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Saturday, November 12, 2022

Arendt on Collective Guilt

"It has become rather fashionable among white liberals to react to Negro grievances with the cry, "We are all guilty," and Black Power has proved only too happy to take advantage of this "confession" to instigate an irrational "black rages". Where all are guilty; no one is; confessions of collective guilt are the best possible safeguard against: the discovery of culprits, and the very magnitude of the crime the best excuse for doing nothing. In this particular instance, it is, in addition, a dangerous and obfuscating escalation of racism into some higher, less tangible regions. The real rift between black and white is not healed by being translated into an even less reconcilable conflict between collective innocence and collective guilt; "All white men are guilty" is not only dangerous nonsense but also racism in reverse, and it serves quite effectively to give the very real grievances and rational emotions of the Negro population an outlet into irrationality, an, escape from reality."

--- Crises of the Republic: Lying in Politics, Civil Disobedience on Violence, Thoughts on Politics, and Revolution / Hannah Arendt

Links - 12th November 2022 (Pitbulls etc)

Meme - "Pitbull owners when their dog eats an entire child: It's not his fault. It's not his fault. He's good. He's good."

Meme - Valerie Lynn Hampton: "March 12. This is so funny! This is exactly how it is with Maggie and Max vs my pit bull Kali. Pits aren't as scary as their rep!"
A FEW WEEKS LATER....Valerie Lynn Hampton: "Yesterday was a hard day on the farm, a day full of death and sadness. Had 8 dead baby bunnies, a dead baby chick that hens were fighting over, and Kali attacked Maggie. Maggie has pit bull puncture wounds on her neck and hind end with trouble walking. I tried to get Kali to release her from her jaws and Kali bit onto my arm for a Split second until She realized it was me then went back to attacking Maggie. I then had to use my foot to separate them. Needless to say, Dah*** and Josh said Kali MUST GO! I love that dog so much but she is way too possessive over me. She tried to attack Jaxson a couple weeks ago when I was hugging him. I hate to see her be put down so would love someone to offer her a new home. If your interested, contact me. She is about a year old, a blue nosed rescue pit, and is a very possessive and protective dog with a good heart, but some quirks. Thanks"
Mirror

U.S. Statistics on Dog Bites 2021 (19 Breeds Compared) - "German Shepherds are regarded for their intelligence, Labradors for their sense of smell and St. Bernards for their size. One notorious breed known for its violent tendencies is the Pitbull... According to Canine Journal, an organization that collects and analyzes all dog bite attacks in the country, Pit Bulls accounted for 284 deaths in those years. That's a staggering 65% of all dog-related deaths, with 473 Americans killed between 2005 and 2017... Instead of arguing that Pit Bulls bite more, you could argue that they are more efficient once they attack. Whereas a bite from a smaller dog may not be fatal... German Shepards are the third most likely breed of dog to attack. However, their mortality statistics are more a result of helping humans then harming them. As mentioned above, Rottweilers and Pit Bulls are the second and first most dangerous breeds... Statistically speaking, there are two breeds of dogs that are known for their safety. Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers are the breeds least likely to bite or inflict harm on a human. Keep in mind that these dogs are used for hunting. Their soft teeth are not intended to penetrate the birds they catch. By that logic, their teeth would barely penetrate human skin. Bird dogs understand that their bite is not to be fatal, so they almost never even try unless indicated by danger. Retrievers are also among the friendliest and most sociable breeds for human companionship and work-related associations...
Common Characteristics of Dangerous Breeds
Strong musculature, powerful appearance, robust, athletic configuration, agility, vigor and endurance.
Marked character and great courage.
Short hair
Thoracic perimeter between 60 and 80 centimeters, height and width between 50 and 70 centimeters and weight over 20 kg.
Voluminous head, cuboid, robust, with broad and large skull and muscular and bulging cheeks. Large and strong jaws, robust, wide and deep mouth.
Wide, muscular and short neck.
Chest solid, broad, large, deep, arched ribs and short muscular back.
Parallel, straight and robust forelegs and very muscular hindquarters, with relatively long legs forming a moderate angle...
It appears on the PPP (Perros Potencialmente Peligrosos i.e Potentially Dangerous Dogs) list... Pit Bulls account for 6% of dogs in the United States. What is most striking about their attacks is that they attack children and adults alike when, in general, attacks on children are more common because they do not know how to treat dogs or how to read the warning signs. Another striking feature of the attacks is that many of the attacks are unannounced, with no warning signs... German Shepherd... do not appear as PDD and have a very good reputation, especially because they are excellent police assistants. Their protective character often leads them to hurt, with serious consequences, but never with the intention of doing so. We must not forget that they are guard dogs, they need to have their “flock” under control and not knowing how to read their language can lead to unfortunate incidents... the Hybrid Wolfdog is hardly present in the United States. Even so, it ranks in the U.S. statistics on dog bites"

The New Pike County Humane Society | Facebook - "It is with the heaviest of hearts, we must share the sad news that Sparta-Kisses was euthanized.  We want to thank everyone again that donated for his surgery, his foster during his initial recovery, and we whole heartedly thank you for always being supportive of Pike County Humane Society even during these sad times.  Most have followed Sparta’s' story, from severely injured stray, to recovering tripod. When Sparta returned to the shelter, he had one favorite person at the shelter but loved everyone else too. In his few weeks here, he slowly began showing extreme aggression, literally out of the blue, towards staff members. With each week that passed, it became evident that Sparta could not be handled by anyone except "his person" here at the shelter. Ok, so Sparta needs to be a one-person dog, we can find that person, right?  This past week, we received an email from someone that knew where Sparta came from. This email told a story of how Sparta had viciously attacked his previous owner, had him locked in a room and was aggressively trying to get into the room.  At first, we didn't believe this could be our Sparta. We asked for any further details, and when this person responded that the previous owner had to shoot the dog with his shotgun to stop the attack, it was then we knew that it was, in fact, our Sparta! If you remember, x-rays showed pellets in Sparta’s chest....  In the following days, Sparta's aggression towards everyone worsened. He had now turned on the only person who could handle him at the shelter. Now knowing his history, and seeing this same behavior with our own eyes, the decision was made that Sparta would be a danger to shelter staff, visitors, the public, and especially to any adopter who potentially wanted to take a chance on him. We could not, with a clear conscience, send this dog into any household, knowing that he is capable of turning in an instant, and even though he only had 3 legs, Sparta was capable of doing a lot of damage, even causing death to any person.  The decision was made to euthanize. Sparta was surrounded by staff members that truly loved him. After being sedated, he was hugged, kissed, and pet until his last breath. Tears streamed, hearts broke, Sparta went over the Rainbow Bridge in peace and love.  💔💔 RIP SPARTA-KISSES 💔💔"
Imagine this level of angst over euthanising a vicious dog. Naturally it's the previous dog owner's fault

KFC Victoria Wilcher: Why Do So Many Pit Bulls Maul Children? (aka The Problem With Pit Bulls) - "Pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68% of dog attacks and 52% of dog-related deaths since 1982, according to research compiled by Merritt Clifton, editor of Animals 24-7, an animal-news organization that focuses on humane work and animal-cruelty prevention.  Clifton himself has been twice attacked by dogs (one pit bull), and part of his work involves logging fatal and disfiguring attacks. Clifton says that for the 32 years he’s been recording, there has never been a year when pit bulls have accounted for less than half of all attacks. A CDC report on dog-bite fatalities from 1978 to 1998 confirms that pit bulls are responsible for more deaths than any other breed, but the CDC no longer collects breed-specific information. Another report published in the April 2011 issue of Annals of Surgery found that one person is killed by a pit bull every 14 days, two people are injured by a pit bull every day, and young children are especially at risk. The report concludes that “these breeds should be regulated in the same way in which other dangerous species, such as leopards, are regulated.” That report was shared with TIME by PETA, the world’s largest animal-rights organization...   As pit-bull attacks become more and more common, they’re getting increasing attention on social media, but not always in support of the wounded children. In March, a Facebook petition to save Mickey, a dangerous pit bull in Phoenix, got over 70,000 likes. Mickey was facing euthanasia for mauling 4-year-old Kevin Vincente so badly that he cracked his jaw, eye socket and cheekbone. Kevin is facing months of reconstructive surgery, but more people were concerned with saving the dog than helping the boy. Mickey’s Facebook page has now become a social-media landing page to save other dogs that are considered dangerous. Clifton says he’s seen an unprecedented rise in dog maulings in recent years, as more pit bulls enter the shelter system. Between 1858 and 2000, there are only two recorded instances of shelter dogs killing humans. From 2000 to 2009, there were three fatal attacks involving shelter dogs (one pit bull, one breed similar to a pit bull, and one Doberman). But from 2010 to 2014, there have been 35 shelter dogs who fatally attacked humans. All but 11 were pit bulls... critics say that pit bulls are inherently dangerous no matter how they’re treated, because violence is in their DNA. “Why do herding dogs herd? Why do pointing dogs point? They don’t learn that behavior, that’s selective behavior,” says Colleen Lynn, president and founder of DogsBite.org, a national dog-bite-victims group dedicated to reducing dog attacks. “Pit bulls were specifically bred to go into that pit with incredible aggression and fight.”  “Every kind of dog is neglected and abused,” Clifton agrees. “And not every kind of dog responds to the neglect and abuse by killing and injuring people.”...   Even PETA, the largest animal-rights organization in the world, supports breed-specific sterilization for pit bulls"

Pit bull tears off 4-year-old Oklahoma boy Axel Foster's arm - "A 4-year-old Oklahoma boy had an arm completely ripped off by a pit bull while trying to pet some puppies at his grandparents’ home...   “When officers and animal control attempted to retrieve the arm, the dog became aggressive to them”...   Foster’s mom, Destiny McDow, said they “raced to the hospital,” but surgery to reattach her son’s arm was unsuccessful. She’d earlier said in an online fundraiser that the boy was “fighting not only to keep his arm but his life.”"

I slept with my beloved pit bull until he tried to eat me alive - "A woman who slept with her dog was almost eaten alive when the canine snapped and devoured “half her arm.”  Tya Lucas, 41, was at home in Lewisville, Texas, introducing her new puppy, Roo, to her friend Peter, 33, on May 16 when her nearly 100-pound pit bull, Hercules, violently turned on her...   The dog tore off two-thirds of Tya’s right arm, ate her bicep and sank its teeth into her leg and foot... “The police said if I’d passed out in the house, he would have eaten me from my insides,” Tya said. “They said they’d seen stabbings, gunshot wounds and they’ve never seen what they saw that day.”  “They put a tourniquet on my arm and the doctor said if he hadn’t been there to do that at that exact moment, then I wouldn’t have made it until the ambulance got there.”   Tana and Harley had found Hercules abandoned at the side of the road, covered in cigarette burns, two years earlier.  But Tya says Hercules had never shown signs of aggression before and even slept in bed with her the night before the attack...   Tya and Tana surrendered Hercules to police at the scene and he was put down soon after. They have no idea what triggered the aggression but Tya has been left terrified of dogs...   Pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68% of dog attacks and 52% of dog-related deaths since 1982"
Obviously her fault. She must have abused it for only a puppy to turn on her
Even if the pitmummies want to blame this on prior abuse, apparently the conclusion is that all abused pitbulls need to be put down

Dog sitter, 46, is mauled to death by two pit bulls she was looking after at her home - "Mom of five from North Carolina, 46, was mauled to death in a brutal attack at her own home by a pair of pit bulls she was dog sitting.  Trena Peed, who recently lost two sons in car crashes two years apart, was letting her dogs out early on Thursday at 2am when they dragged her out with them into the backyard.  The neighbors reported hearing screams that same night.  'It’s dark. All I hear is her yelling and her dogs over there attacking her'
Clearly this means nothing, since chihuahuas are more aggressive than pits (weird how breed doesn't mean anything, yet pitmummies always make that claim)

Meme - "Pitbulls aren't "dangerous", in reality, it's all about how they are raised."
"So Pitbulls are the only breed that have bad owners?"

Meme - "Pit Bull bingo
Put a token over each statement when you hear it - see how fast you can get a BINGO!
Bonus: You get a second token if any of the phrases below complete a sentence like "I am so sorry your toddler/grandma/innocent pet was killed/maimed BUT..."
IT's ALL HOW YOU RAISE 'EM
PIT BULLS ARE MISUNDERSTOOD
YOU SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN A BIGGER DOG
BLAME THE OWNER
ALL DOGs BITE
THEY'RE BRED TO BE NANNY DOGS
DOGS ARE JUST LIKE PEOPLE
YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN IN THE FRONT YARD
DON'T BLAME THE OWNER
MY DOG WOULD NEVER BITE
GOTTA WATCH THEM AROUND CHILDREN
YOU'RE RACIST
YOUR DOG SHOULDN'T HAVE BARKED
BLAME THE DEED, NOT THE BREED
I CAN'T BELIEVE MY DOG BIT SOMEONE
WASN'T TRAINED CORRECTLY
YOU'RE IGNORANT
I HAVE A RIGHT TO OWN ANY PET I WANT
SOMEHOW, THE DOG GOT OUT
YOU MUST HAVE I DONE SOMETHING
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A PIT BULL
GET EDUCATED
TOUGHEN UP - IT'S NOT THAT BAD
SOMEHOW, THE DOG BROKE FREE
POOR DOG WAS SCARED/CONFUSED/BEING PROTECTIVE
(PHOTO OF PIT BULL WITH A BABY)
COCONUTS KILL MORE
LICK YOU TO DEATH
CHIHUAHUAS BITE
(PHOTO OF PIT BULL IN A TUTU)"

You can't separate pit bull prejudice from racial prejudice - "Those who speak of innate pit bull violence are thus showing a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of all domesticated dogs, any of which can turn violent under the right (or in this case, wrong) circumstances.  But it also shows something else. In Baltimore, like many other places, pit bulls are associated with dog fighting and black, urban violence. To say otherwise is dishonest, and the fact that pit bulls are singled out when bigger more powerful dogs like Rottweilers are not to me is clear evidences that some sort of bias is in play. Using the well documented notion of institutional racial bias in the legal system, this implicates the court's claim that pit bulls are "inherently violent." Empirical data shows the race of the defendant has an impact on judicial rulings, creating harsher judgments and sentences, and if the owner of the pit bull is black, as overwhelming anecdotal evidence would indicate, then the legal system would view the nature of the pit bull attacks quite differently than they view other incidents. Over time, it seems that "pit bull' has becomes a synonym for "black" and thus a similar bias seems to be at play here. As a black person raised in Baltimore, pit bulls were a central part of the social fabric of my life. The best dog I ever had was a pit bull, and he was the sweetest thing I have ever met. I am confident that if you were to ask the vast majority of pit bull owners in this city, they will tell you the same thing. For black folks like me who grew up with them, we love them because when we were born into a violent world not of our choosing, they protected us, with violence when necessary, but more often they showed the love that let us know they would only use that so called "innate" potential for violence in extreme circumstances... Even if the court saw pit bull attacks caused more damage and happened at a higher rate than other breeds, this a correlation/causation logical fallacy. People who experience violence and poverty disproportionately fight/abuse dogs, and the dogs those people have access to are pit bulls, so of course this correlation would be observed, but that does not mean there is some hidden "mean gene" that caused these outcomes."
Of course. How could one forget the race card?
I like how empirical data about how overrepresented pit bulls are in attacks mean nothing
If we can't even blame owners ("it's all in how you train them"), we move to the next level of cope where we pretend that pit bulls are only overrepresented in attacks because of "stigma"

Meme - "Careful, man. Pitbull"
"Dude, IT'S NOT THE BREED. IT'S THE OWNER."
"What's so SPECIAL ABOUT PITBULL OWNERS?"
*Black man*
"Umm..."

The Black Man's Dog: The Social Context of Breed Specific Legislation - "Strong cultural ties exist between pit bull dogs and the Black community. The same is true of the Latino community. Research undertaken here to investigate this claim suggests that people of color are perceived to be the most likely owner of this breed of dog... Under new law, breed-specific legislation could be challenged under the Fair Housing Act if it can be shown that these laws are disproportionately excluding minority groups."

2022 Double Dog Bite Fatality: Pair of Family Pit Bulls Kill Two Children, Seriously Injure Mother in Tennessee - "On October 5, a pair of pit bulls a young family had owned for eight years fatally attacked their two children in the home, 5-month old Hollace Bennard and 2-year old Lilly Bennard. The mother, Kirstie Bennard, 30, was critically injured from trying to save her children. She remains hospitalized. Both pit bulls, a male and female pair, Cheech and Mia respectively, were confiscated by Memphis Animal Services and euthanized a day after killing the children... On Perry's 2013 thread advertising puppies from the breeding of RGB Jefe Son RGB Mulatto AKA Chunk to RGB King Lion Daughter RGB Circe, Perry speaks directly to the father of the children, Colby Bennard... The horrific tragedy of two innocent children killed by a pair of designer pit bulls, known interchangeably as XL pit bulls or XL bullies, is further marred by their parents who purchased dogs advertised as #LionsOnLeashes, #Monster or worse"
Meme - "Colby Bennard:
September 28, 2016
I can assure you, nobody will take Cheech and Mia from myself and Kirstie Jane Satterfield. Ignorance is no excuse to take so many "best friends" out of this world, #bullybreedforlife"

Pit bulls who mauled baby boy and his two year-old sister to death had NEVER been aggressive - "Kelsey Canfield, Bennard's best friend, told Fox News that the dogs had never shown any signs of violence and if they had, 'she would have never had those dogs near her kids.'... Jeff Gibson, the uncle to Bennard's husband, Colby, revealed the mother-of-two has an 'uncountable amount of stitches and bite marks over her entire body, including her face' and that both her 'arms and legs are bandaged/wrapped up completely.'... Pit bulls are known for having one of the strongest bites, alongside Mastiffs and Rottweilers, according to the Canine Journal.   The breed is also on the journal's list of dogs that bite the most, alongside Chihuahuas, German Shepherds and Cocker Spaniels."
Some pit bull lover claimed that all stories of pit bull attacks revealed that the owners were abusers, and when I said I had read many stories to the contrary, he sarcastically agreed and then blocked me, so I wouldn't be able to provide any examples to falsify his ridiculous claim

Pit Bull Described as 'Mild-Mannered' Brutally Kills Female Owner During a Walk in the Province of Nova Scotia - "a commenter left a link showing when Megan Milner purchased her two pit bulls -- less than four years later, one brutally kills her while she was taking it for a walk... Martin also claimed that people should, "Challenge the conversation with facts." In this case, the facts are clear. Milner was killed by one of her pit bulls, while taking the dog for a walk. Milner was a conscientious owner who would only walk her dogs one at a time outside of the village, and while armed with a sturdy muzzle. On June 9, one of her pit bulls brutally attacked her and left her dead in a ditch. Those are the grim facts, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  Like the attractive female pit bull advocates before Milner, who were killed by their own pit bulls (Darla Napora, Bethany Stephens and more), gross speculation and conspiracy theories fueled by pit bull advocates has followed. Claims like, Milner must have been "struck by a car" or "she was killed by a bear." There is a reason why jurisdictions in 53 countries regulate this dog breed. The routine horrific injuries pit bulls inflict, including deglovings, have no place in a civilized society."

A deadly bodega row and the shocking video that may help shopkeeper walk free - "It all started over a $3 bag of potato chips.  It ended with a 37-year-old man lying dead in a pool of blood on the floor of a bodega and a 62-year-old shopkeeper charged with his murder... The fatal incident was captured on shocking surveillance footage revealing 37-year-old Austin Simon attacking 62-year-old Jose Alba before Mr Alba pulled a knife and stabbed him to death.  A criminal attorney tells The Independent that the graphic video is likely the key to the bodega worker’s release from prison as she described the decision to charge him in the first place as “unfathomable” under New York’s self-defence laws... The girlfriend, who has not been publicly named, wanted to buy a bag of chips for her daughter but she didn’t have enough money to pay for them, said police.  At that point, she allegedly ran out of the store to get her boyfriend.  What happens next was captured on surveillance footage inside the store.  In it, Mr Simon is seen suddenly entering the space behind the counter where Mr Alba is serving customers.  He confronts Mr Alba and violently shoves the 62-year-old against the shelves.  Mr Alba falls back and lands in a chair by the wall.  A hand is seen reaching over the counter during the incident.  Mr Simon continues to square up in the shop worker’s face shouting at him the person in front of the counter. There is no sound in the footage.  The 37-year-old then grabs Mr Alba by the back of his shirt and pulls him up out of his chair out of the counter area. At that point, the bodega worker grabs a knife from some shelves and begins to stab Mr Simon... Mr Simon’s girlfriend also produced her own knife and stabbed Mr Alba in the arm... Mr Alba was arrested on the scene and was charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.  He was sent to the notorious Rikers Island jail and a judge ordered him to be held on $250,000 bond – less than half the $500,000 prosecutors asked for... The case – as well as the unusually high bond in the city – sparked uproar from Mr Alba’s family as well as members of the community who say the well-loved store worker with no criminal record had no choice when he came under attack... records show that Mr Simon has had multiple brushes with the law and was on parole at the time for allegedly attacking a police officer... Katherine Fernandez, criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Julie Rendelman in New York, tells The Independent that – having watched the surveillance video she believes it was a matter of self-defence.  Under New York law, a person is justified in using physical force against another in self-defence when they have a reasonable belief that deadly or imminent physical force is going to be used against them; when the defendant is not the initial aggressor; and when the defendant has made an attempt to retreat if it is safe to do so.  Ms Fernandez says that the footage shows Mr Alba can argue all of those things. “Looking at the video, it is very important to note that Jose Alba is in a very confined work area and the man comes into the area behind the cash register where he is not supposed to be,” she says.  “This guy comes in, he immediately gets up close to him in his face…. The deceased is clearly the initial aggressor.”  She adds: “Clearly the deceased is extremely aggressive. He pushes him down and literally stops Alba from leaving.  “And as Alba tries to get up – and this is important as he has a duty to try to retreat – the guy grabs him… that’s when he pulls out the knife.”... Mr Alba allegedly took the bag of chips from the woman’s daughter but that moment is not seen in the footage.  “You can’t touch my daughter. Don’t snatch that out of my daughter, you f***ing piece of shit,” she shouts.  “I’m gonna bring my n**** down here and he gonna f*** you up. My n**** is gonna come down here right now and f*** you up!”"
Lucky the store owner isn't white
What happens when you glorify thugs and demonise innocents: even the state is captured

Slain NYC bodega attacker threatened anyone messing with 'my girls' in video - "The ex-con killed after he attacked a Manhattan bodega worker posted an online video weeks earlier that threatened anyone who messed with “my girls”"

Customers Angry Over $1.75 Dipping Sauces Allegedly Caused $25K in Damages at LES Fries Shop - "The three patrons responsible for a violent attack at Bel-Fries in the Lower East Side now face criminal assault charges, reports the New York Post. Bowery Boogie initially reported that at around 4 a.m. on July 4, staff allegedly asked three customers to pay $1.75 for extra dipping sauce. That set off a bashing that, according to owner Annalee Schlossberg, caused $25,000 dollars in damages to the property and led to an injured employee who needed a staple in her head after being struck by a tablet cash register."
Bel Fries shop owner dismayed no one came to her staff's rescue - "Just as bad were the more than 20 people who celebrated the mayhem and did nothing to stop it, said Bel Fries proprietor Annalee Schlossberg.  “Not only were [the women] crazy, destructive animals, but everyone just stood by and watched,” the 23-year-old entrepreneur said. “Everyone outside was recording and laughing and cheering on the girls, which is the most disgusting part.”...   “I’m thinking I’ll need a bouncer and protective glass across the entire counter so no one can get through”...   The furious French fry fiasco unfolded July 3, when Pearl Ozoria, 27, Chitara Plasencia, 25, and Tatiyanna Johnson, 23, were asked to pay $1.75 for extra dipping sauce"
Damn racism and anti-blackness!
Protective glass will mean no one can cross over and attack staff who are behind the counter too

Guys Have only Four Ways out Of Depression - "Guys Have Only Four Ways Out Of Depression refers to an exploitable image macro that uses Wojak characters, specifically the Doomer Wojak, to demonstrate four ways men overcome depression in a humorous manner... enlisting in a Balkan war, becoming physically fit, finding a Doomer Girl to date or hanging oneself."

Venice to charge tourists €10 to enter the city in world first - "Venice is to become the first city in the world to introduce a booking system whereby tourists will have to pay up to 10 euros each to enter.  The controversial ticketing initiative, announced on Friday, comes after years of rancorous debate over the suffocating effects of over-tourism on the city long known as “La Serenissima”.  The authorities say the booking system is essential to combat overcrowding, but critics say it edges the World Heritage city closer to being a warped brand of cultural Disneyland.   From January 16, tourists planning to visit will have to make a booking online and pay an entrance fee – or a “contribution to access” as the city prefers to call it. The amount will vary according to how busy the season is – during Easter, the summer holidays, historic regattas and festivals, the fee will be 10 euros per person. During quieter periods of the year, it will be just three euros a head.  The booking system will apply only to day-trippers on the basis that they make little economic contribution to the city... It could offer an example to other destinations that risk being smothered by legions of selfie-snapping visitors, from Dubrovnik in Croatia to the island of Santorini in the Aegean.  As crowds return post-pandemic, Maui in Hawaii has introduced a tourist tax and Amsterdam has banned the opening of new hotels in the city centre...   Some Venetians believe the system should go a step further and impose a maximum number of visitors who can enter the lagoon city.   Jane da Mosto, the head of a pressure group called We Are Here Venice, thinks the number of tourists should be set at around 50,000 – the same as the number of inhabitants."

Charges dropped against man who nailed Putin doll to sacred tree in Japan as part of death curse - "Mitsunobu Hino, 72, was arrested last month on suspicion of property damage and trespassing in the area of Matsudo’s Mikazuki Shrine.  Hino was accused of hammering two holes measuring 1.6 inches deep into the sacred castanopsis tree by nailing the straw doll to it. The “wara ningyo” doll, which is used in Japan as a part of a supernatural ritual to wish death or harm to a person, also came with a note that read, “Vladimir Putin, born 7 October 1952. Pray for his extermination.”"

Microsoft Shuts Down Internet Explorer Today, Sparking Small Panic (MSFT) - Bloomberg - "Japan may be the country most affected by the move, as a survey in March found that 49% of companies in the Asian nation still use IE. Among them, the most common use was for in-house management, data exchange and accounting systems. All of those should have been updated or transitioned to different software in the time since Microsoft announced its IE retirement plans a year ago, but the Nikkei reports that many procrastinated... “Japanese love safety. The larger the organization or government, the more hesitant they are to move,” said Tetsutaro Uehara, professor at Ritsumeikan University. “The biggest issue is that, when it comes to government websites, there are only a limited number of vendors who can implement such large systems.”"

Astronauts should not masturbate in zero gravity, NASA scientist says - "Astronauts have been warned against masturbating in space over fears female astronauts could get impregnated by stray fluids... Sex and masturbation in space is a logistical nightmare, with problems ranging from floating fluids to shrinking manhoods, according to astronomer Dr. John Millis. He compared sex in space to having intercourse while “skydiving”, but added that it was “not impossible”. Presumably cosmonauts had this in mind when Kremlin sperm scientists came knocking. Russian scientist Dr. Irina Ogneva’s asked male cosmonauts to provide sperm samples back in 2019. “There are no cosmonauts who want to”"

Singapore courts local tech giants over ‘national duty’ to relist | Financial Times

Friday, November 11, 2022

Links - 11th November 2022 (2 - Climate Change)

Japan signals return to nuclear power to stabilise energy supply - "Japan will restart more idled nuclear plants and look at developing next-generation reactors, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Wednesday (Aug 24), setting the stage for a major policy shift on nuclear energy a decade after the Fukushima disaster.   The comments from Kishida - who also said the government would look at extending the lifespan of existing reactors - highlight how the Ukraine crisis and soaring energy costs have forced both a change in public opinion and a policy rethink toward nuclear power."

Why even environmentalists are supporting nuclear power today - "  In California, the state's last remaining power plant — Diablo Canyon, situated on the Pacific Coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles — long scheduled to be scrapped, may now remain open. Governor Gavin Newsom, a longtime opponent of the plant, is seeking to extend its lifespan through at least 2029.  It's a remarkable turnaround in a state where anti-nuclear activists and progressive Democratic lawmakers have fought with great success to rid the state of nuclear power... Germany pulled the plug on nuclear after Fukushima, too. But this summer there's been an intense debate in Germany over whether to restart three plants in response to the country's severe energy crisis prompted by the Russia-Ukraine war. Backers of nuclear power note that it is a source of emissions-free reliable power. And they believe their case has been strengthened due to the threat of climate change and the need to stabilize unreliable electrical grids.  In California the moment of truth came in 2020 when residents had to endure a series of rolling power outages, said Michael Shellenberger, an environmentalist and author who supports nuclear.  "The state is constantly on the verge of blackouts"... The turnabout on Diablo Canyon is noteworthy because California is the birthplace of America's anti-nuclear movement. The case against nuclear power stems primarily from fears about nuclear waste and potential accidents as well as its association with nuclear weapons...   In terms of deaths from accidents or pollution, nuclear is far safer than coal or natural gas - the largest sources of electricity in the U.S.  Diablo Canyon got a boost last year when researchers from MIT and Stanford said keeping the plant open until 2035 would cut carbon emissions from California's power sector by more than 10% and save $2.6 billion in electricity costs."

Nuclear Power is Racist, Sexist and Ageist: So Why Do Some Progressives Support It? - "The fuel for nuclear power plants comes from uranium, which must be mined. The majority of those who have mined it in this country — and would again under new bills such as the ‘International Nuclear Energy Act of 2022’ forwarded by not-so-progressive “Democrat”, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) — are Native Americans...   Studies conducted among members of the Navajo Nation have shown increases in a number of diseases and lingering internal contamination from uranium mine waste among newborns and children... At the other end of the nuclear power chain comes the lethal, long-lived and highly radioactive waste as well as the so-called low-level radioactive waste stream of detritus, including from decommissioned nuclear power plants. Again, Indigenous peoples and poor communities of color are routinely the target... Nuclear power is sexist because exposure to the ionizing radiation released at every stage of the nuclear fuel chain harms women more easily than men. Women are more radiosensitive than men — the science is not fully in on this but it is likely connected to greater hormone production.  Instead, the standard guidelines on which allowable radiation exposure levels are based (and “allowable” does not mean “safe”), consider a healthy, White male, in his mid-twenties to thirties and typically weighing around 154 pounds. He is known as “Reference Man”...   Even around nuclear power plants, the very young are at greater risk. Numerous studies in Europe have demonstrated that children age five or younger living close to nuclear power plants show higher rates of leukemia than those living further away... the elderly are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of radiation exposure than adults in the prime of life... Ruling out fossil fuel use is a must. But turning to nuclear power — rather than the faster, cheaper and safer options of renewable energy and efficiency — is not a humane choice."
The usual progressive staples, complete with fact and citation-free accusations. Grievance mongering is more important than saving the planet. Not to mention the usual lies about renewable energy

Nuclear power plants cleared of leukaemia link - "Living close to a nuclear power station does not increase a child's risk of developing leukaemia, according to one of the most detailed studies of the issue to date."

Netherlands to SHUT DOWN 11 200 farms to meet climate goals - "According to calculations done by the Finance ministry, a whopping 11 200 livestock farmers will be forced to shut down by the government to reduce nitrogen emissions in order to meet European environmental rules. Another 17 600 farmers would need to reduce the amount of animals they keep to meet these climate goals.  And this is bad. Because there are about 54 000 farms in the Netherlands, meaning that around 1/5 of all farms will be forced to shut down and almost 1/3 of farms forced to scale down and reduce livestock.  Meaning that thousands and thousands of farmers will be loosing their livelihoods in order to meet government climate goals.  They are literally going to make people loose their livelihoods in order to meet climate goals. That is crazy. Not only that, think about all the food that will be lost as a result of this. We are already facing a food crisis due to sky high fertilizer prices and grain shortages due to the war in Ukraine. We need more food now, not less! The climate change fanatics are trying to bring us back to the middle ages. The state is planning on forcing farmers to sell their farms to the state (buying them out). State sanctioned appropriation of farms and land. Now where have I heard about that kind of thing before…? Oh yes, under Communism. I told you that this is Climate Communism and that The Great Reset is just another word for Global Communism. And it seems like people in the Netherlands are not happy with these government plans, as the political party of the Prime Minister in the Netherlands, VVD, has reached a new all-time low in the polls. If there was an election now, they would lose 13 of their 34 seats in parliament. A whopping 7 out of 10 voters say that they are dissatisfied with the Cabinet of the Prime Minister. Meanwhile the new party called Farmer-Citizen Movement is now polling in second place. Farmers held a meeting with the government on Friday, however some farmers are not satisfied with the results and are talking about more protests, with a farmers group that claims to represent 95% of agriculture pledging the ”toughest demonstrations ever”... we all know how that has gone when the state has seized farms before. Look no further than what happened under Stalin in Ukraine or under Mao in China.  It is not all bad news however. I guess we will be getting brand new factories producing bug snacks. Or we might get more of ”sustainable” supermarkets like the one named Picnic in the Netherlands which got €600 million in investments, the majority coming from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation! This supermarket focusing on things like vegan food and delivering food in electric vehicles. And guess what!  A millionaire investor at Picnic who has also been the director there, is family with a Dutch Minister who has been involved with these new nitrogen laws. You will eat the bugs and you will be happy. You will own nothing and you will be happy."

PeterSweden on Twitter - "In Italy, France and Spain they are now going to LIMIT people's indoor temperatures. We are getting pretty close to climate lockdowns now... Remember when I warned about this?"

Parliamentary question | The role of Russian-funded environmental organisations in shaping EU climate policy | P-001275/2022 | European Parliament - "It has recently come to light that environmental organisations operating within the European Union have, to a large extent, been a cover for Russian lobbying aimed at weakening the EU economically and making Member States dependent on Russian energy resources.  These so-called environmental organisations have focused their activities on three main objectives: fighting against the development of nuclear energy, fighting against energy production from fossil fuels extracted within the EU, including through fracking, and promoting so-called green energy (including solar and wind) at the expense of the previous two.  Today, in the face of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, it is clear that Russia’s machinations have effectively made a large number of Member States dependent on raw materials from Russia...
1.Which environmental organisations and other NGOs were consulted during the creation of the so-called Green Deal and the Fit for 55 programme?
2.To the best of the Commission's knowledge, which environmental organisations or other NGOs have received or are receiving funding from the Russian Federation or related entities?
3.In light of the above, does the Commission intend to revise the provisions of the so-called Green Deal and Fit for 55 programme?"

Investigate Russia’s covert funding of US anti-fossil fuel groups - "In 2014 – the same year Russia annexed Crimea – then-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned that Russia was covertly working to undermine European and U.S. fossil fuel production.   Three years later, in 2017, Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Randy Weber (R-Texas) sent a lengthy letter to then-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin making a similar accusation. Importantly, their letter connected some of the dots highlighting Russia’s covert efforts to fund various environmental organizations that were trying to limit or end U.S. hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for shale gas and oil.  The media and Democrats mostly shrugged their collective shoulders at these allegations. They were far too busy trying to prove the now-discredited Russian-Trump election collusion to be bothered with a more plausible Russian-environmental activist collusion...   In hindsight, it is increasingly apparent that Putin has been preparing for his Ukrainian invasion for years. Dominating the global energy market by covertly working to limit U.S. production would have been a huge coup — in more ways than one... Had Russia dominated global energy production, Putin would be in a better position to thumb his nose at countries critical of his invasion — and deprive his critics of needed oil and gas. Putin can still squeeze his critics, but the U.S. energy industry may be able to temper the impact.  If Democrats and the media are still interested in finding some type of Russian collusion, maybe they should begin by investigating whether Russia actually has been covertly funneling money to environmental NGOs."

Vayod on Twitter -  "France's nuclear power buildout cost less than €85 billion in 2010 money. Germany's solar and wind buildout cost over €520 billion in 2016 money. Guess which one has cleaner electricity. Germany could have built 17 Hinkley Point Cs for the cost of its solar and wind buildout."

Stop Blaming Climate Change For California’s Fires. Many Forests, Including The Redwoods, Need Them. - "Fires have burned 1.3 million acres of California’s forests over the last month. That’s one million acres more than burned last year, and is an unusually high number for this early in the fire season.  California political leaders including Governor Gavin Newsom and Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, blame climate change... But every school child who has visited one of California’s redwood parks knows from reading the signs at the visitor’s center and in front of the trailheads that old-growth redwood forests need fire to survive and thrive. Heat from fire is required for the release and germination of redwood seeds, and to burn up the woody debris on the forest floor. The thick bark on old-growth redwood trees provides evidence of many past fires.   And, indeed, video footage taken by two San Jose Mercury News reporters, who hiked into Big Basin after the fire, shows the vast majority of trees still standing. What was burned up was the visitor’s center and other park infrastructure. Nor is it the case that California’s fires have “grown more apocalyptic every year,” as The New York Times reported. In fact, 2019 saw a remarkably small amount of acreage burn, just 280,000 acres compared to 1.3 million and 1.6 million in 2017 and 2018, respectively.  What about this year’s fires? “I see [the current California fires] as a normal event, just not one that happens every year,” Jon Keeley, a leading forest scientist, told me.    “On July 30, 2008, we had massive fires throughout northern California due to a series of lightning fires in the middle of the summer,” he said. “It’s not an annual event, but it’s not an unusual event.”  California’s fires should indeed serve as a warning to the public, but not that climate change is causing the apocalypse. Rather, it should serve as a warning that mainstream news reporters and California’s politicians cannot be trusted to tell the truth about climate change and fires...   “When I hear climate change discussed it’s suggested that it’s a major reason and it’s not,” Scott Stevens of the University of California, Berkeley, told me.   Redwood forests before Europeans arrived burned every 6 to 25 years. The evidence comes from fire scars on barks and the bases of massive ancient trees, hollowed out by fire...   In 1904, three large fires burned Big Basin for 20 days, scorching the crowns of many trees, just as the 2020 fire did.   Reporters for The New York Times were apparently as pyrophobic 116 years ago as they are today, reporting that year that Big Basin, “seems doomed for destruction.”   But redwood forests regularly burn. A 2003 fire in Humboldt Redwoods State Park burned 13,774. Forest in 2008 burned over 165,000 acres. And a 2016 fire burned 130,000 acres.   Climate activists who in the winter excoriate those, like Senator James Inhofe, for pointing to snow as proof that global warming isn’t happening, turn around and point to summer fires as proof that it is... Environmental scholars scoff at this ahistorical view. “The idea that fire is somehow new,” said geographer Paul Robbins of the University of Wisconsin, “a product solely of climate change, and part of a moral crusade for the soul of the nation, borders on the insane.”   The amount of California that burns year to year is not uniform, Keeley emphasizes. “It was a mistake for the politicians in 2017 and 2018 to say ‘This is the new normal’ because 2019 was totally abnormal compared to 2017 and 2018.”   Is that amount abnormal? Not historically speaking. Scientists calculate that, before Europeans arrived, 4.4 million acres of California burned annually, which is 16 times larger than the amount that burned in 2019...   Why do activist journalists and politicians get California’s fires so wrong?  Part of the reason is their determination to blame climate change for everything.  “If all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail,” noted Keeley. “If all you study is climate change than everything looks like it is caused by climate change. Every climate change research center finds climate is a problem. They are trying to find climate as the explanation.”   Climate bias is compounded by partisan bias. For example, journalists ridiculed President Donald Trump for suggesting that California’s fires were due to the state’s failure to remove undergrowth from its forests, even though scientists agree that the build-up of wood fuel through fire suppression is a massive problem.  Part of the problem is that many environmental journalists are so disconnected from the natural environment...   The picture that Wallace-Wells and other activist journalists paint has more to do with religious depictions of a burning underworld than scientific descriptions of burning underbrush. “Looking from the vantage of today,” Wallace-Wells said last year, “we see that world and can think of it basically as a hell.”  Facts seem unlikely to get in the way of his desire to tell a good story. “Fires are among the best and more horrifying propagandists for climate change,” he notes, “terrifying and immediate, no matter how far from a fire zone you live.”"

Stephen Stapczynski on Twitter - "Asia is embracing nuclear power, thanks to the global energy crisis ☢️ ❤️
🇯🇵 Japan is halting anti-nuclear policies
🇰🇷 Korea is reversing a nuclear phaseout
🇨🇳 China is accelerating its huge buildout in reactors
🇮🇳 India is moving to build more plants"
Meanwhile, in the West...

Meme" - "No gas no electric and zero emissions these are the vehicles of the future *Flintstones car*"

The UN's 'woke' climate change propaganda is an insult to science - "The climate change “emergency” is fake news. Many will roll their eyes in exasperation at the conspiratorial bombastry of yet another “denier”. But for years I have been a plastic recycling, polar bear cooing middle-grounder. In fact, Aristotle would probably turn in his grave at the logical fallaciousness of my long-held presumption that the truth must lie somewhere between those two mutually loathing opposites – Scepticism and Armageddon.  But as the doom-mongering acquires the rubber-stamped smell of instutionalised illness, it is impossible to ignore that the “woke” are the new “slept” – too deep in their sugar coma of confected hysteria to realise they are being duped by disinformation... the mainstream debate has become an insult to both the public’s intelligence and basic science... UN Secretary General António Guterres rumbled that, over the horizon, he could see “the point of no return”. Delegates waved the UN’s latest Emissions Gap Report as if it were both a millenarian death oracle and a methodologically indisputable text; in it, the recommendation to cut emissions by at least 7.6 per cent per year for the next decade.  One can’t help but feel that we have heard such curiously precise warnings before. Last year the UN warned that we had just 12 years to save the planet. Some scientists say we have approximately 18 months. Or perhaps it is already too late. The experts don’t seem quite sure... Claims such as these are projections, but they are routinely presented to the public as unquestionable facts. This effectively reduces them to fake news. Even more so, given that the accuracy of the climate modelling upon which these figures and scenarios rely is contested, and the climate does not change in a straight line.      To take one example, the UN’s international climate change body, the IPCC, said in 2007 that temperatures had risen by 0.2C per decade between 1990-2005 and used that figure for its 20-year projection. Inconveniently, warming turned out to have been just 0.05C per decade over the 15 years to 2012.  The IPCC acknowledges the uncertainty of the computations it champions; hence the disclaimer squirreled away on its website stating that it does not guarantee the accuracy of the information it contains. A caveat lost in translation at the resplendently funereal press conferences.  This post-truth scam is having a chilling effect on science. Experts are locked in a race to the bottom to make detailed and disastrous premonitions. And despite the fact that disciplined debate is the motor of scientific discovery, eco-extremists are shutting down discussions that dissent from the Apocalypse narrative" Cognitive dissonance is not just seen with doomsday cults. But then, climate change hysteria ia a doomsday cult too

NOAA Predicts Above-Normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season - May 2022
Hurricane Alley Hasn’t Been This Quiet in a Quarter Century - August 2022

Escape The Echo Chamber - Posts | Facebook - "If you wonder why I’m skeptical when (seemingly) every significant weather event is linked to global warming, this is the global average temperature since it peaked in 2016. It’s been flat, not the gradual climb we saw pre-2016 (and will likely see again with the next El Niño weather pattern)."
That's why they rebranded it to climate change

Ralph Schoellhammer on Twitter - "It will remain one of the most intriguing stories for historians of the future: Two World Wars could not prevent the Germany from her re-emergence as an industrial power, but a few decades of Green ideology accomplished what no war could: the hollowing out of Germany's industry."

Prince Charles and the green counter-revolution - "Environmentalism wants to turn back the clock. No wonder royals and aristocrats love it... Charles is nothing if not out of touch. Walking around his Balmoral estate, he explains the sacrifices he has made to help the environment, including eating less meat. He has also had his 50-year-old Aston Martin refitted so it can be fuelled by surplus white wine and whey, taken from the production of cheese. There are few better metaphors for the absurdity and elitism of environmentalism than a prince funnelling Pinot and Camembert into his vintage auto.  The Prince of Wales is just one of many royals and aristocrats who are paid-up members of the environmentalist movement. In 2019, Princess Marie-Esméralda of Belgium, daughter of Leopold III, was arrested while taking part in Extinction Rebellion protests in London. Last year, Lady Dido Berkeley was cleared of charges after lying in the road during climate-change protests. There’s also Tamsin Omond, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, who is the grandchild of a baronet.   The princes and the toffs are moving in the same political circles as the greens. This should come as no surprise to us. The sweeping changes that climate-change activists demand would be disastrous for the masses, but wouldn’t cause the elites any real problems. The wealthy don’t need to worry about the impact of green policies on their jobs, their incomes or their cost of living.  What’s more, these aristo-greens seem to long for some kind of pre-industrial idyll. For a feudal utopia without mass production and consumption. For a green and pleasant land untarnished by dark, Satanic mills. For the good old days of noblesse oblige, when lords, serfs and nature lived ‘harmoniously’ and all had a jolly nice time.   Greta Thunberg made the feudal bent of environmentalism clear last month, when she attacked the Industrial Revolution. ‘The UK has an enormous historical responsibility’ for carbon emissions, she said, because ‘the climate crisis… more or less started in the UK, since that’s where the Industrial Revolution started’.  The Industrial Revolution was not some kind of catastrophe for which Brits should be ashamed. It was a transformation of society that gave birth to a better world. It produced wealth on a scale previously unimaginable. It was the death knell for a stifling feudal order, in which vast swathes of the population had little to live for. And it was the bell chime for a new age of growing prosperity, better health, better education and greater democracy."

Climate Catastrophiser Prince Charles Calls for a “War” on Apocalyptic Climate Change

Meme - "New McKinsey report shows current net-zero policies far too expensive: EU: €8,400 per family, per year
* Cost will keep increasing in real terms every year to 2050
* Annual cost of €940 billion is more than the entire EU spends on education (€654bn)
* More than collectively spent on environment (€110bn), recreation, culture and religion (€162bn), housing (€81bn), defense (164bn), police, courts and prisons (€234bn)
* About what EU spends on health (€983bn)"

Europe to America: Your love of air-conditioning is stupid - The Washington Post - 2015
Air conditioning in Europe: heatwave forces many to reconsider their need for air conditioning - The Washington Post - 2019

Heating and Cooling: Does It Take More Energy to Heat or Cool? - "on average, heating bills will empty your wallet faster than air-conditioning costs. Based on the need to overcome colder temperatures in populated areas, and the physical differences of warming air vs. moving it, heating systems simply demand more energy!"
This suggests that climate change is good for the environment

Norway’s Green Delusions – Foreign Policy - "Norway is almost entirely run on hydropower, which meets about 95 percent of the country’s energy needs. New buildings larger than 500 square meters (about 5,000 square feet) are required to get 60 percent of their energy from a renewable source. Cities have vast green spaces, bike lanes, and little traffic. Oslo’s city center is slated to be car-free by 2019. And if one must own a car, it should be an electric vehicle. Norwegians who own them get breaks on parking fees, tolls, and more. All this means that, by some measures, Norway is among the world’s greenest countries. (Environmental Performance Index rankings place it at No. 14.) By others, however, it is not. Norway dredges up more oil per capita than most other countries in the world. Only Equatorial Guinea, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates beat it...   Most of the oil and gas produced by Norway is not used at home but is exported. In fact, the country is the one of the world’s top fossil fuel exporters. Beyond that, Norway is also a noteworthy global investor in fossil fuels elsewhere in the world. Its Government Pension Fund Global, commonly referred to as the “Norwegian oil fund” because it was developed to reinvest profits from Norway’s state-owned oil giants, is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. It is involved in plays ranging from property to renewable energy, but a hefty 6.2 percent of the fund is invested in the international oil and gas sector. Through it all, however, Norway can still claim to be green. After all, according to Peter Erickson, a scientist at the Stockholm Environment Institute, institutions like the Paris climate agreement typically judge countries based on how much they are able to reduce emissions within their own borders. And only about 5 percent of emissions from oil and gas come from production. The rest come from consumption, which happens outside Norway. When taking into account Norway’s dependence on exporting fossil fuels, the Environmental Performance Index ranks the country fairly low, 128th, for carbon dioxide emissions intensity... Although the Norwegian public values many green policies, there is less pressure to end drilling. Trine Villumsen Berling, a political scientist at University of Copenhagen, argues that a positive portrayal of Norwegian oil and gas in the country’s culture and politics has been essential as a way to square economic realities with the country’s appreciation for nature. It is not enough to produce oil on the basis of its profitability. Norway’s gas must be the “cleanest in the world,” the “key to welfare,” and so on. When the Norwegian Green Party or Greenpeace suggests phasing oil out on environmental grounds, they are easily countered by the government, because so many positive notions about Norwegian oil are already embedded in the public conscience. In some ways, this story speaks to a global tension between environmentalism and development, something that is typically thought to be an issue more for developing countries...   After all, Norway, too, needs to fund its welfare state. And it would be nearly impossible to do so once the oil and gas reserves are empty or if the industry is stymied. Still, portraying the country’s petroleum industry as green does Norwegians a disservice. At some point, Oslo must face the fact that it is part of the world’s environmental problem, not the solution"
Time to condemn the world to penury to combat climate change

The Population Bomb Doomsday Scam - The American Spectator - "the dreaded “population bomb” of the 1960s and ’70s has turned into a global “population bust.” Let us put it even more concisely: the greatest environmental/demographic scare of the second half of the 20th century — overpopulation — is now officially conceded to have been a monumental fraud.  To appreciate what an embarrassing reversal this is for the green movement, consider that 40 to 50 years ago nearly all the scientists, policymakers, U.S. government agencies, and experts at the United Nations told us that rampaging population growth would lead to a Malthusian doomsday with the world in our lifetimes running out of food, energy, and nearly everything else. If ever there were an ironclad “scientific consensus,” this was it.   In their 1967 book Famine 1975!, U.S. government agronomist William Paddock and Foreign Service officer Paul Paddock predicted that population growth would soon lead to such mass starvation in so many nations that triage would be required and that nations like India and Egypt should be written off as “can’t-be-saved.”  Stanford scientist Paul Ehrlich became the most famous academic in the world with his mega-bestseller The Population Bomb...   It wasn’t just some academic kooks who were peddling these apocalyptic predictions. In 1975, a statement signed by such luminaries as soon-to-be National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, business titans J. Paul Getty and Henry Luce III, United Auto Workers President Leonard Woodcock, and others appeared on a full page of the Wall Street Journal with a similar forecast: “The world as we know it will likely be ruined before the year 2000,” because “food production cannot keep pace with the galloping growth of population.”  The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific predicted “500 million starvation deaths in Asia between 1980 and 2025.”... The University of Oxford’s Our World in Data reports that worldwide famine deaths have sharply decreased from an annual average of over 16.6 million in the 1960s to 255,000 since 2010 — and that total famine deaths worldwide (not just in Asia) were less than 60 million from 1980 through 2016... from 1970 through 2015, world extreme poverty fell from almost 48 percent to less than 10 percent. How could the “scientific consensus” have been so wrong? A simple answer is the doomsayers erroneously extrapolated short-term trends in fertility far into the future without understanding that human beings are not like Norwegian field mice (which some Malthusians compared us to). We adapt our behavior and we devise solutions, such as the “green revolution” in agriculture and the shale oil and gas revolution that overnight ended the preposterous fears of ever running out of food or energy.  The doomsayers also ignored decades of data showing population growth can be beneficial rather than harmful to humanity. Instead of impoverishing people and depleting resources, additional people on the planet, when paired with freedom and free markets, drives economic growth, productivity, and a cleaner, safer environment. The green movement that propagated this scientific fraud would like to sweep the whole episode under the rug — and keep the focus on their latest end-of-the-world scenario. When confronted with the new facts, instead of conceding that their dire predictions were dead wrong, they self-servingly congratulate themselves for saving us from a demographic nightmare.   In reality, the lesson of the population bomb lie is that false doomsday alarms come at a high cost, and in this case unleashed horrific outcomes. How many millions of women and couples in the U.S. and worldwide tragically followed the advice of the Malthusians that they had an ethical or moral obligation to have fewer children or even to go childless?  Much worse were the activities of repressive foreign governments in Africa, China, Egypt, India, and Central America, which bought into the primal screams of Western academics and imposed gruesome population control programs — including strapping women to metal tables and performing forced abortions and sterilizations to reduce births. China’s ghastly one-child policy led to millions of sex selection abortions and infanticides. Tens of millions of girls in China went missing.  Yet, in the name of “saving the planet,” the U.S. government and the UN applauded these inhumane tactics — and even helped finance them. So much for women having control of their own bodies.   A second lesson here is the dangers of shutting off open and fact-based debate on environmental issues. The hero in exposing the Malthusian hoax was the late doomslayer economist Julian Simon... When Simon and others challenged the myth of an overpopulated planet, they were berated in the media, the halls of Congress, and the university faculty lounges as “crazy” and “dangerous” for daring to challenge the “settled science” of overpopulation.   Shouldn’t this give us all pause when we hear this generation’s sages at the UN and the U.S. State Department (and now even the Biden Treasury Department) tell us that climate change is an “existential threat”? Shouldn’t this generation’s Julian Simons who dare question the oracles predicting catastrophic warming of the planet 50 and 100 years from now be heard from rather than being denounced as “science deniers” and erased from Twitter and Facebook?... a study published in 2015 by the British medical journal the Lancet found that cold kills over 17 times more people than heat... the lesson of the population bomb that fizzled is that we need far more humility and open debate about predictions of the planet’s future"
"Trust the science"
The world is ending. The world has always been ending. The world will always be ending.
"This time, it's different" doesn't just apply to financial crises

Electric cars sales slow as charging costs weigh on drivers - "Electric car sales are slowing as electricity prices push up the cost of charging and the broader cost-of-living squeeze leaves drivers with less to spend. The UK passed the milestone of one million electrified cars sold to date in September, but battery-powered car sales for the month were below the high reached in March this year... “Affordability is clearly an issue and with just seven models available for under £30,000, this is a sign that Britain’s electric car buyers are struggling to get behind the wheel. “This, together with the withdrawal of the government grant, cost-of-living crisis and hike in energy prices is clearly leading to a slow-down in demand for electric cars.”... The cost of charging a car has also risen in line with energy prices, with customers paying 42pc more since May to charge at a quick public power point. While petrol prices have also risen, electric car owners without their own domestic charge points in a garage or on a front drive have been particularly stung. Recent research by the RAC suggested that the cost of charging a car using a rapid public charging point now rivalled petrol per mile. The expense is seen as a roadblock in mass adoption of electric cars, since many potential buyers who live in flats or in terraced houses will not be able to install a personal charger."
The same people who want internal combustion engine cars banned also want everyone to live in flats, so. Then again they don't want people to own cars too

Scammers as Victims

Inside the 'living hell' of Cambodia's scam operations

TRAFFICKED, beaten and locked up far from his family in China, Lu was one of thousands of people in Cambodia forced to operate online scams to line their captors’ pockets.

Covid shutdowns had left the builder out of work, so when he heard he could earn US$2,000 a month on a construction project in Cambodia, he jumped at the chance.

But he soon realised he had been lured by a scamming gang to a compound in the seaside resort of Sihanoukville, along with hundreds of others.

There he was forced to work 12 to 16 hour shifts, trawling social media and dating apps on a hunt for victims to scam out of huge sums. 

“Once I arrived it was too late to escape,” Lu told AFP. “But as long as I was alive, I would keep trying.”

People from countries around Asia – including Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Bangladesh and India – have been sucked into similar operations.

Some, like 34-year-old Lu, have made it out, though thousands of others are feared still trapped.

In August, the UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, Vitit Muntarbhorn, said the trafficking victims “were experiencing a living hell often resulting in torture and even death”.

Metal bars and barbed wire

Sihanoukville was once a sleepy resort town, but it was transformed by a vast influx of Chinese investment.

Dozens of casinos sprang up in recent years, making it a hub for Chinese gamblers and drawing in international crime groups.

As travel restrictions bit during the pandemic, these groups shifted their focus.

Jeremy Douglas, of the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said “criminal groups moved casino businesses online, and some then did a pivot and added online and phone scams”.

One gang member told AFP on condition of anonymity that the first people to fall prey to operations like his were Chinese nationals already in Cambodia.

Then gangs started trafficking people into the country.

Douglas of the UNODC said “thousands, and some have estimated possibly tens of thousands” of people have been ensnared.

To stop victims from escaping, compounds were installed with metal window bars and barbed wire.

“Once they arrived in the compound, they could not leave,” the gang member said.

“People were beaten or tortured and sold if they refused to scam others.”

Within Cambodia, some were sold on to other gangs, the source said. Those with good IT or English-language skills could be sold for up to US$50,000.

‘The real mafia’ 

AFP interviewed four trafficking victims who said they too received lucrative job offers during the pandemic.

A 38-year-old Malaysian Chinese man called Roy described flying to Phnom Penh and being met by a woman in smart office wear who whisked him through immigration and into a car for the five-hour drive to Sihanoukville.

There, he was taken to a complex of apartment blocks a dozen or so storeys tall, housing a mix of accommodation and office rooms.

“It just looked like a normal office, with three rows of tables with monitors and keyboards, just like a cybercafe,” Roy told AFP.

But he said “once you get in you know you’re not doing customer service”.

Roy and others like him had their passports taken away, and were instructed to set up fake profiles on apps and dating sites including TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Under the constant threat of violence, they would groom targets to pour money into crypto currency or other investment platforms.

Others were forced to build online “love” relationships with their targets and to scam them under the guise of needing help to pay debts off.

There are no reliable figures on how much money the gangs have netted from the scams, though the UN’s Douglas said the numbers are “staggering”.

It is not clear where the money ends up, he added, though criminal proceeds are often bundled together with online betting profits, with many of the scam compounds located near legal gambling businesses.

The gang member in Sihanoukville told AFP he did not know who he was ultimately working for.

“We don’t know who is who,” he said. “They are the real mafia.”

‘Shock, kick, shock’

Forced scammers who resisted paid a high price. Construction worker Lu said he was “beaten quite often” because he was caught trying to escape.

Others said gang members used electric batons to inflict shocks, or forced workers into rooms too small to stand in, depriving them of water, food and light for hours.

“They ask someone to lie down and then kick them, like a dog,” Roy said.

“Sometimes (they would) get an electric shock, kick and shock. They would get a five-minute to 10-minute beating.” Some, like Roy, were fortunate.

After being told he would have to buy his way out for US$20,000, he was rescued after contacting Taiwanese victims group the Global Anti-Trafficking Organisation (GASO).

The group works with Cambodian officials to facilitate rescues and repatriate citizens.

Others have taken a more dramatic approach – in August dozens of Vietnamese workers escaped a casino in southern Kandal province and swam across a river back to their homeland.

Attention on the issue has grown: in July the United States downgraded Cambodia in its annual human trafficking report.

After months of official denials, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered a hunt for ringleaders and authorities launched a string of high-profile raids in August.

In September, police freed more than 1,000 foreigners from three Sihanoukville compounds.

At one site, a swoop netted nearly 9,000 mobile phones, 800 computers – and chillingly, handcuffs and electric shock instruments.

It was during one such raid that Lu was released.

Crackdown or relocation?

Still, international observers and rights groups are skeptical of the depth of the government’s crackdown.

Jacob Sims, International Justice Mission’s Cambodia director, said the efforts need to go further than raids and rescues.

“Criminal accountability for the ringleaders of the transnational organised crime networks is absolutely essential if we hope to eradicate this issue,” he said.

There are fears that rather than shutting down, the groups are simply relocating.

“Today it is an operation in Cambodia, but tomorrow a gang under pressure uproots and shifts to Myanmar, Laos or the Philippines – and this has happened,” the UN’s Douglas said.

Back in Cambodia, those rescued by police, like Lu, face an uncertain future.

While he has evaded immigration detention, he told AFP he cannot afford to return to his wife and nine-year-old child in China.

A spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry told AFP the government was working with Cambodia and other countries to fight transnational crime, and that it “resolutely upholds both the safety and legal rights and privileges of Chinese citizens abroad”.

Lu said he had received no help from the Chinese embassy.

“The Chinese embassy only has one thing to say: ‘Adults have to pay for their decisions,’” he said.

Links - 11th November 2022 (1)

DJ who got radio station tattoo on arm laid off a week later - "Country-music jock Mason Schreader got a tattoo of his station WIL on his arm last month and less than a week later, was laid off...   To make matters worse, Schreader was hired as part of a duo with Hoesly in 2018 from a Chicago station — and Hoesly is keeping his job."
Don't love your job. Because your job doesn't love you back

Nurse facing backlash for making a TikTok about one of her patients dying - "In the since-deleted video, Olivia Tyler (@olivia_tylerr33) can be seen in her scrubs as she attempted to compose herself with hands resting on her forehead as she paced in what looks to be a hospital corridor.  "Lost a patient today," the tearful nurse wrote in the on-screen text caption, Olivia then leaned against the wall and removed her face mask and looked down at the floor as leaned her hands on her legs for support while she took in some deep breaths."
Medical Professionals' Cringey TikToks Are Getting Dragged
Meme - "Jesus to nurse in operating theatre: He's gone...make another Tik Tok video"
Too bad the media didn't care during covid when the supposedly overworked nurses in warzones were making TikTok videos

Women in scrubs gone wild.
"So from what nurses say, they don't even have time to go to the bathroom or eat, but they have time for this nonsense?"

CLIMB - "Mongolians are cool because they’ve merged their traditional and modern ways of life so rather than having poverty due to losing all their important skills they just live in their yurts with their cows and 827474874mbs internet"
"sure their GDP in dollars is low but when you can survive like your anscestors did it doesn’t mean anything, nothing wrong with adding a motorcycle and wifi into the mix"
"Everyone should live like their ancestors did 1000 years ago but with the addition of wifi tbh"
"Adapt. Survive."
*Mongol in armour with sword on motorcycle*...
*Mongols on horses in armour with drones*

Meme - "COME GET YOUR FUCKING CAT
SOMEONE FLUNG THIS CAT OVER OUR FENCE ON JUBILEE WEEKEND AND IT REFUSES TO LEAVE.
IT'S ALREADY EATEN A BIRD, PISSED ON A THREE THOUSAND POUND SOFA SET, AND TRIED TO ATTACK OUR FEEBLE GRANDSON. IF HE (WE'VE CHECKED) ISN'T COLLECTED WITHIN SEVEN DAYS WE'LL THROW IT IN A NEARBY PIT.
WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR PET"

Meme - "The problem is we start our day on CELLPHONES not on our KNEES."
"I'm not sucking dick first thing in the morning"

Meme - "Cameraman: I don't understa-
psychic kid: trust me this will be really funny someday *paper airplane and World Trade Center in New York*"

Meme - "medieval kings really were like thats my emotional support silly little guy *Jester*"

eigenrobot on Twitter - "i just dont feel right bringing children into the world to live in the richest country in history where food is so plentiful that our biggest nutritional problem is obesity and childhood mortality rates are near zero
even 10% worse economic conditions would be hell on earth and reproducing in this environment is irresponsible.  like i cant even imagine what the slightly poorer europeans are thinking every day. and our own parents? good god"
On liberal anti-natalism. And this is before we get into actively hating children, e.g. Fuck Them Kids | Facebook

Meme - "I choose you, Nietzsche-mon!"
"Existence is meaningless. We are pawns in an absurd contest of slavery and degradation.
If one cannot live with pride, one should die with pride"
"VOLTORB used SELF-DESTRUCT!"
"God is dead."

Meme - "I thought grandpa was on his freak shit for a second"

Archaeology News, Art & Ancient wonders - "800 years ago at All Saints Church in Hereford, England, a skillful carpenter carved this gentleman high up in the dark roof where nobody could see him. Five years ago they built an extra floor with bright lights for a restaurant. *Man exposing penis and butt*"

This USA Today graphic on hot weather : mildlypenis

Meme - "LIVE EVERY DAY LIKE IT'S YouR LAST"
"I do!"
*cowers on bed in dark room*
*cowers on bed in dark room*
*cowers on bed in dark room*"

Here's Why That Flower Is Actually Called A "Bird Of Paradise" - "The "bird" part of the flower isn't some goofy, cockatoo-esque thing. It's actually meant to resemble a bird in flight... "I'm 37 years old, and just today realized it's called bird of paradise because it looks like the left picture, not the right""

NY REALTOR Mary Shelsby Quiet Neighbors Sign Goes Viral - "The house, now also under contract, is conveniently located across from a cemetery.  The sign atop her “For Sale” sign simply reads “Quiet Neighbors Across the Street”"

Meme - "Someday i'll BE SomEone's FAVORITE DINoSaUR"
83.5 million years later: "The amazing Triceratops"

Meme - "A "community lock" where only one of the padlocks needs unlocking for the mechanism to open up. I'm honestly split on whether it's genius engineering or a terrible security design. Why not one lock with multiple keys (to ensure quality)?"

Meme - Mayim: "I see you're another wicked dog that needs to be cursed. So be it. May all the land you touch turn to sulfur like from whence you came. May all the water you ingest become bitter in you bowels. May your skin become so hot with death that you pray it comes to you. So be it
This person is unavailable on Messenger."

Meme - "My wife changed the name to our front door. She's a 40yo woman."
"There is motion at your Anus"
"Someone is at your Anus"

MC Kevin: Rapper dies after jumping from window during threesome - "popular rapper Kevin Nascimento Bueno, 23, also known by his stage name MC Kevin, was having a threesome with his friend, Victor Fontenelle, also 23, and model Bianca Domingues, 26, in a Rio de Janeiro hotel room...   When a friend knocked on the hotel room door, Bueno assumed it was his wife, Deolane Bezerra, 33, a criminal lawyer who he had been married to for just three weeks. Bezerra had reportedly been texting and calling her new husband, and searching for him on the grounds of the resort.  The rapper, not wanting to be caught in the act, rushed to the balcony and attempted to jump onto a terrace below.  He missed, and fell five floors to his death, making impact twice before landing on the patio by the hotel’s swimming pool... The hotel room was found littered with condoms, alcohol bottles and underwear"
Model told cops married Brazilian singer MC Kevin promised to pay about $380 for sex before he died - "Bianca Domingues, 26, said she met the 23-year-old singer and his artist friend Victor Fontenelle on Sunday afternoon and drank alcohol and smoked marijuana with them... She said she initially refused to have sex with Fontanelle before she charged each of them $1,000 Brazilian reais, about $188, which was to be transferred to her bank account after they were done. Domingues added that she first had sex with Fontanelle.  MC Kevin’s friend Jhonatas da Cruz, 26, told the police he went to the room and was asked by MC Kevin to get a condom for Fontanelle, who at the moment was having sex with Domingues. Da Cruz then returned to the room and expressed interested in sleeping with Domingues before he was rebuffed... Fontanelle then received a message on WhatsApp from Gabriel. Seeking to protect his friend from being busted by his wife, Fontanelle told MC Kevin that they had to leave the room, but the three continued to have sex... MC Kevin's songs were part of a genre of music created in Sao Paulo in 2008, known as funk paulista. Lyrics often revolve around cars, motorbikes, alcohol, women and achieving life goals."

Singaporean households grew richer by S$444B during the pandemic - "So, where is all of this wealth, most of which we can’t even see?  Official data divides it between financial and residential property assets, which total close to S$2.8 trillion against liabilities of just S$360 billion...   Those news reports of S$1 million HDB apartments are only going to grow more common but it is, of course, a double-edged sword.  Those who bought theirs before the pandemic can certainly be happy they don’t have to shell out more for their new home, although growing selling prices also mean growing buying prices. As a result, as long as you simply move from one place to another, appreciating prices largely cancel each other out.   Paradoxically, perhaps, the best-off are those who bought their real estate using borrowed cash, since inflation in asset prices (and overall high inflation in the economy) is eroding the value of their liabilities to the bank. They get the best of both worlds — not having had to put up their own cash for the purchase, and are now only having to pay a relatively lower amount than when they applied for the mortgage..  Of course, those who are in the market for their first apartments are feeling the pinch, especially in the private market, where prices have long been outpacing HDB apartments.  Someone’s gain is often somebody else’s loss. Timing is everything, after all."

Chess robot grabs and breaks finger of seven-year-old opponent - "A chess-playing robot grabbed and broke the finger of a seven-year-old boy during a match at the Moscow Open last week, Russian media sources have reported.  “The robot broke the child’s finger,” Sergey Lazarev, president of the Moscow Chess Federation, told the TASS news agency after the incident, adding that the machine had played many previous exhibitions without upset. “This is of course bad.”... Sergey Smagin, vice-president of the Russian Chess Federation, told Baza that the robot appeared to pounce after it took one of the boy’s pieces in the game. However, instead of waiting for the machine to complete its move, the boy responded quickly"

Defeated Chess Champ Garry Kasparov Has Made Peace With AI - "Deep Blue followed hand-coded rules for playing chess. By contrast, AlphaZero, a program revealed by the Alphabet subsidiary DeepMind in 2017, taught itself to play the game at a grandmaster level simply by practicing over and over. Most remarkably, AlphaZero uncovered new approaches to the game that dazzled chess experts... I always say I was the first knowledge worker whose job was threatened by a machine. But that helps me to communicate a message back to the public. Because, you know, nobody can suspect me of being pro-computers."

Explaining male predominance in chess - "The male predominance in chess parallels that in domains such as mathematics, physics and engineering, which may tap some similar abilities and propensities. Carrying out research in high-level, competitive areas of physics and mathematics or playing a grandmaster-level game can greatly tax physical stamina and ability to concentrate and can strain the processing limits of our monkey brains, which evolved to carry out much simpler tasks. These areas also all rely partly on spatial ability, the power to visualize objects in space and to mentally manipulate the images. This ability is important in chess calculation, for instance. In the endgame, players may calculate variations 20 moves deep, relying on spatial ability to visualize the changes. Players may picture a position some moves down the line, analyse it extensively, and then work out how to reach it...   In 2005, I published a study which aimed to quantify the male/female FIDE rating difference at the top and to see if the gap had diminished with all the societal changes in the role of women over the period and with the increasing number of female grandmasters (31 in January, 2014)... The sex difference averages nearly 250 rating points (about a hefty one standard deviation for the statistically minded) and has remained roughly constant over the four decades... With differences in games played thus controlled for and with players near their performance limits, the male distribution still shows a higher mean and more variability, exactly as with spatial ability and height... a study by a team led by Merim Bilalic, then of Oxford University, looked at the April 2007 German Chess Federation rating list, on which only 5.82% of the players were female. The team argued that the percentage of top-rated females on this list was about what would be expected statistically from this tiny percentage of 5.82... it is difficult to determine cause and effect. We tend to like and persist at activities we are good at and avoid those that we are poor at. If I wanted to be a champion boxer and kept getting knocked out in the first round despite extensive training, soon I would abandon boxing. If women do have less talent for chess on average, their under-representation may simply reflect this tendency to drop out due to early lack of success. Second, Michael Knapp of the University of Bonn argued that their statistical approach was inappropriate and only accounted for about two thirds of the claimed extent of female under-representation at the top.   Third, there was no evident control for number of rated games and the women in the German rating list may have played many fewer games, as in the international domain. Also, the assumption is that males and females are randomly drawn from or at least are drawn from the same parts of their respective talent distributions. But the few women who play chess may come from a different part of the female talent distribution. Perhaps these 5.82% were the cream of the female talent distribution while the males came from the whole spread of male talent.  Finally, the study used just one data point and it is risky to generalize from only one data point... If the participation rate hypothesis is correct, the rating sex difference should decline as the percentage of females in a group of nations increases. But numerically we find just the opposite trend... I also tackled the participation rate hypothesis by replicating a variety of studies with players from Georgia, where women are strongly encouraged to play chess and the female FIDE participation rate is high at over 30%. The overall results were much the same as with the entire FIDE list, but sometimes not quite as pronounced."

‘The elites don’t understand those they lord over’ - "The gap is not about how you vote – it is about how you think about the world. The elites – what I call the front row – are not really defined by class, although there is overlap. They are more defined by education and a very materialistic worldview: they generally see themselves as mobile, global, secular and morally right. And they view the back row as being lesser, stuck in provincial and outdated views about the world and themselves.  The front row is detached and completely clueless about the people it rules. Its members run the political system and business and define our cultural and economic capital. Therefore, they have an obligation to understand the people they lord over... One of the frustrations I have is that when a lot of people on the left and in my party – the Democrats – talk about minorities, they do so in an almost infantilising way. They see minorities as people without agency and without their own views of the world. They think these people want to run off to college and build a résumé like they did. But not everybody wants to do that and nor should we ask them to do it... Language policing and the use of academic language to talk about these issues are simply methods for eliminating people’s voices from the discussion. They are not allowed to speak up because if they do so and use the wrong words, they are going to be ‘cancelled’ or yelled at. It is just a way to ignore what they have to say. "

'A renaissance is coming': Can a revolution in the food court save the shopping mall? - "“Other than the odd one … nobody has built a mall in 25 years. There’s a reason,” said Ed Sonshine, chief executive at RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, whose shopping mall business makes up less than 10 per cent of its portfolio.  “You need huge sales per square foot … They’re very expensive. You’ve got to air condition them. The taxes are extremely high and they take up an awful lot of space,” he told the Financial Post last week, explaining the decades-long shift in retail real estate toward open air shopping centres...   “The truth is, anything other than those top 20 have been struggling for the last 10, 15 years,” he said, but he added that “once this pandemic is gone, people will like hanging around malls. People love food courts.”  The common food court, however, is “a tired and broken model,” according to the Deloitte report.  Historically, fashion retailers were the main attraction for malls, while food courts were just a place to get a snack in between store visits. But the shift to e-commerce, which has sped up considerably in the pandemic, has made clothes a less effective traffic driver for malls...   Malls have already started experimenting with new models to feed the masses, such as food halls that feature more local food merchants and restaurant groups, rather than national fast food chains.  Deloitte also noted that some malls have clusters of restaurant tenants, outside the typical food court area, all using a common kitchen... landlords will have to rethink the traditional mall lease if they want to rely on local chefs, artisans and restaurateurs, since restaurants operate on notoriously thin margins and won’t be able to afford the kind of premium rent that fashion tenants pay."

'Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse,' Warns PETA Billboard

Why Do Low-Income Parents Buy Junk Food for Their Kids? - "Feeding a child is about more than just nutrition; it’s also a means of communicating love. Yet, for low-income parents, meals tend to involve fast food and processed snacks. It’s not that they lack knowledge on healthy eating, or that they don’t care about their child’s health. Rather, junk food is an affordable way to satisfy their child’s needs — and their wants... Parents of all socioeconomic statuses reported that their children made frequent requests for packaged snacks and fast food. And for good reason — those foods are scientifically engineered to be delicious and addicting... what separates low-income parents from those with higher incomes is the different means they have available to show their children that they are loved and cared for. Having disposable income affords wealthy parents frequent opportunities to say, “yes,” to their children. One of the high-income families Fielding-Singh interviewed had their children enrolled in private school, dance classes, sports camps and volunteer organizations. But when it came to requests for junk food, which her kids made frequently, the mother would proudly say, “no,” viewing these as opportunities to instill values about restraint and delayed gratification. But parental priorities change in the context of scarcity — as does food’s symbolic value"

Permissive parental feeding behavior is associated with an increase in intake of low-nutrient-dense foods among American children living in rural communities
Clearly poor kids are fat because of structural racism

Jogger screams for help as otters chase after her at West Coast Park - "They heard her screams for help, but those who visited West Coast Park last Friday (July 22) evening could only watch on helplessly while a woman was chased by a bevy of angry otters...   Although there were more than 10 people who heard the woman's screams for help, Lu pointed out that they were too afraid to go near the otters.  "I did not see the otters biting the woman, but they started running towards us so we had to flee"...   There have been several reports of otter attacks in recent months.  In April, a man jogging at Kallang Riverside Park was bitten on the leg while taking videos of the animals... a man racked up $1,200 in medical bills after he was bitten "26 times in 10 seconds" by otters at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.  Graham George Spencer told Today that the animals went from "being quiet to going crazy like dogs" after a runner had cut into their path."
Too bad otters are cute. So if you defend yourself, it'll be "animal abuse" and you'll be cancelled. It'll take a baby being injured or killed for action to be taken

500-Year-Old Village Only Costs One Dollar Per Year To Live In, But It Comes With Some Strange Rules - "To live in the Fuggerei, the applicant must be of Catholic faith, low income, zero debt, and be “upstanding” in the community (whatever that meant). Besides these requirements, you had to promise to say three daily prayers for the Fugger family. Then there was the matter of the curfew. If you were caught outside of the walls after 10 p.m., you had to pay admission to reenter the Fuggerei... The people of the Fuggerei must still say the Lord’s Prayer, Hail Mary, and the Nicene Creed for the Fuggers, and now, they also have to work a part-time job for the complex. Some residents are landscapers or a part of the night watch crew... While some of the rules are restrictive, this kind of society seems to work for the people living in the Fuggerei. The complex is willing to make some timely changes too: they’ve lifted the 10 p.m. curfew, for instance"

Brass Against Singer Pees on Fan's Face During Festival Set - "The members of Brass Against were just as shocked as festival goers when singer Sophia Urista peed on the face of a fan during their set at Welcome to Rockville. The band issued an apology on Twitter following the incident...   After reportedly making several comments about how much she had to pee, the vocalist invited a volunteer onstage to be her human toilet. “Get my man with the can on his head ready, ’cause we’re going to bring him onstage and I’ma piss in this motherfucker’s mouth,” she declared.  “I gotta pee,” she continued. “And I can’t make it to the bathroom. So we might as well make a show out of it.” The willing participant made his way onstage, and as promised Urista dropped her pants and pissed all over his face without pausing the song."

Meme - Neil deGrasse Tyson: "You are not a planet"
Pluto: "You are not Carl Sagan"
*middle finger pointing*

Meme - "Trinity College Library Dublin. University of Dublin.
*No mobile phones, no wine, no burger and drink in cup [i.e. no eating and drinking], no smoking*
*Mobile phone, wine, burger and drink in cup, smoking*"

Meme - DaddySoong69 "I'm a bit of a DIY audio enthusiast and had an eureka moment one day when I was testing airflow from from the port on a subwoofer. I noticed that the sub moved A LOT of air out of the port and saw an opportunity. So I used expanding foam to install a fleshlight in the port on my sub. The sub creates a sucking and blowing sensation along with some very pleasant vibrations. I added silicon breast forms to enhance the experience. I've just been playing bass heavy test tracks off YouTube but was wondering if /b/ has any advice on what music would work best with the fleshlight sub. I'm thinking that playing test tones and try different frequencies to see what performs the best."

Meme - "When you're one rotation away from completing the Rubik's cube"

I "bone" my dog? : CrappyDesign

Meme - "Diamonds are formed under pressure"
And bread dough rises when you let it rest We're all our own things. What's motivating to you may be crippling to others."
"There's an old saying (I think it's Russian): the same boiling water that softens the potato will harden the egg"
The joy of motivational bullshit

Man with 'world's longest penis' exposed as 'a fake' after claiming it measured 18.9 inches - "Roberto Esquivel Cabrera claims to have the world's longest penis .  The 55-year-old has even registered himself as disabled because he claims his giant penis, which he measures at 18.9 inches, makes it impossible for him to work.  But now a leading doctor claims Cabrera, from Mexico, is a fake after he examined him.  Radiologist Dr Jesus Pablo Gil Muro carried out a CT scan , but Cabrera refused to remove the bandages he wears on his penis or show the doctor any skin.  Dr Muro told the Metro : "What the CT scan showed me was there was a very large foreskin. It goes just below the knee. "But the penis itself is about 16cm to 18cm from the pubis so it doesn't go all the way through the foreskin."   Doubt had already been cast on Cabrera's claims by the man with the world's second longest penis, Jonah Falcon.  The 47-year-old says Cabrera stretches his manhood using weights and and that his penis is "normal underneath". Mr Falcon, who once caused a security alert at a US airport due to the bulge in his trousers, claims his own penis is a whopping 13.5 inches when erect. He was previously declared to be the man with the world's largest penis - but Mr Cabrera, 55, has since said he is in fact the non-official record holder.  However, Mr Falcon claimed: "His penis isn't 19 inches."  Speaking to The Sun Online , he added: "Doctors have acknowledged this and said he could have a normal sex life if he is essentially circumcised."    But Cabrera stands by his claims that he has the world's longest penis.  He also claims that he is unable to work because he can't kneel down and, can't wear a uniform because of its massive size.  But while he says he now gets some funding as a result of his disability, the money is not enough, and he relies on food banks on an almost daily basis.  Roberto made the headlines in 2015 after a video went viral showing him weighing his member to prove its authenticity."

What Do a Full Moon, the Super Bowl, and Tax Day Have in Common? - Freakonomics - "REDELMEIER: Just lifting your eye off the roadway for a split second could make all the difference in the world when you were motorcycling, unlike when you’re driving in a sedan or a truck and so forth. And so, the full moon was just one way of examining that because the full moon is just so beautiful. Plus, it illuminates everything else in the environment. We found a significant increase in fatal motor vehicle crashes on full moon nights compared to the exact same night, exactly one week earlier and one week later. It’s not a huge effect, but again, it was one example of a distractor that can be studied in an objective manner."

Yuval Noah Harari Thinks Life Is Meaningless and Amazing - Freakonomics - "HARARI: Most people, don’t have the ability to disconnect for two months, for one month. But even for a few hours, it’s extremely important. I get to meet a lot of politicians and business leaders, and they often ask me for advice, and one thing I tell them is to take time off to disconnect. One of the worst problems of leaders today in many fields is that previously, they had built, into the schedule, some time off because of the limitations of communication technology in the old world. Now, there is none. You are always connected. There is immense pressure on you. And it’s extremely dangerous. I think that the people at the top, they have a commitment, to the public to take good care of their minds. And part of this is to disconnect and detoxify their mind.  And also, they need a private life. Again, one of the frightening things I see now, especially in democracies, is the way that the people at the top, especially politicians, are denied a private life. That anything they say at any moment can and will be used against them. And, as a public speaker, I know that when I speak in public, I have to make a very big effort to concentrate and to be very aware of what I’m saying. But then when I’m off record, I can let my mind rest. And part of resting is saying stupid things. Saying things you don’t think about carefully. The mind of every person is full of garbage. And I think this is a basic human right. You have a right to say stupid things in private. As a gay man, if a politician, tells a homophobic joke in private to some friends, and somebody records it, and it’s now on YouTube and Twitter and whatever, I don’t care.  I care what this leader says in public. If in public, he or she tell a homophobic joke, this is very bad because this is inciting hatred among millions. I care about their policies. But what they say in private, it’s not my business. Some people think the opposite. That, finally, we get to hear what they really think. This is their authentic self. What they say on stage, this is something that some spin doctor told them to say. What they really think, this comes out in private. And that’s a very dangerous direction because I don’t want authentic leaders. I want responsible leaders. Politics is not psychoanalysis. I don’t want somebody who stands there and just gives me his stream of consciousness. Anything that comes up in the mind immediately comes out of the mouth. That’s authentic, and that’s bad. We need people who have a barrier, a wall, between the mind and the mouth and think very carefully about what they say, because it’s a big responsibility. And then they should have the privacy to go somewhere and just say stupid and terrible things. That’s, you know, just being human. "

Public transport fare elasticities from smartcard data: Evidence from a natural experiment - "This paper develops a method for analysing the elasticity of travel demand to public transport fares. The methodology utilizes public transport smartcard data for collecting disaggregate full population data about passengers’ travel behaviour. The study extends previous work by deriving specific fare elasticities for distinct socioeconomic (e.g., car ownership and income) groups and public transport modes (metro, trains and buses), and by considering the directionality of the fare change. The case study involves a public transport fare policy introduced by the regional administration of Stockholm County in January 2017, where the zonal fare system for single-trip tickets was replaced by a flat-fare policy. The overall fare elasticity of travel funds is found to be −0.46. User sensitivity grows along with the journey distance. Metro users demonstrate the lowest sensitivity, followed by bus and commuter train riders. Low socioeconomic groups, in particular with respect to car ownership, tend to be less sensitive than the high-factor groups. In addition to the direct effect of changed fares, simplification and unification of the fare scheme appears to have substantially contributed to its attractiveness. The flat fare may allow the geographic disparity of public transport travel to be reduced and new users to be attracted from remote areas who are more prone to own cars."

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