When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, May 20, 2023

Links - 20th May 2023 (2 - Trans Mania)

David Llamas on Twitter - "🚨@SFSU  sent the following email about the the @Riley_Gaines_  @TPUSA  event🚨  “Dear SF State community,    Today, San Francisco State finds itself again at the center of a national discussion regarding freedom of speech and expression. Let me begin by saying clearly: the trans community is welcome and belongs at San Francisco State University. Further, our community fiercely believes in unity, connection, care and compassion, and we value different ideas, even when they are not our own. SF State is regularly noted as one of the most diverse campuses in the United States—this is what makes us Gators, and this is what makes us great. Diversity promotes critical discussions, new understandings and enriches the academic experience. But we may also find ourselves exposed to divergent views and even views we find personally abhorrent. These encounters have sometimes led to discord, anger, confrontation and fear. We must meet this moment and unite with a shared value of learning.   Thank you to our students who participated peacefully in Thursday evening’s event. It took tremendous bravery to stand in a challenging space. I am proud of the moments where we listened and asked insightful questions. I am also proud of the moments when our students demonstrated the value of free speech and the right to protest peacefully. These issues do not go away, and these values are very much at our core.   This feels difficult because it is difficult. As you reflect, process, and begin to heal, please remember that there are people, resources and services available and ready to receive our Gator community, including faculty, staff members, coaches and mentors who are here to support you.     Campus resources are also available:  1Equity and Community Inclusion  1Counseling and Psychological Services   1Dean of Students Office    The well-being of the SF State campus community remains our priority.     Sincerely,  Jamillah Moore, Ed.D.  Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management”  @tpusastudents  @charliekirk11"
Riley Gaines on Twitter - "I'm sorry did this just say PEACEFUL.... I was assaulted. I was extorted and held for random. The protestors demanded I pay them if I wanted to make it home safely. I missed my flight home because I was barricaded in a classroom... We must have different definitions of peaceful."
War is Peace

Independent Women's Forum on Twitter - "We strongly condemn the violence perpetrated against @iwf spokeswoman @Riley_Gaines_ on @SFSU campus. Riley was violently accosted, ambushed, and physically assaulted during a speech on sex discrimination women face in their own single-sex sports category."
Pedro L. Gonzalez on Twitter - "Didn’t take that long to go from “why do you care what people do in the privacy of their own bedroom” to “we’re going to kill you if you don’t believe men are women”"

Oli London on Twitter - "Women’s Swimming Star @Riley_Gaines_ has been violently assaulted by TRANS Activists while giving a speech on women’s sports at San Francisco State University.  A Transgender Male, wearing a dress, punched Riley repeatedly while the Trans Mob chased and harassed her until she was forced to take shelter in a locked room. All because she was speaking about women’s rights.   #rileygaines #transgender #trans"
Andrew Follett on Twitter - "Important point in this footage which a lot of people are missing... The video of the assault of @Riley_Gaines_ was posted and recorded by the Trans mob itself. This shows forethought and that they actually think they're above the law"
Tinman🤪🇺🇲 on Twitter - "That would be my judgement considering the going narratives an agendas being driven lately. Do you remember many of the Antifa/BLM thugs being arrested or adjudicated for literally destroying parts of cities and looting them for years? Not near enough. Consider the Trans in the same group. We were infiltrated long ago by Cultural Marxism seeded by globalist NGO's which are ultimately funded by the likes of George Soros. These are not "accidents or coincidences". Non of the crap you see today is."
The Monster + on Twitter - "They posted it as a warning to anyone else that if they speak out as Riley has, they too will be assaulted. And, if anyone dare defend themselves against such an attack, THEY will be the ones charged with crime."
Brattani on Twitter - "They want the violence. They want to be able to say “look at these violent cis women”"

‘I'm A Victim!’ Yells Trans Activist While Punching Woman In The Face | Babylon Bee - ""You people don't get it!" shouted the muscular, blue-haired man as he repeatedly struck the tiny woman in the jaw. "Trans people have the right to expose their genitalia in locker rooms to anyone they want! Stop threatening us and being violent!"... "If men who think they are women don't have the right to walk around naked in women's locker rooms, what rights DO they have?!" shouted another muscular male activist as he kicked an unconscious woman in the ribs. "We must be protected and defended!"  At publishing time, as the battered women were being hauled off to the hospital under police custody to receive treatment for their injuries before facing charges of committing dangerous crimes against the trans community, the trans activists who physically assaulted the protesting women had reportedly been isolated by law enforcement to protect them from the general public."
Liberal logic: their enemies' words are violence, but their own violence isn't violence

'Woke' professor denies male, female skeleton differences - "A “woke” University of Pittsburgh anthropology professor denied there’s a difference in male and female bone structure during a discussion about gender, sparking disbelief and outrage.  “If you were to dig up a human — two humans — a hundred years from now, both a man and a woman, could you tell the difference strictly off of bones?” Riley Gaines is shown in footage asking during the lecture.  “No,” professor Gabby Yearwood replies...   The response sparked appalled laughter from students, including Gaines, who describes herself on Twitter as a former University of Kentucky swimmer who believes there are “only two sexes.”  Yearwood then insists that he’s the “expert in the room,” according to FOX News.  “Have any of you been to anthropological sites? Have any of you studied biological anthropology? I’m just saying, I’ve got over 150 years of data, I’m just curious as to why I’m being laughed at,” he said before later declaring, “I have a PhD!”"

Meme - "My girlfriend says she misses cis dick.. I (21 FTM) and my girlfriend (20 cis f) have been together for 11 months now, and everything was seemingly great. She's super supportive, empathetic, and understanding. I have been on T for 2 years now, but haven't had bottom surgery. My girlfriend is bi and has been with mostly other cis girls but also some cis guys, and her last partner before me was a cis guy. We have been having regular sex for around 6 months now, and she always reassured me that my bottom growth was enough for her, while we also used toys. (I don't like to use a strap cuz it makes me dysphoric). Earlier tonight when we were having sex and she was riding me, she suddenly stopped, got off of me, and broke down. I was really confused and asked her if she was okay and what was wrong? Long story short after prodding at her for around 30 ming she said that she can't feel my t dick at all, and that she misses the feeling of an actual cis dick, and she can't get that feeling from toys or my t dick. When I heard this it felt like my soul was crushed, and I drove back home. I've been on the verge of crying every since, and I don't know what to think of what she said."

Meme - "I can't have friends
Every time I talk with someone they accidentally misgender me and my day gets completely ruined and I start crying the entire day. The worst part it's that I also have schizophrenia, when I forgot my medication the walls misgender me and also cry. I can't have any friends being schizophrenic and dysphoric."

Meme - "I was born visible, but I'm now identifying as trans-parent. My new pronouns will be who/where"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Royal Academy removes artist’s work from its gift shop - "‘The Royal Academy deciding that it would no longer sell work by the textile artists Jess de Wahls in its online shop. This was announced last week when the Royal Academy posted it on their Instagram stories that her work would no longer be stocked because of her transphobic views. They had contacted her just before the announcement and said they had had complaints about her’...
They emailed me which almost, well, I predicted because I at that point had seen what was going on, what was mounting against me once more on social media. And they they emailed me, I responded quite swiftly because it's distressing, when there's a bit of a mob mounting against you on social media that has the power and capacity to to sway an organization like that. So I emailed them back, twice, didn't hear anything back from them for another day. Or well actually another two days. The day after, I again got sent a screenshot by friends that they had posted on their social media story that they will no longer be stocking the work of this so called transphobic artists’
‘You had no advance notice that a decision of that kind which had significant repercussions, you had no no notice that that decision had been made, and therefore no opportunity to respond to it, that what they said to you sounds like they were more sort of letting you know that they'd had complaints and they were looking at them.’...
‘I have compassion for the journey that they're going through. But I can't make myself believe something I don't believe to be true. I find it really interesting that in this entire conversation, we now talk about the nature of the biologic, bio, biological fact that there's only two sexes as an opinion. How, when has that become an opinion? I don't. This is the bit where it doesn't remove my compassion from that person. But I don't exist to validate other people's idea of themselves... I thought, well, this is such a big institution. Maybe they won't be swayed by the online mob’...
'They haven't issued any public statement apart from that Instagram story in the nature of that is that it it disappears after being posted'...
‘This is one of those classic situations in which very few people that heard what she wrote back in 2019, very few people were aware that she had anything stocked in the shop’...
‘It was eight people who complained to the Royal Academy. And without reaching any kind of sort of agreement on the way forward, they suddenly said in an Instagram story that they were no longer going to stock her’...
‘I'm very much into having a healthy place for debate and discussion… I do believe that gender as a subject can be attacked, can be can be discussed, can be debated. And I think art is one of the places in society, that we should be having a degree of freedom of speech and a degree of expression so that we can discuss things, express things. I wonder how many items by Picasso are in the Royal Academy shop as well, obviously, not current works. But in terms of books about them, because Picasso was quite renowned as a misogynist and had problematic personal lives. The art, the lives of artists going back, you know, across the centuries were problematic. And we don't sort of destock them as a result of it.’"
Sounds like some young punk on the social media team tried to push things through

Royal Academy of Arts apologises to Jess de Wahls in transphobia row - "The Royal Academy of Arts has apologised to an artist whose work was removed from its gift shop after it branded her views transphobic on social media, calling its initial decision a “betrayal” of its commitment to freedom of speech... De Wahls’s comments from 2019 are what led to accusations of transphobia, which the artist denied.In the blogpost on her website, she wrote: “I have no issue with somebody who feels more comfortable expressing themselves as if they are the other sex (or in whatever way they please for that matter).  “However, I cannot accept people’s unsubstantiated assertions that they are in fact the opposite sex to when they were born and deserve to be extended the same rights as if they were born as such.”... the LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told the Guardian this week: “Trans women are different from other women, but being a different kind of woman is perfectly valid and no justification for the denial of their identity.  “If an artist denied Jewish, black or gay people’s identity, most people would say that the Royal Academy would be right to remove their works from the gift shop. But when Jess denies trans people’s identity, she and other trans critics say that it’s her right to free speech and she should not be penalised. This smacks of double standards.”"
Weird. We kept being told that sex and gender are different and that people who don't understand that are ignorant
Does talking about Jews and white privilege mean you're denying their identity? Since talking about biology is now unacceptable, does saying there is no gay gene mean you're denying gay identity?

Meme - "This page is transphobic as HELL, do better moderators. I'm out"
"This isn't an airport; no need to announce your departure."
"I'd be mad if I chopped my weiner off too."
"Dude must be on his period!!!"
"Well it's name is skyler so....... yeah that tracks."
"See pronouns where used!"

Meme - Margaret Thatcher: "Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't." (Pictured with former US President Ronald Reagan in 1990)

Meme - *Meme transwoman with blue hair and mannish face*
Jasmine @solstakao: "this caricature is funny because i have not seen a single trans person that looks like that"
*Transwoman with blue hair and mannish face*
grandoldmemes: "They cant meme because they are the meme"

Meme - ""My male skeleton for some reason makes me look like a male"
Narrator: It was a man, forcing himself into girl tops.
u/miss3star Pansexual: My ribs and shoulders make me look like a dude forcing himself into girl tops
I thought I had a small torso (28" around where the bra band sits. Hesitant to call it band size because I don't have boobs). Apparently not. I have a very ugly, bony rib cage. I hate how there are two weird prongs sticking out the front near the bottom of my ribs. And my shoulders. I don't know how to be any smaller, I'm already borderline anorexic. I was so excited about finding a cute top but it's all ruined now."

Meme - Kara @sylverkara: "I'd prefer a trans day of invisiblity for once"

Meme - "I feel invisible, and under represented *Cheez It, J&B Beer, Hershey's, Bud Light, Kellogg's All Together Cereal*"

Meme - "March 31st is *Trans* Day of Visibility? but that jawline and Adam's apple and set of broad shoulders is visible every day of the year"

Meme - "Peppermint Patty, are you transgender?"
"No, Chuck, I'm a tomboy"
"Whats the differance?"
"Tomboys aren't science deniers."

Meme - "Al Art Universe: Eliot page as a woman."

Teacher at California girls' school forced to apologize to 11-yr-olds for saying 'good afternoon, girls' - "A teacher at a private girls' school has alleged that she was "humiliated" after being told to apologize to 11-year-old students for referring to them as girls. Reports reveal that the teacher had greeted her class with "good afternoon, girls" at the beginning of a lecture, which led to complaints from the students. Administrators at the $24,800-per-year institution then instructed the teacher to apologize... she was "managed out" by senior staff at the elite school, which is a part of the independent Girls' Day School Trust, but only after being made to apologize in front of the entire school... senior staff members appeared to support the students during a lunchtime protest organized by the students against the teacher. She said, "I was told that they made placards with slogans such as 'Trans lives matter.' Before the end of the week, I was in some sort of disciplinary process and the head of year was telling me I had to apologize to the girls.""

Netflix quietly dumps Cyndi Lauper kids show about non-binary bison - "Netflix quietly canceled the animated children's series Ridley Jones, after an episode featured a non-binary character.  According to the show's creator Chris Nee, the series was not given any promotion before its release. Nee, a two-time Kidscreen Award winner and Emmy nominee, tweeted on Wednesday addressing the cancellation, claiming that Netflix "quietly dumped" the show due to its inclusion of a non-binary character."

Trans Rights Means No Rights at All - "The fiction of “trans rights” places a tremendous burden on the vast majority of people whose brains and bodies are in sync. We’re forced to play along with the fiction that brains — which learn and grow and change all the time — are what determine our “true” gender. And yet the nature and features of our bodies — fixed at conception by our genetic code — are infinitely malleable, mere plastic to be molded by surgery and drugs to conform to the brain’s whims.  Worse, by conflating a mental health issue with a civil rights issue, the Left has found a clever new way to upend the entire notion of rights.  The impact on individuals of this fiction has been to deny the right of adolescent girls to survive their awkward stage intact — and there’s got to be a special place in Hell for surgeons who butcher the bodies of teenage girls under the influence of this social contagion... Women have lost the right to have their own spaces, their own sports, and even — when you look at the glamorization of pantomime “women” like Dylan Mulvaney — their own selves. Straight men have lost the right to admit we’re attracted only to real women. So have lesbians for that matter, because being LGB is no defense against the Q and the T.  Now we have governments in states like California and Oregon passing laws against parents helping guide their children across the rocky passages of adolescence, and mandating trans “care” as part of their “protection” of kids’ trans rights.  Nearly as bad is the weaponization of those so-called trans rights by violent adult males, to weasel their way into formerly women’s spaces. The most chilling example are these male convicts who declared themselves “women” and will serve their time alongside actual females in California’s women’s prisons...   If we go strictly by attempted suicide rates, then gender dysphoria is far and away the most debilitating mental condition anyone could suffer. Nearly one in four sufferers attempt suicide at some point in their lives, and “almost half (48.3%) reported suicidal ideation.” Those jaw-dropping numbers are unchanged regardless of whether or not a person has undergone transitioning...   Those individuals enduring this terrible condition deserve our sympathy and our care, not indulgence.  There’s nothing in “trans rights” that addresses the sad fact that nothing we’re doing is helping, and seemingly everything we’re doing hurts someone — particularly those who don’t even suffer from gender dysphoria."

Children as young as seven might be ‘mixed berry gender fluid muffins’, Welsh teachers told - "Children as young as seven might be a “mixed berry gender fluid muffin”, teachers have been told in a sex education resource promoted by the Welsh Government.  The 170-page "Agenda" pamphlet, which has been promoted to all schools in Labour-run Wales, claims that biological sex “is not just ‘male’ and 'female’” and lectures teachers on how some “want to change our gender pronouns (eg. from he to she) or want to be ‘agender’”, where they have no gender.  It has been described as the latest “highly inappropriate” example of sex and relationships education in Britain's schools to emerge, with critics claiming the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford is “determined to push gender ideology”.  An investigation by The Telegraph found last week that pupils in some secondary schools have been told there are 100 genders and children are being taught gender fluidity as fact in some major academy trusts and independent schools, which led to Rishi Sunak ordering an urgent review this week."

University ‘blocks’ academic from her own gender wars research over ‘dangerous’ data - "A university has “confiscated” the findings of an academic studying Britain’s gender wars in a row over her “dangerous” research data, The Telegraph can reveal.   Dr Laura Favaro began the first ever taxpayer-funded study into whether social scientists at universities feel censored over their views on transgender issues in March 2020 at City, University of London.  But it has descended into chaos, with the study’s author allegedly hounded out of the university, stripped of the findings she collected and barred from publishing them amid claims of transphobia.  Dr Favaro is now bringing an employment tribunal claim against City for harassment, victimisation and whistleblowing detriment, and claims she was discriminated against for her protected philosophical belief in the reality of biological sex... Her study involved 50 individual interviews with academics in gender studies who identified as feminists, a representative survey of social scientists with 650 responses and hundreds of documents and tweets.  Scholars told her that they had threats of violence in the gender debate, hostility from colleagues, and others said they felt their careers “can’t survive that sort of backlash”, and that they have to have “secret conversations” to avoid reprisal and because “we are all so afraid”.  Her final work has not been published, as it was derailed by complaints about an article for Times Higher Education in which she warned that “a culture of discrimination, silencing and fear has taken hold”.  Following this, she says, her line managers told her that the study had “become an institutionally sensitive issue” and that “City considers my data to be dangerous” and is “frightened of making it public”.   A research participant who “did not like the findings” and academics sympathetic to trans issues were among those who complained. One, Dr Sahra Taylor, a City lecturer, claimed it was an “attack piece on trans people [and] our existences” that has “clearly caused harm to many interviewed”. City found following an investigation that there was “no evidence” that the research breached any ethics criteria.  But City allegedly locked the email account Dr Favaro used to communicate with survey respondents, and demanded that she hand over all of her interview and survey data and delete any copies of it, before making her redundant on March 31, despite her claiming she has a permanent contract. Dr Favaro also claims City rejected her offer to give a talk on her findings.   It means she cannot publish her survey or deposit it in the UK Data Archive, as she had hoped to, and feels her career is now in ruins... “It feels like a never-ending nightmare, dystopian, so unjust. All I have been trying to do is my job as a sociologist. There was a social conflict, so I asked questions, collected data, reported on the findings, offered an analysis. That is my job."
TRAs are so threatened by dissenting views

Trans teen died from vaginoplasty complications during landmark Dutch study used to justify child sex changes - "A 2016 medical article documenting the tragic death of one of the participants in the linchpin Dutch study upon which the entire child sex change experiment is based indicates that puberty suppression was to blame for the young person’s death.  The case is that of an 18-year-old trans-identified male whose puberty was blocked by the Dutch researchers at a very early stage, meaning there wasn’t enough penile tissue for surgeons to use to create a “neo-vagina.” Therefore, a more risky procedure using a section of the patient’s bowel was necessary, which resulted in fatal necrotizing fasciitis...   Jazz Jennings, star of the reality TV show I Am Jazz, faced a similar issue when it came time for genital surgery. Jennings was an extremely gender-nonconforming child who would almost certainly have grown up to be a gay man but was instead transitioned at a very young age.  Jennings’s puberty was also blocked very early meaning standard vaginoplasty was not possible. Jennings required three corrective surgeries, still struggles in the dating world, and has never experienced orgasm.  Dr. Marci Bowers, Jennings’s surgeon and president of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, is on record saying that all boys who have their puberty blocked early will never experience orgasm, which surely casts doubt on the Dutch researcher’s conclusion that “vaginal reconstruction has a positive influence on the quality of life in (transgender) women.”"
Clearly "livesaving" "treatment"

Thread by @jeremycarl4 on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "Transgender-identifying Montana House member "Zooey Zephyr" became a media celebrity when he accused the MT GOP of "having blood on their hands" after passing a bill to block genital and hormonal mutilation of children... Zephyr's original speech (clearly totally out of bounds for a legislative debate) first brought him to major national attention after an initial burst of interest when he was elected in 2022...  the MT House expelled him from the floor for the rest of the legislative session.  Rep. Zephyr claims that when he came out as transgender his mother told him that he “always wanted to be a martyr.”  He is now getting his wish... But who really is “Zooey Zephyr”?  Both Montana and national media seem incurious.  An exhaustive internet search reveals a disquieting story, one that shows a disturbed young man with a troubled past and a series of toxic relationships. Born in Billings, MT as Zachary Raasch, he was a champion high school wrestler. “Zooey Zephyr,” currently in the state and national headlines, did not even exist until 2019, when, after several months of taking female hormones, Raasch publicly transitioned. He had surgical vaginoplasty in 2022 (indeed he was not in Missoula on election night when he was elected to the Montana House, but flying to New York for post-operative care of the wound where his natural genitals used to be) According to Raasch, his parents “disowned” him when he decided to transition. Raasch was originally motivated to run for the state legislature in response to the attempts to ban “Transgender girls” from girls and women’s sports. Disturbingly, he is extremely interested in transhumanism (the melding of man and machine through “technological enhancement” of the human body)—the subject of an abandoned master’s thesis at the University of Montana.  Perhaps this explains his desire to modify his body. Previously, he was a major player in the online Super Smash Bros. online gaming community (playing here as Cazcom) The community was hit by a scandal in 2020 involving major players and the sexual abuse of minors... He is also a fan of Manga and anime. Raasch has posted disturbing sexualized anime images on his Twitter.  He shows all the classic sign of an autogynephilic—a man who (often spurred by pornography or fetish) becomes sexually aroused by the idea of themselves as a woman. Raasch is also dating Anthony “Erin” Reed, one of the most prominent national transgender activists.  Reed has a disturbing background himself, and one again that has been almost completely ignored by the national media in which he has frequently appeared."

Hitchens on Race and Identity Politics

It's easy to find his observation on the dense and boring quoted, but not the rest. Unfortunately even when this was written he was wrong about intelligence and at a minimum soon after, he was also found to be wrong on race.


"Well, no, I don’t think that the solidarity of belonging is much of a prize. I appreciate that it can bestow some pride, and that it can lead to mutual aid and even brother- and sisterhood, but it has too many suffocating qualities, and many if not most of the benefits can be acquired in other ways.

That’s relatively easy for me to say, as you point out. After all, to have been born in England and to be brought up in its educated class is to have acquired certain securities as a kind of birthright. However, as was once so well said: “What do they know of England, who only England know?” This applies, with the relevant alteration, to any country or culture. I want to urge you very strongly to travel as much as you can, and to evolve yourself as an internationalist. It’s as important a part of your education as a radical as the reading of any book.

In the years of my upbringing, before I left for America at the age of about thirty, Britain was making the transition from being a homogenous and colonial society to becoming a multicultural and postcolonial one. I came of a naval and military family with a long tradition of service to the empire; my first conscious memory is of crossing the Grand Harbor at Valetta by ferry, at a time when Malta was still a British colony. As I grew older, part of the background noise was supplied by the collapse of British imperial arrangements in the Suez Canal, Cyprus, Aden and Africa; this noise amplified through the growls of resentment I heard from being brought up in and around British naval bases. My grandfather had served in India in the First World War, my father had been posted in British overseas “possessions” as far distant as the coastal enclaves of China, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Falkland Islands. (When I got married in Cyprus in 1981, he revisited the island for the first time since helping to put down a revolt there a half-century earlier.) A regular occurrence was the arrival of mail from our uncles and aunts and cousins in South Africa, who sometimes came to visit and always seemed vaguely “defensive.”

I won’t say that I was brought up to think or hear anything ugly—my parents were too intelligent to be encumbered by prejudice—but the prevailing attitude to foreigners was of the “watch out for your wallet don’t drink the water” style and this attitude was reinforced by the British gutter press as well as by many politicians. When I started travelling in earnest in my twenties, often to countries that had once been British colonies, I took along my socialist convictions but often had to overcome a squeamish or nervous reluctance to go into the bazaar, so to speak. (As recently as 1993, when I set off on a long tour of Africa for my magazine, not one person in Washington failed to wish me luck in “darkest Africa” “the heart of darkness” “the dark continent.” As you’ll find when you go to Africa, the first thing you notice is the dazzling light.)

In one way, travelling has narrowed my mind. What I have discovered is something very ordinary and unexciting, which is that humans are the same everywhere and that the degree of variation between members of our species is very slight. This is of course an encouraging finding; it helps arm you against news programs back home that show seething or abject masses of either fanatical or torpid people. In another way it is a depressing finding; the sorts of things that make people quarrel and make them stupid are the same everywhere. The two worst things, as one can work out without leaving home, are racism and religion. (When allied, these two approximate to what I imagine fascism must have felt like.) Freud was brilliantly right when he wrote about “the narcissism of the small difference”: distinctions that seem trivial to the visitor are the obsessive concern of the local and the provincial minds. You can, if you spend enough time there, learn to guess by instinct who is Protestant and who is Catholic in Belfast or who is Tamil and who is Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. And when you hear the bigots talk about the “other,” it’s always in the same tones as their colonial bosses used to employ to talk about them. (Dirty, prone to crime, lazy, very untrustworthy with women and—this is especially toxic— inclined to breed rapidly.) In Cyprus, a place I know and love, almost all communication between the two sides is stalled and inhibited by a military occupation and partition. But there are certain areas of Greek-Turkish cooperation that transcend the local apartheid. One is the sewage system in the divided capital city, because sewage knows no boundaries. The other is a regional sickle-cell blood malady called thalassemia, which affects both communities. I was talking one day to a Greek Cypriot physician who was engaged in joint research with Turkish colleagues on this shared disorder. He said to me that it was a funny thing, but if you looked at a blood sample you couldn’t tell who was Turkish and who was Greek. I wanted to ask him whether, before he became a medical man, he had thought that the two nationalities were fashioned from discrepant genetic material.

We still inhabit the prehistory of our race, and have not caught up with the immense discoveries about our own nature and about the nature of the universe. The unspooling of the skein of the genome has effectively abolished racism and creationism, and the amazing findings of Hubble and Hawking have allowed us to guess at the origins of the cosmos. But how much more addictive is the familiar old garbage about tribe and nation and faith.

I make a minor specialism out of the study of partition—one of the legacies of the British empire, by the way, though not exclusively to be blamed on it—and I have crossed most of the frontiers that freeze stupidity and hatred in place and time. The Ledra Palace Hotel checkpoint in Nicosia, the Allenby Bridge across the Jordan, the “demilitarised zone” at Panmunjom in Korea (uncrossable still, though I have viewed it from both sides), the Atari border post that cuts the Grand Trunk Road between Amritsar and Lahore and is the only land crossing between India and Pakistan, the “Hill of Shouts” across which divided villagers can communicate on the Golan Heights (which I’ve also seen from both sides), the checkpoints that sprang up around multicultural Bosnia and threatened to choke it, the “customs” post separating Gaza from the road to Jerusalem . . . I’ve stood in the sun or the rain and been searched or asked for bribes by surly guards or watched pathetic supplicants be humiliated at all of these. Some other barriers, like Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin or the British army’s bunker between Derry and Donegal or the frontier separating Hong Kong and Macao from China have collapsed or partly evaporated and are just marks in my passport. The other ones will all collapse or dissolve one day, too. But the waste of life and energy that has been involved in maintaining them, and the sheer baseness of the resulting mentality. . . . In some ways I feel sorry for racists and for religious fanatics, because they so much miss the point of being human, and deserve a sort of pity. But then I harden my heart, and decide to hate them all the more, because of the misery they inflict and because of the contemptible excuses they advance for doing so. It especially annoys me when racists are accused of “discrimination.” The ability to discriminate is a precious faculty; by judging all members of one “race” to be the same, the racist precisely shows himself incapable of discrimination.

To be opposed to racism in the postgenome universe is to be opposed to the concept. This realisation lags well behind the reality. Pseudo-scientists who work on supposed “proofs” of correlation between IQ and “race” are now rightly criticised because of the opacity and arbitrariness of the definition of “intelligence,” let alone of its alleged and protean “quotient.” But they are surely much more vulnerable in their assumption that a person’s “race” can be defined with any exactitude. As I write this, my morning’s New York Times has a solemn story about a new attorney general who once accepted an honorary degree from a southern “university” that prohibits “interracial dating.” Some say this “university” is retrograde, others, more lenient, point out that it now permits interracial dating with parental permission. My quarrel would be with anyone employing the term “interracial” to describe a boy-girl encounter between any two humans. Or a boy-boy or girl-girl one, if it comes to that, which it most certainly will.

For years, when I went to renew my annual pass at the United States Senate, I was made to fill in two forms. The first asked me for my biographical details and the second stipulated that I had signed the former under penalty of perjury. I was grateful for the latter form, because when asked to state my “race” I always put “human” in the required box. This led to a yearly row. “Put ‘white,’” I was once told—by an African-American clerk, I might add. I explained that white was not even a color, let alone a race. I also drew his attention to the perjury provision that obliged me to state only the truth. “Put ‘Caucasian,’” I was told on another occasion. I said that I had no connection with the Caucasus and no belief in the outmoded ethnology that had produced the category. So it went on until one year there was no race space on the form. I’d like to claim credit for this, though I probably can’t. I offer you the story, also, as part of my recommendation that one acts bloody-minded as often as the odds are favorable and even sometimes when they are not: it’s good exercise

I don’t seem to have said enough about the compensating or positive element of exposure to travel. Just as you discover that stupidity and cruelty are the same everywhere, you find that the essential elements of humanism are the same everywhere, too. Punjabis in Amritsar and Lahore are equally welcoming and open-minded, even though partition means the amputation of Punjab as well as of the subcontinent. There are a heartening number of atheists and agnostics in the six counties of Northern Ireland, even though Ulster as well as Ireland has been divided. Most important of all, the instinct for justice and for liberty is just as much “innate” in us as are the promptings of tribalism and sexual xenophobia and superstition. People know when they are being lied to, they know when their rulers are absurd, they know they do not love their chains; every time a Bastille falls one is always pleasantly surprised by how many sane and decent people were there all along. There’s an old argument about whether full bellies or empty bellies lead to contentment or revolt: it’s an argument not worth having. The crucial organ is the mind, not the gut. People assert themselves out of an unquenchable sense of dignity.

I have a Somali friend who, during the Western intervention in her unhappy country in 1992, became a sort of clearinghouse for information on human rights. At one point, a group of Belgian soldiers lost their heads and fired into a Somali crowd, killing a number of civilians. At once, Rakiya’s switchboard lit up, with every Belgian news desk calling her at once. Alas, these correspondents and editors only wished to know one thing. Were the Belgian soldiers Flemish or Walloon? To this paltry inquiry she replied—I suspect not without relish—that her organisation took no position on tribal rivalries in Belgium. This recollection reminds me that I owe you a letter on the importance of humor.

PS: Since this often seems to come up in discussions of the radical style, I’ll mention one other gleaning from my voyages. Beware of identity politics. I’ll re-phrase that: have nothing to do with identity politics. I remember very well the first time I heard the saying “The Personal Is Political.” It began as a sort of reaction to the defeats and downturns that followed 1968: a consolation prize, as you might say, for people who had missed that year. I knew in my bones that a truly Bad Idea had entered the discourse. Nor was I wrong. People began to stand up at meetings and orate about how they felt, not about what or how they thought, and about who they were rather than what (if anything) they had done or stood for. It became the replication in even less interesting form of the narcissism of the small difference, because each identity group begat its subgroups and “specificities.” This tendency has often been satirised—the overweight caucus of the Cherokee trans-gender disabled lesbian faction demands a hearing on its needs—but never satirised enough. You have to have seen it really happen. From a way of being radical it very swiftly became a way of being reactionary; the Clarence Thomas hearings demonstrated this to all but the most dense and boring and selfish, but then, it was the dense and boring and selfish who had always seen identity politics as their big chance.

Anyway, what you swiftly realise if you peek over the wall of your own immediate neighborhood or environment, and travel beyond it, is, first, that we have a huge surplus of people who wouldn’t change anything about the way they were born, or the group they were born into, but second that “humanity” (and the idea of change) is best represented by those who have the wit not to think, or should I say feel, in this way."

--- Letters to a Young Contrarian / Christopher Hitchens

Links - 20th May 2023 (1 - Depression/Mental Health)

Cross-sectional Comparison of the Epidemiology of DSM-5 Generalized Anxiety Disorder Across the Globe
Someone claimed that poor countries have a lower rate of depression than rich countries because of an underdeveloped health system and underdiagnosis. Weird then how this global survey giving everyone the same interview found that anxiety was highest in developed countries and lowest in low income countries

Over-Diagnosis and Over-Treatment of Depression Is Common in the U.S. - "Americans are over-diagnosed and over-treated for depression, according to a new study conducted at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study examines adults with clinician-identified depression and individuals who experienced major depressive episodes within a 12-month period. It found that when assessed for major depressive episodes using a structured interview, only 38.4 percent of adults with clinician-identified depression met the 12-month criteria for depression, despite the majority of participants being prescribed and using psychiatric medications."
Of course it cannot be the case at all that depression can be over diagnosed. It can only be under diagnosed

6 Facts About Mental Health in Brazil - "Among the Brazilian population, around 68% is between the ages of 15-64, a target age range for both anxiety disorders and depression. Brazil leads in the world in terms of anxiety cases and ranks fifth for cases of depression, while access to public health support for treatment remains low... People recognize mental health in Brazil as taboo"
Depression is only high in Brazil compared to other poor countries because mental health is well-funded there and depression is not stigmatised

How Western Psychology Needs To Rethink Depression - "Consider the role of employment — someone without a job is three times more likely to be depressed than someone working. As for education — those who didn't graduate from high school are 2.5 times more likely to be depressed than those with some college or greater... The take home lesson is that we have to understand context in order to understand depression. Jerome Kagan, a pioneer in the field of psychology, argued this point powerfully in a Radio Boston interview late last week. His new book, "Psychology's Ghosts," challenges psychology and psychiatry to approach their patients in a radically different way... Malaria means not that you have a fever but that you have the malarial parasite. Psychiatry is the only sub-discipline in medicine where the diagnoses are only based on the symptoms... "The best predictor today in Europe or North America of who will be depressed is not a gene and it’s not a measure of your brain — it’s whether you’re poor... "You know, we had a lot of trouble with Western mental health workers who came here immediately after the genocide, and we had to ask some of them to leave...They came and their practice did not involve being outside in the sun like what you’re describing – which is, after all, where you begin to feel better. There was no music or drumming to get your blood flowing again when you’re depressed and you’re low and you need to have your blood flowing. There was no sense that everyone had taken the day off so that the entire community could come together to try to lift you up and bring you back to joy. There was no acknowledgement of the depression as something invasive and external that could actually be cast out of you again. Instead, they would take people one at a time into these dingy little rooms and have them sit around for an hour or so and talk about bad things that had happened to them. We had to get them to leave the country.""

Do Antidepressants Really Work? - The New York Times - "The more popular antidepressants become, the more questions they raise. The drugs are one of the most widely prescribed types of medications in the United States, with more than one out of eight Americans over 18 having recently taken them, according to a survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet we know very little about how well antidepressants work over the long term, and especially how they affect overall quality of life, experts say... A study published yesterday in the journal PLoS One aimed to close this knowledge gap by comparing, over the course of two years, the changes in quality of life reported by Americans with depression who took antidepressants versus the changes reported by those with the same diagnosis who did not take the medications... The paper found no significant differences in the changes in quality of life reported by the two groups, which suggests that antidepressant drugs may not improve long-term quality of life... “There’s just so much that’s not known,” said Robert DeRubeis, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania who studies the causes and treatments of mood disorders. “It’s not at all clear that even in the short term, pharmacological approaches, on average, are more effective than psychological ones,” he added. Clinical trials suggest that although antidepressants do improve depression symptoms over the first few months, their benefits are modest and are much less pronounced among people with mild depression compared with those with severe depression. (This is worrying considering that, according to one study, 73 percent of Americans prescribed antidepressants don’t even have a diagnosis of depression.) And experts are divided over whether these small benefits make a noticeable difference to people’s moods or overall functioning. Some doctors, for instance, have argued that the improvements people experience while taking antidepressants are not much larger than what they might experience taking sugar pills... Research suggests that people can also experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, known as antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, when they stop taking antidepressants, sometimes for weeks or months, and that the drugs can pose other risks, perhaps increasing the likelihood of strokes, heart attacks, falls and even death. And of course, like any medication, antidepressants can cause side effects, including nausea, agitation, weight gain, lower sex drive and indigestion."

Doctors have stopped thinking a 'chemical imbalance' causes depression - "Psychiatry has known for some time that the “serotonin theory” of depression, the notion that too little of the brain chemical can be a cause of depression, a decades-old hypothesis and deeply entrenched trope in society that helped promote a class of antidepressants taken by millions of Canadians, is wrong, says Montreal psychiatrist Dr. Joel Paris. “You want to know why it took so long for the truth to come out,” Paris, a professor of psychiatry at McGill University, wrote in an email. “I am afraid this has something to do with the toxic relationship between industry and academia.” Drug companies encourage doctors to prescribe often, and heavily, he said, and have “paid many academic psychiatrists to promote their products.” Two months after a major review found no support for the hypothesis that depression is caused by lowered serotonin activity or concentrations, no convincing evidence of a “chemical imbalance,” the paper is still stirring controversy. Its authors say they have been ridiculed and attacked and accused of dog whistling to far-right commentators who have groundlessly linked antidepressants to mass shootings... Some psychiatric opinion leaders dismissed the study as “old wine in new bottles,” arguing that no serious psychiatrist today believes depressions are due to a tidy, simple imbalance in brain chemicals or “serotonergic deficit.” Apparently no one told the public. One survey of Australian adults found 88 per cent believes the “chemical imbalance” hypothesis of depression...   The serotonin theory seemed promising when first introduced 60 years ago, “but was soon discarded,” said Dr. Allen Frances, a professor emeritus of psychiatry at Duke University who led the task force that created the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1994.  The association was weak and often didn’t replicate. “Depressions are so remarkably heterogenous, there can’t possibly be any unitary cause,” Frances said. “Further study revealed just how ridiculously complicated is brain structure and function.” But the “chemical imbalance” theory was a marketing godsend for drug companies... We’ve allowed a “pathologizing” of our human condition, she said. “If I’m feeling happy and peaceful, that’s great, but anything else has become a symptom.” When high school kids talk about their emotions today, “they use language that medicalizes their thoughts and feelings,” she said. “It’s just my OCD,” obsessive compulsive disorder. “I was a shy kid. Kids in my class now in university, they’ve got social anxiety disorder.”...   Paris, of McGill, agrees that SSRI’s are overused. “The old adage is that if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Clinicians want to do something for their patient, and these days that will usually be a prescription, given that psychotherapy is so poorly insured in Canada.”"

Antidepressants No Better Than Placebo for About 85% of People - "Unfortunately, the researchers found no way to predict who, exactly, is in this 15%. They write that if everyone with a depression diagnosis is given an antidepressant, about seven people need to be given the drug (and thus be exposed to the harmful effects with no benefit) before one person benefits...   Clinical trials also usually hand-pick their participants, searching for those with no other conditions and who are not suicidal. This makes them very different from the individuals most often treated with the drugs in real life.  Indeed, in a study this year, other researchers found that response to treatment is much lower in real life... In another paper, those same researchers also found that those with more severe depression, those with comorbid anxiety, and those who were suicidal were least likely to benefit from the drugs."

Is everything you think you know about depression wrong? - "In the 1970s, a truth was accidentally discovered about depression – one that was quickly swept aside, because its implications were too inconvenient, and too explosive... If they followed [the DSM], they had to diagnose every grieving person who came to them as depressed and start giving them medical treatment. If you lose someone, it turns out that these symptoms will come to you automatically. So, the doctors wanted to know, are we supposed to start drugging all the bereaved people in America? The authors conferred, and they decided that there would be a special clause added to the list of symptoms of depression. None of this applies, they said, if you have lost somebody you love in the past year. In that situation, all these symptoms are natural, and not a disorder. It was called “the grief exception”, and it seemed to resolve the problem.  Then, as the years and decades passed, doctors on the frontline started to come back with another question. All over the world, they were being encouraged to tell patients that depression is, in fact, just the result of a spontaneous chemical imbalance in your brain – it is produced by low serotonin, or a natural lack of some other chemical. It’s not caused by your life – it’s caused by your broken brain. Some of the doctors began to ask how this fitted with the grief exception. If you agree that the symptoms of depression are a logical and understandable response to one set of life circumstances – losing a loved one – might they not be an understandable response to other situations?... The grief exception seemed to have blasted a hole in the claim that the causes of depression are sealed away in your skull. It suggested that there are causes out here, in the world, and they needed to be investigated and solved there. This was a debate that mainstream psychiatry (with some exceptions) did not want to have. So, they responded in a simple way – by whittling away the grief exception. With each new edition of the manual they reduced the period of grief that you were allowed before being labelled mentally ill – down to a few months and then, finally, to nothing at all. Now, if your baby dies at 10am, your doctor can diagnose you with a mental illness at 10.01am and start drugging you straight away... this debate reveals a key problem with how we talk about depression, anxiety and other forms of suffering: we don’t, she said, “consider context”. We act like human distress can be assessed solely on a checklist that can be separated out from our lives, and labelled as brain diseases. If we started to take people’s actual lives into account when we treat depression and anxiety, Joanne explained, it would require “an entire system overhaul”. She told me that when “you have a person with extreme human distress, [we need to] stop treating the symptoms. The symptoms are a messenger of a deeper problem. Let’s get to the deeper problem.”...  a few months into my drugging, something odd happened. The pain started to seep through again. Before long, I felt as bad as I had at the start. I went back to my doctor, and he told me that I was clearly on too low a dose. And so, 20 milligrams became 30 milligrams; the white pill became blue. I felt better for several months. And then the pain came back through once more. My dose kept being jacked up, until I was on 80mg, where it stayed for many years, with only a few short breaks. And still the pain broke back through...  Why was I still depressed when I was doing everything I had been told to do? I had identified the low serotonin in my brain, and I was boosting my serotonin levels – yet I still felt awful... Why were so many other people across the western world feeling like me? Around one in five US adults are taking at least one drug for a psychiatric problem. In Britain, antidepressant prescriptions have doubled in a decade, to the point where now one in 11 of us drug ourselves to deal with these feelings. What has been causing depression and its twin, anxiety, to spiral in this way?... could it really be that in our separate heads, all of us had brain chemistries that were spontaneously malfunctioning at the same time?... there is evidence that seven specific factors in the way we are living today are causing depression and anxiety to rise – alongside two real biological factors (such as your genes) that can combine with these forces to make it worse... [drug companies] would fund huge numbers of studies, throw away all the ones that suggested the drugs had very limited effects, and then only release the ones that showed success. To give one example: in one trial, the drug was given to 245 patients, but the drug company published the results for only 27 of them. Those 27 patients happened to be the ones the drug seemed to work for... between 65 and 80% of people on antidepressants are depressed again within a year... How do we know depression is even caused by low serotonin at all?... the evidence was strikingly shaky. Professor Andrew Scull of Princeton, writing in the Lancet, explained that attributing depression to spontaneously low serotonin is “deeply misleading and unscientific”. Dr David Healy told me: “There was never any basis for it, ever. It was just marketing copy.”... Most of the depressed and anxious people I know, I realised, are in the 87% who don’t like their work...  if you have no control over your work, you are far more likely to become stressed – and, crucially, depressed. Humans have an innate need to feel that what we are doing, day-to-day, is meaningful. When you are controlled, you can’t create meaning out of your work. Suddenly, the depression of many of my friends, even those in fancy jobs – who spend most of their waking hours feeling controlled and unappreciated – started to look not like a problem with their brains, but a problem with their environments... finding an antidepressant didn’t mean finding a way to change your brain chemistry. It meant finding a way to solve the problem that was causing the depression in the first place... In its official statement for World Health Day in 2017, the United Nations reviewed the best evidence and concluded that “the dominant biomedical narrative of depression” is based on “biased and selective use of research outcomes” that “must be abandoned”. We need to move from “focusing on ‘chemical imbalances’”, they said, to focusing more on “power imbalances”."
The "mental health" squad won't be happy, since they insist on medicalising and "destigmatising" depression and avoiding "victim blaming", which is why they get very upset when you suggest that depressed people get some exercise. Drugs and maybe therapy are the only acceptable treatments for depression!

Exercise is even more effective than counselling or medication for depression. But how much do you need? - "When comparing the size of the benefits of exercise to other common treatments for mental health conditions from previous systematic reviews, our findings suggest exercise is around 1.5 times more effective than either medication or cognitive behaviour therapy.  Furthermore, exercise has additional benefits compared to medications, such as reduced cost, fewer side effects and offering bonus gains for physical health, such as healthier body weight, improved cardiovascular and bone health, and cognitive benefits.  Exercise is cheaper than medication, with fewer side effects."
Some people got very upset when I posted this with the comment that exercise was better than anti-depressants (in response to a claim that before meds are tried, other factors should be considered) and sarcastically tagged "wow thanks i'm cured" or claimed that exercise didn't work for them (so the point was useless). Clearly if someone posts about how cigarette smoking increases the chance of lung cancer, lots of non smokers who got lung cancer need to savage him for being ignorant.

Depression treatment: 30 years after Prozac arrived, we still buy the lie that chemical imbalances cause depression - "depression isn’t caused by a chemical imbalance, we don’t know how Prozac works, and we don’t even know for sure if it’s an effective treatment for the majority of people with depression. One reason the theory of chemical imbalances won’t die is that it fits in with psychiatry’s attempt, over the past half century, to portray depression as a disease of the brain, instead of an illness of the mind. This narrative, which depicts depression as a biological condition that afflicts the material substance of the body, much like cancer, divorces depression from the self. It also casts aside the social factors that contribute to depression, such as isolation, poverty, or tragic events, as secondary concerns. Non-pharmaceutical treatments, such as therapy and exercise, often play second fiddle to drugs... though various people could be classed as suffering from a distinct depressive disorder according to their life events, there aren’t clearly defined treatments for each disorder. Patients from all groups are treated with the same drugs, though they are unlikely to be experiencing the same underlying biological condition, despite sharing some symptoms. Currently, a hugely heterogeneous group of people is prescribed the same antidepressants, adding to the difficulty of figuring out who responds best to which treatment... “[T]he serotonin hypothesis is typically presented as a collective scientific belief,” write Lacasse and Leo, though, as they note: “There is not a single peer-reviewed article that can be accurately cited to directly support claims of serotonin deficiency in any mental disorder, while there are many articles that present counterevidence.”  Despite the lack of evidence, the theory has saturated society. In their 2007 paper, Lacasse and Leo point to dozens of articles in mainstream publications that refer to chemical imbalances as the unquestioned cause of depression... 30 years after Prozac was released, rates of depression are higher than ever. Hyman responds succinctly when I ask him to discuss the causes of depression: “No one has a clue,” he says.  There’s not “an iota of direct evidence” for the theory that a chemical imbalance causes depression, Hyman adds. Early papers that put forward the chemical imbalance theory did so only tentatively, but, “the world quickly forgot their cautions,” he says. Depression, according to current studies, has an estimated heritability of around 37%, so genetics and biology certainly play a significant role. Brain activity corresponds with experiences of depression, just as it corresponds with all mental experiences. This, says Horwitz, “has been known for thousands of years.” Beyond that, knowledge is precarious. “Neuroscientists don’t have a good way of separating when brains are functioning normally or abnormally,” says Horwitz. If depression was a simple matter of adjusting serotonin levels, SSRIs should work immediately, rather than taking weeks to have an effect.  Reducing serotonin levels in the brain should create a state of depression, when research has found that this isn’t the case. One drug, tianeptine (a non-SSRI sold under the brand names Stablon and Coaxil across Europe, South America, and Asia, though not the UK or US), has the opposite effect of most antidepressants and decreases levels of serotonin. This doesn’t mean that antidepressants that affect levels of serotonin definitively don’t work—it simply means that we don’t know if they’re affecting the root cause of depression. A drug’s effect on serotonin could be a relatively inconsequential side effect, rather than the crucial treatment. History is filled with treatments that work but fundamentally misunderstand the causes of the illness. In the 19th century, for example, miasma theory held that infectious diseases such as cholera were caused by noxious smells contributing “bad air.” To get rid of these smells, cleaning up waste became a priority—which was ultimately beneficial, but because waste feeds the microorganisms that actually transmit infectious disease, rather than because of the smells. It’s possible our current medical categorization and inaccurate cultural perception of “depression” is actually causing more and more people to suffer from depression. There are plenty of historical examples of mental health symptoms that shift alongside cultural expectations: Hysteria has declined as women’s agency has increased, for example, while symptoms of anorexia in Hong Kong changed as the region became more aware of western notions of the illness... psychiatry “reframes ordinary distress as mental illness”... there’s very little difference between antidepressants and placebos... while drugs and therapy are similarly effective in the short-term, in the long-term those who don’t take medication seem to do better and have a lower risk of relapse... “Some people really respond, some don’t respond at all, and everything in between,” Hyman adds.  There are currently no known biomarkers to definitely show who will respond to what antidepressants... there’s evidence to suggest framing depression as a biological disease reduces agency, and makes people feel less capable of overcoming their symptoms. It effectively divorces depression from a sense of self... Some might worry that a mental health condition treated partly with therapy, exercise, and societal changes could be seen as less serious or less legitimate. Though this line of thinking reflects a well-meaning attempt to reduce stigma around mental health, it panders to faulty logic. After all, many bodily illnesses are massively affected by lifestyle. “It doesn’t make heart attacks less real that we want to do exercise and see a dietician”"
So much for anti-depressants being good because they give people a fighting chance

Internal Acceptance Movement - "I wear glasses.  Can I manage without glasses?  Well, yes, probably.  I could squint a lot, constantly move up close to anything I want to see, take the bus or a taxi if I want to go anywhere.  I could just accept that I’ll never be able to see eagles flying in the sky or whales jumping out of the ocean.    But why?  Why try so hard to manage life when I could just put on a pair of glasses?  No one would ever suggest a near-sighted person should just work harder.  No one would say ‘Maybe that’s just your normal’ to someone that needs glasses.  They would say ‘Let’s go to the eye doctor and get you a prescription so you’re able to see again.’  You shouldn’t have to try so hard.
My doctor (paraphrased), when I expressed doubts about going back on an anti-depressant."
Didn't know glasses can make me gain weight, or give me blurred vision or anxiety. And how many opticians prescribe glasses to people who don't need them?

Are we talking ourselves into a mental-health crisis? - "Mental health is starting to lose all meaning and significance.  In the trailer for The Me You Can’t See, starring Prince Harry, Oprah Winfrey states: ‘All over the world, people are in some kind of mental, psychological, emotional pain.’ Of course, this is partly true, if a little apocalyptic. Everyone at some point in their lives feels melancholic, worried, anxious, lonely or perhaps even depressed. But it is important to remember that these are perfectly normal human emotions. By turning these feelings into diagnosable conditions, we are beginning to perceive these feelings as something that can be easily solved through medical means. As Arthur Miller once stated: ‘Psychoanalysis is the preconception that suffering is a mistake, a sign of weakness or an illness.’...   Our heightened sense of ‘awareness’ for mental health is also becoming a problem for free speech. Anyone who ventures on to social media will have seen the hashtag #BeKind. Of course, at times, it seems like some Twitter users need to be reminded that their words and actions lack common decency. But it also acts as an instruction for others to self-censor their opinions in case it may upset someone. In reality, ‘be kind’ is often code for ‘be quiet’. At the same time as discussion about mental-health issues can be found everywhere, there are lots of people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are suffering in silence and are unable to find support for genuine problems. So much attention is devoted to minor grievances that those with a serious need to access support are crowded out."

We need to stop making mental illness look cool on social media - "A quick search of #depressed on Instagram brings up over 12 million posts. Interspersed between black and white photos and gifs of crying cartoons are pictures of pretty girls smoking and the occasional sadboi-with-tattoo overlaid with text like "Help me" and "I want to go far away … forever."  These romanticized depictions of mental illness are what mental health professional Aditi Verma calls “beautiful suffering”: a meme-ified version of mental illness that reduces anxiety and depression to a temporary feeling capable of being depicted through dark edits and simplified text. The trend appeared on Tumblr over a decade ago, but has spread to platforms like Instagram. Full accounts like @sadthoughts_1 and @__depressionquotes, which have thousands of followers, are dedicated solely to this type of content. With a 71 percent increase in mental illness diagnoses in adults aged 18-25 during the last 10 years, the trend of falsely portraying the mentally ill experience threatens the already fragile well-being of more young people than ever before...  “My first thought after being told by my psychiatrist that I was experiencing bipolar symptoms was ‘Damn, this isn’t even one of the cool ones,’” Alex, a 20-year-old student, says. “I realized how weird that sounded, backed up, and realized [I said that] because I couldn’t remember a single time on Tumblr or wherever where bipolar was mentioned in any way that didn’t basically mean ‘crazy person’.”   This trend of “beautiful suffering” innately splits mental illnesses into “cool” and “uncool,” creating a schism that pushes the mental illnesses deemed too taboo for aesthetic appropriation further into the abyss. This allows some to appear, by association, more like Lana Del Rey, whose image has always been based upon maintaining a level of physical beauty through a narrative of (but not limited to) abuse, suicidal ideation, and melancholy... These aesthetics imply that having one of the “cool” illnesses grants you intelligence, uniqueness, and glamour. The inverse implication is that owners of an “uncool” mental illness are not only lacking in these areas, but will continue to soak up whatever’s left of the transgressive “crazy” stereotype"

Commentary: When we call people with strange behaviour mentally ill, we reinforce mental health stigma - "several online commenters called these women  “crazy”, “with a hole in the brain” and “confirm mentally ill”.   The actions in the videos were problematic, but these comments left an even more bitter aftertaste. While some commenters explicitly mocked them, others seemed to have jumped the gun to assume these women had mental illness and urged others to understand.   Either way, such assumptions seem to reinforce the dated stereotype that those with mental illness would necessarily behave in “crazy” ways, and cannot be taken seriously - a fundamental reason for the prevailing stigma around mental illness."
Weird how "crazy" is equated with "has a mental health condition"
There is a school of thought that criminality is evidence of a mental health condition too, so

Stress is normal, Prince Harry – and you don’t need an emotional support dog to handle it - "The most vulnerable (unsurprisingly perhaps) are aged 18–24. They deal with it by “doom scrolling”. So, no more learning about Ukraine or global warming, eh? The next age group (25-32) watches the telly too much – and if you’re approaching 40 you’ll eat too much.  Those who suffer from “the scaries” are being urged by Health Secretary Thérèse Coffey to go online to put together a personalised “mind plan”... Prince Harry revealed only this week that their three pets are “emotional support” dogs. These days, you don’t even have to live in California to have one. People here in the UK can register a pet – whether it’s a dog or a ferret – with “a licensed mental health practitioner” who will attest to the psychological benefits of having it with you, whether it’s on a plane or in a restaurant to, err, soothe frayed nerves. Of course, there are millions who get enormous comfort from being with their pets. They might even call it “emotional support”. And no doubt there are people who will be offended by my somewhat sceptical approach to the “Sunday scaries” campaign. But, isn’t it also right to question whether the Government department responsible for the shocking state of the NHS has its priorities right?  Ambulances that arrive too late. Nurses retiring in droves. GPs who are far too busy to see patients in the flesh. Cancer outcomes that would shame many other European countries. A care service that is on its knees. The list is very, very long.  This generation’s obsession with “stress” is not helping. Should we not give a little more thought to the way we endlessly conflate “stress” with “mental health”?... We use the phrase “mental health” often without even being able to articulate what we mean by it. We expect young children to assess their own mental health. How can they? They’re children. But they are becoming conditioned to believe that to be unhappy for even a short time is to have mental health “issues”. It isn’t. It’s the human condition."
The therapyspeak people will be very upset and will say we cannot dismiss trauma and that those who disagree just show they're flawed and need to heal and become better people, and that mental health is very important

Kayley Govender🤪 on Twitter - "Yeah, Instagram is bad for our mental health but what about Outlook"
Any form of stress threatens "mental health"

Friday, May 19, 2023

Links - 19th May 2023 (2 [including Jacinda Arden])

Jacinda Ardern’s downfall is the latest sign voters are finally starting to regret lockdown - "Jacinda Ardern is a career politician, though you’d never have guessed it from the coverage when she announced her resignation on Thursday. Tributes poured in as if a great moral teacher had perished. Typical was London’s inept mayor, Sadiq Khan... Neither Khan nor anyone else identified what her achievements were, but that didn’t staunch the paeans of praise – including from normally cynical journalists... To question her motives for quitting was seen as downright uncouth. Ardern said that it was because she no longer had “enough in the tank”, and everyone went along with her.  “There’s the old Enoch Powell line that all political careers end in failure,” wrote Jon Sopel, who recently left our state broadcaster to launch a podcast. “This one hasn’t. Goes at a time of her own choosing, head held high.”  Maybe. Most politicians have wanted to chuck it all in at one time or another. But might not the hard-bitten Sopel have reminded his followers that, as recently as September, Ardern had promised to carry on? Might he have noted that her mind changed when the opinion polls changed? Might he at least have raised the question of whether she was jumping before being pushed?  Nope. It would be downright undignified to treat the Blessed Jacinda like a politician... What was it that Ardern had accomplished? Did she overthrow a dictatorship? Did she win a war? Did she suffer in prison for her beliefs? Of course not. New Zealand is as healthy, wealthy and comfortable as any country on Earth.  Ardern inherited a golden economic legacy from the outgoing National Party in 2017. New Zealand had grown in 24 of the previous 25 quarters, its budget was in surplus and crime was low.  Ardern did build more houses – though nowhere near enough to slow soaring prices – but she also presided over a rise in crime, an economic slowdown, and a measure of rural unrest as farmers struggled to meet her eco-targets.  At the same time, she upset other Anglosphere governments by her readiness to cosy up to Beijing, even as the Chinese launched their economic war against Australia. All in all, not a great record, which is why Kiwis had more or less made up their minds to return to National. So why the fawning tone of foreign commentators?  The depressing answer is that we live in a superficial age, an age that cares more about vibes than deeds. Ardern is young, green and woke. She had a baby while in office and gave that baby a partly Māori name. In a culture whose critical faculties have been turned to mush by Twitter (source of all the above quotations) these things matter more than hard achievements.  The power of image over substance, of narrative over accomplishment, was especially pronounced during the first lockdown, when the global middle classes sat glued to their screens. During those pinched, petty, puritanical weeks, one story in particular rose to prominence. Female heads of government, we kept reading, were handling the pandemic better than their male counterparts.  One of the many asymmetries of identity politics is that we are supposed to want more women in office because of their feminine qualities – empathy, risk-aversion, dislike of conflict – while simultaneously affecting to believe that there are no mental or emotional differences between the sexes.  Ardern became the face of the touchy-feely global moment ushered in by the first lockdown. Not for her the supposedly cavalier insouciance of leaders like Boris Johnson and Donald Trump. Oh, no, she cared. Her warm-hearted instincts stretched out to embrace her entire archipelago, saving its people from the pandemic.  Even at the time, that story didn’t quite stack up. Setting aside the bizarre implication that other leaders were happy to stand by and watch their voters die (even if you assume that all politicians are self-interested sleazebags, that would be an electorally unappealing approach), the dates don’t work.  New Zealand locked down after the UK did. The policies of the two countries were, at first, almost identical. The difference was that New Zealand gets as many international flights in a day as Heathrow does in an hour, so isolation was a feasible policy there.  With strict limitations on international travel, New Zealand was able to leave lockdown earlier than more interconnected countries, and it was that success that gave Ardern her landslide victory in the election of October 2020. But as isolation lingered, the mood soured. Ardern’s government was stunningly authoritarian when it came to vaccine mandates – public sector workers were sacked for declining shots – yet at the same time slow to purchase doses... Kiwis resemble Brits more than any other people in the world and, like us, they initially loved lockdowns. But as they watched other countries emerging from their chrysalises and drying their wings, they began to feel restless. Another lockdown in Auckland in late 2021 was, for many, the last straw.  Ardern’s strict approach, which had at first chimed with the national mood, began to seem dictatorial. “We will continue to be your single source of truth,” she had said in 2020. “Unless you hear it from us it is not the truth.” At the time, no one much minded. But, by 2022, Kiwis were circulating that clip with a kind of horrified wonder that they had ever put up with it.  Not just Kiwis. The world has learned a lot since 2020. First, and most obviously, we now see that there was almost no correlation between the severity of a lockdown and the overall death rate. Sweden, which avoided lockdown, had one of the lowest rates of excess mortality in Europe in 2020 and 2021.  Second, contrary to everything we were led to believe at the time (other than in the Sunday columns of one fearless former MEP, modesty forbids, etc etc) vaccines were of no use when it came to preventing infections. Yes, they were good at keeping people out of hospital, and especially good at keeping vulnerable people alive. But they were no good at stopping transmission.  Pause for a moment and consider the implications of that statement, which the World Health Organisation accepts. The whole edifice of vaccine mandates – the travel restrictions, the entry requirements, the closures – rested on the idea that inoculation protected other people. If all a vaccine did was protect the person who had been jabbed, then there was no case for state intervention.  Because Ardern was more hardline than most leaders, she suffered a proportionate backlash. But similar things have been happening around the world. Incumbent governments could get re-elected at the height of the crisis in 2020. Now, though, we are experiencing the lockdown hangover – stagflation, mental health problems, deaths caused by delays in diagnosis and, worst of all, a growing sense that the whole bloody thing was an overreaction.  There is an easy way to tell, by the way, if Ardern really did resign for family-based or other non-political reasons. The Davos crowd, who adore her, will doubtless want her to take some high-profile international job, perhaps at the United Nations. We’ll see then whether she has “enough in the tank”."

What went wrong for Jacinda Arden? How the New Zealand PM's popularity plummeted - "Jacina Ardern promised a new era of kinder, more progressive politics but will be remembered for imposing one of the world’s harshest lockdowns.  For her critics, Ms Ardern epitomised the worst of woke politics, but even her supporters on the Left will now look back on her leadership as an era of missed opportunity... her failed zero Covid policy badly hurt her standing at home and doubtless contributed to her shock decision to quit.  At first, her Labour party was hugely popular for its handling of the pandemic but as the country clung to its draconian restrictions even in the face of increasingly thin returns, people began to chafe under the draconian restrictions.  Stories about New Zealanders being locked out of their own country didn't help.   One such example was Charlotte Bellis, a pregnant woman forced to resort to going to Afghanistan, the only other country she had a visa for.   New Zealanders eventually took to the streets in defiance of her coronavirus restrictions and a stay-at-home order.   A three-week anti-vaccine protest on parliament grounds last year ended in violent clashes with police in scenes of discord not usually seen in New Zealand.  This time last year, many were already saying she "had to go".   Despite sealing New Zealand’s borders for almost two years, she failed to stop the spread of the Delta variant and the once-praised zero Covid policy was abandoned.  New Zealanders stranded abroad were finally able to return home to a country that lagged behind other developed nations in vaccination rates.  Ms Ardern’s popularity took a battering from which it has never recovered.  In October last year, right-wing parties surged ahead in local elections. Conservative candidates in Auckland, Christchurch, Invercargill and Rotorua all elected conservative mayors.  The economic consequences of zero Covid are now being exacerbated by a cost-of-living crisis brought about by the highest inflation in three decades, with some parents saying they now struggle to put food on the table for their children. That is seen as a much bigger priority that climate change, for example, something that the government has targeted with controversial policies such as taxing cow and sheep burps.   New Zealand is also in the grips of a housing crisis with many unable to afford new homes after her five years in power.  Ms Ardern promised that her flagship policy - ‘KiwiBuild’ - would solve the country’s housing crisis. But just as of last year, just 1,366 homes had been built out of the 100,000 promised, with the policy being described as an "abject failure". Despite child poverty being one of the core issues she stressed for her getting into politics in 2017, figures show the rate has barely changed since then... she has failed to stop a rise in violent crime that has rocked New Zealand.  A wave of ram raids around the country led to accusations she was soft on crime, which only grew louder after a shop owner was stabbed to death during a raid in November last year.   More than 515 vehicular smash-and-grabs took place in 2022, the equivalent of 6,500 incidents taking place in a country like Britain. That type of crime was virtually unheard in New Zealand five years ago.  The Right-wing opposition’s promises to crack down on crime have proved popular with voters, with support growing for National party leader Christopher Luxon.  Meanwhile, support for Ms Arden and New Zealand’s Labour party has dropped to its lowest level since she came to power in 2017.  Ms Arden, only the second world leader to ever give birth in office, said she simply did not have the energy to contest elections in October and deliver the fresh start her supporters had dreamed of.  “I no longer have enough in the tank to do the job justice,” she explained.  But many will think she decided to jump before she was pushed out of office at the ballot box."
I remember when covid hystericists claimed zero covid was a good idea because you could reopen your economy faster

Why Boris bashers like Jacinda Ardern | The Spectator - "‘Women are better leaders – the pandemic proves it’, says CNN, with a pic of Ardern, naturally. ‘The secret weapon in the fight against coronavirus [is] women’, declares a writer for the Guardian. Ardern is a ‘world leader in combating the virus’, the Guardian says. Funny that so few of these Women-vs-Covid pieces mention Sophie Wilmes, the prime minister of Belgium, which has the worst death rate (per capita) in the world... The naivety in all of this is staggering. Of course Covid hasn’t moved through New Zealand in the same way it has through the UK, because, erm, New Zealand and the UK are unbelievably different countries... London is a global hub. It’s a financial, political, migrating hub in a way that Christchurch and Auckland aren’t. Even in terms of tourism, where NZ does well, the UK has up to 40m visitors a year, where New Zealand has around three million... the deeply cynical apportioning of culpability, where Boris is held personally responsible for Covid deaths, is not anything like a reasoned inquiry into the state’s failings. Instead it stinks of infantile Tory-bashing, and even worse – using the deaths of 30,000 people as little more than sticks with which to beat politicians some lefties don’t like... Just as Trudeau’s dancing at Pride marches and wearing of ‘Eid Mubarak’ socks got the virtue-signalling set hot under the collar, so Ardern’s compassionate style and clever use of Instagram makes them wish she was in charge over here."

Jacinda Ardern is now the West’s woke weak link - "Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s tiresomely woke prime minister, often complains that one of the biggest challenges her country faces in promoting its interests overseas is that, owing to its remote geographical location, it sometimes finds itself left off maps of the world. Now, thanks to Wellington’s naive decision to prioritise trade with China over its membership of the elite Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, Ms Ardern can expect her country’s isolation to deepen further as New Zealand faces the very real prospect of expulsion from the alliance over its pro-Beijing stance.   The New Zealand Labour leader’s preference for cosying up to China’s communist rulers comes at a time when the consensus among the world’s leading democracies is that Beijing poses the greatest threat to their long-term well-being and prosperity. It is for this reason that leaders of the other members of the Five Eyes alliance – Britain, the US, Canada and Australia – have been pressing for the group to issue a joint communique denouncing Beijing’s suppression of liberty in Hong Kong, as well as its repression of the Uyghur Muslims... Wellington’s willingness to ally itself more closely with Beijing has also resulted in accusations that New Zealand is not fulfilling its obligations to protect smaller nations in the Pacific, which have been the target of Beijing’s expansionist designs in the region...   Ms Ardern can also expect her pro-human rights credentials to come under closer scrutiny. Previously, Ms Ardern has declared her support for “the values of human rights, social justice, equality, democracy and the role of communities”. How this squares with her aspiration to befriend a Chinese regime that is persisting with its crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy movement by detaining and imprisoning activists is for the New Zealand electorate to decide."
From 2021. Wokeness is really just hating the West and white people

New Zealand Prime Minister Calls For A Global Censorship System - "Ardern lashed out at “disinformation” and called for a global coalition to control speech. After nodding toward free speech, she proceeded to lay out a plan for its demise through government regulation"

Meme - "There is no bigger heartbreak than when your work bestie hands in their resignation..."
dez @_desireeong: "coworker relationships are so bittersweet. U spend months telling each other little stories bout each other and u don't even realize how close you've gotten until one of u leaves to move on in life and ur thinking when ur ever really gonna see them again"

Meme - Deer: "I think we have a pretty good chance this season. The average hunter is getting older and millennials are just not interested anymore."
An alternate version says: "Millennials think meat come from stores"

Meme - Kat @eeveeluti0n: "I am not ok So you know my sister is a veterinary student. She said a little girl brought her hamster in bc it hadn't moved for 3 days and was just sat at the side of the cage and wouldn't eat or drink or anything. So she asked her if anything had happened that may have caused it, the girl says yeah he escaped for a bit but we found him under the fridge. So they have a look at this hamster, put him on the table and he's walking round, eating & drinking etc. All fine. Which is really weird. Then they notice there's something in his cheek pouch. So they look inside, and find a fridge magnet. Turns out the only thing wrong with this hamster is that it had a fridge magnet in his cheek pouch and was stuck to his metal cage"

Nene - "Her: I don't know how I can pay my rent... *unbuttons blouse*
Him: Oh I think there's a way... "takes off shirt*
Everyone else playing Monopoly:"

Liu Wen-cheng’s manager says he faked news of reclusive singer’s death to stop comeback requests - "Reclusive Taiwanese singer Liu Wen-cheng, who was reported to have died in November, is alive.  His good friend and agent Hsia Yu-shun had announced that Liu had died of a heart attack, but has since confirmed to Taiwanese entertainment portal ETtoday that Liu, 70, had told him to fake his death."

Meme - MoonPie @MoonPie: "MoonPie - yes
Moon Pie - no
Sun Pie - stop
Dad - sure
Mrudahņ - do not speak this name"
"Are you ok Moon Pie"
"Absolutely not thank you"

Meme - "Lessons learned from re-watching GOT:
1: you can be a rapist pedophile and women will still love you as long as you're hot.
2. You can literally be the most evil person alive and still be hailed as a hero of "female empowerment" as long as you make a snarky retweetable comment every now and then. something about "being a queen or a whore" or something. (then she literally whores herself out for some boats 10 seconds after making that comment)
3. showrunners really need to quit while theyre ahead."

Meme - Kenny Akers @KeneAkers: "This brings happy tears to my eyes passing on some of our ancestors traditions and wisdom. Did you know, Rice; was braided into the hair of African women to serve as sustenance on their way to enslavement. The hairstyle- cornrows-hid rice and even seeds as they traveled with no..."
They look like large lice eggs

Trolls just want to have fun - "In two online studies (total N = 1215), respondents completed personality inventories and a survey of their Internet commenting styles. Overall, strong positive associations emerged among online commenting frequency, trolling enjoyment, and troll identity, pointing to a common construct underlying the measures. Both studies revealed similar patterns of relations between trolling and the Dark Tetrad of personality: trolling correlated positively with sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism, using both enjoyment ratings and identity scores. Of all personality measures, sadism showed the most robust associations with trolling and, importantly, the relationship was specific to trolling behavior. Enjoyment of other online activities, such as chatting and debating, was unrelated to sadism. Thus cyber-trolling appears to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism."

Meme - "What ever happened to flashing truck drivers?"

Meme - "deanbiard. 42, Guildford"
"Hi im dean the perfect gentleman warm and passionate can we chat"

Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers’ Says Redshirting Is Integral to a Child’s Success—But New Research Raises Questions About the Practice - The Atlantic - "If you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, you probably remember the argument he makes in the book’s first chapter: In competitive situations, a person who’s relatively older than the others will probably be the one who wins... There are scholars who echo Gladwell’s conclusions, arguing, for example, that relatively young students are disproportionately diagnosed with learning disabilities or more likely to underperform on standardized tests. Yet there are other scholars who contend that relatively older students are more likely to drop out of high school or commit a felony offense by age 19 or that they tend to have slightly lower overall educational attainment. One study, meanwhile, found that age diversity in kindergarten classrooms is beneficial in itself; relatively young students, it suggested, have better outcomes when they’re learning alongside relatively older peers. A new study published in the journal Contemporary Economic Policy offers perhaps the latest piece of evidence that redshirting is little more than a silly fad—or, as one pair of economists put it in 2009, a “suburban legend.” The new study, by Cornell’s Kevin Kniffin and Ohio State’s Andrew Hanks, looks at whether redshirting influences the likelihood that a child will eventually obtain a Ph.D. The fact that this degree is held by less than 2 percent of the U.S. population makes it a meaningful metric, the researchers say, because it reflects an exceptional combination of academic achievement and ambition; its exclusivity also makes it somewhat comparable to Gladwell’s hockey-selection data. The study found that redshirting has virtually no impact on Ph.D. attainment. What’s more, it could even undermine a future Ph.D.’s potential lifetime earnings. Based on their analysis of approximately 14,500 freshly minted Ph.D. recipients, the researchers conclude that a student who isn’t redshirted could end up earning $138,000 more over the course of his or her lifetime than someone who is. Assuming redshirted students get their doctorates a year later than they would’ve had they not had their schooling delayed, they get a year’s head start on their salaries, which for a first-year Ph.D. recipient averages about $58,000. “The compounding effect” of that $58,000, namely annual inflation over 30 years, causes that difference to accumulate... despite the cost of an extra year of childcare and the muddled research on its merits, parents continue to redshirt “as a voluntary act to gain a comparative advantage,” write Kniffin and Hanks, while others even time pregnancies to ensure their kids are relatively older than their peers... the new research might help spur the socially conscious parent to resist the temptation to redshirt—on the grounds that doing so is not only unnecessary but can put educational attainment further out of reach for the child’s less-fortunate peers"

Police avoid criminal charges in Tennessee sex scandal - "The Tennessee cops involved in the Girls Gone Wild hot tub party and office sex scandal will not be criminally charged - after the department fired nearly 10 percent of its staff.   Maegan Hall, 26, was at the forefront of the investigation that unraveled in December when it was revealed she performed oral sex on several of her colleagues and ripped her top off at a family boat party... While most of the acts played out while the officers were on night duty, they also transgressed in hotel rooms and outdoors."

Meme - *Fork in the road*
*Maegan Hall*
*Caroline Ellison*

JANUARY *Maegan Hall*
FEBRUARY *Ohio train derailment*"

Meme - "Everywhere go... I see her face... *Maegan Hall*"

Meme - "I EAT ASS"
Maegan Hall: "You know why I pulled you over?"

Meme - "Courtney Buchanan is with Adam Lipin.
Donna Lynch @GeekLioness: I go home with a coworker every shift. Anyone making a fuss over the cop who banged a bunch of her co-workers has clearly never worked in the bar/ restaurant industry.
Howard Barcliff: Nice are you hiring"

Cop-gone-wild Maegan Hall disciplined twice before police sex scandal - "The bed-hopping Tennessee cop fired for having sex with six of her police colleagues was threatened with termination just months earlier – for repeatedly crashing her patrol car.  Maegan Hall was booted off the La Vergne PD last month when an internal probe revealed she had performed oral sex while on duty, whipped off her bikini top at a 'girls gone wild' hot tub party and pestered another officer for a 'three way' with his wife... the shameless siren, 26, was already on her last warning after she cost her bosses thousands of dollars in damage and even landed herself in the hospital in a series of 'preventable' car accidents... The raft of firings and disciplinary measures meant that La Vergne – a town of 39,000 people 20 miles south east of Nashville – lost around 12 percent of its police manpower overnight"

Husband of Tennessee cop fired over sex with 4 officers didn't agree that marriage was open - "The Tennessee cop who was fired for having sex with her colleagues claimed she was in an open marriage, but her park ranger husband did not agree... Hall appeared to keep her sexual relationships a secret from her husband and asked other officers to borrow money to book hotels... Hall initially denied having a sexual relationship with all the men except for Holladay, which she insisted was only at his house or in hotels.  But she admitted to 'sending nude images to other officers on shift including Holladay, Magliocco, and Officer Schoeberl.'  She later backtracked and confessed about Magliocco but denied being involved with his wife."
The people trying to defend her claim it's misogyny if you only mock her and not them. Ignoring the fact that she was the common element (the others only had sex with one colleague - her - while she had sex with all of them), this is surely pertinent. Not to mention how she lied during the investigations (those who lied got fired, and the others only got suspended)

Meme - "Lemon pie *breasts*
Apple pie *big breasts*
Cream Pie *Maegan Hall*"

Former officer Meagan Hall files lawsuit, claims she was “groomed” by fellow officers - "The former Tennessee police officer who was forced off the department in disgrace after it was discovered she slept with over 60% of the force has filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint against the city she once protected.  Meagan Hall, who became internationally known earlier this year for her outrageous sex scandal, claims the Hostile working conditions at the La Vergne Police Department led her to eventually sleep with multiple men at the department...   The former officer also claims that the chief of the police department, Chip Davis, was condoning such grooming.  Additionally, Hall claimed that Davis asked her to dance for him in his office."
Women are allergic to accountability

Joseph Mullins on Twitter - "Today, nobody showed up to my 8.15am class. 0 students of about 40. Sitting in the empty room, I email them, trying to disguise my hurt feelings. 2 mins later, I get a reply: "Professor, we think you might be in the wrong room." So anyway off I go to live in a hole forever.
My wife really wants me to mention that I was sleep deprived because I got up at 4am to play Dungeons and Dragons with my friends in Australia."

Meme - "me: I hate watching movies with subtitles
friend: but why?
*subtitles covering Daenerys Targaryen's breasts*
This is why"

Iranian man who beheaded 17-year-old wife jailed for eight years - "A man who beheaded his 17-year-old wife has been sentenced to eight years in prison in Iran, the judiciary says.  Images of Sajjad Heydari carrying Mona's severed head in Ahvaz after the so-called "honour killing" last year caused widespread outrage.  A judiciary spokesman said the leniency of the sentence was due to Mona's parents having "pardoned" him for the murder rather than seeking retribution.  Her father previously said that he had not given his consent for the killing.  Mona had been married to her husband since the age of 12 and had given birth to their son when she was only 14.  Local media reported that she had fled to Turkey after allegedly being subjected to domestic violence by her husband, who had refused her requests for a divorce.  She had returned to Iran a few days before her murder last February because she had reportedly received assurances from her family that she would be safe... In 2020, there was similar outrage after 14-year-old Romina Ashrafi was beheaded by her father after she reportedly ran away from home with her boyfriend. The father, who had consulted a lawyer to find out what punishment he could face for the crime before he killed her, was sentenced to nine years in prison - one less than the maximum allowed under the law."
Feminists: *silence*

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