herself was that “other” woman. The photo of the couple was taken years ago, when they were dating, police in Sonora, Mexico said.Authorities from the municipality of Cajeme reported that a suspect identified only as “Leonora N” was arrested for wounding her husband “Juan N” with a knife after finding several photos on his cellphone."

When Adobe Stopped Flash Content From Running It Also Stopped A Chinese Railroad - "the city of Dalian in northern China was running their railroad system on it. Yes, a railroad, run on Flash, the same thing used to run “free online casinos” and knockoff Breakout games in mortgage re-fi ads... Hell, YouTube used to run on Flash until 2015... when Adobe finally killed Flash-based content from running, this Tuesday Dalian’s railroad network found itself ground to a halt for 20 hours.The railroad’s technicians did get everything back up and running, but the way they did this is fascinating, too. They didn’t switch the rail management system to some other, more modern codebase or software installation; instead, they installed a pirated version of Flash that was still operational. The knockoff version seems to be known as “Ghost Version.” This, along with installing an older version of the Flash player to work with the knockoff Flash server setup, “solved” the problem, and the railroad was back up and running.This is all fascinating to me. It’s not like Flash’s demise was sudden; it’s been known since 2017 that it was going away, and this railroad somehow managed to ignore that until they had absolutely no choice, and everything stopped."

Colombia's 'cocaine hippos' must be stopped: scientists - "Pablo Escobar’s hippos are taking over the marshlands of Colombia — and need to face the same fate as their late owner before they become impossible to control, scientists have warned.The so-called “cocaine hippos” were illegally imported to the country by the notorious drug lord, who was shot dead by authorities in 1993... the rapidly breeding beasts have grown to become the largest invasive species on the planet — and could reach dangerous numbers in the next two decades... When Escobar was killed, authorities took control of his 7,000-acre estate, including a personal zoo.While most of the animals found homes at zoos elsewhere, four of the hippos escaped.With no real predators, there are anywhere between 80 and 100 descendants of Escobar’s former pets terrorizing the country’s lakes and rivers... Scientists have projected that the hippo population could surge to 1,500 by 2024.The hippos pose a threat to the natural wildlife since their urine and feces are toxic, potentially sickening other species and even humans... David Echeverri Lopez, a government environmentalist, said they’re racing to castrate the critters before they take over.“These hippos have become part of the local identity. But time is running out,” he said.Others fear that there’s no other option than to slaughter them."

The World’s Most Efficient Languages - "The prize for most economical language could go to certain colloquial dialects of Indonesian that are rarely written but represent the daily reality of Indonesian in millions of mouths. For example, in the Riau dialect spoken in Sumatra, ayam means chicken and makan means eat, but “Ayam makan” doesn’t mean only “The chicken is eating.” Depending on context, “Ayam makan” can mean the “chickens are eating,” “a chicken is eating,” “the chicken is eating,” “the chicken will be eating,” “the chicken eats,” “the chicken has eaten,” “someone is eating the chicken,” “someone is eating for the chicken,” “someone is eating with the chicken,” “the chicken that is eating,” “where the chicken is eating,” and “when the chicken is eating.” If chickens and eating are à propos, the assumption is that everybody in the conversation knows what’s what. Thus for a wide variety of situations the equivalent of “chicken eat” will do—and does... So does the contrast between Riau Indonesian’s “chicken eat” and Kabardian’s “they saw me and it affected me, not now, and I really mean it” mean that each language gives its speakers a different way of looking at the world? It’s an intriguing idea, first formulated by anthropologist and linguist Edward Sapir and amateur linguist (and fire inspector!) Benjamin Whorf. If it were correct, an English-speaker would generally think about the past more than a Chinese-speaker would, while Germans would think more about movement than Americans or Brits.Experiments have shown that this is often true to a faint, flickering degree a psychologist can detect in the artifice of experimental conditions. But does this mean a different way of experiencing life?... When a language seems especially telegraphic, usually another factor has come into play: Enough adults learned it at a certain stage in its history that, given the difficulty of learning a new language after childhood, it became a kind of stripped-down “schoolroom” version of itself. Because all languages, are, to some extent, busier than they need to be, this streamlining leaves the language thoroughly complex and nuanced, just lighter on the bric-a-brac that so many languages pant under. Even today, Indonesian is a first language to only one in four of its speakers; the language has been used for many centuries as a lingua franca in a vast region, imposed on speakers of several hundred languages. This means that while other languages can be like overgrown lawns, Indonesian’s grammar has been regularly mowed, such that especially the colloquial forms are tidier. Lots of adult learning over long periods of time is also why, for example, the colloquial forms of Arabic like Egyptian and Moroccan are somewhat less elaborated than Modern Standard Arabic—they were imposed on new people as Islam spread after the seventh century... only a few languages have been taken up as vehicles of empire and imposed on millions of unsuspecting and underqualified adults. Long-dominant Mandarin, then, is less “busy” than Cantonese and Taiwanese, which have been imposed on fewer people. English came out the way it did because Vikings, who in the first millennium forged something of an empire of their own in northern and western Europe, imposed themselves on the Old English of the people they invaded and, as it were, mowed it. German, meanwhile, stayed “normal.”"

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Links - 1st September 2021 (2) (China's 'peaceful' rise)

'Good riddance,' China says to German envoy making UN pitch to release 2 Michaels - "Germany's UN envoy, during his last scheduled UN Security Council meeting, appealed to China to free two detained Canadians for Christmas, prompting China's deputy UN envoy to respond: "Out of the bottom of my heart: Good riddance."... China's deputy UN ambassador, Geng Shuang, accused Heusgen of abusing the Security Council to launch "malicious" attacks on other members "in an attempt to poison the working atmosphere.""

Chinese newspaper says Australia becoming ‘poor white trash of Asia’ - "A mouthpiece for Beijing has taken a furious jab at Canberra calling Australians “poor white trash” and darkly warning there will be “consequences” if we don’t play nice with China... Despite the insults and threats, the editorials claim China is being reasonable and it is Australia that is out of line.Yet, not one of the stories addressed the issue of an Australian news reader who, it has emerged, has been detained by police in China since mid-August... There has been concern about the influence China is bringing to bear on the institutions it funds. Last week, it emerged textbooks which showed Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic – despite the fact it is an independent nation – were being used in Victorian schools... an Australian journalist for China’s state run television has been detained. So far, the Global Times has avoided commenting on this obvious issue of concern.Cheng Lei was s a prominent anchor on English news channel China Global Television Network (CGTN). No charges appear to have been laid... On Twitter, Ms Cheng – anchor of the CGTN business show – describes herself as a “passionate orator of the China story”.She last tweeted on August 12. Her profile page on the CGTN website has disappeared.Last week, China’s Deputy Head of Mission to Australia Wang Xining told the National Press Club in Canberra that: “We are not trying to turn Australia into the People’s Republic of China”.“We are not trying to replace your system with a presidential system. We’re asking Hungry Jacks to sell Chinese dumplings.”... Mr Wang said the PM’s decision to back an inquiry in the origins of the virus had “hurt the feelings” of the Chinese people."

China's Antarctic bases within Australia's claim are going unchecked

Chinese soccer superstar Hao Haidong calls for ouster of Communist Party, stunning nation - The Washington Post - "Chinese sports stars usually express thanks and offer platitudes about their government — if they address politics and power at all.Not Hao Haidong... Within 24 hours, according to the Internet monitor freeweibo.com, Hao’s name had become the most heavily censored term on Weibo — topping even “6-4,” the perennially censored reference to the Tiananmen crackdown on June 4, 1989."

Ren Zhiqiang: Chinese tycoon who criticized Xi Jinping's handling of coronavirus jailed for 18 years - "Ren Zhiqiang, a retired real-estate tycoon with close ties to senior Chinese officials, disappeared in March after he allegedly penned a scathing essay that month criticizing Xi's response to the coronavirus epidemic. He was later charged with corruption-related offenses... China's court system has a conviction rate of around 99%, according to legal observers, and corruption charges are often used to go after Communist Party insiders who fall afoul of the leadership. Ren's conviction and heavy sentence appears designed to send a message to other members of the Chinese elite that any public criticism or defiance of Xi will not be tolerated"

Hollywood action clips spotted in China air force video - "A high-octane PR video for China's air force crash-landed on social media after users questioned why the world's second-largest military power spliced clips from Hollywood blockbusters "Transformers" and "The Rock" into its own propaganda material."

Why CSIS believes Canada is a ‘permissive target’ for China’s interference - "Canada is an “attractive and permissive target” for Chinese interference that endangers the “foundations of our fundamental institutions, including our system of democracy itself,” according to a recent national security review.The reason, experts suggest, is because China’s Communist Party has won the support of some influential Canadians by using economic carrots and sticks, while public attention on Beijing’s broad campaign is “almost non-existent.”The national security review says “for years Canadian Security Intelligence Service has investigated and reported on the threat” of foreign interference. But unlike Canada’s Western intelligence allies, Ottawa hasn’t responded with strong countermeasures... The committee’s report named two countries — Russia and China — among those conducting “sophisticated and pervasive foreign interference activities against Canada.”But intelligence officials and former diplomats, including Canada’s former ambassador to China, believe China is the greater threat, in large part because the country has been successful in “elite capture.” “China is the No. 1 threat to Canada and has been for some time,” David Mulroney, former ambassador to China, said in an interview. China has used its economic leverage to secure “the voices” of political and business leaders in Canada with “sweetheart business deals” and “various inducements,” including lucrative board positions or honours in China, he said. And as a result, Mulroney said he often hears people reciting Beijing’s line on issues such as the extradition case of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou or are silent in the face of China’s mass detention of Uyghurs and incursions on democracy in Hong Kong... Canadians should see Hong Kong as a case study... “Canada is kind of a sleepy and unaware target,” he said. “We don’t have the same kind of vigilance that you now see in places like Australia and New Zealand. That had better change.” China uses a vast network of political, business and media operatives directed from Beijing, known as the United Front, in attempts to co-opt Chinese-Canadian communities and leaders... people should look at China’s patient campaign to control Hong Kong, where China has used front groups to co-opt political leaders, tycoons and institutions since the 1990s... Fung said she believes China has successfully influenced “many elected officials."... Tensions reached a new level in August 2019, Fung said, when Hong Kong Canadians were targeted in anti-democracy counter-protests in a number of Canadian cities.Fung pointed to a Hong Kong democracy counter-rally at Toronto’s Old City Hall on Aug. 17, where she says her group was surrounded by students and middle-aged leaders, who Fung associated with Toronto United Front groups... “United Front work is Beijing’s strategy to influence overseas Chinese communities, foreign governments and other actors … mainly through economic or financial inducement,” the commission’s chair Robin Cleveland and vice-chair Carolyn Bartholomew told Global News in a statement. “The CCP considers ethnic Chinese everywhere to ultimately be Chinese subjects, regardless of their citizenship, and seeks to treat them as resources to assist in ‘the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation’ whether they like it or not.”... Most experts interviewed by Global News said Australia’s legislative reforms should be a model for other countries combating China’s interference campaigns.In an interview, McGuinty, the intelligence committee chair, said the report underlined how Australia has taken concrete measures since 2018, including adding new offences to its Criminal Code."

Barbados's moves to drop the Queen as Head of State 'are being driven by Chinese interference'

Facebook - "This is a glimpse of how China is able to shape how and what students in a foreign country can learn. Do you think the buck stops here? Or do you think the goal is the extension of the borders of its totalitarian control?Professor Rory Truex of Princeton will have students for his Chinese politics class use code names to ensure they aren’t connected to discussions or opinions that the Chinese government could find objectionable.The HK National Security Law allows rebellious acts, including secession and working with foreign governments, to be reported to the Chinese government. The national security law also extends to those who aren’t inside Hong Kong.After returning home to Wuhan, China, a student from the University of Minnesota was sentenced to six months in jail after posting tweets that allegedly made fun of China’s leaders.Associate professor Meg Rithmire of Harvard Business School is requiring graduate students to read journals of Uighur Muslims being detained in camps in Xinjiang, China. Her course also plans to touch upon other sensitive topics, including Hong Kong.Harvard Business School is planning to grant students an exemption if they are concerned about the consequences of discussing delicate topics."

China Delays Entry of WHO Team Investigating COVID-19 Origins - "The World Health Organization expressed disappointment with China for delaying the travel of experts to the Asian country to investigate the origin of the virus, in a rare instance of public criticism from the international organization."
From early January 2021
You'd think that after over a year they had more than enough time to destroy evidence

Which Nations Are Democracies? Some Citizens Might Disagree - Bloomberg - "Overall, 78% of people believe that democracy is important; around the world, that number ranges from 92% in Greece (the “cradle of democracy”) to 50% in Iran (a “theocratic republic,” according to the Central Intelligence Agency).However, even 40% of those living in bona fide democracies (those countries classified as “free” by Freedom House) believe that their country is not, in fact, democratic... The disparity between those who believe in democracy and those who think they live in a democracy is the “perceived democratic deficit”... Interestingly, every one of the 53 countries surveyed in both 2020 and 2019 had some form of deficit, indicating that even in the freest of societies, democracy remains a work in progress or even an unattainable goal... 73% of Chinese consider China to be democratic, whereas only 49% of Americans believe the same about the U.S."
When national delusion from state brainwashing meets national delusion from a self-loathing elite

How China’s vast and aggressive fishing fleet is kept afloat by Beijing | South China Morning Post - "With anywhere from 200,000 to 800,000 boats, some as far afield as Argentina, China is unmatched in the size and reach of its fishing armada. Fuelled primarily by government subsidies, its growth and activities have largely gone unchecked, in part because China itself has historically had few rules governing fishing operations. The dominance and global ubiquity of this fleet raise broader questions about how, why and at what cost China has put so many boats on the water.The why has long been clear: geopolitical power and food security for China’s 1.4 billion people. As the United States Navy has pulled back from the waters of West Africa and the Middle East, China has bolstered its fishing and naval presence. And in places such as the South China Seaand the Arctic’s Northern Sea Route, China has laid claim to prized shipping lanes as well as sub-sea oil and gas deposits.“The scale and aggression of its fleet puts China in control,” says Gregory Poling, director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Washington-based think tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies, adding that few foreign countries have been willing to push back when China’s fishing boats make incursions into their national waters... The Chinese government says it has roughly 2,600 distant-water fishing vessels, which, according to a recent report by the Stimson Centre, a security research group, makes it three times larger than the fleets of the next top four territories – Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Spain – combined. “Without its massive subsidy schemes, China’s distant-water fishing fleet would be a fraction of its current size,” says Poling, “and most of its South China Sea fleet wouldn’t exist at all.”... Chinese fishermen further benefit from government-led fishing intelligence that helps them find the richest waters... As long as such fleets receive financial assistance to overfish, experts say sustainable fishing is impossible. Already, 90 per cent of commercial fish stocks tracked by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization have been overfished or fully fished – meaning they are past their capacity to replenish themselves – including the world’s 10 most important commercial species.“To put it bluntly,” says Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, “this is akin to paying burglars to rob your neighbour’s house.”... China ranks as the world’s worst offender when it comes to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing... One of the reasons China’s fleet is so bloated is that some of its fishing ships serve purposes other than merely fishing. Part of a so-called civilian militia, Poling says, these fishing vessels are dispatched to conflict zones at sea to surveil the waters and occasionally to intimidate and ram fishing or law enforcement boats from other countries... “The only reason that smaller [Chinese] fishermen go out to the Spratlys is because they’re paid to do so,” says Poling. The presence of these vessels has sped the decline of fish around the islands, led to clashes with fishing boats from other countries, and given China cover to build military installations on some of the reefs. Partly because they travel in groups and sometimes with armed security, Chinese fishing ships are often aggressive towards competitors or perceived threats"

Covid-19, funding concerns hit China’s belt and road projects | South China Morning Post - "the study found projects which had been blocked on national security grounds or for geopolitical considerations in countries experiencing tense relations with China. These included Australia, India, Romania and Vietnam"

Western gamers up in arms after mega-hit Genshin Impact censors words like ‘Taiwan’ and ‘Hong Kong’ in chat feeds | South China Morning Post - "“Due to Genshin Impact censoring the words Taiwan and Hong Kong in the in-game chat, I will no longer be posting about the game,” Hashimoto, who is based in Germany, wrote on his Twitter account.“Yeah … I can’t play it in good conscience,” Hashimoto told the Post when contacted directly. “I’ve raised money for pro-democracy organisations in Hong Kong before, and my best friend is from there, so it wouldn’t be right. And I’m not losing anything by not playing.” Last year, Hashimoto decided to quit playing games created by Activision Blizzard after the company moved to punish a Hong Kong e-sports player for chanting a Hong Kong protest slogan in a post-game interview."

Ghost of Tsushima’s Mongol invaders spark nationalist debate over PlayStation 4 game in China | South China Morning Post - "In Ghost of Tsushima, the Mongols are the bad guys.That may seem like a harmless premise for an action game set in the 13th century, but it has kicked off a lively online debate that pitches Chinese nationalists against supporters of Sony’s new PlayStation 4 title.Taking place during the first Mongol invasion of Japan, the game portrays Japanese warriors as heroes defending their home, the island of Tsushima, against ruthless foreign invaders... Today, some argue that the Mongols who occupied China should also be considered Chinese people. Japan, on the other hand, is considered an enemy because of the country’s invasion of China before World War II.“I stand with the Mongols, [Japanese people] can crawl,” one user commented on the video streaming site Bilibili, referring to Japanese people with a racial slur.“At the end of the day, this is a game where Japanese people are killing Chinese people,” another person wrote on the Quora-like Chinese site Zhihu. “The Mongols are one of the nomadic peoples of northern China. Just like the Han Chinese, they are Chinese people.”The commenter added, “Foreign players can play if they like, but Chinese people shouldn’t join in the fun.”But these nationalist comments quickly came under a torrent of ridicule... “A bunch of Chinese people trying to find national pride in a Japanese game made in the US, how inferior is that…”... A few people bemoaned the lack of global blockbusters made in China, suggesting that games could help shape the country’s image around the world.“To put it bluntly, if you can’t make a good game that’s popular around the world, you’re losing another voice in cultural diplomacy,” one said on Bilibili."
Of course, we know that China has never invaded a foreign country!
Then again, some clueless China shill claimed that China invading Vietnam because Vietnam defended itself against Kampuchea (while imagining Cambodia was different from Kampuchea) was self-defence
Unlike Chinese people, Western audiences don't condone politically motivated in-game chat censorship

A US military officer on Afghanistan

Instapundit » Blog Archive » THOUGHTS ON AFGHANISTAN, from a senior military officer with whom I am acquainted

I ask that you not use my name. I am a currently serving General Officer and what I have to say is highly critical of our current military leadership. But it must be said.

I don’t blame President Biden for the catastrophe in Afghanistan. It was the right decision to leave, the proof of which is how quickly the country collapsed without US support. Twenty years of training and equipping the Afghan army and all that they were capable of was a few hours of delay in a country the size of Texas. As for his predecessor, the only blame I place on President Trump was that he didn’t withdraw sooner.

We should blame President Bush, not for the decision to attack into Afghanistan following 9-11, but for his decision to “shift the goalposts” and attempt to reform Afghanistan society. That was a fool’s errand any student of history would have recognized. And yes, we should place blame on President Obama for his decision to double down on failure when he “surged” in Afghanistan, rather than to withdraw.

However, most of the blame belongs to the leadership of the US military, and the Army in particular. The Washington Post’s “Afghanistan Papers” detailed years of US officials failing to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan, “making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.” That report was two years ago, and the stories within it began more than a decade before that. Afghanistan was, and always will be, “unwinnable”.

Of course, I blame President Biden for the disastrous retrograde operation still unfolding. But let us not allow that to deflect us from heaping even more blame on military leaders. They stonewalled President Trump rather than beginning deliberate preparations to exit the country when he told them to. They thought that they could outlast him and then talk sense to his successor. Then after the inauguration, they pressed the new president to reverse course. He wisely chose withdrawal. Then and only then did the generals begin their preparations in earnest. But it was too late to do it well.

The war in Afghanistan lasted more than twice as long as the Vietnam War. Although the cost in terms of American blood was thankfully far smaller, the mistakes are the same: America got involved in a long land war in Asia, in a peripheral region, in order to prop up a floundering and unreliable government, and at a time when there was a much bigger looming threat. In fact, Afghanistan was worse than Vietnam in that at least the Vietnam War was tangentially related to the effort to stop the global spread of communism during the Cold War. Afghanistan was worse than Vietnam in another respect: the military’s leaders of the Vietnam era had no precedent to dissuade them from a disastrous path. Today’s military leadership has the precedent of not just Vietnam, but also Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. That much obtuseness must be punished and removed from the system.

General Milley must resign. Not only is he the Chairman of the Joint Staff, prior to that he was the Chief of Staff of the Army. While all services share the blame, the Army is the land domain proponent. The 20 years of failure in Afghanistan is an Army failure. Scores of other generals also deserve a thorough evaluation; many of them are complicit in the lies to protect a decades-long failed strategy.

Secretary of Defense Austin also must be fired. The recently retired Army general and former CENTCOM commander was, and still is, part of the culture that is impervious to the fact that 20 years of trying it their way did not work.

Just as it did after Vietnam, the military, and especially the Army, must conduct a comprehensive review of why it exists. The purpose of the Army is to visit profound violence on our nation’s enemies; it is not to rebuild failed states. We have decades of experience: counter-insurgencies and nation-building does not work for America. We do not have the stomach for long wars of occupation—and that is a good thing. We are a nation of commerce, not conflict. A constellation of retired stars will tell you that the two can coexist. They are wrong. Retired Vice Chief of Staff of the Army General Jack Keane said only two months ago that because Afghanistan consumes just a small portion of the force, America “can afford the cost of fighting” there. What he does not see is that for 20 years, that “small portion” was the most important portion of the military. Everything else necessarily is subservient to the portion of the force in conflict. It has altered who the Army is and how it thinks. There exists only a handful of officers below the general officer ranks who served during the Cold War and who have lived through an era of great power conflict. From private through brigade commander, virtually every Army Soldier serving today has experienced little other than counterinsurgencies or nation-building while operating out of secure FOBs. Large scale combat operations and insurgencies require different cultures and mindsets. In a resource constrained environment, the same service cannot do both well. The Army today could not win a major war. Yet, winning a major war, is the number one reason why an Army exists. It will take a generation to break bad habits, to think in terms of closing with and destroying the enemy versus winning hearts and minds. Keane sees raw numbers (and ignores the stark evidence that there was no progress over 20 years) and thinks that America’s Army can sustain that level of commitment. It cannot, and the opportunity cost to the culture of the force is much too great. Ignore him. Ignore Petraeus, McMaster, Stavridis, and the rest of their ilk.

Concurrent with its review of purpose, the Army must reevaluate its size and how it is organized. The active component is much too large. That makes it too eager to get involved in irrelevant theaters where failure is likely or even preordained. It should be very difficult for an American president to deploy the Army without the National Guard performing most combat operations. You argue that that takes time? Yes, that’s the point: it should take time to make the case to the American people that war is worth it.

The Marine Corps must provide the nation’s rapid response forces. It is a self-contained deployable multi-domain force. Some would argue that the service has both insufficient combat power and staying power. However, that is a feature, and not a flaw, as it forces the nation to rely on its Army—and hence its reserve components—before engaging in heavy combat or lengthy operations. The current Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Berger, already seems to recognize his service’s role—hence his decision to eliminate armor from the Corps.

Congress must reevaluate the authorities contained within Sections 12301 through 12304 of Title X. The president has too much latitude to, on his own authority, mobilize tens or even hundreds of thousands of Guardsmen and Reservists without congressional approval. It must be the policy of the United States that we do not place our service members in harm’s way without first making the case to the American people. This also means ending the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force as well as strengthening Congress’ role in the War Powers Act such that, absent an actual declaration of war, there can be no war.

Some would argue that such a constraint would limit the nation’s ability to respond to a Russian incursion in the Baltics or a Chinese attack on Taiwan. However, recent open-source studies conclude that the US military already is unable to defend against either attack. Pretending otherwise while not having the means to back up our assurances unnecessarily emboldens our partners and allies, making such an attack more likely. We lose nothing by making the law match the reality.

Let us not forget the intelligence agencies. They reported that Kabul was at risk of falling in as little as 90 days. That report was from last Thursday! The capital fell in less than 90 hours. Failure must be punished. And punishment in a bureaucracy means mass firings and a smaller budget—not more money so that they might be better the next time. Congress must consolidate and collapse our intelligence agencies. And when its reorganization is done, if the overall size of the nation’s intelligence apparatus is a quarter of what it is now, that still is too large.

And while we are on the topic of “too large,” DoD must be halved. There are too many flag officers, too many agencies, departments, and directorates. It is the only secretariat with independent but supposedly subordinate secretaries. There are too many Geographic Component Commands—each led by a 4-star virtual proconsul whose budget dwarfs what the Department of State spends in their regions. The result is a foreign policy that is overly military and underly diplomatic, informational, and economic. Congress must revisit the 1947 National Security Act and the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols Act. Both were good for their times, but after decades of experience, there clearly are new reforms necessary.

Unreformed, DoD is an inscrutable labyrinth which invites fraud, waste, and abuse. The excess attracts unscrupulous camp followers. Amazon did not choose Crystal City to locate its new headquarters because of low rents and ease of transportation access for its 25,000 employees. It chose the Arlington, Virginia neighborhood because it is two blocks from the Pentagon. That building controls the distribution of three-quarters of a trillion dollars every year. Most of it is wasted. The excess is apparent in the scores of class-A high rises housing defense contractors just blocks from the Pentagon. To end that waste, nothing so concentrates the senses as austerity.

Let me conclude with one last thought: the generals, the intelligence analysts, the defense contractors, and the pundits all leveraged America’s rarest resource: the American serviceman and woman. They are the ones who fought, and sweat, and bled, and died for what is now clearly a failed strategy and a doomed mission. Even after its failure was apparent to their leaders, they continued to enlist and reenlist, largely because their superiors—the experts—assured them that success was possible. It was not. It never was. Absent American support, Afghanistan collapsed over the length of a long weekend. That is proof enough that the last 20 years were in vain, and proof enough that the system is broken from within.


I guess Mark Milley should have spent more time trying to "understand white rage"...

Links - 1st September 2021 (1)

Tinder Plus pricing higher for older people - "the judges ruled in his favour, invoking California civil rights law: customers had to be treated as individuals rather than as members of a group based on attributes such as gender, race or age.They noted rulings that upheld differences in treatment based on age: higher interest rates on bank deposits for seniors, cheaper movie tickets for children. The justification: social policies that match, such as retirement for the elderly and restrictions on child employment.But Tinder's pricing model, they said, for which the price point changed at age 30, amounted to prohibited arbitrary discrimination. The judge who wrote the ruling pointed out that Tinder's argument could be used to justify "higher prices for all consumers 30 and older in even the most essential areas of commerce – such as grocery shopping, gasoline purchases, etc. – even in instances where an individual did not in fact enjoy the economic advantages that are presumed about his or her age group"... Tinder didn't respond to our repeated requests for an interview with its chief marketing officer, Jenny Campbell, or its country director for Australia, Kristen Hardeman, to discuss these prices and how they appear to contravene Australia's discrimination laws... there are times when this happens in annoying though seemingly harmless ways – airlines tweaking the price of flights depending on where and when a person wants to fly, as well as where and when they search for them, for example.A few years ago, if you booked a ride on Uber, the fare would be based on distance and time and only go up with local demand. Then Uber changed the algorithm to better predict a person's willingness to pay, incorporating factors such as the wealth of their destination suburb. The impact of an algorithm can be dramatic, especially in dollar terms. Orbitz, a travel site, was reported showing Apple Mac users more-expensive travel options after determining they would spend up to 30% more a night on hotels.In 2016, Benjamin Shiller, an assistant professor in economics at Brandeis University in the US, estimated that Netflix could increase its profits by 12% if it adopted personalised pricing based on people's web browsing behaviour. This would clearly be a boon to Netflix – less so for the consumers who'd be left paying double the price for the same service, which is what Shiller calculated some would pay.Even small pricing manipulations tend to leave people feeling duped.In 2000, for example, BBC News reported that Amazon had been charging higher prices for DVDs to frequent shoppers than new visitors of the online store... In 2008, a credit card company settled allegations made by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that it had failed to disclose the way it rated people's credit risk. The company had determined that people who used their cards to pay for therapy, marriage counselling or tyre-repair services were a higher credit risk, based on the repayment histories of its other customers... Our latest national Consumer Pulse survey, which ran in June, shows that four in five Australians are concerned about businesses not being transparent when it comes to the different prices they may be giving to different people. Four in five people are also concerned about businesses using data on our online habits to offer a higher price for a product. A quarter aren't aware that organisations can use their personal data to give them a higher quote for a product than they do for someone else. That's not to say that personalised pricing can't be used to do good. For instance, some may see it as socially beneficial to charge wealthy people more for a product and charge people struggling financially, less. But there's an important distinction to make in all of this: instead of working out how much we can afford to pay, first-degree price discrimination is about finding out how much we're willing to pay."

Diane Abbott Once Argued That 'On Balance Mao Did More Good Than Harm' - "Labour was engulfed in a bizarre row over Mao, after shadow chancellor John McDonnell decided to quote from his Little Red Book in the Commons.On This Week, Neil wondered why it was seen as ok to wear a t-shirt with a picture of Mao but not one of Hitler... Neil chipped in: "Mao killed tens of millions of people."Abbott said: "He led his country from feudalism he helped to defeat the Japanese and he left his country on the verge of the great economic success they are having now."
Considering that the Communists let the Nationalists fight the Japanese and the Great Leap Forward and other policies destroyed China's economy...

Farmer fish become first animal found domesticating another species - "So far, the only other organisms known to domesticate others have been insects – for example ants farm aphids, protecting them from predators in exchange for the sweet sticky goo they excrete. But the behavior has never been observed in other vertebrate species before.Until now. On an expedition to coral reefs in Belize, a team led by researchers at Griffith and Deakin Universities discovered that longfin damselfish appear to have domesticated mysid shrimp."

Facebook - "Black people use to fly untill we were introduced to Western diet,and we lost all our magical powers,this one of the reasons they(white people)use to call us:FALLEN ANGELS/GODS."

the void on Twitter - "every woman knows it’s not all men. but we don’t know WHICH men. so we stay wary of ALL men. it’s not rocket science"
"This is literally the same logic racists use when talking about black people."
Power relations means never having to say you're sorry

Disney Bounces Their Boob Screeners - "If you happen to be an exhibitionist, the Happiest Place on Earth just got a little happier -- 'cause Disney is dropping their last line of defense against roller-coaster boobie flashers.It's all over rides like Splash Mountain -- aka Flash Mountain -- where some people would whip out certain body parts in the hopes that the park camera would catch the nudity ... and then display the naked shot on the photo preview screens for all to see.Disney had created "image screening positions" to prevent the XXX shots from going public. But now, execs have told the OC Register the screeners have been "redeployed" -- and that they no longer need to monitor the rides because "actual inappropriate behaviors by guests are rare.""

The World Is Studded With Artificial Mountains - " The majority of the artificial mountains in the United States are the byproducts of cement and steel production, formed at the height of those industries between the late 1800s and mid-20th century."

Bucks County woman created ‘deepfake’ videos to harass rivals on her daughter’s cheerleading squad, DA says - "A Bucks County woman anonymously sent coaches on her teen daughter’s cheerleading squad fake photos and videos that depicted the girl’s rivals naked, drinking, or smoking, all in a bid to embarrass them and force them from the team, prosecutors say.The woman, Raffaela Spone, also sent the manipulated images to the girls, and, in anonymous messages, urged them to kill themselves... There was no indication that her high school-age daughter, who was not publicly identified, knew what her mother was doing"

Penguin jumps onto tour boat to escape killer whale

The Ocean Sunfish: Why The Rant Is Wrong - "Many, many animals suffer from public misperception and bad PR. Previously I have discussed how Komodo dragons are misrepresented as incompetent hunters by media, and how Atlantic bluefin tuna are almost entirely seen as a luxury dish and not as the endangered predator it is. But there are animals that have it even worse. These are species which are wrongly labeled as being just plain useless, and they include today's subject: the Ocean Sunfish, or Mola (Mola mola)... People have gone as far as to edit the Wikipedia page on ocean sunfish to further reflect their opinions on this species: someone added that a number of sunfish migrated to North America to vote for Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential elections... But there are worse problems with the rant. Almost everything about that rant is wrong. Most of the information on it is actually from outdated research, or outright unsupported by anything. Yet it is taken as fact by most of the people who read it... Considering the lack of research and lack of conservation effort oriented at this unusual, highly threatened species, greater public awareness is going to be paramount to keeping the ocean sunfish afloat. But most of the public knows this species through the infamous rant, and as a result, a significant proportion now actively hates this fish. At best they may think of it as yet another organism that exists only because of sheer numbers, rather than as the well-adapted, swift-moving, deep-diving predator it is. And that cuts off a huge source of funding to research or conservation, since nobody would want to study a species that's "useless".   That Facebook rant may eventually be the literal death to this species. If that happens, Scout Burns will be the first person in history to ensure the extinction of a species through a Facebook post."

Woman Resurrects A Bird With Her Breasts (Viral Twitter Thread) - "twitter user @Fizzygrrl seems to have indeed brought a bird back to life - twice - using her magical breasts"
On Summer Heacock

UCLA Academic Freedom Committee on “Academic Freedom to Quote Offensive Source Material in Class Discussions” - "There was a high-profile controversy earlier this year involving UCLA Political Science Department lecturer Ajax Peris, who was faulted for reading—in a lecture about the history of racism—a passage from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail ("when your first name becomes 'nigger,' your middle name becomes 'boy' (however old you are) … and your wife and mother are never given the respected title 'Mrs.' … —then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait"), and playing a documentary on lynching where the word "nigger" was also quoted... University classes often examine and discuss source materials that people—legislators, donors, the public, students, and others—may find offensive. These materials may include writings that expound offensive ideas, or discuss violent, even horrific events. The materials may include visual depictions of genocide, slavery, and other atrocities, as well as the symbols of regimes and ideologies responsible for such horrors. The materials may also discuss regrettably everyday crimes such as rape, child molestation, murder, and domestic abuse, as well as other disturbing matters such as depression and suicide.Just to offer a few examples, the materials may include passages from Mein Kampf; photographs from concentration camps; photographs of lynchings; depictions of swastikas or Ku Klux Klan rallies; court documents discussing racist behavior; passages from the autobiographies of the victims of violence, war, and oppression, or from fictional descriptions of violent events; or statistical data that reflects disparities among various groups. The materials may also include books, films, songs, and other works that include specific words or phrases that many find offensive, from vulgarities to epithets to blasphemy. They may also include creative works that try to accurately capture the (often harsh) reality of some time, place, or environment, as well as critique and analysis of those works. Such material can come up in many different fields, such as history, law, sociology, psychology, biology, African American studies, women's studies, art, art criticism, literature, music, musicology, film, and theater, just to name a few.Academic freedom includes instructors' rights to assign such material, and to display and discuss it in class and in related assignments, both in writing and verbally. Academic freedom likewise includes students' rights to discuss the material. The willingness to confront and discuss even highly disturbing realities is a vital part of the "freedom to teach"—"the right of the faculty to select the materials" and "determine the approach to the subject."[1]  Indeed, the freedom to candidly discuss such realities is especially important to those who want to draw people's attention to injustice, violence, and oppression, whether they are faculty members, civil rights leaders, artists, or others."
Liberals claim that they don't want to erase history, but if you can't even teach history that liberals find offensive at the college level...

Burbank school district removes 5 novels over racism charges - Los Angeles Times - "Five novels had been challenged in Burbank: Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” Theodore Taylor’s “The Cay” and Mildred D. Taylor’s Newbery Medal-winning young-adult classic “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.”The challenges came from four parents (three of them Black) for alleged potential harm to the public-school district’s roughly 400 Black students. All but “Huckleberry Finn” have been required reading in the BUSD. The ongoing case has drawn the attention of free-speech organizations across the country, which are decrying it as the latest act of school censorship... None of the five novels in dispute is openly supportive of segregation or bigotry. All were flagged for words we now find offensive. But the parents’ objections are not merely over language. They also worry about the way these books portray Black history and the lessons they might impart to modern readers.“The Cay” and “Huckleberry Finn” feature white children learning from the suffering and wisdom of older Black men. “To Kill a Mockingbird” stars Atticus Finch, a white lawyer who defends a Black man accused of raping a white woman. Its white-savior story line reads much differently nearly 60 years after its publication. “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” may have instigated Helligar’s complaint, but it is something of an outlier. Narrated by a young Black girl growing up in the South during the Great Depression and Jim Crow era, it’s the only novel on the list by a Black author.Notably, the BUSD’s reading list hasn’t been revised in three decades. “For over 30 years,” said Helligar, “these books have been on this list. The true ban is that there aren’t other books of other voices that could ever be on there”"
Apparently the free speech organisations don't understand the First Amendment since the books aren't being banned for everyone, and the arc of history is such that works which condemn racism are now racist, and bigots need to be educated!

BC teacher suspended after showing class 'To Kill A Mockingbird' film - "The teacher, Andrew Michael Dennis, showed his Grade 6/7 students the film in September 2018, a resolution agreement by the BC Commissioner for Teacher Regulation found.  The resolution states that the film dealt with themes too mature for students that age, such as sexual assault and racism, as well as racial slurs... Dennis also showed his students JRR Tolkien film The Hobbit, and read them "The Lottery," which is typically given as materials for grades 11 or 12.  Dennis then showed his students film adaptation of The Lottery, then had his students play a Lottery-themed dodgeball game"

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