"The happiest place on earth"

Get email updates of new posts:        (Delivered by FeedBurner)

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Links - 13th August 2022 (2)

Salman Rushdie: Man arrested after author attacked on stage - "Author Salman Rushdie, who suffered years of Islamist death threats after writing The Satanic Verses, has been attacked on stage in New York state.  The Booker Prize winner, 75, was speaking at an event at the Chautauqua Institution at the time.  New York State Police said a male suspect ran up onto the stage and attacked Mr Rushdie and an interviewer.  "Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck," the police statement said.  The author was transported by helicopter to a local hospital. His condition is not currently known.  The interviewer, Henry Reese, also suffered a minor head injury. Mr Reese is the co-founder of a non-profit that provides sanctuary to writers exiled under threat of persecution... Dozens of people died in the violence that followed its publication, including murdered translators of the work. The bounty over Mr Rushdie's head remains active, although Iran's government has distanced itself from Khomeini's decree.  The author, who has British and American citizenship, is a vocal advocate for freedom of expression and has defended his work on several occasions.  When he was knighted in 2007 by Queen Elizabeth II, it sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, where one cabinet minister said the honour "justifies suicide attacks".  Literary events attended by Mr Rushdie have been subject to threats and boycotts in the past."

Dutch Police Arrested a Bird for Its Part in a Robbery - "A Dutch bird was spotted at the scene of the crime, and the police evidently had a lot of fun doling out a punishment.  Police in Utrecht, in the Netherlands, found the “sneaky witness” when arresting a shoplifting subject. Politie Utrecht shared a picture of the bird on their Instagram... The police allegedly gave the bird bread and water to keep it satiated in the police station. Responsible!  When initially reporting on the bird’s arrest, news organization RTV Utrecht blurred out the bird’s eyes to keep his identity private. Also responsible!"

Low quality video | Facebook
Crayfish/crawfish walks into hot oil and cooks itself

Therapeutic dog helping rape victims in Afghanistan goat

Facebook - "Myself, along with rest of Singapore: "Yay super long weekend. How to spend it?"
Cyclist: "Yay. Super long weekend. Feeling cute. Maybe I shall try to ruin someone's life today by throwing my meat in front of 2 tons of moving steel." (Yeah this from my car camera this morning)"
Time for cyclists to hate on motorists again!

Cyclist 'jumped red light and killed pedestrian Peter McCombie' - "A cyclist killed a 73-year-old pedestrian after riding through a red light, leaving him "bleeding" in the road, a court has heard. Ermir Loka, of Manor Road, Leyton, east London, is accused of the manslaughter of Peter McCombie, who was struck on Bow Road, Tower Hamlets on 3 July. Mr McCombie died from severe brain injuries eight days after the crash."
The cyclists will just use this as "proof" that they are being "persecuted", and claim that this shows that there needs to be even more support for cycling (even though existing infrastructure is already under-utilised)

Facebook - "This is the main reason why kids these days are not strong physically. They have never been through such intensive physical training. Best compound exercise that combines endurance, strength and agility workouts to stimulate the brain, and to activate every single muscle fibre in the body while improving VO2max. And this exercise trains motor skills and promotes good judgement too, as the child needs to constantly turn his head while running, to have immediate judgement on how fast he needs to run.
*Kid running from mother who's going to cane him*"

Quiet strength? LOL! George Takei BOASTS he’s ‘more of a man than someone like Tucker Carlson’ and WOW that’s a lotta backfire - "George Takei tweeting about himself, calling himself ‘more of a man than someone like Tucker Carlson’, and then babbling about his quiet strength is one of the funnier moments we’ve seen on Twitter that was accidentally funny. We’re pretty sure George wasn’t trying to make himself look like a total doorknob and yet, he succeeded...
'There’s much talk these days of what being a man entails. I’m more of a man than someone like Tucker Carlson will ever be because I have experienced grave injustice yet chosen the path of compassion, truth and forgiveness. It’s a quiet strength he’ll never know.'
Quiet strength doesn’t mean going on Twitter and babbling about it, George.
'But really, it's your humility we most admire. You never talk about yourself.'"
Comments (elsewhere): "Same side talking about what it is to be a man can't even define what a woman is. Piss off George."
"God Takei is such a bitch. Dude your people were locked away during ww2 by the same politicians you blow today."
"No wonder shatner couldn’t stand him"
"Sounds like toxic masculinity to me... 😂 insulting others based on who is "more of a man" is some undeserved ego driven dumb shit. Talk about elitist Naked hypocrisy with a splash of "please pay attention to me. I want to be relevant". Tucker is the number one rated news opinion hour on the number one media station.. George is a has been who's career has has devolved from campy 60's has been actor to "being the snarky gay Asian guy on twitter that says edgy things for attention sometimes""
"When you have to announce that you’re actually a man on social media."
"Quiet strength? Dude is anything but quiet. He's the biggest blowhard on the internet. His entire personality is "I'm a gay actor." Good for you, George. But the fact remains, you were a sub-par supporting role in a mediocre TV show that's pretty much been your only achievement. At least Shatner had a career after Star Trek."
"Wasn't this man saying stuff down the lines of "anyone who doesn't get vaccinated should be forbidden from using health services and be left to die"?"
">it's a quiet strength
>tweets it to his millions of followers

George Takei on Twitter - "Ben Carson says that poverty is a "state of mind." You know what else is a state of mind? Always being a blithering idiot."
George Takei on Twitter - "My only critique of Joe Biden calling Peter Doocy a stupid son of a b*tch over a hot mic was that he didn't do it sooner."
George Takei on Twitter - "What a sad pathetic little man."
George Takei on Twitter - "Tucker Carlson thinks it’s cool to mispronounce Kamala Harris’s name. Hmmm. What sounds like “Tucker”?"
So much "compassion, truth and forgiveness" and "quiet strength". George really needs to fire his whole social media team for incompetence. Not to mention still hating Shatner after 60 years because Shatner was the star and he was only a supporting cast member

Richard Hanania on Twitter - "Imagine what a nice guy Tucker must be for them to write a ten million word series on how bad he is and not to find even a single alleged case of “racism,” etc. in his personal dealings with people. We know how low the standards of the press are for this sort of thing."
On the New York Times hitjob

Meme - "*Move from suburbs to city* Liberal: "Nooooo thats gentrification!"
*Moves from city to suburbs* Liberal: "Nooooo thats white flight!""
Despite how they mock conservatives of being afraid of change, when it comes to housing liberals hate change

Industry City Project in Brooklyn Defeated by Progressives - The New York Times - "It was slated to be one of the biggest real estate projects in New York City in years, a major expansion of the Industry City complex on the Brooklyn waterfront that could have created as many as 20,000 jobs at a time when local unemployment has soared because of the pandemic.  But on Tuesday night, the project’s owner canceled the expansion in the face of fierce opposition from left-leaning Democrats, ending the biggest clash over development in the city since the collapse of the Amazon deal in Queens last year, and highlighting the growing influence of the left in local politics. The project, which required the city’s approval to rezone the area, had been cast as a way to bring jobs to an underdeveloped industrial section of Sunset Park, and supporters argued that the city’s massive job losses in recent months gave them an even more compelling reason to move forward with plans to create a shopping and office behemoth there. New York City’s unemployment rate last month was 16 percent, nearly twice the national average. But the area’s councilman and some community groups opposed the rezoning, saying that it would be a “luxury mall” that would worsen gentrification, and contending that job estimates were inflated... the progressive wing of the Democratic Party saw the proposal as a favor to big business, one that could lead to displacement in Sunset Park, a diverse, working-class neighborhood on the Brooklyn waterfront."
Anything that benefits big business is bad, even if others benefit. Big business must be burnt down, even if everyone loses their jobs

The Anti-growth Alliance That Fueled Urban Gentrification - The Atlantic - "Among some leftists and liberals alike, as well as the politicians who court them, the idea that developers of pricey apartments and condo buildings are to blame for high housing prices has long been an article of faith. In this telling, new luxury housing is the reason that former working- and middle-class neighborhoods in their cities have become fancy enclaves... Fighting the construction of such housing would not only reverse the trend of unaffordability, but from the perspective of politicians and activists would also demonstrate support for working-class residents in the process... in portraying new housing as the proximate cause of gentrification, it exacerbates the very housing crisis it seeks to solve. Choose any major city in America with a high cost of living, and you’ll find that the suspicion of new housing is pervasive in local politics... Skepticism about growth has been a powerful force in urban politics for more than half a century... Architectural preservationists, who preferred ornate older buildings to modernist designs and saw their work as integral to keeping urban living appealing, worked to designate some of American cities’ first historic districts. Homeowner groups mobilized against highways, commercial establishments, multi-family apartment buildings, and other nuisances that they perceived as threats to their property values and “neighborhood character.” And left-wing organizations constituting what the activist Harry Boyte later called the “backyard revolution”—a movement that emphasized small-scale community organizing and other place-based advocacy as a means of effecting social justice—participated as well, calling for processes that would allow vulnerable groups, such as tenants, to veto new projects they did not feel were in their best interest... Nature enthusiasts, architectural historians, homeowners, and rock-ribbed socialists all found it advantageous to portray developers as a shadowy, parasitic force in metropolitan politics"
Yet liberals mock conservatives for being afraid of change

New Report Recasts Gentrification as a Potential Force for Social Justice - "For many on the Left, gentrification remains a dirty word, synonymous—or at least closely associated—with racism, oligarchic developers, neoliberalism, and even genocide...   A just-released working paper from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve could shake up the conversation. Several previous studies have already cast doubt on the conventional wisdom that gentrification causes widespread displacement of poor, longtime residents. “The Effects of Gentrification on Well Being and Opportunity of Original Resident Adults and Their Children” goes further by recasting gentrification as a potential force for income integration and social mobility. Unlike many previous studies, the paper, by Quentin Brummet of the National Opinion Research Center and Davin Reed at the Fed, is longitudinal, giving not just a snapshot of neighborhood residents but a picture over time... Gentrification displaces very few people. An influx of college-educated residents into formerly lower-income neighborhoods—the accepted definition of gentrification—increases the probability that vulnerable, less-educated renters move to another neighborhood by about 3 percentage points. The effect on resident moves to a neighborhood at least one mile away is higher, at about 5 percentage points.   These findings demonstrate that gentrification has only a modest impact on displacement, debunking previous research that failed to consider just how dynamic urban neighborhoods are. Urbanites move a lot: 68 percent of less educated renters and 79 percent of more educated urban renters will haul their furniture to different lodgings over the course of a decade. That’s the case even where there are no latte-sippers snapping up nearby condos. The constant churning of the population means that gentrifiers are generally not forcing out locals so much as taking their place as they leave. The authors conclude that when the gentrifiers come, less educated residents—the most vulnerable ones—are only 10 percent more likely to move than they would have been if everything had stayed the same. The bigger surprise is what happens to low-income residents who stay put compared with those who do move out. The stayers remain at the same poverty levels as before gentrification, but they see less poverty in their midst (the gentrifiers themselves see considerably more). Homeowners enjoy a big increase in their home values, enough to offset the inevitable rise in taxes. The authors also find, “somewhat surprisingly,” that rent increases for less educated residents remain much as they would have been if the gentrifiers had never arrived; educated stayers and newcomers, on the other hand, pay more. Most work on gentrification relies on median rents, but medians disguise considerable variation.   The paper’s most intriguing finding concerns gentrification’s effect on children. Kids living in gentrified neighborhoods see less poverty and more educated neighbors, and they develop more advantageous networks. Most strikingly, gentrification increases the probability that children of less educated homeowners will attend and graduate college. One of the most popular ideas for improving poor kids’ life chances is to move them into better neighborhoods... gentrification is allowing less advantaged families to “move to opportunity”—without even moving."

Why Do Progressives Hate Gentrification? - "On the whole, progressives ought to love gentrification. It makes black inner-city homeowners wealthier... What’s more, gentrification breaks up concentrated poverty and reduces residential segregation. Progressives have frequently observed that poor blacks are more likely to live in concentrated poverty than poor whites. As a result, they lose out on the advantages that come with living in a mixed-income neighborhood. Gentrification helps solve this problem. Moreover, progressives often observe that residential segregation remains pervasive half a century after the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Gentrification helps solve that problem too. If a Democratic president were to implement a policy that substantially increased the net worth of tens of thousands of black inner-city residents, decreased residential segregation, and broke up concentrated poverty—all at no cost to taxpayers—they would go down as one of the greatest progressive presidents in recent history. Yet, despite the fact that its effects are identical, progressives view gentrification as at best, regrettable, and at worst, evil... you will never hear about the thousands of black inner-city renters and homeowners who don’t care about, or love, gentrification. Whether or not concerns about cultural change have merit, it’s clear that they are not the driving force behind progressive opposition to gentrification. Indeed, the main reason progressives oppose gentrification has less to do with the well-being of the gentrified than with the race of the gentrifiers. If you doubt this, consider the following hypothetical: imagine that the gentrifiers, instead of being white, were high-skilled immigrants from India... Progressive anti-whiteness more closely resembles communist hatred of the bourgeoisie. It is a conspiratorial bigotry that ascribes to white people a mercenary nature, a high level of competence, and an innate desire for dominance... opposition to gentrification has consequences. Measures intended to curb gentrification, such as rent control and zoning laws, perversely make housing less affordable for the poor and wealthy alike.  But more importantly, anti-white sentiment does not go unnoticed outside of the progressive bubble. And whatever wall of irony allegedly separates progressive white-bashing from true bigotry gets lost in translation across the political divide."

Democrats Are the Real Party of War - "An adept lawyer and legal scholar, Obama didn’t technically violate a promise about leaving Iraq. On the campaign trail he never said he would end the Iraq war immediately on gaining office, only that he would start ending it immediately, the kind of technically-not-lying he excelled at in 2008. In playing three-card monte with anti-war sentiment, Obama imitates no-one so much as Democratic predecessor Woodrow Wilson, who was narrowly reelected in 1916 on the slogan “he kept us out of the war.” Strictly speaking, this was true, but Wilson had also spent 1916—against the will of a powerful, mobilized and largely forgotten peace movement—preparing and expanding the armed forces. Within five months of his reelection, the United States entered World War I.  Indeed, all of the major U.S. wars in the 20th century—World War I, II, Korea and Vietnam—were entered by Democratic administrations. Harry Truman, a Democrat, is still the only world leader to use a nuclear bomb on a population. And with the exception of World War II, where almost all anti-war sentiment collapsed after Pearl Harbor, these wars were entered over the objections of the left wing of the Democratic Party. But while the presence of that left wing has guaranteed that anti-war liberals rally to the Democratic side, it not yet stopped a Democratic administration from going to war.   What about the way that war has been used throughout the 20th century to stomp on Civil liberties? Certainly the Republicans hold more responsibility for the Cold War and “patriotic” repression? It’s true that we tend to think of right-wing nationalist “Cold Warriors,” of Joseph McCarthy sneering at Hollywood screenwriters or Reagan yelling at Gorbachev in absentia. But blocking out the role the Democrats played in the Red Scare is a victory of liberal historicism, nothing else.  McCarthyism’s founding political act was an executive order by Harry Truman creating the “loyalty review boards” for federal employees. Under the review boards’ auspices, mere suspicion of any communist leaning was grounds for firing and blacklisting. And it was Democrats who founded and first staffed the infamous House Committee of Un-American Activities (HUAC). These organizations were the legal backbone and administrative agents of McCarthyism.   Furthermore, many of the more extreme strategies of McCarthyism go back to the first Red Scare of 1917-1920. Coordinated by the FBI’s predecessor (the Bureau of Investigation), the Committee on Public Information (Woodrow Wilson’s war-propaganda branch), and Wilson’s attorney general Mitchell Palmer (of Palmer Raids fame), Democrats gave the Federal government extraordinary legal powers to repress radical groups. The first Red Scare saw anarchists, communists, peace activists, immigrants and labor organizers targeted with arrest, detention, deportation and vigilante violence.   But the Democratic Party wasn’t only at the heart of the anti-communist witch hunt and its attendant restrictions of free speech and civil liberties. It is Truman’s administration that developed the doctrine of Containment that would set the bloody and disastrous course for the Cold War to come. And while JFK may have prevented nuclear apocalypse in the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was his administration’s hawkish deployment of missiles in Turkey, alongside their botched invasion of Cuba that brought the crisis to a head. Meanwhile, it was Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford who began the détente with China and the USSR, an easing of military tensions that Nobel peace-prize winner Jimmy Carter would end in a cynical (and failed) reelection ploy.  Considering the bloodthirsty militarists that make up today’s party, it can be hard to remember that for most of the 20th century Republicans were (at least avowedly) isolationist. Which is not to say that Nixon, Eisenhower, or Teddy Roosevelt weren’t all proponents of imperialism and violence. But since Reagan, the Republican right has come snarling out of its isolationist bunker. Ronnie and both Bushes started foreign wars of choice, each bigger and more deadly than the last. The aggressiveness with which Republicans have wrapped themselves in a blood-drenched flag since then encourages us to falsely project that kind of positioning backwards into the past...   The (relative) progressive positioning of their domestic policy, along with the vulgar patriotic chest-thumping of Republican populism, and the fact that, when they’re out of power, Democrats loudly and publicly oppose war on principle, are all used to produce a false history of Democratic opposition to military intervention and war. But in fact, whenever they get a chance to vote on it, a majority of Democrats in power turn out to be hawks."

Safe Consumption Sites not as effective as predicted - "A bombshell study has been released on Alberta’s Safe Consumption Sites (SCS)... Some of the key findings included conclusions that disprove long time adhered to talking points of SCS supporters. There were variations in site operators’ definition of the term “overdose reversal,” and opioid-related calls for emergency medical services and death rates in the immediate vicinity of the sites continued to increase after the sites opened. Calls to police to report criminal activity also generally increased near safe consumption sites, except in Edmonton. Local residents complained about lack of response to calls for police service, as well as “de-policing” near the sites. There was an increase in needle debris on public and private property where SCS sites were located. This was a major concern for those who lived nearby, and helped create a perception among community members that the sites both decreased safety and increased crime. “While there were no deaths recorded among people who used drugs at the SCS sites,” the report goes on to say, “death rates in the immediate vicinity of the SCS locations increased. Opioid-related calls for emergency medical services (EMS) also increased in the immediate vicinity following the opening of the sites.”  One of the main arguments in support of SCS is that there are no deaths at the sites themselves. While only a doctor or a coroner can declare a person legally dead, there are usually none of these professionals on site.  EMT’s can respond to an overdose event at a site and take the person to a hospital where they are declared dead in the emergency room, removing the death event from the location of the site. Alternatively, an overdose victim can be saved by Naloxone on site but refuse further treatment, then leave the facility and die elsewhere. Neither of these deaths would be attributed to the site. The report describes possible manipulation of data by SCS staff. “In many cases, ‘adverse events’ (even if non-life threatening or minor) are reported as overdoses, and the term ‘reversal’ is used even when the response was a simple administration of oxygen. This leaves the public with an inference that without these sites thousands of people would fatally overdose or no longer be alive.”... “The Review Committee also learned about questionable practices (for example, introducing non-injection users to injection practices by SCS staff); the use of 40 Naloxone reversal kits by a single client; the alleged misrepresentation of site statistics; and an apparent under-utilization of the full scope of care while inappropriately favouring harm reduction”... the amount of crime increased substantially in the area immediate to the SCS. This could also be attributed to the fact that “Site users and operators typically believed that the Section 56.1 exemption allowed for a no-go zone for police within the proximity of the site. Evidence suggested a level of ‘de-policing’ near some sites.”... "it was asserted that the SCS served as a magnet that attracted drug users and drug dealers into the neighbourhood,” the report said. “As this population purportedly increased, crime and social disorder reportedly increased, thus causing property values to decline. Business owners also indicated that the overall level of crime and social disorder had a direct effect through property theft and an indirect effect through the reluctance of customers to visit the area through fears of victimization, harassment and one’s general personal safety.”  Site proponents argue that by providing a safe, non stigmatizing environment, drug users will use the SCS rather than consume their substances on the street or elsewhere in unsafe settings. During the site reviews, it became evident to the Committee that a significant amount of drug use and illicit drug dealing continues near SCS sites. Several current and former drug users who appeared before the Review Committee indicated that they preferred not to use the SCS. Even some drug users who verbally supported the sites noted that they often injected themselves outside a SCS... Another concern for residents was the appearance of homelessness near the site."

Nathan on Twitter - "There’s this guy at the gym that I frankly thought was possessed, schizophrenic or something. Some days he’d be super friendly, other days he’d be cold like he never knew me Found out today he’s an identical twin They came to work out together today and I kept staring for 5 minutes with what must’ve been a retarded look on my face"

Supreme Court says Boston unconstitutionally barred Christian flag from city hall - "The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that the city of Boston must let a Christian group fly its flag over city hall, but the decision was sufficiently narrow that other cities, indeed Boston itself, could construct rules that would limit flag flying to government-approved messages.  Just outside Boston's city hall, once named "the world's ugliest building," are three flagpoles. One flies the American Flag, the second flies the state flag, and the third usually flies the city's flag. Usually — because Boston has, for years, allowed the hoisting of other flags on the third pole when groups get permission to hold ceremonies on the city plaza. Between 2005 and 2017, Boston approved the raising of 50 such flags, most of them marking the national holidays of other countries.  Still, a few of the flags were associated with other groups or causes—national Pride Week, emergency medical service workers, and a community bank. In fact, the city had never rejected a flag-raising request until 2017 when Harold Shurtleff, the director of an organization called Camp Constitution, asked to hold a flag raising ceremony for a "Christian Flag."... The decision, written by Justice Stephen Breyer, managed to navigate a clash involving both religion and politics...   Three justices—Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas—agreed with the result in the case, but rejected Breyer's reasoning. They wrote 30 pages worth of concurring opinions. In contrast, the 13-page majority opinion was classic Breyer, managing to achieve consensus in a restrained opinion that left both sides with a clearer idea of what is and is not permissible... on a court that has been deeply divided along liberal/conservative lines of late, Breyer's skill in bridging that divide will likely be sorely missed when he retires at the end of the term this summer."
On the NPR Facebook, people were very upset about this. Given that 50 other flags were previously raised - including one of their favourite (Pride) - it's clear that they just hate Christians
Given that this was unanimous and that the majority opinion was written by one of "their" justices, their apoplexia is even more hilarious
One complained about separation of church and state - apparently that means that the state needs to discriminate against religion

Did people drink water in the Middle Ages? - "One of the oddest myths about the Middle Ages is that people did not drink water. Many books and articles have repeated the notion that water was so polluted during this period that medieval men and women would only drink wine, ale or some other kind of beverage. However, there is plenty of evidence that people regularly drank water.  If one did a quick glance through medieval letters and chronicles, one would find few references to people drinking water. Instead, they would speak of drinking ale or wine. This is not surprising – water is relatively tasteless – and few people would have preferred it compared to the alternatives. Like today, one doubts that too many writers from the Middle Ages would have praised their hosts for providing a cup of water instead of wine.  While medieval people rarely wrote about a love of water, that does not mean they avoided drinking it. Several types of sources offer more insight into drinking water during the period. Medical texts and health manuals throughout the Middle Ages often note the benefits of drinking water, as long as it came from good sources."

NUS abruptly replaces Cherian George and Donald Low as webinar speakers - "  Professors George and Low published a book last week entitled “PAP vs PAP: The Party’s struggle to adapt to a changing Singapore.”  The original announcement for the Raffles Hall Alumni Learning webinar reads that its title is “PUBLIC DISCOURSE: Truth & Trust,” asking that in this “Covid-19 world” of fake news and disinformation, “How can public discourse have its full might when technology enables deep fakes, where in the name of national interest and security, information and discourse is constrained or perhaps manipulated?”  The two academics were to answer these questions “at a global label and specifically in the Singapore context” in the light of their recently published book.  However, in the new announcement for the webinar, the lineup of speakers is completely different: Al Ramirez Dizon, a former journalist with Singapore Press Holdings, Shobha Avadhani, a lecturer in New Media from NUS, and Arun Mahizhnan, a special research adviser at the Institute of Policy Studies... one of the speakers, ISP’s Mr Arun Mahizhnan, has withdrawn from the webinar."

It pays to believe obviously untrue things - "Assuming you do want to believe things that are true, Harford has recommendations: one key one is observing your own feelings about some claim, and seeing whether it makes you feel angry, or happy, or vindicated, and if it does, to wonder whether you believe it because you think it’s true, or you believe it because it’s socially advantageous. Simler, meanwhile, suggests that since crony beliefs are driven by social incentives, the trick is to create social incentives for believing true things. He points to the rationalists, a group of online nerds, as one group who are obsessed with being “less wrong”, and who have created a community where you are rewarded for obeying norms of truth-seeking and debate, rather than for believing specific things."

Meme - David Rothschild: "About 40% of wealth in US controlled by people who inherited it, and most of the rest of wealth controlled by people who built their wealth on back of social goods paid for by *taxes*: infrastructure, education, etc ...
Ensuring that Fred Trump's great-great grandkids are born into insane wealth, is to ensure an economy that grows grows stagnant by blocking economic opportunity: ensuring wealth not in hands of most innovative."
A Rothschild condemning inherited wealth...

Deer eat meat: Herbivores and carnivores are not so clearly divided. - "Any third-grader can tell you the difference between herbivores and carnivores. Herbivores eat plants and carnivores eat meat, and then there are a few oddball omnivores that eat both. The dichotomy of plant-eaters and meat-eaters has become more than a set of rules for animals—it helps shape our view of the world. But is nature really so clear-cut?  The more I looked around, the more exceptions I began to find. It turns out that deer of various species have long been observed eating the flesh of the dead. Scientists have recorded deer devouring dead fish that had drifted to shore, gobbling them up at a rate of up to eight per minute. Deer have often been spotted feeding on larger carrion—sometimes even on the guts of other dead deer.  Deer belong to a group of animals called ruminants, which have a special organ called a rumen for digesting tough plants. Cows are probably the best-known ruminants (and have been witnessed eating birds). Yet even animals from this highly plant-specialized group will eat meat when given the chance. The various species of duiker (imagine a very small antelope with a fat belly) in Africa often eat carrion and have also been observed hunting for small birds and frogs.  Other groups of herbivores have also been caught crossing the divide. Hippopotamuses have been filmed eating meat often enough that it can’t be dismissed as a fluke. In fact, they have even been witnessed in the act of cannibalism. Most reports of hippos eating meat involve the scavenging of animals killed by other causes. But sometimes hippos will hunt, kill, and eat prey. In 2002, there were news reports from Ethiopia’s Kaffa Province of hippos killing and eating livestock... A flexible diet makes an animal more adaptable and more likely to survive than a fully-committed herbivore."

Could the Soviet Union Have Survived? - "in 1983 the Soviet Chief of Staff admitted that ‘We will never be able to catch up with [the Americans] in modern arms until we have an economic revolution. And the question is whether we can have an economic revolution without a political revolution’...   Russians call Gorbachev a traitor for failing to prevent the collapse by force. Foreigners dismiss him as an inadequate bungler. No one has suggested a convincing alternative scenario."
"Attempts to crack down on the widespread drunkenness that plagued the Soviet workplace proved especially unpopular with large parts of the population... On my first trip to Moscow, as a language student in the 1980s, I bought a record of that Soviet national anthem. I paid more for the plastic bag to carry it in than for the actual record. It is a small example of the economic contradictions that meant the Soviet Union could not have survived."
"The Soviet Union could not have survived, because by 1991 the Communist Party had lost control of the media and thus the public sphere. Key to the survival of any dictatorship is strict control of the media, which shapes public opinion and promotes tacit acceptance of a regime. Though many Soviet citizens may have claimed not to believe what was written in their newspapers, they were never aware of just how far removed from reality the reports were. When Mikhail Gorbachev ascended to power in 1985, it was his policy of glasnost that let the genie out of the bottle... in 2006, Gorbachev pinpointed Chernobyl and the resulting media fallout as the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union."
This is why liberals want to control the media

Being sexy vs being sexualised

Another image banned by iFunny:

"women deserve to be hot and sexy but not sexualized!
stop blaming women when men have no self-control!"

Is it possible to be sexy without being sexualized?

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

Links - 13th August 2022 (1 - Trans Mania)

Meme - Jackie Sue: "My son, 21, recently had his name and gender legally changed. Today, he received a letter from the Selective Service System. This is a consequence that I wasn't expecting. It was never on my radar."

Woke biology class: Intersex people are about as common as redheads - "we saw this lesson plan from a biology class that informed us that intersex people represent about 2 percent of the population — comparable to those born with red hair. There’s also a slide of non-human examples of variation: the common reed frog apparently changes sex after mating. Plants too change their sex."
"They beef up the 2% number by using common conditions such as pcos as being intersex. It's a slight hormone imbalance most women never know they have."
"The 2% is Anne Fausto-Sterling's estimate of 1.7% rounded up. Her estimate includes people who have no idea they're in the population and who have unambiguous genitalia. This estimate is used in most of the activism, but people don't question it."
"Intersex folks getting drafted for front-line infantry duty in the gender revolution."
"Notice all of their examples of animals who change sexes during their lives are 1) Not mammals, and 2) Anomalies even within their classes"
"Not to mention the animals listed lay eggs, and as a result have significantly less complex reproductive systems...  Also they don't need surgeries to do something approximating but not really changing sex."
"Humans are not the same as clownfish. Clownfish are sequential hermaphrodites. They transition from male to female to ensure the survival of the species. They don't do it because they're confused about their identity. These people have no idea what they're talking about."
On Needham High School in Massachusetts

Junk Science Week: This just in: Biological sex is a myth! - "Truly Changing Sex Is Possible, Says Berkeley Trans Scholar Grace Lavery. As Berkeley News emphasizes, Lavery is no slouch, being a member of the university’s chancellor’s advisory committee on LGBTQ issues, not to mention “one of the most followed trans scholars in the world.”  “Research is me-search,” Lavery told writer Anne Brice. “What my research has come to demonstrate is that for the past 150 years or so, roughly since the time that people started performing transition or transitioning or whatever you want to call it, there has been this enormous public effort or attempt to produce a cast-iron reason why it doesn’t work or why it is suspicious. There is a kind of conservative feminist position that argues that sex is set in stone, is assigned at birth. And I don’t agree with that. Most scientists I’ve spoken to seem pretty comfortable with the idea that sex, like any other biological category, is not a cast-iron law, but rather a sort of set of contingencies that can be played.”... In 2019, Scientific American ran an article titled, Stop Using Phony Science to Justify Transphobia: Actual Research Shows That Sex Is Anything But Binary, in which a doctoral candidate at New York University’s Neuroscience Institute claimed that organizing society according to a male-female typology was at odds with genetics, neurobiology and endocrinology. “The popular belief that your sex arises only from your chromosomal makeup is wrong,” the author argued. “The truth is, your biological sex isn’t carved in stone, but a living system with the potential for change.” Remember, this is Scientific American, not Teen Vogue or the Toronto Star. Indeed, many of the articles you see in this area refer back to a widely circulated 2017 Scientific American article titled, Visualizing Sex as a Spectrum, which armed readers with a complicated diagram purporting to set out “the idea of biological sex as a non-binary attribute” in an authoritatively scientific way.  Two years ago, a University of Colorado molecular biologist named Liza Brusman demanded national legislation “that considers sex as a spectrum with unlimited options.” In the New York Times, a biology professor not only claimed that the sex binary is imaginary, but that our insistence on a binary typology hearkens back to the days of murderous Roman despots: “If not killing people who do not fit into one of two sex-labelled bins, (our governments are) at least trying to deny their existence.”  Earlier this year, biochemist Cade Hildreth also argued for the “spectrum” hypothesis, dismissing naysayers as peddlers of false “binarism.” In a Forbes article titled, The Myth Of Biological Sex, writer Kim Elesser quoted clinical psychologist Aileen Schast to the effect that “there is such a continuum from the male to the female, and it’s really hard to draw a line somewhere neatly in the middle.” And last summer, the editors of Nature — one of the two most prestigious scientific publications in the world — informed us en passant that their publication “recognizes that sex and gender are not the same, and are neither fixed nor binary.“... humans produce exactly two types of gametes — small gametes (sperm) and large gametes (ova). There is no “spectrum” of gametes. There are just those two, and you can’t swap out the one you get. That’s why biological sex is binary, and why sexual dimorphism lies at the basis of human reproduction. When you read the junk-science literature claiming that sex isn’t binary, you’ll typically see two broad categories of supporting claims. First, that many men act in stereotypically female ways, or have stereotypically female physiques; and vice versa. And second, that there are some people born with intersex conditions — which is to say, they have intermediate or indeterminate sex characteristics.  The first set of claims is both completely true and completely irrelevant. If you’re a man who wants to act like a (stereotypical) woman, or a woman who wants to act like a (stereotypical) man, hey, feel free. But that doesn’t have anything to do with your biology... As for the second set of claims, concerning intersex people, they don’t undermine the binary nature of sex either, since disorders of sex development (as intersex conditions are more formally known) don’t affect the binary breakdown between sperm and ova: they just make it harder to tell which one your body is programmed to generate.  In fact, one of the most unfortunate aspects of the campaign to pretend away biology has been the co-option of intersex individuals as activist props. In the process, would-be demolishers of the sex binary have tended to vastly overstate the appearance of true intersex conditions in the population. (The actual figure, according to a study published in the Journal of Sex Research in 2002, is about 0.018 per cent, insofar as we’re talking about people who appear sexually ambiguous or have a mismatch between their biological sex and their bodies.) In any case, such numbers would only matter if intersex conditions were associated with the emergence of new mixed forms of gametes — which they’re not. Instead, these conditions manifest in regard to what biologists call secondary sex organs (i.e., the stuff we have sex with), as opposed to one’s actual gonads; and in secondary characteristics such as voice pitch, height, hip geometry and so forth. In everyday life, those characteristics are important elements of human function and appearance, but they have nothing to do with whether you’re a male or a female in a biological sense.  It’s possible that someday, we really will figure out a way to literally change our biological sex, like clownfish and moray eels. But regardless of how much “me-search” Lavery and others may like to perform, that day hasn’t yet arrived."
Not too long ago, some people insisted to me that scientists weren't saying that biological sex was a myth. So much for that
More on gender ideologues conflating sex and gender when convenient

These L.A. parents don't want to assign a gender to their baby, so the government did it for them - Los Angeles Times - "When Azul Ruelas-Brissette was born in the summer of 2018, the baby’s parents were resolute: They did not want “male” or “female” spelled out on their child’s birth certificate.  Jay Brissette and Miguel Ruelas had weighed their decision carefully. They are part of a small but burgeoning cohort of parents who are raising their children in what they call a “gender creative” or “gender expansive” way... Azul’s birth certificate, which shows two dashes where gender is typically indicated. In January 2018, the state of California began issuing birth certificates that mark a gender of female, male, non-binary (those whose gender identities fall outside the categories of male or female) or nothing at all. At least 10 other states allow gender-neutral markers on identity documents.  But Brissette and Ruelas soon learned that federal agencies still adhere to traditional ways of designating gender... At least 15 states require proof of gender confirmation surgery in order to amend gender markers on birth certificates, while Tennessee, Kansas and Ohio do not allow such changes to be made at all... In 2015, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit against the State Department for denying intersex and non-binary activist Dana Zzyym a passport that accurately reflected their gender. The federal agency argued that they could not provide Zzyym with a passport labeling their gender as “X” because integrating such a change into its software system would “take approximately 24 months and cost $11 million.”  Nine states, including California, countered in an amicus brief that adding an “X” marker to driver’s licenses and other documents has “proven neither complex or disruptive.”... Campbell Leaper, a psychology professor at UC Santa Cruz who studies childhood gender development, said that gender stereotypes limit kids early and enduringly... Ruelas, a transgender man who began to transition from female to male when he was 20, was profoundly affected by traditional gender roles growing up. Beyond the painful process of grappling with his gender identity as a teen, his father didn’t support him going to college because he was a girl"
Weird. We keep being told that sex and gender are different.
How do you know if a newborn baby is "non-binary" (or indeed what "gender" it is)? If sex and gender are really different, how can you alter a birth certificate?
Narcissism means people keep coming up with new nonsense. So governments need to waste endless amounts of money and time amending their systems

Science Museum bows to woke pressure after complaints Boy or Girl? display excludes transgender people - "The Science Museum is set to alter its Boy or Girl? display following complaints over a “lack of mention of transgender”. Curators will make changes to a gallery covering human biology in order to “update (the) non-inclusive narrative”... Internal documents state that there was “action to consult the Museum of Transology” - which bills itself as the largest collection of transgender’s people’s artefacts - in relation to the Boy or Girl? exhibit. The display highlighted for its lack of transgender coverage, and earmarked for alterations, already makes mention of topical issues relating to gender, including feelings of being “born in the wrong body” and how these are addressed. The Boy or Girl? cabinet currently holds a fake penis to be worn under clothing as a “packer” to provide a male appearance, as well as a compression vest to flatten the chest. Testosterone patches worn to include bodily changes are also displayed... Maya Forstater, executive director of campaign group Sex Matters and winner of a prominent employment tribunal relating to her “gender-critical” views, said: "The Science Museum should reflect biology.” She added: “Sexual reproduction evolved over one billion years ago and it has not changed in recent years. “It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals and plants, including humans. “Helping visitors of all ages to understand this is core to what the Science Museum should be doing.” “It is concerning that a place dedicated to science is being swayed by cultural trends in this way." Boy or Girl? had previously been altered to remove a sign which stated “your X and Y chromosomes define your biological sex” following complaints in 2016."
Weird. I thought we were told that sex and gender were different things. Of course, when it suits liberals they are different and when it suits them for them to be the same, gender and sex are the same

Gender activists push to bar anthropologists from identifying human remains as ‘male’ or ‘female’ - "It is possible to determine whether a skeleton is from a biological male or female using objective observations based on the size and shape of the bones. Criminal forensic detectives, for example, do it frequently in their line of work.  But gender activists argue scientists cannot know how an ancient individual identified themselves.  “You might know the argument that the archaeologists who find your bones one day will assign you the same gender as you had at birth, so regardless of whether you transition, you can’t escape your assigned sex,” tweeted Canadian Master’s degree candidate Emma Palladino... Gender activists have formed a group called the Trans Doe Task Force to “explore ways in which current standards in forensic human identification do a disservice to people who do not clearly fit the gender binary.”... University of Kansas Associate Professor Jennifer Raff published “Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas,” in which she argued that there are “no neat divisions between physically or genetically ‘male’ or ‘female’ individuals.”... Some archaeologists push back at the effort to de-gender human remains.  San Jose State archaeology Professor Elizabeth Weiss told The Fix that eliminating gender classifications amounts to “ideologically-motivated fudging.” Weiss said there is a move among academics “toward getting all of the academy’s favored shibboleths to accord with one another.”  Weiss said the recent explosion in the number of people identifying as transgender suggests that trend is “social and not biological,” so “retroactively de-sexing obscures this obvious fact.”  She noted that applying biological sex to remains often helps dispel myths detrimental to women.  “Some early anthropologists sometimes mistook some robust female skeletons as male skeletons, particularly in the Aleut and Inuit collections; this reinforced false stereotypes that females were not as hard working as males,” she said. “Over time, biological anthropologists and archaeologists worked hard to determine which traits are determined by sex, regardless of time and culture. This new policy of erasing this progress is a step back for science and women.”   “Sexing skeletal remains is a critical skill in forensics and any diminishing of this skill will negatively impact criminal investigations, denying the victims and their families justice,” she said... University of Cambridge scholar Jennifer Chisolm, who has argued analyses that posit transgender individuals played a large part in Indigenous populations are often ahistorical, and can even distract “from the contemporary discrimination [such individuals] face within their own communities.”   Gender politics are not the only ideology to work its way into anthropology and archaeology. Some activists have called for scientists to cease classifying remains by race, as well.  “Forensic anthropologists have not fully considered the racist context of the criminal justice system in the United States related to the treatment of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; nor have we considered that ancestry estimation might actually hinder identification efforts because of entrenched racial biases,” Elizabeth DiGangi of Binghamton University and Jonathan Bethard of the University of South Florida wrote... “Ancestry estimation contributes to white supremacy,” DiGangi and Bethard wrote, labeling the practice “dangerous.”  Others have called for changing primate names that were derived from white white men from the northern hemisphere. The activists argue that continuing to use the current names is “perpetuating colonialism and white supremacy.”  “This is just another attempt to insert a current woke ideology where it doesn’t belong”"
How come gender activists are so ignorant that they don't know that gender and sex are not the same thing?

Don't give skeletons a gender or categorise their race, woke activists demand - "Traditionally, when human remains are excavated, archaeologists determine traits such as age, gender and race using proven scientific methods such as bone structure and DNA analysis. This allows anthropologists and historians to learn more about the person and expand academic research... The Black Trowel Collective of American ‘anarchist archaeologists’, says ‘archaeologists must centre the fluidity of gender in their archaeological practice’.  The group’s manifesto on ‘trans liberation’ states: ‘It is clear from archaeological, historical, and ethnographic accounts that human gender is highly variable and that human beings have historically been comfortable with a range of genders beyond modern “masculine” and “feminine” binaries.’  But Jeremy Black, emeritus professor of history at the University of Exeter, said: ‘It is an absurd proposition, as the difference between genders, just as the difference between religious, social and national groups, are key motors in history.’ He added: ‘This very ideological approach to knowledge means that we’re in danger of making knowledge itself simply a matter of political preference.’... European researchers suggested last year that 1,000-year-old remains found in Finland belonged to a non-binary person because items around the bones, such as a sword, suggested the person was male, while jewellery suggested the remains were female. Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent, warned that historical fact was becoming the latest ‘frontier’ for advocates of radical gender ideology, adding: ‘If you look at history, one of the foundations of civilisation is the distinction between man and woman, whether it be in the Bible or yin and yang in Chinese philosophy, so when you distort that you get a completely different version of what has happened. ‘Should this dangerous dogma be accepted, it means that when children learn about Greek, Roman or other ancient civilisations they get a falsified picture.  'You have to fight back against this because if it is accepted then the whole academic enterprise turns into an empty pursuit of ideological objectives.’"

There’s no such thing as a nonbinary skeleton - "they are trying to erase the reality of biological sex in the present by erasing it in the past. They want to make it look as if the natural human condition is nonbinary.  Anthropologists, such as Chelsea Blackmore at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have admitted as much. Blackmore argues that ‘queer archaeology’ ideas are ‘powerful tools for changing the past and the present’. This is reminiscent of the party slogan in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: ‘Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.’ This is a very new development within archaeology and anthropology. As recently as 2019, a female Viking warrior was discovered, which the media heralded as evidence that male and female roles vary from one culture to another. Some outlets even claimed it raised questions about how Vikings understood their ‘gender identity’. But Neil Price, an archaeology professor at the University of Uppsala, urged caution. He argued that we should refrain from thinking of skeletal remains in terms of gender identity. ‘This is a modern, politicised, intellectual and Western term’, he wrote, ‘and, as such, it is problematic (some would say impossible) to apply to people of the more remote past’... Raff also claims that binary sex division is a ‘duality imposed by Christian colonisers’. This touches on one of the most important aspects of the trans agenda in archaeology. This movement to retroactively de-sex skeletons is in fact part of a larger attack, within anthropology, on Western civilisation. For instance, James Aimers, a professor of anthropology at State University of New York, wrote in 2016 that: ‘Our tendency to impose unexamined Euro-American ideas about sex and sexuality on the past has the potential to represent ancient people in normative ways that may not be reflective of their experiences.’...   It is important that anthropologists stand up to the demands of trans activists. The practice of categorising human remains in terms of sex is hugely important, including outside of academia. For instance, forensic anthropologists who help identify crime victims are often trained by archaeologists. Many forensic anthropologists get their first hands-on experience in sex identification in archaeology classes and field schools. By abandoning skeletal sex identification, we potentially do crime victims and their families a disservice.  The presence of the trans agenda in anthropology and archaeology is part of the broader anti-Westernism pervasive in academia today. This academic anti-Westernism may present itself as ‘progressive’, elevating the values and worldviews of other societies and peoples above those of the West. But it has also led to widespread sex discrimination in archaeological facilities around the world. For instance, anthropologists are willing to bar females from handling warrior remains if an ‘indigenous’ tribe requests it. And in field schools run by anthropologists at ‘progressive’ places, such as the University of Washington, collaboration with Native American tribes has led to rules that include excluding menstruating women, who are viewed as unclean by some Native Americans. At San José State University, where I work, protocols were put into place by archaeologists, after consultations with Native American tribes, barring ‘menstruating personnel’ from handling skeletal remains. This rule was removed when my lawyers and I pointed out that this is clearly sex discrimination... The prevalence of trans ideology and anti-Westernism in archaeology and anthropology does not just affect a small number of undergraduates. Archaeology and anthropology classes are taken by almost all American students. This shows the potential reach of this insidious woke ideology, and the influence it could be having.  Woke ideologues seem intent on realising a brave new world, based on a nonbinary past that never existed. They need to be challenged."

‘I’m getting seizures just from looking at it’: Pride flag gets yet another update to include intersex people - "It was only recently that we learned that there’s more than one Pride flag, though. The traditional one simply shows the rainbow colors and represents the LGBTQ community. However, to be more inclusive, the Pride Progress flag was created, adding the colors of the transexual flag as well as black and brown triangles to represent marginalized communities of color... Intersex people are now represented by a yellow triangle with a purple circle in the middle. Pink News UK reports that “it intentionally stays away from traditionally gendered colours of blue and pink to celebrate the intersex community.” “The circle is unbroken and un-ornamented, symbolising wholeness and completeness, and our potentialities.”"
The flag is going to become unrecognisable soon

Meme - "... I mean. Trans people are equal to others"
"So comedians can make fun of them like other people?"
"Congratulations, you won the Oscar for best Homophobe 2022. Naturally no! You can't make fun of trans people!"
"So you are saying trans people are not equal to others?"

Facebook - "Trans women who take hormones DO get periods. The entire cycle lasts up to 21-40 days and actually bleeding is only a like a week of that time normally. Periods are not just bleeding lmao. studies show that trans women on hormones can experience pms/pmdd symptoms the same time every month. That’s a period y’all."

Meme - Timmie @haytimmie: "Advantages trans women have over cis folks:
Access to large network of thirsty lesbians (Twitter)
Confidence forged in the fires of bigotry
Huge catalogue of trans specific jokes
Laser eyes
Freshly grown boobs at any age
Extensive trivia knowledge
BLÅHAJ is the Ikea shark, which is somehow a trans icon
They really hate cis women / are jealous of real women so much

Meme - "A girl without a dick is like an angel without wings"
"The shirt's cute too"
"in desperate need of this top"

National Theatre bar calls police on group of 'gender critical' Lesbian activists - "Gay group wearing 'lesbians are women' t-shirts are removed by police from the National Theatre bar after a transgender staff member was offended by their views... 'The upshot was that the police were called to remove a bunch of sober, peaceful women, mostly lesbians for no reason other than responding to a question from a member of staff with an answer that did not align with her political beliefs, or indeed with facts, such as the fact that women don't have penises.'... It is alleged that the women refused to put placards with controversial slogans out of sight, with messages such as 'Lesbian visibility', 'Children need therapy not puberty blockers hormones and therapy' and 'Transing children is abuse.'... Natasha Read said that her group weren't disruptive and that the bar even served a man who was with them, but refused the women. He appeared in her live Facebook video and was not wearing the 'lesbian' t-shirt"
TRAs hate freedom of speech. Because their ideology cannot be questioned

Jimmy Failla on Twitter - "Apple’s Pregnant Man Emoji is officially available today in every skin color. This way people of all races can show the world they failed biology."

Association of COVID-19 and Endemic Systemic Racism With Postpartum Anxiety and Depression Among Black Birthing Individuals
It was only a matter of time before it showed up in research papers

Melbourne schools urged to stop saying 'MUM or dad' in a push to be more 'gender inclusive' - "Unisex bathrooms, non-gendered sporting teams and the flying of rainbow flags to are also recommended to improve inclusivity.   Some schools are even being encouraged to stop teachers and pupils from using words including mum, dad and boyfriend in a controversial bid to banish gendered words... The suggestions come as the North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network launched its #SpeakingUpSpeaksVolumes campaign to support LGBTQI+ students in schools"

Unisex toilets banned at new schools, shops and hospitals - "Ms Badenoch claimed last week that some pupils are avoiding going to the toilet during school hours because they only have access to gender-neutral lavatories. She insists it is important to provide single-sex spaces after revelations that women were finding it hard to locate single-sex facilities.  The plans are seen as a “common sense” way of putting a halt to gender-neutral toilets being installed as the default option.  Parents were furious in April when a £7million children’s play area in Brentwood, Essex, was fitted with such facilities... The National Trust was also accused of pursuing a woke agenda after introducing gender-neutral toilets at Tredegar House in Newport, South Wales, when a woman saw a man urinating with the door open... It has been reported that NHS hospitals have spent more than £800,000 on gender-neutral toilets in the past four years."
This TRA tried to spread fake news, claiming the UK had banned gender-neutral bathrooms. But since the media is also spreading fake news...

All public buildings to have separate male and female toilets - GOV.UK - "Separate unisex (or universal) toilets should be provided if there is space, but should not come at the expense of female toilets... Disabled toilet provision will not be affected by the changes...   The proposed measures will apply to new public buildings over a certain size. This size will be determined during the consultation process."

Council to change unisex toilet signs because they are 'offensive' - "Hawkesbury City Council, in Sydney's north-west, is changing four signs after meeting two gay and transgender rights groups.  The 'unisex' signs will be replaced with 'toilet all gender'."

One of the most popular subs, r/AskReddit silenced discussion on trans. All the top answers were provoking, interesting and unbiased. : WatchRedditDie

Meme - Hijabibarbie: "I always accepted the notion that someone who was trans had the mind of say a female but the body of a male and they wanted to change their outside to match their inside. That changed when I was on a placement at a GP. There was a male patient who had transitioned into a female in his 30's with his wife's support . Now, they were 80 and had dementia and his wife came in very distressed because he would wake up in the mornings and scream stuff like 'what have you done to my body and wouldn't let doctors near him because he thought we had experimented on him. He cut his long hair, threw out all his female clothes and (When he was super upset) had tried to cut of his breasts. The wife had him placed inn a home and he needed security. The issue we had was that the wife wanted to know if he could de transition but because of his dementia he didn't have the capacity to consent. The entire time we were dealing with this I thought that if he truly had a female mind why was he so distressed by his female body? Yes, dementia makes you forget so many things but I've never seen a patient with dementia forget their gender I'm scared that this is going to become more common as this generation ages"
Comment: "the trans cope for that would be he was damaged by toxic masculinity while socially conditioned to be male when young and he reverted to that conditioning, so if anything this means even more radical trans ideology is needed to gender-neutralise kids"

Germany plans to ease rules for legal changes of gender - "The German government on Thursday presented plans to make it easier for transgender people to legally change their name and gender, ending decades-old rules that require them to get expert assessments and a court’s authorization.  Under the planned “self-determination law,” adults would be able to change their first name and legal gender at registry offices without further formalities.  The existing “transsexual law,” which took effect in 1981, currently requires individuals to obtain assessments from two experts whose training and experience makes them “sufficiently familiar with the particular problems of transsexualism” and then a court decision to change the gender on official documents. Over the years, Germany’s top court has struck down other provisions that required transgender people to get divorced and sterilized, and to undergo gender-transition surgery.  The existing law “breathes the spirit of the ’70s,” Germany’s minister for families, Lisa Paus, said. “At the time, the state wanted to help people who were considered psychologically ill, and it set high hurdles for this.”... The proposed new rules provide for minors ages 14 and older to change their name and legal gender with approval from their parents or guardians; if they don’t agree, teenagers could ask a family court to overrule them... Paus said that after a formal change of name and gender is registered, no further changes would be allowed for a year, a provision intended to “ensure the seriousness of the desire to change.”"
Not just Anglo madness
Of course if someone changes name and gender every year, that won't prove anything

Testosterone Effects on the Brain in Transgender Men - "Testosterone treatment resulted in increased Cth in the insular cortex, changes in cortico-cortical thickness covariation between mPFC and occipital cortex, increased FA in the fronto-occipital tract connecting these regions, and increased functional connectivity between mPFC and temporo-parietal junction, compared with controls. Concluding, in trans men testosterone treatment resulted in functional and structural changes in self-referential and own body perception areas."
Clear proof that trans people exist and are valid, and that supposed brain differences between trans and cis people are not due to hormones (much less sexual orientation)

Effects of sex hormones on brain GABA and glutamate levels in a cis- and transgender cohort - "Our study demonstrates GHT treatment-induced GABA+/tCr reductions in the hippocampus, indicating hormone receptor activation on GABAergic cells and testosterone-induced neuroplastic processes within the hippocampus."

Meme - "maybe not because I'm sure you understand the biomechanics behind this
I'm pretty sure what I'm having are menstrual cramps, or like I don't know what to call them when it's literally the same thing, but without a uterus
I started having an estrogen spike when Roe got overturned and after the protest when I went to work started cramping on the sides of my abdomen, in the same places where those would be, got a headache, had cravings, gotta shit
Like I've had stomach cramps before this ain't it
So right now we're at, the point where everything that happened during puberty that I thought was weird makes total sense now
Because I did not have a fully male puberty and my body was confused as fuck on what to do. My brain clearly had a plan but my body received different instructions earlier
Like I'm not even on E but clearly am y'know, having something related to hormones going on right now as a result of the decision"

Friday, August 12, 2022

Links - 12th August 2022 (2)

Man divorces wife during wedding reception after song causes family fight - "  The man and woman from Baghdad recorded the fastest divorce in the country this month after the groom divorced his bride during their wedding.  Apparently, it was because she played a 'provocative' Syrian song...  'Mesaytara', which translates to 'I am dominant' or 'I will control you', was the name of the song that caused the couple's marriage to end in the wedding hall.  The song begins with these lyrics: "I am dominant; you will be ruled under my strict instructions."  And continues: "I will drive you crazy if you looked at other girls on the street  "Yes, I’m dominant.  "You’re my piece of sugar.  "As long as you’re with me, you’ll walk under my command.  '"’m arrogant, I’m arrogant."
The bride was reportedly boogying to the beat, which the groom and his family considered a provocation. The groom was said to have then got into an argument with his bride, before ending their relationship.  According to News18, this is not the first time the song has caused newlyweds to get divorced in the Middle East.  In 2021, a Jordanian man broke up with his bride during their wedding celebrations after she played it."

Owner Reveals Reason Behind Restaurant Closure - And It’s Not What You’d Expect - "“Dear Patrons. The restaurant is closed due to the fact that the owners wife SLEPT with the MEXICAN DISHWASHER.  “Lou was struck in the head with a frying pan by his soon to be EX-WIFE when he tried to defend his honor. ADIOS!! No food for you!  “Sincerely, Fractured Management.”"

Seville Erotic Waffle Shop Investigated For Penises And Vaginas In Belen Nativity Scene - "A court in Sevilla has opened preliminary proceedings against the waffle shop La Verguería for its ‘Portal de Belén’ nativity scene made out of waffles in the shape of penises and vaginas.   The franchise La Verguería was already a controversial establishment in Spain thanks to its specialty in suggestively shaped waffles, but now some think the erotic pastry shop has gone too far."

Video: Israel Tests 'Iron Beam' Air-Defense System - "Video shows Israel testing its brand new "Iron Beam" air-defense system, which uses high-powered laser beams to intercept enemy mortars, anti-tank missiles, and drones... The Iron Beam is able to shoot down airborne targets at a cost of $3.50 per shot, Bennett said.  Israel's Iron Dome air-defense system, which uses interceptors to destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells, costs considerably more, at up to $150,000 per interception"

For first time on record, more Ontarians moved to Quebec than the reverse in 2021 - The Globe and Mail - "Remote work and affordable housing seem to be driving the shift in the short run, analysts suggest, as Ontario office workers packed up their laptops and sought cheaper pastures.  But some observers also see deeper forces at work, as Quebec’s economy catches up with its neighbour’s, political passions cool, and anglophones adapt to a province where French is predominant... After another stint in Montreal, work pulled him and his wife to Toronto in the mid-1990s, around the time of the second referendum. “Everybody thought we were refugees,” he said. He could see how much the city benefited from the arrival of disaffected Quebec anglophones and their employers. “It’s a sort of Toronto joke that they should have a statue of René Lévesque in Nathan Phillips Square for making Toronto the city it was”... But he missed people saying “bonjour” on the street, the sense of style, Gaspé seafood at the Jean-Talon Market, state support for the arts, the deep sense of urban history. “We missed the city – we missed being here.”"

Scientists at Oxford developed an AI to take part in a debate about the ethics of AI and it warned them that AI should never have been invented in the first place 😬

British birds adapt their beaks to birdfeeders - "The findings, published in Science, reveal for the first time the genetic differences between UK and Dutch great tits which researchers were then able to link to longer beaks in British birds... ‘In the UK we spend around twice as much on birdseed and birdfeeders than mainland Europe – and, we’ve been doing this for some time. In fact, at the start of the 20th century, Punch magazine described bird feeding as a British national pastime,’ says Dr Lewis Spurgin, of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA). ‘Although we can’t say definitively that bird feeders are responsible, it seems reasonable to suggest that the longer beaks amongst British great tits may have evolved as a response to this supplementary feeding.’"

Blind Man Who Says He Can't Work Due To His Disability Gets Caught Reading A Newspaper - "Liu Zhen Xian has a board telling people walking past that he’s blind, and he’s selling tissue to make a living because he has no other choice... the old man is completely blind in his right eye, and his left is visually-impaired. To prove his claim, he has an official ID from the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicap. He explained that his right eye was injured by a marble back in his 20s while his left is deteriorating due to age.  Despite having difficulties reading, Liu Zhen Xian still persists in his long-time habit of reading newspapers despite his poor eyesight."

Facebook - "A 96-year-old German woman fled ahead of the opening of her trial on charges of aiding and abetting mass murder in a Nazi concentration camp during World War Two, a court spokesperson said"
"This is vengeance for political points, not justice. What was a 18 year old female typist supposed to do? Rebel? She would have been shot. Modern antinazis priding themselves for being antifacist from the safe comfort of never having to be placed in a spot where it was comply or die."

IRS Apologizes For Aggressive Scrutiny Of Conservative Groups - "the IRS "expresses its sincere apology" for mistreating a conservative organization called Linchpins of Liberty — along with 40 other conservative groups — in their applications for tax-exempt status... The consent order says the IRS admits it wrongly used "heightened scrutiny and inordinate delays" and demanded unnecessary information as it reviewed applications for tax-exempt status."

retro vs modern – Nix Illustration - "Paleontology and science illustration, and feathering ALL the dinosaurs"
1910s-1960s vs 1990s vs 2020 etc

Meme - "TIFU by thinking my son was having gay sex when he was just eating Hummus So I have a son and he brought a friend round today. They immediately went to their room and I assumed they would just play some video games or whatever so I was totally fine leaving them. It was about 30 minutes in when I was walking past, I heard sounds such as 'Omg that's so good' and 'Its so good with that in it' and various 'mmmm' sounds. It really sounded like they were having gay sex, I was super weirded out by it so I quickly went downstairs and waited for his friend to leave. When this friend left an hour or two later I asked my son what they were doing in his room (because although I don't mind him being gay, and ik it's normal for teenagers to have sex, a condom really should be used) so I planned to confront him about that. However the answer shocked me to my very core. They weren't having sex, they were eating hummus. was shocked, and initially didn't believe it. We had never had hummus before and I asked him to show me the hummus if this was true. So he did, and I ate hummus for the first time, and oh my god was it good. We experimented with different things in it like bread and carrots and it was great. Apparently his friend had heard about how he had never had hummus before and thought this was absurd so had planned a date for a hummus. party."
Meme - "TIFU by thinking my son was eating hummus when he was actually having gay sex [UPDATE] So yeah, the majority of you were right, they were having sex (I did think it sounded like it). They ate some hummus first, then put it away (didn't do anything at the same time like some of you freaks suggested) and then had sex. My son's boyfriend (I think they're boyfriends) saw the post and couldn't stop laughing, so told my son (thinking it could be about them) who told me because I think he felt a bit guilty about hiding it. Other than that, nothing really exciting happened. We had a long awkward talk, I told him I don't really endorse him having sex but he should really use a condom etc. Now onto the more important thing, hummus. I really like hummus now, I'd never had it before because it just looked kinda disgusting (yellow and sludgy) but I have learnt appearances can be deceiving. It was homemade so I'm going to have to ask for the recipe so I can make some more (I've finished all of it) Also what are some other good things to dip in it? I've tried the obvious things (carrot, cucumber, breads) and any suggestions would be appreciated. A lot of people have recommended Baba Ganoush as well? Is that similar or better than Hummus? TLDR: My son is actually gay, but also I really like hummus"

Abolish the monarchy? In Canada, it would be a royal pain in the butt - "unless you’re planning an armed coup of the Canadian government, becoming a republic is an utter logistical nightmare. All it took for Barbados to ditch Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state was a vote from their 30-member House of Assembly. Ireland booted out King George VI in 1949 with little more than a declaration from the Dáil Éireann, the country’s lower house of Parliament.  But Canada, for better or for worse, “arguably has the most difficult to amend constitution in the world,” in the words of University of Waterloo constitutional expert Emmett Macfarlane. Under Section 41 of the Constitution Act, which was passed in 1982 by the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau, the “office of the Queen” cannot be changed unless it is approved by Parliament and “the legislative assembly of each province.” This means that the House of Commons, the Senate and all 10 provinces must sign off on any plan to make Canada a republic. Simply put, there has been no major peacetime issue in the history of confederation that could have garnered that level of consent The Constitution itself, notably, was passed despite Quebec never signing it. Even if Canada awoke to a world where every single provincial legislature suddenly concurred with firing the monarch, it’s reasonable to assume that Alberta, Quebec, and any number of other provinces would make Ottawa pay dearly for their “yes” vote.   Go to your average prairie powwow, and in the grand entry you’re probably going to see a Union Jack. In fact, it’s right there on the official Treaty Six flag; not the maple leaf, but the Royal Union Flag. Much of what is now modern Canada was secured for colonial usage through the signing of agreements between Indigenous nations and the Crown of the United Kingdom (usually Queen Victoria). Blackfoot, Iroquois, Ojibwe and dozens of other peoples were not hitching their futures to some parliament in Ottawa, they were making a sacred pact with a supreme authority — and there has been pushback to the idea of that pact being severed. Popular among some First Nations leadership is the concept that their contract is with the Sovereign, and the Dominion of Canada is merely a flawed servant that has been screwing up said contract for generations. Last month, for instance, the Confederation of Treaty Six registered an official complaint with Buckingham Palace about the office of Governor General being left vacant after the resignation of Julie Payette...   Ironically, it would be easier for Britain to ditch the monarchy first.  The U.K. doesn’t have to ask the permission of a bunch of secondary jurisdictions before making a fundamental change to their governing structure. Rather, if the Brits wanted to fire Queen Elizabeth II, all they would really need is a majority vote in Parliament.   Actually, they’ve done this once before. In 1649, after a round of ugly political chaos known as the Second English Civil War, the English Parliament voted to wrest “supreme authority” from the monarch and to return the realm to “its just and ancient right” of pure democratic government. It didn’t work out; the result was a series of anarchic power grabs followed by a brief period of military dictatorship. And that’s why, after only 11 years, England restored its monarchy. More than 350 years later, it’s one of the most stable forms of government on earth. The easiest Canadian workaround would be to find a resident king... Canada would only need a simple parliamentary statute to either crown our own domestic monarch or we could simply sign on to the monarchy of another country, such as Norway or Japan"

Two Tips That Instantly Improve Your Everyday Writing Forever - "Unless you’re an academic, journalist or person who’s writing a book, you want your writing to look easily digestible. That means this:
    Hit enter after every 2–3 sentences.
    Use bullet points for explaining things.
    Make text you want people to notice bold."

Fly-tippers made to clean up rubbish they dumped on the M6 in Staffordshire - "Fly-tippers who were caught dumping rubbish on the M6 motorway were escorted more than five miles back to their waste by police and forced to pick it up."

Average IQ of college undergrads and graduate degree holders by decade - "Today’s bachelor’s degree is the equivalent of a high school graduation certificate from fifty years ago, and today’s graduate degree falls short of a bachelor’s degree from a generation ago.  This is an inevitable consequence of increasing the share of the population that attends college. In the sixties, 10% of American adults had college degrees. Since then that figure has more than tripled, to 34% today.  To say we’re well into the territory of diminishing returns is to understate the problem–-we’re past the point of negative returns. Most Americans in college today are not benefiting from being there. They’re foregoing work to accrue debt for degrees that, if they increase earning power at all, do so only marginally and they’re picking up an unhelpful sense of entitlement in the process.   Outstanding student loan debt in America is an estimated $1.5 trillion. As the degree devaluation above strongly suggests, a significant proportion of this debt–a majority of it in my estimation–is bad debt. It will not be repaid because those holding it literally cannot repay it. They lack the earning power to do so."
Clearly the solution is to continue to confuse signalling for results, make college free and get even more young people to go there so more will be unable to find jobs and proclaim that capitalism has failed and support a Marxist revolution

What happens to police departments that collect more fines? They solve fewer crimes. - The Washington Post

Could EVERY Ring doorbell customer face £100,000 fine after landmark ruling? - "More than 100,000 households in Britain which have installed doorbell cameras could face a £100,000 fine for breaching privacy under data protection laws by inadvertently filming their neighbours and then keeping the footage following a landmark ruling.   A judge at Oxford County Court ruled that Jon Woodard's use of his Ring cameras broke data laws and that he had pursued a course of harassment during his dispute with Dr Mary Fairhurst, who said she was forced to move out of her home in Thame because the WiFi-connected gadgets were 'intrusive'... Mr Woodard also said the decision went against current guidance from police forces, many of which have appealed for video doorbells footage to help gather criminal evidence.  He said: 'I wonder if the police will now still be able to appeal to the public to check their smart doorbells, cctv, and dashcams in order to assist them solve crime, and use to assist convictions.'"

Police: This Guy Exposed Himself to Amish Women — Because They Couldn't Call for Help - "A Lancaster County man has been accused of exposing himself to Amish and Mennonite women — doing so because he knew they lacked the capability to call quickly for help.  Lancaster Online reports that Benjamin R. Grafius, 39, is charged with exposing himself to “numerous” females... His downfall came in September, when he targeted an off-duty state trooper jogging in in Strasburg Township"

How your birth date influences how well you do in school, and later in life - "Relative age at school can have a long lasting impact. A large body of research has shown, for example, students who were relatively old among their peers are more likely to become professional sports players. This pattern is evident across a wide range of sports in many different countries with different cut-off dates: soccer, ice hockey and AFL... Studies have also found relatively old students do better at school. Even though the advantage tends to decrease over time, they are still slightly more likely to go to university. The long term impact on professional achievement doesn’t seem very large, but in some highly competitive environments, people who were relatively old at school are substantially over-represented.  This is the case among CEOs of large corporations. Previous research found this was also the case among leading US politicians.   Our research suggests one of the main reasons for this “birthday effect” is the impact of relative age on self-confidence. Recent research shows children who enjoy being ranked relatively high compared to their peers have higher self-confidence. Being relatively old among your peers tends to place you higher in the distribution of achievement. Children who enjoy this throughout childhood can end up being more confident in their aptitude and carry this confidence with them later on."

The Industrial Croissant Deserves Your Respect - "when you start to peel back its buttery layers, you’ll learn that even this quintessentially French pastry is itself dubiously French. In Larousse Gastronomique, an encyclopedia of food history, croissants are said to have originated in Budapest in 1686, “when the Turks were besieging the city.” The story goes that the Hungarian bakers, who worked underground, sounded the alarm that the Turks were coming, and as a result of their patriotism, they were permitted to make pastries in the shape of a crescent, the emblem of the Ottoman flag. Other sources claim the pastry was invented during the siege of Vienna years earlier. Chevallier writes that if either of these stories were true, the bakers would have made a buttery roll based on an Austrian kipfel, not a flaky croissant, and that roll was invented long before either siege. Chevallier also debunks the well-circulated myth of Marie Antoinette bringing the pastry with her from Austria... Partly because of its labor-intensive preparation and partly because of its extreme butter content, the croissant has been elevated to an almost mythological status for food fans around the world. Its dough is pressed firmly (or laminated) with layers of butter, refrigerated, and proofed for long hours, then cut into precisely measured identical shapes. Its particularity and precision are qualities we tend to associate with Frenchness... The act of making a croissant, Chevallier says, is meticulous, “but most things that are meticulous about it can be industrialized.”   In America, you can’t get fresh, perfectly crafted and human-made croissants on every corner, like you can in France, so the mass-produced options more than scratch the itch, even if they’re not made with high-fat Breton butter and farm-fresh eggs. At Dunkin’, croissants have been on the menu for “decades,” Mike Brazis, director of global culinary innovation at Dunkin’ Brands, wrote by email. “They are baked fresh every day in a process of folding thin layers of dough, sometimes until there are more than fifty layers.” Doesn’t that make them just as much a croissant as a croissant produced at the legendary Boulangerie Utopie in the 11th arrondissement? “We think our croissants are a great expression of the form, with a light, flaky texture, delicious aroma, and delicate but satisfying flavor,” Brazis says. “They are the most popular way our guests enjoy breakfast sandwiches.” (Personally, I prefer a Croissan’wich.)  “A preoccupation with authenticity all too often masks privilege and power,” explains Rachel Hopkin, a radio producer and folklorist who has written several papers on the lore of the croissant. “In the case of croissants, this privilege could involve having the resources to go chasing around France in search of the best croissant, or study at a top pâtisserie school, or get imported ingredients, or say what is authentic and what is not.” But the reality is that our personal relationships to croissants are what make them croissants.   Does a croissant have to be born and bred in France to truly be considered a croissant, if the original croissants weren’t born and bred in France in the first place?"

Toronto man accused of breaking into woman's home to try on her clothes and cook - "Robert Anthony Stumpo, 35, of Toronto, was subsequently charged with one count of break and enter"

Dissecting that silly XKCD strip on free speech. - "First square claims a particularly small definition of free speech, this is the place where the rest of the comic follows from and it’s already fishy. A definition that by most dictionaries would be wrong, and unuseful on its own... notice how “government restriction” becomes “government can’t arrest you”... By XKCD definition, government could restrict your problem speech in several ways and still not breaching your rights, which is wrong... there are many times where this comic is used as a reply when talking about government funded organizations. Other times arguments like the comic’s is used when talking about censorship... breaches of freedom of speech do not necessarily require government action to happen. A company with too much power, a group powerful enough to impose itself whether they’re right or wrong, or simply threats and intimidation are enough to practice censorship. Some of those might not be illegal, but that still doesn’t make them non-censorship. When talking about censorship, sometimes people tend to go to “first amendment doesn’t cover that” as if that was the subject of the conversation, or as if someone implied that all censorship was illegal.
“The 1st amendment doesn’t shield you from criticism or consequences” Let’s start with this: Harassment, Intimidation and violence are not good “consequences”, and are probably most of the time actually illegal... This comic, often comes as a counter against people complaining about censorship. It is used with the intent of painting them as loonies, misrepresenting the argument people complaining as if they are talking about the government... One day, someone will silence [something or someone you hold dear], and you will complain. You will not like it. You’ll think it’s unfair. You’ll think the accusations being levied against [your important subject] will be preposterous. You’ll think that there’s space to discuss the validity of [your inflammatory subject].  All your appeals will be misrepresented. You’ll be a literal Nazi, a toxic individual, a problematic actor. Someone will say that you’re a harasser, or that it’s simply not about what YOU think.  At that time, you’ll be the one being shown the door. You’ll be scorned and not allowed to complain. Sometimes even pressured to say you’re sorry for [something you didn’t do]. The normalization of the bullying behavior you supported now, will facilitate your future censors."

Answers to 12 Bad Anti-Free Speech Arguments: Featuring That XKCD Cartoon Everyone Likes to Quote! - "the whole point of freedom of speech, from its beginning, has been to enable people to sort things out without resorting to violence.  A quotation often attributed to Sigmund Freud (which he attributed to another writer) conveys this: “The first human being who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.”...   Being a citizen in a democratic republic is supposed to be challenging; it’s supposed to ask something of its citizens. It requires a certain minimal toughness—and commitment to self-governing—to become informed about difficult issues and to argue, organize and vote accordingly. As the Supreme Court observed in 1949, in Terminiello v. Chicago, speech “may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger.”   The only model that asks nothing of its citizens in terms of learning, autonomy and decision-making is the authoritarian one. By arguing that freedom from speech is often more important than freedom of speech, advocates unwittingly embrace the nineteenth-century (anti-)speech justification for czarist power: the idea that the Russian peasant has the best kind of freedom, the freedom from the burden of freedom itself (because it surely is a burden)...
The powerful do well under virtually any system of government. They’re not the ones who need freedom of speech. Its purpose is precisely to protect minority opinions and those who are unpopular with powerful people...
This cartoon is often used to dismiss free speech arguments, but it is wrong: it not only confuses First Amendment law with freedom of speech, it doesn’t even get the First Amendment right.  The concept of freedom of speech is a bigger, older and more expansive idea than its particular application in the First Amendment. A belief in the importance of freedom of speech is what inspired the First Amendment; it’s what gave the First Amendment meaning, and what sustains it in the law. But a strong cultural commitment to freedom of speech is what maintains its practice in our institutions—from higher education, to reality TV, to pluralistic democracy itself. Freedom of speech includes small l liberal values that were once expressed in common American idioms like to each his own, everyone’s entitled to their opinion and it’s a free country. These cultural values appear in legal opinions too; as Justice Robert H. Jackson noted in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, “Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.”...   The First Amendment also bars government officials from punishing your speech in many ways that don’t rise to the level of arresting you. To give just one example, since administrators at state colleges are government actors, they can’t tear your flyer from a public message board because they don’t like what it says.  A belief in free speech means you should be slow to label someone as utterly dismissible for their opinions. Of course you can kick an asshole out of your own house, but that’s very different from kicking a person out of an open society or a public forum. The xkcd cartoon is often used to let people off the hook from practicing the small d democratic value of listening...
Since the widespread passage of hate speech codes in Europe, religious and ethnic intolerance there has gone up. During the same period, ethnic and religious tolerance has improved in the United States... by most measures Western Europe is less tolerant than the United States.  Western Europe as a whole scores 24% on the antisemitism index, meaning about 24% of the population harbours antisemitic attitudes, even though many of their hate speech laws explicitly prohibit Holocaust denial. In the United States, with no such laws, the antisemitism index is ranked at 10%.  If it were true that hate speech laws reduce intolerance, we would expect to see fewer hate crimes where such laws exist. Yet, in 2019, in the United States, there were 2.61 hate crimes per 100,000 people; in Denmark, there were 8.08 per 100,000 people; in Germany, 10.34; and in the United Kingdom, a whopping 157.67.   Nor has restricting hate speech prevented the spread of intolerance. In 1986, the UK passed a law against “words or behaviour … likely to stir up racial hatred”; yet, in the 1990s, racial tolerance decreased. Despite having hate speech laws since the 1980s, Germany is experiencing increased islamophobia and antisemitism. France passed its Gayssot Act outlawing Holocaust denial in 1990, yet as recently as 2019 it held a 17% antisemitism index score.  And I don’t just believe that cracking down on hate speech failed to decrease intolerance, I think there is solid grounds to believe that it helped increase it. After all, censorship doesn’t generally change people’s opinions, but it does make them more likely to talk only to those with whom they already agree. And what happens when people only talk to politically similar people? The well documented effect of group/political polarization takes over, and the speaker, who may have moderated her belief when exposed to dissenting opinions, becomes more radicalized in the direction of her hatred, through the power of group polarization...
[People] tend to see any speech that with which they simply disagree as uncivil,  while seeing any uncivil speech with which they agree as righteous rage."

Use Your Words - "“Words are supposed to hurt. That’s considered a legitimate way of fighting things out. And what did it replace in the historical scene? It replaced actual violence.  Words are supposed to be free so we CAN actually fight things out, in the battle place of ideas, so we don’t end up fighting them out in civil wars. If we try to legitimately ban anything that can hurt someone’s feelings, everyone is reduced to silence.”
– Greg Lukianoff, president of Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate"

McDonald's nudes

'Answer Bots' stall robocalls with useless conversation - "Tel Tech, a tech startup has unleashed recorded conversations to stall robocallers for minutes, even hours at a time, with the help of what it calls “Answer Bots”-- the secret weapon for the company’s new “Robokiller” APP. Ethan Garr, marketing chief for New Jersey-based Tel Tech, said the Answer Bots “waste spammers' time” as the company’s team analyzes and learns their call patterns... Tel Tech estimates robocalls have increased by 55 percent in the past year from 2.5 to 4.5 billion per month, or 18 spam calls for every person."

Joseph Medicine Crow - "While he was in combat in Europe, and without quite meaning to, Joe Medicine Crow performed the four necessary war deeds to become a war chief like his grandfather. First, he led a seven-man squad carrying explosives through a wall of artillery fire to blast German positions along the Siegfried Line. Then, while helping to take over a German-held village, he literally ran into a German soldier, knocking him down. He quickly disarmed the soldier, taking away his rifle Finally, in the last weeks of the war, he stole dozens of horses from a battalion of German officers. He is the last Crow Indian to become a war chief."

Queen banned beloved board game after Royal Family became 'too vicious' - ""The royals love a good game, but monopoly is off the cards.  "Prince Andrew said it is banned as it gets too vicious.""

Meme - Landshark @LandsharkRides: "Sporks are technically a satanic utensil
They are a combination of the masculine (fork) and the feminine (spoon). this making them an androgynous cosmos-law-defying abomination. Sporks are also inherently utilitarian, thus being deprived of any and all aesthetic beauty.
Chopsticks reflect the Asiatic soul - inherently peaceful (you can't kill a man with them), requiring mastership, perfected through aeons. Forks reflect the European spirit - aggressive. predatorial, unbreaking, a weapon in their essence. divine in its primal simplicity"

White South African in court for shooting black woman he claims he ‘mistook for hippo’ - "In a country where firearms are common, fatal accidents occur often, with about 250 people killed in 2018. According to 2019-2020 police crime statistics, more than 7,000 murders with guns were reported in South Africa.  In a similar incident five years ago, a South African farmer was accused of wounding a farm worker with a pellet gun after “mistaking him for a monkey”. The incident also took place in Limpopo province."
Looks like strangely guns aren't making South Africa safer either. How odd

Farmer shoots worker after 'mistaking him for monkey' - "In KwaZulu-Natal, an 87-year-old man appeared in the Umzinto Magistrate’s Court on Monday for allegedly shooting and killing a 12-year-old boy he apparently mistook for a monkey. The boy was climbing a guava tree on the man's property in Braemar on Sunday when he was shot in the head and upper body, Sergeant Patrick Msomi told News24.  In another case, Stephan Hepburn, 38, allegedly shot and killed farmworker Jan Railo, 23, on a Limpopo farm on February 11. He was hunting with his wife and apparently mistook Railo for a warthog"

Ben Cichy on Twitter - "Got a 2.4 GPA my first semester in college. Thought maybe I wasn’t cut out for engineering. Today I’ve landing two spacecraft on Mars, and designing one for the moon. STEM is hard for everyone. Grades ultimately aren’t what matters. Curiosity and persistence matter."
Good luck if you get your calculation wrong and your bridge collapses

Meta-analyzing the relationship between grades and job performance - "Employers and academics have differing views on the value of grades for predicting job performance. Employers often believe grades are useful predictors, and they make hiring decisions that are based on them. Many academics believe that grades have little predictive validity. Past meta-analyses of the grades–performance relationship have suffered either from small sample sizes or the inability to correct observed correlations for research artifacts. This study demonstrated the observed correlation between grades and job performance was .16. Correction for research artifacts increased the correlation to the .30s."

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest posts (which you might not see on this page)

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes