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Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Google Maps and Neighbours / Trying to be good / Against objectification

More blocked by ifunny:

"my dad died 3yrs ago but on google maps he is still fucking our neighbor lady when my mum was away on a trip"

"When you're trying so hard to be good, but your body was made for sin. *Kate Upton as nun in The Three Stooges*"

"Her: “stop objectifying me…I’m not a sex object!”
also her: *knitted bikini top that looks like bare breasts with pink nipples, knitted bikini bottom that looks like a nude pudendum, with pubic hair and open labia, with a pink inside*

Links - 8th March 2023 (Trans Mania)

Meme - "Bread *Beautiful woman*
Garlic bread *Beautiful woman with big breasts*
Gluten tree *Trans woman*"

Meme - "How transwomen think they look
How they actually look"

I'm de-transitioning from a trans woman back to a man and blame 'woke' culture for influencing teens - "An influencer who is in the process of 'de-transitioning' from a trans woman back to a man has hit out at 'woke' culture - which he claims encourages often vulnerable teens to question their identity unnecessarily.  Oli London, from Hertford, spent six months living as a woman, and underwent feminising facial surgery to soften his features before realising, he now says, that he was actually happier living as a man.  The social media personality, who had previously had surgery to look like male Korean pop idols, has hit out at celebs like Harry Styles and Timothee Chalamet, and shows like Ru Paul's drag race, that, he claims, promote gender fluidity - saying they are dangerous for teens who are encouraged to question their identity... He says he was able to book all of his surgery abroad without ever having undergone counselling or any therapy - which he now thinks should not be allowed for for gender reassignment surgery... 'Because I was bullied for my looks, I started having plastic surgery to try and improve how I looked and I became addicted.  'In total, so far, I have had 32 procedures. However, I still wasn't happy and I felt like something was missing. I thought that as everyone had been calling me feminine my whole life, and that I had maybe been born in the wrong body, maybe they were right... 'I spent six months living as a transgender woman and at first it felt amazing. I thought this was the reason I'd never felt fully happy before.  'I was even considering going to Thailand for further gender-changing surgery, but I soon came to the realisation that I actually still wasn't happy.'  Oli discovered that undergoing different cosmetic procedures was a temporary fix for his unhappiness and decided that he needed to totally change his life.  Oli said: 'I originally transitioned because I thought it would be the solution to my unhappiness and that it would be some sort of miracle cure to why I felt the way I did about myself.  'After living as a transwoman for six months, I still wasn't happy and I realised that I had made the wrong decision... 'I had been influenced by information I was seeing on social media. I thought transitioning was something that was fun, easy, and cool because that's the way it had been portrayed online. I thought it was going to be a quick and easy fix, but I was wrong... Now living comfortably as a male, Oli is the happiest he has ever been, however still receives hate from trans activists regarding his journey. When he began his research into de-transitioning, he says that he discovered lots of cases of younger teenagers being pushed to transition and being allowed a choice at a very young age."

Killer now identifies as an infant who wears nappies and demands baby food in prison - "A killer who transitioned from male to female while in prison has demanded guards hold her hand while outside her cell because she identifies as an infant.  Sophie Eastwood, 36, was named Daniel when she was jailed for life in 2004 after using shoelaces as a garotte to strangle her cellmate.  Eastwood, who has lived as a woman in Her Majesty's prisons for the past four years, has been described as "attention-seeking" and "manipulative" by sources inside the jail.  The murderer has now told chiefs at Polmont prison in Brightons, Scotland, that she identifies as a tot, and should be allowed to wear diapers and have her meals pureed like baby food.  She has also demanded guards hold her hand when she is escorted to and from her cell.  Prison bosses are taking Eastwood's requests seriously and have already supplied her with a dummy...   “But this is obviously something else entirely and the Scottish Prison Service has no protocol in place for dealing with prisoners who decide they are babies.”  The source added: “Eastwood is a complex person and intelligent but she is pretty demanding on the resources of the prison and enjoys being the centre of attention.  "It’s difficult to know if she really does feel a natural inclination to be treated like a baby or if it’s just some kind of attention seeking.  “Modern prisons are very tuned in to human rights and the legal implications they throw up, so it’s being given proper consideration.”... Eastwood claimed she would have been freed by now if she had remained a man."

Meme - "Wendy Martin asked a question
Chayse update. She has informed me today that she would rather stay a boy. I am confused and not sure how to take it. She told us when she was 4 that she wanted to be a girl. We supported her no matter what. Has anyone else experienced this?"

This Bus Got Vandalized Real Quick After Starting A Road Trip To Oppose Transgender Rights - "A bright orange bus that launched a road trip this week to argue against transgender rights was in New York City just one day before vandals approached it in full daylight to spray paint on the words "trans liberation," hammer holes in the side, and smash in the windshield.  The “Free Speech Bus,” as the creators call it, was parked outside the United Nations headquarters at about 4pm on Thursday to promote the idea that sex is fixed from birth and transgender people's gender identity should not be recognized in public... When the bus rolled onto Manhattan streets on Wednesday, critics had been quick to condemn the project, calling its proponents bigots and making comments on Twitter about its tires being slashed and being set on fire... the bus features the slogan: “Boys are boys… and always will be. Girls are girls… and always will be. You can’t change sex. Respect all.”"
Someone claimed that a TRA boasting it slashed the tires of a "transphobic" person was obviously fake
Biology is transphobic

Meme - Bart Simpson: *LGBQ*
Feral Bart Simpson with wild hair, tattered clothes, broken chain around foot, with glass of milk and plate with 3 fish heads (Bart's twin Hugo from Treehouse of Horror): *T*

Thread by @LukeWGoodrich on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "The Biden Admin just filed an appeal seeking to force religious doctors and hospitals to perform potentially harmful gender-transition procedures against their conscience and professional medical judgment. This is bad for patients, doctors, and religious liberty. The Biden Admin says it can punish doctors and hospitals for “sex discrimination” unless they perform controversial gender-transition procedures... The plaintiffs are religious doctors, hospitals, and clinics who joyfully serve ALL patients regardless of sex or gender identity. They routinely provide top-notch care to transgender patients for everything from cancer to the common cold.  They also provide millions of dollars in free and low-cost care to the elderly, poor, and underserved--care that is jeopardized by the government’s attempt to punish them with multi-million dollar penalties. The Transgender Mandate not only threatens religious doctors and hospitals. It also threatens patients, as there is ample evidence that certain gender transition procedures can be deeply harmful. Multiple federal courts have reached the same conclusion: “There is no medical consensus that sex reassignment surgery is a necessary or even effective treatment for gender dysphoria.” Gibson v. Collier, 920 F.3d 212, 223 (5th Cir. 2019). The government’s own doctors during the Obama Admin agreed... ust weeks ago, a study commissioned by NHS England found “very low” evidence for the effectiveness of “puberty blockers” and cross-sex hormones"
Hey "Evangelicals for Biden," check this out
From 2021. Of course, liberals pretend that not providing medically dubious treatments for trans patients is the same as refusing to provide the same medical care to trans patients as non-trans patients, which they claim is discrimination

Meme - AddisonMania @Addison_Mania: "Florida has officially banned gender-affirming care to trans youth. My head's been having a hard time wrapping itself around everything for the past week. I fear for those whose lives it will hurt and end. This is genocide, and it's only the beginning. Please stay strong."
It makes sense why they keep going on about "genocide" now - anything that results in the trans population being smaller than it otherwise would be is "genocide". Similarly, stopping someone who went around blinding people would be genocide towards the blind community

Ontario school trustee barred after questioning trans policy - "An Ontario school trustee has been barred from attending board meetings in part because she publicly questioned the district’s stated policy of accommodating a student’s decision to switch genders while keeping it a secret from their parents. At a Feb. 7 meeting, the Durham District School Board voted to censure fellow trustee Linda Stone, and bar her from all board meetings and committee hearings for the rest of the year. In an accompanying statement, the board condemned the “harmful impact” of Stone’s comments and urged the community to “begin to heal.”... “I was a little disturbed to see that you would keep things private with the student and not let parents know,” Stone said in a November, 2021 meeting. She also suggested that students requesting a change of gender might be best advised to “seek counselling to find out whether or not something else may be interfering with what the child is actually going through.” These comments spurred a number of complaints to the board that Stone was violating the “equity and diversity initiatives” of the district. It was these initial complaints that would ultimately lead to the board targeting Stone for investigation and eventual censure. The investigator’s report against Stone also focused on her “antitrans” Twitter history. In one, she retweeted a post from a mother alleging that her daughter’s U13 rugby team played against an opponent with “two large boys in it” – an apparent reference to trans girls. In another, she posted a link to testimony from Chloe Cole, a California teenager who became a campaigner against trans surgery for minors after she underwent a double mastectomy while still in high school.  It was the Cole tweet which caused the report to write that Stone was circulating “antitrans language” and perpetuating “harmful narratives around transgender people.” “How many different pronouns must a teacher memorize? If 23 students all have different pronouns and the teacher gets one wrong, would that be grounds for a complaint?”...   The 55-page investigator’s report also gave weight to allegations that Stone was “racist” for opposing changes to district policies asserting that the district was shot through with “systemic racism” enabled by “the structural dominance of white supremacy.”  As evidence, it cited Stone’s posting of a tweet condemning the teaching of critical race theory. Notably, the tweet was originally posted by Mike Ramsay, a fellow Ontario school trustee who has also faced censure for critiquing the presence of “anti-racism” ideology in the school curriculum despite the fact that he is himself Black. Stone is not the first Ontario school official to be pushed out of her job for questioning the official line on transgender identity.  Last year, Waterloo, Ont., teacher Carolyn Burjoski was at a school board meeting registering her concerns over library books that she accused of glossing over the long-term consequences of gender transition surgery and hormone treatment. In one book entitled The Other Boy, the main character says “it’s cool” when informed that their gender transition will render them permanently sterile.  For this, Burjoski’s presentation was cut off, the teacher was issued an indefinite “stay-at-home” order and a video livestream of the meeting was even scrubbed from the internet by board officials. Burjoski’s case would end up factoring into Stone’s censure. One of the charges against the Durham trustee is that she has posted a link to a blog post by Burjoski in which the Waterloo teacher had written that in the current discourse the mere utterance of the phrase “all children should be treated equally” can put a teacher’s career on the line.  The report dismisses the sentiment as “controversial political opinion” that contributes to “an environment of discrimination” – before indeed recommending that Stone’s career as a trustee be brought to an end."
TRAs always deny detransitioners exist, because admitting that fact is "literally genocide"
Freedom is slavery

Meme - ">be me
>Gf identifies as genderfluid
>Be on the couch watching TV
>start kissing her
>Unzip her pants and go down on her
>She's really enjoying it, feel like she's about to cum
>Raise my eyes because I really like watching her cum
>She's grinning at me
>Amongus imposter theme starts playing
>My mouth is instantly filled by her massive cock
>Quickly grows almost twice her size in height and muscle mass as she switches sex
>hairy as fuck
>Gag as she forces my head down in a deepthroat
>As I go up to catch my breath, she grabs me by my waist as I'm a play thing
>Tosses me on the other side of the room with her apeman arms
>I beg for mercy as she approaches me
>Get fucked in the ass, whimpering
>Nut inside me letting out a caveman roar
>Reverts back to girl as she goes to make dinner
>I stayed naked on the floor crying for almost an hour"

Meme - Poppy Diabolique (1/2 of @ZenaAndPopp... @LadyDiabolique: "One thing no one tells you about with transition is the amount of underwear you will for no reason make gooey. My panties look like a scene from ghostbusters half the time..."
Wolp, Bree is Merobiba @Wolpert...: "Yep, it is so wild, I am glad it isn't just me."
Jesus Kristensen @JesusKristensen: "exactly the correct ammount of information."
Saige (5/10 Leftist E-Girl Arc) @Sa...: "Same tho"
Emmafalls @e...: "Especially when she starts talking dirty in your ear omfg."

Biden Admin Wants Kids to Starve if Schools Don't Let Boys Use Girls Showers and Bathrooms - "The National School Lunch Program feeds approximately 30 million kids nationwide daily. But now, getting access to federal funds for the program will come with a huge catch: K-12 schools will have to allow boys into girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms if they want to continue receiving funds for the school lunch program...   This move echoes a similar move by the Obama administration, when it declared in 2016 that the Departments of Justice and Education would both “treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of enforcing Title IX,” and issued a directive to all public school districts in the country to allow students to use the bathrooms matching their “gender identity.”"

Kayla Lemieux ditches her Z size breasts outside the classroom - "A Canadian teacher who made international headlines for wearing gigantic prosthetic breasts rarely wears them outside of school — raising questions about whether the vulgar costume is just an act.  While parents have raged about transgender teacher Kayla Lemieux being allowed to wear Z-cup prosthetics in front of students, the shop teacher was spotted ditching the controversial fetishistic fashion after work and stepping out in public dressed as a man. “He wears prosthetic breasts extremely infrequently,” a resident of Lemieux’s apartment complex told The Post.  “He puts the breasts on to teach, occasionally when he goes for a walk or when the cops visit.”... The teacher — who until a few years ago went by the name Kerry — left Ontario’s Oakville Trafalgar High School this week wearing the gigantic breasts, a blond wig and glasses, but it wasn’t long until the cartoonish clothing came off.  After shopping at a department store and pet supplies shop dressed as a woman, Lemieux headed home to get changed and emerged dressed as a man 30 minutes later.   Lemieux then spent the afternoon in public wearing men’s sweatpants, trainers, a gray T-shirt and a navy puffer vest without breasts, makeup, glasses or wig. According to Lemieux’s neighbor, who asked not to be identified for fear of backlash, the transgender teacher was first seen “parading” gigantic prosthetic breasts while walking along a busy road in their neighborhood last May...   “The school has been adamant in telling parents this is a transitioning teacher who needs to express themselves as a woman... The Post has obtained a section of Malott’s submission that was censored by the school board, which suggested Lemieux’s Z-cup breasts are more commonly worn by female impersonators and sex workers than people transitioning."
I remember when people were dismissing allegations that he was trolling

Meme - Trans imagination: "Protect Trans Kids"
Man: "Why are you looking at my son like that? I'm gonna call the cops"

Meme - Magills @magills_: "2023 is wild. If you're a dude who checks out a woman working out you're a threat but if you call yourself a woman and expose yourself to her in the locker room and she feels threatened she's a bigot."

Meme - *Sam Smith at Brit Awards 2023 looking like a dick*

Viewers of BBC's One Show baffled as Sam Smith reveals dream of becoming a 'fisher-them'

Meme - Randi @UnHerdBehavior: "From ages 4-12, I wore boy clothes, played boy sports & rejected all things "girly." When my brother teased me for being a girl, I even said that when I got older I would "cut my boobs off." I was not transgender, I just idolized my brother. Thank God my parents were sane."

Meme - Barry Nguyen: "That one surfer chick who got her arm eaten by a shark is apparently transphobic. I love an ally."
The TRA mindset

Meme - Libertarian Left: "hey whats up fellow commies haha eat the rich support trans rights haha"
Communists in uniform: "get the fuck away from us"

Meme - Jonathon @CousinJon_: "What does deadname mean?"
Logan Lycanthrope @Ciroctopussy: *screenshot*
reby @rebyricks: "Why dragonball wiki of all places"

Meme - "Mom, what is a "contradiction?""
"Believing that 18yr olds couldn't understand their student loans, but 7yr olds can choose their gender."

Hadley Freeman: ‘Atmosphere of fear’ governs Guardian trans coverage - "A former Guardian journalist has accused the newspaper of censoring her views on women’s rights, claiming an “atmosphere of fear” governs its coverage of trans issues.  Hadley Freeman claimed she was barred from interviewing JK Rowling and Martina Navratilova, both of whom have expressed gender-critical views.   Meanwhile, the newspaper ran “glowing profiles of trans activists” such as Munroe Bergdorf, Paris Lees and Freddy McConnell... She quit The Guardian earlier this year after editors said she could not follow up the The Telegraph’s investigation into Mermaids, a trans charity.  Freeman said she had also learned that a group named All About Trans visited the Guardian and, in her absence, held up some of her writing as examples of transphobia.  “I was told I wasn’t to write about gender, and that actually women shouldn’t write about gender, and suddenly things became very tricky for me”... “I know of multiple reporters who asked if they could interview [gender-critical campaigners] Maya Forstater and Allison Bailey … I asked about interviewing JK Rowling and Martina Navratilova, and we were all told ‘no’.” Freeman said managers told her women should not write about gender “because it gets too much of a kickback on social media [and] it should be done by the male specialist reporters, such as health reporters”.  She added that she had been in “a very happy long-term marriage” with The Guardian for her first 15 years there, but “about seven years ago that particular partner started to become a conspiracy theorist, unrecognisable to me, and it just got to a point where I couldn’t take any more”.  Freeman said: “There did suddenly become this atmosphere of real fear at the paper,” recalling one meeting in which staff discussed a Guardian editorial stating that feminists were entitled to express doubts about gender self-identification.  “I was defending the editorial and various people, whom I considered friends, were being quite personally abusive and saying it was transphobic, like people saying a gay teacher shouldn’t teach children”... "what you get from the other side, if you’re just trying to defend what is literally the law in this country, is to be told you’re killing children, you’re a bigot – this very violent way of talking.  “I can take that – what I don’t understand is why upper management is scared to deal with that. It’s not just The Guardian. This has happened at a lot of progressive places, this feeling of fear that we can’t stand up against some of the claims that gender activists make.”"
The current liberal position is that women shouldn't write about gender. What times we live in

Suzanne Moore: ‘I was betrayed and bullied for saying that women should not be silenced’ - "When Suzanne Moore left her job, she announced the news on Twitter, accompanied by a sassy picture of Mad Men’s Peggy Olson strutting down a corridor with her belongings in a box.   “I have left The Guardian. I will very much miss SOME of the people there. For now that’s all I can say,” she declared...   As she reflects today on some of the more absurd aspects of the row about transgender rights that has ended her time at the paper, Moore, 62, allows herself a laugh, but beneath the calm exterior she is very, very bruised.   “I feel betrayed,” she says. “We are living in a world in which it is increasingly difficult to say certain things.  “Almost every week now a different woman is put on the pyre: J K Rowling, Rosie Duffield, Selina Todd. It’s always a woman who is some sort of heretic and must be punished. If all this is about how trans people can have the best lives they can possibly have, how does this help them?”...   Labour MP Rosie Duffield received death threats after liking a tweet suggesting “people with a cervix” should be called women. Selina Todd, professor of modern history at Oxford, was condemned after addressing a meeting of Woman’s Place UK, a group campaigning for women to have separate spaces on the basis of biological sex. Opponents regard it as a “trans-exclusionary hate group”.  Now Moore and one of Britain’s most venerable newspapers, founded in 1821, have fallen victim to the culture war that has engulfed universities and become a powder-keg issue on the Left. “It was entirely my decision to leave,” says Moore defiantly, but still she feels that she was hounded out. The drama began back in March, when Moore wrote a column lamenting the culture of cancellation and no-platforming and spoke of her sadness at the way a once-united campaign for sexual freedom – where women wanting abortion reform marched alongside men and women seeking gay rights and vice versa – has fragmented into factions, at one another’s political throats. She also reiterated her view that women are women: that sex is a biological fact, rather than a construct assigned at birth (unlike gender, which suggests boys and girls should behave in a certain way). Feminists like Moore have become increasingly concerned at the prospect of being made to make way for trans women, even those who have had no surgery and therefore have essentially male bodies.   There are concerns about allowing them into women’s changing rooms or refuges and there has also been controversy about transgender women competing in women’s sport, where they have a natural physical advantage.   To most people, such concerns would be entirely unremarkable, but to the transgender lobby, which wants sex to be recognised depending on whether you feel yourself to be a man or a woman, this was incendiary.   “The way the column is spoken about, it’s as if it was Mein Kampf,” says Moore. “Obviously I defended Selina Todd, but it’s mad that a professor of modern history at Oxford has to go around with security. The situation has become so crazy, I have friends, academics and others who are afraid of losing their jobs because of inadvertently saying the wrong thing.”...   “Hadley Freeman [another columnist and writer], who’s been a staunch, brilliant supporter, defended me. But then all these people signed a letter saying The Guardian should be a safer place to work because apparently three trans people had resigned in the last year. I didn’t know that because I didn’t go in there.”... “I naively thought I would be defended, because that’s what’s always happened at other newspapers,” she says. “I thought a public statement would be issued making clear this letter-writing business was not on. What happened was, the editor offered to take me out to lunch. I said I didn’t want a lunch. I’m not five, I don’t need to be patted on the head and given a veggie burger.”...   Though her career began at The Guardian, she has written for other newspapers including The Mail on Sunday, where she worked alongside Peter Hitchens, one of Britain’s most vociferous Right-wing columnists. “Peter and I would have stand-up rows, we’re opposites, but that was it: next day we’d be back to normal. I’m able to work with people I disagree with,” she says.   For years, she was also able to campaign alongside people she disagreed with on certain points, and they with her, but she says that is not true of the new generation who revere Jeremy Corbyn.  “These young people, Momentum people, cannot tolerate difference,” she says. “They think they can, but they can’t. We saw it with Brexit. If you’re a Remainer, how do you win over people to your side? I know! Call everyone who doesn’t agree with you a racist idiot. That really helps, doesn’t it?   “It’s the same with Labour. Anyone who doesn’t like Jeremy Corbyn is a Tory, so guess what, people in the Red Wall voted Tory. So much for the art of politics being about persuasion.”...   “All the major writers on the paper wrote letters or messaged me. I got a message from someone saying: ‘I wish I could have spoken up for you but I was afraid of losing my job.’  “There are a lot of people with mortgages and with children who want to speak up but can’t – women especially. This isn’t just about newspapers. I can walk along my street and a woman will stop me and say: ‘I’m a teaching assistant and I said something the other day and I think I might lose my job.’ It’s because of the incredible lobbying and institutional capture Stonewall [which campaigns for LGBT rights] has had on our education and public sector. It’s become quite a witch-hunt.”  That self-censorship should hit The Guardian, which has always regarded itself as a beacon of liberal thinking, strikes her as particularly sad"

Suzanne Moore's departure is a sad day for the Guardian - "Who runs a newspaper – and especially a great liberal newspaper – in a digital age when liberalism often seems to be in retreat, menaced by its enemies internal and external? In the not-too-recent past, the question would be easily answered: the editor, supported by his (for in the past it was usually ‘his’) senior journalists ran the paper. Things are more complicated now.  At least they appear more complicated at the Guardian and at the New York Times. At both papers, each the proud inheritors of certain liberal traditions, one may no longer say with confidence that editorial control of the paper resides with the editorial staff...   ‘I read something in the paper and I disagreed with it’ now often seems to be considered some kind of assault upon the person, rather than being something you should expect – and even look forward to. Perhaps this should not surprise for when the personal is political and when identity is the basis for politics a mere difference of opinion – or even of emphasis – becomes a hostile act. Such things must be policed.  Which might be fine on campus but the adult world is supposed to be marginally more robust. Moore’s critics accuse her of being ’transphobic’ though these accusations never quite seem to be accompanied by compelling evidence of her guilt. (This may be because any fair reading of her work, if such a thing is still permitted, could not possible lead to her conviction on the charges levelled against her.)...   Those protestors, it seems to me, appear to have made a terrible mistake when they agreed to work for a newspaper. For if they cannot cope with internal argument – and they cannot, for their reaction to Moore’s columns has not been to argue that she is mistaken but, rather, to insist she should not be published – they might more profitably seek employment elsewhere. There is an echo here of the bad old days when print unions dictated what a newspaper might or might not publish on a huge range of stories; a time when print unions had the power to close a newspaper down.   Eddy Shah and then Rupert Murdoch broke the printers. That was a brutal and sometimes bloody but utterly necessary conflict. Necessary because it was, at heart, a question of principle: should a newspaper be able to publish what it wanted (within, of course, the customary boundaries of the law) or should that freedom instead be policed by the printers? I acknowledge my prejudice in favour of the journalists but think the principle an obvious one... The disagreement is part of the point but a liberalism which cannot cope with that is, in the end, a liberalism not half as strong as it thinks it is.  That seems to be what is happening at the Guardian and at the New York Times where, in each instance, there is a narrowing, and perhaps even a closing, of journalistic minds. That is very much to be regretted and is so even if you have little time for either paper or their respective worldviews. No tradition has any kind of monopoly on truth or wisdom, from which it follows that conservatives should wish to see liberalism at its best and vice versa. That cannot be achieved without a properly open space for argument.   The Guardian, an important and often great paper, is a little bit diminished this evening. Not because, as she would I fancy argue herself, Suzanne Moore is important in and of herself, but because if the Guardian cannot accommodate Suzanne Moore that says something more – and something rather depressing – about the Guardian than it does of its erstwhile columnist."

Sunday, March 05, 2023

Links - 5th March 2023 (2 - Covid-19)

Meme - "Everyone took a test before the party. ldk, I work for a doctor & he said you can't catch covid from food or drinks because the bacteria in your mouth and stomach kills it. It's only volatile when you touch your eyes & nose or breath it in. But again he is colonizer so idk"
"Girl this what that colonizer told me ! I don't trust MDs no more only DOs"
Clearly, grievance mongering is good because it makes minorities trust health experts more and reduces their risk of covid

Ian Miller on Twitter - "Well everyone, it’s officially well over 14 weeks since Michael Osterholm said back in January that the next 6-14 weeks would be the darkest of the pandemic Cases are down -76% Score yet another win for The Science™"
From May 2021

Before epidemiologists began modelling disease, it was the job of astrologers - "Astrologers were seen as important authorities for the health of communities as well as individuals. They offered public health advice in annual almanacs, which were some of the most widely read literature in the premodern world."
How dare people question The Science?!

LEVY: Vaccinated retirement home residents isolated for meals again | Toronto Sun - "Cooper says the dining room is often the “only outing” for her mom, who will be 87 in May and has physical limitations.  After being confined to her room almost continuously for more than a year now, what was once mild cognitive impairment has degraded so much that Bernice is no longer able to discern between clean and dirty laundry, she is so confused by the remote control she watches only one TV channel and she can’t remember whether she’s eaten or not, her daughter says...   “She spends her days alternating between sleeping and crying,” Cooper said of her mom. “She is desperately lonely and confused.”  She wonders what’s the point of vaccinating everyone if they are still being confined to their rooms — a move she feels is “cruel and unjust". “If I kept my dog locked up in his crate 24/7 for over a year I would be arrested and hauled off to jail for cruelty to animals,” Cooper said. “Yet keeping seniors confined to their rooms 24/7 is okay?""
From 2021. Of course, even in 2023, covid hystericists still think the vaccines don't work

Numerous Human Rights Declarations Speak Out Against Coercive Medicine - "Since the horrors of WWII, and the diabolical things done by the Nazis – including the German medical and scientific communities – there has been a slew of various human rights declarations, health acts, and ethics codes written around the world. Many of them seek to counter and offset the sorts of things that were done in Nazi Germany.  A common theme found in almost all of them is that there should be no coercion or compulsion in medical treatment, and full informed consent should be insisted upon. Before any medical treatment or intervention is undertaken, a person must first give consent – without any coercion or manipulation. This vitally important principle seems to have been thrown out the window by far too many politicians, leaders, governments and businesses during the Covid crisis, especially in regard to mandatory vaccinations. Many states are simply demanding that people get the jab – end of story. And numerous businesses and companies are doing the same. Not only is this creating a new medical apartheid, a two-tiered society with a health underclass, but it goes against these vital human rights charters and ethics declarations. Places like Australia – where much of this medical coercion and health segregation is taking place – happen to be signatories to many of these covenants and declarations. Indeed, at both federal and state levels Australia also has its own acts and declarations on these things."
The vaxhole cope will be that "consequences" are not coercion. Presumably that means that it's okay to tie welfare payments to sterilisation; one can also say that if you show that you need welfare, you are harming society, so this is justified to prevent you from burdening society even more

Johns Hopkins professor SLAMS Ivy League universities for 'anti-scientific and cruel' COVID policies - "At Georgetown University students are tested each week for COVID and if they are found to be positive, they must isolate for 10 days  At Cornell, masks must be worn at all times when indoors and they are strongly encouraged outdoors when distancing is not possible Students at Emerson are required to stay in their dorms and only leave to be COVID tested, go to work, get food or get their mail But over the last six months, the risk of a person 15 to 24 dying of COVID was 0.001 percent and they were mainly among people with comorbidities. The policies could also negatively affect a student's mental health...
Dr. Marty Makary blamed groupthink at such higher learning institutions as  Georgetown, Cornell, Princeton, UMass and Emerson for creating undue harm on the mental health of college students... 'At these institutions of higher learning and thousands more, science is supposedly held in the highest esteem. So where is the scientific support for masking outdoors? Where is the scientific support for constantly testing fully vaccinated young people? Where is the support for the confinement of asymptomatic, young people who test positive for a virus to which they are already immune on a campus of other immune people?' Markay wrote.  'The data simply do not justify any of it.' In fact, Makary wrote, colleges could be putting healthy students at risk by mandating vaccines and booster shots after a study found that as many as 1 in 1,860 men 18-24 years old developed myocarditis after the second shot... There is, however, a risk to a student's mental health, Makary argued, citing a study by The Jed Foundation, a nonprofit that combats adolescent suicide, which found that over the course of 2020, 31 percent of parents said their children's mental health was worse than before the pandemic.  In June, the CDC also found that the proportion of mental health–related emergency hospital visits among adolescents aged 12–17 years increased 31 percent in 2020 when compared to the rate in 2019.  The US Surgeon General has since declared a mental health crisis among young people globally, citing studies showing that 25 percent of adolescents saying they are experiencing depression and 20 percent saying they are experiencing anxiety... 'Everyone's just fed up at this point,' the unnamed student said. 'People walk around the library and yell at you if you drink a sip of water. And that was during finals.'  She said she is thinking of transferring to a school in the South 'just to have an in-person experience.'... Makary blames the mainstream media and public officials for silencing any criticism of these 'draconian' policies.  'Over the past several months, students from around the country have reached out to me, outraged at excessive policies imposed upon them,' Makary wrote.  'They were afraid to be identified in this essay for fear of retaliation. And for good reason. Around the country students have been punished, suspended, and even expelled for violations of draconian masking and socializing policies.  'It’s time for them to speak out.'
He closed by posing a serious of questions that officials have refused to answer but must be asked, including:
Will boosters be required every 3-6 months in perpetuity?
How many healthy college students have died from Covid during the pandemic?
Will we continue to take all these precautions next year if influenza poses the same case fatality rate?
If I have circulating antibodies from prior Covid illness, will the university recognize those antibodies as countries in Europe do?"
From 2022. He dared challenge The Science, so his medical degree should have been revoked

Marty Makary MD, MPH on Twitter - "New study: Myocarditis seen in 11 per 100K boys/men 16-29 after vaccination. Study methodology far more accurate than VAERS. This is why IMPORTANT to recognize natural immunity & respect parents who choose 1-dose (what I've been recommending for boys<30"

CDC identities a potential safety signal with Bivalent vaccines - "This administration's vaccine policy has been horrible, and always erred on the side of pushing doses. They initially denied the safety signal of myocarditis. They delayed pulling J&J in young women. They never banned Moderna in young men. And they rubber-stamped kids vaccines with inadequate efficacy data. All the while, they made no exemption for prior infection. They pushed vaccines in a reckless way, so much so that Marion Gruber and Phil Krause resigned from FDA’s vaccine division. The worst offenders have been: Walensky, Murthy, Jha, Califf, Fauci and Marks.  Most recently, long after the emergency phase of the pandemic ended, this administration granted EUA to the bivalent booster (down to 5 year olds!) based initially on mouse data, and, to this day, supported only by confounded observational studies. Arguably this is an illegal action as there is no emergency to justify boosting 20 year old men who had 3 doses.  Sensible doctors knew this was an error, as did the American people. Less than 20% signed up for the booster. Pfizer had a 100 billion reason they should have performed and RCT, but this administration felt it better they save that money than run a study.  Now a reminder comes why this was bad policy... it appears a safety signal of stroke may be identified. Of course, there is nothing magic about 65, so it may also occur at younger ages. What is the absolute risk? Where is the press conference? Sadly, no further info followed. A sensible FDA commish would hold a press conference and state what was known. Instead of that, our FDA commish tweets a picture of himself in a grow house. Who told him that the best way to handle the announcement of a novel vaccine safety signal was to immerse yourself in lettuce?  Bottom line is: when you approve products without RCTs that can prove a net clinical benefit, even modest safety signals can be devastating. This administration is playing fast and loose with the agencies credibility. If this safety signal turns out to be salient. Their reputation will rightly be in tatter.  They may not care, but reputation matters."
Anyone who doesn't Trust the Science is a Denier

Thread by @MartyMakary on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "The association that stoke is more common after the bivalent vax *disappeared* when CDC re-did the analysis "using the same data but different methodology"  But you can't just run different stat tests until you get the result you want  Make the data public Remarkably the FDA lobbied not to release the result to the public because it "would fuel anti-vaccine sentiment and scare older Americans into avoiding the boosters"  Why is FDA, the nation's drug regulators, working so hard to supress data? If there is an association of the bivalent vaccine with ischemic stroke, it wouldn't be surprising.  The Covid vax was recently found to increase the risk of P.E. (blood clots to the lung) by 50%  The study published last wk of 30M people is 2yrs too late"

Thread by @MartyMakary on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "“According to CDC data, three groups benefit from booster dosing with regard to protection from hospitalization..” the elderly, the immunocomp & those with mult comorb that put them @ risk of sev dis
“Healthy young people are not in those 3 groups..That’s the CDC data.” -Dr Offit
Interesting to see our nation's chief drug regulator defend Pharma after Dr. Offit and other vaccine experts have challenged the universality of the bivalent vaccine-for-all recommendation"

Marty Makary MD, MPH on Twitter - "A new FDA group put together by the commissioner defines misinformation as any view different from the official govt position on Covid. And California can revoke your medical license for disagreeing with the CA dept of health. We should all agree doctors need freedom of speech."

Vaccination rates drop among US kindergarten students in 2021-22
Clearly nothing to do with how covid vaccines have been politicised and rammed through

AB-2098 is an unjust law and it is our duty to oppose it - "Today AB-2098 went into effect as law in California. This is the law that will empower the Medical Board of California to revoke the licenses of physicians who disseminate “Misinformation” or, as the bill says “false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus” on COVID-19.  I am both a practicing physician in California and an epidemiologist who has published numerous peer reviewed articles on COVID-19 transmission, vaccine risks and benefits and evidence for masking children. During the pandemic, repeatedly what has been called “scientific consensus” has later been shown to be false. It was the physicians and scientists (and other smart people; you really didn’t need any specific credentials) who were most up-to-date on the data who saw there was no consensus and they usually saw it from the beginning… because the error in thinking was the same: people (our public health leaders) were too quick to declare there was a consensus. Probably the most famous example was the claim vaccines stop transmission. Second, there was the idea masks effectively stop transmission. Our own CDC director said they could do this by “by more than 80%”. My understanding is this statement was based on the results of a telephone survey… and was a far cry from a randomized study, which so far have found no to little (in Bangladesh, though even that has been called into question) efficacy of masks against COVID-19. Then there was the myth that in adolescent boys and young males post COVID myocarditis was more common than post vaccine- also shown to be false. All of these are now disproven and, if AB-2098 had been in place 1-2 years ago, stating the above, which initially went against consensus but turned out to be correct, may have resulted in California physicians unjustly losing their licenses. Are we really incapable of learning from the past? Very often it feels like it, but to be honest, we don’t even need to bring up the myriad examples in medicine and science where the dominant narrative of the day went on to be proven false (after all, disproving widely held beliefs is science)... We can simply see now that some of the text of the bill is basically always inaccurate... we are far from being able to say there is “scientific consensus” on the current efficacy of the primary series or boosters or bivalent boosters - period, especially given such a high estimate of current infection-based immunity (in November 2022 up to 94% of the population were estimated to have been infected in the US.. though this is a based on a model).  The text of AB-2098, as it stands, reads like a script that physicians are supposed to say that is perpetually incorrect, misleading and lacking context and individualization. It requires no knowledge of the law to see how problematic it is for a government to script a physician’s speech in a way that ignores all context and individualization. Next, we have this line in the text of the law that says “safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines have been confirmed”. What does this mean exactly? What are physicians allowed to say? For example, what about risks of post-vaccination myocarditis in including death as published in the New England Journal? What about the on average higher chance of a young adult male of having myocarditis from a booster than having a COVID-19 hospitalization prevented from one? And what about our own CDC reporting in the Lancet 27% of post vaccination myocarditis cases require ICU admission? What about the fact even the NEJM is published data finding total lack of vaccine effectiveness against infection by 4 months in (previously uninfected!) 5-11 year olds?... “the law’s vagueness renders it unconstitutional”... if physicians are not free to give their fully-informed opinions, this infringes upon patients’ rights to receive information"
We're still doing Covid censorship in 2023
Weird. Liberals keep saying that the government should not interfere in healthcare decisions, which should be between patients and their doctors. That doesn't apply when liberals disagree, of course

COVID-19 vaccine boosters for young adults: a risk benefit assessment and ethical analysis of mandate policies at universities - "In 2022, students at North American universities with third-dose COVID-19 vaccine mandates risk disenrolment if unvaccinated. To assess the appropriateness of booster mandates in this age group, we combine empirical risk-benefit assessment and ethical analysis. To prevent one COVID-19 hospitalisation over a 6-month period, we estimate that 31 207–42 836 young adults aged 18–29 years must receive a third mRNA vaccine. Booster mandates in young adults are expected to cause a net harm: per COVID-19 hospitalisation prevented, we anticipate at least 18.5 serious adverse events from mRNA vaccines, including 1.5–4.6 booster-associated myopericarditis cases in males (typically requiring hospitalisation). We also anticipate 1430–4626 cases of grade ≥3 reactogenicity interfering with daily activities (although typically not requiring hospitalisation). University booster mandates are unethical because they: (1) are not based on an updated (Omicron era) stratified risk-benefit assessment for this age group; (2) may result in a net harm to healthy young adults; (3) are not proportionate: expected harms are not outweighed by public health benefits given modest and transient effectiveness of vaccines against transmission; (4) violate the reciprocity principle because serious vaccine-related harms are not reliably compensated due to gaps in vaccine injury schemes; and (5) may result in wider social harms. We consider counterarguments including efforts to increase safety on campus but find these are fraught with limitations and little scientific support. Finally, we discuss the policy relevance of our analysis for primary series COVID-19 vaccine mandates."

In defence of Karol Sikora - "Professor Sikora is the cancer expert who has been questioning the Covid consensus for the past few months. He has queried the need for harsh lockdowns and kicked up a necessary fuss over the NHS’s suspension of various forms of medical treatment, including for cancer. In the fog of fear about Covid-19, Sikora has shone a light of hope. We’ll get through it, he says. Don’t live in dread, he counsels. Let normal life, and normal medical treatment, continue as much as possible, he’s advised... For the supposed crime of not being entirely right about the course coronavirus would take, Professor Sikora is now public enemy No1 in the eyes of the lockdown fanatics. Leading the mob, as is so often the case these days, is Guardian columnist Owen Jones. From the very start of the Covid crisis, Mr Jones, like many other privileged millennial leftists, has relished the authoritarianism of the lockdown. In March he expressed delight at being ‘placed under house arrest along with millions of people under a police state by a right-wing Tory government’. Yes, if you are well-off, middle class, capable of working from home and cancer-free, lockdown was probably a riot. For other people, however, it wasn’t. Professor Sikora’s chief sin was to express this truth – to say that lockdown will exact a wicked toll on many people – and now privileged beneficiaries of lockdown like Mr Jones are out to destroy him for it.   Jones’ complaint about Sikora is that he has been wrong about some things and he has criticised the policy of lockdown. He takes aim at Sikora’s proposal that instead of locking down the entire population, we should pursue shielding measures for certain sections of the population – ‘the old and vulnerable’. He mocks Sikora for being too chirpy. ‘The Positive Professor.’ Optimism is a crime in the land of the misanthropes. But most notably, letting slip his illiberal tendencies, Jones doesn’t merely criticise Sikora – that would be fine; everyone must have the right to criticise everybody else. No, he also suggests that Sikora should be denied the oxygen of publicity. The media outlets who give Sikora a platform should be ashamed of themselves, he says. They are ‘helping to spread disinformation’ and that is dangerous during a pandemic.  In short, dissent kills. Criticism of consensus is not only wrong, it is potentially lethal – it threatens to pollute men’s souls and encourage people to take reckless risks that could literally sicken them. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it has been the cry of every censor in history, from Torquemada to Joe McCarthy to the blue-haired posh kids running riot on campuses in the Anglosphere right now – ‘words are not only wrong sometimes, they are also dangerous and murderous’, all these people have crowed. Now the same is being said about Sikora and other dissenters from the lockdown consensus. Jones’ column is a new low, even for him. It is a shrill, vindictive and transparent effort to achieve the expulsion from media life of a man who has dared to say we need more balance in our approach to Covid-19. Jones is not alone in the war on Sikora. The right-wing authoritarian Sam Bowman has branded Sikora and other sceptics, including Sunetra Gupta, a professor of epidemiology at Oxford University who supports the Great Barrington Declaration, as ‘cranks’. Bowman, senior fellow at the Adam Smith Institute, detests these people’s suggestion that we should try to shield vulnerable people in the name of preserving liberty. He is far more keen on China’s approach to Covid, which, let’s not forget, involved literally locking people in their homes and silencing sceptical doctors. Who predicted that in 2020 the ASI would shill for Chinese communist dictatorship? Elsewhere, Sikora has been censured by YouTube and is regularly subjected to insults and accusations that he is killing people. We are now in full-on witch-hunt territory... Gupta says she regularly receives emails calling her evil and dangerous. She has even wondered: ‘Would I have been treated like this if I were a white man?’ Of course, identitarians who normally stand up for women from ethnic minorities who are being trolled and harassed have nothing whatsoever to say about the war of words against Gupta, because to them she is scum. Well, she’s critical of the lockdown, so she must be, right? This is the chilling climate that the lockdown dogmatists have helped to create: one in which it is now tantamount to a speechcrime to raise a peep of criticism of the strategy of lockdown. Big Tech will censure you, mobs will hound you, neo-Stalinists will demand that you be added to a blacklist... His voice has been far more refreshing, and fundamentally honest, than the 24-hour rolling-news of horror and hysterical fearmongering that has intensified people’s sense of despair and atomisation. And secondly, even more importantly, there’s the small matter of freedom of speech. Of freedom of conscience. These things don’t become less important when society faces a significant challenge like Covid-19 – they become more important. Dissent is always good; but in an era of unprecedented authoritarianism it becomes essential... Dogma is the enemy of progress. Dissent – however irritating the police, the government and the Guardian might find it – is the guarantor of progress. It is the means through which all of us, including society more broadly, entertain the possibility that we are wrong. That lockdown is a mistake, that giving teenagers puberty-blockers is an error, that the Earth is not in fact at the centre of the solar system. Dogma protects even immoral policies and incorrect thinking from criticism by demonising dissenters; dissent, on the other hand, helps to shine a light on the wrongness of certain political strategies or ideological beliefs by encouraging criticism and scrutiny. Even where dissenters are wrong, factually, the climate they help to create is of enormous benefit to society and to mankind."
From 2021. Of course, if Gupta had supported the liberal consensus, the hate mail she got would've been condemned. But hate mail is good when directed at those opposing covid hysteria

FDA vaccine advisers 'disappointed' and 'angry' that early data about new Covid-19 booster shot wasn't presented for review last year - "Some vaccine advisers to the federal government say they’re “disappointed” and “angry” that government scientists and the pharmaceutical company Moderna didn’t present a set of infection data on the company’s new Covid-19 booster during meetings last year when the advisers discussed whether the shot should be authorized and made available to the public.  That data suggested the possibility that the updated booster might not be any more effective at preventing Covid-19 infections than the original shots.   The data was early and had many limitations, but several advisers told CNN that they were concerned about a lack of transparency.  US taxpayers spent nearly $5 billion on the new booster, which has been given to more than 48.2 million people in the US... A former FDA scientist who helped run the agency’s vaccine division told CNN that if he were still at the agency, he would have advocated for sharing the infection information with the advisers, even if it was made available only a short time before the meeting. “I don’t think there’s any excuse for excluding it,” even with its imperfections, said Dr. Philip Krause, who served as deputy director of the FDA’s Office of Vaccine Research and Review until he resigned in October 2021...  Bernstein added that he was disappointed that the data had not been presented to him and the other advisers.  Offit, the member from the University of Pennsylvania, said he was angry.  “I was angry to find out that there was data that was relevant to our decision that I didn’t get to see. Angry because they should trust us to make the decision based on all the data. These agencies, whether it’s the FDA or CDC, can’t make that decision for us. That’s the point of having an independent advisory committee”... About a month after the CDC advisers met, studies were released from researchers at Harvard and Columbia suggesting that the new vaccines didn’t work any better than the original...   Offit, the FDA vaccine adviser, said the Columbia and Harvard studies convinced him even more that the infection data and all the related caveats should have been given to the advisers from the beginning.  “This was not acceptable. I understand we’re in the middle of a pandemic. I understand we’re building the plane while it’s still in the air, but you can’t do this,” he said. “It did shake my faith. It shook my faith in how these decisions were being made.”"
Since they dare challenge The Science, they need to be fired

Why health-care services are in chaos everywhere | The Economist - "The imposition of lockdowns during the covid-19 pandemic had one overarching aim: to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Governments hoped to space out infections, buying time to build capacity. In the end, however, much of this extra capacity went unused. England’s seven “Nightingale” hospitals closed having received only a few patients, as did many of America’s field hospitals. A study of Europe’s experience in Health Policy, a journal, found only one example where there were more covid patients than intensive-care beds: in the Italian region of Lombardy on April 3rd 2020. Although there are now stories of overwhelmed Chinese hospitals, as the country confronts a great exit wave, it is too soon to know whether these are isolated examples or represent broader, systematic failure. Outside China, covid weighs less heavily on people’s minds these days. Yet health-care systems in much of the rich world are closer to collapse than at any point since the disease started to spread. Unlike for unemployment or gdp, there are few comparable, up-to-date figures on health-care performance across countries. So The Economist has trawled statistics produced by countries, regions and even individual hospitals to paint a picture of what is going on. The results suggest patients, doctors and nurses are experiencing the brutal after-effects of the pandemic... Even the richest, most competent systems are feeling the strain. In Switzerland there are fewer free intensive-care beds than at most points in the pandemic. Germany is seeing similar problems, with a surge in patients reducing intensive-care capacity (see chart). In Singapore patients waited for about nine hours to be seen in the average polyclinic at the end of 2021. By October 2022 they were waiting for 13... Even in the darkest days of the pandemic few states reported paediatric wards under stress (which we define as 90% or more beds being occupied). In early November fully 17 states were in this position, the result of a rise in all sorts of bugs in kids. The collapse in the quality of health care is contributing to an astonishing rise in “excess deaths”—those above what would be expected in a normal year. In many rich-world countries 2022 proved deadlier even than 2021, a year of several big waves of covid... In the oecd club of mostly rich countries, health expenditure is now not far short of 10% of gdp, having been below 9% before the pandemic (see chart). Of the 20 countries for which there are data for 2021, 18 spent more per person than ever before. Almost all spent more as a share of gdp than in 2019. Even adjusting the figures for ageing populations does not meaningfully change these findings.  Thus the immediate problems facing health-care systems are not caused by a lack of cash... Although falling productivity growth is an economywide phenomenon, health care currently suffers from additional pressures... “Donning and doffing” protocols to replace protective kit, and cleaning requirements after dealing with covid patients, both of which are still in force in many countries today, slow everything down. The segregation of covid from non-covid patients limits bed allocation... Productivity has fallen—but it has not plummeted in the manner that would be needed to explain the chaos. This suggests the true explanation for the breakdown lies elsewhere: in exploding demand.  Coming out of lockdowns, people seem to require more help than ever before. Some of this is to do with immunity. People went two years without being exposed to bugs. Since then, endemic pathogens such as respiratory syncytial virus have bloomed. Everyone you know has the flu.  But the pandemic also bottled up other conditions, which are only now being diagnosed... Covid continues to add to demand as well"
Clearly we needed more lockdowns to protect people, and it's conservative governments' fault that healthcare systems are collapsing because they are not funding healthcare properly, and greater disease burden is really due to covid weakening immune systems

"I was appalled to see the prime minister making those comments": A U of T epidemiologist on the myth of immunity debt and the real reason everyone's getting sick
Too bad multiple experts disagree, even if you ignore the chief medical officer of health, even though he pretends that immunity debt is something only laypeople talk about. Naturally, he blames covid. Covid is the unified field theory. It is notable that in Europe they believe differently

Did COVID measures cause immunity debt behind child hospitalizations? - "At Ottawa’s CHEO, “it’s heart breaking to see so many children and families waiting so long to be seen,” Dr. Mona Jabbour, interim chief of CHEO’s department of pediatrics said...   “In previous years, younger babies would have had these illnesses, and by the time they’re aged two, three, four, they have some immunity to these viruses,” Jabbour said. “Because we didn’t see these viruses in the last few years, we’re seeing them all come together, and there isn’t that immunity that we usually see in older children.”... Some researchers believe the immune system needs constant poking, that exposure to germs and bacteria in the environment are important to the development of the immune system. Without that prodding, the immune system is slower to respond to future infections.  Being exposed to seasonal viruses every year also acts as an immune booster, shoring up antibody levels to combat naturally waning immunity, Russell said... The idea of “immune debt” was cautioned when we first started hiding from SARS-CoV-2, Russell said. French researchers reported last year that a lack of “immune stimulation” could lead to more intense RSV and flu epidemics in coming years.  “The longer these periods of ‘viral or bacterial low exposure’ are, the greater the likelihood of future epidemics”...   If a pathogen like RSV or flu basically disappears for a series of years, “All of the people who normally would have been infected during those years don’t get infected, and that susceptible pool of people accumulates,” said McMaster University infectious disease expert Matthew Miller.  Take off the brakes — lift the public health measures — and a virus like RSV can spread quickly, with a high attack rate. More people susceptible to a disease means more infections. “It’s just a numbers game,” Miller said."

Immunity debt is not a myth: Why it seems like everybody is sick now - "Michael Rose, a pediatric resident at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, noted in a recent column that he’s seeing fewer mothers pass antibodies to their newborns, resulting in babies that are uniquely susceptible to infections of cold and flu that they otherwise might have dodged.  “Immunity debt is Immunology 101: Hosts whose immune systems haven’t been properly primed are more prone to infection and severe disease,” wrote Rose... The issue isn’t quite as controversial in Europe, where medical figures have been far less hesitant to identify nationwide spikes in coughs, sore throats and fevers as an expected echo of pandemic restrictions. Nature, the renowned scientific journal headquartered in the U.K., was stating unequivocally in early November that cold and flu viruses were scything through Western populations that had been rendered “immunologically naïve” by COVID restrictions.  Another U.K.-based medical publication, New Scientist, struck much the same tone. “It is possible for two things to be true: it was right to have lockdowns and yet the restrictions also had downsides,” wrote medical correspondent Clare Wilson.  And as early as September, a study published in The Lancet was using national health data to identify a direct link between pandemic measures and a post-COVID surge in British RSV cases.  The numbers “confirm the concept of immunity debt as an unintended consequence of non-pharmaceutical interventions,” it read."

Sadiq Khan has let down London

From 2021:

Sadiq Khan has let down London

"Khan arguably now embodies the very worst of contemporary politics, combining an ability to achieve nothing of practical benefit with tireless, by-the-numbers woke posturing.

First, take his inability to achieve anything that might make Londoners’ lives better. He called the 2016 mayoral election a ‘referendum’ on housing... Figures from City Hall show that far from building 40,000 new ‘affordable’ homes a year, just 60,000 have been, or are in the process of being, built during five years. Indeed, as of March last year, only 12,000 affordable homes have been completed since Khan became mayor.

His other flagship pledges made during that ‘referendum’ on housing have likewise remained unmet. Take his not-for-profit lettings agency, designed to ‘promote longer-term, stable tenancies for responsible tenants and good landlords across London’. It has not been spoken of since April 2017, and is said to have been quietly shelved.

In fact, in all areas of mayoral policymaking, Khan’s reign has been typified by a lot of huff and puff, with few positive results. In 2016, he promised to tackle crime in London, and make it a ‘safe and secure place’. Yet over the past four-and-a-half years, crime rates have risen, with total crimes committed per 1,000 people increasing from 82 to 101. Most disturbing of all has been the rise in knife crime, which increased by more than a third in the year before lockdown...

Then there’s Transport for London. Again, Khan talked big in 2016, promising that Londoners wouldn’t have to pay a penny more for travel and the infrastructure would be upgraded. Five years on, fares have increased, vital infrastructure upgrades have been mothballed, and TfL persists in a state of suspended bankruptcy. What’s more, thanks to his green-friendly ultra-low emission zone, Khan is making it increasingly difficult to drive in London, and has put many cabbies out of business...

But in many ways what has made Khan’s inability to improve the lives of Londoners more galling has been his determination to couple it with that other baleful affliction of modern politics: identitarian posturing and culture-war snark.

In his earlier New Labour-ish incarnation, Khan was never this irritating. But since his election victory, coming as it did just weeks before Britain voted to leave the EU, he has thrown himself into right-on posing, and culture-war hysterics.

This came to a head during the state visit of Donald Trump. Khan seized on this as a chance for a bit of moral grandstanding, condemning Trump on social media, supporting anti-Trump protesters on London’s streets, and penning an article for the Guardian likening Trump, as the figurehead of today’s ‘global far-right movement’, to the ‘European dicatators of the 1930s and 1940s’. Then, having effectively called Trump Adolf Hitler, Khan acted aggrieved when Trump dismissed him as a ‘stone-cold loser’ and a midget.

Not content with demonising America’s elected head of state, Khan has also been all too happy to indulge in Brexit-bashing, too. In September 2018, he came out in favour of the anti-democratic People’s Vote, and finished the year off with a symbolic two-fingered salute to Brexit voters...

This has been the theme of Khan’s mayoralty. A willingness to strike a divisive, elitist pose, and stake his claim to being ‘on the right of history’. It runs through his fascist-shaming of Trump and his attack on Brexit, and into his current embrace of the new racialism, in which there is no problem so serious that it can’t be turned into an excuse to demonise white people. Even Covid – which, as Khan claimed in February this year, ‘has exposed the institutional racism that still exists in our city’.

This, in short, is why he embodies the worst of modern politics. He has signally failed to achieve anything of material import, while achieving far too much of cultural import, dividing and demonising the public.

But then, perhaps that is how he sees the position of London mayor. Not as a practical role, but as a symbolic, PR role. That at least would explain why one of the few areas of London’s governance in which investment has increased is that of his own mayoral office, and its PR department...

It seems that Khan has opted to use the mayoralty to burnish his political image among Labour’s increasingly middle-class, right-on constituency, rather than make a practical difference to Londoners’ lives. The capital, and the nation, deserves better."


He was re-elected with 55% of the vote, so Londoners like this shit

Links - 5th March 2023 (1 [including College])

What Exactly Is College For? - Freakonomics - "SCHAPIRO: The question I’ve always thought about community colleges is, how do they succeed so vastly in excess of the resources that go into them? They’re so underfunded."

The University of Impossible-to-Get-Into - Freakonomics - "BLAIR: Over the past 50 years, the number of students going to school in the U.S. has increased almost twofold... When we look at this expansion of colleges to absorb this increase in demand, most schools have been expanding except schools at the very top... In most markets, what you want to do is get more market share. Even companies like Apple are engaged in this process. What’s surprising about this is that for most of their lifetime, elite colleges have been the largest colleges. So, Harvard, Yale — at one point they were the first, they were the only, and they were the largest. In fact, between 1940 to 1980, Stanford and Princeton expanded by quite a bit. This puzzle really is a modern phenomenon. Elite colleges have historically expanded with the population.
It was in the 1970s and ’80s that the elite schools stopped expanding. This happened even as demand was rising, and as less-elite schools were growing. Back then, even the most-selective schools weren’t that selective. As recently as the 1990s, in fact, admissions rates were much higher than today... in a normal market, firms tend to increase their supply to meet a rise in demand. But there is one market where that doesn’t happen.
BLAIR: The one market where you see this not happening as much is in the market for luxury goods. Take, for example, Hermes...
Did the student who got into both Penn State and Yale and went to Yale do better than if they’d gone to Penn State instead?
MILLER: Their result is that there was on average, no benefits in terms of higher earnings to attending a more elite school or a more selective school than a less selective school... They actually have a follow-on paper that uses more data. And they do find potentially a wage benefit for people from more economically disadvantaged groups, and minority students."

What Is the Future of College — and Does It Have Room for Men? - Freakonomics - "MILLER: There’s no effect on earnings from attending a more elite school for men once you control for applications and admissions. But we do find a significant effect of school selectivity on women. And then when we look deeper into this effect for women, we see that it is coming from including part-time and non-working women. So, women who attended a more selective school for college are more likely to participate in the labor force. For women, we find that attending a school that is more selective leads to a 14 percent increase in earnings.
In other words, the female wage premium isn’t necessarily driven by having a more lucrative career; it’s driven by college-educated women going from not working or working part-time to working full-time...
SIMMONS: Boys often get into trouble in school. They get very negative messages, often, in school. They turn away from some of the advantages of school because of those negative messages. The way that we are orienting ourselves toward particular behavior of children and rewarding children who are quiet and submissive and do everything that we want them to do — that’s a formula for girls, okay? Because we tend to be socialized in our families to do exactly that, to be obedient and to not resist what we are told to do and so forth. Naturally, the one thing girls are good at is staying in school, and they can keep going because that’s what we’ve been told that we should do. Boys are not quite the same...
BLEEMER: The year that affirmative action stopped, the Black and Hispanic population of U.C.L.A. fell by 60 percent.
That was in 1996. Between 2013 and 2020, U.C.L.A. expanded by 3,000 students; 90 percent of those new spots went to women. But it isn’t just Black and Hispanic men who were skipping college. According to a Pell Institute analysis, lower-income white men are less likely to go to college than their Black, Hispanic, and Asian counterparts. There is one group of men who attend college at rates even higher than women: gay men... he knows why so many fewer people are enrolling in college these days, especially young men. One of the main promises of a college education is that it opens your mind to new ideas, new bodies of knowledge, new ways of thinking. But he says that on most college campuses, that promise isn’t being kept.
KANELOS: I’ve spent a few decades in higher education, and I’ve had literally dozens of conversations with students and faculty who have felt the walls closing in the classroom or in the ambient culture of their institution. The statistics are out there. Sixty-six percent of students in higher education say they self-censor.
“Self-censor” as in not speaking their minds out of a concern they’ll be singled out as intolerant or politically incorrect. And yes, the statistics are out there. The Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology recently published research which found that more than 80 percent of Ph.D. students were “willing to discriminate against right-leaning scholars.” Meanwhile, more than a third of conservative professors and Ph.D. students say they have been “disciplined, or threatened with discipline, for their views.” It has long been established that college administrators and faculty members lean overwhelmingly left, so we shouldn’t be surprised they create environments conducive to students who do the same. And if you’re asking why college enrollment has been falling, especially among young men — well, in addition to all the reasons we’ve already heard about, including cost, one reason may be that a lot of potential college students simply feel unwelcome on most college campuses. And so Pano Kanelos is doing something about that.
KANELOS: The University of Austin is a university that’s in the process of being developed and built in Austin, Texas. It’s going to be America’s newest university.
And Kanelos is its first president. The University of Austin is presenting itself as a college devoted to liberal ideals of free speech as opposed to wokeism and political correctness"

Yale Now Has More Admins Than Undergrads Due To Huge Bureaucracy - "professor of English Leslie Brisman made light of the situation, remarking, “I think we don’t yet have a Vice President for the rights of the left-handed, but I haven’t checked this month,” before adding, “I think that if there weren’t so many people interfering with students’ lives … and faculty choices … there would be plenty of funds for more real teaching and research positions.”   While some have suggested that burdensome government regulations have forced institutions such as Yale to hire an increasing number of administrators in order to ensure compliance, professor of law at the University of Colorado Paul Campos told the Yale Daily News that these burdensome regulations are “overblown.” Campos reportedly “suggested that the main driver has been the desire of administrators to accumulate power and influence within their institutions.”"

Saying no to teenager’s fancy college dreams: It’s worth the pain. - "Why are we parents so loath to set financial limits on our kids’ college ambitions? Maybe because it seems crass to bring money into their reach-for-the-stars dreams. Maybe because we cling to the hope of generous scholarships and lavish financial aid packages that will make our money worries moot. Maybe because we deeply believe the destiny of smart teenagers is to attend their dream school, and ours is to finance it. To do otherwise is to fail at middle-class parenting.  So we finance it, or our kids do, 45 million of us owing a collective $1.6 trillion in student debt that not even Bernie Sanders could make disappear. You know what makes it disappear? Death... So my husband and I decided to go ahead and become the villains in a John Hughes movie... I’ve continued my scared-straight campaign ever since, periodically texting Ella links to articles about twentysomethings with $100,000 in debt, describing how massive student loans would hamstring her future. While there may be a few good reasons to opt for a fancy college and suck up the student loan debt (you need a really specific program, for instance, or statistics show you’ll earn far more money after you graduate), those didn’t apply to Ella’s situation. “If you want to be an artist and you graduate with a ton of student loan debt, you can’t afford to be an artist, anymore,” I told her, explaining that you become a creatively stymied wage slave instead... saying no is part of my job as a parent. Hasn’t it been my role all along to steer my kid toward smarter but seemingly less desirable choices? Carrots instead of Kit Kats, an early bedtime instead of an all-night YouTube binge? Children naturally hate those kinds of limits. They may temporarily hate us. But they’re too young and myopic to see how this one decision could make their lives harder for a long, long time. We can."
Clearly, a "toxic" parent who deserves to be abandoned in a nursing home

College Bribe Scandal Shows Elite-College Obsession - The Atlantic - "Instead of focusing on a college “search” to find the schools that will best fit a student, too many families are focusing on college “prep,” molding the student to fit a school... Students aren’t automatically happier at selective schools. At Harvard, rates of attempted suicide are nearly twice the national rate for college students. Graduates of elite schools aren’t necessarily better off in the working world, either. In 2018, more CEOs of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies graduated from Texas A&M than Harvard... In one survey, respondents listed Princeton as one of the top 10 law schools in the country. The problem? Princeton doesn’t have a law school... Nearly 90 percent of college students say they have cheated in school. An estimated 15 to 40 percent of high-school students have abused prescription drugs as study aids. As an Illinois high-school senior told me, many students view life as “a conveyor belt,” making monotonous scheduled stops “at high school, college, graduate school, a job, more jobs, some promotions, and then you die.”"

You don't need a college degree to land a high-paying trade job - "a growing number of people without a bachelor's degree are now out-earning those with one. The study found that in the years 2017 through 2019, on average, 16% of high school graduates, 23% of workers with some college and 28% of associate degree holders earned more money than half of all workers with a bachelor's degree.  Tony Carnevale, one of the report's authors, says these findings support the idea that "you have to go to college" isn't always the best advice for high schoolers... The new report suggests that a student's field of study, the type of job they're training for and where they live can affect their earnings more than their type of degree... air traffic controllers, construction inspectors, respiratory therapists and cardiovascular technicians all earn more than, or about the same as, the median bachelor's degree holder."

Majority of college students have a mental illness: study - "depression among college students increased by nearly 135% over eight years, while anxiety surged 110%... Between 2020 and 2021, over 60% of students met the criteria for at least one mental illness — double the rate of 2013... they noted a decrease in the rate of college students seeking help and mental health services, especially among racial and ethnic minorities."

What Are College Students Paying For? - "deep discussions and dialogue in college classes can be rare. So what else are college students paying for? Some colleges have tried to make the campus experience itself the attraction... The University of Missouri “has a lazy river, waterfall, indoor beach club, and a grotto modeled after the one at the Playboy Mansion. Not to be outdone, Missouri State has put in a waterpark complete with zipline and lazy river, but insists on calling the lazy river a ‘current river’ because ‘Missouri State students are not lazy.’” So, the answer to “What else are students paying for?” includes college campuses as vacation destinations... as admissions offices at elite colleges increasingly deprioritize academic qualifications in favor of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” many of the most academically gifted students are landing at colleges outside the “Top 25,” and even the “Top 50,” like academic versions of Stephen Curry. Thus, just as the Internet broke up colleges’ monopolies on access to rare books and rare academic expertise, the deprioritization of academic qualifications in admissions is inadvertently breaking up the monopolies that highly ranked colleges used to have on students with the top test scores and grades. The Stephen Curry Effect is making it increasingly obvious that one does not need to go to a “top college” to have top students as peers... COVID stripped away many of the trappings of the modern university... In the 1960s and 1970s, proliferating colleges, with their swelling enrollments, needed more teachers. And it so happened that this era of college expansion coincided with the civil rights era, an era of protest. Many radical leftists, socialists, progressives, and Marxists saw an opportunity to use teaching to preach and promote their causes. Thus it was that during this time, the idea of using—or, rather, abusing—education as a platform to promote ideologies and activism began to spread. The fruits of this phenomenon still poison classrooms today. On the replacement of education with indoctrination in identity politics ideology, Brown University economics professor Glenn Loury says that “[t]o jump on a bandwagon, and to fill [students’] heads with slogans, rather than challenging them with the best that human beings of any color have thought through the ages … is a criminal abdication of our pedagogic responsibilities.”... many humanities departments today indoctrinate students in identity politics, which points fingers at races and genders that are said to “oppress” and focuses on calling out, canceling, and tearing down. As Joshua Mitchell points out in American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time, identity politics is a modern form of the ancient practice of scapegoating. It separates humanity into the pure and the stained based on race and gender and promises that, somehow, purging the stained can make things right. Many college students come ready to dig down to the depths of the human soul to see what’s there, but instead, they’re told that what matters is on the surface: race and gender. "Is this what we're paying for?" they're asking.  Notre Dame political philosopher Patrick Deneen argues that a true education in the liberal arts is first and foremost not about pointing fingers but learning how to overcome one’s own weaknesses, malice, and addictions, which is hard work... America gutted its vocational training programs in the 1970s, and they have not recovered. This loss has contributed to turning a $4 billion US trade surplus in 1970 into an $860 billion trade deficit today. Vocational training is one of the great voids in American education. It most hurts disadvantaged populations, who have been stung by the worst effects of outsourcing and globalization. Many students who desperately want to work with their hands (often high “sensors” on the Myers–Briggs test and high in 3D spatial intelligence) go to college because they don’t know what else to do... Downsizing is another imperative to restore some normalcy to higher education. The length of college itself can be downsized to three years. Many Americans do not realize that in many other countries, such as the UK and France, three years is the norm for a college degree. And there are great colleges overseas offering staggeringly inexpensive—and sometimes free—degrees taught in English, in places like the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Australia... a single year at either of the two American schools costs more than an entire bachelor’s degree at the University of Amsterdam, and two years at the two American schools cost more than an entire bachelor’s degree at University College London. The American degrees take an extra year to complete. The European schools offer world-famous cities and the chance to explore Europe and study or work for up to a year in an additional country through the European Union’s ERASMUS+ study abroad program. Thus, I tell my students that they should seriously consider going to college abroad. And the most obvious downsizing needed is in college administration, which is bloated ad absurdum. Consider that the University of Pennsylvania paid its “chief diversity officer” some $580,000 in the fiscal year ending in 2018. Meanwhile, Penn’s adjunct professors are paid about $6,000 per class. So, for the price of one chief diversity officer, 96 additional classes could have been offered. Moreover, to deliver what students are paying for, colleges are woefully in need of accountability... given that part of college is credentialing, should professors be held accountable for ensuring the value of the credentials they essentially regulate by having standardized exit exams, and tests to get out of college rather than just to get in?"

Opinion | My College Students Are Not OK - The New York Times - "the sociologists Daniel F. Chambliss and Christopher G. Takacs, who in their 2014 book, “How College Works,” found that students learn when they’re motivated, and “the strongest motivation to work on basic skills comes from an emotionally based face-to-face relationship with specific other people — for instance, the one-on-one writing tutorial with a respected professor who cares about this student’s work.”  Those relationships are much harder to forge remotely, and students who don’t discover early on that they learn through relationships will never know to seek them out. Even Mr. Vancil, who wishes he could take all his classes remotely, said he learns a great deal from his frequent visits to his professors’ office hours."
Too bad for the libertariansDoes Philosophy Still Matter? - Freakonomics - "DUBNER: Here’s an easy question. What’s philosophy?
HERSHOVITZ: That is not an easy question. In fact, it was a question that my father asked when I first came home and said I wanted to study philosophy. And I had no idea how to answer the question. And I was stymied actually for years. And then Rex actually helped. So Rex was in second grade, and on the very first day, the teacher was memorializing what everyone wanted to be when they grew up, and she sent home a list. There were, like, doctors and firefighters and teachers. And then one of the things on the list was a math philosopher. And I knew this was my kid. I said to him, “Ms. Kind says you want to be a philosopher of math? What’s philosophy?” And just instantly, he says, to me, “Philosophy is the art of thinking.” And I think that’s a phenomenal answer. Philosophy is the art of thinking. So here’s what I think marks out a philosophical question: It’s a question that requires you to think in an effort to understand the world better.
DUBNER: You cite David Hills from Stanford saying that philosophy is, “The ungainly attempt to tackle questions that come naturally to children using methods that come naturally to lawyers.”...
Even if we do sometimes engage with philosophy in our ordinary lives, it has plainly lost some of its standing in society. If you go back to just 1970, nearly one of every 100 bachelor’s degrees was awarded in philosophy and religious studies; today, it’s barely half of that. Philosophers and philosophy used to figure prominently in statecraft and government — including in ancient Greece, of course, but in the formation of the United States, too. Our founders engaged deeply with the work of John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others; today, philosophy is pretty much absent from our political and policy conversations."

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, What is the countryside for? - "I bet that the people on the panel tonight who don't go to the countryside much are the ones who are going to be most in favor of rewilding it. I suspect there's a cultural war battle coming about what the countryside is for and for whom and my sympathies tend to lie with those who do live in it. Farmers who are worried that what's going on here is middle class activists seek to turn our countryside into a kind of artificial bourgeois Eden"

Twilight (painting) - Wikipedia - "Twilight (Norwegian: Skumring) is a 1981 painting by the Norwegian artist Odd Nerdrum. It depicts a woman defecating in a forest clearing. Nerdrum presented the painting as a "tribute to the natural, the true human being whom we all fear"...   Joseph Beuys, who had been Nerdrum's teacher at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, described Twilight as "possibly the most radical" painting he knew of."

Daniel N. Gullotta 🇺🇦 on Twitter - "I know I am going to sound like an old man yelling at a cloud, but "back in my day," the idea of protesting my grade seemed unimaginable. Yet the frequency of complaints I get about grades, the pleas for extra credit, etc. is astonishing. Has it always been like this?"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Peace and Goodwill - "'The British, apparently are world leaders in saying sorry, we do it all the time, eight times a day on average., much more than other nations. And a lot of the time when we've nothing to be sorry for. It probably goes up over Christmas. Most things do over the season of peace and goodwill. Joy for many, certainly, but also domestic violence, suicides, and so much family breakdown lawyers call the first working day after the holiday divorce Monday. There's a real sense that however much we may apologize, we fall out a lot, not just in our personal relationships, but in our political discourse. We’ve become more dogmatic, more strident, less able to disagree decently. When should we keep quiet? When should we say sorry, properly? When should we compromise? Agree respectfully to disagree? And when should we stick to our guns? Because it's a matter of principle on which we are, of course, undoubtedly, right'...
‘Truth is essential for peace, because only when we've spoken the truth and reconciled ourselves to the truth, can we find a genuine and lasting peace'...
‘I am one of those Brexiteers. And actually, I find that whenever I meet family, I'm not the one starting an argument. I feel interrogated by other people because they want me to morally justify my position. And because I'm, I'm a peaceful person, I just try to avoid the argument. And I find that whenever I just try to deflect or move on, I sense that they think I'm weak, or my argument actually has no moral foundation, and I can't defend it. So I find that whenever I try to be peaceful or amicable, sometimes with family, it just looks like I've lost and that makes me feel kind of wretched.’...
‘You know, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, which everybody seems to understand. You start with safety, and then love and belonging, and then self acceptance. And then you reach this great place of self actualization. The interesting thing about Maslow's hierarchy of needs is that’s our name for it. He called his book, a theory of human motivation. And in the last decade of his life, he said, There is something that lies beyond self actualization, being yourself. He said, it's self transcendence. When you can come to that place where actually you say, well, this is my view, this is how I see the world. But others see it differently. I can transcend my ego, my, my need to be right and to be heard, I can listen more, I don’t have to speak as much. I realize this program is all about speaking.’"

Pinocchio - Rotten Tomatoes - "Tomatometer 27%
Audience Score 29%"
Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio - Rotten Tomatoes - "Tomatometer 97%
Audience Score 85%"

Crucify Jesus yourself - Filemon Wesselman - artKitchen Gallery - "CRUCIFY JESUS ??BY YOURSELF! (DIY kit) - 3D print, Edition 1/3- last available. one of the exhibits at the Twente Biennale contemporary art festival in Enschede, Netherlands, in 2015. The "trademark" of Christians is the crucifix; the image of the body of Jesus on the cross. I was raised Christian and have seen this image all my childhood. I stared in amazement at the large wooden crucifix behind the preaching pastor or pastor. During a trip to the holy places of Israel I was confronted with this image many times a day. At the same time there were many tourist market stalls where toys were sold. Just like in almost every toy store there was a lot violent toys. Weapons were held by "action figures". Children could wage their own fantasy war. But the cruel image of Jesus on the cross was nowhere to be seen. Also no action figures the person that it was all about. This self-crucifixion set raises many questions. Which side are you on when you nail Jesus on the cross? After all, without crucifixion, Christianity would not have been so great. Is this allowed by the Christians? And when they approve of this, what does it say about the state of Christianity? Do people feel guilty when they buy this and the crucifixion is completed? And if one feels guilty, isn't one by definition religious? The city where the Twente Biennial takes place was also the setting for the TV spectacle The Passion. The "disneyfication" of Christianity started to rise. This is the next step in the desecration of Christianity."

Whatsapp Freezes Because Indians Send Over 100 Crore Good Morning Messages It Just Can't Handle - "  If you're a Whatsapp user in India, then this scenario should sound very familiar. Immediately after sunrise, or sometimes even before the crack of dawn, your incoming message alert starts chiming at regular intervals.  As family friends and relatives wake up to a new day, all of them are thoughtfully wishing you a Good Morning through an assortment of images -- sun rising, flowers, baby photos, inspirational quotes and then some. Before the clock hits 8 am, hundreds of millions of messages have fired off in either directions...   Whatsapp, for instance, crashed and couldn't handle the stress of Indians firing off Happy New Year messages at the turn of the year, where over 20 billion messages were sent just in India -- a Whatsapp record for any single country...   Google search volume has also seen a tenfold increase for "Good morning messages" queries originating from India alone"
From 2018

Meme - *Man hugs person in yellow top with ponytail*
Man in yellow top with ponytail: *stunned*
Girl in yellow top with ponytail: *annoyed*

Male students made to do push-ups over their female comrades for 'military training' - "a video has been circulating on Chinese social media which has once again made Chinese netizens question what kind of "training" the country's youth is being put through.  In the video, a group of male teens in military uniform are seen hovering above their female comrades lying on the ground. As the instructor counts, the men start doing sexually suggestive push-ups while the women try to hide their faces in shame. While the site of this particular "training exercise" has not yet been uncovered, it is more than likely part of the mandatory military training that university freshmen must undergo in China at the start of each school year.  These weeks of training, which involve millions of students, have been criticized for years for being useless and occasionally cruel. However, on the bright side, they have at least left us with some memorable pics, like this"

Would You Name Your Kid "Sword"? - "Jihad – meaning War in the Cause of Allah – for example, is a common given name in the Muslim world, and appears in various forms. Westerners, on meeting men named Jihad, are at first often startled, but then get used to hearing it. The name Jihad is also common in Turkish in two forms: "Cihat," the Turkish variant, pronounced Ji-hat, and also "Savaş," the Turkish word for war. From time to time, one also finds a variant, Jihad al-Din, meaning Holy War of the (Muslim) religion... although there are Muslims with names such as Rahman and Rahim, loosely translated from the Arabic as the "compassionate" and "merciful," both of these names are shortened versions of the names 'Abd al-Rahman and 'Abd al-Rahim, which refer to characteristics of Allah, not of man.  Many popular names are derived from the word "Fath," Arabic for "Conquest in the Name of Islam." The Arabic name "Fathullah," and its Turkish variant, Fethullah , meaning "The Muslim Conquest in the Name of Allah," are used frequently throughout the Muslim world, along with other variants, such as, Fathi and Fatih. The Ottoman conquest of Constantinople, later renamed Istanbul, is referred to as Futuh Costantiniya.  Another common name, Sayf, in Arabic means "sword." Its variants follow suit: Sayf al-Islam means "the sword of Islam"; Sayf al-Din means "the sword of the Law/religion" (that is, Islam), and Sayf-Allah means the sword of Allah. The son of Libya's late dictator, Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qaddafi, was named Seif al-Islam.  Among Arab Shi'ites in Lebanon (and in one Christian family) there, we find the family name "Harb," which means "war" in Arabic. Another name, Ghazi (Gazi in Turkish), means "Warrior for the Islamic Faith."  The name Qutb, in Arabic meaning "pole" – as in "one who polarizes the community" -- and its variants, Qutb al-Din and Qutbzade (used in Iran), are also popular. Sa'id Qutb, for example, was the intellectual godfather of modern Islamic fundamentalism. Ghotbzadeh, (the Iranian variant of the name Qutb plus the Persian suffix zadeh meaning "son of") was the name of one of Ayatollah Khomeini's trusted assistants whom Khomeini later had killed. Polarization, however, creates discord; it is not a signal of peace and harmony...   In the Muslim world, the idea of living within your own territory and not trying to conquer others was revolutionary. Until then, the purpose of the state had been to conquer, enlarging the territory over which Islam ruled. Atatürk , moreover, made peace with his Christian Greek neighbors, and refused to get involved in Muslim quarrels to Turkey's south. He emphasized peace in the Western sense of the word: his motto was Yurt'ta Sulh; Cihan'da Sulh ["Peace at Home, Peace Abroad."] His new policy was reflected in the new and non-warlike names -- previously unknown in Turkish culture -- that people began to adopt in Turkey. New Turkish names such as Aydın [Enlightened); Bariş [Peace, in the Western sense of putting the past behind you] and Can (pronounced "Jan," meaning "soul" or "life"] all became the rage.  Although the Atatürkist, secular model might eventually be one way for Islam to reform, at least for now Atatürkism is, at best, on life-support"

Loan shark prank? Rider gets beaten up after delivering bak kut teh to Malay family - "A woman was just trying to earn her keep, but was hurt after she allegedly got caught in a loan shark's scheme.  The GrabFood delivery rider, surnamed Wang, told 8World she received a cash on delivery order for bak kut teh (pork rib soup)... When she arrived at the doorstep of a flat at Bukit Batok West Avenue 5, a teenage boy opened the door and refused to pay, saying he didn't order the food. He told her that as a Malay family, it was impossible for them to order bak kut teh.  "I encountered a prank order before, so I thought I was unlucky," Wang said.  So she left the flat and called the person who placed the order. "But he told me someone was at home and urged me to deliver the food quickly, so I went upstairs again."  When she returned, she was stunned to see two people attacking a middle-aged man outside the flat.  The pair — the teen and a woman who appeared to be his mum — turned their attention to the delivery rider and cornered her.   "His mother hit me on the head and mouth several times. They also kicked me. They thought I took a photo them and tried to grab my phone," Wang said.  The boy even "chased away" passing neighbours, telling them not to "meddle in their business"...   "I heard that the father of the family owed loan sharks $400, so the latter placed a bogus order to remind him to pay back the money," she said.  According to her, the middle-aged man she had seen earlier was a real estate agent who was tricked by loan sharks to go check on debtors living in the flat...   A 62-year-old man was taken conscious to hospital while a 45-year-old woman suffered minor injuries. She declined to be taken to hospital.   The police added that a 32-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy are assisting with police investigations.  Since 2020, the police have noted an increase in cases involving loan sharks making use of food deliveries to harass debtors.  "The unlicensed moneylenders would order large quantities of food or make multiple orders on the same day, and arrange for the food to be delivered to the debtors' homes, often late at night""

'I've never borrowed money from loan sharks': Over 20 delivery riders turn up at residents' doors in suspected harassment - "Residents of two blocks — one at Upper Aljunied and another along Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 — found themselves at the receiving end of not one or two, but multiple food deliveries, none of which they had asked for... eight delivery riders had turned up at his door within a span of one hour on Saturday (Feb 20), giving his 81-year-old mother a shock."

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