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Saturday, September 16, 2023

Links - 16th September 2023 (2 - Ukraine War)

Yevgeny Prigozhin onboard plane in fatal crash, says Russia - "Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Wagner paramilitary chief who launched an armed mutiny in June, has been reported dead. Russia said he was onboard a private jet that crashed in the Tver region near Moscow, killing all 10 onboard."

Ukraine Women Flash As Helicopters Fly Over to Boost Morale: Pilot

Influencer works as 'emotional support stripper' in Ukraine - "An Instagram influencer who shipped out to help Ukraine amid the ongoing bloody war with Russia has found her niche aiding soldiers and volunteers as an “emotional support stripper.”  Fan-Pei Koung, of Houston, Texas, created an OnlyFans account that is free for Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers, where she describes herself as “a globe-trotting girlfriend, now volunteering in Kharkiv.”   The 33-year-old bombshell, whose content includes videos of stripteases as air raids sirens blare and shirtless photos with rocket launchers, does everything from “free emotional breastfeeding to soldiers and volunteers” to distributing cash donations to Ukrainians and volunteers, according to her OnlyFans profile, which states proceeds go toward her humanitarian efforts.   “I’m the sexy girl in Ukraine who wants to volunteer, and will probably put out”... The 2015 Miss Taiwanese American Pageant competitor first headed to Ukraine in November 2022 to volunteer and assist refugees, working at women’s shelters and orphanages in Lviv, a city in the western part of the country, far from the front lines.  The work, however, wasn’t all that different from her job experiences back home, which pushed Koung to look into assisting the military directly. Koung, who also won first prize in the NASA Space Health Challenge in 2014, moved to Ukraine full-time in February. She since assisted volunteered in the volatile eastern Donbas region by bringing water to those still living in bombed-out towns and offering emotional support to English-speaking soldiers while she learns Ukranian.  “It’s a little soft core diplomacy I’m bringing,” Koung told The Post. “Everyone’s sending their strongest and finest, I wandered in and was like, ‘Hey whats up, wanna talk? I’ll give you a massage.'”  Through her volunteer work on the ground, Koung struck up various romantic relationships with the men she’s met and is currently dating a Ukrainian drone operator, a power plant worker and two information technology workers...   “People don’t talk about the sexual needs of the people of country at war,” she said with a laugh.  “Think about the one part of you that needs to have a person you can confide in,” she added. “I try to do that for anyone who speaks English, or Ukrainian at a 3-year-old level.”"

Russia Places Metro Writer On Wanted List For "Discrediting" Military - "Dmitry Glukhovsky, author of the science fiction novel Metro 2033 and its sequels, has been placed on Russia's wanted list for his critical remarks regarding the country's invasion of Ukraine."

Putin says Wagner Group has no legal basis and therefore simply doesn’t exist
Convenient. The coup must've been imaginary

Collin Rugg on Twitter - "JUST IN: The FBI censored American citizens at the direction of Ukrainian intelligence by banning social media accounts that Ukraine determined to be a threat to their agenda.  The FBI continues to be the greatest threat to democracy in America.  According to a new report by the House Judiciary Committee, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube censored accounts that Ukraine determined to be 'spreading Russian disinformation.'  Ukraine would send accounts to the FBI that they wanted banned and the FBI would then communicate with social media giants to take action.  “In light of well-documented instances of the FBI’s civil liberties abuses, this new information raises grave concerns about the FBI’s credibility as the nation’s premier law enforcement organization,” said the report.  “FBI violated the First Amendment rights of Americans and potentially undermined our national security.”  Dismantle the FBI."

Meme - The Meme Policeman: "The Other 98%, meet The Other 98%. Beware, they are trying to fool you! It is entertaining to see them struggle to settle on a narrative, often posting contradicting memes in the same day, even same hour. But eventually I expect them to settle on the blame corporations narrative. When the really high gas prices get here, the solidarity narrative will become untenable and they'll return to their roots."
The Other 98%: "The largest oil and gas companies made nearly $200 BILLION in profits last year. There are ZERO reasons for regular folks to be paying a premium at the pumps while Big Oil feels no hit. Don't be fooled into thinking higher gas prices = Ukrainian solidarity. This is corporate greed and price gouging."
The Other 98%: "My wife and I are retired and on a fixed income. Yes, the rising price of gas will hurt us. But tonight we will sleep on a comfy bed. Our refrigerator is full, and we're not worried about about where our next meal is coming from. Our neighborhood looks the same today as it did yesterday. If I have to sacrifice a little to hurt Putin, so be it. It's nothing compared to what the Ukrainians are going through."

Russia, learning from costly mistakes, shifts battlefield tactics

Eat, Pray, Love author withdraws new Russia-set novel from publication - "Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert is pulling her new novel from publication after Ukrainian readers expressed “anger, sorrow, disappointment and pain” about her decision to set a book in Russia.  Gilbert’s The Snow Forest is a historical novel set in Siberia, and follows a family of religious Russian fundamentalists who have lived isolated and undetected for 44 years since retreating from the world in the 1930s.  When they are discovered in 1980 by a team of Soviet geologists, a scholar and linguist is sent to the family’s home to bridge the chasm between modern existence and their ancient, snow forest life."
You're not allowed to publish books featuring Russia now?

Natalia Antonova 🇺🇸🇺🇦 on Twitter - "Putin: *attacks Georgia*
Putin: *purposefully bombs Syrian civilians*
Putin: *annexes Crimea at gunpoint*
Putin: *destabilizes the Donbas*
Putin: *MH17*
Putin: *cyber attacks*
Putin: *massing troops*
Anti-imperialists: “Why is Biden being so aggressive 🥺”"
"Anti-imperialism" is just hating the West

Russia-Backed Fighter With Neo-Nazi Symbols on Sleeve Awarded Medal - "The head of the breakaway Donetsk People's Republic in Ukraine has been seen in a video awarding a medal to a fighter for helping to kill "more than 250 nationalists."  Published on April 3 through the Russia-backed republic's website, the footage also shows the fighter wearing symbols used by neo-Nazis on his sleeve."
So everyone should be glad that Nazis are killing Nazis, right?

Couple who fled Ukraine went back because of ‘terrible’ UK rental options - "A British-Ukrainian couple who fled the war in Ukraine for Britain have decided to move back to the war-torn country due to costs and conditions in the UK’s housing market.  Joe Place, a British 29-year-old PhD student and content writer from Sheffield, South Yorkshire, and his wife Irina, a 34-year-old Ukrainian working as a content manager, left their home in Kyiv in February to escape the conflict in the country... “We realised we actually quite like it back here, and we’re OK,” Mr Place said.  “We wouldn’t want to live back in Kyiv right now because it’s not safe, but where we are it is very safe, mostly anyway.”  Mr Place said because Russia has been hitting Ukrainian infrastructure with missile strikes, they are prepared for electricity and heating outages."
So much for a war being dangerous

Insider Paper on Twitter - "NEW 🚨 Georgia’s prime minister told an international forum Wednesday that his government cannot afford to impose sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine war as they would “devastate” the economy"
He's going to regret it when Putin is manipulated into invading Georgia again. Poor Putin, always forced to start wars he doesn't want to

Kazakhstan Moves to Curtail Parallel Trade to Russia - "customs controls in Kazakhstan have tightened, and the effects are starting to be felt in Russia. As Astana tries to avoid secondary sanctions, the country has begun to crack down on efforts to circumvent sanctions by routing goods through Kazakhstan. While Russia has legalized so-called parallel imports — the supply of products without the copyright holder’s permission — Kazakhstan has decided to block such transactions.   Many companies, like Samsung, LG, Apple, Bosch, and others, opted to slow or pause sales in Russia in response to the invasion of Ukraine. Yet these goods are sold in nearby countries, like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which can serve as transit points for in-demand items.   Washing machines are one example. As the Financial Times reported in March: “the number of washing machines exported to Russia from Kazakhstan rose from zero in 2021 to almost 100,000 in 2022.”... Given the technology involved in modern appliances, European officials aired concerns in late March that Moscow may be extracting semiconductors from washing machines and cameras, turning objects not necessarily associated with the military-industrial complex into dual-use goods."

What is a thermobaric or vacuum bomb? - "A thermobaric bomb (also called a vacuum or aerosol bomb - or fuel air explosive) consists of a fuel container with two separate explosive charges.  This can be launched as a rocket or dropped as a bomb from aircraft. When it hits its target, the first explosive charge opens the container and widely scatters fuel mixture as a cloud.  This cloud can penetrate any building openings or defences that are not totally sealed.  A second charge then detonates the cloud, resulting in a huge fireball, a massive blast wave and a vacuum which sucks up all surrounding oxygen. The weapon can destroy reinforced buildings, equipment and kill or injure people... Given their devastating impact, and their usefulness against defenders who are dug in to buildings or bunkers, thermobaric bombs have mainly been used in urban environments."

The failure of Russia’s missile war in Ukraine - "Since February 2022, Russia has fired thousands of missiles and loitering munitions at Ukraine’s cities, infrastructure and military forces. These attacks have killed and maimed thousands of Ukrainian civilians and military personnel.  Despite the heavy toll of Russia’s missile war on Ukraine, the attacks have, in the aggregate, failed to produce the kind of decisive strategic effects Moscow likely expected would bring about Ukrainian capitulation. My recently released report, Putin’s Missile War, attributes Russia’s underperformance to incompetency within its military and to Ukraine’s skillful use of air defenses and passive measures like dispersion and deception... In a successful strike campaign, one would expect a belligerent to become less dependent on stand-off strike assets over time as it wore down its adversary’s air force and air defenses. Yet Russia has experienced the opposite. Its failure to achieve air superiority in the early phases has caused an increasing dependence on missiles and other stand-off weapons, such as one-way attack drones, to strike targets anywhere beyond the front lines. In this way, Russia has become a victim of the kind of anti-access/area denial strategies it has sought to develop over many years... Although the impact of Ukrainian air defenses is difficult to independently confirm, the general trend lines suggest the force is growing more efficient and capable of thinning out Russian missile and drone salvos.  At the start of the conflict, for instance, Ukraine was intercepting no more than 10% of incoming Russian cruise missiles. By early fall, Ukraine was claiming to intercept around half of Russian cruise missile salvos. By the end of 2022, after the arrival of longer-range Western air defenses like NASAMS and IRIS-T, Ukraine regularly claims to intercept 75%-80% of cruise missile salvos."

Deterrence After Ukraine—A Critical Analysis - "Before the invasion, a number of pundits on the Left and Right were confidently predicting that it would never happen, and that Western intelligence agencies and media outlets who reported otherwise were warmongering. Then, when the invasion duly began, a number of the same pundits declared Putin “unbalanced” or “mad” or “irrational”—someone who could not have been deterred by a rational cost-benefit analysis in any case. This kind of reasoning is a defense mechanism employed by individuals and organizations looking to explain away their own failures of judgment. But, as Shakespeare had Cassius observe, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”

Just one 1940s tank, and no aircraft, were present at Russia's much-reduced Victory Parade this year : pics

Noam Chomsky interview: “Ukraine is not a free actor, they’re dependent on what the US determines” - New Statesman - "Noam Chomsky: Russia is fighting more humanely than the US did in Iraq . The US linguist on the war in Ukraine, how the West is provoking China and why the UK is “not an independent country anymore”... Chomsky’s world-view does not leave space for Ukrainian agency. It is the “US and Britain” who have “refused” peace negotiations in Ukraine, Chomsky tells me, in order to further their own national interests, even as the country is being “battered, devastated”. That negotiations with Russia would mean de facto abandoning millions of Ukrainians to the whims of an aggressor that has shown itself capable of extraordinary brutality, such as in Bucha and Izyum, is dismissed. “Ukraine is not a free actor; they’re dependent on what the US determines,” he says, adding that the US is supplying Kyiv with weapons simply to weaken Russia. “For the US, this is a bargain. For a fraction of the colossal military budget, the US is able to severely degrade the military forces of its only real military adversary.”  According to Chomsky, Russia is acting with restraint and moderation. He compares Russia’s way of fighting with the US’s during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, arguing that large-scale destruction of infrastructure seen in that conflict “hasn’t happened in Ukraine”. He adds: “Undoubtedly Russia could do it, presumably with conventional weapons. [Russia] could make Kyiv as unliveable as Baghdad was, could move in to attacking supply lines in western Ukraine.” When I asked him to clarify whether he was implying that Russia is fighting more humanely in Ukraine than the US did in Iraq, Chomsky replies, “I’m not implying it, it’s obvious.” Delegations of UN inspectors had to be withdrawn once the invasion of Iraq began, he says, “because the attack was so severe and extreme… That’s the US and British style of war.” Chomsky adds: “Take a look at casualties. All I know is the official numbers… the official UN numbers are about 8,000 civilian casualties [in Ukraine]. How many civilian casualties were there when the US and Britain attacked Iraq?” The number of foreign dignitaries who have travelled to Kyiv since the war broke out is proof of Russia’s restraint, Chomsky says, in stark contrast with Iraq. “When the US and Britain were smashing Baghdad to pieces, did any foreign leaders go to visit Baghdad? No, because when the US and Britain go to war, they go for the jugular. They destroy everything: communications, transportation, energy, shock and awe – anything that makes society function.” Estimates of civilian deaths from the invasion of Iraq vary widely. An estimate by the Iraq Body Count project (IBC), considered one of the most comprehensive databases of deaths during the Iraq War, puts the total civilian death toll at between 186,000 and 210,000 in the 20 years since the 2003 invasion, which it says is likely an under-count. Almost 25,000 of those deaths are directly attributable to the US-led coalition and its Iraqi allies. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has recorded 8,490 civilians killed and 14,244 injured in Ukraine since the start of Russia’s invasion 14 months ago. However, it “believes that the actual figures are considerably higher” because of poor data from areas with high civilian casualties, such as the city of Mariupol in the south. Ukrainian officials believe that tens of thousands – perhaps up to 50,000 people – died in Mariupol alone during Russia’s siege of the city in 2022.  At times, Chomsky’s ideological priors lead him to overlook facts that might contradict his narrative. For instance, Sweden and Finland, which had been officially non-aligned for 210 and 73 years, respectively, both applied to join Nato in May 2022. To most observers, the end of their decades of neutrality might seem at least tangentially related to the invasion of Ukraine three months earlier. However, Chomsky says that both countries seeking to join Nato had “nothing to do with fear of a Russian attack, which has never been even conceived”. Claims that Russia could threaten either country amount to “Western propaganda”, he adds. Instead, Chomsky argues that joining Nato gives the military industries of both Nordic countries “great new market opportunities [and] new access to advanced equipment”.  In fact, both countries explicitly cited the invasion of Ukraine as the reason behind their applications to join Nato. Moreover, within living memory, Finland fought off Soviet attempts to conquer and annex the country. The Winter War of 1939-40 against the USSR still shapes Finnish attitudes to Russia. Finland joined Nato on 4 April, while Sweden’s application continues to be held up by Turkey’s objections."
When you just hate the West

Progressive activist locks down her social media account after backlash from bizarre Putin tweet - "A progressive activist shut down her Twitter account after receiving an avalanche of laughter and criticism over her claim about Russian President Vladimir Putin being aided by white supremacy.  Janel Forsythe identified herself as a "communications specialist" for non-profit organizations and for progressive causes, but her tweet about Putin had some unintended consequences.  "This isn't discussed much, but Putin very much benefits from white privilege," Forsythe tweeted.  "I just can't see a scenario in which a Black or Brown man running Russia would be allowed to invade Ukraine with no devastating consequences (see Crimea in 2014)," she added."

Elon Musk should give my Blue check mark to charity, says Stephen King - "“I think Mr. Musk should give my blue check to charity. I recommend the Prytula Foundation, which provides lifesaving services in Ukraine. It’s only USD 8, so perhaps Mr. Musk could add a bit more,” he tweeted.  King’s tweet to Musk came after the latter claimed that he retained his blue check even without subscribing to the platform’s blue check service, which now costs USD 8 per month. “My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue,” King said. “I haven’t. My Twitter account says I’ve given a phone number. I haven’t.” King’s tweet on charity did not go down well with Musk. He hit back at the author by announcing his USD 100 million donation to Ukraine and questioned the former’s contribution.’ “I’ve donated USD 100M to Ukraine, how much have you donated? (We turned down the DoD money btw),” Musk asked."

Meme - "Stop talking about Ukraine. What about Iraq?"
"Territories of Iraq annexed by the United States: *blank*
Territories of Ukraine annexed by Russia:"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Changing attitudes to peace and war in Germany - "'We have as German Peace Society demonstrations on Saturday in many many places in Germany and I see that in Berlin in this very special and a very um right-wing-left-wing tension. It might be problematic and our German Peace Society clearly says there's no place for neo-nazis or right-wing people in our demonstrations we don't want them...
My plea is let's invest in peace and not anymore and more and more and now we want to give 100 a billion dollars uh in into our army. I think that's not the way towards the future. Less weapons and less war'...
'I'm from Israel and my, I'm Jewish and I live in Berlin so the dark humor is like I know that that's what helps'...
'Sergey laI met Vladimir Putin in 1994 when he was a totally unknown sidekick of the mayor of Saint Petersburg and at the end of the conversation he suddenly piped up and said we have to remember that there are territories that have always always been Russian and he specifically mentioned Crimea, which are now outside Russia and 25 million Russians outside the Russian Federation and we have a duty to protect them. So the Imperialist revanchist Instinct was there from the very beginning. Sergey Lavrov the Russian foreign minister is reported as saying recently that Vladimir Putin has only three advisers. Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great and Catherine the Greatvrov'"
To the far left, anyone to the right of Stalin is "far right"
Clearly you don't need to invest in defence and if you get invaded by Russia, just blame the right wing

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Ukraine war anniversary - "‘Sometimes it's difficult for men to accept that they Commander or Deputy Commander is a woman. That's why I need to be a strong character to show them that it's not just a woman in front of them. I always say, firstly I'm an officer, then I'm a woman, and then I'm blonde’...
‘You previously called for a boycott of the prominent Russian composer Tchaikovsky. Some would say well why punish the Russian people? This is the war of politicians and President Putin in particular’  
‘Uh these people elected this President. These people are waving flags two days ago, greeting his speech about war in Ukraine. It's also a responsibility of those who are not publicly claiming against war, against Putin. So for us doesn't exist, uh good Russians. Uh, there are probably, there are some Russians who are publicly opposed Putin and this war. Then we can talk. But until war is not finished, it's not fair to say that uh, official Russian culture representatives like Anna Netrepka want to pretend that ballet and opera is something that Putin regime look like. No, they are aggressors’  
‘That's, that's very damning to say there are no good Russians. We know many Russians left the country in protests against the war. Many protests and whatever they way they can in in the country. They're your neighbors, they're not going anywhere’  
‘Uh let's withdraw troops and let's be punished by what they did in Ukraine and then we can talk’"

Russia convicts father of teen who drew antiwar picture - "A Russian court on Tuesday convicted a single father over social media posts critical of the war in Ukraine and sentenced him to two years in prison — a case brought against him after his daughter’s drawing at school opposed the invasion... Alexei Moskalyov fled house arrest before his verdict was delivered in his Russian hometown of Yefremov... The broad government campaign of repression has been unseen since the Soviet era... In Moscow last week, police raided two bars suspected of raising funds for Ukraine’s military. According to media reports, police played patriotic songs and forced the guests to sing along during the raid. At least 40 people were briefly detained. Another recent raid in the capital targeted an event dedicated to the jailed artist Sasha Skochilenko, who is on trial for spreading false information about the army. The event’s participants reported being beaten by police or threatened with rape."

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Ukraine’s unified resistance - "'I've just spent three weeks filming the escalation of this terrible War witnessing its impact on the local population and their response to it, almost always in Russian. In three weeks I didn't meet a single person who expressed support or sympathy for the Kremlin's military operation'"

Meme - "help ukraine"
"cut military spending"
*dilemma*

Meme - "Why does this steak look like it's about to invade Ukraine? *Putin*"

Meme - *Ukraine flag hat* "JESUS IS MY SAVIOR. ZELENSKY IS MY PRESIDENT"
Nationalism is only bad and dangerous for Western countries

Ukraine war: new figures suggest only one in four Russians support it, but that won't be enough to oust Putin - "Leaked internal Russian government polling recently indicated that as few as one in four Russians may be in favour of the war in Ukraine. Analysts believe that the forced mobilisation of over 300,000 civilians and the high level of casualties have all contributed to waning support for Russia’s war effort... the results were “consistent with a separate October 2022 survey [conducted by the independent Levada Center] which found that 57% respondents reported being in favour of talks”... a bottom-up regime change would require far greater popular discontent. A noted study by US researchers Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan has shown that for protests to be successful, there would need to be at least 3.5% of the population – in Russia’s case, 5 million people – taking to the streets against the regime. So far we’ve only seen thousands willing to brave reaction from the security services by expressing their discontent with Putin’s leadership.  And the Russian public is far too polarised to ensure the success of a revolution or a coup attempt. This is the most salient takeaway from the most recent polling. Russia’s climate of division is more conducive to a dictatorship than a healthy democracy.   An online experiment by academics from the US and Germany, the results of which were published in blog form in June 2022, found that citizens that supported the war were willing to punish fellow citizens who did not share their views on the conflict. Based on my interviews a couple of months ago with Russians who fled to Georgia, this bitter disagreement exists within members of the same family."
Given how polarised the US is, healthy democracy is not in the cards

Russian Public Support for War Plummets – Leaked Poll - "On Oct. 1, a widely circulated video on social media showed the friend of a Russian reservist attempting to break his friend’s arm with a sledgehammer so he could not be sent to the front lines in Ukraine... the mobilization of over 300,000 reservists has created the biggest labor shortage in Russia since 1993"

The Sirius Report on Twitter - "US has approved sale of $619m for missiles for Taiwan’s F-16 fleet in a new arms deal. As ever China just needs to ignore this US provocation. They are desperate for China to invade or attack Taiwan to justify sanctioning Beijing and to say, see we told you China is an aggressor"
Xi should be insulted. The anti-West squad think he's as easily manipulated as Putin is, such that China can be forced to invade Taiwan

He Did It Again - General Secretary Admits NATO Has Been at War Against Russia in Ukraine Since 2014 - "NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stepped in front of the cameras for an impromptu presser following a meeting of the NATO Defence Ministers at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium."
Amazing. By this logic the US declared an offensive war on Nazi Germany because of lend lease, which means they were the aggressors

Removing The Bedrock Of Liberalism

Removing The Bedrock Of Liberalism

"As the origins of our current moral panic about “white supremacy” become more widely debated, we have an obvious problem: how to define the term “Critical Race Theory.” This was never going to be easy, since so much of the academic discourse behind the term is deliberately impenetrable, as it tries to disrupt and dismantle the Western concept of discourse itself. The sheer volume of jargon words, and their mutual relationships, along with the usual internal bitter controversies, all serve to sow confusion. 

This conceptual muddle also allows everyone to have their own definition and gives critical theorists the opportunity to denounce anyone from the outside trying to explain it...

It’s about epistemology at its most basic. Which, of course, is just a fancy word for the question of what we can know and how we can know it. It’s the beginning of everything in any political system. Get it right, and much good follows. Get it wrong, and we’re in deep trouble.

In his forthcoming book, “The Constitution of Knowledge,” Jonathan Rauch lays out some core principles that liberal societies rely upon. These are not optional if liberal society is to survive. And they are not easy, which is why we have created many institutions and practices to keep them alive. Rauch lists some of them: fallibilism, the belief that anyone, especially you, can always be wrong; objectivity, a rejection of any theory that cannot be proven or disproven by reality; accountability, the openness to conceding and correcting error; and pluralism, the maintenance of intellectual diversity so we maximize our chances of finding the truth. 

The only human civilization that has ever depended on these principles is the modern West since the Enlightenment. That’s a few hundred years as opposed to 200,000 or so of Homo sapiens’ history, when tribalism, creedalism, warfare, theocracy or totalitarianism reigned.

The genius of liberalism in unleashing human freedom and the human mind changed us more in centuries than we had changed in hundreds of millennia. And at its core, there is the model of the single, interchangeable, equal citizen, using reason to deliberate the common good with fellow citizens. No ultimate authority; just inquiry and provisional truth. No final answer: an endless conversation. No single power, but many in competition.

In this open-ended conversation, all can participate, conservatives and liberals, and will have successes and failures in their turn. What matters, both conservatives and liberals agree, is not the end result, but the liberal democratic, open-ended means. That shift — from specifying a single end to insisting only on playing by the rules — is the key origin of modern freedom.

My central problem with critical theory is that it takes precise aim at these very core principles and rejects them. By rejecting them, in the otherwise noble cause of helping the marginalized, it is a very seductive and potent threat to liberal civilization. 

Am I exaggerating CRT’s aversion to liberal modernity? I don’t think I am. Here is how critical theory defines itself in one of its central documents. It questions the very foundations of “Enlightenment rationality, legal equality and Constitutional neutrality.” It begins with the assertion that these are not ways to further knowledge and enlarge human freedom. They are rather manifestations of white power over non-white bodies. Formal legal equality, they argue, the promise of the American experiment, has never been actual equality, even as, over the centuries, it has been extended to everyone. It is, rather, a system to perpetuate inequality forever, which is the single and only reason racial inequality is still here.

Claims to truth are merely claims to power. That’s what people are asked to become “awake” to: that liberalism is a lie. As are its purported values. Free speech is therefore not always a way to figure out the truth; it is just another way in which power is exercised — to harm the marginalized. The idea that a theory can be proven or disproven by the empirical process is itself a white supremacist argument, denying the “lived experience” of members of identity groups that is definitionally true, whatever the “objective” facts say. And our minds and souls and institutions have been so marinated in white supremacist culture for so long, critical theorists argue, that the system can only be dismantled rather than reformed. The West’s idea of individual freedom — the very foundation of the American experiment — is, in their view, a way merely to ensure the permanent slavery of the non-white.

And nothing has really changed since the beginning: slavery, segregation, mass incarceration are just different words for the same experience of oppression. Our world is just a set of interlocking forms of oppressive structures, and has been since the West’s emergence..

Notice what CRT is not. It is not an open-ended inquiry into buried history, a way openly to acknowledge the true brutality and evil that white supremacy once was, to stop whitewashing the past, and to face squarely the evils that America has contained — evils that continue to echo today ...

The 1619 Project is a case in point. It doesn’t just expose some of the hideous past we’d rather forget. It insists that “white supremacy” is the definition of the United States, that its true founding was therefore 1619, that its core principle from the get-go was not freedom but slavery, that slavery is the true basis for American wealth, that the police today are the inheritors of slave patrols, that only black Americans fought to end slavery, and so on. It insists that the Declaration of Independence was “false”, not merely imperfectly implemented, and designed to obscure the real project of racist oppression. And its goal is the dismantling of liberal epistemology, procedures, ideas and arguments in order to revolutionize what cannot by definition be reformed.

This is what makes CRT different. When it began, critical theory was one school of thought among many. But the logic of it — it denies the core liberal premises of all the other schools and renders them all forms of oppression — means that it cannot long tolerate those other schools. It must always attack them. 

Critical theory is therefore always the cuckoo in the academic nest. Over time, it throws out its competitors — and not in open free debate. It does so by ending that debate, by insisting that the liberal “reasonable person” standard of debate is, in fact, rigged in favor of the oppressors, that speech is a form of harm, even violent harm, rather than a way to seek the truth. It insists that what matters is the identity of the participants in a debate, not the arguments themselves. If a cis white woman were to make an argument, a Latino trans man can dismiss it for no other reason than that a white cis woman is making it. Thus, identity trumps reason. Thus liberal society dies a little every time that dismissal sticks.

Every time a liberal institution hires or fires someone because of their group identity rather than their individual abilities, it is embracing a principle designed to undermine the liberal part of the institution. Every university that denies a place to someone because of their race is violating fundamental principles of liberal learning. Every newspaper and magazine that fires someone for their sincerely-held views, or because their identity alone means those views are unacceptable, is undermining the principles of liberal discourse. Every time someone prefers to trust someone’s subjective “lived experience” over facts, empiricism and an attempt at objectivity, liberal society dies a little. 

And every student who emerges from college who believes that what matters is whether you are on “the right side of history” rather than whether your ideas can be tested by the ruthless light of open debate is a student who does not have the ability to function as a citizen in a liberal society. The ability to respect and live peaceably alongside people with whom you vehemently disagree is a far harder skill than cheering on one of your own. And yet liberal institutions are openly demonstrating that it is precisely this kind of difficult toleration they will not tolerate.

I’m sorry but this matters. It’s not the only thing that matters right now, I know. But if we remove the corner-stone of liberal democracy — the concept of a free, interchangeable citizen using reason to deliberate the common good with her fellow citizens, regardless of any identity — then it is only a matter of time before it falls"

 

Links - 16th September 2023 (1 - Star Wars)

Meme - "when you leave the cinema and realise JJ Abrams ended the entire Skywalker Saga on Palpatine successfully using love to manipulate, corrupt, hurt or kill every single Skywalker across three generations, ultimately resulting in the total eradication of the Skywalker, Solo and Amidala bloodlines, whilst Palpatine's heir lives on and claims the Skywalker name and legacy"
"You son of a bitch"

Meme - "Types of Palpatine
Lawful Good: A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.
Neutral Good: And you, young Skywalker. We will watch your career with great interest.
Chaotic Good: ...the power to save Padmé. Smiles menacingly.
Lawful Neutral: I AM the Senate.
True Neutral: Ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself.
Chaotic Neutral: Dewit.
Lawful Evil: Commander Cody. The time has come. Execute Order 66.
Neutral Evil: This attempt on my life has left me scarred and deformed.
Chaotic Evil: Unlimited... POWER!!!"

Meme - "The evolution of Ahsoka Tano - From Snips to Fulcrum"

Stephen L. Miller on Twitter - "When Princess Leia became Mary Poppins in The Last Jedi."
"I mean this really pretty much tops it all. They saw Indiana Jones in a refrigerator nuke and thought "we can beat that"
There are a lot of bad moments about that movie but you knew these people had no idea what they were doing when it wasn't Leia nuking the fleet at warp speed. If she does that, it's a Top 3 all time Star Wars moment. Instead it's the DEI instructor who does it.
Not a single person stood up and staid "Shouldn't that be Leia doing that instead? How cool would that be" They all just nodded along."
Brian Jacobson on Twitter - "It was profoundly strange, especially when Carrie was already dead. They could have gracefully and tragically kill her in perfect sync with the story, but they had to save her to dress her corpse up in movie 3 as if there was some sort of diversity quota for dead women."

You can die simply by giving up the will to live, suggests new research - "Can you die simply by giving up the will to live? Yes, concludes a new study, led by Dr. John Leach from the University of Portsmouth in the UK.  The first-of-its-kind study looked at the phenomenon of “give-up-itis” — a word used for what is medically known as “psychogenic death.”"
Sorry, Padme

Meme - "Now go, my son"
"Is there anything else you need to tell me"
"Oh yeah, Lmao. Palpatine has clone bodies and he's currently building a fleet of planet killing Star destroyers on a secret Sith planet called Exegol that you can only get to with using a Sith Wayfinder"
"I meant like a final goodbye, or like a "I Love Yeu' or something like that but thanks I guess"

Rey and the sad devolution of the female character - YouTube - "when i was eight years old i saw the movie aliens in the theater...  makes that whole movie work in fact is that you entirely buy into the character of Ripley. She feels as real, relatable and as human as the person sitting next to you in the theater...  the movie hasn't presented her like some type of superhero. Rather it's portrayed her as pretty much an average woman who finds herself in the craziest of predicaments who ultimately does the bravest thing I've ever seen in a movie. Or perhaps i should say it's the greatest yet most believable act of courage i've ever seen in a movie...  There have been plenty of great female characters in Star Wars already. Especially for those who have followed the expanded universe. Never once have i heard anyone complain about any of those female characters because more often than not, they ended up being great well-written characters that fans loved. Which is all people wanted out of Rey...  they wanted to make her a symbol, an icon for women. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, don't get me wrong, but it's still something you have to earn...  the more you tell people ahead of time what you want her to be or represent outside of the story, the more you ruin the illusion of that story when you finally watch it, the more you can see the creators behind the curtain pulling the strings of the character having her do exactly what they want her to do to fit the real-life narrative and not to fit the narrative of the story...  how self-defense against thugs translates into besting the elite guards of the most powerful being in the galaxy just a week later is beyond me... the one weakness Rey seems to have which is a strong desire for belonging...  I'm far from the only guy out there that thinks that Ripley is one of the greatest characters anywhere ever, and she's only one example of a great many strong female characters that men absolutely love"

Meme - "What Star Wars Fans want vs what Disney thinks Star Wars fans want:
*Battle of Coruscant*
*Lizzo and Jack Black*"

Meme - "Anakin flirting in Clone Wars: I look upon the magnificence of Your Highness, whose beauty would make the brightest star seem dull by comparison
Anakin flirting in Attack of the Clones:
I don't like sand."

Meme - Chancellor Palpatine: "Leave him or we'll never make it"
Anakin Skywalker: "His fate will be the same as ours..."
*Obi-Wan Kenobi* DIES ON DEATH STAR
*Darth Vader* DIES ON DEATH STAR
*Emperor Palpatine* DIES ON DEATH STAR

Girl Dressed As Jyn Erso Gives Out Death Star Plans At 'Star Wars' Event - "Harley and her dad, Dino Ignacio, attended the Star Wars Celebration event in Orlando, Florida. During the event (which included plenty of cosplayers), Harley dressed as Jyn Erso, the main character from “Rogue One” who helps deliver the Death Star plans to Princess Leia. Just like Jyn, little Harley delivered her own Death Star plans to every Leia she saw in Orlando. Ignacio told HuffPost that his daughter has seen “Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope” (which begins with Leia receiving the plans) and most of “Rogue One.”  “We watched it up until it goes dark,” he said... Harley met about 20 different people dressed as Leia, who were all “happy to play along.” She handed out about 80 Death Star plans, but her last data card went to the most important princess (and general) of all.  The event included the original Princess Leia dress worn by Carrie Fisher in “A New Hope,” and Harley left her last card by the exhibit."

Meme - Miss Piggy: "Where are the boys? Are they safe? Are they alright?"
*Worried Kermit*

Meme - "The great Jedi purge according to:
Legends: A devastating event for the Order that massacred its ranks down to the few exceptional masters that managed to survive. The surviving members were so few that they could be counted on single hand or two, making Luke's existence even more significant.
"Canon": it's single handedly the most tragic event of all time, while simultaneously inconsequential since we just pull dozens of random, unheard of Jedi out of our asses on a daily basis whenever it's convenient. everyone loved the Jedi (but not really) and everyone saw it as a tragedy (also not really) idk we can't really seem to decide"

Meme - Luke to Rey: "It's not about lifting rocks." *Rey, Yoda, Kenobi and Vader lifting rocks*

Meme - "Bo-Katan Kryze and Fennec Shand
Bo-Katan Kryze and Fennec Shane 28 years later
And here is Boba Fett after 29 years..."
Meme - "Bo-Katan Kryze and Fennec Shand
Bo-Katan Kryze and Fennec Shand 28 years later
And then there's Obi-Wan after 20 years..."

What I want from the Kenobi series? : StarWars - "In the Ahsoka book (spoilers). “He stood up, his knees creaking in a rather alarming fashion. Surely he wasn’t that old yet. It must be the desert climate that affected him strangely.”"

Ross Burt on Twitter - "Hi @pablohidalgo -my 10yr old just asked-'how come ObiWan is old in Rebels, but BoKatan looks 2 weeks older since Clone Wars?' #RebelsRecon"
Star Wars on Twitter - ""The sun(s) doin' murder to meesa skin." -Jar Jar Binks on Tatooine in The Phantom Menace."

Meme - "You killed Younglings"
"You didn't care when I butchered the tuskens. I can't believe I was in love with a racist"

technology - Why there is so little technological progress between times of Old Republic and Star Wars? - "It is quite characteristic for fantasy worlds to have little technological progress because magic (since magic works better than technology, we don't need to develop it) and/or longevity of one of the dominant species (longevity means slow reproduction rate which leads to slow "I want to do things different than my parents" type of progress).  In SF technological stagnation is usually explained by some great catastrophe that created new Dark Ages (i.e. Canticle for Leibovitz) or we have something that actively prevents innovation (like risk of Chaos possession actively discourages too bold innovations in Wh40k universe or risk of re-creating Thinking Machines in Dune).  In the Star Wars we do see progress between episodes with the Death Star as a best example (there are other mentioned in linked question: change to space fighters, upgrade to the bionical replaced limbs - compare Anakin's and Luke's hand), but when you look back and notice that technology from the Old Republic (i.e. in the KoTOR games) is not that much different than one in the movies, yet there are separated by few thousand years."
"While there are debates about the shape of the curve which best describes technological change over time, no one thinks that it's linear.  Most academics agree that it's increasing at a decreasing rate, with periodic spikes of innovation (like the Renaissance and the rise of microcomputers) which get smaller and more frequent at each occurrence...
Since the Star Wars galaxy both is extremely high tech and has been extremely high tech for an extremely long time relatively modest innovation and slow, incremental technological improvements are to be expected. It would be like observing them at the beginning and end of the last segment of the trend line above."
"Basically speaking, it's due to the general devastation of the New Sith Wars, which were a series of conflicts stretched out over the better part of a millennium (the Draggulch period, roughly 2000-1000 years before A New Hope, though the major fighting was 1500-1100 BBY) and involved not just the Republic and Sith but a large number of other combatants, most of them opportunistically supporting both sides at various times.  As a result of the wars, the Republic was pretty well crippled - communications outside the Core were cut off, the government nearly collapsed, there were plagues, the whole nine yards."

Meme - "This is my friend TJ, wearing a costume she made for Halloween, 1977. She was 16 at the time. Now, keep in mind: there was no internet to search for images, She could not have rented and paused the movie, because it wasn't released on video until 1982. No, TJ just went to the movie a bunch of times, took notes with a flashlight, drew bunch of sketches, and put this together. In 19-fucking-77. So let's bury this bullshit about how women didn't grow up on Star Wars."
Straw man. I've never seen anyone claiming this. The original source seems to be tumblr, and is just a disingenuous counter when someone points out that there're a lot more males crazy about Star Wars than females (clearly Obama being President for two terms refutes the claim that blacks face racism in the US). I've also seen it used as a bad faith argument to counter criticism of bad female characters
Keywords: Women have always been into Star Wars, women have always been Star Wars fans, women have always liked Star Wars

When Good Shows Go Bad — The Mandalorian - YouTube - "The Mandalorian has lost its magic. In this video essay, I break down why season 3 was a disappointment, and why so many fans had a hard time caring about its characters."

Meme - "Disney Star Wars remake be like:
*Fat stormtroopers chasing Gorlock the Destroyer as Rey*"

The Star Wars Ring Theory Explained #StarWarsDay - "The kernel of the idea is Lucas’ likening of the Star Wars saga to poetry; as he famously said during the production of Episode I, “It’s like poetry, they rhyme. Every stanza kinda rhymes with the last one.” There he was talking about how each prequel movie echoes its corresponding original trilogy counterpart - Anakin destroys the droid control ship the same way Luke does the Death Star – with the core distinction being that in Episodes I-III we see the temptation of the Dark Side win out. There are a lot of shared elements and imagery between the movies, ranging from the granular (Obi-Wan and Han both evade destruction by attaching to a space body) to the galactic (Anakin's showdown with Dooku in Episode III and Luke's final fight with Vader). Beyond just poetic-esque storytelling, this allows the series to comment on generations and the ills of parents. Klimo takes that and runs at hyperspeed with it, extending the narrative structure by saying the rhyming isn’t just sequential (ABC, A’B’C’), but also palindromic (ABC, C’B’A’). This is the basis of Ring Theory; essentially (and this is simplifying a fair bit), the narrative is a loop that doubles back on itself structurally. Traditionally this is done in literature and conveyed with key words, but the theory suggests Lucas did it using broader story structure and cinematic language"

Admiral Ackbar actor was "in tears" after his death scene - Ackbar puppeteer disappointed with his role - "one of the franchise’s longest-running performers – 62-year-old actor and puppeteer Tim Rose, who has played the “body” of squid-like Rebel Admiral Ackbar since 1983’s Return of the Jedi alongside voice actors Erik Bauersfeld and Tom Kane – was also pretty unhappy, revealing he was “in tears” over what he perceived as a disrespectful attitude to his character. “After The Force Awakens - for whatever reason, length of picture, whatever, it all got cut out,” Rose told Jamie Stangroom in a lengthy YouTube interview.  “So after waiting 30 years to reprise Ackbar I was a little disappointed with Ackbar's role in that picture. In The Last Jedi I was quite looking forward to them maybe giving him something more juicy.”  Unfortunately, what they had planned was Ackbar’s death instead, and Rose was less than happy with the character’s lack of presence."
Clearly a bigot who hates diversity

Dataracer on Twitter - "Bioware has hired Sam Maggs to re-write Knights of the Old Republic. Maggs is a SJW activist that hates male Star Wars fans & constantly mocks the fanbase telling them to "die mad about." She was was asked about her favorite SW game in 2019 and said "Not KOTOR.""

Meme - "Writer of the Knight of the Old Republic remake totally mocking the core of the Skywalker saga. Totally unacceptable. But so typical of modern Lucasfilm! Like anyone who understands the material even a bit wouldn't be saying this."
Sam Maggs @SamMaggs: "snotty angry baby boy: "Rey hardly needed any training at all me, strong in the force: "do you not remember that anakin was auto-born Strongest Jedi because of an arbitrary and intensely stupid high microorganism count or""

Meme - Star Wars Holocron @sw_ho...: "Did you know? The Sith Eternal fleet seen in #StarWars: #TheRiseofSkywalker was created by Sith cultists on Exegol, who indoctrinated Exegol's population with Sith values and raised and trained their children to become officers, mechanics and soldiers for the Final Order"
Elijah Wood @elijahwood: "no. how could we have known?"

Murphy Barrett's answer to Why is the 'Holdo Maneuver' from The Last Jedi so controversial? - Quora - "It broke the rules.  There is a common mistake made when writing science fiction or fantasy that if it’s okay to break one rule, then it’s okay to break all the rules. It’s just fiction, after all!  Not so.  The more rules you break the more carefully you must consider each next rule you break, and doubly so for any rule you establish in writing. Otherwise the narrative structure falls apart as our suspension of disbelief breaks.  Magic exists. To perform magic you must say funny words, wave your hands about, and use special ingredients to make spells work. That’s the rule you set. So you cannot then later have a wizard cast a spell with no words, no gestures, and no ingredients, unless you have a goddamn good explanation for why you’re breaking your own rule. If suddenly you can cast spells with nothing, then why does everyone else need all the mumbo jumbo? Better to write a wizard who has practice his spells so much that he can murmur them with barely a sound and gesture with barely a twitch, but with great difficulty and long practice he may appear to cast spells from nothing.  In the case of the Holdo Mneuver, it literally breaks the entire framework of military doctrine and FTL travel in the series. Holdo quite clearly knows that this should work. You don’t turn to face your enemy and jump to lightspeed to run away, she’d just run from where she was. The maneuver was expected to be injurious to the enemy. Which raises the logical question, instead of building giant Death Stars, why don’t people in Star Wars just strap hyperdrives to asteroids, plug an astromech droid in, and FTL-bomb planets?  Every attempt to explain it away ends up just being special pleading. It’s just bad writing.  That’s the lesson. When you create a rule in fiction, you must follow it or you’ll destroy suspension of disbelief. You can work around a rule, expand on a rule, but you cannot break your own rules."

Meme - Hector Navarro @imhectornavarro: "I need Lucasfilm to understand. Not everyone grows up to be a miserable old man with a failed personal life. Please find other conflicts for our beloved characters.
*Indiana Jones, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker*"

Meme - Captain America: "Big man in a suit armor, take that away and what are you?"
Darth Vader: "Ace pilot, former Jedi, Sith Lord. But mostly dead, I would be dead."

Meme - Luke Skywalker: "YOU TOLD ME VADER MURDERED MY FATHER."
Obi-Wan Kenobi Force Ghost: "IT'S LITERALLY WHAT HE TOLD ME."

Meme - @TheUnaButters: "I'm an Order 66 denier now"
John A. Douglas @J0hnADouglas: "First time was a joke but this is getting stupid. did any Jedi actually die in Order 66? Or did they all just duck behind a rock or something ?"
Screen Rant: "Aayla Secura and Shaak Ti are back, as Luke Skywalker discovers the Clone Wars Jedi alive and well, beginning a huge Star Wars twist.
Star Wars Just Brought Two Iconic Jedi Back From The Dead"

Meme - "The best parts about Star Wars is that there is no good and evil."
"Here's what just a few DARK SIDE characters are called: . . Sidious Plagueis Maul Tyranus Savage Opress Vitiate Ravage Mortis Thanaton Vengean"

Star Wars 9: How Colin Trevorrow’s alleged draft fixes Rise of Skywalker’s biggest problems - "Focusing on another of Palpatine’s grand plans, Duel of the Fates sees Kylo Ren – haunted by Luke Skywalker – discover an old holographic message from the Emperor instructing Darth Vader to seek out Tor Valum, the Sith who taught Palpatine the ways of the Dark Side. Kylo takes Anakin’s place and heads to the Sith master for further training. Meanwhile, The Resistance are hard at work trying to defeat the First Order by using a beacon – housed on the now-ravaged planet of Coruscant – to call on allies for help. Rey continues her Jedi training, mainly in solitude, and Rose has a bigger role.  What’s clear from the “leaked” draft (reportedly verified by The AV Club) is how Trevorrow’s Episode 9 embraces the past, whereas The Rise of Skywalker is suffocated by it – a point that’s best demonstrated by Abrams’ treatment of Emperor Palpatine. “The dead speak!” begins the opening crawl. How? Check Fortnite. Why? It doesn’t really matter. Palpatine’s back and there will be no further questions. He’s the Big Bad – then, now, and forever. Duel of the Fates changes that entirely.  In the alternate version, Palpatine’s poised as an ethereal threat, the former Emperor corrupting Kylo with words rather than being bafflingly resurrected. A villain pulling the strings from beyond the grave is far scarier than one coming back from the dead to play puppet-master; a shade of subtlety that is sorely lacking from The Rise of Skywalker. More importantly, the sequel trilogy’s new characters get room to forge their own paths in Duel of Fates instead of having to endlessly deal with what came before. Kylo ignores Force Ghost Luke’s cries to return to the Light, and Ben Solo finally embraces his own mantra from The Last Jedi: “Let the past die, kill it if you have to.” In contrast, Palpatine becomes all-consuming in The Rise of Skywalker, and various secondary plots and characters melt away as the Emperor becomes the focus. Even the sequel trilogy’s big mystery – the identity of Rey’s parents – becoming inexplicably tied to the Sith Lord. Kylo’s tragic descent into becoming Duel of Fates’ Big Bad – without being redeemed along the way – feels far more earned and in keeping with the character. The new revelation that he was the one who killed Rey’s parents (under Snoke’s orders) is more fitting than the kiss-and-make up conclusion of The Rise of Skywalker. Let’s just gently hand-wave away the genocide of millions across the galaxy, shall we?  The structure also feels vastly improved. Gone is the Sith planet of Exegol, sign-posted as the finale’s destination 10 minutes into Rise of Skywalker. In its place, a series of classic Star Wars set-pieces, including BB-8 hijacking a Star Destroyer and Chewie riding an X-Wing. A series of daring escapades and suicide missions feels far more exciting than the paint-by-numbers MacGuffin chase we did get."

Strong Female Characters: A Comparison Between Mulan and Rey - "Now that you’re up to date on both of these stories, let’s examine them. For Mulan, I want to take a look at a specific scene in the movie. Disney with the animated movies they do, has a good way of showing time passing through songs. A man and woman can fall in love in the time of a song, and in Mulan’s case, she trained. Even if you ignore how catchy the song itself was and just examine the montage, it’s fantastic. She starts of sucking at everything that she does; she’s clumsy, picked on by the other men (which makes us root for her more), she can’t catch fish, or carry sacks, or run as fast, or shoot a bow and arrow, and she like all the other men, can’t climb a giant post. As the song progresses, she and the other men gradually get better until she can run faster than any of them, shoot better, and she’s the only one out of the entire army to climb the giant post. Just when the general told her to leave, she was determined to win and finish this. So she climbed it. There was sweat on her brow, and she struggled for every movement as she climbed. She was intelligent and figured out a technique that none of the other recruits (all men), knew and she was the first and only one up it.  Not only did this make us root for her and care about her, but it showed us that she worked for everything she had...  Rey, on the other hand, didn’t believe in the Force or Jedi and suddenly, days later, she’s able to best an evil Sith Lord who’s trained his whole life in a Jedi mind trick. She’s able to use the Force to steal a lightsaber from him. He kills a good man in front of her and days later, she’s running off to help him. She fights these highly trained guards that are supposed to be protectors of Snoke – the evil “main” bad guy and fights them better than the trained Sith Lord does. She never once trained. Being a Jedi is something that according to Star Wars canon, has to be trained. Jedi Knights spend their entire lives training with the Force, learning how to use and harness it. Even Jedi Masters still have things they need to learn. They never stop growing. It takes time to be able to pull a lightsaber out of the snow and it certainly would be far more difficult to best a trained Sith Lord, even with him being injured as he was. Even if she was able to download his memories and use that to learn how to do the Jedi Mind Tricks – as it mentioned in the books – either 1) that needed to be showed and explained further in the movie and 2) Even with that, it doesn’t make sense. Watching and learning it and then applying it are totally separate things.  Even training with Luke for a little while would have showed that she grew naturally rather than Rey’s a perfect character because she’s a female that we’ve placed a political agenda onto. Instead of trying to 1) tell a good story 2) be true to Star Wars 3) honor Star Wars canon. Even doing a short, three-minute montage or less like Mulan did, where Rey tried and failed, then tried again, put in effort, struggled, and overcame would have showed us how strong she was. Like Mulan, we would have rooted for her and cared about her. We would have been cheering her on and wanted her to win. Like Mulan, we would have gone on a journey with her which means that we would be more interested to where that journey ended...
People make mistakes. What we need to be teaching young girls is how to own up to their mistakes and how to learn from them. That’s life. Mistakes teach us how to be better, how to grow stronger
We all love watching a character whether male or female overcome obstacles. We want to see them fail so that when they struggle and try again, it’s that much more powerful when they succeed.
Who wants to watch a character who always wins and beats everyone around them? No one. Yes, we may want a happy ending – like how Mulan saved China – but that would have been less enjoyable had she never been found out to be a woman, had she not been forced to struggle to get the men to believe her when they saw her as weaker. Proving herself to be stronger wouldn’t have meant anything had the men not rejected her when they learned the truth. Then, when they all agreed to help her, it meant so much more because Mulan did that, she overcame that.
Purposefully making all the male characters around a female character weak just to try to show the female character as strong DOESN’T WORK. It only proves to us that you can’t write or show a strong female lead on your own without making everyone around her weak. Look at Mulan. She’s the strongest, best-developed character in the movie Mulan and Shang is a strong character. So are the other men in the army. They grow and develop – they’re hilarious – but they all have their strengths and their determination to be soldiers no matter what makes them strong. Yet Mulan naturally outshines them because of her determination and how she overcomes so many obstacles and how well loved she is."

Friday, September 15, 2023

Links - 15th September 2023 (2 - Women)

Meme - "Why do you see more women than men travelling"
Chauncey Durrell" "Child support"

Meme - "Ladies, if you're dating an adult male who still plays video games, it's time to reevaluate that relationship."
"Ladies and gentiemen, if a grown ass adult, is actually sitting there shaming and criticizing another adult for interests and passions, and how they like to spend free time, it's time to reevaluate the actual intelligence and maturity level of that person, and who hurt them."
You're only allowed to shame men, not women, of course

Meme - "YOU LEAVE THE PARTY - AND YOUR WIFE SAYS, "WHY DID YOU JOKE ABOUT MY HAIR?""
"YOU'RE SO DEAD"
"COME ON, HIGH ROLL! AVOID AN ARGUMENT!"
"DRAGON NERDS LOVE TO PLAY "HOUSES & HUMAN""

brenda on Twitter - "i sometimes think ab this tiktok where the girl said „if an influencer gatekeeps her clothes i will comment ‚it‘s shein‘ under her post to force her to correct me“ and it’s still genius"

Meme - GA. P-EBT
Shamiya Lanea: "Can someone please help me I have four kids no food I'm waiting on my regular stamps going on two months now it's hard for me trying to keep bills paid and buy food every..all I'm asking is for help ide if it's 2 or 3 dollars anything will help me buy my babies some food.. please"
Cheryl Creamer: "five days ago you were on your page selling your stamps !"
Shamiya Lanea:  "I got yamps. who need em and if u playing don't inbox me okay"

Meme - "Girls: "I want a man who's 6 feet tall, hot, rich, ripped, and has a 6 inch cock!"
Guys: "I just want a girl that's not fat"
Girls: Brie Larson: is that like a personal attack or something"

Meme - Emo Juke Princess @TianaHRR: "U can tell the economy is fucked up cuz it used to be that if u dated a white person u had a pretty good chance of going boating, now the average white person is 2 or even in some cases 3 ppl removed from a boat. Something is not right....."

Meme - Alissa Azar: "On top of what's already been a very difficult few months for me, about two weeks ago i got taken to court in a custody battle by my extremely abusive ex. my kid is my best friend, we've been extremely close from the day they were born. i couldn't afford a lawyer, so i represented myself and did the best i could. but i failed. their arguments were all revolving around my involvement with antifascism and my criminal trial, with a sprinkle of misogyny."

Meme - "On today's episode of "did that creature of the void just try to dunk on a normal person?""
Hunter Cole: "lol tell me sex is the only unit of value you're capable of understanding, without telling me sex is the only unit of value youre capable of understanding. you cant call your dad just say that bro. what a pity."
Lilith Ophelia Web: "you can't fck just say that bro"

Meme -  Shaniqua Posting Delusions @DeludedShaniqwa: "This strange behavior ( very common in black women) should be studied by scientists. We need to undersrand what causes this bizzare phenomenon!"
Daily Loud @DailyLoud: "Cardi B was twerking on Grandpa Pickles"

Meme - "Sandra, 50
I'm sick of pretending to be a cool, laid back chick so people want to date me. I'm insane. I'm literally balls to the wall insane and that is OK. P*ssy is immaculate. Head game is otherworldly. I will treat you right and I will also cry every day. High risk, high reward."

I tried to ban my husband from attending his ex-wife's funeral- I always resented their relationship

Meme - "Always compliment the fat girls in the gym. They'll remember you when they get fit. #investment #business"

Meme - "How they post pictures *flexible*"
"How they have sex *lying down supine on bed*"

Meme - "QUAND IL ME DIT
QU'IL EST DOMINANT *elle sourit*
QU'ELLE FAIT PLUS DE 20CM.. *elle sourit*
QU'IL EST TRES ENDURANT ET QU'IL VA S'OCCUPER DE MOI  *elle sourit*
QUAND JE DECOUVRE QU'IL NE MENTAIT PAS * *douleur*"

Meme - "BAD PLACE TO STAND...
1 HOUR FREE *Woman*"

Naked cleaner who earns £50 an hour opens up on 'creeps' that hire her - "A woman who cleans houses completely in the nude has opened up about her unusual job.  Lottie Rae, 32, started naked cleaning back in 2017 as a way to earn a bit of extra cash and reckons she’s made a few thousand quid over the years. As you can imagine, Lottie has seen a lot over the six years with clients who are naturists, those who just want a bit of company and others who are hoping for something a bit more than a mop and polish.  Lottie, who charges £50 an hour for her cleaning services, said: “There’s a fair few people who are creepy – a handful of the guys I clean for book cleaners on the premise they will get something else.  “I’m clear I’m there just to clean but they’ll say that other cleaners have been strippers or given massages... “I’m always looking for ways to make extra money and I quite like being naked, so I though ‘okay, I’ll try it’,” said Lottie... “One of my clients I cleaned for three times altogether, and his house was the dirtiest house I’ve ever come across in my life, teeming with dirt and grime.  "But when I got there he didn’t want me to clean it at all. “He wasn’t creepy or pervy, he just wanted some company.  "I don't even wear gloves half the time even though I know I should - if it's a really dirty house I'm a bit conscious of where I stand but usually it doesn't bother me at all.  “One time a guy put porn on his TV and I had to say no. The people who are slightly creepier tend to have perfectly clean houses so it’s kind of an indicator.  “I’ve cleaned for some younger guys who seem more sociable, they’re out and about and just have disposable income and want to try something different... “The clients will get naked as well – a few of them are quite nervous at first and keep their clothes on until they’re confident enough to take them off.  “My friends and family know what I do, but I think they wonder why I do it. They think all these men are weird and creepy but in general they’re nice people.  “Over six years I've been in a couple of relationships and they’ve been completely cool with it, my current partner's sound with it, which is refreshing. I know a lot of my friend's partners wouldn’t be OK with it.”"
This is like having a bumper sticker that says "honk if you live Jesus" and getting upset when people honk their horns

Meme - "When you hear the guy you placed in the friend zone is getting married *sad*"

Meme - "Yeah women can't handle expectations or judgement, leave that to the human beings mentally strong enough to handle that: men"
Feminist News: Megan Rapinoe: "I just think there's some things women shouldn't wear. Like the weight of other people's expectations and judgments"

Meme - "When her friends ask her why she puts up with your shit
*Big Fat Daddy Thick Meat Sticks*"

Meme - "What happens when you get pregnant on vacation and marry your Nicaraguan kayak guide?
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A SAD SINGLE MOM"

Model student - "After decades of reporting on women caught up in war, famine and brutality, I am not predisposed to feel sorry for those whose idea of a day’s work is smiling for a camera or prancing along a catwalk in ludicrous clothes for a multi-billion-pound industry. “That’s because you only see the Tyra Bankses and the Kate Mosses ... you don’t see everybody else who’s not making it,” says Mears. “We have the image that it’s very glamorous because we only see the winners.” Underneath these winners are many thousands of young women — and men — earning such a pittance she compares them to slaves, in debt to their agencies, who charge them exorbitant fees for everything from biking their portfolios to potential clients, to rent for staying four to a room in agency-owned apartments full of eastern European wannabes...  Many of her colleagues lived on what they called “green juice” — a concoction of raw kale, beetroot and carrot. Mears would arrive at casting calls to find the clothes so tight that they had to be cut open and taped on. She was told to lie about her ethnic origins, playing up or down her Asian quarter depending on the client, and to pretend she was 18 when she was 23. “They said it’s like when you go to the grocery store to buy milk: which milk carton would you want, one that is going to expire tomorrow or one that will expire next week?”...  Her take-home pay at the end of the first year was $11,318 — $18,660 before expenses and commissions were deducted...  There had always been a glut of prospective models, but now there was even more supply. “The fall of the Berlin Wall had opened up eastern Europe in the 1990s, then the internet and digital photography meant you have greater communication and greater travel. Now you have scouts who can go anywhere, any remote village; little agencies popping up everywhere, always looking.” This has led to plummeting pay. “For girls coming from poor countries where there aren’t a lot of good opportunities, even low rates are more than they could get in their villages.”... “Beauty is neither in the model nor in the eye of the beholder,” she says. “It’s a lottery.” “You know, you just know,” one stylist told her. “It’s like asking the meaning of life,” said a booker. She found that success is less about looks, more about marketing and timing, and a team of people creating a “buzz” akin to the emperor’s new clothes. “Everyone is trying to anticipate what everyone else will like”... While in 2009 Gisele Bundchen grossed $25m in modelling contracts, Heidi Klum $16m and Kate Moss $9m, the median income for a US model was $27,330 (£17,540)... Mears claims that some models even work under a kind of “indentured servitude”, in debt to their agencies for visa expenses, plane tickets, portfolio pictures, lessons in walking a catwalk, apartment rentals, even the cost of couriers who bike their portfolios to and from offices. She estimates that they may run up costs of $10,000 before going on their first casting call. “Imagine your paper tells you your piece on Afghanistan was critically acclaimed but it didn’t actually make any money for the paper, so you owe us $3,000 for the expenses,” she says. “It’s a bit like that in modelling.”   “When an agency takes a model on it’s an investment for them,” she adds. “If it doesn’t work out, you’re free to leave, technically, but if you want to try your luck somewhere else at another agency, your debt would follow you to another agency. But the agency would not be very likely to take on an indebted model. So in that way you have bonded debt.” She found that 20% of the models on her agency’s books were in debt to the agency...  There is an inverse relationship between the prestige of a job and how much the model gets paid. Mears received not a cent for what she regards as her own most valuable job — just a couple of dresses...  Surprisingly, she says her catwalk experience has been useful for her new life as a professor. “I teach Introduction to Sociology and I have to walk into this room with 120 freshmen and sophomores,” she explains. “And I have to be on it. I have to stand up straight, I have to do this kind of performance, trying to get my audience captivated. Being able to walk on a catwalk creates a kind of confidence and I think I may have had a hard time walking into a classroom otherwise.”... Male models also talked about and experienced the surveillance of their bodies, but not in terms of anguish and anxiety; they were more likely to the confront the challenges of their bodily capital with straightforward acceptance, as in, “well time to hit the gym,” or, “I must pay better attention to nutrition.”"
Many Americans get very upset when you talk about the importance of luck

Ashley Mears on Status and Beauty (Ep. 97) | Conversations with Tyler - "it’s a common perception that plastic surgery is oppressive. But from my understanding, there’s an opposite reading, which is that it’s really validating and really quite pleasurable to modify the appearance.  So, you’re right. In South Korea — it leads the world in double eyelid surgery to make that eyelid fold that is typical of a Western-shaped eye, but less so of an Asian-shaped eye. This is often read as “Oh, this is like internalized white Western hegemony onto Asian people.” But I actually think it’s a bit more complicated than that.  There’s a certain kind of beauty that is really popular throughout Asia because of the rise of K-Pop stars. And this kind of Asian beauty has a very specific kind of face that’s very pale skin with a certain kind of makeup regime around it, and yes, the eyes. But it would be hard to say that anybody is looking in Asia to the West as the beauty standard. I think, within Asia, people are looking to K-Pop as a beauty standard now.  And in the US, there’s all kinds of things that could be read as oppressive, too, that people do, like hair extensions, and these eyelash extensions to make really long and dark eyelashes, and all kinds of practices that, when you actually talk to people — they’re very validating or they feel pleasurable.  Where do those pleasures come from? Sure, a Marxist could say that it’s all false consciousness. But I think that there’s probably lots more interesting answers."

Meme - Lea Hutto: "I have a daughter who married a guy named Thomas. She had a very big tattoo of his name put on her back. They divorced and she got married to a different guy named Thomas. Well, they divorced and she started dating Another guy, you guessed it, Thomas. I guess it's easier to find a Thomas than it is to get a new tattoo. True story
She has over 50 tats and 50 piercings. She wont remove or cover them up. As she puts it, it's her body and her art. If you saw her you would recognize her. She is almost the perfect image of Amy Winehouse. No lie.
I think she dates them for a while and then hooks them by saying she loves them so much that she got their name tattooed on her back. Trust me, she's very manipulative."

Meme - Funny Canadian Memes: "Canadian women are on another level *dresses and heels in snowstorm*"

Meme - "All 3 generations are on OF! My mom, daughter, & myself. Crazy right?"
"Why a Daughter Needs a Dad"

Meme - "Ladies. Next time you ask why guys lie to women, look at Kevin Samuels and Derrick Jaxn for the answer. One told you the truth so you could improve yourself, and you hated him for it. The other lied to you and lived a double triple life, and you loved him for it. Make it make sense."

Meme - Blue Haired Woman: "marrying an 18 year old is pedophilia you have to marry an eggless 30 year old with a triple digit bodycount"

Meme - Jennifer Wortman @wrefinnej: "Today I discovered my husband has me in his phone as "Jennifer Wortman.""  
Velvet Revulva @velvetrevulva88: "A guy I hooked up with a few times once had me in his phone as "free pussy 3"."
When you don't understand security (imagine if she loses her phone and someone wants to scam her husband)

Meme - "I'll change him."
"Woman: d/dx
Man: e^x"

Thread by @doitmuvaaa on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "It’s crazy how a man gotta be financially stable to date a BROKE female……. WITH KIDS A woman won’t even look a man way if he don’t have a “ nice car, his own place, and money to blow “ but the same woman don’t EVEN have 2 Pennies to rub together. it’s given nasty work A lot of you woman that see a problem with this was raised by gold digging side hos as mothers lol be blessed 😇❤️ Now I’m a “ pick me “ lmaooo i suck my nigga dick because i want TOOO NOT HAVE TOOO That’s the difference between me & yall broke, cum bucket asses y’all be easy 😘 This is the last thing imma say on this lmao. Some of y’all are saying I’m “ jealous “ of a broke ass female with multiple kids with no income shows me y’all really some pin heads 🤧 ARGUE WITH THE MEN THAT MADE YALL SINGLE PARENTS !! Tf cause now y’all getting me tight lmao If i would’ve said “ Woman don’t date broke men, nasty work “ y’all would be perioddddddddd so stfuuu. The same rules apply for woman as well air heads @Shayyybuttaaa"
Black woman Twitter is crazy

Meme - "So i matched my professor on tinder"
"Margaret, 36
Teacher
loving mother of 2
Game of thrones fanatic!"
"Hey, I'm in your Wednesday lecture lol.
I'm well aware of who you are Mc***
I'll dick you down for an A in class
Excuse me?
So... chapter 2 is due next class?"

Meme - "Alexandra Daddario
Stop staring at my eyes
*Breasts*"

Can my employer force me to wear a bra? - The Globe and Mail - "Employees are protected from many types of workplace discrimination, including those related to their sex, by the applicable Human Rights Code/Act in their jurisdiction. It is arguable that by applying a dress code policy to target people with breasts and their use of undergarments, this is a type of sexual discrimination. Depending on the circumstances, some employers might be able to justify that type of policy on the basis that there are health or safety reasons for wearing a bra. In your situation, the issue appears to be purely aesthetic; the employer believes that breasts without bras are not presentable. Simply put, that is not enough to justify their policy and it would likely be found to be discriminatory. Braless breasts are not inherently indecent or unpresentable."
Having a dress code is usually aesthetic anyway

Meme - "*Girl unsends message cause of a misspelled word
Every guy thinking they missed out on a nude: *heart attack*"

Meme - "Some habits are hard to forget *Woman holding gearstick like for a handjob*"

Meme - "Him: [yells at me]
my brain: :(
my pussy: :)"

SixBrownChicks on Twitter - "Q2 SugarDaddy said my mouth 👅gave him life. His woman was tired w/ kids & work, and she couldn’t satisfy him. Things were good $ until she bought him a suction sex toy; I can’t compete. I have no leverage. He’s not returning calls. Ego is crushed. I’m BROKE.  HALPP! #SBCCHAT"
SixBrownChicks on Twitter - "Q4. I cheated & husband walked out. I was lonely and desperate for HIS attention. Two years later,  I lost weight, shaved my head and convinced hubby that I was dying. He came back—with his girlfriend. He put life insurance on me & plans my funeral w/ me. 😳 Advice. #SBCCHAT ⚰️"
SixBrownChicks on Twitter - "Q5. My man was BORING but he took care of me; we had a house & food on the table. I left him to pursue my film dreams in Atlanta. That failed. I’ve been stripping (& other things) I got pregnant & I want to go back home so he’ll help me. He’s dating; how to win him back? #SBCCHAT"

Meme - Fella In Versace @Shadayaknight: "You're not my type", but when your type impregnates & abandons you, it becomes "any man who loves me must love my child"."

Meme - "Date 10 guys unsuccessfully* get a FREE CAT! any size, any color, unlimited supplies!
*Relationships cannot last more than 3 months"

Meme - Women's Rights News: "Ding ding ding
Study finds more than 60 percent of young men are single: 'Who are all the young women dating?'"
When they hate men so much they cheer over women flocking to older men (the Pew study found 37% of LGB women were single, which was actually higher than women as a whole (or indeed men as a whole) so combined with the low number of LGBs, young women can't be dating other women unless they're at a like 200 to 1 ratio while not identifying as LGB). Too bad most of them missed this. And more young men than women aren't looking for a relationship or casual dates - naturally, the explanation is different than if it's the other way around

Meme - "Mar Mathieuu @Mas___99: My cousin has a unique life hack !! She visited 14 cities in 6 countries and spent less than $600!!!"
"The best life hack I did on this trip
On tinder in every city I visited I would match with boys who are not good looking at max 4/10. They take me out and show me the city, pay for food etc. Then I match with an attractive guy for hook-up. Hot guys don't show you the city or bother to have a proper date. But mid guys will love to do that for you"
"Oh wow"
"Yes, most of my photos were taken by mid "potential" dates lol.. and if you can't find a bed to sleep they are happy to give you the bed and they sleep on the sofa"
"So you spend the day with ugly ones and the night with the hot ones? Right? Isn't that dangerous?"
"Lol, go for the boys with glasses or nerds looking! they're not dang, they're happy they get to talk to you nad have a platonic date"
Keywords: Sister, holiday, free, vacation

Meme - Past Life & Parallel Life Memories, reincarnation & spirituality: "My 8 year old son was my husband in several past lifetimes. This has been confirmed, not only by him (since he remembers his past) but also by 2 mediums. He treats me with a love I've never known. Cares for me when I'm sick, attends to (and intuits) my every need. Leaves me love notes by my bed. Talks about the devastation he felt when I died. Carries my groceries. Opens the door for me. The list goes on and on. Like you could never even IMAGINE or even expect an adult partner to act that way. He chose to come into this life as transgender (born female) and he's aware that I am here to help him navigate his upcoming challenges. He's always telling me how appreciative he is that he has such a strong protector. It's truly a very intense soul connection."

U.S. women’s hockey team scrimmaging against high school boys with mixed results - "Like it or not, most high school boys' varsity teams believe they can beat just about any womens' team that challenges them, even if it's the greatest women players in the world. Call it sexist, call it what you will, but there's a little Bobby Riggs in most of us.  In its quest for gold, the U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team, currently ranked No. 1 globally, accepted that challenge, taking on a series of prep varsity boys' hockey teams over the past couple months in order to prepare for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.  So, how have the women fared? Well, mixed results, actually. They required an overtime glove save and sudden-death goal to defeat U.S. Olympic Women's coach Katey Stone's alma mater, The Taft School in Watertown, Mass., 2-1. You can watch the game here. A week later back in November, the U.S. women lost to Salisbury (Conn.) School, 3-1."
As usual, I saw people claiming that the women weren't trying

Cuties vs Dr Seuss / What is a woman - map


"You'll never guess which ones of these is deemed to be more harmful to kids. *Cuties, Dr Seuss*"
This got me a strike on ifunny "for violating null" and later I was told it was "banned for "Hardcore: Porn / Hentai / Nudity / Loli / Underage"". Telling.


"What is a woman?
Liberal parts of the West: uhh I dunno I'm not a biologist
Most of the world: Adult human female"

Links - 15th September 2023 (1 - Left Wing Economics)

- "Two of the province’s largest teaching unions have already staked out their position. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) issued a joint release this week claiming a new provincial program designed to help struggling readers will violate teachers’ collective bargaining rights. Now, one might think helping struggling students would be a priority for teachers. After all, the new provincial program is in response to an Ontario Human Rights Commission report last year that said Ontario is failing students when it comes to reading, especially special education students... Chief commissioner Patricia DeGuire said at least one-third of students graduate without reaching the level of literacy that the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development says is necessary in today’s economy. To its credit, the province immediately announced a reading-improvement program. This was in February 2022. The unions were subsequently consulted on how the program should work. Now, the two unions say the program “was released Friday without notice.” The unions attempted, rather lamely, to play off the government’s oft-repeated statement about creating stability in education. They claim that the government is destabilizing education by bringing in “sweeping changes without providing the necessary time and resources for proper implementation.” And yet the government will spend $25 million on new reading resources, the change was announced 18 months ago and the unions participated in consultation on it. ETFO told the government that their members would require two years to make this single change. So for the unions, stability at a low level of performance is preferable to the unpleasantness of having to do a better job more quickly than they’d like. Too bad about the kids who can’t read. ETFO, by the way, describes itself as an organization whose goal is to “advance a social justice agenda.”... Introducing a culture of accountability into public education is a major change and not one that’s easy to make. For example, the province’s standardized testing program has been in place since 1996, but the elementary teachers’ union is still fighting it."
Too bad liberal love unions and hate conservatives more than they love children

Meme - "Edward Sichel: Jesus christ, the commies are shilling for megacorps now
Jacobin @jacobinmag We shouldn't fetishize mom and pops. They offer lower wages, skimpier benefits, and inferior labor protections.
Small Businesses Are Overrated"

Vancouver daycare rejected after neighbours organize to fight it | Vancouver Sun - "The tenor during parts of this meeting almost sounded as if the city was considering building a chemical plant in a residential neighbourhood or bulldozing homes to build a freeway.  What was actually so vehemently opposed by an organized neighbourhood campaign was a proposal for a daycare for eight children.  The board of variance ruled unanimously against the daycare.  City representatives said the decision was not based on concerns about the daycare operator or the facility. Instead, the daycare’s rejection was due, in part, to opposition from neighbours. The applicant, Lisa McCormick, has been operating a daycare since last year, with eight kids, in her family’s house across the street from Douglas Park in Vancouver. She and her spouse wanted to open a second, eight-child daycare in the house’s upper floor.  Bylaws permit this kind of child-care use. But it is a conditional use, meaning it must be considered and approved by city hall.  McCormick applied for the expansion in January. The city’s licensing department rejected it in May, citing objections from neighbours.  Those objections mostly focused on parking, but also touched on the noise of children playing and effects on the neighbourhood’s “unique charm, character and vitality.”... Peers said: “If this precedent is set, there is nothing stopping another homeowner to convert their house into a funeral home, motorcycle repair shop, corner store, gym, dry-cleaner etc. Should this application be granted, you can expect legal action against the city on behalf of the neighbourhood. … Govern yourselves accordingly and deny this application.”...   Another neighbour printed brochures and pushed them through mail slots of nearby houses, asking neighbours to “please help us stop her from turning her home into a commercial business” and offering suggested comments to send to city hall to register their opposition.  That neighbour, Carol Nest, told the board of variance meeting about the noise made by the eight children currently enrolled there. Article content  “When the kids are outside between 11 and 12, and between 4 and 5, I cannot have my windows open,” Nest told the meeting. “I can’t escape the noise currently, so if she were to expand this daycare, we would have no peace.”  At the board meeting, a municipal staffer said city hall had never received complaints about the existing daycare. Vancouver Coastal Health inspection records show they’ve never found any critical infractions.  The board of variance members provided no reason in the meeting for rejecting McCormick’s appeal."
Damm greedy capitalists keeping childcare expensive!

Make the rich pay? They already do — study - "“Measuring Progressivity in Canada’s Tax System, 2023” by Jake Fuss and Nathaniel Li, says the top 20% of Canadian families with incomes of more than $243,799 annually pay almost two-thirds (61.9%) of federal and provincial personal income taxes and more than half (53.1%) of total taxes. By contrast, the bottom 20% of income-earning families are estimated to pay 0.7% of all federal and provincial personal income taxes and 2.0% of total taxes. The study also says only the highest 20% of income earning families pay a larger share of total taxes than their share of total income, compared to other families."
Many leftists are very open that a primary purpose of taxation is not to raise money, but make the rich poor, so

Working Families Party 🐺 on Twitter - "There is no such thing as an ethical billionaire. That amount of capital is only possible through exploitation: of the people, of the system, and of the environment. Tax them out of existence."

Meme - Reddit Lies @reddit_lies: "That's several hundred dollars of weed bruh"
r/depressionmeals u/pepeslosthamster: "have 0.87 till next paycheck my moms in the hospital and almost cried at work be a little girl said I was ugly
Turkey on stale(ish) tortillas with a can of chips I found at the food bank(atleast I got weed tho)"

K ☭ on Twitter - "The ruling class has to push the myth of “personal responsibility” so you don’t realize that most of your perceived failures are actually systemic."
Left wing ideology in a nutshell

Meme - "The "I can't afford to pay for my kids' school lunch, we can barely make ends meet" starter pack."
*Miller Lite, Marlboro, lottery scratch cards*
Jessica Alvarez: "Honestly I am so tired of people shitting on lower class for enjoying things in life. Yes you should provide for your kids first but nobody bats an eye at somebody on a yatch enjoying a glass of wine and a cigar so why is it when lower class citizens do stuff that yes may be bad for them but allows them to enjoy what little quality of life they have we crap on them? We should have free school lunches anyways but why hate on parents that are probably just stressed and making ends meet affording themselves something to make them happy. Do you guys hate on people buying artwork and coffees too? This is super and disgusting judgement honestly"
Apparently people on yachts complain that they can't afford to pay for their kids' school lunches and can barely make ends meet

Meme - "This user was later discovered to have a $600/mo car payment, a very nice apartment crammed to the gills with high end vintage gaming consoles which he claims "is just a hobby that gives me life", and a partner that hasn't worked at all since 2020. Yes, you're really suffering, USA such shit hole poor baby"
"u/jru92
$35/hour and still broke
31 years of age now.. been working full time since I was 16 years old. Never had the privilege to "formally" educate myself.. I would go homeless otherwise. Rent is about $25k/year for my 800sqft apartment. There is no end to the abuse, I spent my whole boot strapping and having faith in a system that only takes and does not give. I've never left my state once since I cannot afford a vacation, never been on vacation and have always chose to work since I would drown otherwise. I want my life "back" I don't even know what that means cause I've been sold a lie and I'm having trouble returning this propaganda. I'm afraid I'm going to snap any day now and just quit.. probably end up on the streets. It's obviously what I was destined to become. I hate it here, USA is a shit hole country."
Meme - "u/jru92: I guess you could say I'm in pretty deep, although not the most deep from what I've seen
Arcade Rhythm Game"
A lot of poor people just have poor spending habits

Meme - sage (seraphim) @urdreamghoul: "ask ur non-binary roommate to pay rent on time and then suddenly there's a gofundme for them to get out of their toxic living situation"

Trudeau is right: 40% of Canadians don’t pay income taxes, which means someone else is picking up the bill - "On average, two of every five Canadian households do not pay anything towards federally and provincially funded expenses such as health care, education, community and social services, national defence, public safety and even the good old Canada Revenue Agency. One household of every five pays much more than 70 per cent of all of those costs... The Fraser Institute’s Canadian Tax Simulator 2017 looked at Canadian households with income ranging from zero to $80,843, representing the bottom 40 per cent of households by income, and found they paid 4.6 per cent of all the personal tax paid. That seems like a low number, but it still isn’t zero.  How does 4.6 per cent become zero? It happens when the tax that is paid is then given back (and more) by the federal and provincial governments.  As it turns out, quite a few benefits are paid out to Canadians with household income in the lower 40 per cent — particularly those with children... The top 20 per cent is likely paying 70 per cent or more of all income taxes. Article content  Is this tax fairness? It is certainly fair to some.  In the United States, taxation has been moving in a completely different direction. But when we hear about the “evil” one per cent in the U.S., we must recognize that the Canadian one per cent is paying a huge amount of our tax bill."

Meme Soyjaks: "haha take that billionaires"
"I <3 Hollywood T-shirt
Amazon packages
Netflix
Blackrock
Coexist
iPhone
Apple
amazon
prime video
Pornhub
*Grogu/Baby Yoda*
Mickey Mouse Cap"

Don't Extend the CDC's Unconstitutional 'Eviction Moratorium' - "the so-called moratorium was always a constitutionally suspect power-grab. Just think about this: The director of the CDC, an unelected bureaucrat, cited one vague law to unilaterally issue a mandate essentially seizing millions of landlords’ properties and subjecting those properties to unpaid occupation.   It’s as if the CDC ruled that anyone could go to a grocery store, fill up their cart, and walk out without paying. It effectively canceled peoples’ contracts and seized their property. It did so without providing them the “just compensation” required by the Takings Clause of the Constitution.
From 2021

AOC and Ayanna Pressley Predicted Massive ‘Tsunami’ of Evictions After Supreme Court Ended CDC Moratorium. It Hasn’t Happened - "Some of the rhetoric from progressive politicians was downright hysterical.  Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, who protested on the Capitol steps, warned there would be an “eviction tsunami” and a “national tent city.” Meanwhile, Senator Ed Markey said that we were going to see a “historic and devastating wave of evictions in every corner of our country.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for her part, said that the moratorium was necessary to stop a “secondary pandemic” of evictions, and claimed that as of August, up to “one in every six renters in the United States [was] facing eviction.” Yet, thankfully, these disastrous outcomes haven’t come to pass. In fact, the rate of evictions has hardly changed at all, new reporting reveals...   The eviction moratorium was always a heavy-handed solution in search of a problem. There are more open jobs than unemployed Americans, and those who struggled during the pandemic were able to receive enormous welfare payouts. Most people were able to pay their rents, and in non-paying situations, landlords are often flexible. But the CDC’s moratorium commandeered the market, bankrupted working-class landlords, and overruled Americans’ most basic property rights.    It was leading many landlords to leave their properties sitting empty rather than take on the risk of accepting tenants who couldn’t be forced to pay. (They still run up utility costs!) Many other landlords were selling off their properties entirely.    As Reuters reported, “About 23% of small landlords, owning between one and three single-family homes, planned to sell at least one property due to difficulties caused by the eviction ban.”   The enormous constraint the moratorium placed on rental supply housing undoubtedly contributed to rising rent prices. According to Zillow’s 2021 Housing Trends Report, about 46% of renters saw a rent increase last year, with the typical increase amounting to about $150."
Liberals will claim that if you can't afford the risk, you shouldn't be a landlord. Great way to support corporate ownership of housing, since corporations are more able to absorb the risk

An Eviction Crisis Is Coming — We Need to Treat Housing as a Right | Teen Vogue - "We should cancel rent outright as this pandemic rages. And we should work toward a world where landlords no longer hold this sort of power over people’s lives.  We need a housing movement based on a rejection of the construct that any one person should own this earth’s land."
Teen Vogue pushing Marxism as usual. Clearly declaring something a right means you get an unlimited amount of it

Fact check: False claim that checkout charities offset corporate taxes - "Anyone who’s ever been to a grocery store has probably been asked whether they want to donate a few dollars to charity at checkout.  Some social media users are spreading misinformation about what happens to that spare change after customers leave the store.  “When you donate at the register, that company is using YOUR donation to fund THEIR tax deduction,” claims a meme shared to Facebook on May 4.  But experts say this is false... TPC said misinformation around checkout charities could be financially detrimental for the charities involved. In the last three decades, checkout campaigns have raised more than $5.3 billion for charities.  “Misinforming a younger, more impressionable audience is bad for charitable giving and for their understanding of tax policy,” TPC wrote."
This doesn't stop all the ignorant liberals bashing companies for saving on taxes using customer donations. But they don't know how taxes work anyway, so (related: how they keep demanding churches pay taxes, not realising that that will apply to charities too)

Meme - The Meme Policeman: "This is just nonsense, the latest Job Openings and Turnover Summary (JOLTS) reported 10.9M openings in July, the highest level since the series began in December 2000. That was +749K from June, which also set a record. The reality is there are job openings everywhere. Ironically, retail trade (which would include Target and Forever 21) was one of the few sectors where job openings and hiring declined. Meanwhile, openings are booming in areas like professional/business services, education/health services, information, financial activities & government.
The Other 98%:
Gucci & Gumdrops
Y'all will say "get a job, don't be picky, poverty is a choice", but then the only jobs that are hiring are Target and Forever 21, then when people say they can't pay their bills y'all start telling them to "get better jobs". Y'all do CARTWHEELS to justify poverty."

Meme - "Handcuffed and jailed at 93 years old, in Florida, for not paying the rent at her independent living facility and refusing to leave once evicted"
"How do you have the heart to evict a 93 year old woman out of her house and arrest her for not paying rent when she's too disabled to even work and can't make any money?? Y'all really some fucking heartless animals"
93-Year Old Woman Arrested For Not Paying Rent - "A 93-year-old woman was arrested after she reportedly refused to pay rent for three months to the independent living facility she was in. Police arrested Juanita Fitzgerald for trespassing, took her to Lake County Jail, handcuffed her at the facility and put her in an orange jumpsuit... Karen Twinem who is with the church service said Fitzgerald told the staff she was holding back rent because she was going to die soon and that there was mold in her apartment.  The facility tested the apartment and no mold was found.  Twinemen said she tried contacting Fitzgerald's family to try to get her help and reached out to several agencies but Fitzgerald refused them all."
Leftist mentality: old people should not pay rent even if they can afford to. But then again, they think no one should pay rent

Meme - "OWNING PROPERTY AND RENTING IT ISN'T A REAL JOB. HOW ABOUT YOU GET A REAL JOB
WHAT YOU MEAN? NO, SEX WORK IS DEFINITELY REAL WORK. SHOWING MY ASSHOLE TO STRANGERS IS A REAL JOB."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Jamie Oliver Guest Edits Today - "'‘Does this make sense? Is it just more cost on the taxpayer? What's the value for the taxpayer in this going forward?’
‘I can't imagine anybody would disagree with feeding children. It is not their fault where they've been born. That's not their fault, that whole kind of postcode lottery. So I can't imagine anybody having a problem with feeding children’...
‘Of course you want to give people meals but there are plenty of kids in perfectly prosperous areas. Maybe that's money you should spend on books instead or playgrounds and so on so. There are choices that people are making’"
So much for mocking conservatives for going "what about the children?"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Inequality: Is the gap between rich and poor in the UK fair? - "‘There are many different dimensions of inequality. People differ in their beauty and their intelligence and their health and their likely longevity, where they live in the country. All kinds of different factors. And I would say that to over focus on merely your income or your wealth is to get the wrong kind of angle on things to begin with.’...
‘The way we treat people and the way people exist in our society, all of that must reflect to some extent, our sort of equal moral worth.’
‘Absolutely.’
‘And and why can't we try and reflect that economically?’
‘Well, we could, it's, there's nothing that prevents us from doing that. To me, I don't think that's a morally a particularly good idea. Because for much of the same reason that I would say, I wouldn't go and find somebody who had, who was beautiful, and make them less beautiful, simply in order to make beauty more equal, or find somebody who was intelligent and deny them education, so that that so that they became less sophisticated.’"

Meme - "Owen Jones makes an unplanned donation to the proletariat.
Owen Jones @OwenJones84: "just had my phone snatched off me by a guy on a bike, how's your evening going
This is the third time it's happened, always in Islington"

The left refights the financial crisis - "So, capitalism, what do you have to say for yourself? Basically that's the message from left-wing critics who see the terrible economic and human carnage of the past three months as confirmation that they were right all along about the inadequacy of business and markets. They said that "capitalism kills" before the pandemic, and now they're saying it's killing ever harder. Socialist magazine Jacobin warns that "capitalism will be responsible for many" of the fatalities in one of "worst mass deaths in human history."... What really seems to bug some on the left, maybe even more than the job losses, are the government bailouts... maybe try this alternative storyline: The economy has suddenly stopped because it is under a quarantine — partially from consumer fear, partially from government edict. And Corporate America needs a government cash and credit lifeline because companies didn't do what no one ever recommended they do: Stockpile an Olympus Mons of cash just in case there was a global pandemic whose economic impact was exacerbated by bad government. Remember, all those buyback haters wanted companies to spend more money — on both workers and machines — not sock billions away in some ginormous rainy-day fund... One would hope the left would be learning lessons in humility about what government is capable of. Instead, they dream of giving it more power and responsibility. "Nationalize everything," tweeted (and since deleted) Marissa Barrera, a health policy adviser to Bernie Sanders. "I don't even care what it is … y'all lost your capitalist privileges." But government already took away those "privileges" with a mandated economic shutdown. And it's nearly time to give them back."
From April 2020

HC S: [Confidence in Her Majesty's Government] | Margaret Thatcher Foundation - Mr. Hughes: "There is no doubt that the Prime Minister, in many ways, has achieved substantial success. There is one statistic, however, that I understand is not challenged, and that is that, during her 11 years as Prime Minister, the gap between the richest 10 per cent. and the poorest 10 per cent. in this country has widened substantially. At the end of her chapter of British politics, how can she say that she can justify the fact that many people in a constituency such as mine are relatively much poorer, much less well housed and much less well provided for than they were in 1979? Surely she accepts that that is not a record that she or any Prime Minister can be proud of."
The Prime Minister: "People on all levels of income are better off than they were in 1979. The hon. Gentleman is saying that he would rather that the poor were poorer, provided that the rich were less rich. That way one will never create the wealth for better social services, as we have. What a policy. Yes, he would rather have the poor poorer, provided that the rich were less rich. That is the Liberal policy... I think that the hon. Gentleman knows that I have the same contempt for his socialist policies as the people of east Europe, who have experienced them, have for theirs. I think that I must have hit the right nail on the head when I pointed out that the logic of those policies is that they would rather the poor were poorer... So long as the gap is smaller, they would rather have the poor poorer. One does not create wealth and opportunity that way. One does not create a property-owning democracy that way."

Meme - richie owens: "I can't wait to hand out these babies now that the weather is nice
You Are Part of the Problem. How your Lemonade Stand Perpetuates A Toxic and Cancerous Capitalist System
"We should divorce Ourselves from the idea that we need to Monetize our hobbies." ~ Richie Owens"

You’re Not Poor. You’re Financially Illiterate, And That’s Your Fault - "A viral tweet posted Wednesday showed precisely why so many city-dwelling Americans aren’t actually poor, they’re just extremely financially illiterate.  The tweet featured side-by-side screenshots of two posts from Colombia professor and author Molly McGhee. The first of McGhee’s tweets read, “God I am starting to think that being poor is something that happens to you at birth and you can never escape it. I teach at an Ivy, I’m a New York Times Bestselling editor, I have a novel coming out, and I am still so fucking poor it’s embarrassing.”  Okay so firstly, being poor isn’t embarrassing. Secondly, you ain’t poor, Molly! If you have all of the income and reputation your profile claims to have, you just have the worst financial literacy. The reason McGhee’s tweet went viral is because it was juxtaposed next to another where she posted a photograph of her extremely over-the-top personal library at home. After going viral, McGhee attempted to argue that she managed to decorate her library with thrift shop finds, but there is a massive hole in her argument … because thrift shops ain’t that cheap either. To decorate even one room from a thrift store in the way that she claims she has, you’re talking costs well into the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Trust me. I am an expert in thrifting. McGhee is far from the first person I’ve met who has cried poverty when really they just haven’t bothered to live within their means. Did McGhee need this library? No, but she bought its contents anyway."
I used to know someone who worked in an investment bank who complained about being poor

Eli 🐝🐝 on Twitter - "God I can't stand when wealthy people do this. You aren't poor. You just need to learn some money management skills and maybe cut down on luxuries. Saying you are poor when you aren't is stolen valor."

Meme - "Are you going hunting with me?"
"Not today-I am going to think instead"
7 hours later..
"Did you reach any conclusions?"
"In order to survive, we must hunt and pick berries"
"So?"
"We are being oppressed by nature!"

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