When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, July 08, 2023

Links - 8th July 2023 (2)

Pasta Dump Mystery in New Jersey in Finally Solved - "Keith Rost, who lives nearby, cleared up the macaroni mystery by stating that he knew who had left the pasta behind. He claimed that it all came from a house that is up for sale and was being cleared out by a military veteran after his mother has died. Apparently, she'd left behind quite a stockpile of food and he disposed it in the woods... While the pasta appears cooked in the photos, that was actually not the case. It had been thrown into the woods dry, but became limp after several days in the rain. For Jochnowitz, the event is another reminder about the lack of bulk-garbage pickup for the town of nearly 70,000 residents. Old Bridge is the only town in its county that lacks this service. “It’s been a point of contention for many years”"


Japan's 'cringeworthy' cartoon cars make image U-turn - "Mr Yosuke Takahata doesn't care what people think of his "itasha" car, which has his favourite anime character — a sexy, red-eyed horse-woman — emblazoned across both sides.  For him and other owners around Japan, plastering cartoon pictures all over their vehicles is just another way of paying homage to their two-dimensional true loves.  "Itasha" means "cringeworthy car", reflecting the misfit image the vehicles had when they first started appearing on roads around 20 years ago.  But perceptions have begun to change, with anime and other hobby subcultures gaining a new mainstream acceptance in Japan."

Fewer than 4 in 10 S'pore respondents optimistic of better lives in 5 years, all-time low in global survey - "Fewer than four in 10 people in Singapore believe that they and their families will be better off economically in five years’ time, according to a survey conducted by consultancy Edelman. This is the lowest level of economic optimism in the 23 years that the firm has conducted the annual global survey. Only about 36 per cent of respondents in Singapore felt that way, down 7 percentage points from a year ago..   This was roughly in line with what the survey described as a “collapse” in economic optimism around the world, with the global average dropping by 10 percentage points over the same period to 40 per cent... respondents in developed countries were less optimistic than those in developing ones.  This trend is occurring against the backdrop of a wider spread of income-based trust gap in governments, businesses, the media and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), or what is collectively referred to by the report as "societal institutions". The survey found that respondents from the higher income group have greater trust in these societal institutions compared to respondents with low income... nearly half of respondents here felt that the social fabric in the country is weakening. More than three-quarters expect business leaders here to take a public stand over issues such as discrimination, climate change and the treatment of workers...   Among top 25 per cent earners, the average trust in institutions globally has soared to 62 per cent from 50 per cent in 2012. Among low-income earners, the bottom 25 per cent, the trust index inched up from 44 per cent to 48 per cent over the same period."

Meme - Dane @UltraDane: "Why is the NYC subway a literal sh*th*le and Tokyo's is immaculate."
"Japanese people don't season they subways"

The nostalgic joy of '90s style PC game installers - "Today, game installation is simply the final, invisible phase of a Steam download. Once though, it was a ceremony. Back in the multimedia age—or, less fancifully, the ‘90s—developers treated installers as the front door to their game. They built grand facades to set the tone, or to distract you from the frustrating creep of progress bars. Some of them, it could be argued, got carried away. But we’re going to celebrate them here, in all their daft glory, just as soon as I’ve prepared the InstallShield Wizard."

Meme - "Game Developers then:
"I coded Rollercoaster Tycoon entirely in Assembly so itcan run on most machines."
"We made a shooter game that only takes up 97,280 bytes of space."
"Try out our new game! First few levels are shareware!"
"Minimum requirements? So long as your computer can turn on."
Triple A Game Developers now:
"Our singleplayer game is always-online. Because fuck you, that's why."
"Optimization? Just get a better PC bro. You need at least Next-gen to play without our game crashing."
"Sorry, we can't work on fixing the game. One of our employees keeps stealing breast milk from the female employees"
"Our game is 500GB. You don't need to play any other games, right? Also there is a 50GB update patch"

We programmed DOOM in a coding language that can be played on anything, even a smart fridge.
My dad's journals from WW2 will make a great framework for my game's setting and lore.
Not everything needs an explanation; people are smart enough to figure it out.
We turned Samus into a woman as a funny surprise, but we made sure her character didn't get in the way of a fun game.
Just throw it in the Unreal Engine and hope it's stable; we'll patch it after it launched
Call of Duty and Battlefield taught me all I need to know about  WW2!
We can't let a single player feel lost! Give them companions that show them EVERYTHING
This is Crystal; she's a gay black obese who converted to Islam and has depression."

Stuart Little helps long-lost Hungarian painting return home - "A long-lost avant-garde painting has returned home to Hungary after nine decades, thanks to a sharp-eyed art historian who spotted it being used as a prop in the Hollywood film Stuart Little.  In 2009, Gergely Barki noticed Sleeping Lady with Black Vase by Robert Bereny (1888-1953) in the 1999 children's movie as he watched television with his daughter Lola.  "I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Bereny's long-lost masterpiece on the wall behind Hugh Laurie, I nearly dropped Lola from my lap," Mr Barki, a researcher at Hungary's National Gallery, said.  "A researcher can never take his eyes off the job, even when watching Christmas movies at home."  The painting disappeared in the 1920s but Mr Barki recognised it immediately, even though he had only seen a faded black and white photo dating from a 1928 exhibition archived in the National Gallery."

Meme - *Wallet full of money on ground*
"As a child of god, what's your next move?"
"To thank him."


Meme - Man in other toilet cubicle: "HI. HOW ARE you?"
Man in cubicle: "I'm doing ok I guess"
Man in other toilet cubicle: "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
Man in other toilet cubicle: "Can I come over?"
Man in cubicle: "No. I'm busy right now"
Man in other toilet cubicle: "Hey listen. I need to call you BACK. SOME IDIOT IN THE OTHER STALL KEEPS ANSWERING ALL MY QUESTIONS"

Meme - Eva: "Mispellings
Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2018
A little disappointed and I am only in Chapter 2. Words misspelled, like storey should be (story), odour (odor), realise (realize), recognised (recognized) & memorise (memorized). How unfortunate that these were overlooked. I get discouraged when I read a book that has so many misspelled words. I'm sure I will find more and that makes me not want to read this book.
2 people found this helpful"
Plus misspellings is misspelled

Meme - Officer Frenly: "i just want a mid girl just like this who'll do cute stuff to show me she loves me while we're out to brunch *Kelly Baltazar/Kelly Wang/Mayli*"

The Little Mermaid: Why are films becoming so badly-lit and difficult to see? - "So why are so many filmmakers keeping the lights low? The simple answer is: because they can. It's been a decade since digital video overtook the use of celluloid, and by 2016 more than 90% of films were shot digitally. One change wrought by this technology is that directors now have video monitors on set to show them exactly what the cameras are capturing. They can see immediately whether all of the details they need are there on screen, so they can experiment with lower lighting. With celluloid, there is no equivalent way to check in real time whether or not a scene is too shadowy, so "the safest bet is to shoot with plenty of light, even if scenes are meant to be dark"... But why should they want their work to look as if it was shot during a solar eclipse? One reason is that, for the past decade, Hollywood has been dominated by science-fiction and fantasy – genres that are often associated with big, bold colours and campy fun. Directors have reacted against that stereotype by making their own blockbusters grimmer and grittier in tone, with a 50-shades-of-grey aesthetic to match. Similarly, directors are distinguishing their live-action Disney films from the studio's classic cartoons by giving them more naturalistic lighting. They want us to know that, even if they're telling stories about flying children and singing crabs, they're telling serious, mature stories about flying children and singing crabs."

Why Vietnam doesn't want to claim Ke Huy Quan - "He is the first person of Vietnamese origin to win an Oscar, and one of two nominated this year - the other was Hong Chau in The Whale, whose family also fled from Vietnam on a boat.  Yet in Vietnam the official reaction has been subdued. Reports in the media, which is nearly all state-controlled, have said little about Ke Huy Quan or his background.  Some have stressed the actor's ethnic Chinese ancestry, rather than his Vietnamese origins. He was born in the southern Vietnamese capital Saigon in 1971, his family part of a commercially successful ethnic Chinese minority, of the kind seen in many South East Asian cities. None mentioned his flight from Vietnam as a refugee, in the mass exodus of the so-called "boat people"... The exodus of the boat people in the 1970s and 80s was one of the darkest episodes in Vietnam's recent history. More than 1.5 million people left, most of them ethnic Chinese, on often rickety boats across the South China Sea... The tragic flight of the boat people is also a reminder of Vietnam's fraught relationship with its giant neighbour China... by the time of the North Vietnamese victory in April 1975, and the reunification of the country, relations were increasingly strained. This happened as Vietnam's communist leadership sided with the Soviet Union over the Sino-Soviet split and the Chinese rapprochement with the US.  The large ethnic Chinese population, mainly in Cho Lon, including Ke Huy Quan's family, were caught up in this. They were already under pressure from the victorious communists as the main capitalist group in South Vietnam, suspected of allegiance to the defeated regime. Many were sent to re-education camps... resentment at China's aggressive policies over disputed islands in the South China Sea, and its growing economic clout, fuels powerful anti-Chinese sentiment in the population.  "He [Ke Huy Quan] is not of Vietnamese descent, he is just Chinese-Vietnamese and was born in Vietnam. We have to make that clear," wrote one person on the BBC Vietnamese Facebook page.  "They should write very clearly that he is Chinese-American, that he used to have Vietnamese nationality! I cannot not see any "Vietnamese origin" here?" wrote another."

Great apes deliberately spin to become dizzy, say researchers - "Great apes deliberately spin themselves around to make themselves dizzy, researchers have said.  The behaviour could provide clues as to why humans had evolved the desire to seek altered mental states... "There could be a link to mental health here, as the primates we observed engaging in this behaviour were mostly captive individuals, who may be bored and trying to stimulate their senses in some way," Dr Lameira said, adding it could also be a "play behaviour". "

Turkey wants to be called Türkiye in rebranding move - "Turkey will be known as Türkiye at the United Nations from now on, after it agreed to a formal request from Ankara... Most Turks already know their country as Türkiye. However the anglicised form Turkey is widely used, even within the country. State broadcaster TRT was quick to make the change as soon as it was announced last year, explaining that among the reasons for the image rebrand was the association with the bird traditionally associated with Christmas, New Year or Thanksgiving.  It also pointed out the Cambridge English Dictionary's definition of one of the meanings of the word as "something that fails badly" or "a stupid or silly person"... The move has been met with a mixed reaction online. While government officials support it, others say it is an ineffective distraction as the president gears up for elections next year, amid an economic crisis. It is not uncommon for countries to change their names.  In 2020, The Netherlands dropped Holland in a rebranding move. And before that, Macedonia changed its name to North Macedonia due to a political dispute with Greece, and Swaziland became Eswatini in 2018.  Further back in history, Iran used to be called Persia, Siam is now Thailand, and Rhodesia was changed to Zimbabwe... Turkey the bird is called by a different name in many languages, such as "peru" in Portuguese, while in Turkish it is "hindi"."

US man puts phone on drone to send rescue message - "When a US motorist got stuck in the snow on a remote road in Oregon, he used sky-high thinking to save himself.  After realising he was without mobile phone reception, he typed a text message to a trusted person showing his exact location, attached the phone to a drone and launched it several hundred feet into the air.  The airborne phone sent his message for help once it found signal... After his vehicle got stuck, he realised there was no cell phone reception - making matters worse "his family was out of the country and nobody knew where he had gone"... "Regardless of the circumstances leading to his situation, once stranded this person made several smart decisions," Lane County Sheriff Search and Rescue said in a statement.  First, he stayed in his car.  "Rarely does anyone in Oregon die from exposure waiting in their vehicle to be found and rescued," the statement said.  "But we have unfortunately seen many poor outcomes from those who chose to walk away."  After attaching his phone to a drone, "the increased elevation allowed his phone to connect to a tower" and send his message for help.  His ingenuity allowed for rescue teams to deploy and assist him out of the situation.  While teams were rescuing the man, they also rescued another motorist who had been stranded for several days in the snow... they said most rescue missions they have conducted this winter involved bigger vehicles, whose owners told rescuers they did not think they would get stuck.  The search and rescue team suggested: "Instead of asking yourself whether you think you can get through a section of road, ask yourself 'what will happen if I do get stuck?'""

Meme - "Don't read, peasant! Listen to priests instead!" *Liberal upset*
Forbes: "You Must Not Do Your Own Research When Comes To Science. Research is for the experts. Listen to them instead." *Liberal excited*

Harvard: "Yo that's you top G": Netizens compare viral Harvard human Gollum photo to Andrew Tate - "A viral claim has surfaced online, according to which scientists at Harvard University have drawn digital images to show what Gollum from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings would look like if he were a human. A digitally drawn image was also shared along with the claim, and surprisingly, it resembled controversial social media personality and business mogul Andrew Tate.  It did not take netizens much time to realize that this claim was meant as a joke and that the creator had solely created a digital painting or an AI-generated image mixing Andrew Tate and Gollum's facial features."

Zip Line Into the Mouth of Godzilla at This Japanese Theme Park - "Critics have said that the attraction’s stature doesn’t quite measure up to what a real Godzilla would be. In last year’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” movie, Godzilla was almost 400 feet long. But at Nijigen no Mori Park, Godzilla appears with half his body buried beneath the ground."

This professor argued human extinction might be ‘a good thing.’ Now he doesn’t want to talk about it. - "a professor of philosophy at Clemson University argued in a New York Times op-ed that it wouldn’t be so bad without people on the planet violently oppressing animals and destroying the climate.  It was an opinion that prompted a national conversation and a wave of critiques.  But Professor Todd May now refuses to discuss whether he has any regrets about his controversial opinion, or if he stands behind it... May wrote that a world void of human life “might just be a good thing.”  In his controversial op-ed, May pondered whether human extinction constitutes as tragic. Perhaps for the humans, he argued, but that’s maybe it... what egregious crime has mankind committed to deserve world-wide “elimination”? According to May, humans are destroying massive quantities of the earth, making it less inhabitable for “suffering” animals to occupy.  Without describing how, the professor makes the case that humans contribute to climate change through destroying the ecosystem, overpopulation, contaminating the balance of the ecosystem, and factory farming breeding generations of animals that experience only suffering and misery in the short time before being butchered.  “Humanity, then, is the source of devastation of the lives of conscious animals on a scale that is difficult to comprehend,” May argued.   While predatory animals often devour their prey in ruthless ways, May argues that we as humans are far more barbaric and brutal toward animals, whom he refers to as “our fellow creatures.”"
Another good example of the misanthropy of environmentalism

Meme - "This nigga so black they had to change his background white"

超越次元的Battle!孙悟空VS超人:谁能笑到最后! - YouTube
Monkey King (Sun Wukong) vs DC/Marvel characters comedy skit (with subtitles)

Dishwashing lady in Sichuan, China goes home in Bentley, says she washes dishes 'as it's very boring at home' - "It was revealed that the person driving the Bentley was actually the woman's daughter.  According to Oriental Daily, the woman's daughter could not stop her mother from carrying out her wishes to "experience life", but she supported her mother by diligently sending her to and picking her up from the restaurant everyday.   Many commenters applauded the woman for her diligent spirit, and wished her good health to keep on working and doing what she loves. Others shared similar stories of well-to-do family members working despite having enough money to live comfortably, as they felt unnatural not working and sitting at home all day."
Damn broken system, forcing poor elderly people to work! She should collect cardboard instead. The commenters are all brainwashed

Michigan woman charged with caring for wildlife without permit, animals killed by state officials - "Kei Ju Farm, known in the community for its work rehabilitating wild animals, was a refuge to goats, chickens, alpacas, donkeys, horses and other wild animals"
Better to kill animals than let them be cared for by someone without a permit

The Rise and Fall of the LRT - YouTube
Too bad he repeats the myth of induced demand, and doesn't consider that driving isn't very popular in Amsterdam because of parking costs

So much of the usual FUD from the anti-car crowd (Not Just Bikes is not the only one doing this). Usually I find pickup takes longer than drivethru. If you live in an apartment building, you have even more rules than if there's a HOA (and not all neighbourhoods have HOAs) and there's going to be even more noise than someone's leafblower. If you can't tell houses apart, how do you tell apartment units apart? You don't need shelter from the sun except maybe 3 weeks a year. If you live in downtown Toronto the zoo is also not nearby and in that neighbourhood, it's not 25 minutes' drive to the grocery store
It's no coincidence that the only people who propagate the myth of induced demand hate cars

Future Crunch - Good News - "Every week, we publish good news from around the world, and send it to over 48,000 subscribers from 180 countries. This is a regularly updated list of all those stories in one place"

Michigan mom Kendra Licari facing felony charges, accused of catfishing and harassing daughter pretending to be classmate - "A Michigan woman is facing felony charges after being accused of catfishing and harassing her own daughter for months.  Authorities allege Kendra Licari secretly sent her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend thousands of hateful messages."

Family raises 'dog' for 2 years, then realizes it's a bear - "A family in a remote part of China adopted what it thought was a puppy, only to discover two years later that it was actually a bear.  Su Yun, who lives in a village outside the city of Kunming in Yunnan Province, bought what she was led to believe was a Tibetan mastiff puppy while on vacation back in 2016...   The owner’s growing suspicion about her pet’s true nature did not sit well with her because she admitted that she is “a little scared of bears.”  Su reached out to the authorities, who quickly identified her supposed dog as an Asiatic black bear, which is classified as a vulnerable species."

Meme - Bill Alcock: "And you ask why we can never find anyone to work. This is a legit application that was turned in yesterday. I swear this is real too"
"College: No I cook no need for college
Subjects of special study or research work: weed, acid and mushrooms
Special training: Work well under the influence
Special skills: I can drink alot of vodka
Former Employers: this doesn't matter you need a cook call me"

If I like how it sounds, it's literal
If I don't like it. it's out of context
If it's horrible (mass murder, rape, incest, extreme violence, slavery)... Dog allowed it and you're no one to argue
If it contradicts facts, knowledge or reason... It's a metaphor
If there are contradictory verses, it's a translation error
If laws or commands are plain absurd... White jesus abolished it"

Meme - "When you can't help her anymore but you still love her. *mouse having sex with other mouse in mousetrap*"

Harry Potter fan 'disgusted and appalled' by Wiltshire performance - "  Victoria Flint and her boyfriend attended Spontaneous Potter at Salisbury Arts Centre on Saturday, May 13, to celebrate her 42nd birthday.   Both had purchased new cloaks and wands for the event, but were unpleasantly surprised as soon as the performance began.  Victoria said: “The first thing that the main character said when opening the show was, "I have never watched a single Harry Potter film or read a single Harry Potter book".  The audience then reportedly gasped, to which he replied, ‘and you can suck my balls!’”  On The Spontaneous Players’ website, Spontaneous Potter is described as “an entirely improvised wizarding comedy play, based on an audience suggestion of a fanfiction title.”   In the official poster, members of the troupe can be seen wearing cloaks resembling those worn by the different houses represented at the fictional Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter universe, along with a stone statue of a serpent resembling that seen in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and an indistinct castle on a hill in the background.  Victoria said: “It’s not really what I paid £20 each for a ticket for, not what I think many people around me really thought that they paid for. We decided to leave early, it wasn’t anything to do with Harry Potter.  "It was just a group of four people that were doing some improvised comedy, and it had no bearing on Harry Potter.”"

The empty promise of pop psychology

The empty promise of pop psychology

"We had this email, which offered a guaranteed way of lifting our beleaguered spirits to new heights of productivity. All we had to do, it explained, was assume powerful poses, and we would become powerful! Out with slouching, in with wide-legged stances and chins held aloft. Astonishing, yes, but there was science to support it — as you would find, if you watched a 2012 TED Talk by psychologist Amy Cuddy, which has now been viewed over 60 million times.

Power posing, as laid out in a 2010 paper co-authored by Cuddy, is one of the great success stories of popular psychology. It didn’t hurt that it “fit neatly into the established self-help niche in American life”, as Jesse Singal explains in his new book The Quick Fix: Why Fad Psychology Can’t Fix Our Social Ills. And nor was it any disadvantage at all that Cuddy was a brilliant speaker with a powerful story of overcoming personal adversity (she recovered from a traumatic brain injury to achieve a PhD from Princeton, and then a job at Harvard). The power posing theory had almost everything to recommend it — apart from the solid basis in experimental science that it was claimed to have...

A 2015 attempt at replication (that is, rerunning the experiment to see if the result stood) had failed; and then in 2016, one of Cuddy’s co-authors on the original paper disowned the findings entirely.

The apparently empirical effect the researchers had observed was actually generated by something known as “p-value hacking”...

And so the story of power posing, and its journey from one paper that ought to have been challenged at peer review, to near-universal acceptance and an appearance in my work inbox, is a parable for the way bad ideas promulgate themselves — and a perfect example of the kind of bad idea that prospers...

Like all the examples looked at in Singal’s book, power posing sold an individual solution to an institutional or structural problem. After all, if you feel powerless, the most likely reason is that you are powerless. Even if it made you take more risks, which it apparently doesn’t, and even if that were obviously a good thing, which it isn’t necessarily (as Singal wryly asks, “Does American society, and the American economy … suffer from a dearth of pointless risk taking?”), it’s not clear how that would ultimately protect you from the vicissitudes of the market, to which all but the absurdly rich (like Osborne) are beholden.

Similarly, the doctrine of self-esteem pitched the idea that people would do better if they just felt better about themselves. It turned out this was wrong in many ways, but one of the most grimly amusing pieces of evidence against it is this: some research, explains Singal, found that “criminals actually had higher self-esteem than law-abiders”.

Later, the concept of “grit” — meaning “determination” — was picked up by the American education system as the secret of student success. Cultivate “grit” in the individual, and you could save them from failure. The shadow side of that faith, of course, is that failure must come down to a lack of grit: rather than addressing the gross inequalities that stymie children’s chances, interventions focused on changing the child, despite the fact that no one could convincingly explain what “grit” was measuring or how it was critical to achievement.

What’s fascinating about many of the “fads” Singal highlights is that they drew support from Left and Right: the Left could see an effort to mitigate unfair circumstances, and the Right could see the empowerment of the individual. Anyone in a position to control budgets could see that such interventions were blessedly inexpensive compared to other ways of approaching these problems. And so long as they seemed plausible and exciting, the question of whether they actually worked could be left to one side, like the unpleasant sewerage barrels no one wants to think about when celebrating their triumphant ascent of Everest.

Several of Singal’s examples have already started their slide towards irrelevance, but one of them is still going strong. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) caught the wave of Black Lives Matter-inspired corporate concern to address racism, and has been widely adopted by businesses. Its promise is that, by assessing your reaction time to certain words or phrases, it can judge the depth of your “implicit bias” against certain races. Once confronted with a numerical measure of your own racism, you can — the theory goes — begin to undo it.

The IAT’s claim is excitingly bold: “a ten-minute computer task with no connection to the real world could predict subtle forms of real-world discrimination,” Singal writes. But a connection between IAT results and in-practice racist attitudes hasn’t been established. The depressing conclusion is that an awful lot of people, who say that they awfully want to fix racism, are throwing resources at something that will not and cannot do the job.

There are two ways to read that, one of them generous and one of them cynical. Perhaps people simply don’t know that the IAT is a flawed implement, and if you explain that to them, they’ll move onto something else. But that hasn’t happened. In fact, expressing scepticism about the IAT is, as Singal found, treated as tantamount to trying to debunk the existence of racism itself (which, the logic goes, only a racist would do). The more you want to be perceived as anti-racist, the more fervently you are required to advocate for something that is no threat to racism at all.

So the cynical view is this. Things like the IAT and self-esteem and power posing and grit appeal precisely because they don’t work. At the institutional level, no one sincerely wants things to change, and when everything stays the same, and psychology fads make it possible to pin that on personal deficiency: you weren’t gritty, and you failed to address your implicit bias, and you slouched too much. Its nobody else’s fault that the same old messes persist. The real beauty of quick fixes — and the reason they’ll keep coming back, despite Singal’s entertaining and elegant broadside against them — it’s that they’re not really any kind of fix at all."



Popular psychology is also popular among people who seek a way to control their lives and/or the world. For example, many people like to downplay IQ in favor of EQ, grit etc.

Links - 8th July 2023 (1 - China's 'peaceful' rise)

A component in Huawei network appliances could be used to take down Germany’s telecoms networks

Billionaire investor Mark Mobius says he cannot take money out of China - "Billionaire investor Mark Mobius told FOX Business he cannot take his money out of China due to the country's capital controls, cautioning investors to be "very, very careful" about investing in an economy under a tight government grip... "I can't get an explanation of why they're doing this ... They're putting all kinds of barriers. They don't say: No, you can't get your money out. But they say: give us all the records from 20 years of how you made this money ... This is crazy."... Mobius led emerging market investment at Franklin Templeton Investments for three decades and is known for his bullish view on China. Now, though, he said, he "would be very, very careful" investing in the country. "The bottom line is that China is moving in a completely different direction than what Deng Xiaoping instituted when they started the big reform program"... "Now you have a government which is taking golden shares in companies all over China. That means they're going to try to control all of these companies ... So I don't think it's a very good picture when you see the government becoming more and more control-oriented in the economy."  Mobius, who calls himself "the Indiana Jones of Emerging Market investing", told FOX Business he's increasing exposure to alternative markets such as India and Brazil."

Bao Fan: Why do Chinese billionaires keep vanishing? - "The disappearance last month of technology industry dealmaker Bao Fan has rekindled interest in a recent Chinese phenomenon - vanishing billionaires.  The founder of China Renaissance Holdings - with a client list that has included internet giants Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu - is seen as a titan in the country's tech sector.  Mr Bao's case has followed a well-trodden path: he went missing for days before his company announced that he was "co-operating in an investigation being carried out by certain authorities in the People's Republic of China".  As has also become customary, there has been no word yet on which government body is carrying out the probe, what it is about or Mr Bao's whereabouts The mystery shrouding his disappearance comes after a number of Chinese business leaders have gone missing in recent years, including Alibaba boss Jack Ma.  While vanishing billionaires tend to get much more attention, there have also been a number of less publicised cases of Chinese citizens going missing after taking part in, for example, anti-government protests or human rights campaigns.  Mr Bao's disappearance has once again shone a spotlight on the view that this is one of the ways that President Xi Jinping is tightening his control of China's economy... In 2015 alone, at least five executives became unreachable, including Guo Guangchang, chairman of conglomerate Fosun International, which is best known in the West for owning English Premier League football club Wolverhampton Wanderers... Chinese-Canadian businessman Xiao Jianhua was taken from a luxury hotel in Hong Kong. He had been one of China's richest people and last year was jailed for corruption.  In March 2020 billionaire real estate tycoon Ren Zhiqiang vanished after calling Mr Xi a "clown" over his handling of the pandemic. Later that year, after a one-day trial, Mr Ren was sentenced to 18 years in prison on corruption charges.  The most high-profile disappearing billionaire was Alibaba founder Jack Ma. The then-richest person in China vanished in late 2020 after criticising the country's financial regulators. The planned mega-listing of shares in financial technology giant Ant Group was shelved. And despite donating almost $10bn (£8.4bn) to the 'Common Prosperity' fund, he has not been seen in China for more than two years. He has also not been charged with any crimes... The Chinese government insists the actions taken against some of the country's richest people are purely on legal grounds and has pledged to root out corruption. But Beijing's actions also come against the backdrop of decades of liberalisation of what is now the world's second largest economy. This opening up helped to create a swathe of multi-billionaires who, with their immense wealth, had the potential to wield considerable power.  Now, some observers say, under Mr Xi, the Chinese Communist Party wants that power back and it is going about the task in ways that are often clouded in mystery.  The theory goes like this: Big business, especially the technology industry, saw its power grow under the policies of Mr Xi's predecessors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao.  Prior to that, Beijing's focus had been on traditional centres of power, including the military, heavy industry and local governments.  While maintaining a tight grip on these areas, Mr Xi has widened his focus to bring even more of the economy under his control. His Common Prosperity policy has seen major crackdowns in much of the economy, with the technology industry coming in for particular scrutiny... Some China watchers suggest the government risks deterring new business talent."

Missing Chinese banker was working to set up Singapore family office - Nikkei Asia - "Officials in China have not addressed Bao's disappearance. China Renaissance executive Cong Lin was detained in September last year not long after the Shanghai branch of China's securities regulator called in Cong for a "supervisory discussion" about alleged violations in the group's securities unit.  Bao's disappearance has sent a chill through international financial and business circles in China at a time when Beijing is trying to project a more business-friendly image since relaxing harsh pandemic curbs.  Bao had made China Renaissance one of China's top financial institutions, often winning tech deals from larger Wall Street rivals."

More sophisticated censorship at play in aftermath of Beijing hospital fire - "When a hospital in a busy Beijing suburb caught fire last Tuesday, news of the fiery blaze appeared online only about eight hours later.  The lapse seemed impossible in the age of smartphones and social media.  But the initial blanket ban – and subsequent deletion of videos related to the fire – illustrates how China has refined its censorship apparatus... The Covid-19 pandemic, a deadly fire in a Xinjiang apartment complex in November 2022 and the subsequent protests it triggered have also offered Internet administrators multiple opportunities to fine-tune their information control techniques.  Shortly after news of the Beijing fire broke close to 9pm last Tuesday, searches for the term “Beijing Changfeng hospital fire” were banned on social media platform Weibo, and returned a message that results could not be found “according to relevant laws, regulations and policies”.   When videos of the fire started surfacing on Tuesday, they were taken down within minutes, only to be replaced by new posts – a cat and mouse game between Internet users and censors that went on all night. Searches on other sites like Baidu and Sohu showed numerous results, but closer inspection revealed that these were all state-linked or state-aligned media reporting in line with the government’s narrative. Comments that the authorities’ information could not be trusted as they had tried to keep the fire under wraps for hours were also deleted...   In the case of the recent hospital fire, content from a certain geographical area had possibly been banned from getting uploaded, or certain keywords were blocked until a pre-determined time...   Last year, superapp WeChat – which is used for everything from work communications to payment and health tracking – suspended hundreds of users for sharing footage of a one-man protest on Sitong Bridge in Beijing and barred them from participating in group chats or adding new friends...   Besides the simple banning of certain keywords, censorship at China’s tech giants has become increasingly sophisticated. Artificial intelligence means algorithms now recognise pictures and videos that are deemed problematic, and take them out of circulation immediately.    But there is also incentive for firms to ensure the censorship is less obvious, said The Citizen Lab’s Mr Knockel.   “Part of the increase in sophistication is that there is also a lot of business incentive for the platform operators to create the illusion that there is no censorship. If you perform a search and there are no search results, then the user might switch to and try the search on another platform,” he said.  “The platform operators are naturally motivated to try to keep users on their platforms as long as possible.”"

China tries to play down balloon dispute with censorship and memes - "China may be eager to put the balloon behind it. Officials appeared to have been caught off guard by the incident, as shown by their rare expression of regret when first publicly confronted about it."

The West must face down China and finally burst Beijing’s balloon - "Whichever way one looks at it, a US missile shredding a Chinese spy balloon monitoring sensitive American military sites is a grim portent of escalation between opposed nuclear superpowers. It goes without saying that unless Western responses are based on sober, robust assessment of what led to this debacle, Chinese provocation will have achieved its purpose of sowing fear and discord.  If Xi Jinping deliberately authorised a spy balloon flight directly ahead of the (now postponed) visit of United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken visit to China, the obvious inference would make this a test of US resolve. But such a crude challenge has its own consequences. In such a situation, President Biden was honour-bound to destroy the intruder and to halt the Blinken visit. What else did Beijing expect?  Such a crass provocation would suggest that Beijing set little store by what the reduction in tensions Blinken’s visit was meant to achieve and either sought to have the opposite effect or seriously miscalculated. Neither is encouraging. What other such blunders might Xi unleash?  A more worrying notion is that Xi could have been unaware of the balloon mission. The Chinese chain of command is clumsy – perhaps someone overstepped. Or, more concerning, what if a belligerent faction within the Chinese state carried out the operation, seeking to further drive a wedge between West and East?... Though there are exceptionally bright people, they are currently purged and bullied in an echo-chamber for Xi’s dystopian visions of a “China Dream” and a “New Era”. The West should do more to encourage the more moderate elements.  China’s real weakness lies in its economic dependency. Determined Western leverage of economic realities can protect the norms and standards on which global peace and prosperity are founded. The West must be clearer as to what its red lines are. Give the CCP an inch and it could, quite literally, take a mile."

Meme - "*NSDAP*
>Be a socialist party formed in the early 1920's
>Distincitve red flag design
>Believe that an allied coalition of foreign nations is responsible for oppressing and Humiliating Nation in the past
>Believe that present economic hurdles are left over from the unfair actions of european empires like France and the UK
>Espouse extreme nationalism, Militarism, and xenophobia
>Believe the superiority of own nations culture and history destines it to dominate the world
>Claim rightful ownership of neighboring provinces and territories on the basis of the borders of former empire
>Be allied at first with Union of Soviet Socialist Republics before turning on and fighting a war with the same
>Practice hybrid economic model where private property is preserved, but corporations serve the interests of the state and take directives from the party and serve as de facto state run enterprises
>exploit the appeasement/naivete of western powers, who let the nation take what it wants to avoid a confrontation
>secretly persecute religious minorities in camps run far from the capital, on the edges of the territory the nation occupies
>Be the Communist Party of China
>Pic unrelated"

A Million People Are Jailed at China's Gulags. I Managed to Escape. Here's What Really Goes on Inside - "Such is life in China’s reeducation camps, as reported in rare testimony provided by Sayragul Sauytbay (pronounced: Say-ra-gul Saut-bay, as in “bye”), a teacher who escaped from China and was granted asylum in Sweden. Few prisoners have succeeded in getting out of the camps and telling their story. Sauytbay’s testimony is even more extraordinary, because during her incarceration she was compelled to be a teacher in the camp. China wants to market its camps to the world as places of educational programs and vocational retraining, but Sauytbay is one of the few people who can offer credible, firsthand testimony about what really goes on in the camps... Much of what she said corroborated previous testimony by prisoners who had fled to the West... "There was an old woman in the camp who had been a shepherd before she was arrested. She was taken to the camp because she was accused of speaking with someone from abroad by phone. This was a woman who not only did not have a phone, she didn’t even know how to use one. On the page of sins the inmates were forced to fill out, she wrote that the call she had been accused of making never took place. In response she was immediately punished. I saw her when she returned. She was covered with blood, she had no fingernails and her skin was flayed.”... Testimony from others incarcerated in Chinese camps are similar to Sauytbay’s account: the abduction with a black sack over the head, life in shackles, and medications that cause cognitive decline and sterility. Sauytbay’s accounts of sexual assaults has recently been significantly reinforced by accounts from other former inmates of camps in Xinjiang published by The Washington Post and The Independent, in London. A number of women stated that they were raped, others described coerced abortions and the forced insertion of contraceptive devices... “The Chinese claim that these are vocational retraining camps and that the inmates are not there by coercion is a complete lie,” says Nimrod Baranovitch, from the University of Haifa’s Asian studies department. “I know directly and indirectly of hundreds of people who were incarcerated in the camps and have no need of vocational retraining. Intellectuals, professors, physicians and writers have disappeared. One of them is Ablet Abdurishit Berqi, a postdoctoral student who was here with us in Haifa. I hope he is still alive.”"
Damn CIA!

Chinese men take to modeling lingerie on livestreams after China bans females from doing so - "This was the result of a law created to prevent the spread of obscene material online.  Female models weren't the only ones affected by the law, either.  Reuters reported that China's campaign to cleanse their media of entertainers "polluting" the minds of society and cultivate a "patriotic atmosphere" saw idols with "incorrect political positions" and "effeminate" styles being froze out...   Male models being used to sell women's products isn't a new thing.  A 41-year-old businessman Wu Nan from Sichuan makes roughly US$900,000 (S$1 million) selling high heels that he models himself. 28-year-old influencer Austin Li Jiaqi, better known as China's "口红一哥" ("lipstick king"), also makes bank modelling lipstick shades and reviewing luxury goods."

Analysis: Jack Ma downfall spells end of China's golden age - Nikkei Asia - "For the past decade under Xi's rule, philosophy has come before economic rationality... He has been staying in Japan since before the Chinese Communist Party's national congress last October, unable to return to China... Ant did not have any major management problems. Instead, it was precisely its success, and the influence that accompanied that success, that came under increased scrutiny from the Xi regime. Ma was eventually deprived of his control of the company.  Around the same time as Ant's announcement on Jan. 7, photos of Ma taken in Bangkok surfaced on social media. Since moving to Japan, Ma has occasionally traveled overseas. Each time, he has returned to Japan, not to China, keeping a low profile.  Following Ma's loss of control of Ant, an investment company affiliated with the Hangzhou government became a major shareholder.  Suddenly, Ant became a company under the direct influence of the party and Chinese government through voting rights. This influence over Alibaba will strengthen and the fact that the Hangzhou government and Alibaba have become strategic partners is significant. Deprived of their leeway, Alibaba and Ant will face an extremely high hurdle to rapid growth.   It was on Nov. 2, 2020, that a masterpiece by Kaii Higashiyama, Japan's most celebrated contemporary artist, was used to imply the perilous situation Ma now finds himself in.  State-run Xinhua News Agency's WeChat account published a column accompanied by a landscape painting by Higashiyama featuring a horse-shaped white cloud in a blue sky.  Jack Ma was born as Ma Yun, which literally means "horse" and "cloud."  The Xinhua column, in effect, warned that the horse-shaped cloud in the painting was doomed to disappear after being swept away by a blast of wind.  Its publication came after Ma was summoned by Chinese authorities for questioning. A day after the controversial painting was posted, the postponement of Ant's initial public offering was announced. Ma probably saw the article as a prank played by Xi to flex his muscle or as a form of bullying at the hands of the party and state. Now, two years and a few months on, it is clear that the printing of Higashiyama's painting was no joke. It was a statement of intention. That the dismantling of the Alibaba empire came right after the death of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin in November is too much of a coincidence. Ma founded Alibaba in Zhejiang province in 1999 when Jiang was China's top leader. The following year, Jiang announced a policy of allowing private-sector entrepreneurs to join the party, which had previously been regarded as the domain of workers and farmers.  But with Jiang's innovative Three Represents ideology incorporating private-sector entrepreneurs into the party, big-idea executives gained freedom and expanded their sphere of activity. Ma was the poster child.  The Chinese economy had remained stuck in the doldrums after the deadly Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy student demonstrators on June 4, 1989... under the policies of Xi, the final curtain is falling on an era when people at major private companies walk with their heads held high.  China's market-economy governance seems to have retreated to the days before the Jiang era and turned its back on a golden age brought on by nearly three decades of liberalization.  Even before the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, Chinese authorities did not restrict the freedom of fledgling individual business operators or seize their legally acquired personal assets.  What happened with Ant -- which unfolded outside the framework of legal measures -- is a clear break from the path China has pursued since the reform and opening-up policy was introduced at the end of the 1970s.  While the radical buzz phrase, "the prevention of the disorderly expansion of capital," is no longer uttered as often as it once was, the fundamental way of thinking remaining unchanged with Xi at the helm. China's economy now faces another headwind, a declining population"

Analysis: China's elderly pay ultimate price for COVID missteps - Nikkei Asia - "The deaths of 25 retired professors, teachers and other faculty members were announced on Jan. 3 by a university in the northeastern city of Dalian.  An expert who has long analyzed social trends in China calculates that the number of retiree deaths recently announced by universities across China are at least three- to sixfold compared with the previous years.  Since the beginning of the year, the number of daily funeral hall cremations in an area of Fujian Province has surged five- to sixfold, compared with an average year.  The deaths of teachers and other staff, primarily retirees and their family members, at universities in Fujian are said to be nearly 10 times what might have been expected before last year.  The death cause is usually not mentioned, out of a consideration for the central government. But there is little question that they were COVID-related... When an earthquake devastated Sichuan in 2008, nongovernmental organizations stepped in to distribute medicines and conduct relief operations. At the time, these fledgling NGOs gave hope to the people that civil society was beginning to work in China.  Fifteen years on, the situation has regressed. Since era of President Xi Jinping, NGOs have not been allowed to freely conduct activities because they typically have Chinese Communist Party cells in them. "There are almost no volunteer relief operations amid the current explosion of infections," one observer said. "Clearly, civil society is retrogressing."... At a certain point, questions will arise over the mishandling of COVID. Bad policies have had consequences in China before. Mao Zedong's disastrous decisions to proceed with the Great Leap Forward (1958-1961) and the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) caused upheavals so vast they distorted the nation's population pyramid, later research proved.  This time around, there was a way to prevent such levels of death. China might have been able to save many of the elderly if it had introduced mRNA vaccines from the West and mass-produced them at home... What the Chinese government should have been doing is to administer an effective vaccine to the public multiple times, primarily to the elderly, and to prepare large amounts of medicines such as fever reducers.  Instead, it was busy declaring victory in the fight against COVID, trying to make the government's response look good.  After wasting precious time, the Chinese government was forced to abandon the zero-COVID policy, abruptly."

Analysis: As COVID soars, China has 2 chains of command - Nikkei Asia - "In warfare, when an army retreats, a rear-guard unit is left behind to hold off the chasing enemy. "China has now abandoned the zero-COVID policy without taking any such protective measures," the source said. "All at once, everyone began to flee, with no orderly plan."... Another big issue is the chain of command over China's COVID policy.  Confusing orders were delivered to local governments across the country, leaving bureaucrats panic-stricken, not knowing who to listen to and what to do... The absence of coherent policy hints at the fact that the zero-COVID policy was abandoned quickly at Xi's orders...   Local bureaucrats who receive orders from the central government feel it difficult to act on them since there are two command centers in Beijing -- one led by Premier Li and the other by Li Qiang.  As it is unclear whose orders they should obey, the best way to protect oneself is to do nothing -- a typical survival strategy among Chinese bureaucrats."
From December

Analysis: China's female protesters break nation free from zero-COVID - Nikkei Asia - "In the 1980s, International Human Rights Day was taught at Chinese schools. At the time, the Communist Youth League, a gateway to party leadership, played a major role in human-rights education.  Although "human-rights education" in China significantly differs from that in free nations, there was at least an effort to discuss the subject.  Now Chinese students are no longer allowed to even refer to Human Rights Day -- an anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the U.N. General Assembly on Dec. 10, 1948...  the easing of the zero-COVID policy is, without doubt, a concession. The first student-led social movement since the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests extracted an unequivocal concession from the authoritarian regime... The perception is that Xi had no choice but to swallow his pride and make a concession, that not doing so might have created an even fiercer movement -- one calling for his resignation... One notable element of the white paper movement was that women were at the forefront... Contemporary Chinese men tend to be conservative, sometimes unwilling to take bold action for fear of hurting their ability to gain and maintain social status as well as their future job prospects... What made the white paper protests tricky for Xi was that they reflected the various contradictions pervading Chinese society. It was difficult to create a narrative to crack down on them.  The zero-COVID policy, once touted by China as a great success, is now causing new problems on the social policy front.  Pent-up frustration among Chinese women is also due to sexual harassment and sexual violence in the country."

China's planned changes to espionage law alarm foreign businesses - Nikkei Asia - "China is preparing to restrict transfers of any information related to national security under an updated counterespionage law, raising fears of a stepped-up crackdown on foreign individuals and companies here... The measure will expand the scope of the law -- now limited to state secrets -- to cover all documents, data, materials or items related to national security and interests. It does not provide further details on what constitutes national security and interests... "Foreigners will surely be detained again," said Ichiro Korogi, a professor and modern-China expert at Japan's Kanda University of International Studies. "The only thing businesses can do is tell employees to avoid bringing computers and smartphones with them whenever possible, and to avoid even small talk on Chinese politics.""

Analysis: Heavyweight Xi Jinping gives himself a lightweight cabinet - Nikkei Asia - "The assigning of economic portfolios dismayed many observers at a time when the world is watching to see how China will fire up its faltering economy... The diminishment of the State Council would have been unthinkable on the watch of President Hu Jintao from 2003 to 2013, when there were separately defined roles for the party and the executive... There remains only one heavyweight in China, and anything anyone else has to say carries less weight than before. Going forward, the world will increasingly be listening to Xi alone."

Xi Jinping Is Suffering From Cerebral Aneurysm: Report - "Chinese President Xi Jinping is suffering from 'cerebral aneurysm' and had to be hospitalized at the end of 2021, media reports said.  It is learnt that he preferred to be treated with traditional Chinese medicines rather than going for surgery, which softens the blood vessels and shrinks aneurysm.  Of late, there have been speculations about Xi's health as he had avoided meeting the foreign leaders since the outbreak of COVID-19 till the Beijing Winter Olympics. Earlier in March 2019, during Xi's visit to Italy, his gait was observed to be unusual with a noticeable limp and later also in France during the same tour, he was seen taking support while trying to sit down.  Similarly, during an address to the public in Shenzhen in October 2020, his delay in appearance, slow speech and coughing spree again led to speculation about his ill health."
From 2022

Analysis: Xi no longer described as 'people's leader' in China - Nikkei Asia - "One month after the Chinese Communist Party's 20th national congress, Chinese state media have stopped calling President Xi Jinping "the people's leader." None of the newly published material on Chinese government websites contain the phrase.  It is a surprising development, considering that the phrase was repeatedly used in the lead up to, and during, the national congress... perceptions toward China have changed in the more than two and a half years Xi opted not to travel abroad for the coronavirus.  The number of countries that are truly enthusiastic about the China-led Belt and Road Initiative has declined. China did not even refer to the initiative in statements it issued about bilateral talks between Xi and foreign leaders held during his Southeast Asia tour.  The same is true of the Chinese diplomatic slogan "a community with a shared future for humanity." China was able to declare that it shared the same fate with only a few countries in its bilateral diplomacy.  As for the "Global Security Initiative" Xi proposed in April, it was only taken up during Xi's meeting with Argentine President Alberto Fernandez, in Bali.  China has a less powerful international voice than it possessed before the coronavirus pandemic.  Xi did not have bilateral meetings with some high-profile foreign leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and new British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.  Relations with India are especially chilly. In June 2020, China and India saw their first deadly border clash in 45 years. Although Xi and Modi both attended a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, or SCO, in Uzbekistan in mid-September, they did not have a meeting.  Top diplomat Wang spoke of a "lovable" China when he explained Xi's return to the international stage during his Southeast Asian tour.  The truth is that Xi himself had spoken of a change in direction toward a "lovable" China at a meeting of senior party officials in May 2021 as he was worried about the country having a bad reputation for its hard-line "wolf warrior" diplomacy. But Xi himself gave the world a glimpse of wolf warrior diplomacy at the G-20 summit in Bali. He lectured Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau through a translator in front of the camera over alleged leaks of their informal meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit... There is no press freedom in China. Imposing the Chinese way, one that works only within the country, on other nations is wolf warrior diplomacy, pure and simple.  Although Xi put on a smile for now under the banner of a "lovable" China, traits of a wolf have not dissipated."

Friday, July 07, 2023

Links - 7th July 2023 (2 - Critical Race Theory)

Banning critical race theory will gut the teaching of Jewish history - "these decrees fall more precisely within the category of what are called “memory laws.” Historian Timothy Snyder described these laws as “government actions designed to guide public interpretation of the past… by asserting a mandatory view of historical events, by forbidding the discussion of historical facts or interpretations or by providing vague guidelines that lead to self-censorship.” Compared to Americans, Europeans have less of an allergy to limitations on free speech, and they generally accepted these laws when they were designed to protect victims of historical trauma, for example, by banning noxious phenomena such as Holocaust denial.  Putin, however, pioneered a new approach to memory laws: Rather than protecting the weak, they also can be weaponized to strengthen the powerful."
Ironic, since in CRT Jews are evil oppressors, and the laws are about not making students feel guilty about their race. Naturally, his objection is framed through power relations (i.e. applying racism), rather than being race-neutral

Only white people can be racist: Inside Global Affairs' anti-racism course materials - "Monday’s federal budget included a massive expansion of race-based programming, including a new drive for race-focused data collection, funding earmarked for what Ottawa is calling “equity deserving groups” and even a plan to prioritize government procurement from “Black-owned businesses.” It’s a ramping up of an initiative first begun in 2019, when the Government of Canada began rolling out antiracism training within its departments in a bid to combat a federal bureaucracy that they asserted was shot through with “systemic racism.” Ottawa’s focus on antiracism training became all the more acute after worldwide Black Lives Matter protests prompted by the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd in police custody, which was reflected in the more than $300 million put towards “equity” programs in the 2021 budget... The official antiracist training materials for Global Affairs Canada. The literature is markedly different than Canada’s official antiracism training of only a few years ago, which stressed tolerance and accommodation for an increasingly multicultural workplace. These new course materials explicitly cite as their inspiration “critical race theory,” a growing movement which posits that Western society is immutably tainted by white supremacy, and must be confronted and managed by conscious “antiracist” thinking and policies... “Racism is just as bad in Canada”  The above quote appears in the “myths and facts” section opening the document, in which it is deemed a myth that “Canada race issues are not like the United States.”... critical race theory holds fast to an idea of an enforced system of race hierarchy that places Black people at the bottom. This is apparent in the Global Affairs literature, even to the exclusion of inequity problems that are more unique to Canada. There is little mention of what is arguably Canada’s greatest act of oppression: Indian Residential Schools... There is no mention whatsoever of Japanese-Canadian internment during the Second World War... Slavery, by contrast, is mentioned more than a half-dozen times. While chattel slavery did indeed exist for more than two centuries in colonial Canada, with about 3,000 estimated slaves in pre-Confederation Canada, Black historians have argued that it was never the defining institution that it became in the United States, which had four million enslaved Africans on the eve of emancipation... From infant mortality to hate crimes to representation in the incarcerated population, Indigenous communities in Canada see rates that aren’t even close to those of non-Indigenous populations of virtually any colour. Nevertheless, course materials repeatedly take a view more in tune with U.S. realities"

Meme - "CRT isn't taught in K12 schools"
"CRT is just history"

Critical race theory uproar: How history teachers design key lessons - "Should teachers sanitize otherwise historically accurate lessons? Or defy the new orders? What do lessons on such topics even look like?   To answer that, USA TODAY Network reporters sought to observe middle and high school history classes this year during units on slavery, race and racism. We asked schools in big cities, small towns and dense suburbs – requests that were frequently denied.  In Ohio, Columbus Dispatch reporters reached out to 48 districts seeking advanced placement U.S. history curricula and an opportunity to shadow classes. Four sent back course syllabi; the others declined to participate or never responded... Junior Emarie Hill said she didn't understand how teachers were supposed to present "both sides" of slavery.  "There aren’t two sides," she said. "At least not a positive and a negative."... Hill said most school curriculum is biased. Lessons on the Civil War rarely focus on the accomplishments of Black people, she said, and Hispanic and African American history and culture are discussed more in music class than social studies... “I wanted students to take away the importance of looking at history from multiple perspectives”"
It's almost as if most schools have something to hide
Clearly, if history doesn't look like a Netflix show, that means it's biased
If it's important to look at history from multiple perspectives, it's curious that there is no evidence of that in the article

West Point cadets being taught Critical Race Theory: report - "The “woke” lessons ask cadets about whiteness while encouraging them to apply Critical Race Theory to their answers... The more than 600 documents were only handed over to Judicial Watch after the conservative organization sued the Department of Defense... “These documents show racist, anti-American CRT propaganda is being used to try to radicalize our rising generation of Army leadership at West Point.”"

The Role of Identity in the Outbreak of the Yugoslavian Wars - "The identity of a group can always be traced to the strategic manipulation of a typically very small circle of leadership.  Whether based on ethnicity, class, nationality, religion, gender, common grievances, political allegiance or other background factors, identity is socially constructed based on cues given by a leadership in conscious pursuit of an ulterior purpose. The notion of inevitability of resulting conflicts is fictional. These identity-based conflicts are purposefully incited and strategically prepared by means of targeted mass communication. A prime example is the outbreak of the post-communist Yugoslavian wars: in the sunset days of the twentieth century they dissolved a comparatively prosperous and stable European country into barely viable entities. The nightmares of 1914 erupted in the same region as a result of the same suggestive incitement and similar instigation of a perception of grievances against nearby communities: in this region, “identity” serves as an enduring political tool for the ambitious usurpation of power and strategic resources.
The world was shocked by the violence of civil war in Yugoslavia, a relatively well-to-do European country, in 1991-2001. Much scholarly research on the topic was centered on the perceived inevitability of conflict between the region’s ethnic groups. Yet a closer look at the subject from the perspective of identity and its role in politics suggests a very different conclusion. While it is clear that every person maintains a certain individual identity, or rather many aspects of identity that build a multi-faceted personality, at certain times specific distinguishing qualities seem to become a defining aspect of the person, and subsequently they provoke political movements that agitate for, and often cause, major changes in the existing social order, or even lead to wars... Social scientists, including Robert Hayden in his essay “Imagined Communities and Real Victims: Self-Determination and Ethnic Cleansing in Yugoslavia,” often concluded that multi-ethnic constructs such as Yugoslavia are inevitably destined to fail. The precept behind this line of reasoning is that dissimilar groups cannot be brought to cohabit peacefully absent authoritarian rule because of their intrinsic differences, and that, in the end, segregation and autonomy are the only way to ensure peace in such an environment. This conventional wisdom contains many fallacies. Perhaps the most important of them focuses on the notion that one identity of an individual is exclusive of all his or her other identities. In this line of argument, a person identifying as a Serb or Croat cannot at the same time identify as a Yugoslav, a Slav, a member of a residential community, or even as a member of an ethnically mixed family. The implied assumption is that there somehow exists a “real” identity, in this case an ethnic identity, and that all other labels merely serve to conceal or obfuscate this most fundamental distinction. That is indeed an overly simplistic approach to the question of identity. Such versions of collective identity are typically created and used intentionally for political purposes. In fact, recent world history shows compelling evidence that various concepts of identity used to define an individual in the social and political scheme are mostly invented constructs without serving common objectives other than the temporary benefit of certain leaderships or elites... The most prominent example of a political system that tried to introduce the Marxist concept of class as an ideological basis for organization of society was that of the former Soviet Union. Unfortunately, neither Marx nor any of his successors, including Lenin and Stalin, ever provided an even remotely clear definition and overview of their concept of class – and probably for good reasons. Concerned mostly with the idea of class struggle, they also neglected to outline definitively a healthy class composition of a model society. This failure resulted in fluid definitions and inconsistent attempts at implementation of their envisioned “classless society.”"
Of course, liberals scoff at the idea that encouraging racial polarisation, grievance and hatred can lead to horrible consequences (also see, Tutsi Privilege in Rwanda)

American Airlines Investigating Texas Pilot Who Criticized Critical Race Theory In His Local School - "American Airlines is investigating one of its pilots after he spoke out about critical race theory (CRT) being taught in his local school.  The airline chose to investigate Guy Midkiff, 62, after several social media accounts urged the company to audit Midkiff’s social media history. Midkiff is a resident of Southlake, Texas, who has flown for American for over three decades... Midkiff was a vocal critic of the school’s proposed CRT-inspired course, called the Cultural Competence Action Plan... CRT curriculum teaches the racism in the United States is still embedded within many of its institutions and is the source of inequality across the country. The Southlake community largely rejected that picture of the United States on March 2"

A 9-year-old’s vital warning: Making kids think in racial terms does enormous harm - "Anyone who still can’t see the danger in promoting racial thinking in America’s schools — particularly of the sort that underlies critical race theory — should listen to Novalee. In a video circulating this week, a 9-year-old Minnesota girl who refers to herself by that name lectures school-board members about how she normally doesn’t think about “the color of skin,” but the Black Lives Matter posters they put up in her school “make me think of it.”  The brave youngster also accuses the board of violating its own rules against politics in the schools by posting the signs, which send “a political message about getting rid of police officers, rioting, burning buildings down.” Yet for most Americans, it’s her description of how the board’s action is corrupting her normal tendency to judge people based on their character, rather than their race, that should hit home, especially as schools across America rush to adopt critical race theory."

Teachers in States now banning 'Critical Race Theory' : education - "Here a Critical White Studies scholar talks about teaching White students they are inherently participants in racism and therefore have lower morale value:
White complicity pedagogy is premised on the belief that to teach systemically privileged students about systemic injustice, and especially in teaching them about their privilege, one must first encourage them to be willing to contemplate how they are complicit in sustaining the system even when they do not intend to or are unaware that they do so. This means helping white students to understand that white moral standing is one of the ways that whites benefit from the system.
Applebaum 2010 page 4
Applebaum, Barbara. Being white, being good: White complicity, white moral responsibility, and social justice pedagogy. Lexington Books, 2010...
This sentiment is echoed in Delgado and Stefancic's (2001) most authoritative textbook on Critical Race Theory in its chapter on Critical White Studies, which is part of Critical Race Theory according to this book:
Many critical race theorists and social scientists alike hold that racism is pervasive, systemic, and deeply ingrained. If we take this perspective, then no white member of society seems quite so innocent.
Delgado and Stefancic (2001) pp. 79-80
Delgado, Richard and Jean Stefancic Critical Race Theory: An Introduction. New York. New York University Press, 2001.
Delgado and Stefancic are the chief codifiers of Critical Race Theory and were present at the founding conference. Delgado and Stefancic (2001)'s third edition was printed in 2017 and is currently the top result for the Google search 'Critical Race Theory textbook'"

The Meme Policeman - Posts | Facebook - "This meme is ironic in that it tacitly admits CRT in schools would misinform students about the history of racial discrimination. In this case, it lays the blame on private banks, without mentioning that it actually rested squarely on the Federal government, and progressive politicians in particular. Here is the relevant history that you probably weren’t taught, nor would CRT teach in public schools. The following comes from the book The Color of Law, which covers the history of racial discrimination imposed by government. This is a book written and approved by CRT sympathizers, so they can’t question the source... When the G.I. Bill was adopted in 1944:
“The VA not only denied African Americans the mortgage subsidies to which they were entitled but frequently restricted education and training to lower-level jobs for African Americans who were qualified to acquire greater skills.”
The biggest road blocks for black veterans and civilians alike, outside of Jim Crow, were put up by the Federal government under progressives... “In 1913, Wilson and his cabinet approved the implementation of segregation in government offices.” “One official responsible for implementing segregation was the assistant secretary of the navy: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.” This was the era of eugenics, popular among progressives, and segregation spread beyond jobs to housing... Racially segregated housing was given its biggest boost by the New Deal... This isn’t to pretend there would be no racial strife absent these measures, but the European immigrants who were similarly discriminated against in the early 1900s and who often were lower status than black Americans in the north, were able to claw their way up in society with hard work over generations. If the Federal government had enforced the 14th amendment among the states, or, at a minimum didn’t violate it on a giant scale itself, things would likely have turned out much differently.
The reason why CRT adherents wouldn’t highlight this history in schools is because it’s an activist ideology which is anti-capitalist and pro-big government. Thus, they’ll gladly point out that banks didn’t give loans to blacks because it fits their narrative. But they’ll seldom point out how progressive politicians, infrastructure programs, public housing, labor unions, the minimum wage or even simply ignoring the constitution contributed to discrimination in much more meaningful ways. Because underneath they want more of those things and less of capitalism."

'This Painting Could Be the Future': Artist Jonathan Harris on Why His Viral Image 'Critical Race Theory' Struck a Chord Around the Globe - "It’s a hauntingly effective image. A blonde figure stands, back to the viewer and paint roller in hand, covering up the images of Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, and Malcolm X with strokes of white paint. Widely shared on social media, Critical Race Theory (2021) has been embraced as a powerful reminder of the importance of teaching and preserving Black history."
Ironic. This is a great commentary on how white people obsessed with CRT whitewash the egalitarian ideology of the civil rights movement
Weird. We are simultaneously told that CRT is a narrow study of the law and that it's just teaching accurate history. Typical liberal doublethink

Critical race theory and remote learning are making American students stupid - "Critical race theory is bad enough, but when paired with remote learning, both become exponentially efficient in assisting each other in lowering standards for American students. This will create a bunch of adults that believe external circumstances are at fault for their own failures, and that they bear no responsibility for their own achievement... The emergence of critical race theory in education is supposed to give students another perspective to the mainstream narrative, to show that our heroes were not untarnished, but instead it has become the only perspective permissible."
The same people who claim Critical Race Theory is about the legal system and only taught in universities also claim that it's just teaching accurate history

Lessons From Critical Race Theory: Outdoor Experiential Education and Whiteness in Kinesiology - "This study demonstrates that students must negotiate Whiteness and settler colonialism to participate in OEE. Three main findings include the following: (a) The imagined student is wealthy and White, (b) students both assimilate to and resist codes of Whiteness, and (c) curricular documents and practices promote Eurocentricity and erase Indigeneity"
Weird. Liberals keep insisting CRT is about the law and is only taught in law school

Black People Are Far More Powerful Than Critical Race Theory Preaches - "Many in the critical race theory camp view black people as uniquely disempowered by America's history of racism. Racism "has contributed to all contemporary manifestations of group advantage and disadvantage along racial lines, including differences in income, imprisonment, health, housing, education, political representation, and military service," write several critical race theory scholars, including Kimberle Crenshaw and Mari Matsuda in Words that Wound. "Our history calls for this presumption."  But our history actually tells a different story, too, one of empowerment through struggle. In the racist Jim Crow South, segregation forced African Americans to form their own businesses, universities, legal funds and other civil society institutions. "The more cut off black communities became from white communities and the more that white businessmen refused to cater to black customers, the more possible it became for enterprising black entrepreneurs to create viable businesses of their own," The Henry Ford Foundation's Donna Braden writes. Black-owned barbershops, cafes, motels, taverns and other small-scale, local businesses began to proliferate in the Jim Crow South. Black-owned newspapers, churches, banks, construction firms, radio stations and other enterprises flourished, too, in the vacuum for black business created by white racism. These business owners were following the lead of Booker T. Washington, who preached economic independence and progress through education and entrepreneurship as a pathway to freedom. And they were catering to a growing black middle class the prized the dignity their independence gave them, even while white America denied it to them. This economic empowerment was revolutionary, and not just at the personal or communal level. It was critical to the success of the Civil Rights Movement. Access to monetary funds and an active network across black-owned newspapers, churches, and legal defense funds housed in organizations like the NAACP gave black communities the economic leverage and political power required to successfully boycott bus companies and drive down their revenues in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Some 40,000 bus riders participated in the boycott after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. This would have been impossible if black churches hadn't acted as institutional centers for collecting money to compensate for the losses, and if black-owned cab companies didn't agree to charge black riders ten cents to ride, the same cost of bus fare. In other words, it was in the systemically racist South that money and political power accrued in black communities—with astonishing results.  This means that racism simply cannot be blamed as the sole or primary reason for disparities in access to money and power; the historical record shows that the social reality is more complicated than that reductive claim, and that when faced with much worse racism than today, the black community in the South was able to overcome, and in many cases thrive. To understand the point, contrast this not only with today but with the plight of black Americans in the North at the same time. In both the North and the South, the U.S. government attempted to cripple black Americans through state-mandated racism... Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights establishment found it more difficult to organize black Americans in the North than in the South. In fact, after the Civil Rights act and the Voting Rights were passed in 1964 and 1965, the movement completely disintegrated in the North... the spiritual doctrine against resentment and vengeance as embodied by nonviolent agitation against segregation in the South fell on deaf ears in the North, because so many black Americans in the North lacked a sense of self-worth to begin with... These differences between the North and the South shows that racism is not an invincible bogeyman. It's not an all-powerful force permeating everything and keeping all black people down. The opposite is true: It can be brought to kneel by a strong, robust, and vigorous black community.  And it's this complexity that critical race theorists fail to grapple with. On the contrary, they are committed to the opposite view: In Words that Wound, Crenshaw and Matsuda write that the goal is not to extract racism from things like traditional values or established property interests; "[i]nstead we ask how these traditional interests and values serve as vessels of racial subordination." But again, this approach has much to learn from the historical record of how black Americans overcame the indignities of the Jim Crow South. It was precisely traditional values like free enterprise, Protestantism, and those selfsame property interests that created black wealth in spite of white supremacy, proving that no matter how cruel and corrupt, institutionally enshrined discrimination was simply no match for the power and resiliency of a "forward-looking, upward-striving people."... We should reject critical race theory's social gospel not only from a wish to see no one—including white people—dehumanized because of their skin color but also as an affirmation of the enduring power, beauty, and triumph of black American life, despite the tragedies we have been made to bear."

Critical Race Theory, race equity, and public health: toward antiracism praxis
Weird, I thought critical race theory was only a thing in law school

One father’s stand against critical race theory: We’re indoctrinating our children - "There appears to be widespread belief that opposition to critical race theory is a view held solely by the political right. This perception is wrong... Since my letter became public, I have received several thousand supportive emails and messages from people across this country, including many from self-described Democrats and liberals. The tone of most of the messages sent to me is not at all political in nature; instead, the tenor is one of desperation and powerlessness.   I have received emails from parents expressing devastation that their kids, as young as five years old, are coming home from school after being taught to feel guilty solely because of the color of their skin. I have received messages from grandparents feeling hopeless that their grandchildren are being brainwashed and turned against their own families. And I have received notes from teachers brought to tears because they are being required, day after day, to teach fundamentally divisive, racist doctrines and being forced to demonize their own students.  Perhaps the most powerful – and most frightening – of the notes I have received are the several dozen from those who identify themselves as having immigrated to America from the former Soviet Union or from countries in formerly communist Eastern Europe. These emails are never political in nature and are nearly identical in message: These first-generation Americans all write that they have “seen this movie before.” They are familiar with the propaganda, the tactics of indoctrination and the pervasive fear of speaking up that plague today’s United States. Simply put, they cannot believe this is happening here.   A second common misconception about critical race theory is that it is confined to educational institutions. This, too, is false. Over the past year, the tenets of critical race theory have become pervasive throughout society, in our corporations, in our scientific and medical community, and in our military. Coca-Cola’s diversity training materials have encouraged employees to “try to be less white.” United Airlines has announced a plan for half of its new pilots to be women or people of color. The Walt Disney Company has reportedly asked employees to complete a “white privilege checklist.” The American Medical Association released a three-year roadmap that rejects equality and meritocracy and espouses “racial justice.” The Department of Defense has recommended many steps to its diversity and inclusion initiatives, including examining changes to recruitment policies, aptitude tests and senior leadership promotion criteria... Democracy fundamentally cannot work properly if we cannot openly have discussions and debates on the difficult issues facing our country. We have allowed a small but very vocal minority, amplified by the power of social media, to shut down nearly all debate on the topic of race and critical race theory. The simple cry of “racist” or the threat of that cry will nearly always do so. This cannot be allowed to continue. Regardless of one’s own beliefs on the roots of racial disparities, on the existence of systemic racism or on the merits of critical race theory, we must together agree that we can no longer allow a small group of Americans to bully the rest of us into silence...   Do we really want to extinguish our founding principles, or do we want to reaffirm them and work harder to make sure they apply to all Americans? Do we really want to abandon the precepts of free speech – if not by statute, then by fear – or do we want to foster diversity of thought in our schools, workplaces and communities? Do we really want to adopt the thoroughly Marxist concept of equality of outcome, or do we want to strive for equality of opportunity for all those who seek it with talent and effort? Do we really want to encourage divisiveness and wallow in victimhood, positions that will weaken us and almost certainly lead to ethnic strife, or do we want to use our diversity as a strength to help face the many global challenges ahead?   Lastly, do we really want to make skin color the defining feature of America, or do we want to return to the colorblind dreams of our storied civil rights leaders, and to the true inclusiveness for which they preached?"

The Warped Vision of “Anti-Racism” - "self-censorship is itself a clue that something is awry: What equal society silences people because of the group they belong to? Wasn’t the point to get away from classing people by group, by race, by ethnicity?  But the clues are elsewhere. At first, one notices them like glitches in the matrix. Maybe you read an unorthodox remark on Twitter, and watch as its author is insulted in the cruelest terms by thousands of people, many with words like “social justice” or “diversity and inclusion” in their bios. Glitch. Maybe you notice that certain avatars of the social-justice left have a penchant for casting troubling aspersions at Jews. Glitch. Maybe you see fabulously wealthy news anchors looking down their noses at millions of people without a college degree, and denouncing them as racists for worrying that they might lose their job to an undocumented immigrant willing to work for even less than the $7 an hour they’re making bagging groceries. Glitch.  These aren’t glitches, though. The basis for today’s social-justice movement is a deep skepticism about liberal values like equality, justice and democracy. This is rooted in an academic discipline known as “critical race theory,” which takes elements from Hegel and Marx, along with postmodernists like Foucault and Derrida, to assemble a worldview that does not accept that equality can exist. It’s not hypocrisy that makes today’s left a perpetuator of the inequality it claims to oppose; it’s the source material... Society, culture and history were produced in the back and forth, or “dialectic,” between the powerful and the powerless—the master-slave dialectic, as Hegel’s pairing became known in subsequent iterations.  And the iterations were many over the following 200 years, with many elaborating the possibility that human history is a power struggle between oppressor and oppressed. When Marx articulated his thesis of class conflict as the basis for all modern social existence, he was—in the view of Jean-Paul Sartre among others—expanding on the master-slave dialectic. Master dominating slave became Marx’s bourgeoisie exploiting the proletariat—an unsustainable situation, Marx said, that would eventually lead the working class to revolt. And if history progressed through a changing cast of masters and slaves for Hegel, or class struggle for Marx, for critical race theorists and their “anti-racism” inheritors, it’s white people and people of color in a binary that gives one side all the power and the other side none.  Over time, three other key ideas were grafted onto the master-slave dialectic: false consciousness; a belief that the ideals of a society mean less than do the exceptions to those ideals; and a commitment to undermining the grand narratives that a society relies upon. “False consciousness” was an attempt by Marxists to explain why the working class wasn’t buying into their worldview... You can see the concept of false consciousness—and the condescension that is its hallmark—everywhere in critical race theory. Its proponents classify people of color who don’t have radical views on race or who vote Republican as the handmaidens of white supremacy; their rejection of a racial binary isn’t proof that society is more complex, but further proof of the power of the oppressive system, so mighty that even its non-white victims may be duped into supporting it.  The idea of false consciousness is everywhere in the work of Robin DiAngelo, a prominent proponent of “anti-racist” ideology whose book White Fragility has sold close to a million copies. DiAngelo contends that white people who cry when accused of being racists actually prove their bigotry via these “weaponized tears,” which she deems “white racial bullying.”  Postmodernist philosophers added to this a mistrust of the ideals that society claims to be built on: If a society claims as its foundation a narrative that some members are excluded from, then the true meaning of that narrative is found in the exception, rather than the rule. With this, postmodernists argued that the explicit mores of a culture have no objective value, but are instead a way for one group to benefit at the expense of another. From this perspective, the Constitution isn’t a document that established the United States on principles of equality and freedom that the country failed to live up to. Instead, the Constitution is a document fundamental to denying rights to those deemed ineligible, and justifying the ownership of enslaved persons. Your symbol of freedom and equality is nothing more than a tool of repression, postmodernists argue. Failures, even at the margins, expose the hypocrisy of the whole, and define it as a lie. You can see this at work in The New York Times Magazine’s Pulitzer-prize winning “The 1619 Project”... This also explains an anti-Zionist position that is common on the left. As with America, some on the left find it impossible to see Israel as a flawed nation imperfectly striving toward the ideals of its founding. The occupation of the Palestinians can’t be a disastrous injustice. It must be that Israel’s foundation is defined by this injustice, that “Zionism is racism.”  But the real threat here is not just mangled logic. It’s the erasure of the possibility of equality, of a common humanity, that requires we treat each other as equals before God and before the law. Today’s progressive left, whose ideas have become prevalent in much of the American establishment that is now repeating its incantations, simply does not believe equality is possible, instead differentiating people by how much power they supposedly have, with no common humanity to call upon. And since the social-justice movement recognizes only power, every one of its proposals is designed not to create a more equal society, but to transfer power from oppressors to oppressed—while allowing those designated as victims to maintain claim to the status of oppressed. This is why race is so important: Race is immutable, so it doesn’t matter how much real power a person of color wields; their race means they will never be anything but oppressed... progressives see themselves as compassionate. What they needed was a way to explain the inequality found in the meritocratic system they hold dear, a way that made them feel they were still on the side of the good without having to disrupt what is good for them"

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