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Monday, September 12, 2022

Links - 12th September 2022 (2 - Brexit)

Soon we’ll all enjoy supermarkets more – once the crowds of low-skilled migrant staff have been deported
Comments: "Sounds a lot like "who will pick the cotton if we get rid of the slaves". Author should be ashamed of himself."
"Why does the left like to use blacks and illegals as their slave labor? They will never change."

As the EU bails out Germany, we should thank God we left - "We hear plenty of people blaming Brexit for travel delays, shortages in the shops and many other ills. But how often do they stop and ponder some of the things which would now be going wrong if we were still members of the EU? Yesterday, EU members agreed to cut their gas consumption by 15 per cent in reaction to yet another cut in gas supplies from Russia – only 20 per cent of the gas flowing through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in February is still flowing now. The cut in gas usage has been forced upon member states which don’t even import much gas from Russia, but may now be forced to ration gas for homes and order factories to suspend production in an effort, effectively, to bail out Germany for its short-sighted policy of relying on Russian gas.   Were we still in the EU, this agreement would have involved Britain, too. The Government would today be scrambling around for emergency cuts in energy usage. That could have involved scheduling blackouts as in the Three Day Week in the 1970s or ordering factories and other plants to scale-down production. The option we are trying to pursue, of trying to maintain supply by upping North Sea production and increasing imports of liquified natural gas from the US and Qatar, would not have saved us, since under the EU agreement we would have had to cut usage by 15 per cent regardless of how well we were able to substitute Russian oil and gas imports with fuel sourced from elsewhere. While there are exceptions for Ireland, Cyprus and Malta, which are not connected to the European grid which sources gas from Russia, every other member state has come under political pressure comply. Yes, it is technically voluntary, but isn't it telling that only Hungary is so far holding out against the agreement?   The EU’s response to Putin’s invasion of Ukraine – indeed, since the annexation of Ukraine in 2014 – has been an embarrassment. Germany signed the deal for Nord Stream 2, which further engrained its dependence on Russian gas, a year after Crimea. After the Ukrainian invasion, there was grand talk of ending energy imports from Russia, but the oil and gas continued to flow. It is Vladimir Putin, not the EU, who is now dictating EU energy policy, by forcing it to go without Russian energy well ahead of the schedule drawn up by EU nations. Europe is in this situation partly as a result of a misconceived environment policy"

Brussels is tightening its grip on the internet - "There’s nothing like a public-health emergency for bringing out the illiberal streak in the governing classes. This is doubly true with the EU, which is always anxious to present a benevolent facade of democracy, while keeping real power distant from the people...   Some of the code’s requirements are unobjectionable. For instance, it has rules against deliberately misleading adverts and product placement masquerading as news. But some stipulations, however well-meaning, are more questionable. One is that firms should invest in algorithms that prioritise ‘authentic and accurate’ information in internet searches and social-media feeds. Another encourages firms to look to an ‘independent network of fact-checkers facilitated by the European Commission’ for help in judging what counts as ‘disinformation’... It even has private-messaging services in its sights, because they ‘can be misused to fuel disinformation and misinformation, as observed in recent electoral campaigns and during the Covid-19 pandemic’... The new guidance also calls for platforms to ‘demonetise’ disinformation. In plain language, this means denying someone access to advertising (or other) revenue because they have been judged guilty of spreading falsehoods. This rule would catch out a lot of people. A footnote in the guidance suggests this ‘disinformation’ should include things like climate-change scepticism. What’s more, it even says that those who spread ‘disinformation’ should be barred from accessing any online payment, sales or crowd-funding functions.   The EU’s authoritarian shopping list goes on. Under the innocent-sounding rubric of ‘safe design’, the guidance says platforms should warn anyone who is trying to pass on information that has been ‘debunked’. And they should ‘prioritise and lead users to authoritative sources on topics of particular public and societal interest or in crisis situations’ – for example, by installing pop-ups or banners. Even private-messaging services should direct users to approved fact-checking services... The Commission foreshadowed these proposals with a document last year, which, with no sense of irony, was called the European Democracy Action Plan. Those of us who have always been suspicious of EU-style ‘democracy’ are being proved right once again."

The EU now wants to colonise our minds - "The rule of law is a foundational principle of democratic society... The rule of law requires an independent judiciary and a clear separation of power between the courts and political institutions...   Unfortunately, the EU has adopted a legalistic ideology that erodes the distinction between politics and the law. It is weaponising the rule of law in an attempt to force some of its member states to adhere to moral values that are alien to their own national cultures. The political philosopher Judith Shklar described the ideology of legalism as an outlook in which questions of morality are always reduced to simply following rules. This sums up the EU’s approach to the rule of law. Over the past decade, the EU bureaucracy has been working behind the scenes on cobbling together so-called rule-of-law instruments to ‘safeguard fundamental values’. What the EU oligarchy means by ‘fundamental values’ are the latest fashionable ideals promoted by anti-traditionalist culture warriors. For example, the LGBTIQ culture, and the values associated with it, is now being instrumentalised by the EU against societies that feel uncomfortable with the ideologies promoted by woke identitarians.  The EU even has an Orwellian-sounding vice-president for values and transparency, who is in charge of policing values. The commissar for values is Věra Jourová. When, last month, the European Commission launched its ‘first-ever EU strategy for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) equality’, Jourová declared that ‘this is what Europe is about and this is what we stand for’. The implication was clear: her view of ‘what Europe is about’ is paramount and it is beyond debate... ‘I also want to repeat it here – the EU law has primacy over national law and [the] rulings of the European Court of Justice are binding on all national courts.’ Jourová and her colleagues have all but given up on the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality that were laid out in the original Treaty on European Union. When that treaty was enacted, no one imagined that Brussels would assume authority over the cultural, personal and family values of member states. Nor did most governments imagine that, one day, their cultural norms would be policed by a commissar for values and transparency. Until recently, governments believed that the EU oligarchy wouldn’t want to meddle in personal and cultural affairs that have no bearing on others outside the borders of individual member states. Now, however, the EU is demanding that its view of sexuality and its definition of gender must prevail over more traditional views that might exist within states. Especially states like Hungary and Poland... This mission to harness the power of rules to promote certain values is a dangerous enterprise. Controversies over values cannot be reduced to an issue of ‘rules’. For centuries, enlightened governments have recognised that matters of morality and conscience must, whenever possible, be protected from values policing. The very ideal of tolerance – a foundational principle of an enlightened society – recognises the right of people to live in accordance with their conscience. A tolerant culture recognises that values should not be imposed on people. The use of rules to impose moral conformity is driven by a totalitarian impulse that disregards the moral autonomy of the individual and which seeks to shut down ‘dissident’ values. That is why an integral element of the EU’s LGBTIQ strategy is to extend the list of ‘EU crimes’ under Article 83 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The expansion would include new forms of hate crime and hate speech, including when the targets are LGBTIQ people. In essence, this means that opinions that question the EU strategy on LGBTIQ will be criminalised and shut down. The ideology of legalism presumes that legal claims are more important than moral ones. Yet there is nothing inherently moral about following rules that are imposed on you. Hannah Arendt drew attention to the dangers of blind legalism in her discussion of the trial of Adolf Eichmann... the EU’s new strategy celebrates the values associated with trans culture and stigmatises those who uphold the binary distinction between the two sexes; the idea that there are men and women... EU bureaucrats’ obsessive interest in gender politics is in part motivated by their determination to marginalise traditional values in relation to family, marriage, sexual relations and the upbringing of children. And through attacking these values, the EU also calls into question the core value upon which the exercise of these traditional ways of life depends — that of sovereignty... Ever since the end of the Second World War, supporters of European federalism have always been concerned about the weak normative foundation on which their project rested. This weakness has been widely recognised, and in the absence of moral authority the EU has increasingly come to rely on the authority of the law. Its legalistic ideology relies on passive obedience, and in some cases forced obedience, rather than on genuine moral motivation.   But the EU’s rules, constructed through policymaking and deliberation, cannot match the influence of values and norms that have been cultivated over generations in various countries. The EU oligarchy recognises this — that is why it has so wholeheartedly committed itself to criminalising the traditional values of certain nations.  History shows that, on their own, administratively created rules and procedures always lack the moral depth necessary to give meaning to human life. That is why the EU’s attempts to transform its politicised rule of law into a sacred value are bound to fail. What we have in the EU right now is not a genuine embrace of the rule of law, but a promotion of the law of rules."

Self-hating Remainers are blind to the EU's flaws - "It has been obvious for over 20 years what the European Union’s systemic institutional flaw is: the euro itself, designed to lay the groundwork for a federal state. As economists and politicians warned at the time – and were ignored – a single currency in a continent marked by deep economic, cultural and political differences would be a cause of constant tension, because it would enrich some regions and impoverish others.  As under the old Gold Standard, weaker performing regions would just have to tighten their belts and work harder. Even outside times of crises, this meant increasing inequality and migration, especially of the unemployed young from southern Europe. A German think tank calculated in 2019 that since the introduction of the euro, the average German had gained €23,000, the average Frenchman had lost €56,000, and the average Italian had lost €74,000. Italy’s economy has been stagnant for a generation. All these countries have accumulated huge national debts, while Germany has garnered the world’s biggest trade surpluses.   It is no surprise that the latest challenge to the EU comes from Italy... Across eastern and southern Europe, parties critical of EU policies have been rising. Emmanuel Macron, the EU’s remaining champion, has lost control of parliament. Yet the eurozone straitjacket has so far made protest sterile, as the Greeks discovered when the European Central Bank (ECB) threatened them with financial meltdown...   How long can it keep the plates spinning? Another eurozone crisis is in the offing. On top of this chronic problem has come the sudden energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Germany’s choice to rely on Russian gas has made Putin’s aggression possible and gives him a devastating economic weapon. The EU is contemplating an enforced cut in gas consumption for all its members of more than 10 per cent, including those not dependent on Russia and those pretty indifferent to Ukraine. Will it work? Will it cause further political upheaval? Will the EU cave in to Putin?  Europe’s fragile economy rests on the shifting foundations of its “green” energy policy, in which Britain is supposedly a leader. Germany has ended nuclear power generation. France and Britain have allowed theirs to wither. So we have made ourselves partly dependent on wind and solar power, but mostly dependent on imported gas.  Despite promises that wind power will usher in a new era of cheap sustainable energy, basic facts will not go away: a gas-turbine generator small enough to go on the back of a lorry will produce the same electricity, faster and more reliably, than 10 offshore wind turbines the size of the Eiffel Tower. Europe has for some time been deindustrialising and has become dependent on Asia, and especially China, for most of its wind turbines and panels. The promised jobs in green energy have not materialised – except in China, of course, where “green” power equipment is manufactured using cheap energy from coal, so even the planet gets no benefit. (I am optimistically waiting for Extinction Rebellion to glue themselves to the Chinese embassy.) On its present trajectory, Europe will at best jump out of the Russian frying pan into the Chinese fire. Our present problems might then seem minor in comparison... there are still many voices in politics and the media that want us to paddle back towards the EU. Project Fear is being revived. The Guardian recently showed remarkable ingenuity by managing to make the good news that manufacturing exports to the EU were increasing into a scare story about our “dependence”. Current affairs magazines such as the New Statesman and Prospect run long articles on the supposed disasters of Brexit.  Do they not notice what is happening in the EU?   I have never believed that the EU would suddenly collapse. But I thought it likely that it would gradually run out of political capacity due to lack of popular legitimacy. Many, like myself, have drawn a comparison with the Austro-Hungarian empire: divided, weak but unreformable, aiming at best to maintain (as one of its rulers put it) “a stable level of discontent” among a resigned population. This now seems optimistic. Not only is it unclear whether the EU can carry out its policies, it is unclear that it has any policies, or that there are any that could solve its problems. Its member states follow increasingly diverging paths. The ECB hesitates between unpalatable alternatives. Support for Ukraine is at best ambivalent. As a diplomatic player in the world’s affairs, the EU has practically vanished.  So why are there still Remainers or Rejoiners? This week I read two new books attacking Brexit, which give a clue. One thing they have in common is that they say nothing at all about Europe or the EU. All their considerable verve is spent in attacking what they see as pathological characteristics of Britishness.   This has been typical of Remainer discourse since 2016. Those 1930s enthusiasts for communism who visited the Soviet Union came back with descriptions of a workers’ paradise. True, they were blind to the starvation, the repression and the fear, but they did have a vision of what they wanted, however illusory. But I’ve never read a Remainer book (and I have quite a collection) describing how wonderful the EU is: the talents of its Commission, the friendly atmosphere of the Parliament, the spacious motorways built with regional funds.  I have read many on how contemptible Britain (or rather England) is, how weak, how isolated, how mocked by the foreign press. But not much sign of knowledge of or interest in Europe.  Their real aim is to discredit the Brexiteers by any means available. At the moment, that even includes supporting tax rises at a time of pressure on modest incomes and probable recession. Would even a collapse of the EU change their minds? No, they would blame it on their great bête noire, Boris Johnson."

The EU is now a geopolitical irrelevance - "Russian and American representatives are discussing, and perhaps deciding, the future security of Europe...  In 1938, the Czechs were excluded from the Munich conference and the French were marginalised. This time, the EU has been excluded from the talks in Geneva: an astonishing void – except that no one seems to be astonished...   Federalists such as Emmanuel Macron (who has declared Nato “brain dead”) would doubtless say that this proves their case: only when it has real sovereign powers and its own armed forces will the EU count. Perhaps. But at the moment this is fantasy. France is the only bloc member with considerable armed forces. Much of the EU has allowed itself to become dependent on Russia for energy. Several larger members are in a political and legal standoff with Brussels...   As for Britain, its position is, as always, that of Europe’s leading Nato member. As such we are assisting Ukraine to strengthen its defences, and maintaining a military presence in the Baltic states to show that aggression will not be a walkover. In what sense have we lost “influence” by leaving the EU?  The problem with the EU, in geopolitical terms, is its vulnerability; political, economic and military. It is incapable of ensuring the security of its own frontiers or its “near abroad” – the preoccupation of every empire in history. Some people used to fear (some still do) that the EU was a superpower in the making which Britain could not afford to stay out of. The reality is that for the foreseeable future it will remain largely impotent... It seems unable to accept its limitations and try to function as an economic union of sovereign states. It pursues an illusory federalism without democratic consent.   EU politicians have clearly given up on winning popular support for the “European project”. Instead, they rely on the Court of Justice, the Central Bank and the secretive Council to build an unaccountable technocracy. Such a shallow system is doomed to weakness. In Britain the debate – if it can be called that – drags on. Rejoiners still flourish every anecdote, however trivial, to prove that “Brexit is a failure”. At no point do they discuss the EU’s direction and whether we would ever again want to be part of a faltering and increasingly post-democratic system. “Tell me one thing we have gained from Brexit,” they say triumphantly. Imagine Mrs Pankhurst being confronted by some red-faced reactionary in the 1920s: “Tell me one thing you women have gained from getting the vote!” I think we can guess her response."
From January

The EU is a failed empire that has condemned itself to irrelevance - "the European project was, and remains, an illusion: a 1950s Disney fairytale wrapped in Continental legalese. It is a failed federation not just riven by power struggles and vanity, but tormented by suspicion of “Anglo-Saxon” freedom.  This has been more evident than usual lately, and every day seems to bring a fresh reminder to even the most disillusioned Brexiteers of exactly why we left. Emmanuel Macron continues to use the EU as an electoral weapon, petulantly agitating for a blockade against the UK, albeit with little success. Relations between Brussels and some East European states have reached new lows, amid accusations of backsliding on rights, and Poland's president has even said the EU will collapse if it blackmails his country. The bloc is an irrelevance on almost every major foreign policy issue, from the Iranian nuclear talks to the Western pivot towards Indo-China.  Anti-Brexiteers nonetheless remain entranced by the EU’s mythology. How they gush at its iron integrity and cheered on every supposed “blinder” pulled off by chess grandmaster Michel Barnier in the Brexit talks. But they make the rookie error of mistaking dogmatism for ideological strength."

The EU's petty isolationism is wrecking Europe - "Britain signed up early to buy the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine and approved it swiftly. The EU’s leaders: first, accused us of cutting corners on safety, thus encouraging anti-vax nonsense; second, found themselves at the back of the queue after incompetently negotiating a bad deal; third, took an age to approve it in a display of astounding bureaucratic lethargy; fourth, castigated AstraZeneca for failing to give in to pressure to allow them to jump the queue; and fifth, tried to impose a hard border in Ireland just to stop the Northern Irish getting vaccines. These are not the actions of an ally and friend.   In part two, despite wanting the vaccine so badly they were prepared to tear up contracts and treaties, in a fit of pique at the fact that it was British, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel started speculating falsely that the Oxford vaccine was ineffective in the elderly, thus putting their population off it so much that millions of doses accumulated unused... The funniest take on this came from the Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran, who argued that if we had stayed in the EU we would have ensured that it did a better deal on vaccines. This argument managed simultaneously to sound arrogant, make the case for Brexit and exaggerate our past influence in Brussels. When a Dutch friend reprimanded me for Brexit a few years ago, saying that Britain’s influence was much valued by northern Europeans, so it was irresponsible of us to leave, I responded: “Then why did you not try harder to listen to us when we requested reform?” This is not a cause for rejoicing. It was no fun being locked in a continental cupboard with people who thought in such a Napoleonic way, but it is not much fun being their near neighbours either. Back in December, we recalled Parliament to ratify the trade “and cooperation” agreement with the EU. They have not had the courtesy to ratify it yet, in March.  Here is a beautiful and cultured continent being run as if it was the Ming empire: with mandarins deciding what should be done and how, with the same inflexible rules in every corner, with a distrust of enterprise and innovation, and with a mercantilist, zero-sum approach to trade that beggars both belief and neighbours."
From 2021

Post-Brexit shortfall of EU workers cancelled out by staff from rest of world - "The Brexit shortfall of EU workers has already been filled by staff from the rest of the world, official figures show.  Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that the rise in jobs filled by people from non-EU countries more than compensated for the drop in those occupied by EU workers...   Migration from the EU to the UK last year went into reverse for the first time since 1991 as a net 94,000 EU nationals left the country during the Covid pandemic.   Madeleine Sumption, the director of Oxford University's Migration Observatory, said the figures confirmed that employment of EU migrants had not recovered to pre-pandemic levels by mid-2021.  "This will be in large part a result of the post-Brexit immigration system, which means that new EU citizens can no longer move to the UK to take up work in sectors that previously relied heavily on free movement, like hospitality and construction"... "the biggest decline in EU employment was in hospitality, where very few jobs are eligible for work visas, while the increase in non-EU workers by contrast was driven by the health sector.  "There is one case where we know from separate data that employers have switched from EU to non-EU workers to some extent – that is agriculture, where there is a dedicated low-wage visa open to non-EU citizens.""
Weird. I thought Brexit was racist because it was about discriminating against white Europeans by not giving them free access to the UK (unlike brown, black and yellow people from the non-EU world)

Energy prices: How a truck driver shortage in Europe could hit your wallet in the US - "Europe is becoming the focus of an all-out energy crunch causing blackouts and factory stoppages there -- but that's also affecting prices in the US. One example: The price of natural gas, which heats half of US homes, is up 180%. Oil prices have skyrocketed too, thanks to long-depleted production by OPEC and the US. Analysts expect that gasoline prices will continue to rise... CNN's Julia Horowitz lays out how multiple factors converged to create Europe's energy crisis"
Damn Brexit! Damn money printing!

What has caused the driver shortage in Europe and the United Kingdom? - "The Driver shortage is caused by a number of factors – the main reasons being:
    The trucking industry continues to restore capacity to pre-Covid levels, and as new trucks join companies’ fleets, more drivers are needed. In addition, as a result of the EU mobility package more drivers per truck are needed due to resting and home trips rules;
    The main challenge and goal needs to be to improve driver facilities and working conditions, as driver salaries are not the only factor influencing people’s decisions to either join or to leave the industry;
    Older & experienced drivers are retiring, while trucking is not a very popular industry amongst the younger generation, and we have to improve the image and the reputation of the industry and the profession"

Morrisons drops ‘anti-EU’ chicken labelling after boycott threats - "Morrisons has been forced to redesign some of its food packaging after Remainers threatened to boycott the supermarket chain because they were offended by labelling on chicken that mentioned “non-EU salt and pepper”.   The supermarket was on Tuesday accused on Twitter of pandering to Brexiteers by advertising British chicken with non-EU seasoning, when in fact the supermarket was only obeying rules originally set by Brussels...   Brussels rules require the “non-EU” label on packaging when products contain ingredients from more than a single country outside the bloc.  The regulation on country of origin labelling was introduced in the EU in April 2020. It took effect in the UK, even though it had legally left the bloc on January 31, because Britain was in the Brexit transition period."
Also, there is surely a high overlap between those who want GMO labelling and those offended by factual "non-EU" labelling

Finally, Remainers have fessed up about ‘Project Fear’ - "Stuart Rose has admitted that the Remain campaign exaggerated the economic cost of Brexit. Rose, of course, was chair of Britain Stronger in Europe – the official campaign fighting to keep Britain in the EU... This is not the first time Rose has let the truth slip. Back in 2016, Rose was asked by MPs what might happen to wages after Brexit. He acknowledged that they might actually rise – but that this was ‘not necessarily a good thing’. Not a good thing for the elites, perhaps."

Remoaners calling Trump anti-democratic? Give me a break - "where did today’s cavalier disdain for democracy come from? How has the democratic ideal come to be in such tatters in the 21st century? It’s because of the behaviour of anti-populists; of the bruised, upset technocratic elites, from Remoaners in the UK to Hillary Clinton and her cheerleaders in the US, who have used their influence to try to trash democratic votes and the wishes of the people."

The Remainers were wrong about literally everything - "Let’s look back on some of their most spectacularly botched predictions and miscalculations.
‘Businesses will flee the UK’...
Nissan said this year that Brexit is an advantage for the company – and it has committed to creating more jobs in the UK... Brexit Britain is attracting new investment. According to financial consultancy Bovill, around 1,000 EU firms are considering opening new offices in the UK. Economic projections from the IMF (which strongly opposed Brexit) now show there has been no negative impact on economic growth from leaving the EU. In fact, Britain’s growth is expected to be higher than the rest of the EU’s in the coming years.
‘Trade will collapse’...
Although exports to the EU fell in the months following the transition period, they have already recovered. Imports remain down, but they are catching up, too. Who’d have guessed that the EU would still want to do business with one of its biggest trade partners post-Brexit?
‘Brexit will make us ill’
Many Remainers were convinced that Brexit would be a disaster for the nation’s health. Some warned hysterically that trade barriers could even lead to a shortage of medicines. Back in 2019, the then chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, warned bluntly that Brexit put lives at risk.  Other ‘experts’ entertained the ludicrous fear that Brexit would unleash a wave of infectious diseases across the UK – including super-gonorrhoea – unless Britain maintained close health cooperation with the EU. Of course there was an outbreak of infectious disease in the form of Covid. But this had nothing to do with Brexit. In fact, Brexit has helped the UK fight the pandemic – because the UK rightly avoided signing up to the EU’s ultimately disastrous Covid vaccine programme. Of course, Remainers wailed that lives would be lost if we didn’t stick with the EU programme. Lib Dem health spokeswoman Munira Wilson called the decision ‘unforgiveable’, and fellow Lib Dem Layla Moran moaned that the government was putting ‘Brexit over vaccines’. But thanks to opting out of the EU’s car-crash programme, the UK is now miles ahead of every EU member state in vaccinating its people.   Brexit did seem to affect Remainers’ mental health, however. Some actually admitted that Brexit had sent them potty: the Metro ran an article in 2019 with the headline, ‘Brexit has triggered my anxiety and depression – and I’m not the only one’. It was clearly a challenging few years for Remainers’ sanity. Brexit Derangement Syndrome led Labour MP David Lammy to ask if Dominic Cummings was a Russian spy. And Green MP Caroline Lucas ended up advocating a Remainer coup, demanding the replacement of the elected government with an all-female ‘emergency cabinet’ of Remainers.
‘Brexit can be reversed with a People’s Vote’
Remainers were sure that they would win the 2016 referendum. The man who called the vote, David Cameron, was so confident that he reportedly ordered the civil service not to prepare for a Leave victory. But losing the vote wasn’t Remainers’ only electoral embarrassment. Many also campaigned tirelessly for a second referendum – or a ‘People’s Vote’, as they insisted on calling it... Labour suffered its worst electoral defeat since the 1930s. The Conservatives, meanwhile, won an historic victory under the mantra of ‘Get Brexit Done’.  Two years on, with Brexit a reality, polling shows that more people want to stay out than rejoin. Remainers never got their People’s Vote. But perhaps they were lucky to avoid another humiliation at the ballot box.
‘Change UK will shake up politics’...
At the 2019 European Parliament election, the group got just 3.3 per cent of the vote. In the 2019 General Election, its few remaining MPs (the rest had defected to other parties by then) got a paltry 10,000 votes between them. Not a single one of the MPs who originally joined Change UK – including those who jumped ship and stood as Lib Dems – retained their seat after the election. Less than a year after forming, the group dissolved and was consigned to the dustbin of history. Elite Remainers thought they had a right to rule. They thought their knowledge of politics, economics and the EU made them superior. But events since the referendum have shown how divorced these people are from reality. They should never be allowed to forget it."

The Brexit bounce is underway | The Spectator - "The collapse in UK-EU trade after 1 January was widely reported. What has not been reported nearly as much is that UK exports have made a near-complete recovery... What these and other numbers are telling us is that even this bit of the Brexit scare stories will not come true. If you look at the latest IMF data and projections in the graphic above, you don't find a discernible macroeconomic effect of Brexit in the first ten years after the referendum. UK growth fell by more last year than eurozone growth, but this will be offset by higher growth this year. The future prosperity of the UK will depend to a large extent on the future policies of the UK government — Brexit or no Brexit. The mistaken Brexit forecasts reflect three separate but overlapping phenomena. The first is political capture by official forecasters. The UK Treasury and the Bank of England were, of course, not neutral players. International institutions, like the IMF and the OECD, have the UK government among their shareholders.  A second group got it wrong because they allowed their political preferences to take over their economic judgments. That's most of the others. Brexit has been the most emotional policy dispute in recent times. It drove some people to insanity. I know very few people who are were genuinely neutral. Almost everyone's expectation of the economic effects correlated 100 per cent with their political beliefs.  A third group, largely economists, got it wrong because they relied on bad models... Welcome to the widget school of economics. It is about things and containers, geography and manufacturing supply chains, the stuff of the 20th century economy. What it ignores is that events and technologies intrude. In the future, we will not only be trading different products, but an increasing proportion of trade will come in the form of data.  This is an area in which the UK could benefit from regulatory divergence from the EU. The EU’s business-unfriendly general data protection regulation inoculates it against artificial intelligence, which many Europeans regard as an American disease. Virus tracing apps, traffic-AI, face-recognition technology and military drones all depend on data sharing. With GDPR the EU gave itself a regime geared towards an analogue consumer in the pre-digital age."
The EU export numbers have remained strong throughout the year. So much for Project Fear

The EU has learnt nothing from Brexit | The Spectator - "Switzerland and the UK are among the richest countries in the world. Both are very old democracies. What inspired the Brits to leave is exactly the same EU approach that has now stopped the Swiss from half-joining. In both cases, the debate was accompanied by Project Fear threats about inevitable economic decline. The pro-EU argument was utilitarian. It didn’t work politically because utility is not distributed evenly across the voting population. In other words, there is one class that enjoyed the benefits of EU membership while another saw little to no benefit at all. And to the surprise of economists, not all voters are as utilitarian in the way economic models demand them to be... The EU should reflect deeply about Brexit and the Swiss 'nein' — and avoid assuming this is a right-wing conspiracy. In the UK we heard the expression of bad people lying to stupid people. If that is what you want to believe, go ahead. But it won’t solve your problem.  Instead of this insistence of rigid and ratcheting alignment, the EU should offer an outer layer of membership — an associate membership — that includes the customs union but not the single market. That way it respects the democratic rights of all countries, in and out, and presents them with a choice of benefits and obligations. It’s the half-in status — the one that the UK rejected — which causes all the problems."

Crumpled Up Money

With a very seductive voice the woman asked her husband, "Have you ever seen Twenty Dollars all crumpled up?"

"No," said her husband.

She gave him a sexy little smile, unbuttoned the top 3 or 4 buttons of her blouse, and slowly reached down into the cleavage created by a soft, silky push-up bra, and pulled out a crumpled Twenty Dollar bill.

He took the crumpled Twenty Dollar bill from her and smiled approvingly.

She then asked him, "Have you ever seen Fifty Dollars all crumpled up?"

"Uh... no, I haven't," he said, with an anxious tone in his voice.

She gave him another sexy little smile, pulled up her skirt, and seductively reached into her tight, sheer panties... and pulled out a crumpled Fifty Dollar bill.

He took the crumpled Fifty Dollar bill, and started breathing quicker with anticipation.

"Now," as she dropped her panties "have you ever seen $50,000 Dollars all crumpled up?"

He said "No!, trying to hide his arousal.

She said ...... "Check the garage."

Links - 12th September 2022 (1 - History Extra quoting)

England’s last witches | History Extra - "‘A lot of witchcraft trials were political, of course, as you suggest. And the first question we really want to think about about this period is why it's so late. I think in the popular mind, certainly for many of your listeners, the idea of witchcraft is rooted in the medieval period. Centuries before, and witchcraft has all these cliches around it, that accusations came from below, came from people who were uneducated, in rural societies, and didn't know any better. The sad truth when we look at the 16th and 17th centuries, the times of great hunts, are that very often, and as in the case of Bideford, which is why it makes this case so fascinating and so terrible. These hunts were driven by elites, people at the upper end of society, the educated rather than the uneducated, and often the urban rather than the rural. So all of these things are challenging, but the witch hunts are actually the product of our modernity, and not an earlier, supposedly less rational age. This is the period of the Royal Society, the period of the Restoration, if we just think for a minute about the marvelous flourishing of the theatre after the Return of the King. It's the cause of Charles the Second, the supposedly Merrie Monarch, although I think, when JM Barrie  was thinking of Captain Hook, and muddled him on Charles the Second, he probably just got it about, right. So for all of these reasons, this period that we think of as being proto enlightenment, more rational, more cultured, more like ourselves, is the period we have these great eruptions that lead to the last witch trials that go on in Scotland, until the 1690s in an outbreak in Paisley, outside Glasgow, but Bideford is the last big one in England... Bideford is a real powder keg in the late 17th century. It's gone through the Civil War, it's gone through a plague. It's a place though, where the rich are getting richer, and the poor are essentially getting poorer. Society’s being more stratified. And charity is breaking down. So we've got social problems. We've got as a port town whose wealth is founded on maritime trade, particularly the cod fisheries up in Newfoundland where vast fortunes were made, and in the American colonies along the Chesapeake river. So citizens of Bideford and this may sound weird to say, had far more in common in terms of shared culture, shared religious belief, kinship networks, trade and industrial links, with somebody living in the New American colonies, than maybe they actually did with their neighbors across Devon. The sea lanes were far easier, far more effective way to get around, whereas the road network, particularly in the southwest, was appalling. So the Atlantic is not an enormous boundary to people or ideas. Witch hunts very rarely are created in an instant, the sort of societal and community tensions that create a proper hunt, often take 10, sometimes even 20 years’"

Triumph against the odds: the 1821 Greek Revolution | History Extra - "‘It would be a mistake only to look at this from the diplomatic point of view, because you have to ask what caused this change? What caused the change in the behavior and the calculation of the statesman? And I think what caused the change was public opinion. And so that, I think is where things start to get interesting for the historian, because you can see that along with abolition, the cause of the Greeks was really the first great cause to galvanize public opinion as the political force that we know it is today. Today, we live with public opinion, we take it for granted. But in the 18th century there there was no public opinion, in the modern sense. Public opinion is really a creation of the post Napoleonic restoration, and largely in opposition to the post Napoleonic restoration. And Greece is the cause that galvanizes everybody from Heiner and Byron to Pushkin and Delacroix, and beyond them to whole swathes of society. Brings in women as major political actors for the first time. And so explaining the shift in diplomacy is the rise of the power of public opinion, the cult of celebrity, the cult of the great celebrity creator like Byron, for instance. And what impact this has on the sensibility of hundreds of 1000s of people.’
‘How much did this public opinion draw on the ancient Greek world and the popularity of classical Greece?’
‘I think it was the fundamental presupposition for it. Public opinion was never galvanized by the cause of the Colombians. It was never galvanized by the cause of the Serbs, people remained largely impervious to the plight of the Serbs. They were, their, their sensibilities were touched by the idea that the ancient Greeks had risen again. And were fighting for freedom. And I think it's hard for us to put ourselves in the minds of people in the early 19th century, many of whom genuinely believed this. They genuinely believe that some spirit of the ancient Greeks had come back to life. I think Shelley believed this. We have stories of French philhelenes, who have been at home in France when they read in the newspaper, this proclamation of the Spartans that's been carefully crafted by some Greek revolutionaries in the early days of the revolution, and tells Europe that the Spartans have risen again and need their help. And so these French philhelenes read this, and they take the boat from Marseilles, and they land in the small Ottoman port of Kalamata in the south of the Peloponnese, and the first thing they do when they get off the boat, is they ask somebody, where is the Spartan assembly? And the guys scratch their head and look at them like they're completely bonkers. There is no Spartan assembly. There is no ancient Sparta, there are several thousand pretty tough looking marniote [sp?] brigands in the cafes of Kalamata. And some of their first victims will be the philhelenes. So the Europe is imagining this ancient Greece coming back to life, and that's driving them into action.’"

The Stuart princess who could have deposed Charles I | History Extra - "‘You've found a really incredible painting of her that I really wanted to hear more about. So this is a painting that shows Elizabeth [Stuart] wearing a crown and more specifically, the Tudor crown. Can you tell us a bit more about this painting and why it's so significant?’ ‘It's an incredible painting, and I just stumbled upon it years ago, but I didn't sort of realize the significance of it at the time. I was working on an exhibition and a curator, *something* of the *something* where the exhibition was held, pointed out the painting, and she said, Oh, look, she's wearing what looks like the English crown, the Tudor crown. And I thought, well, it's just a lovely painting, but didn't give it a second thought. And then I started working on a life years later. And then I realized, actually, what I had been looking at was a treasonous painting. So it was quite a dangerous image for any person to have. Because she is, of course, portrayed as a Queen of England, which means at the time, when, when her brother was alive, so that means that someone wished her brother was dead, and that she would sort of be on the throne... Now, we see this happening, for instance, with a trial of Mary, Queen of Scots, that we have Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk on trial, and exhibit one is an embroidered cushion. So just an image and that is just an image of a tree with a sickle cutting a branch and they said this is Mary, Queen of Scots and a lover imagining the death of Elizabeth I’"

The state of history in 2021 | History Extra - "‘The decision in November for Barbados to sever ties with the Crown. Barbados is one of 14 other countries around the world that retain the Queen as head of state, including eight countries in the Caribbean. And for many people, this, this decision by the government of Barbados was about, well, a rejection of Britain. And finally, a a full acknowledgement of their independent status. They, of course, are an independent country, but they've remained having links with the Crown. And that becoming a Republic was a way of really moving on from their imperial past. And in all the discussions around that. And the commen, the ceremony whereby which Prince Charles attended, there was all kinds of discussions about how the issues of, of race and slavery and Empire were going to be at play in that moment of handover, whether the Prince, Prince Charles would acknowledge that, talk about it, which in fact, he did. But for many people, and I'm leading a research project exploring the Crown in the Caribbean during the Queen's reign. And what's interesting talking to people is, yes, for many it was about the fact that Barbados wanted to fully embrace its identity, and in that way, become a republic. But so too, was there, this sense of the impact of, of Windrush in a sense that the British Crown had let them down, and the issue of race was at play, and it did, for many people motivate them. There was a sense that, at the time of the Windrush scandal in the UK, the Queen perhaps should have spoken out and done more. And that was certainly the perspective that a number of different people shared. So, you know, these issues of relationships with the past, and histories of empire and slavery, and so on, are at play in all kinds of ways at the moment’"

How the Beatles were in tune with 60s Britain  | History Extra - "'What leads them to break up?'...
'People have always sort of dissected the details of the Beatles breakup... who is really to blame? I mean I think it's pretty clear that certainly 2 of them, John Lennon and George Harrison, were keen to do stuff on their own. And that, I mean, people still argue about how much Yoko Ono,Lennon's new wife, is kind of a destabilising influence. Paul McCartney wants them to carry on. But you know whether they will work with Paul, it's all very confusing, it becomes very bitter. I guess in some ways the question is why wouldn't they break up? You know, they've achieved all that they want to achieve and, you know, at that point, it's not obvious that there's any reason for rock groups to stay together for decades at end. In some ways, the more obvious question... more strange... why do groups like the Rolling Stones stay together. Why don't they break up? It's natural for the Beatles to break up. They've reached the end of the road artistically, they're very much emblematic of a particular moment, which has come to an end. I would say that they break up, you know, it's impossible for young men, very very rich young men now, living in such, scrutiny and under such unprecedented strain, to, it's hard to see how they could have stayed together, actually. And definitely actually because they are more ambitious artistically than let's say the Rolling Stones. The individual members are keen to go and spread their wings, test themselves and do different things, and that's not the case for the Stones, which is happy to play the same kind of stuff. Who are less, kind of, I mean, they are just basically less ambitious and less interested in novelty than the Beatles are. But also the Beatles' dissolution, it kind of feels right coming in 1969-1970, because it's kind of a slow motion collapse, really, because that is the point at which really the optimism of the 60s seems to be fading away, and the Beatles is very much the music of a buoyant, outward-looking, hopeful age. And inflation is biting into the economy, the oil shock is just around the corner. Labour about to be voted out in June 1970 and replaced by a Tory government whose reforming ambitions will lead to outright confrontation with the trade unions, so there's going to be a much, there're conflicts in Northern Ireland have just begun. There's going to be a much harder edge to life in the 1970s, certainly by 1972 or so. So in some ways the question is: if the Beatles had stayed together, what kind of music would they have been making by 1972 given their ability to read the cultural mood so well. It would have been much harder-edged, I would imagine. Much more, much darker. Much more, probably more controversial. So would they have found a place in the 1970s? I mean, that's the interesting thing. Because younger audiences would have wanted something different anyway. Younger audiences in the 70s, I mean if you're 15 or 16 in the early 1970s, do you want to listen to music, the band that people listened to 10 years earlier? I don't think you do. So in a way, breaking up in the 1970s is the best thing that could have happened to them, because it preserves them untouched as the kind of music of idealism, and of hope, before all that curdles by the mid 70s or so. I mean, they could, I suppose they could have ended up as kind of a tribute band to themselves, rather like the Rolling Stones just endlessly recycling their old hits. But I don't think, because of that creativity, I don't think they'd have ever wanted to. So in some ways the breakup was probably inevitable. It's hard to see how they could have continued in the same vein longer than they did'"

How Georgian Royals Brought Continental Food To The British Menu - "From the Glorious Revolution of 1688–9 to the cusp of the First World War, Britain’s monarchs exclusively married German, Danish, or Dutch princes and princesses. Food was one of the ways the British public discussed and understood these transnational betrothals. For example, when the daughter of George IV married a German prince in 1816, the tabloids turned to German food for an appropriate euphemism, comparing the engagement to a poke about in a German sausage shop, with the bride’s grandfather King George III only too eager to make a purchase on behalf of his dear granddaughter. (The sausage in that case was Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the future Belgian inaugural king)."

A History of Political Murder | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra - "‘I didn't really want to write a type of Encyclopedia of assassination, because it would be multi volume. I mean, if you look at the Byzantine Empire, you know, I think about 60 out of 100 emperors were, got the chop as it were, probably from their relatives or their guards... [James] Garfield didn't die for a month. And when he did die, it was, because this is pre the discovery of sepsis. About nine doctors sort of put their dirty fingers into his stomach to try and locate the bullet. And of course, they poisoned him. So at this man’s trial, he, his defense, believe it or not, was yes, I shot him, but I didn't kill him. Well, that didn't go down too well... The NKVD had psychiatrists working for them, psychologists. So they would, for example, use somebody to establish whether you would take a take a gift from a relative stranger. So if somebody came up to you in a restaurant or bar and said, oh Mr. So And So, I'd love to give you a box of cigars or chocolates, would you take it? And lots of people do. Now once you've established that principle, the next box of chocolates is going to blow you in half.’"

Modern Welsh History: Everything You Wanted To Know | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra - "‘Many people, certainly in the 19th century felt Wales was different. Tourists turning up, social investigators turning up - the Victorians were big ones for social investigating. But they see Wales as a different place. But then again, when they visit the slums of Manchester or Birmingham, they also look on the working classes as as, as alien as almost like a different species. So some of the things that’s said about how distinct the Welsh are, are really about class. But nonetheless, they are framed in different ways. People do talk about the Welsh as a different race. They start talking about the Welsh as Celts, as as hot headed people, as emotional people, as short people, and to a lot of the Victorian racial thinking, that's applied across the Empire is also applied to Wales, where the Welsh are seen essentially as just not as evolved or civilized, as the English. But in many ways, the only real key difference, you know, if we're, if we're going to be objective about it is language'"

The Transformation Of India’s House Of Jaipur | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra - "'Getting the princely states to accede to the Indian Union was a was a mammoth exercise. You had a set of 560 odd states. And they basically all have to sign an instruments of accession either to join India or to join Pakistan. And only three in the end didn't - Hyderabad, Kashmir and a small stake with Junagadh, in Gujarat. They were promised that after independence, they would retain, after India's independence that they would retain their autonomy in all areas except for defense, communications and foreign affairs. And they were also promised these, you know, the various rights which they, that they're, they're able to keep their titles. You could still be a Maharaja or a Rajah or an Assam [sp?] or a Nawab or whatever. They could still import their Rolls Royces. And they also were promised privy purses. So an annual allowance… But very quickly, and some of them, some of the biggest states like Jaipur were told that they would remain as independent units as well, because they were considered viable. They were big enough for that. But within a few years, aside from the privy purses the and keeping their titles and a couple of other perks, all that they'd been promised was gradually whittled away. They were incorporated into the Indian Union. Jaipur became part of, you know, the greater state of Rajasthan, along with the other states that that had previously made up Rajputana as it was known before independence. Jai had been made Raj Pamuk [sp?], which was kind of like a, was a special office like a governor, he was made governor of Rajasthan, but that was taken away from him as well. And then gradually, you know, you had in India, a socialist government under Jawaharlal Nehru, and to have these princes enjoying these perks, still getting their privy purses was an anachronism, really. So the pressure was on Nehru and then his daughter, Indira Gandhi, to abolish these titles. The, the other thing that really irked Nehru who never liked the princes and and did nothing to hide his his abhorrence of them and their feudal ways. The other thing that irked him was the fact that a number of these princes started to enter politics. And in opposition to Congress. And whenever they ran for election, they tended to win'"
Too bad Indians aren't white people, so they can't be guilted over broken promises that were made within living memory (unlike Western treaties with indigenous people - which don't always say what activists claim they say)

The Great Statue Debate | HistoryExtra Podcast - HistoryExtra - "‘The kind of statues that we're looking at now, these ones that have come up in the past couple of 100 years, are very overwhelmingly of men and are white men. And that, of course, is something that's changing all over the world right now. But the statues that are contentious from that period, really do come from kind of high period of colonialism, and that kind of era. And it really also ties in very much in my view, with the kind of Victorian fashion for the idea that history was made by great men. Statues really were a kind of visible form of great man history. And there was actually a period called statue mania, in the late 19th century, where statues started going up all over the world. And you know, suddenly, kind of huge numbers of them were going up in Paris and Berlin and London and everywhere, so much so actually, that in Paris, they had to put gates and fences around the parks to stop artists just depositing their statues there as if they were dogs going to the laboratory...
Stalin, you know, really got into this, really started to put up statues himself everywhere. And I think, you know, this is something we've seen with a lot of dictators in the 20th century, you know, from across the political spectrum is this cult of personality and statues is such an effective part of that, because as I say, they really look like people. So if you put up a massive, massive statue of Stalin in the city, there's an element of Big Brother is watching you, you know, there's an element that you feel that he's almost there. And Stalin really did encourage people to treat his statues as icons, you know, to treat them in a kind of quasi religious manner, the massive statue of him that went up in Budapest that was pulled down during the Hungarian rebellion in 1956. So, you know, Budapest newspapers, when that went up were telling people that they should, if they had worries or fears, they should go to the statue, tell it their problems, and ask it for advice, and the problems would be solved. So that was literally being treated as a religious object, really, at that stage... Trujillo was particularly keen on projecting himself as somebody with immense sexual power. Anyone who's read the novel, The Feast of the Goat, will, of course know a little bit about this, he was somebody with an immense sexual appetite. And he wanted to be known as somebody with great sexual power. So a lot of the time he would build statues, either in front of or nearby, enormous phallic obelisks of himself, and he would constantly put these obelisks up as a sort of statement, really, of his phallic power, and he wasn't even subtle about it. I mean, you know, when they were unveiled, people would say things like, you know, now we can all see the great power of Trujillo...
[On the Saddam statue] It was actually completely staged, really, that what actually had happened is that American troops there that day, in, in a paradise square in Baghdad, Firdos square. They wanted to create a sort of photo opportunity, they wanted a big dramatic moment that felt like the conclusion of the war. You know, felt like a sort of, you know, exciting televisual moment. So they'd actually been pulling down statues of Saddam Hussein, there were so many, again Saddam put up so many statues himself, they'd been pulling them down for weeks on, basically a daily basis. But none of those statues have been particularly exciting, you know, haven't really come together as a visual image, even though some of them have been filmed. So this one, they kind of staged… Firdos square is not the big square in Baghdad, but it certainly you know, it's substantial and sort of reasonably central. But it really was kind of quite, it's quite complicated, looking into it exactly where all the ideas came from. So there were Iraqis involved. And the interesting question is, to what extent the American troops who helped really came up with the idea themselves, or to what extent the Iraqis did, or was it a kind of, did everybody come up with the same idea at the same time, but it seems extremely unlikely as the Iraqis started trying to pull this thing down. But it was massive and incredibly heavy, and they just couldn't really do it. It's quite a small crowd of Iraqis there. So the only way they got it down was that they were able to use American equipment, American trucks and American troops to an American armored vehicle to pull it down and attaching ropes to it and hauling the whole thing down. And then it was an American soldier who climbed up it and put an American flag at the top of it. And then that created suddenly the Pentagon kind of went wild. No, no, you've got to take that down straightaway, it looks like imperialism. So that that flag very quickly went down and they put an Iraqi flag up instead. But I think even the Iraqi flag, there's some indication that that may well also have been owned by an American soldier. So it was kind of a simulated event. And then, then you had everyone on TV afterwards, all these commentators and so on saying this is a Berlin Wall moment. This is so incredible, you know, this is like, they kept saying, talking about the Berlin Wall. But of course the Berlin Wall really was spontaneously pulled down by people. This has not happened. This was a staged Berlin Wall moment. And of course, what we now know is that it really wasn't the end of the war, this was presented on all these channels as this satisfying conclusion to a story.’"

The Ottoman empire: everything you wanted to know - HistoryExtra - "‘Until Suleyman, the principle of succession was the first of the princes of the household. You know, when a Sultan died, all of his sons would have been set out to be provincial governors, so they would learn statecraft in the field. And then when word of the death of the Sultan reached them, they’d get on the horses and gallop back to Istanbul or Constantinople. And the first one there would be crowned the Sultan, and he'd kill off his brothers, so there'd be no challenger, to threaten his position as Sultan. This fratricidal succession is pretty horrific, and it tells you something about Suleyman that he ends that. And many will say that this is when you have a major shift in the power and ability of Sultans, because from this point forward, it'll be the sons of the ruler as raised in the palace, within the confines of the harem, and without the experience of the field. And that's going to change the Ottoman methods of statecraft. And a lot of people feel to the disadvantage of the virile conquering empire of the first ten Sultans. I wouldn't want to take that argument too far. But I think it's really important to see how you're moving away from the campaigning Sultans who would take the lead and take their army out to the field. And now we're going to see princes of the household, given their education, in the palace, with all of the limits that that imposes on Ottoman methods of rule...
In the later 19th century, I think Britain plays a really important role in preserving the integrity of the Ottoman Empire. You had some Philo-Turkic prime ministers, that's part of it. But you had a conviction among the British political elite, that the Ottoman Empire was an important buffer zone keeping Russia out of the Mediterranean world. And that if you were to allow European powers to begin to do a land grab, at the Ottomans’ expense, they'd soon fall out among each other over geostrategic territory currently under Ottoman rule, so better to have a weak Ottoman Empire preserved than to let it collapse and provoke fights. And in that way, you can see, you know, those last decades of the Ottoman Empire, it's very important to have the Europeans actively preserving the Ottoman Empire. That's where World War One is really the turning point because for the first time, the European powers agree that in defeating the Ottoman Empire, they will dismember it’"

Bewitched cars & mail-order charms: witchcraft in modern France - HistoryExtra - "‘Witchcraft strikes those things that we value most in our lives. And in the 19th century, and then into the 20th century, you get more and more examples of people having things like bewitched technologies. So I've got a really nice case from the 1930s, which concerned a bewitched car. And then that led to this, this court case where people were arguing over when the car was really bewitched.’...
‘A case in 1890, where a woman killed her newborn child immediately after she gave birth. And when she was confronted with this, it turned out the backstory had to do with the father of the child was someone who she believed to have occult powers and who she believes controlled her behavior. The case was repeatedly postponed in order to get expert opinion on what exactly had happened in the case? And, in fact, some of the experts were called in to talk, talk about the case, they were fairly convinced that he could control her mind. Using, you know, a form of hypnosis. She was she was supposedly hysterically suggestible. And he had kind of hip, hypnotized her into killing a child. And that I think the thing that's interesting about that kind of precedent is that that does that precedent goes on to be used in other cases. So there are several other cases in the following years where women who'd killed their own children, more or less successfully argued they had been hypnotized by a man’...
‘Around two thirds of those who were suspected of being witches were men. And what do you think is behind that?’
‘It's so hard to answer. Why, why would be that that more men are thought to be witches in this in this period in modern France, than women? I think the first thing to say is that the association that we have with, with women in witchcraft, that is something that exists, that has existed in a lot of cultures, you know, European cultures, but also other cultures around the world. There seems to be a strong association between harmful magic and women. But it's never been total. And you know, during the period of the early modern witch hunts in Europe, there were whole regions of Europe, Switzerland, as the obvious example, but also Normandy, which of course, is part of modern, modern France, where male witches always dominated. So it's never been, it's never been a kind of one to one fit, that kind of association between women and witchcraft. Why it would be that men are more associated with witchcraft in the materials I look at is really hard to answer. I suspect there are a few things going on. The first is that these are, these are court cases, dealing with crimes that aren't witchcraft itself. And we know from lots of other evidence that men are more likely to be taken to court in these cases. So it may be that there are lots of cases involving women that just, they never make it to court. I think the other things to say that there is this long standing association with Norman male witches, and a lot of the cases in my research are from that region. The other. I mean, it's not, that's not the only region of France, in fact, where male witches predominate, almost all of Northern, the northern part of France, male, which is predominant, and it's only in southern France, in my period, where there are more female witches than male witches, there are lots of other things I could say about it, it gets more and more complicated and less and less plausible, perhaps. But one thing I've talked about before is or written about before, is the possibility that it has to do with inheritance disputes, because the French have a very strict and patriarchal in fact, system of inheritance introduced at the beginning of the 19th century. And one thing that that creates is a lot of tension between male brothers and cousins, and things like that. And then that may lie behind some of it.’"
Weird. I thought witchcraft accusations are just an expression of misogyny

Early Medieval Britain: everything you wanted to know - HistoryExtra - "‘The reason people tend to prefer the term unfree instead of slave is because there's, there's an implied contrast here with the Roman and ancient world. Slaves are generally thought of as being a part of the Roman world, but less so in the early Middle Ages. Now. There were plenty of people who were called slaves in early medieval Britain, servus in Latin, this is where we get serf from in modern English. Whereas in Old English, they had terms like thael or wealh, which is actually the the word that gives rise to Welsh and Wales, which gives you some clue to the social dynamics of slavery in in early medieval England, that a lot of their slaves were were people perhaps, of British extraction. But there are three main reasons why I think that unfreedom and slavery can be helpfully kept distinct. And the first is that they operated in a early medieval slavery operation, a very different way to Roman slavery. One thinks of, you know, you think of Gladiator you think of, you know, I, Claudius, all these things, where you have sort of mass of household servants, you have chain gangs of slaves on big estates, whereas most early medieval slaves were agricultural workers. And they didn't operate in those big gangs on big estates in the same way as their Roman predecessors had done, and even in the Roman world that wasn't universal at all. Second, servitude had different connotations in the early Middle Ages. Everyone thought of themselves in terms of service to someone, but it was a question of what you did and on what terms that mattered. So, service to the king in some honorable capacity like like fighting or waiting on him and his household was one component of elite secular status of being recognized as what was called a thane in early medieval England, but having to do heavy agricultural labor, meant something else all together. The third thing is that that status was negotiable. Unfreedom meant lots of, unfreedom meant lots of different things. There were plenty of outright slaves who had no say over their own time or their own person, their relationships with other people. But beyond that, there was a very complicated sliding scale of partial degrees of freedom and partial degrees of servitude. So that actually a lot of the people that we might think of as, as slaves were actually, would not have called themselves slaves and did not spend all their time. So there was part time slaves, so they might have to do servile labor, say two days a week, but work for themselves on the others. And how many days a week you had to do, where you had to do it, how much flexibility you had, that was as as important as having to do something at all, if that makes sense. There are also examples we have of people selling themselves into servitude, which sounds absolutely horrific. But again, it wasn't necessarily seen as all that bad. It was something that people saw was actually quite a sort of bargaining chip. The problem here is that laws and other texts written among elites, and especially elites working in a Roman tradition tended to deal in absolutes, one of which was that selling yourself into slavery was a bad, bad thing. But the records dealing with actual people on actual estates, actual communities show a much more nuanced picture where freedom was a kind of bargaining tool...
If there was a so called secret crime committed like you stole something or you, you killed someone in secret, that was seen as actually a much bigger, scarier threat to the community. Because normally, if you killed someone, but everyone knew about it, that was obviously not good. But you could just pay compensation, you might need to go into sort of penal servitude to pay off that debt. But still, there was a recognized way of doing things. Whereas with secret killing, if they found out who'd actually done it that carried a much more severe penalty, as did theft. Stealing stuff, trying to get away with doing something by subterfuge was seen as much, much more serious. So again, theft, carried the death penalty, often in, at least in early medieval England. Whereas just taking something you know, while in full view of everyone was actually much less serious, again, that required just, just settlement. This is actually the difference between killing and murder. In early medieval law, murder, morth, was one of these these crimes that was secret and extra scary.'"

Censorship: waging war on free speech - HistoryExtra - "‘When you read about an authoritarian government barring speech that, you know, barring dissent, we can sort of understand that, we can understand the futility of it. But at the same time, that's a rather simple calculus. The more, censorship gets more interesting when it's in effect, benevolent. When it's trying to advance a more positive narrative, or whether you know, where the, where it's not just a jealous guarding of authority, where it's something that's trying to mold the public discourse in a positive way. And we have that with hate speech laws. We have that with fake news laws, which I would love to talk about. And we have that also with Holocaust denial laws. Ernst Zündel, was a resident of Canada, originally from Germany. And he was a part of this crop of Holocaust denier, you know, Nazi sympathizers, and he published a book, a pamphlet called Did 6 million really die? And he, in that he denied, you know, the very factuality of the Holocaust. These laws are in place in order to not allow anti semitic narratives from overwhelming you know, the truth of it. He was put on trial, effectively, Canada didn't have a Holocaust denial law, per se, but they found something similar. And they put him on trial. And he showed up to trial every day, wearing a banner saying free speech, saying, you know, this is my, my right effectively, like a lot of the extreme rights say when they're caught saying terrible things to say, well, free speech. If, he lost a, the first few rounds, and then he ended up winning before the Canadian Supreme Court, which held that it is wrong to freeze any historical narrative in one place, even at this cost. And they reminded Canadians and Americans of the slanders that were rendered against African Americans and and native Canadians and native Indians that they were inferior, stupid, deserve to be conquered, etc. and reminded us that those narratives were frozen in history, were taught as truth until they were undone. And it was a bit of a bitter lesson. And also, nothing pleased Zündel more than being tried for this, I mean, he, it gave him more legitimacy than he ever had before. And so, even when you try and censor, I mean, who can argue with a Holocaust denial law, even when you try to mold the public discourse in a positive way, it can backfire. Hate speech laws. You know, again, who can argue with trying to reduce the level of hatred, try to reduce the level of you know, hurt and slander. There are certain things that press my buttons, there are certain things that I'm sure press yours, that we hate, that we hate hearing, but we always have to think at least in this context and in the context of fake news laws, who's doing the censoring, and for what purpose? Hate speech laws are now inevitably used to quell dissent. Fake News laws are inevitably used to quell truth. I really believe that, that even laws that sound benevolent or efforts that are benevolent, when they come to using authority to mold speech, inevitably, we're going to get results that we didn't intend or that in effect could be more harmful...
I've seen a lot of speech laws that address harm, but inevitably have poor results. I think we have to make a really big distinction and it’s very, very hard to do, between tolerance and approval. You know, the notion of freedom of speech is built on tolerance. It's built on allowing speech that as Justice Holmes here in the United States said, allowing thoughts we hate, to be voiced, to be tolerant of an open marketplace of ideas is not necessarily to approve what is being said...
It's never you or me, or maybe even the listeners of this program, who vindicate the rights of the masses. It's the obnoxious ones. It's the grotesque ones. It's the ones that we don't want to have dinner with, you know, it's the outsider voices that that mark the limits that we all really enjoy’...
‘You write that the ancients believed that words and ideas took on a physical form, and that they could only be wiped out by by burning’"
Someone tried to criticise me for supporting free speech by saying I'd be supporting 3 generally socially despised people that he named. But it is precisely the most despised among us whose rights we need to defend, because if even the most despised of us have rights, all of us do. Presumably liberals want hardened criminals to be deprived of legal representation and due process as well

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Links - 11th September 2022 (2 - US Media)

On HuffPost’s Layoffs - "Many of these news operations simply are not financially viable. They don’t bring in enough money to sustain their expenses. Indeed, many of them – way more than you’ve been led to believe – were never financially viable. They were floated on on-going infusions of new investment money chasing big payoffs that were probably always illusory. Then they hit the brick wall of the rapid consolidation and automation-driven price declines in the ad industry. Indeed, whole territories in the firmament of digital news media were simply based on lies"

Jon Cooper on Twitter - "I decided to #BoycottCNN as soon as the network began its shift to the right. It was a tough decision, since I’ve been a devout @CNN viewer since I was in my 20s. If I wanted to watch right-wing propaganda, I’d watch Fox. So for now, it’s ONLY @MSNBC for me."
To the left, anything that is outside the far left is unacceptable. Being exposed to anything outside their echo chamber is "harm"

Facebook - "Larry Elder had his campaign visit to a Venice homeless camp cut short on Wednesday after a woman in a pink gorilla mask threw an egg at him that narrowly missed his head. According to the Los Angeles Times, Elder spent roughly 12 minutes in the neighborhood before exiting in an SUV. Elder and his campaign team were confronted by a number of homeless people and advocates who said he “has no business down here.” He tweeted on Wednesday evening that his "security detail was physically assaulted, shot with a pellet gun and hit with projectiles." Elder, a conservative talk show host, is one of 46 recall candidates on the ballot for next week’s election that will determine if Gavin Newsom will be replaced as the governor of California. While the video featuring the egg-throwing incident was watched more than 3.5 million times, the vast majority of left-rated and center-rated outlets did not cover the news. Many right-rated voices pointed to the lack of coverage from left-rated outlets, highlighting how the attack would have been "with good reason dubbed racist" if Elder was a Democrat."

Transparency Troubles: How the Associated Press Mixes News and Subjectivity - "The Associated Press (AP), widely considered to be a worldwide leader in journalism, describes itself as the “most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news.” This suggests the site is strictly dedicated to news — but it isn’t.  Recently, the AP has mixed subjective, analysis-based content in with its hard news reporting. And while this content is sometimes distinguished by an “Analysis” label, other times it’s not.  Last week, the AP’s article mentioning First Lady Melania Trump’s Republican National Convention (RNC) speech was rife with examples of subjective analysis also bordering on opinion. But this article lacked an “analysis” label and was shown alongside the rest of the AP’s news content.  In the article, the authors break down everything from the tone of the RNC (calling it “dark” and “ominous,” which is sensationalist language, and is a subjective judgement), to President Trump’s poll numbers, to Melania Trump’s history, to other RNC speakers. In one instance, the writers offer a subjective interpretation of Trump’s campaign messages...   Inconsistent or misused labels do more harm than good — especially when people are coming to the AP expecting balanced news coverage.   Media bias is not exclusive to the AP; AllSides rates the bias of over 800 publications and sources throughout the political spectrum. However, AllSides reviews have consistently found AP to inject subjective statements and opinions in what’s portrayed as news coverage.  AllSides has found news content from other prominent outlets on both sides — the left-rated Washington Post and right-rated Fox News, as examples — to show bias in elements like photo choice and bias by omission, but not as much for mixing overtly subjective writing into news reporting when compared to the AP."
The only media you're allowed to criticise are right wing media. Lots of liberals imagine a right wing bias is synonymous with unreliability, but when I point to left wing biases they usually keep quiet (which at least is somewhat more respectable than doubling down, which sometimes happens)

AllSides Moves AP Politics to Lean Left - "After months of research and analysis, including blind bias surveys conducted with nearly 4,000 people across the political spectrum as well as AllSides editorial reviews, AllSides found Associated Press news coverage of US politics has a Lean Left bias. AllSides now rates AP’s Politics and Fact Check sections as Lean Left. We separately rate AP News — its coverage of general news and world events — as Center... We are somewhat saddened to report this because AP has long been considered a gold standard of traditional journalistic ideals of balance, fairness, objectivity and integrity... Note that Center doesn’t mean better than a left or right-rated source. News sources with left or right bias play an important part in our national dialogue and media landscape, and they often highlight important news, issues, and perspectives that center sources miss. Bias is natural; hidden bias misleads and divides us. That’s why we work to make media bias easy to spot and transparent — so that people can consume a diverse news diet, properly understand what is going on, find the truth, and decide for themselves.  But since AP specifically strives to be fair and unbiased, and influences the entire world of journalism with its standards and news reports, there is cause for concern when it displays an overall bias or agenda in any political direction... Blind bias surveys are excellent for getting an accurate review from participants because they hide the publisher’s name and brand. Participants only see the content, not the publisher"

How AllSides Media Bias Ratings™ Have Changed Over Time - "from 2017 to 2021, CNN’s online news bias (we don’t rate broadcast or TV content) shifted significantly, from Center, to Lean Left, to Left...   USA Today is another example of a media outlet that has undergone a shift in its AllSides Media Bias Rating. While USA Today was Center for many years, we shifted it to Lean Left this summer. That’s because USA Today was rated Lean Left by people across the political spectrum in an April/May 2021 Blind Bias Survey and during a July 2021 Editorial Review by the AllSides team.  Other examples of media outlets that have gone farther left over the years include ProPublica, The Daily Beast, Slate, Vox, Bloomberg and Politico... others have moved toward the center, including Independent Journal Review, Marketwatch, and Newsweek. The Epoch Times’ rating was also shifted from Right to Lean Right, after a Blind Bias Survey returned a rating between Center and Lean Right, though closer to Center, and an Editorial Review returned a Lean Right rating.  AllSides uses multiple methods to rate bias, including Editorial Reviews, Blind Bias Surveys, third party data, independent research, and community feedback. Any time we shift a bias rating, it’s because the outlet has undergone one or more of these methods of review.   Of course, our ratings are not “accurate” and never can be — bias is largely subjective and in the eye of the beholder... the AllSides Bias Ratings™ system and patent is specifically designed to reflect the average judgment of all Americans, not just any single group, such as journalists, academics, or the company assigning the ratings. We believe this system makes our ratings the most trustworthy and credible available today.  But for someone who is on the far left, the center may seem far right; for someone who is far right, the center may seem to be far left. You may disagree with some of our ratings — that's okay! Use our ratings as additional input to form your own judgement. You can also click on the ratings on our site and on our media bias ratings page to tell us what you think the rating should be. We review this feedback and often do additional analysis if lots of people disagree with a rating. Why does the bias of a media outlet change over time? It can be due to many factors: a change in the outlet’s ownership, a change in editorial staff, or a change in journalists. Sometimes it’s because of shifts in the broader political landscape.  For instance, AllSides found that Fox News was more Lean Right during the Trump administration, but shifted to Right after the election of President Biden, and possibly as the result of Fox News firing 16 digital editors from its Digital department in Jan. 2021 (this is pure speculation, but it does stand to reason that a change in staff could affect content). Similarly, we’ve found some media outlets were more sensationalist during the Trump administration, but have since toned down their word choice (though perhaps not enough to change their bias rating)."


WaPo: SCOTUS Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Had Credit Card Debt, Paid It Off - "The left-leaning press revealed its next angle of attack on Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh Wednesday with a Washington Post deep dive into his finances. The paydirt: In 2016, he had between $60,000 and $200,000 of debt, then he paid it off in 2017...   A 2017 Experian report found that the average American household has $24,706 in debt without including mortgages. A Money magazine analysis of Federal Reserve numbers from 2016, however, when looking more narrowly at only Americans in Judge Kavanaugh’s age group of 45-54 who do take on debt, found an average non-mortgage, non-home loan debt of over $200,000...   Much of the Washington Post piece is devoted to emphasizing that, if confirmed, Kavanaugh may be the least wealthy member of the Supreme Court...   Unlike most of the current Justices, Kavanaugh has spent his entire career in public service and did not spend time in lucrative private practice, nor did he work as a full-tenured law professor, nor marry a wealthy spouse."

Sandmann lawyer joins Rittenhouse team, says Zuckerberg a 'top' target of numerous 'solid' lawsuits - "The lawyer who represented Covington Catholic student Nicholas Sandmann during his defamation cases has joined Kyle Rittenhouse’s legal team, and says there will be "at least 10" defamation lawsuits against prominent figures and companies for comments against the teenager.   "I’ve been hired to head the effort to determine whom to sue, when to sue, where to sue," Todd McMurtry, who now represents Rittenhouse, told Fox News Digital... Though the legal process for potential defamation cases is just beginning, McMurtry singled out Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook for a "factually false" designation on the platform that listed the Kenosha shootings as a "mass murder" incident. The designation resulted in Rittenhouse’s social media accounts being pulled down and restricting positive comments about the teenager... "To call somebody a mass murderer is seriously defamatory. And then to use the power of social media to basically … censor any views that would take opposition to that mass murderer statement is a serious effort to destroy his character. And it was seriously mistaken and seriously defamatory." Outrage erupted after Facebook and Instagram designated the shooting during the Kenohsa riot a "mass murder incident" before a trial or verdict, with the Wall Street Journal's editorial board arguing in 2020 that such a designation hurt the teenager's shot at due process and called the move an "alarming resort to censorship."... McMurtry said he didn’t want to "necessarily tie the cases together," but pointed out similarities between Sandmann and Rittenhouse, as both were minors during the incidents and were "were falsely wrongfully condemned by the media and social media."... As for proving damages, McMurtry told Fox News Digital he knows "for a fact that [Rittenhouse] can prove that his job prospects are permanently diminished."   "Not to mention what they call perpetual reputational harm, which means that Kyle is never going to have an interaction with anybody where they don't know who he is. And this is going to follow him around for the rest of his life." "Everybody's going to prejudge him in every new interaction that he has with everybody for the rest of his life, and that's called perpetual reputational harm. … The social media hysteria caused all this because people can't act reasonably and rationally in certain circumstances""

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle brands Elon Musk ‘a bully’ after Twitter exchange - "MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle blasted tech mogul Elon Musk after he posted a meme online making fun of the president’s son Hunter Biden.  Musk posted the meme on Wednesday referencing Hunter Biden’s history of reported drug use and other illegal activities. “Imagine the positive impact you could have on the world if you used the extraordinary amount of influence and power you have to spread decency, kindness and positivity?” Ruhle, who hosts a late-night show on MSNBC on weeknights, replied to Musk’s tweet.  “Imagine if MSNBC did that,” Musk responded...   “It baffles me that a man literally on top of the world would waste time punching down”"
The media cannot be criticised
Apparently the media and/or Hunter Biden and/or a top journalist are powerless
Mirror of exchange

Over Half of U.S. Journalists Don’t Believe Both Sides Deserve Equal Coverage - "Younger journalists and those who say their outlet has a left-leaning audience are most likely to say equal coverage is not always warranted... 76% of U.S. adults think that journalists should always strive to give every side equal coverage, compared to 44% of journalists... A separate survey found that of 46 countries around the world, the U.S. ranks dead last in news trust, with just 26% saying they trust the news most of the time, according to a Reuters Institute Digital News report. Could this be because some readers do not see their views given a fair shake in the press?... journalists who are worried about misinformation are more likely to say that not every side deserves equal coverage. The idea that some perspectives don’t deserve to be covered because they are “wrong” or “bad” can lead to one-sided, biased news, in which perspectives the journalist does not agree with are omitted. This is why we created the AllSides balanced newsfeed, which allows you to get a broader view and see if a media outlet is not covering a certain angle...  just because a view is on the fringes doesn’t necessarily mean it is wrong or unworthy of being heard and explored — consider that the idea that cigarettes and sugar were bad for your health used to be fringe views...   In most quality journalism schools, students historically have been taught to see themselves as neutral observers — people whose job it is to objectively describe what both sides are saying, to explore issues in depth, and to let the reader issue a judgment call for themselves. They are taught to strive for balance, and are typically taught not to see themselves as being in the role of arbiter.  But with a lack of proper training and emphasis on this — either from professors or editors — many journalists omit voices they think are “bad” or “harmful,” even if those perspectives are common or shared by many. This amounts to advocacy journalism or even propaganda, in which the journalist is trying to convince you of one side... imagine if voices arguing that black people should be allowed to eat at restaurants were never heard. We’d be living in a very different society today.   Journalists will always have a tough job, and humility is required. Journalists must recognize that their own judgment may not always be the right one or shared by all, and that other views ought to be explored. While society engages in debate about key issues, readers need to be able to see all sides of an issue so that they can make judgment calls for themselves. This is why AllSides believes our mission of getting people out of their filter bubbles ultimately improves our democratic society — democracies cannot function without a free flow of information that gives multiple perspectives"
They get around that by claiming that one side is wrong
This seems to have started with climate change, when the liberals proclaimed the both sides rule of thumb could be done away with. So much for the "myth" of the slippery slope. Principles exist for a reason and we violate them at our peril
If people don't trust the media, clearly there's a problem with the people and those who criticise the media. The liberal media can never be criticised. But Fox News deserves to be bashed, of course

A one-source story about a 10-year-old and an abortion goes viral - The Washington Post - "This is a very difficult story to check. Bernard is on the record, but obtaining documents or other confirmation is all but impossible without details that would identify the locality where the rape occurred.  With news reports around the globe and now a presidential imprimatur, however, the story has acquired the status of a “fact” no matter its provenance. If a rapist is ever charged, the fact finally would have more solid grounding."
Before they charged someone for this, it looked even more ridiculous. "Unproven" is not a rating that claims liberals approve of get  

Journalist Nicki Minaj Exposed Has Been Receiving Death Threats - "Nicki Minaj exposed a journalist who was harassing her family for an interview over comments she made on social media about the COVID-19 vaccine causing alarming side effects. On her Instagram story, she posted screenshots of a text thread between her family member and a reporter who claimed to be from Guardian Media named Sharlene Rampersad.  In the thread, Rampersad was asking for an interview to discuss what Minaj had said about how a friend of her family member struggled with impotency and swollen testicles after being vaccinated. Rampersad was being warm at first when requesting an interview with the friend but when she didn’t get a response, she sent threatening messages. “But just letting you know, CNN is in the country looking for you,” Rampersad wrote. “And when they find you, they won’t hesitate to reveal where you live or where your gf lives…anything and anyone who is tied to you. If you speak to me, we won’t reveal those details. So what do you say?”"

Nicki Minaj threatens journalists and posts their personal details online amid vaccine controversy - "Singer Nicki Minaj has posted the personal details of journalists who attempted to contact the source of her controversial Covid vaccine views on social media.  The targets of her ire were Sharlene Rampersad, who works for Trinidad’s Guardian Media Limited, and Daily Mail reporter James Fielding... “At Guardian Media Ltd. we denounce intimidation of journalists in any form ... the use of aggression on social media to intimidate can have adverse physical and psychological effects on people. As a responsible media house, we encourage others to stand up against this type of behaviour as we can all make a difference in addressing this global challenge posed by the pervasive nature of social media.”"
Liberal logic: when a leftist journalist threatens to dox you, exposing her threats means you're the bad guy

Perma Banned - Posts | Facebook - "I could hardly give a fuck about Nicki Minaj - but the way Murican MSM behave as if they're some kind of Stasi/Gestapoo really drags me into some trippy places. Its funny actually, Guardian and  CNN initiate a shitshow by trying to pull that CNNBlackmail shit again, (because god forbid her opinion is offensive) thinking they'll get away with it. Lets just say when Nicki doxxed said CNN "Journalists" to her 100+million rabid fans (Kpop stan-tier rabid), as abhorrent the concept of doxxing is, my sympathy for the Journos is...substantially tempered.  Simply because, they set the playing field, they wanted to play dirty. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes as they say. They started it by bringing a person's family members and personal life into it.  Just like how CNN harassed a doctor's home and business for having opinions on Vitamin D. Oh yeah, of course MSMs are trying to spin is off as her starting it, not the actual fact that she was the one who had her family threatened in the first place. In other words...lying to protect their ilk as if they’re just blameless victims. Mmhmm, a-ok when they're doing the doxxing and the blackmailing, but when god forbid someone actually decides to punch back...oooh suddenly its an atrocity! Journos in Murica and the West rn are no different from gangsters."

Lawrence King on Twitter - "People will "unfollow" a friend for having a different opinion But they wont "unfollow" the news + mainstream media for constantly fabricating anger and stress in their life that they can live without"

Lack of media scrutiny of Biden a glaring issue - "On the other hand, the same media that has been questioning and investigating Trump and his family for four years, including pushing baseless allegations regarding Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluding with the Russian government, is now treating President-elect Joe Biden like a fragile crystal vase. During the presidential election campaign, the unbalanced coverage of Trump and his challenger was breathtaking and unprecedented."

We need to be more honest in our reporting on Biden | Financial Times - "these “fact-checking” articles, such as this one in AP, were widely shared on Twitter as proof of yet more “fake news” by the Trump campaign and the media that support him... whatever you think Biden was meaning to say, to call the idea that he was accidentally referencing George Bush “fake news” and instead to assert so confidently that Biden was in fact referencing George Lopez seems a bit off. Unless Hodges has some sort of superhuman ability to see into Biden’s mind, how can he possibly state this with such certainty? And anyway, again, why would this have been any better?  There was also the suggestion that Biden wasn’t actually getting in a muddle at all, but instead had suddenly interrupted himself midway through his sentence to speak directly to George Lopez, which, having watched the clip several times, seems to us like an even less convincing idea... The fact is, none of us know who Joe Biden was referring to when he said George (maybe not even Biden himself — how many of us are completely aware of what our brains were doing when we fluff something up?). And we’re not sure it matters anyway. What we do think matters, however, is that there seems to be an instinct across the Trump-disliking media to push back against negative news about Biden — whether the journalists believe it’s true or not — because it might be damaging to Biden’s chances of winning the election.  We saw the same instinct after the first TV debate between Trump and Biden. Much of the media declared it had proven that Biden had not lost any of his mental acuity, and chalked up all of his stumbles to his stutter (which he has suffered from his whole life). Whereas we thought it had proven almost the opposite: that the former vice-president’s mental faculties had noticeably suffered in the years since he was in office (which is not that surprising; he is almost 78 after all). If you compare Biden’s performance with footage of him debating in 2012 or 2008, the difference is stark (though we felt he performed slightly better in the last debate)... there is a difference between being selective in what you publish, and actively misrepresenting reality. The short-term effects of that strategy might be effective, but over the long term, it will chip away further at trust in the media.  America’s mainstream media might be doing everything they can to get rid of a dangerous president. But in so doing, they are setting a dangerous precedent"

Media Response to Biden Win Is Concerning for Journalism Future - "Biden is no Trump, but for the preservation of our democracy, the press can't play favorites in any case. I saw enough following the election to know that, if we stay the course, journalism is heading down a far more perilous path than any taken during Trump's tenure. The fourth estate needs to correct itself... The second course of action needed, and arguably the most important, is increasing the diversity of perspectives journalism permits. Facilitating public discourse is the immense responsibility that the media takes on when they choose what stories to tell and decide whose opinions to include. More than ever before, it is imperative that the media allow for varied and, when necessary, challenging opinions that invigorate staled discussion.  Personally, I've felt this reluctance to include varied perspectives more and more acutely as a young writer trying to break into the élite and closed-off world of journalism. The most memorable exchange I've had with an editor was when he told me he'd only accept commentary from an "actual expert" — not some amateur who had a few interviews. In frustration and absolute indignation, I burned the bridge, in so many words... High-profile departures from major news companies have sparked conversations about the press' role in the parallel universes Americans find themselves in. Debates over the nature of journalism and of balancing a menagerie of perspectives in the newsroom have spilled out from the cutting-room and into the public eye.  Bari Weiss, previously an opinion editor and writer at The New York Times, resigned in July. Her resignation letter, which she published online, featured almost 1,500 words of criticism and contempt for what she called an "illiberal environment." Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of The Intercept, resigned in October over the "same trends of repression, censorship and ideological homogeneity" that pervade the national press. Andrew Sullivan, a widely-read and consistently-controversial former columnist for New York Magazine, announced his departure from the magazine in the same vein.  While I often find myself at odds with each of these three on particulars, I can't help but call attention to the larger trend. Divergent ideologies don't feel welcome in mainstream media anymore."

The Media Had 4 Years to Figure Out Trump Voters. They Blew It. - "A healthy media might have learned from its mistakes, engaged in soul-searching, and tried to gain some insights into the working-class coalition that Trump had assembled. Clearly, this didn't happen, because four years later—in the midst of a nail-bitingly close election—the predictions of the pundit class have proven to be no more accurate than they were in 2016. In fact, by some measures the experts performed even worse than last time: The pre-election polls, which suggested a landslide Biden victory, Democratic control of the Senate, and gains in the House, are so spectacularly wrong it calls the validity of the profession into doubt... Once again, Trump is more popular than the media thought was possible.  Perhaps more importantly, the media continues to be wrong about why Trump is popular, and about which people like him. Unable to admit that a Democratic Party held hostage by liberal arts graduates who write their preferred pronouns on their name tags might be out of touch with the working class voters who traditionally vote blue, many cable news talking heads settled on any number of alternative explanations: from Russian interference to lingering, perhaps resurgent, racism throughout the U.S. (CNN's Van Jones called it a "whitelash" in 2016.)   Trump, though appears to have improved—albeit modestly—his totals with minority voters, including and especially Latino voters. The narrative that Trump's divisive rhetoric about foreigners and immigrants renders him completely toxic to minority voters just doesn't match the reality. Indeed, the results thus far suggested that the racial gap—at least for Latinos—is shrinking, and class and educational attainment are becoming more salient considerations than race...   Institutions like The New York Times and The Atlantic have grown much more squeamish about inviting dissenters into their midst. Publications are now occasionally beholden to staffers who think it's the job of journalists to run interference for the Democratic Party and hide stories from readers if they could conceivably help Trump. Many young rising stars in the world of investigative reporting think newsrooms have wrongly prioritized objectivity and should move toward a kind of "moral clarity" that is likely to make their institutions even more confused about why millions of people—roughly half the country—have aligned themselves with Donald Trump.  As independent thinkers exit the mainstream media, groupthink and blind spots among the legacy press are likely to get worse. The result would be a travesty, and not an outcome anyone should want or root for."

USA Today reporter Gabriela Miranda fabricated sources for 23 articles - "The journalist who is said to have used the fabricated sources was identified as Gabriela Miranda"
Liberals will continue to pretend that only Fox News and the Daily Mail cannot be trusted

Joy Reid's Ratings Tank As Rumors Swirl She Could Be Gone From MSNBC: Report - "Greg Gutfeld poked fun at Reid by saying MSNBC was too “terrified” to ever fire her.  Gutfeld argued that Reid’s “scam” was to call everyone around her “racist” and that she had executed her plan so well that MSNBC was probably too scared to let her go because she would call them racists, too.   “The ghouls saying Musk is pro-hate speech, always fling the hate first. lesson: they can call you an evil racist; but fight back? thats labeled hate speech. How joy reid remains employed is a tribute to her boss’s cowardice”...   Reid has made a slew of outrageous comments, but one could argue she’s made a few defamatory comments about Kyle Rittenhouse.  After a jury found him not guilty on all five counts, Reid argued Rittenhouse’s acquittal has a historic precedent that goes back to the days of slavery... “The next chapter in the Kyle Rittenhouse story are likely multiple defamation lawsuits against not only several media outlets but also MSNBC in particular and a host named Joy Reid, who we had the pleasure of hearing.”  “As for Mrs. Reid and multiple contributors calling Rittenhouse a racist, a white supremacist and, most importantly, guilty until proven innocent… I have got four words for you: ‘Covington Catholic Nicholas Sandmann’ – who sued CNN for what, $275 million, and forced them to settle”"

Escape The Echo Chamber - Posts | Facebook - "Yesterday was one of those days that further lowered my opinion of the new media. In a nothing story, Kyle Rittenhouse said he was “going to be going [to Texas A&M]”. He didn’t say when he planned to start attending school there or even whether he had applied; it was just a comment on his future plans. When the school was contacted they said he hadn’t applied yet. The media then framed this as a Rittenhouse “lie”, that this was “refuted”, and “the university begs to differ”. Apparently, Rittenhouse is the first teenager in the country to announce what college they were going to go to without first applying and being accepted.  The current acceptance rate for Texas A&M, a public college, is 63%."

Tim Pool on Twitter - "Several op-eds claimed that Youtube was radicalizing people Journalists jumped on this narrative without evidence Two academic papers have come out providing evidence to the contrary Journalists are calling it fake and telling people not to report on their findings."

Another study debunks the media's "YouTube radicalization" theory - "in 2019, the New York Times decided to try arguing the case of YouTube actually being a bastion of alt-right ideology – by publishing an article authored by Kevin Roose, featuring a liberal college dropout who claimed YouTube’s recommendations tab was “a vortex of far-right politics” that was responsible for turning him into a “alt-right radical.”... it was enough to prompt a media narrative about YouTube’s alleged role as some kind of “algorithmic champion” of ideology – but now the study carried out by Ledwich and Zaitsev – based on more than 760 political channels on YouTube across the ideological landscape, and more than 23 million recommendations for 675,000 videos uploaded since 2018 – found no evidence of this.  Similar data has found the same... YouTube’s late 2019 algorithm is “not a radicalization pipeline (…) in fact it removes almost all recommendations for conspiracy theorists, provocateurs and white identitarians; benefits mainstream partisan channels such as Fox News and Last Week Tonight; disadvantages almost everyone else.”"

Algorithmic Radicalization — The Making of a New York Times Myth | by Mark Ledwich | Medium - "An opinion piece for the New York Times went so far as to call YouTube, “one of the most powerful radicalizing instruments of the 21st century.” What makes this story easy to believe is our own experience of YouTube’s recommendations. We are shown a wider spectrum of content than traditional media — the wildest of which we are more likely to remember and mention.  A study I recently conducted with Anna Zaitsev (a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley) uses a rigorous methodology to classify channels into ideological groupings. We use this large dataset on recommendations to shed light on the most widely held claims about algorithmic radicalization.  Three reviewers manually collected 760+ political channels and watched hours of content to classify them as left/center/right and give them soft tags (e.g. MRA, libertarian, anti-SJW). Our system collected 23M+ recommendations since November for 657K videos created since 2018... the algorithm encourages filter bubbles, especially for partisans... Some groups are clearly advantaged; 14.6M more recommendations were from Centre/Left MSM videos towards Partisan Left than the other way. When it comes to more fringe groups, the recommendations always flow away from them... Contrary to the narrative promoted by the New York Times, the data suggests that YouTube’s recommendation algorithm actively discourages viewers from visiting content that one could categorize as radicalizing or otherwise questionable.  This chimes with what YouTube themselves have said... Curiously, just as Caleb Cain was radicalized by far-right videos, he was also then de-radicalized by left-wing ones. Over time, he had “successfully climbed out of a right-wing YouTube rabbit hole, only to jump into a left-wing YouTube rabbit hole.”... In his own way, Caleb defines what the left-leaning legacy media sees as the archetypal actor in our mediatized, post-truth era: Someone who completely lacks all critical thinking, consumes an endless stream of online information, and dogmatically believes any political position they are told. It's hard not to notice how this meme is symmetrical to the NPC meme created by the online-right. NPC stands for “non-player character” and is someone who has no agency, blindly believing left-wing media propaganda. Penn State political scientists Joseph Philips and Kevin Munger describe this as the “Zombie Bite” model of YouTube radicalization, which treats users who watch radical content as “infected,” and that this infection spreads. As they see it, the only reason this theory has any weight is that “it implies an obvious policy solution, one which is flattering to the journalists and academics studying the phenomenon.”... Writers in old media frequently misrepresent YouTube’s algorithm and fail to acknowledge that recommendations are only one of many factors determining what people watch and how they wrestle with the new information they consume. I believe their fixation with algorithms and tech comes from subconsciously self-serving motives, a mechanical understanding of radicalization and a condescending attitude towards the public. It works like this: If only YouTube would change their recommendation algorithm, the alternative media, the racists, cranks and conspiracy theorists, would diminish in power and we would regain our place as the authoritative gatekeepers of knowledge. Old media’s war on decentralized media is not limited to misinformation about YouTube’s algorithm. I believe this motivation partially explains why this wild piece against free speech and this hit piece on Cenk Ugur found their way into the paper of record."

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