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Saturday, June 24, 2023

Links - 24th June 2023 (2 - Trans Mania)

Transgender Developer Releases Anti-"Gender Fascist” Game ‘Terfenstein 3D’ To “Draw A Comparison Between Gender Critics And Nazi Germany” - "Openly admitting the game is designed to “draw a comparison between gender critics and nazi Germany,” all enemies appear to be female or priests, or guard-dogs. Banners and other decorations in the environment are adorned with a Nazi-style XX symbol, while blood splatters against the walls... Other games by Moen include Trans Agent X, a “casual sci-fi action-adventure bullet-hell.” After the “gender wars,” trans people leave Earth to their own planet, and “Earth being completely devoid of trans people could not survive because of it and annihilated themselves.” Players revisit the ruined Earth and face ghostly “cisgender” foes, as they seek an artifact.  All enemies depict “a narrative fragment of the ‘treatment’ transgender people in norway suffered from rikshospitalet,” such as being denied treatment. Sure enough, enemies seem to ask the sort of probing question doctors would ask someone who wants to transition."
For all TRAs go on about claiming that they are the victims of violence, they are the true violent ones (e.g. always fantasising about punching TERFs - and sometimes actually doing that)

Emma Webb on Twitter - "Why is using the changing room/bathroom that makes you feel safe and comfortable existentially important if you’re a trans person but irrelevant if you’re a woman?"

🦎Laura | Funk⭐️God on Twitter - "Trans rights are pharma rights."

'Woke' Singer Sam Smith Gets Creepy Tattoo of Young Naked Boy, In Heels - "‘Woke’ singer Sam Smith recently got a tattoo of a naked underage boy wearing high heels, staring at himself through a full-length mirror."

Trans woman is cleared of flashing penis at YMCA because she's too FAT for genitals to be visible - "A judge ruled that a transgender woman could not have indecently exposed her penis in a YMCA female changing room after agreeing with her claim that she's too fat for it to be visible.   Darren Glines, who now goes by Rachel, was found not guilty of three counts of indecent exposure at the facility in Xenia, Ohio.  Judge David McNamee cleared Glines after agreeing that the size of her belly meant it would be impossible for anyone to see her penis... Xenia City Council President Williams Urshcel said that one of the women who filed a complaint was allegedly informed by an employee at the YMCA that Glines identifies as a woman so she 'shouldn't be disturbed by this.'... A YMCA employee was called to testify at the trial, telling the court that she had to get a restraining order against Glines after she assaulted her. Kateisha Young told Reduxx that Glines grabbed her genitals after they had gone out to coffee... The incident at the YMCA in Xena is just one of many that have hit the group's facilities across the US.  Julie Jaman, 80, was banned from a YMCA pool after she demanded a transgender employee leave the women's locker room."

Meme - "You cant mutilate children or dance half naked in front of them anymore."

Meme - "My name is Jona Mendez and I was Chief of Disguise at the CIA. With women, you have a broader range of what you can do. You also have one extra step: you can turn a woman into a man.
I would mention that it's almost impossible to turn a man into a woman
*Pictures of MTFs*"
Transphobic WIRED interview from 2018. Shocking!

Meme - "I'm happy. My top and bottom are done. I've had FFS. I've had laser treatments. I got hair implants. I work out enough that I'm finally getting the slender, feminine body I've always wanted. I'm married. We have money and live comfortably. Life is finally great. My husband is a dermatologist. His partner at his practice is older, in his late 50s. Last night, we went to his house for a Super Bowl party. He and his wife have a 23-year-old daughter who recently graduated from college. She's working full time, but living at home. I irrationally hate this girl. I mean, not in the way most women hate other women, like admiring her proportions, wishing they were mine, that kind of thing. It's almost like, "I fucking hate you because you got the life I always wanted." It's not a pass thing. She got the life I always wanted. The princess bedroom. The prom dress. Seeing her is such a trigger for me. Like I said, my physical transformation is done. I'm usually pretty happy. My life is great. But when I see this girl I get so angry, and it's a mix of what I said above and these overwhelming desires just to have angry, passionate sex with her. I love football, but I couldn't even enjoy the game. When I got home, I cried in the shower for about half an hour. God. Please tell me I'm not the only one."
MTFs hate women so much

Meme - Haven Wilvich: "I realized something important today. I'm more woman than any TERF will ever be because I am an intentional woman whereas they are only incidental."
So much hate for real women

Korean Women's Spa Forced To Erase "Biological Women" From Policy After Human Rights Complaint From Trans-Identified Male - "In the complaint, Wilvich alleged his application to use the facilities at the spa had been rejected after staff told him that “transgender women without surgery are not welcome because it could make other customers and staff uncomfortable.”  The Olympus Spa, which has locations in Lynnwood and Tacoma, is a Korean-style health and wellness facility. The spa requires nudity in some of the areas, and, as such, has been reserved for female clientele.  The owner of the spa, Myoon Woon Lee, and the spa’s president, Sun Lee, are of Korean heritage and modeled the spa after the tradition of jjimjilbang. They are also Christian, and cited their faith as a reason why they did not wish to accommodate males in the facility... the WSHRC ruled that the spa had violated Washington anti-discrimination law, stating that the female-only policy “denies services to transgender women who have not had surgery … because their physical appearance is not ‘consistent’ with the traditional understanding of biological women.”  The spa disputed the veracity of Wilvich’s claims, asserting they had no documentation showing Wilvich had ever applied to enter the facility, and that no staff members could recall ever interacting with him.  But the WSHRC upheld their ruling, and offered the spa a Pre-Finding Settlement agreement to avoid prosecution.  The Pre-Finding Settlement required the spa to remove all references to “biological women” on their site, and provide staff with “inclusivity” training. In March of 2022, Olympus Spa sued Andreta Armstrong, the executive director of the Washington State Human Rights Commission, asserting that the actions taken against them violated their First Amendment rights to free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of association.  But a Washington District Court dismissed their lawsuit on Monday, upholding the ruling by the WSHRC and affirming that the measures taken to prevent the spa from having a female-only policy were lawful... Wilvich, born Caleb Richmond, identifies as a “non-binary transgender woman,” and currently purports to be a Project Coordinator at Fred Hutch in the HIV Vaccine Trials Network... Wilvich was featured on a Futurism podcast wherein he lauded the idea of trans-identified males being given uterus implants for the purposes of giving birth...   Olympus Spa is the third Korean spa in the United States to come into the crosshairs of the gender ideology debate over the past two years...   Wi Spa, a jjimjilbang-style establishment in Los Angeles, was the subject of viral attention after a video recorded by a female patron began circulating on social media. In the video, the woman confronts spa staff because of a nude male who was exposing himself in front of women and girls in the women’s changing room.  The incident was initially dismissed as a “transphobic” hoax by progressive commentators, but would later be verified by police who issued a warrant for the arrest of Darren Agee Merager, a registered sex offender. Merager was arrested in December of 2022."
Since he's non-binary he's not a woman anyway. Ironic

Meme - "Tatiana, 26
Flight Attendant
About me: Trans Girl if you don't like it swipe left. Dating Trans girls does NOT make a straight man "Gay"... I'm probably more woman than your ex... lol Grow tf up. My time is valuable Looking for a REAL RELATIONSHIP with a guy secure in himself. Don't swipe right if you can't respond, Keep it sweet"

Meme - "Only 90's kids will remember this
Select Gender

Meme - Ana Valens, Succubus: "I'll be fine. I am a white, cis-passing trans woman *ugly MTF*"

Meme - "They/Thems of the Universe
He-Them. The most confused them in the universe" *Fat man with blue hair and facial hair*

Trans lobby group Mermaids helped NHS plan treatment for children - "Susie Green, then chairman of the charity Mermaids, was part of a task group reviewing services at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation trans clinic... The Tavistock claimed that it did not have emails or minutes of meetings with Ms Green but after the information regulator threatened court action, it released more than 300 pages. They show that Ms Green had a direct line to Dr Polly Carmichael, Tavistock’s director, and demanded to be regarded as a professional so she could refer children for treatment when their GPs refused. Ms Green, who has no known formal medical training, held an advisory role on two of the studies that the clinic was involved in on the long-term effect of gender identity... Stephanie Davies-Arai, founder of Transgender Trend, said: “The Tavistock were really in thrall to these activists. They were ideologically captured.”   Ms Davies-Arai, who campaigns for evidence-based healthcare, said that she had first contacted the Tavistock in 2016 amid concerns about the treatment they were offering and was told that they would welcome her input as they were keen to hear from different voices.  However, when she emailed Dr Carmichael with concerns, she got no response."

Meme - "'Eavier Metal
CerberusXt Figurines
Newest mini in my trans pride project where I paint one mini of each of the Warhammer universe factions using a color scheme inspired by the trans pride flag. Today, the Death Guard representative : a lovely Plague Marine ! You can find the rest of the serie (10 other factions) on my instagram @cerberusxt_figurines"

Why I raised my child gender neutral - "At the time, I worried about the ramifications of socially experimenting on a generation of children via this wholesale pink-and blue-ification. A decade later, I wonder whether this may have backfired. At Alora’s high school, they and their crew are constantly changing names, genders, and preferred pronouns. They’re as fluid as febrile quark-gluon-plasma."
The myth of the slippery slope strikes again

Meme - Lady Quinn and the Tramp @Capt...: "Bitch, you wish you could pull this off. *Mannish MTF*"

Meme - "Dear Maybelline: Why would I want to wear make-up that makes me look like a man? See ya *Dylan Mulvaney*"

Meme - "as soon as @kprschools (or anyone else) says keep our little secret from mommy and daddy," you're going to lose 90% of the population"
All Staff
Jamila Maliha, Superintendent, Student Achievement; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
May 30, 2023
RE: Pride Month
The month of June is designated as Pride Month. KPR students, staff and school 'communities come together this month to celebrate, uplift and empower the voices of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. This month and beyond, we embrace opportunities to promote acceptance and equality, show our support, and continue listening and learning from one another to ensure our words, actions and spaces support inclusion for all! In accordance with Policy B-1.9 Flag Display all schools are asked to fly the Pride flag through the month of June for Pride Month. The flag raising will take place June 1 at am at the board office. Pride Month learning opportunities for schools, as welll as. various employee groups, will be forthcoming, including community-based and provincial events, and film screenings. As we celebrate Pride Month, we would like to take this opportunity to share important reminders about student privacy. All students have a right to privacy. Unless specifically directed by the student, schools must keep a student's trans* identity confidential. Therefore, school staff should not disclose a student's gender identity to others unless there is a specific "need to know' (e.g., to fulfil a specific accommodation request) or if the student has given permission to share. 'Some trans* or gender diverse students are not open about their identity at home for safety or other reasons. A school should never disclose a student's gender identity to the student's without the student's explicit prior consent. This is regardless of age or grade, even in elementary."

Student arrested at Catholic school after saying there are two genders | Toronto Sun - "In the name of diversity, a Catholic school in Renfrew suspended a student and had him arrested for saying there are only two genders. Josh Alexander was suspended last November over comments made about gender in class and told he couldn’t return to class until he recanted... he made comments during a class discussion on gender.  “It was about male students using female washrooms, gender dysphoria and male breastfeeding. Everyone was sharing their opinions on it, any student who wanted to was participating, including the teacher,” Alexander said.  “I said there were only two genders, and you were born either a male or a female, and that got me into trouble. And then I said that gender doesn’t trump biology.” Those statements, in line with Catholic teaching, were what got him suspended from school.  A lawyer representing Alexander said that the school won’t let him attend classes again until he agrees “not to use the ‘dead name’ of any transgender student and agreed to exclude himself from his two afternoon classes because those classes are attended by two transgender students who disapprove of Josh’s religious beliefs.”   Alexander told National Post that he’s never dead named another student, meaning using their original name before transitioning. As for trans students disapproving of Alexander’s religious beliefs, maybe they want to reflect on the fact that they are attending a Catholic school, or at least one that calls itself a Catholic school.  This incident shows why it might be time to finally say goodbye to Ontario’s publicly funded Catholic school system. There’s nothing Catholic about it, they adhere to the same secular gospel as all of our other public institutions, and it is beyond saving...   Anyone who looks into Alexander’s social media presence will see that he is a political activist. He’s pro-life, and he favours a red ball cap that reads “Save Canada” on the front. He’s even been photographed at protests against the Trudeau government on Parliament Hill... This young man is being denied an education for having a different view than those in power."
Why can't the trans students exclude themselves from the classes? This is rich
This doesn't stop the liberals from calling Catholic schools hives of bigotry because they won't raise the Pride flag
Liberals only praise politically-engaged youth when they push the liberal agenda

Meme - "Meet our New Artist of the Month: Male Soprano Elijah McCormack! Though he often sings countertenor roles, Elijah McCormack isn't a countertenor. As a transgender man, his mature singing voice never deepened. He is a soprano. "I considered taking testosterone, and I chose not to. I've made peace with the fact that I'm not necessarily going to pass as male all or even most of the time...I just made my peace with validating myself.""
I have to say, at least it's novel that now it's women taking jobs from men

Meme - Liberal: "Happy Day of Trans Rememberance, my guy!"
Liberal: "Happy Asexual Awareness Week!"
Normal person: "Hey Merry Christmas!"
Liberal: *upset*

Thread by @SwipeWright on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "In 2020, California changed insurance language on double mastectomies for gender dysphoric females from "cosmetic" to "reconstructive" to remove age limits for the surgery.  Normal breasts were reclassified as "abnormal structures of the body caused by congenital defects." "As such, in an individual diagnosed with gender dysphoria, who is born with female characteristics and identifies as male, the presence of a female chest is an abnormal body structure caused by gender dysphoria...""

The Case for Coed Sports - The Atlantic - "it’s becoming more common for these lines to blur, especially as Gen Zers are more likely than members of previous generations to reject a strict gender binary altogether. Maintaining this binary in youth sports reinforces the idea that boys are inherently bigger, faster, and stronger than girls in a competitive setting—a notion that’s been challenged by scientists for years. Decades of research have shown that sex is far more complex than we may think. And though sex differences in sports show advantages for men, researchers today still don’t know how much of this to attribute to biological difference versus the lack of support provided to women athletes to reach their highest potential. “Science is increasingly showing how sex is dynamic; it has multiple aspects and also shifts; for example, social experiences can actually change levels of sex-related hormones like testosterone in our bodies in a second-to-second and month-to-month way!” Sari van Anders, the research chair in social neuroendocrinology at Queen’s University, in Ontario, told me by email. She said that this complexity means it doesn’t make sense to separate sports by sex in order to protect women athletes from getting hurt... One recent small study in Norway found no innate sex difference when it came to youth-soccer players’ technical skills. The researchers hypothesized that the gap they did find between girls and boys was likely due to socialization, not biology.
Amazing. One cope I read (elsewhere) was that sports were segregated in the first place because men didn't want to lose to women
Tellingly, the article spends a majority of space going on about safety, when the problem is really fairness
I used to spout this line to mock liberal tabula rasa delusions, but the slippery slope has slipped faster than I could ever have foreseen

The Progressive Delusion of Co-Ed Sports - "Last year at New Jersey’s Meet of Champions—the end of the season race bringing together the best runners in the state—Angelina Perez did something astonishing. She ran the hilly 5k course at Holmdel in 17:09. She beat the second-place finisher by 26 seconds, which is an eternity.  How fast was Perez? She was the fastest New Jersey girl on the course ever—and they’ve been running this race at Holmdel since long before I ran there in high school.  Perez is an absolute stud athlete.  And if she had run in the boys race, would you like to know where she would have finished?  98th.  The fastest Jersey girl to ever run Holmdel would have been 98th in an average year for the boys... No amount of “support” given to female athletes would change that. And the reality is that there would be even less support for girls, because there would be so few of them, as opposed to the current situation, in which girls cross-country is thriving... Serena Williams is, as we’ve discussed, the best woman to ever play tennis. It’s not even an argument. She won 23 majors and a total of 73 WTA tournaments.  Here’s how many majors she would have won if she’d played on a co-ed tour:  Zero.  Here’s how many professional tournaments she would have won if she’d played on a co-ed tour:  Zero.
'    “For me, men’s tennis and women’s tennis are completely, almost, two separate sports,” Serena Williams said.      “If I were to play Andy Murray, I would lose 6-0, 6-0 in five to six minutes, maybe 10 minutes. No, it’s true. It’s a completely different sport. The men are a lot faster and they serve harder, they hit harder, it’s just a different game.”'...
What we have here are two competing ideas about inclusivity.  The Atlantic author, Mertens, looks at edge cases in sports and sees people being unfairly excluded: Many boys in Europe play field hockey, she asks—so why should a boy in New York not be allowed to play field hockey, too?  Her solution is to create inclusivity for these edge cases. We might call this the progressive view of inclusivity.  One hallmark of the drive for progressive inclusivity is that it constructs alternate realities to explain away inequities. Are boys faster and stronger than girls? No. Or if they are, it’s only because of the patriarchy... The traditional view of inclusivity goes something like this: We want as many people as possible to have the ability to participate. But in order to achieve this goal, we have to set up arbitrary segregations: boys and girls teams; JV and Varsity; heavyweight and lightweight.  The creation of arbitrary segregations will, from time to time, lead to edge cases where a handful of individuals are excluded.  This is unfair and unfortunate. And if accommodations can reasonably be made, then they should. But if an accommodation can’t be made? Then that’s too bad.  The traditional view of inclusivity aspires to be inclusive, but realizes that in order to include many more people, some small number of people may be excluded. And that while this is regrettable, it’s the best we can do."

The Match Maker - "On Thursday night, Sept. 20, 1973, 50 million Americans, fatigued by Vietnam and Watergate, tuned in to see whether a woman could defeat a man on a tennis court. Dubbed "The Battle of the Sexes," the match pitted Billie Jean King, the 29-year-old champion of that summer's Wimbledon and a crusader for the women's liberation movement, against Bobby Riggs, the 55-year-old gambler, hustler and long-ago tennis champ who had willingly become America's bespectacled caricature of male chauvinism... Bobby Riggs owed the gangsters more than $100,000 from lost sports bets, and he had a plan to pay it back... Mulloy says Riggs urged a millionaire friend named Jack Dreyfus not to bet on him against King. "Prior to the match, Jack Dreyfus had called him and said he wants to make a bet, how do you feel, where should I get odds," Mulloy recalls. "Bobby says, 'Don't bet on me.' That made me believe he was going to tank it."... NEARLY 40 YEARS later, "The Battle of the Sexes" is one of the most iconic sporting events in American history. The match's value is especially cherished by tennis people because it proved the game, like King, was a trailblazer for society. King planted a flag for women's equality. Gradually, America followed...  they watched a new documentary film that will air Sept. 10 on PBS that salutes King's victory. Afterward, Martina Hingis, a Hall of Fame inductee who wasn't alive in 1973, appeared awestruck by what she had just seen on the big screen. "This was bigger than anything, probably anyone can go through … so, congratulations," Hingis told King. "I mean -- amazing."  In attendance were the aging male members of tennis' old guard, who applauded for King. None of these men knew about Hal Shaw's allegations, and only a few knew about Bobby Riggs' mob friends. Still, the men remarked among themselves that there wasn't a single word in the film about the belief by some that Bobby Riggs' had thrown the match for a big payday. Across nearly 40 years, some of the men who knew Riggs best have wondered: Was "The Battle of the Sexes" nothing more than a cultural con job?... Tennis great Gene Mako, who died in June, had insisted for years that Riggs had thrown the match. "You have to know Bobby," Mako told author Tom LeCompte in the 2003 Riggs biography, "The Last Sure Thing." Mako believed Riggs was so vain that his play was just awful enough to demonstrate to smart tennis people that he had tanked the match."

Andy Ngô 🏳️‍🌈 on Twitter - ".@Oxfam, a British anti-poverty charity, posted a pride cartoon that featured hateful characters. One of the characters is based on JK Rowling for her view that #trans women are not women. People have been speculating who the other characters are, with some speculating I inspired the slit-eyed East Asian character"

Oxfam has unwittingly exposed the folly of trans extremism - "Oxfam International appears to have learned a harsh lesson about the dangers of adopting extreme transgender ideology. It has apologised for “the offence caused” by a cartoon, now deleted, which was heavily criticised for its depiction of a middle-aged woman with a face twisted with hatred and adorned with a badge reading TERF. Although the charity denies that it was meant to be an unflattering nod to the author JK Rowling, it was deeply insulting to feminists and other common-sense critics who refuse to bow at the altar of gender extremism... I believe that there is a deep rooted misogyny that has infected the entire international organisation. Recently I interviewed a woman who was hounded out of her job at Oxfam in the UK, for nothing more, it would appear, than questioning why JK Rowling was described as a transphobic bigot, and for objecting to the suggestion that her books should not be on sale in any of its charity shops. Other women who have worked for the organisation, both in the UK and overseas, have approached me and told me similar stories of feeling their jobs were under threat after expressing what many people would regard as common sense views. Surely some supporters of the charity will now be reconsidering their donations. The work that Oxfam was set up to do, to relieve the terrible effects of poverty, is in direct opposition to the way that women are being threatened with their jobs for simply standing up for their own rights. Women and girls are always at the sharp end of the effects of war, famine and other types of hardships that Oxfam is supposed to help relieve, and yet it would appear that the charity has scant respect for women if they dare to express feminist views."

🇺🇸Travis🇺🇸 on Twitter - "Happening Now: Trans actor “Elliot” page says “he” was attacked by someone in very liberal Los Angeles. Apparently the person said “I’m going to fucking gay bash you.” In 2019 as Ellen Page she went on TV and blamed Trump and Mike Pence’s public stances on trans and gay rights for what happened to Jussie Smollett.  She received a standing ovation.    Does anyone believe this nonsense?"

Associated Press Forbids References to Transgender Ideology - "The Associated Press recently released new guidelines suppressing the very concept of transgenderism as an ideology that can be debated, while forcing that ideology on reporters in the name of promoting good journalism...   In a classic example of “1984”-style doublethink, good journalists are required to abide by transgender ideology, while denying that such an ideology exists...   While the document acknowledges that gender—not sex—is a “social construct,” the use of the phrase “sex assigned at birth” implies that biological sex is also socially constructed, rather than a central reality of humanity that enables people to reproduce...   The update parrots pro-transgender claims that are hotly debated in the medical community. The document states that children can take “puberty blockers,” which it describes as “fully reversible prescription medication that pauses sexual maturation.” It does not note that the Food and Drug Administration has not approved drugs such as Lupron for that purpose, nor that authorities use Lupron to chemically castrate sex offenders.  It also fails to mention that many doctors have raised alarms about “gender-affirming care,” or that European countries are moving to restrict it for children. The AP guide accuses “opponents of youth transgender medical treatment” of citing “widely discredited research,” failing to note that many of the studies pro-transgender activists use to endorse experimental interventions have themselves been discredited. For example, doctors have condemned as “fatally flawed” a recent study claiming to show improvements from cross-sex hormones.  Perhaps most horrifically, the much-touted Dutch study that first gave credence to the idea of transgender medical interventions ultimately involved a male subject who died from an infection after surgeons tried to use some of his digestive tract to construct a false vagina...   The document urges journalists to “avoid terms like biological sex, along with biological male and biological female, which opponents of transgender rights sometimes use to refer to transgender women and transgender men, respectively.” AP argues that such terms are “redundant because sex is inherently biological.” Yet opponents of transgenderism use “biological” to emphasize the truth of biology against the very ideology AP insists journalists never mention.  In a few instances, the AP guide rightly discourages obnoxious or outdated terms like “tranny” and “transgendered.” It also urges journalists to avoid the terms “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” or the acronym “TERF,” to refer to critics of transgenderism.  However, the guidelines also discourage reporters from using “gender-critical” to describe those who oppose transgenderism, even though many advocates have consciously embraced that term...   The Associated Press style guide has long urged journalists to adopt a person’s preferred pronouns, regardless of biological sex, but the guide also forbids journalists from referring to “preferred or chosen pronouns,” instead using phrases such as “the pronouns they use, whose pronouns are, who uses the pronouns.”  When it comes to sports, the new AP entry urges journalists to avoid “phrasing that misgenders people or implies doubt, such as former men’s swimmer or currently competes as a woman.”  Journalists should not even imply doubt, much less actually express it.   God forbid they actually use a specific term to discuss this ideology, rather than merely adopting it wholesale."
Weird. The AP didn't get the memo that sex and gender are different

Is Internet Spoonie Culture Keeping People Sick?

 Online Spoonie Groups Built an Identity on Being Sick

"Kelly Owens, author of the Wandering Nerve newsletter, is well-versed in the dynamics that govern the spaces where people with chronic illness gather, in part because she was once one of them. What she sees is an online culture that serves as a valuable resource and source of community to many, but has become increasingly invested in the idea of disability as an identity—sometimes at the expense of scientific curiosity, of innovative research, and of hope for a cure.

Owens' journey through this world began at age 13, when she twisted her ankle during a play rehearsal. At first, the injury simply refused to heal. Then it was joined by debilitating gastrointestinal issues and arthritis that ultimately spread to every joint in her body. There was a diagnosis—Crohn's disease with extraintestinal manifestations of inflammatory arthritis—but little relief, and the treatments had their own complications; among other things, the steroids doctors prescribed to control Owens' symptoms led her to develop osteoporosis at age 26.

Eventually she became too sick to work—and sick of seeking a solution within the dysfunctional confines of the American medical system. In 2017, she and her husband sold their belongings and traveled to Amsterdam, where she underwent a six-month experimental trial to receive a bioelectronic implant that stimulates her vagus nerve.

That treatment did what dozens of more orthodox approaches couldn't. Owens has been in full remission ever since, and has become something of a crusader on behalf of unconventional medicine that might help people like her. Some of the challenges she faces are familiar: The pace of progress is infuriatingly slow, hobbled by overcautious bureaucracy and a tangled, often nonsensical web of government regulations. The vagus nerve stimulator that proved so effective for her is still awaiting Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to treat inflammatory diseases, even though it has been used to treat epilepsy and other conditions since 1998.

But there's also another set of challenges to innovation, this one from within the patient community itself.

The rise of a certain brand of extremely online identitarianism has given the chronically ill not just visibility but a tribe unto themselves, one that commands enormous attention and resources. Communities of the afflicted cluster on platforms like Tumblr and Instagram, sharing stories, tips, and memes centered on the experience of being chronically or mentally ill. The content can range from cheeky ("Hot girls have IBS" [irritable bowel syndrome]) to devastating (sobbing hospital videos) to deeply weird (there's a whole world of TikTok videos in which people with self-diagnosed dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality syndrome, appear to shift from personality to personality like they're changing outfits), but it all boils down to the same thing: an identity founded on being sick.

This, as it turns out, can be a problem if you're a sick person who has hopes of someday getting better.

Online, the chronically ill identify themselves as "spoonies."...

Within the spoonie universe, the most viral content is centered on suffering, struggle, and limitation ...

The writer Suzy Weiss has described the spoonie world as an "illness kingdom." Another word might be "institution," with all that entails—including an instinct toward self-preservation. The notion of disability as an identity category is a boon on this front, not just to patients in search of belonging or influencers building a brand, but to foundations and pharmaceutical companies that decide what drugs to develop and what research to fund. This is a world where belonging, meaning, and an enormous amount of money all derive from patients not just being sick but staying that way.

It is also, perhaps unsurprisingly, a world in which little energy is directed into the sort of boundary-pushing research and innovation that might help patients get better. Instead, it centers on what Owens calls "a narrative of how glamorous and heroic it is to own the limitations of disease, and to fight against the 'abled' system that looks to oppress disabled people." An entire economy revolves around this narrative.

A scroll through the social media pages of prominent patient foundations is illuminating. The multimillion-dollar Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, for instance, devotes many more posts to awareness raising, community building, and visibility for Crohn's sufferers than it does to advancing clinical trials or groundbreaking research...

Meanwhile, popular hashtags (#ownyourcrohns, #crohnswarrior) position the condition as more a lifestyle than a disease, and the community's influencers are far more likely to post lingerie-clad selfies that display their ostomy bags than raise hell demanding access to unorthodox treatment pathways. Indeed, the notion of finding a cure for Crohn's is markedly absent from the majority of the conversations surrounding it, and many patients are too beaten down by repeated disappointment to continue hoping for one. It's no surprise that many choose to focus instead on the more manageable-seeming goal of battling the abled system for incremental accommodations to their needs.

As a result, the community's influencers can be profoundly hostile toward those who see disease as a problem to be solved rather than an identity to be protected. Under this paradigm, the desire to be healthy becomes "internalized ableism." Treatment becomes "conversion therapy," or eugenics, or a vicious crusade to stop disabled people from existing. And dissent from that model, even by patients themselves, becomes intolerable. People like Owens are treated not as fellow travelers but enemies, apostates. Any time she writes critically about this and related issues, her replies on social media fill with backlash. As one commenter replied: "You just hate chronically ill people."...

Spoonies frequently suffer from what are known as "functional disorders," which stem from dysregulation in the nervous system rather than organic disease or infection. Just as nerve damage or a spinal cord injury interrupts the connection between body and brain—yielding touch without sensation, injury without pain— these disorders produce an inverse phenomenon, pain (or other symptoms) without a corresponding physiological cause. Functional disorders are where the conventional dismissal of a problem as "all in your head" meets the frightening truth that in your head is still a real place, and what happens in there has real consequences which are also largely out of your control.

Needless to say, functional disorders are among the most difficult to treat, leading many medical providers to treat them—and the patients who suffer from them—with skepticism.

"The biggest problem with these conversations is that the narrative turns into, 'You don't believe me, you don't think I'm actually sick, you think I'm making this up,'" Owens says. "If there's not a definitive diagnostic test to say, yes this is what you have, then it becomes about being believed."

This in turn fuels a sense that the true battle is not for a treatment that will end the patient's suffering but for validation, respect, legitimacy: "The idea of fighting the oppression becomes more appealing than fighting the disease itself." As the writer Freddie de Boer has noted, "The endless search for new identity markers to validate people's status as unique or, worse, to validate their suffering is a road that has no ending."

It is also a road with no path to healing. The more entrenched the notion of disability as identity, the more difficult it becomes even to conceive of disability as a bad thing—"sowing intentional confusion about whether disabilities are harmful," de Boer wrote, which will in turn inevitably result in fewer material accommodations for the disabled.

Those accommodations, already so few and far between, are increasingly vacuumed up by those with the biggest platforms, who are invariably not the same as those with the greatest need. The result is a conversation dominated by high-achieving, high-functioning, photogenic influencers whose main concerns are things like getting extra time to complete the SAT—while the truly desperate patients go unhelped and unseen, increasingly pushed to the fringes, until they stumble upon a crack in the system that's big enough to fall through entirely...

A paper in the February 2023 volume of Comprehensive Psychiatry describes an "urgent need for increased understanding of the influence of social media on mental health," noting an explosion of functional diseases that mimic content being produced on Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms.

In one sense, what the paper's authors observed is not new. History is scattered with locally clustered functional afflictions, in which entire communities of people suddenly fall victim to inexplicable spasms, unstoppable hiccups, or—in one remarkable case involving cloistered nuns in medieval France—an uncontrollable urge to meow like cats. These outbreaks often appear to both center on and be driven by adolescent girls, though the trappings evolve over time; the dancing plagues of the 17th century are replaced in our current year, for instance, by a Tourette-like tic found on TikTok in which sufferers yell the word beans.

These symptom clusters sit uncomfortably against the backdrop of a three-year international project to control the spread of another, different kind of epidemic.

One needn't fully embrace the idea that this sort of illness is contagious to see how this might play out in a post-COVID world. If the governing class comes to believe that social media sharing can spawn its own pandemic of functional disease, transmitted not by droplets or aerosols but through the intermediary of a screen, then regulating it suddenly becomes a question not only of censorship or civil liberties but of public health.

Imagine a world in which it's widely thought that the support group attendees of Fight Club not only bought into the notion of illness and identity as inextricably intertwined, but were liable to contract testicular cancer or parasites just from attending the support group.

We have already seen how the U.S. government put its finger on the scale to curtail accurate but politically inexpedient speech under the guise of suppressing misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic. What happens if public health authorities begin to believe that spreading awareness of disease is indistinguishable from spreading disease itself?

For Owens, the U.S. government's commitment to pushing an approved pandemic narrative at the expense of robust debate has a troubling parallel in the patient community's response to COVID, as immunosuppressed people rallied for social accommodations rather than medical progress. "Why is this not being used as a rallying cry for better research, so that you're not immunosuppressed?" she says. "Not once did I see a call for clinical trials or novel therapies. It just became about nurturing and protecting what wasn't working."

When it comes to innovative treatments for chronic illness, the entrenched identitarianism within patient communities is an obstacle to letting people try things—or at least, to getting them to a place where they want to try. This is the other battle Owens anticipates: not over bureaucratic anxieties about the spread of misinformation, not against the various regulatory hoops required by entities like the FDA, but against the determination of the community's influencers to entrench themselves in a paradigm where they can only ever be sick.

"I care so much about seeing this through, and I see the culture as such an obstacle," she says. "The extremely online patients with this mindset of disease as identity, they're the ones who are super-involved in patient foundations and speaking at pharmaceutical events and lobbying Capitol Hill."

It's not hard to imagine a scenario in which the awareness-raising identitarians eventually become locked in battle with government regulators who view spoonie culture itself as a vector for disease."


This has interesting parallels to long covid too

Liberals still tell us no one wants to be a victim


Links - 24th June 2023 (1 - Justin Trudeau & Chinese Interference)

David Johnston hired crisis communications firm Navigator - "Toronto-based Navigator is a public relations, lobbying and crisis management firm. Its slogan is "When you can't afford to lose” and the firm has developed a reputation for steering notable Canadians through high-profile scandals—at high prices.  Past clients battling sexual abuse allegations, for example, have included Hockey Canada and disgraced former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi. Former Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly also hired Navigator during the Freedom Convoy in early 2022 to help with messaging while facing criticism for how he handled the weeks-long protest."

Licia Corbella: Trudeau offended by foreign money only when it opposes him - "The PM was so obsessed about donations from Americans helping to fund the truckers’ protest on Parliament Hill last winter that he actually brought it up with U.S. President Joe Biden last February. It remains unclear what he expected the president to do. Freeze his citizen’s bank accounts, perhaps? Despite Trudeau’s obsession with foreign funding, it turns out the majority of donations, 86 per cent through GoFundMe and 60 per cent through Give Send Go, we’re actually Canadian...   More than 200 bank accounts were frozen under the Trudeau government’s Emergencies Act for supporting a cause the Prime Minister disagreed with. Regardless of what the Emergencies Act Inquiry found and which side of this issue you fall on, all Canadians should be alarmed that such draconian actions were taken by the prime minister against his own citizens.  Which brings us to the stark contrast between Trudeau’s concern over individual U.S. citizens supporting a cause he disagrees with and his years of inaction and apathy towards foreign money being used to influence the most important cornerstone of our democracy — our free and fair elections... it’s alleged that at least 11 candidates were targeted by operatives of the Chinese government working to help Trudeau win those elections.  There is also evidence that foreign money flowed into the 2015 election, though instead of donations coming from the Chinese regime, this money came from U.S. non-governmental organizations with the aim of defeating Conservative candidates.  I broke that story back in 2017 and despite dire warnings of the danger of foreign money influencing Canadian elections, particularly by Jean-Pierre Kingsley, who served as Canada’s chief electoral officer for 17 years — from 1990 to 2007 — Trudeau’s government did very little to remedy election law loopholes big enough to drive a “747 jet” through, as Kingsley put it... 114 third parties spent $6 million during the 2015 election and many were funded by the California and New York-based Tides Foundation — which donated $1.5 million to Canadian third parties. It’s important to note that there was an $8,788 spending limit per riding for that election.  Crockatt’s seat was one of 29 targeted by Leadnow, an organization allegedly “spawned” by foreign funding, with a campaign it called Vote Together. A December 2015 Leadnow report called Defeating Harper , boasts how successful its campaign was in the 2015 federal election. “The Conservatives were defeated in 25 out of 29 ridings, and . . . in the seats the Conservatives lost, our recommended candidate was the winner 96 per cent of the time,” states the report...   When you consider that Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro spent one month in jail and four months under house arrest after being criminally convicted for spending too much of his own money on his own political campaign in 2008, it appears as though third-parties, including ones funded by foreign money, are held to a much lower standard than Canadians involved directly in the electoral process.   Indeed, Yves Côté, who was the commissioner of Elections Canada between 2012 and 2022, admitted during an April 2017 Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee that an investigation needs to be launched following questions by then Conservative Senator Linda Frum."
I just see liberals claiming that the Post is foreign owned so it is unreliable. Conflict of interest is only a problem when it hurts liberal ends

China election interference investigation could cause more anti-Asian racism, communities warn
Doing what the CBC does best

Former Trudeau Foundation CEO quit over tensions on Chinese donation - "The former CEO of the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, Pascale Fournier, said she stepped down on April 10 alongside eight members of the board after she sought to shed some light on the Chinese donation of $140,000 but was met with fierce resistance. Fournier, who was appearing in front of the parliamentary committee of ethics Friday morning, told MPs her last weeks at the foundation were “very heated” and that she was personally attacked for insisting that certain board members recuse themselves from the investigation... Fournier told MPs that she only found out about the possible links between the donation and the Chinese government after seeing a Globe and Mail article from Feb. 28. The money came from Chinese billionaire Zhang Bin and Niu Gensheng, another wealthy Chinese businessman...   Fournier said she found discrepancies between the donation contract, the two cheques — one sent in 2016 from an address in China and a second one in 2017 from an address in Quebec — and the tax receipts that were issued to the Canada Revenue Agency at the time, as well as the foundation’s annual reports. For instance, the two cheques were issued by a company named Millennium Golden Eagle International, but only the names of Zhang and Niu appear in the annual reports, she said...   Fournier also found a number of emails from the China Cultural Industry Association, directing the foundation to tell them what to write on the tax receipts, including names and addresses. She told the committee that she found the content of those emails “very curious and troubling.” The China Cultural Industry Association says on its website it adheres to the “total leadership” of the Chinese Communist Party"

Trudeau refuses to clear up confusion over communication of China interference allegations

Stephen Harper thinks foreign interference is ‘far worse than we think’ - The Globe and Mail - "China’s political interference in Canada is pervasive, and likely goes well beyond what has already come to light, former prime minister Stephen Harper is warning, calling for an end to what he calls “naive globalism.”... “Xi Jinping is a much more long-term, serious threat than [Russian President Vladimir] Putin,” he said. Under Mr. Xi, Beijing wants “to create a new world order, a hub-and-spokes global economy where all authority is ultimately centred in Beijing,” he said.  Were China to attain Western standards of lifestyle and output, he said, its size means it would be three times more powerful than the U.S. at the end of the Cold War... He recalled how, as prime minister, he received pressure from the corporate sector to mute his criticism of China’s human-rights record.  But the deal to allow China into the World Trade Organization “was the worst commercial arrangement in the history of mankind,” he said. “It essentially has allowed the Chinese unfettered access to our markets,” with no reciprocal guarantees of access to China’s own enormous population of consumers.  Western leaders, he said, should approach trade with China in the same way it has itself approached trade.  “I don’t think we should allow an import into this country, or an investment, unless it is specifically approved – and unless we are sure we are getting something in return,” he said.  And “we need to unite. Western countries need to act in concert.” Mr. Harper was critical of Canada’s current approach to global affairs and economic management.  Canadian foreign policy has been too soft, he argued, built around an idea of “go along to get along. Just being friends with everybody at all costs is kind of the objective.” It would be better, he said, to see more “hard thinking” in the Canadian approach, one propelled by the country’s values and interests, which include both security and economic priorities.  That economy, he added, has become deeply imbalanced, insufficiently productive and too focused on demand policy. “You can’t solve the problem of stagflation by manipulating interest rates or deficits,” he said. “You need serious supply reforms to kickstart growth and encourage entrepreneurialism.” His proposed solutions echoed those of Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, saying it is time to remove bureaucratic barriers to construction, housing, infrastructure and resource projects.  “The kind of supply reforms you focus on are things that are going to attack – in this country – both bureaucratic and corporate, oligopolies, and monopolies that are holding back growth,” he said... He nonetheless offered a note of optimism at a time of deep political division and war. Look to history, he suggested: In 1979, inflation rates were near double-digits, unemployment was far higher, and the U.S.-led West “was losing every conflict around the world. The Soviet Empire was growing everywhere. It looked absolutely hopeless.”  A decade later, with a new generation of leaders in power, the world was being remade."

Politicians allegedly targeted by foreign interference 'disappointed' in Johnston's report - "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed Johnston as a special rapporteur on foreign interference in March in response to the furor over Chinese government interference... Chiu — who said he was not offered a meeting with Johnston — said he doesn't think that section of the report is a fair representation of what happened in 2021.  "For [Johnston] to conclude that, I think to me, is a bit premature," he said.  Chiu said that even though Johnston may have access to top secret information, he may not understand how election interference plays out "on the ground." NDP MP Jenny Kwan also expressed disappointment in Johnston's decision not to recommend a public inquiry.  "I think there are a lot of unanswered questions that we're still waiting for," Kwan said.  Unlike Chiu, Kwan said she was able to meet with Johnston, but only because NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh invited her to join him in his meeting with the special rapporteur."

Erin O'Toole says special rapporteur only met with him as report was already being translated - "The leader of the Conservative party during the 2021 election says special rapporteur on foreign interference David Johnston only met with him when his report was being translated and the review was “set up to fail” by the Liberal government... "To set the scene, Mr. Johnston did not reach out to the Conservative Party, my office, or Pierre Poilievre’s office until the final week of his initial assignment. He waited until the very end to meet with the current and former leaders of the party that had been the central target of the foreign interference he was charged with investigating"...   O’Toole also had harsh words for an independent report that reviewed the system that was meant to protect Canada during the 2021 election. The report, headed by former senior government bureaucrat Morris Rosenberg, found the system worked as designed and there was no widespread interference during the last election.  But O’Toole says Rosenberg didn’t speak to a single Conservative central actor from the 2021 election, despite implying in his report he conducted interviews with “party representatives.”"

Globe editorial: Mr. Singh, axe your alliance with the Liberals - The Globe and Mail - "NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his party will “use all our tools” to push for an independent public inquiry into China’s election meddling. He should reach for the one closest at hand: scrapping his parliamentary alliance with the Liberals, as a clear warning to the government that it cannot continue to ignore the will of Parliament... That agreement has allowed the Liberals to ignore the majority vote, 172-149, on a motion to call an independent public inquiry. That vote is non-binding since, under the Public Inquiries Act, only the government can initiate such an effort. It nevertheless is a crystal-clear expression of the will of MPs, but the Liberals have been able to ignore Parliament, secure in the knowledge that Mr. Singh has committed to support them under their agreement... the Prime Minister’s offer of secret briefings misses the entire point of why a public inquiry is needed: a full airing of what the government knew, when it knew it and what it did about it. Only that can begin to repair Canadians’ damaged confidence in our institutions... Mr. Singh can show the sincerity of his belief by ratcheting up the pressure on the Liberals, by scrapping his parliamentary alliance.  Anything less than that will demonstrate that the NDP is not serious about ensuring public scrutiny is trained on Beijing’s meddling and Ottawa’s inaction. Anything less will show that the NDP thinks that wringing a few more dollars out of the government is more important than safeguarding Canada’s electoral system from China’s malign influence."

Opinion: Other world leaders may be brought to account, but Canadian prime ministers, it seems, are invincible - The Globe and Mail - "We do not have the same system of formalized checks and balances the Americans have, nor is the separation of powers so absolute.  Our prime ministers have powers, particularly of appointment, that other heads of government can only dream of. Our legislatures can more easily be tamed, not only by prorogation but through the use of omnibus bills, limits on debate, or snap elections – or the threat of the same. Our committees are not so powerful as those in either the U.S. or the UK.  But in part it is because of our culture of deference to the party leader, and to the prime minister in particular. Canada’s system of party discipline, it is well known, is among the most ferocious in the democratic world. A 2020 study of voting records in the 42nd Parliament, carried out by the Samara Centre for Democracy, found the average Canadian MP voted with his or her party fully 99.6 per cent of the time. The most independent-minded MP in the House bucked his party on just 3.4 per cent of votes; no other MP dissented even 2 per cent of the time.  This is especially glaring in the case of government MPs. Opposition MPs, it is true, are no less captive of their party leader. But at least opposition MPs, pious frauds though they may be, have a professional interest in serving as a check on abuse of power. Whereas government MPs seem to think it is their job to collude in it. It was not always thus. It is not often recalled that, until the 1930s, a member of Parliament, on being appointed to cabinet, had first to resign his seat and run in a by-election. The practice, an inheritance of the British system, had its roots in the ancient proscription of ordinary members of Parliament from accepting offices of the Crown. But more broadly, it was because the MP’s role had changed: from being a watchdog on the government – yes, even as a member of the governing party – to being a member of it. Before he could accept such a post, therefore, he was obliged to ask his electors’ permission... It is only because we are in a minority Parliament that they have so much as a chance of being held to account. But even there it is a near thing. Liberal members of the committee on Procedure and House Affairs (PROC) had no difficulty in filibustering for days on end to preserve the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, from having to testify about what she or the Prime Minister knew when, much as Liberal members of other committees had prevented them from calling witnesses – into SNC-Lavalin in particular – in the days when the government had a majority. (The same might be said, by the way, of the NDP members of these committees, who seem inclined to do the least they can possibly do to hold the government to account rather than put in jeopardy last year’s supply-and-confidence agreement. Party leader Jagmeet Singh’s intervention this week, helping the government in from the limb it had put itself on with the Telford filibuster, was in much the same spirit: While she will now have to testify before PROC, she was spared from having to testify before the Ethics committee (ETHI), where unlike PROC a Conservative occupies the chair.) This is the key. I have said the problem is that prime ministers, of whatever party, have too much power. That also makes the problem difficult to correct. It is possible to imagine all sorts of reforms to strengthen parliamentary oversight and hold the prime minister to account. But all of them require the prime minister’s approval to implement, and thus none of them are ever likely to pass.  But why is that? Ultimately the prime minister’s powers do not derive from the laws or rules of the House – those can always be changed – but from the willingness of government MPs to acquiesce in them. Reforms may not be possible unless the prime minister agrees. But reforms are only necessary because government MPs refuse to do their job, as members of the legislative branch, of holding the executive to account."

Liberal MP Han Dong secretly advised Chinese diplomat in 2021 to delay freeing Two Michaels: sources - "Liberal MP Han Dong, who is at the centre of Chinese influence allegations, privately advised a senior Chinese diplomat in February 2021 that Beijing should hold off freeing Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, according to two separate national security sources.  Both sources said Dong allegedly suggested to Han Tao, China’s consul general in Toronto, that if Beijing released the “Two Michaels,” whom China accused of espionage, the Opposition Conservatives would benefit."
MP Han Dong leaving Liberal caucus, denies allegations of working against release of 2 Michaels

Trudeau government decided CSIS transcript of MP Han Dong provided no ‘actionable evidence’ - The Globe and Mail - "The Trudeau government determined that there was no “actionable evidence” after it received a CSIS transcript of an early 2021 conversation between Liberal MP Han Dong and China’s top diplomat in Toronto... Mr. Trudeau’s press secretary Ann-Clara Vaillancourt told The Globe on March 3 that the PMO only became aware of Mr. Dong’s conversation with the Chinese consul-general after The Globe reached out for comment"

Our reports of Chinese meddling got ignored for years: advocates | The Star - "The first time Cheuk Kwan and Sheng Xue testified to a parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee was in 2006. They warned of Beijing’s desire to “control everything” including activities of Canadians, and urged Ottawa to adopt a stronger stance in order to “earn (China’s) respect and not wrath.”  “But every time we spoke to the government, it felt like we were putting on a show and helping them tick off a box that they were hearing from critics. Nothing was done,” Kwan said.  Nearly 20 years later, he said they are part of a group of veteran Chinese-Canadian advocates and experts on China who are still struggling to be heard... None of the recent leaks of Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) warnings about Beijing’s foreign interference have surprised people in the country’s Chinese diaspora who have directly experienced Beijing’s intimidation and harassment, they say.  “These are not even open secrets. It’s common knowledge,” said Kwan, an author and filmmaker who co-founded the Chinese Canadian National Council in 1980. “It’s just the tip of the iceberg.”  Kwan’s group supported those who fled to Canada from China following the 1989 Tiananmen massacre, and he has since witnessed Beijing’s mobilization of resources to influence other societies, particularly in places such as Canada, the U.S. and Australia where many Chinese diaspora settled. These days most of the blame is attributed to the increasingly infamous United Front Work Department. Since 1979, the United Front has been an official bureau in China that employs thousands of agents to pursue the Chinese Communist Party’s political strategy to use international networks to advance its global interests. According to official documents, the bureau takes special interest in people of Chinese descent living abroad, viewing them as powerful external threats as well as potential allies... He and others also became suspicious when they saw buses of people arrive at federal political nomination meetings to support candidates who were known to shy away from critical messages about China, or when buses of international students in Toronto arrived to participate in counterprotests defending China’s position.  Sources in the Chinese-Canadian community tell the Star that they have sent many tips, including copies of email correspondence, to RCMP and CSIS. In 2018, Mounties in Metro Vancouver probed allegations that the Chinese-state-linked Canada Wenzhou Friendship Society sent out messages on the social-media app WeChat urging chat group members to vote for certain candidates in mayoral elections — and offering a $20 transportation subsidy. But police later said they found no evidence of voter manipulation... And these are relatively subtle forms of influence, Kwan said: Beijing’s blunt tactic of coercion on Canadians is to threaten their friends, family members or business connections in China... many Canadians have told the Star that their reports of threats from foreign actors to police have gone largely unheeded. A Chinese student in Quebec only had two followers on Twitter, but he still didn’t escape Beijing’s tactics, which he alleged included tracking his IP address and threatening his father living in China.  Chinese-Canadian reporters and others would whisper to each other the names of Canadian politicians of various backgrounds who they saw having meetings or attending events with Chinese consulate staff. But without support from Canadian law enforcement, they didn’t dare air those observations publicly... She thought she would be safe living with her mother in Greater Toronto, But since 2014, the award-winning writer has faced a relentless online smear campaign, including fake nude photos and a photo that seemed to show her kissing a man who is not her husband.  “This started in 2014, the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. In addition to the online posts and images, thousands of emails were sent to my contacts with the material and if you Google my name in Chinese, there are still a lot of fake nude photos as well as my phone number listed in fake online ads offering sex services”... “I remember going to a police station in Mississauga to report, and the officer just advised me to change my phone number. I told him, ‘Whatever new number I choose, they will find it out right away.’”... “Of course, the CSIS leaks aren’t surprising. We’ve spent years sharing information to Parliament,” said Uyghur Canadian human-rights advocate Mehmet Tohti, echoing Kwan and Sheng’s frustrations.  In the early 1990s, when the Chinese government was already targeting Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, the biology teacher left China for Turkey and then Canada. For over a decade, as China interned an estimated over a million people in Xinjiang in “re-education camps,” Tohti has been a prominent advocate, co-founding the World Uyghur Congress and working as the executive director of the Uyghur Rights Advocacy Project based in Ottawa.  For this work, he alleges, Chinese police threatened his mother at gunpoint and ordered her to not speak to her son again. The last time he spoke with her was on the phone in 2016 — to say goodbye. More recently, ahead of an unanimous House of Commons vote last month to accept 10,000 Uyghur refugees, a move that Tohti lobbied for, he said he received a menacing call from Chinese police.  “They told me that my mother died and my two sisters are dead and it’s time for my cousin to pay the price. The message was basically that my family paid a heavy price and if I don’t stop, my cousin will be in danger. It’s a direct threat and it’s still ongoing”"
Internalised racism and white supremacy!

O’Toole says CSIS told him about ‘active’ voter suppression by Beijing - "Former Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) found an “active campaign of voter suppression” by China against him and his party in the 2021 election.  O’Toole made the comments Tuesday from the floor of the House of Commons, within which MPs are protected by parliamentary privilege from civil or criminal prosecution under freedom of speech provisions. His speech comes after a briefing with CSIS last week.  “I also believe my privileges as a Member and officer of Parliament were infringed by the government’s unwillingness or inability to act on the intelligence related to foreign interference,” O’Toole said.  “The briefing confirmed to me what I had long suspected – that my party, several of my caucus colleagues and myself were the target of a sophisticated misinformation and voter suppression campaign orchestrated by the People’s Republic of China before and during the 2021 general election.”... Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed former governor general David Johnston as a “special rapporteur” on foreign interference.  The opposition New Democrats, who have propped up the minority Liberal government, are now calling on Johnston to resign after he recommended against a public inquiry into foreign interference – a decision that has faced intense scrutiny and criticism since he announced it... Conservative MP Michael Chong’s family was targeted by Chinese officials miffed about the Ontario MPs support for a motion to recognize China’s treatment of the Uyghur minority as genocide.  But targeting the leader of the Conservatives — and a potential prime minister — is another matter... In his report, Johnston said that officials were unable to tie misinformation about the Conservative campaign “to a state-sponsored source.”"
One of the cope from liberals is that Harper also welcomed the Chinese by promoting trade. Clearly it's the same as refusing to publicly investigate election interference

Opinion: I met with David Johnston for his report – here’s what happened - The Globe and Mail - "I take national defence and security matters seriously and I am disappointed that in the past few years our government has not. While my time in elected office will come to an end soon, I feel that I have a duty to speak out on the issue of foreign interference in our elections. I have watched this issue get progressively worse during my decade in politics. I have also been stunned by the level of indifference from the Trudeau government in their response to this rising threat... If I am to believe media reports, Mr. Johnston interviewed the Bloc Québécois Leader about events alleged to have taken place in British Columbia and Ontario – where Yves-François Blanchet ran no candidates – before he finally got around to me or the present Conservative Leader. This makes no sense... I was left with the clear impression that my meeting was nothing more than a box-checking exercise. I shared with them detailed examples of my concerns and how I believed that intelligence leaks on interference were the result of many years of inaction by the Prime Minister and senior officials and a steady erosion of trust with our security agencies charged with doing important work in our national interest. I was not really asked any questions or given any insights. It was a very strange meeting. When they made a comparison of nomination-level interference by China to nomination campaigns by specific groups in Canada, I realized that sharing my on-the-ground experiences leading the team that had been targeted by China was a waste of time... He was appointed to be the “Independent Special Rapporteur on Foreign Interference” but a quick review of his mandate shows that his examination of election interference largely consists of talking to the same political leaders and senior officials who have presided over the ineffective and trust-eroding decisions that led to the leaks in the first place.  But as disappointing as this box-checking exercise was, even this was an improvement over the Rosenberg report... no senior Conservative Party officials were interviewed by Mr. Rosenberg about the 2021 election... The content of the report itself is even more concerning because Mr. Rosenberg suggests that he did speak to the Conservative Party... This suggests that the report was used by the Trudeau government as a way to discount or discredit the reports in The Globe and Mail and Global News. Add to that the perceived conflict of interest related to Mr. Rosenberg’s leadership of the Trudeau Foundation, and the Rosenberg report should not be viewed as credible in any way."

The source behind foreign interference leaks 'will be found' and punished, PM's security adviser says - "Jody Thomas says security official jeopardized intelligence secrets to leak information, gain ‘notoriety’... "There are better ways of doing this," Thomas said during the interview — her first since being named national security adviser. "There are better ways of raising your concerns within a national security agency. There are better ways of trying to bring some light to this topic than risking Canada's national security."... The source wrote that they were motivated to speak out because "it had become increasingly clear that no serious action was being considered. Worse still, evidence of senior public officials ignoring interference was beginning to mount."... Criticisms of the government's handling of the situation have been particularly ferocious when it comes to a 2021 CSIS intelligence analysis that said Chinese officials may have been targeting the overseas family of a Canadian MP. That MP turned out to be Michael Chong, now the Conservatives' foreign affairs critic. Chong allegedly was targeted by Beijing in response to his advocacy for the persecuted Uyghur minority. Chong himself was not informed of the CSIS report until two months ago, when it was reported on in the Globe. In the immediate aftermath, Prime Minister Trudeau said his office never received the document. He was forced to backtrack later in the week and acknowledge it was received but not brought to his attention."
He's so notorious, we don't know who it is

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Links - 21st June 2023 (2)

The hilarious story of 1908 "fake rescue dog" who pushed children into the Seine and then rescued them for steak rewards - ""Dog a Fake Hero: Pushes Children into the Seine to Rescue Them and Win Beefsteaks." That might be the greatest article in history. It was featured in the New York Times on February 2, 1908, way back on page 14. That's a cover story, if you ask me! The dog, who was a Newfoundland, heard a child cry out from the river. He leapt in and pulled them to safety and he was rewarded with a beefsteak. Just two days later another child fell into the same river and was rescued by the same dog. The article states that hardly a day passed by without an unfortunate infant taking an involuntary bath. It began to be suspected that the neighborhood was haunted by a mysterious criminal and a special watch was inaugurated. This is when the truth came out. It was the dog all along. Whenever he saw a child playing at the edge of the stream, he promptly knocked it into the water and then nonetheless promptly jumped into the rescue."

Does limiting the times you eat (intermittent fasting) prevent cardiovascular disease? | Cochrane - "We didn't find any data on mortality, cardiovascular mortality or risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure.  We found that people may lose more weight by intermittent fasting than by usual eating over three months (evidence from 7 studies in 224 people); but not when compared against energy restriction diets for three months (10 studies; 719 people) or longer (3 to 12 months; 4 studies; 279 people).  We also found that intermittent fasting did not appear to affect blood sugar levels when compared against usual eating over three months (3 studies; 95 people); energy restriction diets over three months (9 studies; 582 people); or energy restriction diets over 3 to12 months (4 studies; 279 people).  The weight losses and changes in blood sugars reported in the studies were small. These changes were not deemed to be clinically significant.  Only four studies reported unwanted effects of intermittent fasting: some people taking part reported mild headaches. Only one study reported on people's well-being, showing a small increase in scores for physical well-being."
When it comes to fad diets, evidence doesn't matter

Can fasting help you live longer? Here’s what the science says. - "Longo packaged the fasting-mimicking diet into a food kit, which includes nutrient-rich crackers, olives, soup mixes, herbal tea, and supplements. A study of 71 healthy adults who followed the diet, for five consecutive days once a month for three cycles, found it reduced body fat, body weight, blood pressure, glucose, and C-reactive protein—all good things for staving off heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic ailments. The people at highest risk for these conditions improved the most... Now Longo is putting his diet to its biggest test. He is recruiting 500 people, ages 30 to 65, from Molochio, Varapodio, and neighboring villages for a head-to-head comparison of the effects of normal eating and FMD. He hopes the study will demonstrate, convincingly, that sending the body into fasting mode can improve the health of many adults and reverse age-related molecular and cellular damage at the root of the conditions that bedevil us late in life... Today’s fasting mania grew out of more than a century of research showing that extreme calorie restriction—a reduction of 20 percent to 40 percent—dramatically extends the lives of animals, including worms, flies, mice, rats, and rhesus monkeys, as long as they get the nutrients they need. No other antiaging intervention comes close. These studies also demonstrate that extremely low-calorie diets significantly reduce the incidence of age-related diseases, especially cancer... In humans, eating the bare minimum for survival might prevent or delay some ailments, but over the long term it would cause other problems, such as bone loss. Even if the practice was safe, many of us might not think a longer life worth living if it meant walking around hungry all the time... In a series of experiments, de Magalhães and his colleagues showed that a prescription blood pressure medication, rilmenidine, extends the lifespan of the worm C. elegans by about 20 percent—and does it by mimicking the protective biological effects of calorie restriction. The drug activates the same genetic pathways as a super low-calorie diet. It also induces what’s known as autophagy, or the clearing out of old cells, a critical process for health and one that deteriorates as we age. Worms lived longer even if they did not get the drug until they were old."

Meme - "Gatekeeping Explained:
Join The The Hobby *door open, man welcoming you in*
Change The The Hobby *man blocking door*"

Meme - Richie Respek: "my great grandfather is from the Middle East."
Jason Sapp: "and..?"
Richie Respek: "I would know more than you about this."
Ahh... seppos and their "lived experience"

Meme - Giun @Rocket_Worm: "Most of the people I know in real life have no serious concerns about the current state of the world. They go out, consume, and travel like everyone is safe and healthy, and like everything is peachy with the planet. This is partly the reason why I have so few friends."
Life as a left winger must be absolutely miserable

Don't deliver kids' forgotten items, school tells parents - "Signs are put up at entry points of Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Primary School (KCPPS) to discourage parents from dropping off their children's forgotten items.  "Please turn around and leave..." state the signs.  The school feels that children should take responsibility for their actions: "Let your child grow up. Your child will learn to solve problems and take responsibility for the consequences in your absence."  Every day from 8am to 9am, there will be at least three to four parents or domestic helpers delivering forgotten items such as water bottles, textbooks and pocket money to the school in Bishan Street 13, said a school security guard.   They are redirected to the general office, where they are turned away."
Another photo of the sign

Pizza Hut Used to Be One of the Largest Kale Purchasers in the US - "Once upon a time, beneath the warm glow of Tiffany-style stained glass light fixtures, Pizza Hut provided salad bars and topped them with a protostar garnish: kale.  Back then, before restaurants and foodies caught onto the fact that it was more than just a pretty face, kale was the food chain’s go-to embellishment... In 2015, NPR baffled listeners when it revealed during one of its radio puzzle game shows that Pizza Hut was the largest purchaser of kale in the United States."

MOE told ACS it has to take in girls if it moves to Tengah to better meet local community needs - "the ACS Board of Governors had approached MOE with the idea of moving one of their two primary schools to the heartlands to serve a different community and inject more diversity into their student profile."

Meme - "When your friend plays rap music on the way to a KKK meeting"
"Dude. you're embarrassing me in front of the wizards"

ASTRAL BRAT on Twitter - "precum is so cute and cottagecore like?? lookin like a lil dew drop sitting on the top of a mushroom wow u are so pretty i love u"

5 Fun-facts you might not know about Vikings! - "When a wounded Viking warrior came back from battle, the Vikings in the village would give him/her very strong onion soup. After a few minutes a person of the tribe would smell the wound of the warrior very closely to check if they could detect the smell of the onion. If so, it meant that the abdominal wound was serious and deep enough that death was inevitable."

Meme - "What the weirdest place you have masturbated?"
"When I was 19 I was suicidal. I went to go lay down on the train tracks and get run over. I got bored waiting for a train so in decided to rub one out while laying on the tracks. Post nut clarity helped me get off the tracks and get the help I needed."
"Weirdest place for me was near some railway line watching some dude lying n the tracks beating off. It was like a race of who was going to come first him, me or the train."

Meme - "I'm a virgo so I'm very particular in who I date. What is about you? What is your sign"
"My sign is porcupine"
"That's not real"
"The zodiac isn't real"

Meme - "Oscar knew cutting a glory hole in his trashcan was a good idea."

sidney on Twitter - "I’m sick of my dog walking in the room when I’m sucking dick, it’s not your turn yet just wait holy shit"

Meme - Elon Musk: "Look I'm gonna need the blue tick back unless you give me $8 every month"
Celebrities: "No no no you can't do this. I meed the blue tick. Without the blue tick I'm nothing"
Elon Musk: "If you're nothing without the blue tick, then you shouldn't have it"

Meme - Ed Krassenstein @EdKrassen: "The attacks on Alyssa Milano are out of line. She brought up a concern I I think a lot of celebrities have. Celebrities on Twitter are left with 3 choices right now: 1) Pay the $8.00. 2) Cancel their Twitter Account. 3) Know that some of their fans will be misled, possibly..."
Elon Musk @elonmusk: "We've started a "save-a-celebrity fund" to pay their $8. We take this matter very seriously."
"LOL! Actually I think this could be a solution, even though I'm not sure if you are serious."
"It's a real thing"
Drew @_Drew_2_U: "We could get a card in the mail with the photo of the celebrity who we "saved". Kinda like when you donate to a child in Africa. Haha. Maybe a t-shirt that reads, "My $8 saved a Celebrity". We can have commercials too! "For 26 cents a day, you too could help save a celebrity.""

Some Celebrities Complain About The New Cost Of Twitter's Blue Check Mark And Refuse To Pay | Evie Magazine - "Singer Ciara tweeted, "Blue check or no check… I know my fans still checkin."  Ciara's reaction was mild, especially compared to the likes of Alyssa Milano, who even changed her bio to reflect her refusal to pay for a blue check mark. "NOT PAYING FOR A BLUE CHECK MARK!" is the very first line of her bio.  "So by revoking my blue check mark because I wouldn’t pay some arbitrary fee, someone can just be me and say a bunch of bullshit. Does that mean Twitter and @elonmusk are liable for defamation or identity theft or fraud?" she tweeted.  Twitter Help added a disclaimer to Alyssa's question: :Impersonation is still, and has been against the site rules since 2018, verified check mark or not."... All of the celebrities' complaints about the new blue check mark have resulted in numerous users highlighting their entitlement and unnecessary whining. "Most of you have never had the displeasure of knowing 'celebrities.' They are trash, repulsive people. The good news is they are also miserable. There ain’t no free karmic lunch. They are crying over $8. It’s not the money. It’s the ENTITLEMENT. They think they are gods," lawyer and filmmaker Mike Cernovich tweeted."

Meme - "Ha ha, the rocket exploded. Elon is a failure"
"Karen, They/Them, 335lb, $335K in debt from a gender studies degree"

Meme - "Americans when they realise they use 9mm instead of 0.3543307087 inches bullets"

Nepean Private Hospital nurse Geraldine Lumbo Dizon disconnected heart monitor alarm to FaceTime - "A nurse has had her medical registration terminated  after a tribunal found she had disconnected a patient's heart monitor alarm during a FaceTime call before he died.  Geraldine Lumbo Dizon turned off the sound for the 85-year-old's monitor during a night shift at Nepean Private Hospital in Sydney's west... Ms Dizon also failed to inform doctors that the same patient had registered irregular heart rhythm prior to the incident... Ms Dizon then forgot to plug the alarm system back in after her shift, which the tribunal said led other staff to miss key alarms indicating his deteriorating condition... Ms Dizon explained during a tribunal hearing that she had simply turned off the sound to avoid confusion for other patients who were mistaking it for the sound of a doorbell.   Seven minutes after the mute alert was detected at 7:07am, the man suffered cardiac failure - which also prompted a soundless alarm.  He was found unresponsive in his bed by staff at 7:20am.  It was also found that despite the fact that Ms Dizon was supposed to check the patient every six hours, CCTV showed that she had only done so once during her 10-hour shift.   The tribunal said Ms Dizon was on her phone 15 minutes before the man's heartbeat began to slow down, and that she had spent more than 66 minutes on the FaceTime call. Ms Dizon said that her phone use was 'not conscious' and that she was checking on her family in the Philippines at the time.  She also said that she didn't tell other staff about the heart rhythm because she wasn't 'good at ECG reading'."

‘Boris is a liar’: an infantile critique - "If you only get your news from British liberal Twitter, you could be forgiven for thinking that Boris Johnson invented lying. That before 2016 the idea that a leading politician might fudge the facts or even lie was unconscionable, never been done before...   She was then kicked out of the chamber, as accusing fellow MPs of lying breaches Commons rules on ‘unparliamentary language’. Butler knew this would happen, but still feigned outrage about the whole thing and used the opportunity to pose as some freedom fighter, speaking truth to Boris’s BS. ‘I needed to call it out!’, she tweeted...   The whole episode was an embarrassing example of how Butler (and other MPs like her) has essentially become the MP for Twitter, using the Commons not as a place to stick up for her constituents or hold government to account, but as a clip factory for social-media clout-chasing. But it also showed the paucity and hypocrisy of much of the opposition to Johnson.   Just look at some of the people who are jumping on the ‘Boris is a liar’ bandwagon. Alastair Campbell has for months been pushing for broadcasters to show Stefanovic’s little clip, collating some of Boris’s porkies. This is the same Alastair Campbell who helped lie us into a barbarous foreign intervention.  Everyone is full of it. Corbynistas say Johnson lied about Corbyn. And yet we await the great NHS sell-off that Corbyn assured us was coming if Johnson was elected in 2019. Remoaner Twitter still bangs on about the £350million, even though the actual leader of the Remain campaign has admitted to exaggerating the economic impact of Brexit.   Some of the stuff Butler had a pop at Johnson for in the chamber yesterday didn’t even make sense. She said his statement that the vaccines had ‘severed the link’ between Covid cases and deaths was a lie, because some vaccinated people still die from Covid. But that’s pure semantics. Even so, the increasingly cautious Johnson has banged on constantly about vaccines not being a silver bullet. Plus, if we’re going to get pedantic about scientific claims here, should Butler be hauled over the coals for her own bonkers comments about babies being ‘born without sex’?"
From 2021

Preserved Victorian Wedding Cake – Basingstoke, England - "It is rare that a wedding cake survives the wedding itself, but an elaborate four-tiered wedding cake has remained uncut since it was made in 1898.  The confection was made soon after Charles H. Philpott and his wife opened their family bakery—C.H. Philpott, Baker and Confectioner—in Basingstoke. For 66 years after the bakery’s opening, the Philpotts displayed the cake in the shop window, before moving it to their home in 1964 after the bakery closed. In 1995, almost a century after it was first baked and displayed, the Philpotts’ daughter donated the antique cake to the local Willis Museum."

Author details how she was able to retire early at 38 - "“My husband Mark and I just saved a big chunk of our income and let time and the magic of compound interest do the rest," Tanja Hester, author of “Work Optional: Retire Early The Non Penny-Pinching Way," told Yahoo Finance Live. Hester retired early at 38... “Each time we got a raise, even if it was small, could we bank that raise? Could we keep our spending the same as it had been the year before, more or less?” Hester said. Hester also advised people who dream of early retirement to get serious about cutting out large expenses.  “The big things for most people are housing and transportation," Hester said. "Perhaps staying in a smaller home could be a good solution to help you save a whole lot more and invest a lot more over the long run. Lose a car for the household or look at other ways to cut your transportation costs." In addition to large expenses, Hester suggests that people who want to join the FIRE movement also examine small costs as well to save money."

TikToker Reveals Best Question To Ask During Job Interview: VIDEO - "Are there any concerns that you have about me that we can address before we end?"

WORLD : Belgian King Abdicates for Day to Avoid Signing Abortion Law - Los Angeles Times - "King Baudouin of Belgium temporarily gave up his throne today, saying his Roman Catholic conscience would not allow him to sign a controversial law legalizing abortion.  After two late-night cabinet meetings, the government issued a statement saying it had declared the childless 59-year-old monarch unable to reign--a procedure last used in 1940 when his father, King Leopold III, surrendered to Nazi invaders."
From 1990

Is This Duck Kosher? It's Complicated - "The basics of Jewish dietary law—the laws of kashrut—are fairly well-known: no pork, no shellfish, no milk and meat together. But there are many, many more laws than that, some of which are unclear, some of which are localized and don’t necessarily apply to all countries, and many of which have never really been settled. The case of the Muscovy duck is one of the most fun. The rules of kashrut have a couple of issues that destabilize the entire process of figuring out what Jews can and cannot eat. One of these fundamental issues is that the laws don’t necessarily follow any larger philosophy. Jewish scholars have long divided the laws of Judaism into a couple of different categories. Mishpatim—the -im and -ot endings of words signify plurals in Hebrew—are laws that are self-evident to the survival of a society, like “don’t murder” or “don’t steal.” The edot are laws usually surrounding holidays, symbolic rules designed to memorialize events or bring a community together, like wearing a yarmulke or not eating bread on Passover. And then there are the chukim. The chukim are laws that make no sense. They are sometimes phrased in ways to make following them more palatable; for example, that these are laws passed down directly from God, and it is not necessary that we understand them. The rules of kashrut are sometimes, but not always, placed in this category.  Another fundamental issue with the laws of kashrut is the lack of a Jewish governing body... Do sharks have fins and scales? Fins, obviously, yes. Scales? Well, haha, sort of. Turns out sharks are actually covered completely in placoid scales, microscopic spine-like scales. This wasn’t discovered for a couple of thousand years after Jews had already declared shark forbidden. So can Jews eat shark now? Generally, no: A bunch of those learned dudes decided that the reference to “scales” must have meant scales you can actually see and remove. What about, say, swordfish, which has scales when young but sheds them when mature? Responses vary... that list of birds is, obviously, total trash if you’re trying to expand it outwards and figure out what you can and cannot eat. We don’t know whether those words were referring to specific species or whole categories of birds, and certainly many more species have been discovered since the Torah was set down. Scholars, to make up for this, have tried to see the patterns in the banned birds, and then use those patterns to create rules that could apply to species new to Jews, like, say, an unusual duck native to the Americas. This is obviously a fraught endeavor if you subscribe to the belief that the laws of kashrut are chukim—totally senseless.   Over the past 2,000 years, Jewish scholars have arrived at a couple of broad conclusions about what was meant by these particular 24 species. Or, well, 22 species and whatever tinshemet and atalef are supposed to be...  In general, birds of prey are off-limits, no matter what. But for all the other birds, when there is debate over whether you can or cannot eat it, you rely on mesorah.  Mesorah is sort of the oral tradition of Judaism. In this case, it means that if the ruling is unclear, but there is a history of Jews eating this particular species, then that species will be permitted. It’s circular...   The Muscovy duck is not the only New World poultry subject to this kind of debate. One rabbi, Rabbi Shlomo Kluger (1785-1869), wrote that literally every bird in the New World is forbidden, because there were no Jews there until recently and thus no mesorah. It is still not really settled whether turkey is kosher"

Union shocked after Ottawa Police ticket striking government worker for excessive honking - The Globe and Mail
So many people on reddit were outraged about this. Turns out honking is only bad when it's a "right-wing" protest. Of course on reddit there was the usual gaslighting. pretending that hundreds of tickets weren't written for the convoy

The Fifth Column: Cholera and Catholic Faith - "'Among the ideas about the cause of cholera was electrical disturbances in the atmosphere'... The connection was not wrong. After all, cholera is caused by the vibrio cholera bacterium, which is found in raw sewage. The major cause of outbreaks was having drinking water sourced too close to latrines. Heavy rains would cause flooding which contaminated drinking water, and heavy rains were generally accompanied by lightning. Thus, lightning and thunder were associated with cholera outbreaks. This is why it was not unusual for communities to authorize the firing of cannons to ward off cholera. If sound and bad, damp air caused the disease, then a simulation of thunder, such as that produced by cannons, might prevent it...   The idea that sin causes physical suffering is not unique to these preachers. St. Paul makes the same connection, asserting that consuming Eucharist without discerning the Real Presence is why "many among you are weak and sick, and some of you have died" (1 Cor 11:26-30). Similarly, Paul connects the sin of active homosexuality with "receiving due penalty in their flesh" (Romans 1:27).  Therein lies the problem. Christianity, by its nature, insists on an inherent link between the physical and the divine. Sins of the flesh send one to hell, conversely, God took on Flesh to save the world from sin. Both sin and salvation are incarnational. We expect to see physical connections between the two, even when those connections don't exist.  Search the Scriptures and see: the failure to separate drinking water and sewage is not a sin. Despite this, God's scourge is apparently set upon those who fail to separate the safe from the sewage. Notice, God does not visit deadly punishment on those who fail to separate the two kinds of cloth (Lev 19:19, Deut 22:11), or the ritually clean food from the ritually unclean (Acts 10:15). Instead, cholera's scourge is visited despite Scripture's silence. But it is worse than this. In the case of cholera, the failure to separate the two kinds of water is not the true cause of the scourge, rather, the poor nutrition that results from poverty is the actual cause of cholera... The Scriptures are quite, quite clear that plague and famine actually are scourges from God... Is Scripture wrong? Well... yes. It is. If we take these four apocalyptic signs literally, Scripture is absolutely wrong. After all, no one would say that 21st century civilization is less plagued with sin than 1st century civilization was, yet even though we have at least seven times the population, we also have far less war, famine or death than we have ever had in the history of the world. And the same data show, again contrary to Scripture's warning against kings (1 Sam 8), the establishment of states is a big part of what has reduced the suffering and violence. Now, some might take the recent WuFlu pandemic as an example of God wreaking His vengeance on us for our sins. If so, He has gotten a lot milder in recent centuries. We don't see a quarter of a town's population wiped out  by the Chinese plague, with the remainder fleeing in terror, even though our sins today are arguably worse than any in recorded history. And our sins are unquestionably worse...  Life expectancy in pre-abortion, 1960 America was 68 years. In 2022, after 50 years of murdering children, it is 79.  How do we account for the fact that world-wide suffering has dramatically decreased while world-wide responsibility for sin has dramatically increased? This is not a new problem. When anesthesia was discovered in 1831, 19th century theologians were faced with the same problem. Why would God grant a sinful world surcease from suffering? How could the use of anesthesia be moral?... No one suffers today anywhere near as much as everyone did just two centuries previously. Given our increased knowledge, our sin is much worse, but our suffering is largely gone. Even the percentage of martyrs is dropping.   Apparently, despite the warnings of the Scriptures, the Doctors, the saints and the visionaries, over the last two centuries, both the incidence and the severity of God's physical vengeance upon sinful man has steadily declined... Why should Don Bosco's use of vinegar reduce the punishment for sin? Apart from baptism, cleaning supplies are not part of any of the sacraments... We refrain from connecting suffering with divine action because such connections raise  serious issues. We have already seen that, if we make this connection, we must assume God preferentially scourges the poor and undernourished. Similarly, 50% of America's murders and 50% of her murderers are young black men between the ages of 15 and 30. Black Americans are more likely to be Christian than any other demographic, yet they commit more sinfully violent crimes than any other demographic. On the other hand, Asians are the least likely to be Christian, yet are also the least likely to be involved in the sin of violent crime. Are pagan Asians closer to God and sanctity than young Christian black men? You see the problem."
Weird how historically Christians have gotten the connection between sin and punishment wrong. But definitely modern apologetics is correct

The decline of religion has socio-economic implications for all Canadians - The Hub - "Our latest research suggests that the activity of Canada’s more than 20,000 religious congregations produces $18.2 billion worth of benefits for society. We use a method first developed by researchers at the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, which we adjusted for the Canadian context. A congregation’s economic impact can be assessed on the basis of 41 variables, in the following categories:
Open space, used for recreation or providing environmental benefit
Direct spending on salaries, operations, and facilities
Education through an on-site school or child care, among other programs
The “magnet effect” of attracting attendees to bar/bat mitzvahs, funerals, concerts, weddings and the like, who then spend their dollars at hotels, restaurants, and other businesses
Activities that benefit individual people, such as counselling, refugee resettlement, and other forms of assistance
Community development, including housing initiatives and job-training programs
Social capital and care, such as food banks and AA meeting space...
Of course, non-religious Canadians and groups are also active in giving and volunteering. But the fact is that religious Canadians contribute disproportionately more, to both religious and non-religious causes. Forty-five percent of the country’s total giving comes from the 14 percent of Canadians who attend religious services on a weekly basis, as do 29 percent of total volunteer hours. Returning to the example of refugee resettlement, my quick scan of the names of the 130 sponsorship agreement holders suggests that 94 of them are religious organizations.  As the percentage of Canadians who participate in religiously motivated activity declines, these contributions will decline also. The socio-economic effect will be felt by us all. Will other civil-society institutions, or the various levels of government, be able to increase their contributions to fill the gap?"

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