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Thursday, October 06, 2022

Links - 6th October 2022 (2 - Big Tech Censorship)

The curious case of the Danish mask study | The BMJ - "It seems 2020 is Orwell’s 1984, where the boundaries of public discourse are governed by multibillion dollar corporations (in place of a totalitarian regime) and secret algorithms coded by unidentified employees... The problem is less that Facebook and other social media decide what is published on their platforms...  It is more that Facebook in particular purports to allow freedom of speech on its platform but acts selectively, seemingly without logic, consistency, or transparency. That is how control of facts and opinions furthers hidden agendas and manipulates the public."

Exclusive: Facebook unblocks '#saltbae' after Vietnamese minister's golden steak - "Facebook's parent company said on Tuesday it had unblocked the hashtag for celebrity chef Nusret Gokce's nickname '#saltbae', having found the tag had been blocked globally days after a video was posted online of Gokce feeding a gold-encrusted steak to a senior Vietnamese Communist Party official in London.  "We've unblocked this hashtag on Facebook and we're investigating why this happened," a spokesperson for Facebook operator Meta (FB.O) told Reuters, confirming the tag had been blocked for all Facebook users around the world, not just in Vietnam... Facebook said it had removed some groups identified by Reuters as being part of a government influence operation for "coordinating attempts to mass-report content"."

Facebook - "Likely evidence that Facebook's block / ban algorithm is more likely driven by mass reporting rather than any intelligent evaluation of content and nuance (which costs money since you need to pay articulate and competent >110 to 120 IQ humans to do it). Implications are that this is very advantageous to any ideology that is puritan and likes to run to authority to ask for bans of content they dislike. Possible counter is to mass report in retaliation - a variant of mutually assured destruction that causes Facebook to be flooded with reports and thus forced to lower sensitivity of its algorithm to such abuse."

Florida state government considers divesting state funds from Big Tech

In boss move Gab backed up President Trump's ENTIRE Twitter account and recreated it on their platform.

Exclusive: Former Twitter Employee Blames Head of 'Trust and Safety' Del Harvey for Mass Twitter Lockouts - "A former Twitter employee blamed the company’s head of trust and safety, Del Harvey, after the platform locked out thousands of conservative users overnight, in what has been dubbed the “Twitter lock out.”... conservative users were inaccurately flagged as bots and locked out of their accounts. Locked-out users were asked to provide a phone number to regain access.  Conservatives, libertarians, and Trump-supporters on Twitter reported losing hundreds, and occasionally thousands of followers overnight.   My own follower count followed the same pattern — hundreds of accounts disappeared overnight, only to return next morning. One of my followers told me that he had been locked out of Twitter despite having already verified his phone number.  A former Twitter employee said Trump supporters had been defined as bots, and that it wasn’t an accident.  “It wasn’t a mistake,” said the former employee. “They defined Trump supporters as bots. The only reason they are backpedaling is [because] they got caught.”...   Twitter flagging Trump supporters and conservatives as bots corroborates footage obtained by undercover journalists at Project Veritas last month, which shows a Twitter employee equating Trump-supporting accounts with bots.  “Just go to a random [Trump] tweet and just look at the followers. They’ll all be like, guns, God, ‘Merica, and with the American flag and the cross,” declared the employee, DM engineer Pranay Singh, who was secretly recorded by Project Veritas reporters. “Like, who says that? Who talks like that? It’s for sure a bot.”...  the examples cited by Twitter in their statements are all pro-Trump or right-wing, despite the fact that Robert Mueller’s investigation has found that Russian bots spread both pro-Trump and pro-Clinton material on social media. The Russians even organized pro-Hillary rallies, one of which was attended by the prominent left-wing activist Michael Moore."

Twitter cares more about mean tweets to Taylor Lorenz and Rachel Levine than death threats against JK Rowling - "Rowling posted a few screenshots from a music video about which the singer hoped for her death. "I'm afraid I can't give a shout out to everyone promising to murder me," Rowling wrote, "there are so many of you, and I'm a busy woman - but this one deserves a mention for the nineties rave vibe, @TrustFundOzu." The hateful comments and the account who made them were reported to Twitter by actor James Dreyfus and others, but Twitter said that the comments were not in violation of their safety policies. The tech giant responded to Dreyfus' report saying the threat hadn't "broken its safety policies." "Surprise, Surprise!" Dreyfus wrote, sharing the response. "So, death threats = Good. Saying 'women are women' = Bad. Congratulations Twitter Support. You’ve hit rock bottom. Seek help." Outspoken feminist activist Meghan Murphy was banned from Twitter for saying "yeah, him," in response to question about Jessica Yaniv, a biological male who took to suing aestheticians who refused to wax his genitals, saying that that they only serviced female clients... After Lorenz made false allegations of wrong-speak against Silicon Valley entrepreneur Marc Andreessen, she was lambasted as an online bully. She claimed the criticism was instead harassment."

Common Sense Extremists on Twitter - "Sixty years ago if a company of any kind refused to let the President of The United States use their services while at the same time allow foreign communists to use their services they’d have been labeled a domestic enemy. Why should we feel differently now?"

WATCH: Tucker Carlson: 'How many insurrections have been planned on Google?' - "Big Tech's attempt to silence those on Parler, a free speech platform, by removing access to the app."

How Silicon Valley, in a Show of Monopolistic Force, Destroyed Parler - "Critics of Silicon Valley censorship for years heard the same refrain: tech platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter are private corporations and can host or ban whoever they want. If you don’t like what they are doing, the solution is not to complain or to regulate them. Instead, go create your own social media platform that operates the way you think it should.  The founders of Parler heard that suggestion and tried... Parler encountered immense success... As Silicon Valley censorship radically escalated over the past several months — banning pre-election reporting by The New York Post about the Biden family, denouncing and deleting multiple posts from the U.S. President and then terminating his access altogether, mass-removal of right-wing accounts — so many people migrated to Parler that it was catapulted to the number one spot on the list of most-downloaded apps on the Apple Play Store... three Silicon Valley monopolies — Amazon, Google and Apple — abruptly united to remove Parler from the internet, exactly at the moment when it became the most-downloaded app in the country. If one were looking for evidence to demonstrate that these tech behemoths are, in fact, monopolies that engage in anti-competitive behavior in violation of antitrust laws, and will obliterate any attempt to compete with them in the marketplace, it would be difficult to imagine anything more compelling than how they just used their unconstrained power to utterly destroy a rising competitor... the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law issued a 425-page report concluding that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google all possess monopoly power and are using that power anti-competitively. For Apple, they emphasized the company’s control over iPhones through its control of access to the App Store... With virtual unanimity, leading U.S. liberals celebrated this use of Silicon Valley monopoly power to shut down Parler, just as they overwhelmingly cheered the prior two extraordinary assertions of tech power to control U.S. political discourse: censorship of The New York Post’s reporting on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, and the banning of the U.S. President from major platforms... Not only did leading left-wing politicians not object but some of them were the ones who pleaded with Silicon Valley to use their power this way... liberals like Goldberg are concerned only that Silicon Valley censorship powers might one day be used against people like them, but are perfectly happy as long as it is their adversaries being deplatformed and silenced (Facebook and other platforms have for years banned marginalized people like Palestinians at Israel’s behest, but that is of no concern to U.S. liberals). That is because the dominant strain of American liberalism is not economic socialism but political authoritarianism... World leaders have vocally condemned the power Silicon Valley has amassed to police political discourse, and were particularly indignant over the banning of the U.S. President. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, various French ministers, and especially Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador all denounced the banning of Trump and other acts of censorship by tech monopolies on the ground that they were anointing themselves “a world media power.”... Even the ACLU — which has rapidly transformed from a civil liberties organization into a liberal activist group since Trump’s election — found the assertion of Silicon Valley’s power to destroy Parler deeply alarming... Yet American liberals swoon for this authoritarianism. And they are now calling for the use of the most repressive War on Terror measures against their domestic opponents... House Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) urged that GOP Sens. Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley “be put on the no-fly list,” while The Wall Street Journal reported that “Biden has said he plans to make a priority of passing a law against domestic terrorism, and he has been urged to create a White House post overseeing the fight against ideologically inspired violent extremists and increasing funding to combat them.”... Parler was not founded, nor is it run, by pro-Trump, MAGA supporters. The platform was created based in libertarian values of privacy, anti-surveillance, anti-data collection, and free speech. Most of the key executives are more associated with the politics of Ron Paul and the CATO Institute than Steve Bannon or the Trump family. One is a Never Trump Republican... Of course large numbers of Trump supporters ended up on Parler. That’s not because Parler is a pro-Trump outlet, but because those are among the people who were censored by the tech monopolies or who were angered enough by that censorship to seek refuge elsewhere.  It is true that one can find postings on Parler that explicitly advocate violence or are otherwise grotesque. But that is even more true of Facebook, Google-owned YouTube, and Twitter. And contrary to what many have been led to believe, Parler’s Terms of Service includes a ban on explicit advocacy of violence, and they employ a team of paid, trained moderators who delete such postings. Those deletions do not happen perfectly or instantaneously — which is why one can find postings that violate those rules — but the same is true of every major Silicon Valley platform. Indeed, a Parler executive told me that of the thirteen people arrested as of Monday for the breach at the Capitol, none appear to be active users of Parler. The Capitol breach was planned far more on Facebook and YouTube... And that’s to say nothing of the endless number of hypocrisies with Silicon Valley giants feigning opposition to violent rhetoric or political extremism. Amazon, for instance, is one of the CIA’s most profitable partners, with a $600 million contract to provide services to the agency, and it is constantly bidding for more. On Facebook and Twitter, one finds official accounts from the most repressive and violent regimes on earth, including Saudi Arabia, and pages devoted to propaganda on behalf of the Egyptian regime.... these Silicon Valley giants — Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple — donate enormous sums of money to the Democratic Party and their leaders, so of course Democrats will cheer them rather than call for punishment or their removal from the internet. Part of it is because Parler is an upstart, a much easier target to try to destroy than Facebook or Google. And in part it is because the Democrats are about to control the Executive Branch and both houses of Congress, leaving Silicon Valley giants eager to please them by silencing their adversaries. This corrupt motive was made expressly clear by long-time Clinton operative Jennifer Palmieri. The nature of monopolistic power is that anti-competitive entities engage in anti-trust illegalities to destroy rising competitors"

Censorship Goes Official: House Democrats are Now Urging FBI to Investigate Parler - "It’s fascinating that we didn’t get this kind of concern about foreign business ties when it came to the Biden family and their Ukraine dealings. It’s also strange that the left is now suddenly concerned about Hamas"

Abandoning free expression won’t solve America’s problems - "Much has been said in these chaotic days about various threats to American democracy. One particular threat to democracy, however, is largely ignored in the public outrage. That threat is the abandonment of the principle of free expression. Democracy doesn’t happen in places where voices are stifled and powerful levers are used to shut people up.  Tech giants now believe they have sufficient wisdom to approve or deny which messages can circulate on social media. A major publisher cancelled a book contract with a sitting senator over his comments regarding election certification. The new social media site, Parler, has been booted off of Google Play and the Apple App Store.   Consider the countries in the world that routinely stifle expression: North Korea, Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba and Iran come to mind. Any society that starts to legitimize suppression of voices and allows certain entities to express while smothering others is heading down a dangerous path.  It matters little which powerful entity is doing the stifling. Whether it is big government, establishment media, or tech giants presumptuously thinking they are smart enough to referee the public sphere, suppression is still suppression. Sadly, much of the pressure to restrict messaging is coming from on-line mobs or activist groups who have intimidated tech companies into compliance.  During times of crisis, it is difficult for civilized societies to detach themselves from the intensity and circumstances of the moment... social media giants are actually political actors imposing their world views onto what were designed as public marketplaces. Absent the emotions of the now, most sensible Americans would disapprove of Twitter’s Jack Dorsey deciding which politicians’ messages get to circulate and which don’t.  Seventeenth century English intellectual John Milton wrote about the dangers of censorship. He contended censorship weakens the character of a society, and ultimately, just doesn’t work...   It is time to remember the rallying cries of past years when activists noted that “Dissent is patriotic,” and “No one is free when others are oppressed.” As the nation works to address its cultural and political problems, there must be a realization that muzzling people won’t help. That will only complicate the healing process."
Weird. How come John Milton was too ignorant to not know that free speech was only about the First Amendment, which only existed towards the end of the 18th century?

BREAKING: Twitter insider leaks video of Jack Dorsey saying ban is 'bigger than Trump' - "In the video, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said "We are focused on one account [@realDonaldTrump] right now, but this is going to be much bigger than just one account, and it’s going to go on for much longer than just this day, this week, and the next few weeks, and go on beyond the inauguration.""

Meme - "Whistle-blower claiming fb allows hate speech"
"person who got a 7 day ban for calling someone a potato"

Meme - "Our standards on nudity or sexual activity. We have one set of standards because we want everyone on Facebook to feel welcome. Nudity or sexual content includes.. Female nipples (except in the context of breastfeeding, after-birth moments, health and acts of protest)...
'Protesting is patriotic. Let's get on the bus.'"

Google Scrubs Mike Cernovich Report on SPLC Link to Mass Shooter from Search Results - "A report from independent journalist, author, and filmmaker Mike Cernovich detailing the link between the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a group that demonizes and dehumanizes conservatives, and a far-left mass shooter appears to have been scrubbed from Google search results.  Searching for the title of Cernovich’s report, “How a Convicted Terrorist used the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Website to Identify Targets,” does not bring up a link to the report on the first page of Google results, which instead returns results for the SPLC’s own website. The report details the story of Floyd Lee Corkins, a far-left activist who attempted to carry out a mass shooting at the headquarters of the Christian conservative Family Research Council in Washington DC.   As detailed in Cernovich’s report, the FRC was just one organization on a list of four targets possessed by the shooter, who admitted to the FBI that he planned to carry out shootings at each of the targets, one by one.  He also told the FBI that he identified the FRC as a target because he read an item on the SPLC’s “hate watch” list calling it an “anti-gay organization.”... Breitbart News has experienced similar censorship from Google, with the exact wording of Breitbart headlines failing to generate results on the first page of Google. Instead, the searches bring up results for websites that plagiarize the headlines and content of original Breitbart News stories... Cernovich noted that the SPLC is a discredited organization, having been forced into a multi-million dollar settlement with the secularist campaigner Maajid Nawaz after it added the moderate Muslim to a list of “anti-Muslim extremists.”"

Meme - Zuckerberg: "i receive: personal data"
"You receive: Your post goes against our Community Standards so only you can see it. See options.
Your post goes against our Community Standards so only you can see it. See options.
Your post goes against our Community Standards so only you can see it. See options.
Your post goes against our Community Standards so only you can see it. See options.
Your post goes against our Community Standards so only you can see it. See options."

Perma Banned - Posts | Facebook - "I heard about Chowder being suspended in YT for....reading the news about what allegedly happened to a man's daughter [TWICE] in a specific lavatory in a specific highschool... Apparently the "reason" YT gave to justify the suspension was because...Chowder was not allowed to say or express anything that COULD be perceived as insulting, or mean towards a very specific group of 'oppressed' individuals [even if its news] (weird how these group of people can claims themselves to be oppressed when entire institutions and corporations quite literally oppress others who AREN'T them as a means to protect this supposedly 'oppressed' group of people).  In other words in America - you can quite literally READ THE FUCKING NEWS, and you can get banned because some people in a corporation/institution think that the reading of actual news can be "offensive" to the people who MIGHT be affected? It also got me thinking... So what's YT implying exactly?
1. that YT believes someone reading the news about an incident revolving a specific alleged perpetrator...is representative of an entire group of people?
2. is it because of specific people's identity, that they are above any form of reproach or criticism, EVEN when they have been allegedly caught doing some of the most heinous things imaginable...thereby perpetuating systemic injustice that suppresses the voice of victims if the politics is inconvenient?"
Criticising someone who is trans is transphobic

Blue Lives Matter - Posts | Facebook - "Facebook has started cutting our reach by 99% to all articles posted in the past 14 hours. We don't know what they're doing to our page now. We're on Twitter and LinkedIn, and have a newsletter on our website if you don't want FB to shut you out from seeing our content. Unfortunately, we can't give you the links to any of those things or FB will cut the reach on this post too."

Facebook - "Anatomy of a conspiracy: With COVID, China took leading role"
"I literally reported on this EXACT story and was CENSORED for it. My post was REMOVED from both facebook and Instagram and my facebook account has been limited. Yet...today the Associated Press is allowed to report on it? At what point in the past few days did my “harmful content” “rooted in falsehoods” become safe?"

Google: Missing Churchill photo mystery explained - "Google has explained why search results information about Sir Winston Churchill was missing a photograph for several weeks.  His image was replaced by a grey silhouette.  There was concern Google was censoring the image following controversy over the former PM's statue, and culture secretary Oliver Dowden contacted the tech giant about it.  Google said the error had occurred when it tried to change the photo."

Bret Weinstein on Twitter - "I have been evicted from Facebook. No explanation. No appeal. I have downloaded "my information" and see nothing that explains it. We are governed now in private, by entities that make their own rules and are answerable to no process. Disaster is inevitable. We are living it."

Google's YouTube Shuts Down Dilbert Creator Scott Adams - "Adams, a comic-turned podcaster who describes himself as “extra provocative,” published the 1,213th episode of his show titled, “Biden COVID Plan, Swalwell’s Chinese Spy, Pelosi Still a Steaming Pile,” on YouTube before it was taken down by the internet giant. YouTube wrote in an email to Adams the episode violated its guidelines pertaining to “spam, deceptive practices and scams policy.”  YouTube’s censorship of Adams follows a recent company announcement that it would be removing any content critical of the 2020 election process alleging widespread voter fraud tipped the outcome of the November contest.   After preemptively declaring Republican claims of deceptive voter fraud as a conspiracy remaining to be proven in court, YouTube is still host to a wide range of other dangerous conspiracies across its platform, from ideas that President Donald Trump is a Kremlin agent to the idea that aliens build the Egyptian pyramids."

Buck Sexton on Twitter - "Not a single journalist or politician was ever kicked off Facebook for trying to negate the result of the 2016 election with 4 years of absurd, reckless Russia collusion lies In case you were wondering about the ethics of our internet overlords"

Stew Peters on Twitter - "Imagine living in times where every tweet must be fact checked... But not every ballot."

Facebook - "This page is now at risk for being unpublished and its distribution is now being limited by Facebook for sharing this image lampooning Godwin’s Law two years ago."

The Babylon Bee - Posts | Facebook - "Facebook is keeping us all safe from harmful satire by removing our post about Senator Hirono weighing ACB against a duck."

Facebook and Twitter's Intervention Highlights Dangerous New Double Standard - "facing intense public pressure and threats of Senate inquiry, the company relented and said it would change its policy. Twitter’s legal chief, the New York Times said, was worried that the firm “could end up blocking content from journalists,” implying that it hadn’t already done just that. The company said it would henceforth allow similar content to be shared, affixed to a label about the source of the information.  The intervention by the two platforms resulted in a predictable Streisand effect, in which an effort to censor results instead in increased attention. Conservatives lost their minds... The near-universal reaction among mainstream press outlets, meanwhile, was to denounce the Post story as dangerous, and probably foreign, misinformation. The expose “rings all the foreign-disinformation alarms in the book,” said Axios. “[Rudy Giuliani] and the New York Post Are Pushing Russian Disinformation,” sneered Mother Jones, the publication which introduced the raunchiest parts of the unverified Steele Dossier to the American public. “B.S. Ukraine Smear,” chirped Salon.  Of the outlets who bothered to cover the story, nearly all of them weighed it not according to its truth or untruth, but in terms of its potential impact on the coming presidential election... Times writer Kevin Roose noted that “politicians and pundits” have hoped for a stronger response from tech firms ever since “Russian hackers and Wikileaks” injected “stolen emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign” into the public discourse in the last election cycle.  “Since 2016,” he wrote, “lawmakers, researchers and journalists have pressured these companies to take more and faster action to prevent false or misleading information from spreading on their services.”  Roose neglected to mention that the “stolen emails” in 2016 were real, and not “false or misleading misinformation.” That they may have damaged the Democratic Party was not great for them, but as Bill Clinton-appointed federal judge John Koeltl ruled in the Democrats’ failed lawsuit against Wikileaks, the Trump campaign, and Russia, those documents were of “public concern” and therefore protected by the First Amendment. The only thing that should matter, when it comes to stories like this, is whether or not the material is true and in the public interest. This disturbing new confederation of media outlets and tech firms is rewriting that standard.  The optics of a former Democratic Party spokesman suddenly donning a Facebook official’s hat to announce a ban of a story damaging to Democrats couldn’t be worse. Moreover, the Orwellian construct described in papers like the Times suggests that for tech executives, pundits, and Democratic Party officials alike, the lines between fake news and bad news, between actual misinformation and information that is merely politically adverse, have been blurred. It’s no longer clear that some of these people see a meaningful distinction between the two ideas. The public can’t help but see this. While papers like the Times denounce the true Podesta emails as “misinformation,” and Facebook says the New York Post story must be kept out of sight until verified, the standard for, say, the Steele dossier was and is opposite. In that case, we were told “raw intelligence” should be published so that “Americans can make up their own minds” about information that, while “salacious and unverified,” may still be freely read on Twitter and Facebook, reported on in the New York Times and Washington Post, and talked about on NBC, so long as it has not been completely “disproven.” As Erik Wemple of the Washington Post points out, even that last point is no longer true, but the Steele dossier and plenty of other products of what Axios calls “hack and leak” journalism continue to be embraced and freely distributed. The obvious double-standard guarantees that the tech platforms will henceforth be viewed by a huge portion of the population as political censors instead of standards enforcers, and moreover that mainstream press pronouncements about such controversies will be deemed automatically untrustworthy by that same population."

If ‘unreliable’ is the issue, why did social media never block anti-Trump stories? - "This is what totalitarianism looks like in our century: not men in darkened cells driving screws under the fingernails of dissidents, but Silicon Valley dweebs removing from vast swaths of the Internet a damaging exposé on their preferred presidential candidate... Hunter introduced the firm’s executives to his father — just when Joe Biden was the second-most powerful man on earth, with outsize influence over the fate of the embattled Eastern European country.  That information is squarely in the public interest as we head into an election, right? Yes, but it’s also extremely embarrassing for President Trump’s opponent, and so social-media executives went into action...
the past four years have seen left-of-center outlets devote millions of column inches to anti-Trump stories that turned out to be utter bunk — yet neither Facebook nor Twitter took similar action as part of any “standard process”:
Remember when four CNN reporters claimed, in June 2017, that James Comey was about to dispute in congressional testimony Trump’s claim that the FBI director had reassured the president he wasn’t under investigation? Comey did no such thing, but did Twitter and Facebook censor the story? Nope.
Or recall when The Guardian newspaper concocted a story, seemingly out of thin air, about Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort and WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange meeting at Ecuador’s embassy in London? There was no such meeting, as the special counsel’s report confirmed. So did Facebook or Twitter block that story? Nope, you can still post the debunked nonsense on either platform.
Or remember when The Atlantic published a several-thousand-word story suggesting that then-Sen. Jeff Sessions had lied when he said he didn’t meet the Russian ambassador as a Team Trump surrogate, but as a routine matter? The Mueller report debunked The Atlantic decisively with its finding that the meeting in question didn’t “include any more than a passing mention of the presidential campaign.” So is The Atlantic story blocked as misinformation? Nope.
Or how about when the McClatchy news agency claimed that Trump attorney Michael Cohen had secretly traveled to Prague to meet with his Kremlin handlers? “Cohen had never traveled to Prague,” the Mueller report found. So is the McClatchy report blocked? You know the answer — of course it isn’t.
Then there was BuzzFeed’s big bombshell that fizzled: a major story claiming that Trump had ordered Cohen to lie to Congress. The Mueller report’s verdict: “The president did not direct [Cohen] to provide false testimony. Cohen also said he did not tell the president about his planned testimony.” Did Facebook and Twitter block the link or otherwise “reduce distribution” pending fact-checking? Of course not. You can still post the lies freely.
Then there was the biggest of whopper of all: the salacious — and utterly discredited — Steele dossier, first reported by David Corn of Mother Jones and later published by BuzzFeed. Blocked by Big Tech? Ha!"

Meme - "Ummmm, ackchually it's a private platform so there's nothing wrong with a handful of private megacorporations controlling what opinions we're allowed to have on social media."

Kevin Sorbo on Twitter - "Orwell called them thought police. Twitter and Facebook call them “fact checkers.”"

Meme - "Mark Zuckerfuck using the time stone to ban me for shit I posted 3+ years ago"

Facebook - "Oh look, @TeamYouTube / @SusanWojcicki has demonetized my latest SAAD TRUTH clip wherein I simply read and commented about published articles by a black man and an Asian-American woman.  Is @YouTube trying to erase voices of color (including mine)?  The clip has  99.8% approval."

San Francisco, Hostage to the Homeless

San Francisco, Hostage to the Homeless | City Journal

"Everyone’s on drugs here . . . and stealing,” an ex-felon named Shaku explains...

For the last three decades, San Francisco has conducted a real-life experiment in what happens when a society stops enforcing bourgeois norms of behavior. The city has done so in the name of compassion toward the homeless. The results have been the opposite: street squalor and misery have increased, even as government expenditures have ballooned. Yet the principles that have guided the city’s homelessness policy remain inviolate: homelessness is a housing problem; it is involuntary; and its persistence is the result of inadequate public spending. These propositions are readily disproved by talking to people living on the streets.

Shaku’s assessment of drug use among the homeless is widely shared...

An inadequate supply of affordable housing is not the first thing that comes to mind when conversing with San Francisco’s street denizens. Their behavioral problems—above all, addiction and mental illness—are too obvious. Forty-two percent of respondents in the city’s 2019 street poll of the homeless reported chronic drug or alcohol use; the actual percentage is likely higher. The city relentlessly sends the message that drug use is not only acceptable but fully expected. Users dig for veins in plain view on the sidewalk; health authorities distribute more than 4.5 million syringes a year, along with Vitamin C to dissolve heroin and crack, alcohol swabs, and instructions on how to best tie one’s arm for a “hit.” Needle disposal boxes have been erected outside the city’s public toilets, signaling to children that drug use is a normal part of adult life. Only 60 percent of the city’s free needles get returned; many of the rest litter the sidewalks and streets or are flushed down toilets.

Drug sellers are as shameless as drug users. Hondurans have dominated the drug trade in the Tenderloin and around Civic Center Plaza and Union Square since the 1990s. They congregate up to a dozen a corner, openly counting and recounting large wads of cash, completing transactions with no attempt at concealment. Most of the dealers are illegal aliens. One might think that city leaders would be only too happy to hand them off to federal immigration authorities, but the political imperative to safeguard illegal aliens against deportation takes precedence over public order. Local law enforcement greets any announced federal crackdown on criminal aliens with alarm...

The brazenness of the narcotics scene has worsened since the passage of Proposition 47, another milestone in the ongoing effort to decriminalize attacks on civilized order. The 2014 state ballot initiative downgraded a host of drug and property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors... Local prosecutors and judges, already disinclined to penalize the drug trade so as to avoid contributing to “mass incarceration,” are even less willing to initiate a case or see it through when it is presented as a misdemeanor rather than a felony. San Francisco officers complain that drug dealers are getting neither jail time nor probation. Drug courts have closed in some California cities, reports the Washington Post, because police have lost the threat of prison time to induce addicted sellers like the Seattle man into treatment...

Mental illness is the other obvious condition afflicting the homeless that makes the question of affordable housing secondary. Thirty-nine percent of the homeless polled in the 2019 street survey said that they suffered from psychiatric conditions; the actual percentage is probably higher...

Asked why he doesn’t move to a cheaper housing market, where his $1,100 monthly VA benefits and eligibility for a large VA home loan would go far, he responds: “Because I love this place! San Francisco is an international, tolerant, peace-loving community that is often imitated but never duplicated.” He appreciates the leeway given him for his lifestyle. “If I lay down like this in Fremont?” he asks rhetorically, referring to a city across the East Bay. It is questionable whether Timothy’s presence on the streets is conducive to public safety.

When the mentally ill abuse drugs, their risk of violence increases. But assault seems to have been normalized in San Francisco, at least when committed by the homeless. Wallace Lee is part of a neighborhood coalition trying to stop the placement of a shelter on the Embarcadero, the city’s tourist-friendly waterfront. “Anyone who has lived in San Francisco for five years has either been attacked by a homeless person or has a friend who has been attacked,” he says. Members of his protest group have stopped mentioning such assaults in public hearings, however, since doing so brings on accusations that they are “criminalizing homelessness.”

In October 2015, three gutter punks—youth who roam up and down the West Coast colonizing the sidewalks and panhandling—robbed and shot to death a 23-year-old Canadian woman in Golden Gate Park and killed a 67-year-old man a few days later after stealing his car. They were high on meth. The incident appears to have produced no perturbations in San Francisco’s thinking or policy. In August 2019, a 25-year-old homeless addict viciously attacked a woman entering her Embarcadero apartment, after demanding that she let him inside so that he could kill the “robot”—a female concierge—at the reception desk. The presiding judge initially refused repeated requests to hold the suspect in pretrial detention. The San Francisco supervisors may be unwilling to back policies that would help prevent such violence, but they have found time to ban city agencies from stigmatizing the perpetrators of such violence by using words like “felon” or “offender.” Under language guidelines passed in August 2019, criminals and ex-cons will henceforth be known as “justice-involved” persons or “returning residents.”...

“See these dudes out here shooting up without a care in world? Our elderly are scared to go out. They don’t know what kind of drugs these people are on. They don’t like people leaning up against our building. Our seniors pay rent. It doesn’t matter how much they pay—they pay rent.” But elderly tenants apparently have less clout than street vagrants in San Francisco.

The city enables the entire homeless lifestyle, not just drug use. Free food is everywhere. Outreach workers roam the city, handing out beef jerky, crackers, and other snacks. At the encampment across from Glide Memorial Church, a wiry man in a blue denim jacket announces that day’s lunch selection at the church’s feeding line, to general approbation: fried chicken. He triumphantly brandishes a half-eaten leg before tossing it into the street. Susan, a 57-year-old Canadian who lives in an encampment on Willow Alley, itemizes the available bounty while rolling a cigarette: free dinners and movies; the microwave ovens at Whole Foods; free water at Starbucks. The homeless position themselves outside coffee shops in the morning for handouts of pastries and java. If those handouts don’t materialize, there’s always theft. A barista at the Bush and Van Ness Starbucks says that someone steals food and coffee at least every other day. “We are not allowed to do anything about it,” she says. “The policy is we can’t chase them.”

The city’s biannual homeless survey claims that “food insecurity” is a pressing problem, but the homeless don’t act like food-deprived people. Uneaten comestibles litter the sidewalks and gutters...

The homeless are also wired. Most vagrants have smartphones, which they use to barter goods. They use free Wi-Fi or steal passcodes...

The combination of maximal tolerance for antisocial behavior, on the one hand, and free services and food, on the other, acts as a magnet. “San Francisco is the place to go if you live on the streets,” observes Jeff, the 50-year-old wino and drug addict. “There are more resources—showers, yeah, and housing.” A 31-year-old named Rose arrived in San Francisco from Martinez, northeast of the city, four years ago, trailing a long criminal record. She came for the benefits, including Vivitrol to dull the effect of opiates...

Suggesting that some of the homeless are making a choice is heresy in official circles... "These lies are to make you blame the victim.”

Actually, it’s the homeless themselves who suggest that their condition has a large voluntary component... he was offered housing four times but always turned it down...

Up and down the West Coast, Third World diseases associated with lack of sanitation—including typhoid, typhus, and hepatitis A—are breaking out in and around encampments. In 2018, San Francisco officials received more than 80 calls a day reporting human feces on sidewalks and thoroughfares. The city’s encampments generate up to six tons of trash daily, including needles still loaded with heroin and blood. The stench of the streets lingers in the nostrils for hours.

Elevating the alleged rights of the homeless over those of the working public has cost billions in government outlays, with nothing to show for it... No other American city has built as much affordable housing per capita, according to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. From 2004 to 2014, the city spent $2 billion on nearly 3,000 new units of permanent supportive housing, which comes with drug counseling and social workers. More have been constructed since then, and thousands more are in the works, along with more shelter beds.

Is San Francisco not spending enough generally, as the advocates and politicians maintain? Its main homelessness agency—currently dubbed the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing and dedicated to an allegedly novel mission: “helping homeless residents permanently exit the streets”—commands a $285 million budget. Add health services and sanitation, and you get a $380 million annual tab for homelessness, according to the city’s budget analyst. That figure is wildly under the mark, leaving out criminal-justice costs, welfare payments, and repairing infrastructure deterioration, among other expenditures. But even assuming the conservative $380 million, that works out to $47,500 a year per homeless person...

Yet evidence has been abundant that law enforcement restores civic order. Before the 2016 Super Bowl, then-mayor Ed Lee announced that the homeless were simply “going to have to leave. . . . We’ll give you an alternative. We are always going to be supportive. But you are going to have to leave the streets.” And for the relevant period, the streets downtown were markedly cleaner...

A unit of affordable housing in San Francisco costs between $600,000 and $800,000, depending on the materials used; building housing for all 8,000 homeless individuals would cost up to $6.4 billion, a third of the city’s budget. Permanent supportive housing for the entire homeless population would cost another $200 million annually. Yet according to a 2018 study by the National Academy of Sciences, such service-rich housing decreases the time that recipients spend homeless by only one to two months a year.

No one has an entitlement to live in the most expensive real-estate market in the country, certainly not on the public dime. It is not even clear why any given city is morally obligated to provide housing to someone who starts living on its streets, even if that city’s culture of permissiveness led to the vagrant’s decision to camp there. But assuming such an obligation, the money that San Francisco spends trying to house the homeless locally could go much further outside its boundaries; the millions saved could go to mental health and addiction services...

A member of the residents’ group opposing a new Navigation Center on the Embarcadero said that he decided to speak at the hearing only after being called “a racist, a bigot, [and] class elitist” for not wanting to give up his backyard to the drug trade and untreated mental illness. The advocates’ insistence on larding homeless housing through every part of a city, no matter the real-estate costs, is their revenge on the bourgeois values that they despise.

The homelessness industry loudly protests any abandonment of the local housing ideal. “San Francisco must invest fully in housing that keeps impoverished families in our city,” Jennifer Friedenbach, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness, said in 2018, objecting to a program that subsidizes apartments for single mothers outside the city. Impoverished families are the “city’s lifeblood,” according to Friedenbach. That is a disputable proposition. The advocates’ fallback position is that moving people outside the place where they currently claim homelessness severs the ties that can get them back on their feet. There is no evidence supporting this proposition. (San Francisco also provides bus tickets to about 800 individuals a year to rejoin family or friends elsewhere, an initiative that should be expanded as much as possible.)

Providing the mentally ill with the “liberty” to decompose on the streets is cruelty, not compassion. Several California state legislators have introduced legislation to make involuntary treatment and commitment easier. Yet the draft law is estimated to cover a mere eight individuals in San Francisco, by requiring, over the previous year, eight previous emergency visits to a hospital, as well as the patient’s refusal of voluntary outpatient services. Another proposed bill that dispenses with the voluntary-outpatient service requirement would cover only 35 individuals. The standard for getting the mentally ill into treatment must be rationally related to the need...

Reinstitutionalizing the severely mentally ill would free up jail space for ordinary criminals; at present, many of the untreated mentally ill end up in county jails after committing crimes, where they fail to receive needed long-term assistance. The city’s prosecutors and judges also must start taking low-level offenses seriously. Since 2016, judges in the San Francisco Superior Court have stopped issuing warrants when someone cited for a public-disorder misdemeanor skips a court date. Such enforcement, according to court personnel, criminalizes poverty. But the rule of law does not have an income threshold; its application should be universal. The enforcement or nonenforcement of norms sends important signals to individuals about what society expects of them...

[Boise v. Martin's] most serious problem was the declaration that homelessness is an involuntary condition that the sufferer has no capacity to control or change. Numerous personal decisions go into being homeless, such as not moving to a cheaper housing market, refusing offered services, or breaking ties with friends or family members who might be able to provide accommodation. The concept of agency is already under assault in the legal academy; should more courts pick up on this trend, much of the criminal law would have to be discarded. A dissenting Ninth Circuit judge in a subsequent appeal of the case noted that if cities cannot ban sleeping in public, because sleeping is an inevitable concomitant of being human, they also cannot ban defecating in public. The majority chose not to respond to this logical inference...

If advocates insist that the main driver of homelessness is insufficient housing, they should stop trying to increase the state’s huge illegal-alien population—currently somewhere between 2.2 million and 2.6 million—which competes for housing and drives up costs. At a Board of Supervisor hearing in June 2019, single mothers organized by the Coalition on Homelessness demanded in Spanish that they be given federal Section 8 housing vouchers, rather than the shelter apartments they were currently occupying. Some of those single mothers were undoubtedly in the country illegally. Taxpayer subsidies should go to citizens, not individuals who are defying the rule of law...

The stories that the homeless tell about their lives reveal that something far more complex than a housing shortage is at work. The tales veer from one confused and improbable situation to the next, against a backdrop of drug use, petty crime, and chaotic child-rearing. Behind this chaos lies the dissolution of those traditional social structures that once gave individuals across the economic spectrum the ability to withstand setbacks and lead sober, self-disciplined lives: marriage, parents who know how to parent, and conventional life scripts that create purpose and meaning. There are few policy levers to change this crisis of meaning in American culture. What is certain is that the ongoing crusade to normalize drug use, along with the absence of any public encouragement of temperance, will further handicap this unmoored population."

So much for the liberal articles of faith on homelessness

Links - 6th October 2022 (1 - Left Wing Economics, including Landlord & Student Debt)

US renter accused of cutting off landlord's head with samurai sword after dispute - "Jerry David Thompson, 42, has been charged with murder after the death of talented bridge player Victor King, 64, which is alleged to have occurred after an argument over unpaid rent"
I saw a bunch of commie cheering this. There's the racial aspect to excite them too

Ontario's Landlord and Tenant Board has collapsed, expert says - "Landlord Sian Tuang, who arrived in Canada as a refugee from Myanmar in 2008, said the wait to settle this dispute has been "very stressful."... After working and learning building skills, the father of four bought a home in Smiths Falls, Ont., with plans to flip it himself. He then found tenants who could move in in December 2021 and help finish the basement, which was cheaper than other options.  In exchange, he told them they could live in the home for free for the first three months. They have neither finished the work nor paid Tuang any rent, he said, but they continue to live in the home and allegedly told him he can't do anything to collect the money.  His lack of credit history left him with only high-interest options to pay for the mortgage, which is $2,600 per month, as he waits for a hearing to try to collect rent... Behind $17,600 in rent and another $1,500 on the water bill, the family invited Labano to take the matter to the board in a tense confrontation outside the home.  "I'm suffering. I have to support my own family. I'm working day and night shifts, to pay my bills, to pay this house's bills"... politicians have been reluctant to weigh on the matter because they're worried they seem unsympathetic to renters"
Damn fatcat refugee exploiting the poor!

They didn't pay rent and stole the fridge. Pandemic spawns nightmare tenants - "Bajaj and Lotia aren't big corporate landlords with massive real estate holdings. They're immigrants from Mumbai, India, who bought a small rundown building with four units nearly 10 years ago. They were starting a family and couldn't afford a traditional single-family house. So they live in one apartment and rent out the others.  Over the years, they've slowly turned it into a nice home. They painted it, replaced all 42 of the windows and removed the security bars.  The rental income helps keep the family afloat. Bajaj works for an education nonprofit, and after Lotia lost her job, living on his salary was tough. So the couple rented out their own home, the apartment where they live, and moved 80 miles away to a much cheaper house out in the desert...  the tenants had lots of complaints, even though they weren't paying rent. They called the city if they thought the plants near a walkway needed to be cut. They even called a city inspector because they didn't like how the new dishwasher was working... the rental assistance program in Los Angeles started taking applications. Bajaj says he was told that the renters needed to supply some documents.  "So we reached out to the tenants and said, 'Hey, could you guys please do that?' " He says they tried emailing, calling, approaching them in person, but, "they would just not talk."... the renters left unexpectedly in the middle of the night.  They must have had a pretty big truck because when they moved out, the couple says, they stole some rather large objects. Nimisha remembers walking through the apartment the morning after they left.  "When I reached the kitchen, I noticed, why does this look so open?" Lotia says. "Like, why is it looking so empty and bright? And then I realized, oh, the fridge is missing! Then, oh, my god, the other appliances are missing!"  The couple says the renters stole the refrigerator and the gas stove. They even took the dishwasher they had complained to the city about. There was also considerable damage to the apartment including cigarette burns on the vinyl floors. The tenants hadn't paid rent in 16 months, which added up to $32,000 in lost rent. NPR reached out to the tenants; they did not respond to requests for comment... they were told they couldn't qualify for any help, because for landlords to get paid, renters need to cooperate with the program."

A Landlord Says Her Tenants Are Terrorizing Her. She Can’t Evict Them. - The New York Times - "The first-floor tenants have not paid rent in 15 months, bang on the ceiling below her bed at all hours for no apparent reason and yell, curse and spit at her, Ms. Mangal said. A tenant in the basement apartment also stopped paying rent, keyed Ms. Mangal’s car and dumped packages meant for her by the garbage. After Ms. Mangal got an order of protection and then a warrant for the tenant’s arrest, the woman and her daughter moved out... Ms. Busgith screamed obscenities at Ms. Mangal from the front patio, according to a recording of the episode that Ms. Mangal showed The New York Times. She accused Ms. Mangal of stealing her mail — “You are a thief, a con-girl!” she yelled — before she pulled up an oversized shirt to flash her buttocks... The first-floor tenants did not answer the door when visited by The New York Times. In a brief telephone conversation, Mr. Garnett, Ms. Busgith’s husband, declined to answer questions, but said he would have a lawyer speak on his behalf. He refused to provide the lawyer’s name or contact information, and no lawyer has contacted The Times about the matter... “You can’t make this stuff up,” Ms. Mangal said, as she scrolled through hundreds of recordings on her phone. “The cameras were the best investment I’ve ever made. People wouldn’t believe me if I didn’t have them.”"

'Someone who does this should be thrown in jail': Trashed rental unit leaves landlord frustrated - "There are the used syringes — scores of them — strewn across the floor and covering almost every surface.   There are animal faeces and dried urine, the result, according to Solga's property manager, of the tenant abandoning two Cane Corsos in the unit for at least five days.   There is a flea infestation so severe Solga was frantically picking them off his legs after a short walk through the suite on Monday to survey the damage.   The stench inside the three-bedroom apartment — located on the main floor of a brick duplex on Highbury Avenue south of Dundas — is overwhelming.   Everywhere there is garbage, spoiled food on the counters and broken cabinets. It's a situation Solga says will leave him out at least $20,000 in damage and lost rent... The two dogs were removed by staff from the Humane Society of London and Middlesex.   Solga's property manager, who witnessed the removal of the dogs, said they were in "terrible condition."   "These dogs had been abandoned in the unit for most of a week and when they actually were removed, they were down to their ribs," said Solga... Solga said his tenant also had two children staying with her for part of the tenancy but they were removed in June by staff with the London Middlesex Children's Aid... the tenant appears to have moved out days before the sheriff arrived, leaving him with an expensive mess to clean up. His property manager told him two cleaning companies have turned down the job after seeing the state of the suite... Harry Fine is a paralegal who represents both landlords and tenants. He said Solga's situation happens to other landlords often.   "Landlords are asked to accept incredible risk that no other group in society is required to take"... a credit check revealed his tenant had "mediocre" credit but that he decided to rent to her.   Fine said Solga could take his former tenant to small claims court, but that it's almost impossible to collect damages."

Meme - "My landlord was extra nice to me this month, so i'll only pour 3.5 blocks of lard down the drain instead of 4 this week. (next week i'll pour 4, I boil it so it really makes it's way deep down). Been doing this the last 5 years (four different rental properties). Never been caught or charged"

Meme - "Landlord said he's raising rent *pours oil down sink*"
A lot of commies are terrible tenants and do their best to destroy the places they stay in so other commies can complain about how lousy their rented places are and how awful their landlords are. This is yet another way commies spoil the market for other tenants and raise rents for everyone - by clogging pipes. Renting needs to be banned so commies will be homeless, since they won't be able to afford to buy a place

Tenant keeps putting cooking grease down the drain - "All the units have hispanic families in them. over the last year I have had to have a plumber unclog the kitchen sink for 3 of the families. One guy texted me just last week and mentioned that his sink is backing up again. 3x in the last year. The plumber has told me it was cooking grease in the lines, he spins the snake quickly when he feels the grease then runs hot water down the drain, that seems to open it up for a few months. I have told the tenants that they need to only put water down the sink but I can see lots of cooking pans full of grease sitting in and around the sinks when I arrive. I have informed the tenant that per their lease they are responsible for drain clogs. he said he will not fix it and he is not going to be responsible for an overflow since he told me about it."

Meme - "You're not you when you hunger for the flesh of the bourgeoisie: "Vincent Anastasi. Studied Home Renovation
My old tenants poured concrete down the drains with no possible fix. It also got in the sewer system and I have to pay out the city for damaging their infrastructure. What do I do?"
"New direct action just dropped""

Vancouver landlord finds drains filled with cement, other damage left by former tenant - BC - "The video shows cement poured down all of the suite’s drains and the toilet, holes kicked into the walls, and food left to rot inside the fridge, which had been unplugged. The key to the front door of the one-bedroom suite was super-glued into the lock, while glue was also found on the floors... The key to the front door of the one-bedroom suite was super-glued into the lock, while glue was also found on the floors... Tom told the tenant no pets were allowed in the suite, which she agreed to.  Three weeks later, Tom says he was called to the suite over a noise complaint and found the tenant with a small dog “who wouldn’t stop barking.”... Tom says he got a text message from the tenant threatening to sue him. He says she sent other messages blaming him for the end of her marriage, which mystified Tom... the tenant contacted him again to demand her damage deposit back. Tom said he needed to check the unit first and get an address to send the cheque to. The tenant didn’t agree"

Meme - Kandist @kandistmallett: "If my rent money is paying for my landlord's mortgage, shouldn't I be part owner?"
Matt Walsh @MattWalshBlog: "This reminds of the time when I bought a Big Mac and became CEO of McDonald's"

Meme - "Leftists attempting to explain why owning and maintaining properties isn't a real job but showing your butthole on the internet is"

thomas 🍌 on Twitter - "i meet jeff bezos in a store. i laugh at him because he only owns 170 billion dollars in stock. "none of that is liquid" i explain. i dangle a 20 dollar bill in front of his face. "u ever seen one of these u fuckin poor?" i spit on his shoe and his employee licks it clean"
So he's not hoarding money?

Alice Smith on Twitter - "People fear capitalism because it would give their skills a marketplace value far below their sense of entitlement."

Meme - "*Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Moore* They own 13 homes and are worth $61 Million. And, they are discussing Income Inequality"

Jay-Z Compares Being Labeled A “Capitalist” To Being Called The N-Word - "Jay-Z has never shied away from his aspirations of accumulating wealth and power, and he’s attained them throughout the course of his career. However, the rapping mogul recently took issue with being labeled a “capitalist,” and equated the negative connotation of the term to a racial slur, particularly the N-word."

Meme - "Fact: You could confiscate the entire wealth of all US billionaires and you'd only fund the federal government for about 8 months. When they insist that their massive taxpayer bailouts are going to be paid for only by taxing "the ultra-rich," they're wrong."

Existential Comics on Twitter - "How anyone can confuse capitalism with a "meritocracy" is beyond me. Capitalism is based solely on property relations. Your boss isn't better than you because they own the business. Your landlord isn't better than you because they own the building. They just own things."
Carl Benjamin - Posts | Facebook - "How anyone can confuse Corey with someone who has any understanding of how the world works is beyond me. He literally just makes comics after reading Wikipedia all day.  He isn't informed because he draws a comic. He isn't capable of explaining the world because he drew a comic. He just drew a comic."

Savvy🚩 on Twitter - "My philosophy professor is conservative and today the whole class agreed capitalism is the root of our suffering, I could SEE the pain in his eyes"
Philosophers hate shitty claims after all
Clearly the fact that there is suffering where there is no capitalism and there was suffering before capitalism just shows how powerful and iniquitous capitalism is

Meme - "The Simpsons own this home on a single salary from a husband who didn't go to college This was considered normal in the when the show began"
Comment: "Abe Simpson bought this house for Homer with his money (Homer convinced Abe to sell his own home to help him), then Homer put him in a retirement home- they’ve said this on the show quite a few times. Then Homer hates any time his dad visits or he has to interact with him. Working and not going to college had nothing to do with it... the left sourcing their meme content from these made-up scenarios they fabricated in their own heads that never actually happened is why the left can't meme."

Existential Comics on Twitter - "You've got to hand it to capitalism, convincing everyone that "freedom" meant obeying your boss or starving was a pretty incredible achievement."
Of course, it is better to starve regardless in the state of nature, or under Communism

What the monstering of Molly-Mae reveals about the left - "Molly-Mae Hague, influencer and Love Island runner-up, has come in for an extraordinary kicking on social media this past week. Why? Because she said she has worked hard to become successful, and that others could do the same... Critics of Molly-Mae painted a vision of the world in which ordinary people are totally lacking in agency, utterly unable to change their personal circumstances, no matter how hard they try. Perhaps they may as well just give up... working-class people are not averse to the idea of aspiration, and once upon a time the left valued hard work as a means of self-advancement and self-actualisation. Left-wing politics was once the means through which working-class people collectively sought proper remuneration for their efforts. Yet now believing in hard work and just reward apparently makes you a selfish, Thatcherite individualist. The graduate class that now dominates the left seems to have lost touch with what work means to ordinary people. This was already obvious from its growing embrace of a universal basic income – as if basic subsistence is the high point of ordinary people’s aspirations. Some left-wingers now even talk of building a ‘post-work’ society. This is a bleak, disempowering vision of the future."

Meme - Trev Lewis: "public schools wouldn't be struggling if wealthy parents had to send their kids to them. abolish private schools."
The equal misery principle of the left strikes again. Ironically parents with kids in private schools are a net gain to the public school system since they still pay into it
Of course they're ignorant about the science that shows that school quality doesn't really affect kids' grades, and that funding doesn't make that much of a difference

Saagar Enjeti on Twitter - "Why is cancelling student debt without dealing with the corrupt college behemoth such a dumb idea? If you cancel 10k the amount of outstanding debt will return to todays levels in just 4 years"

Meme - Emily Alford: "Giving me $150,000 for a PhD in creative writing was the government's own poor choice and if I pay them back they'll never learn personal responsibility"
Clearly student loans for the arts should be stopped. But of course that will still piss liberals off

Why Democrats Might Come to Regret Student Debt Relief - "Biden has attempted to misappropriate a minor provision of the post-9/11 HEROES Act (a provision intended to give the executive branch a little more flexibility in aiding military families and victims of terrorism) to assert that individuals who borrowed taxpayer funds to attend college no longer need to repay roughly $500 billion in federal loans...   There’s a laundry list of substantive critiques of this maneuver. It’s regressive, steering vast sums to college-goers who, on the whole, are disproportionately well-off. It’s inflationary, pumping hundreds of billions of unearned dollars into the economy without even a pretense that it’s paid for. It’s unnecessary, given that income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness options already exist to accommodate borrowers in need. It creates an immense moral hazard, encouraging colleges to be ever more cavalier about raising tuition and future borrowers about taking on student debt. And it’s ludicrously designed, with up to $20,000 in benefits flowing to borrowers who racked up their debt at Harvard Law or Stanford Business School.  The justification is also laughable. Biden’s legal rationale isn’t even coherent on its own terms. This spring, when his administration wanted to end Title 42—adopted as a public health measure to keep asylum seekers in Mexico—the White House asserted there was no longer a COVID-19 emergency to justify that policy. And Biden brags about our 11 million open jobs and insists that the economy is humming. Yet the White House now claims that COVID-19 is a national emergency with economic ramifications that require an extraordinary giveaway to the nation’s most educated workers? This was an idea Biden mocked on the campaign trail in 2020 and that Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in 2021, said was beyond Biden’s authority.  Biden’s calculus is simple. He’s giving up to $20,000 in taxpayer money to millions of college-educated borrowers, whom Democrats trust to be appropriately grateful. Meanwhile, the cost will be borne by, well, everyone, including children and grandchildren who aren’t yet with us. The politics here are those of sugar subsidies— concentrated, visible benefits and dispersed, ephemeral costs. Most of the time, this kind of politics pays off.  Is there any reason to think things might work differently in this case? Maybe... Biden’s loan maneuver was tailor-made to fuel the suspicion that Democrats are contemptuous of personal responsibility and intent on catering to woke kids with graduate degrees... The audacious illegality of Biden’s move and the calls for more from the progressive back-benchers feed the suspicion that Democrats will be itching to do a reprise in the future... just as the “Inflation Reduction Act” seemed to be helping Democrats make a little headway addressing concerns about inflation and runaway federal spending, loan forgiveness risks making them look like phonies.  The political cracks aren’t hard to see. Jason Furman, former chair of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers has blasted Biden’s maneuver as inflationary and misguided. In fact, it’s tough to find serious left-leaning economists who think forgiveness was a good idea. Centrist Democrats have tiptoed around it, acknowledging that it’s a mixed bag. The move even got denounced by the Washington Post, for heaven’s sake.   This would hardly be the first time that the progressives have led Democrats down a path they’d regret. Remember “defund the police”? Or the consequences of progressive enthusiasm for dealing with illegal immigration via amnesty and an open border? Progressives argued that this would help Democrats win over the broader Latino community. As it turned out, though, Latino immigrants who came here legally weren’t all that thrilled about rewarding line-jumpers.  Such a backlash isn’t hard to imagine. Keep in mind that less than two in five Americans have a bachelor’s degree and that, of those who’ve borrowed money for college, just 7 percent owe more than $100,000. The beneficiaries are a small, relatively privileged slice of the nation. And the public’s legitimate concerns for the unemployed, the struggling, or those who wound up with student loans but no degree can already be addressed by existing income-based repayment programs... Colleges with multibillion-dollar endowments have charged outrageous tuition (especially for graduate school) and then encouraged students to take out student loans while hoarding their endowment funds for buildings and bureaucracy. If this was troubling before, it’s unconscionable in light of Biden’s scheme—under which colleges that have pocketed ludicrous tuition bills now get to cheerfully watch their customers collect a taxpayer-funded refund. If there are to be refunds, they should be paid by those institutions themselves.   Policymakers should insist that any institution with an endowment in excess of $50 million repay taxpayers all the funds “forgiven” to its graduates before it can again participate in federal lending or be eligible for any federal funding. Henceforth, an annual “student loan repayment assessment” should be a condition for endowed institutions to participate in federal student lending or other federal aid programs.  Colleges and universities that want to continue to be eligible for federal loans should have to adopt appropriate austerity measures, similar to those imposed during the General Motors bailout during the Great Recession or the savings and loan bailout of the 1980s. At a bare minimum, Congress should insist that Biden’s scheme not apply to those who voluntarily used the funds to obtain graduate degrees or attend pricey private colleges. Usually, giving stuff away is a winning political strategy. But that’s not an iron law. A little more than a decade ago, in early 2009, the Tea Party movement was ignited by CNBC reporter Rick Santelli’s outraged rant over the Obama administration’s Homeowners Affordability and Stability Plan. That initiative came in the midst (not the aftermath) of a raging crisis to which the solution (restructured mortgages) was at least plausibly related and where the beneficiaries (who had to meet certain qualifications) could at least be portrayed as vaguely responsible or deserving. And yet, the backlash was still enough to upend the political landscape. Biden’s massive giveaway is more sweeping and far less defensible than what gave rise to the Tea Party. But making Democrats pay will require a credible messenger and a coherent message. Unfortunately, neither of these are GOP strengths right now. Indeed, it’s not clear whether Republicans are capable of (or even interested in) mustering the necessary discipline. If they’re not, it risks sending the signal that it’s safe for Democrats to buy off the Warren-Sanders gang with even more shameless, cynical grift. And that’d be an unfortunate lesson indeed."

Meme - ""I demand someone else foot the bill for my terrible decisions" is the battle cry of the modern Leftist."
"I owe 87k in student loan debt. I am a jobless single mother of 3, i demand forgiveness on my debts."

Meme - "The fact we are forgiving student debt Without taking a dime back from the Universities While literally letting millions of people sign up for the same exact loans....this year... AKA letting the Universities keep cash flowing by generating the SAME debts. Lol...just lol."

Meme - "Pete, who took out the student loan?"
"Who is benefitting from the student loan?"
"Therefore, who should pay back the loan?"
"Everyone else!"

Nina Turner on Twitter - "Canceling $10,000 in student debt when the average white borrower is $12,000 in debt, while Black women hold on average over $52,000 isn’t just unacceptable, it’s structural racism."
Grievance mongers will never be satisfied
Having bad financial skills means you're a victim of racism

Fusilli Spock on Twitter - "Good news for thousands of my former students. I’m grateful on their behalf, Mr. President."
"Thousands of your students are unable to earn enough money to pay off their loans? Good to know."
"Good point, what Harvard Law grad is making less than $120K/yr?"

Chuck Ross on Twitter - ".@SenWarren  on the student debt relief: “This is the first step. We deal with the debt, we deal with payments going forward, and now it's going to be up to Congress to make sure that we do more to hold the colleges and universities accountable.""
"She made $400k to teach one class at Harvard decades ago. She’s part of the problem"

Meme - "It's interesting when people believe their suffering should be experienced by others: "I paid my loans!" "I worked through college!" "My dad hit us and I'm fine!" What in your heart makes you want someone else to go through that?"
This is a spectacular leftist triple fail. Science tells us spanking works and isn't harmful. Of course the anti-spanking crowd will just result to begging the question (claiming if you were spanked and think spanking works, this shows that it is harmful) and ad hominems (claiming that people who "want" to spank kids need help). So much for following the science

Student loan forgiveness is regressive whether measured by income, education, or wealth - "Medical school graduates typically owe six-figure student loans but that doesn’t mean they are poorer than high-school graduates who did not go to college... student debt is concentrated among high-wealth households and loan forgiveness is regressive whether measured by income, educational attainment, or wealth. Across-the-board forgiveness is therefore a costly and ineffective way to reduce economic gaps by race or socioeconomic status"

If they suddenly find a cure for cancer now I'm gonna be so mad.
This comic is about student loans."
"Bad analogy. Hey I paid off my loan, but I'll be mad if all taxpayers (including me) have to pay off everyone else's. It's not an uninvited disease, it was a commitment to repay a loan."
"Did you sign a contract to get your cancer and does it transfer to someone else who didn't want cancer when you get cured of it? No? Then this is a ridiculously stupid argument, as are all arguments in favor of student debt forgiveness."
New Student Debt Changes Will Cost Half a Trillion Dollars
Of course to leftists, loan forgiveness is free. Probably because you can just print money to "pay" for it

The Relationship Between Work During College and Post College Earnings - "Prior research suggests that undergraduates employed during term time are less likely to graduate. Using transcript data from a large multi-campus university in the United States, combined with student earnings data from state administrative records, the authors find that traditional-age students who worked for pay during college on average earned more after leaving college than similar students who did not work. This post-college earnings premium is on par with the benefit from completing a degree, even after controlling for demographic and academic achievement characteristics, across various student sub-groups, and including models that account for selection bias. Implications of these findings for theories of education and social stratification, and for educational policy are considered."

Student loan debt complainers get called out with PPP loan receipts - "There are few things the internet enjoys more than collecting and dropping receipts. So it's natural folks went digging once the complaints of student loan debt forgiveness began popping up on our Twitter feeds. At their disposal? A searchable database of PPP loans forgiven by the government."
Being unable to foresee covid and the massive governmental overreaction to it and to be able to absorb the shock of the government-mandated lockdowns shows a patent lack of personal responsibility

Ben Shapiro on Twitter - "Government: Shut down your business.
Businesses: But what about our employees?
Government: Here are grants to keep them employed.
Two years later:
Government: Ha ha you rubes you took grant money like greedy pigs so now you can't oppose us wasting $500B on student loan bailouts
The White House's current naming and shaming campaign against businesses that kept people employed with PPP money is just the latest reminder that there are ALWAYS strings attached, and that the government has plenary power to ruin you both financially and reputationally.
Meanwhile, the same douchebags attacking businesses who took government cash to keep their employees going (forced by government shutdowns!) are saying that the "continuing covid emergency" justifies bailing out predatory college lenders and irresponsible student borrowers."

Ben Shapiro on Twitter: "The internet is a place filled with stupid and dishonest people. So, for example, http://TruthOrFiction.com -- and half the Left-wing blue checks -- are saying I took PPP money. This is a lie. Here is their supposed proof via ProPublica:
So they found a person named Ben Shapiro who applied for and received a loan in Los Angeles in 2021. Here's the full screenshot -- notice the same amount. As you may know, I am not a real estate agent or broker.
In short, Twitter is filled with gullible rubes who will believe nearly anything based on a partial screenshot."

Ben Shapiro on Twitter - "Unfair to people who don't live in hurricane zones to constantly bail out people who live along the Gulf Coast."
"You voluntarily taking out a student loan to major in theater arts and then unsurprisingly failing to pay your debts is not quite the same as being hit by a hurricane. Also, there is a good case to be made that taxpayers subsidizing people to live in risky flood zones is not actually good public policy."

Credit Supply and the Rise in College Tuition: Evidence from the Expansion in Federal Student Aid Programs - Federal Reserve Bank of New York - "We study the link between the student credit expansion of the past fifteen years and the contemporaneous rise in college tuition. To disentangle simultaneity issues, we analyze the effects of increases in federal student loan caps using detailed student-level financial data. We find a pass-through effect on tuition of changes in subsidized loan maximums of about 60 cents on the dollar, and smaller but positive effects for unsubsidized federal loans. The subsidized loan effect is most pronounced for more expensive degrees, those offered by private institutions, and for two-year or vocational programs"

Student Loan Debt Statistics: 2022 - "Most student loans — about 92%, according to a July 2021 report by MeasureOne, an academic data firm — are owned by the U.S. Department of Education"
Liberals keep going on about predatory loans and greedy banks. But can the "predatory" government really be trusted to solve their problems? Of course, if lenders had eligibility criteria for student loans, they would then be bitching about "racism", "discrimination" and not "investing" in education which benefits the whole country.

National Student Loan Default Rate [2022]: Delinquency Data - "At a rate of 26.33%, Arts and Humanities majors who attended non-selective schools are the most likely to default on their student loans... 54.4% of law degree holders are delinquent in their student loan payments at least once... 76.3% of indebted borrowers with undergraduate degrees in manufacturing, construction, repair, and transportation aren’t late to make student loan payments."
Clearly all degrees are created equal so student loan forgiveness is a good idea

Meme - "My issue with taxing the rich is that they'll still be rich.
if elon musk paid 99% wealth tax, he'd still be worth $2.6 billion. at 99.9% he'd still be worth $260 million
seize & redistribute the wealth"
Many leftists don't love the poor. They just hate the rich

Hong Kong investors warn of action over HSBC dividends | Financial Times - "Retail investors in Hong Kong have threatened legal action against HSBC and will attempt to force the bank to hold an extraordinary general meeting, after it was pressured by UK regulators to cancel its dividend due to the coronavirus crisis.... “Many of them use this as their retirement plan. They rely on the dividend to pay for their living expenses after their retirement, so this will actually hurt them a lot,” Matthew Chung, an adviser at Surich, said of the payout suspension."
From 2020
Is it better to blame "greedy retail investors" than "greedy companies"?

Strict Labor Market Regulation Increases Global Unemployment, Study Shows - "Tight labour market regulation increases unemployment all over the world, finds a study of 73 countries by the University of Bath. The study, published in the Journal of Comparative Economics, is one of the first to cover not only industrial countries but also developing and transition countries. Based on data for the years 2000 to 2003, the findings suggest that if, for example, Italy (a typical country with strict regulation) had enjoyed the same flexibility in labour market regulation as the United States (a typical country with flexible regulation), its unemployment rate might have been 2.3 percentage points lower among the total labour force, 3.4 percentage points lower among women and 5.6 percentage points lower among young people. “The adverse labour market effects are probably due to lower investment by domestic firms as well as lower foreign direct investment inflows caused by stricter labour market regulation.” said Dr Horst Feldmann, from the University’s Department of Economics & International Development, who carried out the research. One area of labour market regulation that appears to have particularly adverse effects on unemployment are stringent hiring and firing rules... “Women often take a career break to have children and later on try to get back into employment. Young people are just entering working life. “Therefore, it is plausible that both groups are more strongly affected when employers are reluctant to hire staff due to stringent labour market regulation.” Another type of labour market regulation that appears to raise unemployment on a world-wide scale is military conscription, the study finds. “A main reason may be that conscripts leaving the armed forces after the end of their service have difficulties finding a job because they did not gather the skills and work experience that employers are looking for.”... “The longer the conscription period, the more severe this mismatch is likely to be. According to my findings, this effect is the strongest among young people. This is obviously because conscripts typically are in this age group. “This is the first time the effects of military conscription on the labour market have been analysed.”"
Leftists will just blame "greedy companies"

Universal Credit ‘benefits trap’ means some people are only £3.29 an hour better off if they work - "Buried in a government-commissioned report published this year is a clue to the reason some employers are finding it so difficult to attract British workers to lower-paid jobs. Universal Credit (UC), the author said, “can act as a disincentive” to those in the jobs market because working age people “do not believe there is sufficient reward” if they try to stand on their own two feet. It is the latest version of the so-called “benefits trap”, in which potential employees choose to stay at home, living off generous welfare payments, because working for a living would make them only marginally better off."
Of course, leftists say even more generous benefits are needed and if employers cannot afford to pay enough to entice people to get off benefits it shows they're exploiting employees and/or that the jobs don't deserve to exist in the first place

Meme - ZUBY @ZubyMusic: "People like to talk about 'wage gaps', 'income gaps', and 'wealth gaps'... But they never about 'skill gaps', 'effort gaps', and 'talent gaps'."

The grandchildren of China’s pre-revolutionary elite are unusually rich | The Economist - "“The land ownership system of feudal exploitation by the landlord class shall be abolished.” So read China’s agrarian reform law of 1950. Land was seized from the better-off and given to poor farmers, whose share of farmland rose from 14% in 1947 to 47% in 1954. Liu Shaoqi, who was president during the Mao era, called it the “most thorough reform in thousands of years of Chinese history”. Hundreds of thousands of landlords were murdered. Tens of millions of people died in a famine when farms were collectivised. Yet the surviving descendants of the old elite have prospered. By 2010 they were again richer and more educated than the Chinese average, according to data gathered by an international group of academics. Adding new evidence from cities to previous work, which looked at rural areas alone, the authors now find that the elite’s grandchildren have even out-earned Communist Party members... elites born before 1940 were 7% likelier than their contemporaries to have finished secondary school. Their stigmatised children were 3% less likely to have done so than others their age. By 2010 the children of old elites earned 5% less than other Chinese.  But things flipped back. Descendants of the old elite born between 1966 and 1990 were 6% more likely to finish high school than their contemporaries. In 2010 they earned 12% more than other Chinese. They even earned 2% more than party members.  The researchers found that the old elite’s grandchildren are more enterprising and work longer hours than the descendants of those who had lower social standing."
There's this common claim that if everyone were to start off on an equal footing the rich would become rich again. Presumably the commies will say China didn't take away the landlords' advantages for long enough, which is why they're still ahead

Rap Game Edward Bernays on Twitter - "The designer of AOC’s “Tax the Rich” dress is dating a dude worth $100 million who’s a descendent of the Lehman Brothers 😅 They’re dabbing on us, y’all 🤡"

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Links - 4th October 2022 (2 - Indigenous People)

Canada Called Itself a Genocide State. Iran Was Listening - "When dictators are called out by the international community for perpetrating human-rights abuses, they often attempt to deflect criticism by accusing their Western critics of hypocrisy... In substance, these attempts at moral equivalence lack credibility. But they can have the appearance of truth when our adversaries base their propaganda on self-incriminating statements made by the West’s own media figures and politicians. This week, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi took the rostrum at the United Nations General Assembly to deliver Iran’s habitual denunciations of Western “double standards.” While anti-hijab protests rocked numerous Iranian cities in the wake of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini’s death at the hands of Tehran’s morality police, Raisi went through a predictable laundry list of complaints, accusing Israel of creating the “world’s largest prison” in Gaza, and denouncing US detention policies at the Mexican border. But he also threw in an attack on Canada’s treatment of Indigenous peoples, declaring that “bodies of hundreds of children were discovered in mass graves in a [former residential] school.”  As a Canadian, I found this element of Raisi’s performance maddening. Thanks to Canada’s own misinformation mill, the Iranian President didn’t have to go to the bother of inventing his own lies. My own country’s journalists and leaders did that job for him.  The issue of supposed unmarked Indigenous child graves dominated the Canadian media in the latter half of 2021. But as I reported in Quillette several months ago, no “mass graves” were ever found. In fact, even the Indigenous groups that initially reported ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey results consistent with the possible presence of unmarked burial sites weren’t talking about “mass graves.” Rather, the invented mass-graves claim was popularized by a badly botched New York Times May 28th, 2021, story written by reporter Ian Austen... aside from the National Post, not a single major Canadian media outlet has admitted its role in feeding the unmarked-graves social panic that exploded last year, and which often included lurid speculation that the supposed grave sites not only contained the remains of Indigenous children, but that these children had been murdered through methods worthy of a horror-movie plot.  Given this, what can Canadian public figures say to Raisi now that he’s throwing spurious moral equivalences into our faces? Nothing. In making the false claim that “bodies of hundreds of children were discovered in mass graves in a [former residential] school,” the man is merely reading our own officially sourced misinformation back to us.    This isn’t the first time that Trudeau has managed to maneuver Canada into this kind of mortifying position vis-à-vis the world’s tyrants. Last year, when Canadian lawmakers voted to denounce China’s treatment of Uighurs in western Xinjiang as a form of genocide, Trudeau and his Cabinet abstained. The suspected reasons for that move were complex. But they included the fact that Canada was, by its own description, morally compromised on the genocide file: Back in 2019, Trudeau had explicitly acceded to the (absurd) claim that Canada, too, was guilty of “genocide”—this one against Indigenous women. Indeed, according to the official report that precipitated Trudeau’s mea culpa, this supposed Canadian genocide remains ongoing. The leaders of Russia, Belarus, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela know a good propaganda opening when they see one. Last year, these nations collectively called on the UN to investigate crimes against Canada’s Indigenous peoples—doing so, cleverly, on the same day that Western nations were launching a UN campaign to demand that China allow international investigators access to Xinjiang.  Words have consequences—especially when they comprise the vocabulary of mass slaughter. The repetition of ghoulish hyperbole about Canada doesn’t just gratuitously harm the country’s reputation. It also helps the world’s autocrats get away with crimes that are anything but fictional."
Self-hating virtue signalling has consequences, though liberals love to claim that one person suffering doesn't mean another person is also suffering (when they aren't pretending that the West's supposed sins means it cannot criticise others)

I don’t need to be ‘welcomed’ to my country | The Spectator Australia - "The notion that Australians must be welcomed or invited to their own country by Indigenous leaders – as occurs at the opening of state and federal parliaments, conferences, and school assemblies – is a divisive and destructive one.  This practice, while it may appear reasonable or harmless, is a manifestation of the ongoing assault on Australia’s Western heritage and implies that non-Indigenous Australians, whose families have called Australia home for many generations, do not really belong here.   I recently attended an event where the audience (mostly comprised of Australians with European heritage) were ‘welcomed’ by an Indigenous speaker. It was a pitiful display of bitterness, resentment, and even hatred towards white Australians. Indeed, it was little more than a scolding for the colour of their skin.  The speaker bluntly stated that Australia still belongs to ‘First Nations’ people (a nonsensical and ahistorical term lifted from Canada’s debates about colonialism) and does not belong to so-called ‘white people’ (or presumably any other migrant families). He then asserted that the audience needed to learn Australia’s ‘true history’. This, even though ignorance of Australia’s British heritage has never been more apparent than it is now.   It was an overtly adversarial presentation – devoid of hope or a positive vision for Australians. Not a trace of recognition for the fact that Indigenous people enjoy the same fundamental rights that all Australians enjoy, or the tremendous efforts that governments, charities, and individuals have put into improving life for Indigenous Australians over many decades. Instead, the speaker aggressively asserted that Indigenous people are still colonised and that white people must continue to be reminded of this until colonialism ends... The desired outcome for such activists is unclear. How, exactly, will we know when enough has been done to overcome racism? What measurable goals must be achieved? When will we be able to congratulate ourselves for elevating Indigenous voices and dismantling colonialism enough? Will it be when all references to Christianity are removed from the national curriculum, as was attempted (and, thankfully, negated) last year? Or when we abolish the Australian flag? At what point will we have made enough progress?  Ironically, as I flew home on a Qantas jet, the pilot acknowledged the traditional custodians of the state I was returning home to. It is a strange form of colonialism in which major corporations, from airlines to the AFL, feel the need to constantly remind everyone that the land belongs to Indigenous people...   The reality that nobody is allowed to acknowledge, but everyone knows, is that Indigenous Australians not only enjoy the same basic rights as everyone else but are now viewed by mainstream institutions such as government, media, and education as having a kind of culturally protected status thanks to policies concerned with promoting ‘equity’. Such policies mean that Indigenous people have access to a range of opportunities, from scholarships to employment, that non-Indigenous people do not. Welfare policies for Indigenous people abound, yet so do high rates of alcoholism, abuse, imprisonment, and early deaths in Indigenous communities. Is this because of racism? How many more apologies, more welcomes to country, more equity programs, are needed to remedy these issues and undo the supposed harms of our colonial heritage? Or could it be that these policies, which negate personal responsibility (that nasty colonial idea), do more harm than good?"
Does that mean that it's not racist to call "minorities" immigrants now?

When Disagreement Becomes Trauma - "unmarked graves at the site of former residential schools... many of us (including me) assumed that these sites would immediately be searched by police and forensic investigators (as one would normally expect in regard to any other alleged murder scene). But almost a year has passed, and no human remains have yet been unearthed at the Kamloops site—an awkward fact with politically radioactive implications. Widdowson was one of the few Canadian academics who dared speak about these facts candidly. Another was Quebec academic Jacques Rouillard, author of a Dorchester Review article titled, “In Kamloops, Not One Body Has Been Found.” As far as I know, everything Rouillard wrote was true. But on this kind of issue, truth and truthing lead in opposite directions. In a long Twitter thread responding to Rouillard (though not by name), the federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Marc Miller, denounced any request for evidence of bodies as “ghoulish,” “retraumatizing for survivors,” and “part of a pattern of denialism”—the latter phrase being clearly intended to place skeptics such as Widdowson and Rouillard on the same moral plane as holocaust deniers."

Who 'discovered Canada'? Quebec says French explorer over Indigenous people: survey - "Quebecers are more inclined to say Jacques Cartier -- or even Christopher Columbus -- "discovered Canada," compared to the rest of the country, which points to Indigenous people"

Key Factors Relevant to Aboriginal Sentencing Considerations - "An individual’s Aboriginal status is considered in determining a sentence because his or her circumstances are different from non-Aboriginal offenders."
Past drug, alcohol use had caused suspect to lose mind: document | Toronto Sun - "A fugitive wanted in a deadly stabbing rampage in Saskatchewan has a nearly two-decade long criminal record and a propensity for violence when intoxicated, a parole board document says. The Parole Board of Canada document from February says Myles Sanderson told the board that regular use of drugs and hard alcohol would make him “lose (his) mind” and get angry. “Your criminal history is very concerning, including the use of violence and weapons related to your index offences, and your history of domestic violence”... RCMP have not said what motivated the attacks on Sunday that left 10 people dead and 18 injured on the James Smith Cree Nation and nearby village of Weldon, northeast of Saskatoon. Police believe some victims were targeted but others were chosen at random.  Sanderson’s brother Damien Sanderson, also a suspect in the slayings, was found dead Monday morning on the First Nation and became the 11th fatality. Police continue to search for Myles Sanderson and a warrant has been issued for him on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and break and enter. Sanderson received statutory release from prison in August 2021, but it was revoked about four months later because the board said he failed to communicate with his parole supervisor... Sanderson was serving his first federal sentence of more than four years, four months and 19 days for a slew of offences including assault, assault with a weapon, assaulting a peace officer and robbery. In total, the document says, he has 59 criminal convictions.  Sanderson’s childhood was marked by violence, neglect and substance abuse and led to a “cycle of substance abuse, seeking out negative peers and violent behavior,” the document said. He lived between his father’s home in an urban centre and grandparents’ house on a First Nation. There was violence and abuse in both households...   Sanderson fled before police arrived but a few days later he tried to fight a First Nation band store employee and threatened to kill him and burn down his parents’ house... A few months later, Sanderson threatened an accomplice and forced him to rob a fast-food restaurant by hitting him in the head with a firearm and stomping on him... In 2018, the board said Sanderson was drinking at a home and got angry with people he was with. It said he stabbed two of them with a fork, then attacked a man who was walking nearby and beat him until the man lost consciousness in a ditch.  Sanderson was located at his partner’s home two months later. During the arrest, he kicked an officer in the face and on the top of the head repeatedly"
Clearly the stabbings are the fault of settler colonialism, and he needs to be let off on parole again

Meme - "I'm living in my car to beat the housing crisis - here's how I blend in"
Aren R. LeBrun @proustmalone: "Living in your car is not "beating" the housing crisis, it's the housing crisis beating you."
Mayda in Ohio @maydaohio: "You know nomadic lifestyles have been a thing among indigenous peoples for millenia. Think before you disparage modern adaptations to environmental challenges."

The Most Violent Era In America Was Before Europeans Arrived - "There's a mythology about the native Americans, that they were all peaceful and in harmony with nature - it's easy to create narratives when there is no written record.  But archeology keeps its own history and a new paper finds that the 20th century, with its hundreds of millions dead in wars and, in the case of Germany, China, Russia and other dictatorships, genocide, was not the most violent - on a per-capita basis that honor may belong to the central Mesa Verde of southwest Colorado and the Pueblo Indians.  Writing in the journal American Antiquity, Washington State University archaeologist Tim Kohler and colleagues document how nearly 90 percent of human remains from that period had trauma from blows to either their heads or parts of their arms.  "If we're identifying that much trauma, many were dying a violent death," said Kohler. The study also offers new clues to the mysterious depopulation of the northern Southwest, from a population of about 40,000 people in the mid-1200s to 0 in 30 years.   From the days they first arrived in the Southwest in the 1800s, most anthropologists and archaeologists have downplayed evidence of violent conflict among native Americans... Citation: Timothy A. Kohler, Scott G. Ortman, Katie E. Grundtisch, Carly M. Fitzpatrick and Sarah M. Cole, 'The Better Angels of Their Nature: Declining Violence through Time among Prehispanic Farmers of the Pueblo Southwest', American Antiquity, Volume 79, Number 3 / July 2014, DOI: 10.7183/0002-7316.79.3.444. Source: Washington State University"
Easier and more profitable to just blame whitey for everything

William Watson: After reconciliation, reparations? - "The Fraser Institute has a new study out, called “Fiscal explosion,” on the spike in federal spending on Indigenous matters since 2015... spending on Indigenous matters has exploded — from over $11 billion in the Harper government’s last fiscal year to over $24.5 billion for the current fiscal year, an annual compound growth rate of 11.7 per cent. True, overall federal spending wasn’t exactly quiescent over these years. But it grew at only 8.3 per cent, and the plan is that the extraordinary spending required by the pandemic will eventually recede. By contrast, in the election campaign both the Liberals and (maybe more importantly, given its power in a minority parliament) the NDP called for continuing increases in Indigenous spending. In theory at least, much recent spending should have been one-off, whether for land settlements or as compensation for specific harms done at residential schools or elsewhere. Once one-time payments have been made they don’t have to be made again. Or do they? Flanagan argues, as a good game theorist would, that the Trudeau government has created ideal conditions for continuing claims, which now typically occur as class-action lawsuits that can involve big payoffs — $55 million in one case — for the law firms that organize them. The Harper government was faced with and settled one class-action suit, regarding Indian Residential Schools, in 2006. The Trudeau government has faced nine, from the “Sixties Scoop” to Indian day schools to long-term water advisories and more. Is that just bad timing? Maybe. But maybe not. “The Trudeau government has repeatedly signalled that it would rather negotiate than litigate. The result has been, not an end to litigation but an increase of class-action litigation designed to lead to compensation through negotiations.” If you repeatedly hand out money without people having to demonstrate specific instances of harm, what’s the incentive for them to stop asking or for law firms to stop organizing them? The government has also effectively broadened the grounds for compensation. Students at Indian day schools, i.e., ones where students, whatever they may have been taught during the day, went home at night and could be with their family, speak their own language, and learn about their culture, are nevertheless likely to get compensation, with more than $1.6 billion already set aside to cover payments to 100,000 claimants. As Flanagan puts it (see Nota Bene below): “For all practical purposes, the government of Canada has now embraced the position that providing a Canadian education to native children was an injustice deserving of compensation.” The study is filled with similarly plain talk that many people likely agree with but are afraid, in the current environment, to say out loud. What does Flanagan think the federal government should do? Stop funding the research on which claims are based (“Why should taxpayers fund research designed to extract more money from them?”). Declare a 2024 end date to the specific claims process, which came into being in 1974, on the grounds that 50 years is enough. And “stop rushing to settle class actions.”  If not, Flanagan believes, “Canada is now only one step away from accepting the position of RoseAnne Archibald, the new National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, that reparations must be paid to all Indigenous people because of the harm caused by colonialism.” The soundbite at Rideau Hall from Marc Miller, new minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, suggests that, if anything, Flanagan is overly optimistic: “This relationship started with land,” Miller said. “The relationship has been broken because of land — land theft. It’s time to give land back.”  Is the government of Canada planning to give all the land back? Compared to serious repatriation, reparations would be cheap.
“For all practical purposes, the government of Canada has now embraced the position that providing a Canadian education to native children was an injustice deserving of compensation. All methods of delivery, as implemented at … (the) time, have been found wanting: residential schools, separate day schools for native children, and attendance at public schools.
“Would not leaving native children without any formal education have been as great an injustice as leading them into residential schools or the other alternatives of the time? That practice was common in parts of Canada during the 19th and early 20th centuries when many Indians and most Inuit were still supporting themselves by hunting, fishing, and trapping; but it could not be maintained forever as Canadian society shifted to an agricultural and then industrial model requiring formal education. Providing education as part of the transition to the new society was necessary and indeed was spelled out as a requirement in some of the treaties.”"
In 2020-2021, indigenous spending was 8% of budgetary revenues and 4% of total expenses?!

Apology from Pope Francis was welcome — but it doesn’t mean Canadian settlers can now absolve themselves | The Star - "An apology will not fix the near extinction of over 87 Indigenous languages in Canada; or the long-term drinking-water advisories in dozens of First Nations communities; or the deplorable housing crisis impacting Inuit in Nunavut; or the massively disproportionate incarceration of Indigenous Peoples, making up 32 per cent of the federal prison population; or the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. There is much to hold the Catholic Church accountable for, but as Canadian settlers we must recognize that we are complicit in systemic violations impacting almost five per cent of Canadians. Commitment to truth and reconciliation can’t be exclusively relegated to the government and the church.  We must hold ourselves accountable — and land acknowledgments are not enough. Reconciliation begins at the grassroots level, by fostering genuine relationships with Indigenous Peoples that are neither performatory or transactional. It involves learning from Indigenous sources, centring and amplifying Indigenous voices, adopting a mindset of cultural humility, standing with Indigenous communities in their struggles for justice and healing, and challenging power imbalances that stem from the legacy of colonial policies."
If it's racist to call the children of immigrants immigrants, is it racist to call the descendants of settlers settlers after hundreds of years?
It sounds like nothing will ever be enough
I find it interesting that even though the writer is a Muslim, he groups himself with the "settlers"

Meme - Jessica Hernandez, Ph.D. @doctora _nature: "Indigenous knowledge is science
Indigenous knowledge is science
Indigenous knowledge is science
Indigenous knowledge is science
Indigenous knowledge is science
Indigenous knowledge is science
Indigenous knowledge is science
Brian J Griffith @brianjgriffith: "Indigenous epistemologies don't need to be justified by the standards of modern science. The impulse to draw an equivalence, here, almost assumes that science is somehow superior to indigenous knowledge. They're different ways of knowing, and that's okay." alanna @Alanna_Cronk_: "Lord help you, white man who thinks he knows more about native science than a literal native scientist. You don't get to tell us what our epistemology is and isn't. Stay in your lane studying fascist food history in Italy or whatever."
The slippery slope has slipped once again. Even the non overlapping magisteria approach advocated by Gould is not enough for SJWs. Give them an inch...
Dawkins made the point that you don't need to know about leprechology to debunk leprechauns. But in this case, it's like theologians claiming that theology is science, and anyone who disagrees is not just wrong but racist

Opinion: Enacting the Charter made us more liberal and less democratic - The Hub - "In R v Sharma, the Court will decide whether Parliament’s 2012 decision to remove conditional sentences as an option for a certain class of offences violates the Charter. Conditional sentences, which were first introduced in 1996, are controversial because they allow offenders who would otherwise spend time in prison to serve their sentences in the community, typically under some form of house arrest. But Parliament had good reasons, in our view, to minimize the use of incarceration, including reducing public expenditures, fostering successful community reintegration, and mitigating Indigenous overrepresentation in prison. Crucially, among other restrictions, judges may not award conditional sentences if doing so would pose a significant danger to the public.   It is one thing to believe that conditional sentences are a desirable option for many offences. But it is quite another to conclude that they are constitutionally mandatory. In one of the most nakedly activist decisions in recent memory, a 2:1 majority of the Ontario Court of Appeal found in Sharma that the decision to narrow their availability violated Indigenous Canadians’ section 15 Charter right to equality. Because Indigenous offenders are more likely to be incarcerated than non-Indigenous offenders, the court found, the removal of the conditional sentence option exacerbated their preexisting disadvantage in a discriminatory manner.  The majority’s reasoning violates a fundamental tenet of constitutional law: absent a constitutional amendment, a legislature cannot bind a future version of itself. As Justice Miller observed in his dissent, the majority circumvented this requirement by effectively holding that when one legislature passes an ameliorative provision, and a future legislature scales it back, any adverse impact on a minority population will violate the Charter. This would turn lawmaking into a one-way ratchet: once a benefit is conferred on a disadvantaged population, it can never be taken away.  This departure from a basic norm of constitutionalism was exacerbated by the majority’s indeterminate and overbroad conception of the Charter’s equality guarantee. It is true that curtailing the availability of conditional sentences could negatively affect Indigenous offenders. But so would almost any attempt to impose more punitive sentences, not only for Indigenous offenders but also for any other overrepresented minority. And while the majority in Sharma limited its holding to the rescinding of beneficial legislation, its logic is readily extendable to any governmental decision shown to disproportionately affect a disadvantaged group. Under this theory of equality rights, the scope for legislative action would be dramatically diminished."

'You f*cking colonizer': Portland man rages at liberal white woman over traffic incident - "An argument over a traffic incident broke out on the streets of Portland, Oregon where a self-identified Native American man yelled at a liberal white woman, repeatedly calling her a "f*cking colonizer." The term "colonizer" is a derogatory slur for white people used amongst woke activists who believe all white people are responsible for the colonization of indigenous lands... the man shouted dubious insults such as "YOU WHITE LADY" and "You f*cking colonizer." The argument started when the woman confronted the man for allegedly cutting her off in traffic. She apparently scolded him saying, "We don't drive this way in Oregon. We're f*cking kind and we make space."... The man avoided addressing the traffic incident and instead doubled-down on his issues with the woman's skin color "Admit you're white. You have a colonizer mindset."  "It's not about race" she pleaded, along with "Don't pull the race card," and "You're taking out your pain and aggression on me right now." But the man was still discontent with her pleadings, telling her to "shut up" and that the racial justice work to be done was not his responsibility.  He mocked her pleas and eventually erupted with, "It's not on me to change it's on you and your colonizer mindset so get the f*ck out of my face now. The man continued screaming, "NOW, YOU WHITE LADY! YOU WHITE LADY!"  Using "white" as an insult has escalated as activism and education depicting whiteness as evil has grown exponentially in recent years. "I'm as angry as you are," she said in sympathy to the man's woke sentiments. Dismissive, the man continued in his rage, "Then get out of my face because I'm done with conversation, you f*cking colonizer," and "I'm not taking any f*cking directions from a white lady.""
Is this violence against women or violence against indigenous people?
When liberal excesses boomerang back against them

Conrad Black: Facing the past to resolve some of Canada's most intractable issues - "The policy debate surrounding Native people absolutely must be taken away from the victim industry and radically reformulated. The first problem with the TRC report is the number and gravity of its dishonest and contentious claims and accusations. The “Summary and Legacy” volumes do not accurately represent the material presented in the preceding four volumes, which have been largely ignored by the media. Many of the negative generalizations in the summary volumes are not supported by preceding evidence. Extensive interviews in which the subjects espoused favourable opinions of the IRS were not reflected at all in the concluding volumes. Instead, there are a number of unsupported inflammatory claims. Volume 1 begins: “For over a century the central goals of Canada’s Aboriginal policy were to eliminate Aboriginal governments; ignore Aboriginal rights; terminate the treaties; and through a process of assimilation cause Aboriginal people to cease to exist as distinct legal, social, cultural, religious and racial entities in Canada. The establishment and operation of residential schools were a central element of this policy, which can best be described as ‘cultural genocide.’ ” As the excellent book I cited last week, “From Truth Comes Reconciliation,” noted: “Finding a reference to cultural genocide at the very beginning of this important report probably forces readers to wonder why the Government of Canada signed treaties, established reserves, published dictionaries of Indigenous languages, banned relatively few Indigenous traditions … and never forbade Indigenous people from speaking their languages in residential schools or anywhere else. Such puzzling questions remain unexamined in the TRC report and in the public media. Just as worrying, the commissioners assert that Indigenous students attending residential schools were considered ‘subhuman.’ ” No evidence was adduced to support such a claim, which is disturbing from a commission that promised the truth. Fewer than 40 per cent of Indigenous children attended residential schools, which seriously undermines the TRC’s claims that “residential schools are responsible for virtually all the current challenges facing Indigenous people.” (The large number of Indigenous people who had no formal education at all faced another set of hardships.) Approximately 150,000 Indigenous people spent at least one year in the IRS system, some of them were rescued from miserable conditions, and while there were many inexcusable incidents of physical and emotional abuse, there are also a great many stories of Native people who felt that residential schools enabled them to have successful lives. Practically the entire administrative, investigative and judicial apparatus that oversees Indigenous matters was effectively bulldozed into a far more comprehensive and grave condemnation of the official motives and performance of the residential schools than was justified. Following the report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in 1996, which effectively called for one-third of Canada to be handed over to First Nations people to govern as they wish, with no taxation and all expenses paid by the rest of Canada, there came the Indian Residential School Agreement, with the stated purpose to “bring a fair and lasting resolution to the legacy of the Indian residential schools.” The tangible consequences were the Common Experiences Payments (CEP) and the Independent Assessment Process (IAP), under which approximately 110,000 alumni of the IRS received $1.9 billion in CEP, including approximately $100 million from the various Christian churches, and $2.7 billion (which the TRC does not mention) from the IAP. This colossal slush fund of extravagant reparations has intensified rather than abated the rapacity of the Native victimhood industry... There are over 1.6 million Aboriginal people in Canada, about four per cent of the population. A proportionate part of the country, with enough royalty income to fund the territory comfortably and with fully adequate year-round infrastructure, should be given to them as an autonomous First Nations-governed district of Canada, where Canadian rules of honest governance and human rights must be observed. Those Aboriginals who wish to integrate altogether into general Canadian society must be given every reasonable assistance in doing so. We must recognize that every Canadian has an equal right to be here, and that all Canadians played a role in building this great country."

BONOKOSKI: The enslaving history of Mohawk icon Joseph Brant | Toronto Sun - "there is no getting around the fact that the Mohawks’ revered leader and Iroquois warrior, Joseph Brant (1743 – 1807), was a slavery man. Which is worse? Slavery or forced schooling? Brant kept upwards of 40 slaves, including enemy Indian slaves grabbed while aiding the British in the American Revolutionary War, but thought judgmental folk were making too big of a fuss over nothing.  And so, not to be bothered, he carried on using slaves as personal servants and farmhands.  In more recent times, Brant’s legacy has, in fact, been widely debated due to his use of slave labour. Once African slavery was introduced into North America by European settlers, Iroquois — such as Brant — lined up to buy African slaves... So, if the mob that tore down Egerton Ryerson’s statue, especially the Mohawk who draped his toppled body with a Mohawk flag, want to remain on message no matter what, there are statues of Joseph Brant to size up.  There’s one on Wellington St. in Ottawa, and a large and magnificent one on Victoria Ave. in Brantford, the town that bears his name as it is adjacent to Brant’s Six Nations Mohawk territory.  In fact, there are schools and hospitals that bear his name, mostly in Ontario, including a building at Canada’s military college in Kingston, John A.’s home and resting place.  As for Brant’s statues, they’re easy to find. All one needs is a thick rope, a steel saw for dissection, and a good truck to pull the statue down and perhaps drag it through the streets...   And what about Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the last prime minister to sign off on the residential schools?  Let’s see him get a good era-scrubbing and a statue toppling.  There’ll be cheers aplenty."

Indigenous Canadians want natural resources development — why aren’t we being heard? - "the vast majority of Indigenous communities in Canada are engaged in natural resource development, and on terms that we agree to. Indigenous communities have entered into over 450 agreements with mining companies since 2000, and 58 per cent have a contract or agreement with a forestry company. Across Canada, 25 First Nations produce oil on reserve and 35 produce natural gas. Dozens more have entered into agreements to have pipelines cross through their territory, and three separate Indigenous consortia are vying to purchase the Trans Mountain pipeline on behalf of their communities. Indigenous-owned businesses are 40 times more likely to be involved in the mining and oil and gas sectors than the average Canadian business. The extractive sector hires twice as many Indigenous employees and pays on average twice as much in wages as other sectors. Natural resource development is where we’ve been able to make the most progress as employees, contractors, partners and owners. It provides much-needed jobs and revenues to our communities.   I previously worked for the Aboriginal Equity Partners, a group of 31 First Nations and Métis communities who had an ownership stake in the Northern Gateway pipeline. It would have produced $2 billion in economic benefits including jobs, business opportunities, and training for our communities, until it was killed by the federal government. When we went to Ottawa to testify in opposition to Bill C-48, the oil tanker moratorium, Transport Minister Marc Garneau called us “private interests” who were “not in the same category” as the First Nations in support of the government’s bill. This is an unfortunate but common sentiment. Every day Indigenous leaders are called on by their people to address poverty in their communities through better housing, water, education and employment. But when they go and engage with industry to actually develop economic opportunities, they are often called sell-outs. This is made worse by the fact that those who are the loudest in opposition to working with oil and gas and mining are often elites in cities and institutions who don’t have to face the consequences of on-reserve poverty every day. In the past two years, a group of us working to defeat on-reserve poverty have started a new organization, the National Coalition of Chiefs, comprised of Indigenous leaders who are pro-development. When individual leaders work with industry or speak out for economic development, they are often denounced by NGOs and protesters... What I want for my children and grandchildren is what most people want: a good job, a comfortable place to live, and food in the fridge. Sadly, many people living on reserve don’t have that. Ottawa never has, and never will be able to provide it. In any case, most Indigenous peoples don’t want to have to rely on the federal government for their daily needs... Do not deny us our opportunity for well-being and prosperity simply to serve your stereotypes of what Indigenous peoples should be for and against."
Minorities have no voice and need white liberals to speak for them
If you consider that liberals want to make indigenous people dependent on the government, their actions make sense

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