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Saturday, November 11, 2023

Links - 11th November 2023 (2 - Palestine/Middle East Peace)

Visegrád 24 on X - "The Italian writer, pacifist and activist Vittorio Arrigoni moved to Gaza in 2008 to bring attention to the Palestinian liberation cause. In 2011, he was kidnapped and murdered by a local Salafist group which considered Italy “an infidel state.” 🇮🇹"

Gad Saad on X - "Well Muslims in Israel serve in the Israeli military; they serve in the Knesset; they are physicians and professors; they serve as judges; they play on Israel’s national team. Not unlike how Jews are treated in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia. Oh no…"
Lee Silver on X - "This is all true. A Muslim surgeon operated on me, a Muslim soldier served along side me in the military. Israel doesn’t have anything against Muslims. The world doesn’t know this and nothing seems to get through to them. This isn’t ethnic cleansing, it’s protection from terror."

Visegrád 24 on X - "In 1992, Denmark took in 321 Palestinian refugees. By 2019, 64% of them had been convicted of a crime. 34% of their children had also been convicted of a crime. Source: Danish Ministry for Immigration and Integration"

Gad Saad on X - "In the Middle East, the "might is right" maxim is operative throughout every element of society. It is a deeply hierarchical society wherein all dyadic relationships are viewed through the prism of established dominance relationships. Hence, many of the Western values that we construe as noble are viewed as manifestations of weakness. It is truly extraordinary the extent to which Western leaders have zero understanding of these deep cultural differences. Western leaders have ZERO cultural "theory of mind.""

Genocide, apartheid? A poll Israel cannot allow itself to ignore - "According to a new poll of US Jewish voters, 25 percent consider Israel to be an apartheid state, and another 22% aren’t certain one way or another. In the same survey, taken two weeks ago and published Tuesday, 22% said “Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians,” and a further 16% weren’t sure if we are or not... For all my concerns about where we may be headed if we cannot find a secure means of separating from most of the Palestinians, I find it hard to believe that anyone with genuine intellectual honesty can definitively brand Israel an apartheid state — though I know people who do. And I truly do not see how anybody who has invested the smallest modicum of effort in understanding our realities can determine that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians. Yet that’s what lots of American Jews apparently now consider to be the case. A multitude of factors, some of them far beyond Israel’s control, have led to poll findings such as these. But self-evidently, Israel would help its standing if it explained itself more effectively. It’s no panacea; there are limits to even the most adept public diplomacy. But Israel appears to have given up even trying, as highlighted by its staggering ineptitude in the course of the latest conflict and its aftermath."
So much for the conspiracy theory that all American Jews support Israel

The Hamas Charter and Religious Nationalism - "This verse establishes a clear distinction between good (Palestine) and evil (Israel). By reducing the conflict to a binary struggle between the righteous and the unclean, Article 3 makes the idea of Jihad more palatable as a legitimate form of armed resistance. Article 8 of the charter directly prescribes Jihad as the primary methodology of Hamas. “Allah is its [Islamic Resistance Movement] target, the Prophet is its model, the Qur’an its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.” This call to arms falls directly in line with Article 13, which dispenses with any and all notions of peaceful negotiation. “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”... Article 30 concludes with a quote by Al-Bukhari, a prominent medieval Muslim scholar: “Whosoever mobilized a fighter for the sake of Allah is himself a fighter. Whosoever supports the relatives of a fighter, he himself is a fighter.” This appeal to the diplomatic side of Jihad seems to run contradictory to Article 13, where the Charter aggressively resists any notion of a negotiated peace with the Zionist movement. If Islamic elites and intellectuals are called to engage in Jihad via the power of the pen, why are such methods excluded from the operating procedures of Hamas? This apparent contradiction between peaceful and violent Jihad is not rational—it is the result of Hamas’s deluded understanding of itself and how the world works, as illustrated in Article 31. Article 31 is, perhaps, the most fascinating Article of the entire Charter. It reveals the Islamic Resistance Movement’s twisted image of itself and its understanding of the world. Article 31 appeals to the non-Islamic world to comply with the ambitions of Islam as determined by Hamas. It reframes the Charter’s Jihadist ambitions as a humanist movement for the human rights of all parties involved. According to the Article, “The Islamic Resistance Movement is a humanistic movement… Under the wing of Islam, it is possible for the followers of the three religions—Islam, Christianity and Judaism—to coexist in peace and quiet with each other. Peace and quiet would not be possible except under the wing of Islam. Past and present history are best witnesses to that. It is the duty of the followers of other religions to stop disputing the sovereignty of Islam in this region, because the day these followers should take over there will be nothing but carnage, displacement and terror.” This Article is where the Charter’s argument falls apart completely. Hamas falls victim to the same ideological oversight that plagues Zionist ideology and caused the very situation they are now resisting. The language of Article 31 can be easily tweaked to support any religious movement, including Zionism. It is a textbook framework for religious nationalism that assumes an inherent superiority over other groups. It suggests that the road to peace is obvious: simply stay out of our way, and we won’t have a problem."
Hamas is a hero for leading "resistance" and anyone who disagrees is racist and supports colonialism

Opinion: Stop supporting Palestinian terrorism - "On Sept. 28, 2001, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1373, requiring all UN member states to: “Prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts; Criminalize the wilful provision or collection, by any means, directly or indirectly, of funds … to carry out terrorist acts; (and) Refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, including by suppressing recruitment of members of terrorist groups.” Despite this fact, Canada recently announced $103 million over four years in taxpayer-funded aid to UNRWA. Likewise, American taxpayers are sending more than $200 million a year to the Palestinians, despite the fact that such aid is in direct violation of the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits the U.S. government from funding the Palestinian Authority so long as it maintains financial supports for terrorists. Palestinian terror attacks across Israel are surging this year, totalling over 3,600 attacks in the first half of 2023, which left 28 Israelis dead. Despite these horrific numbers, the West is circumventing its own laws by funnelling money ostensibly for aid through UNRWA and other UN aid vehicles. It’s been well documented that both the PA and UNRWA operate school systems and summer camps that relentlessly indoctrinate Palestinian children to hate Israelis and Jews. The schools falsely teach that Israelis are the equivalent of Nazis perpetrating a Holocaust on Palestinians, while glorifying suicide bombers as heroes of Palestinian society. The PA’s state-run newspapers and television stations convey the same messages across Palestinian society. Foreign aid also allows the PA to maintain an extensive government-run system of pensions paid both to terrorists who successfully murder Israelis, and to the families of terrorists who died while successfully murdering Israelis. The pensions increase for each additional Israeli murdered, and sometimes exceed the salary received by Palestinian civilian employees, such as teachers. In recent years, these terrorist pension payments have cost the PA in excess of $300 million a year. After each successful terrorist murder of Israelis, Palestinian communities across the West Bank and Gaza erupt in public celebrations, which often include dancing in the streets, lighting fireworks, firing weapons and handing out candy to children. These murder celebrations have been recorded on several occasions."

Progressives for jihad - "Remember when progressives were opposed to hardline religious movements that use violence to try to destroy democratic states?... Islamic Jihad is a thoroughly regressive movement. It says it will settle for nothing less than the obliteration of Israel. It wants to create an Islamic State of Palestine in which Sharia would rule and all who fall foul of it – uppity women, homosexuals, atheists – would suffer. For the right-on to sympathise with such an outfit is akin to chickens giving solidarity to KFC... ‘Might a group called Islamic Jihad be a tad problematic?’ – you’ll be searching for a long time before encountering even a question as basic as that. Instead, the same old script has been dusted down: Israel is evil, Zionism is racist, the Palestinian people have the right to resist, etc etc. The dearth of curiosity over what Islamic Jihad represents has been appalling. Islamic Jihad has been talked about in the sympathetic language of ‘resistance’. A UN special rapporteur on Palestine thrilled the online left by tweeting during the raining down of Islamic Jihad missiles on Southern Israel that ‘Palestinians’ right to resist is inherent to their right to exist as a people’. The BDS movement used the glowing terms of resistance, too. It shared an image of a CNN headline that said ‘Israel clashes with Islamic Jihad’, though BDS changed it to ‘Israel massacres Palestinians’. Do not dismiss ‘the resistance of a besieged and trapped population’, BDS warned the mainstream media. At a rowdy rally in New York City, protesters insisted that ‘resistance is not terrorism’. Palestinians should use ‘every means possible’ against Israel, one speaker declared. An Irish anti-war group went further, declaring ‘Victory to the Palestinian Resistance!’. Right now, that ‘resistance’ takes the form of religious violence from a group that has primarily targeted Israeli citizens. You want victory for that? Let’s be clear about what is being talked about here, what is being referred to as a rightful and maybe even inspiring form of resistance. Islamic Jihad is not a national liberation movement of the kind that existed in the 1970s and 80s. It is a violent and extremist religious organisation generously funded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. It rejects the political process and aspires to ‘the annihilation of Israel’ and the ‘establishment of a sovereign Palestinian Islamic State’. To this end it has executed numerous acts of indiscriminate slaughter in Israel in recent years, massacring hundreds of Israeli citizens in restaurants, at supermarkets, on buses. ‘The Zionist entity will be annihilated’, said the leader of Islamic Jihad just this week. This isn’t resistance – it’s religious terrorism. Name me one nation on Earth that would turn a blind eye to such existential threats? If there was a well-armed group of religious fundamentalists a few miles from Britain that had sent suicide bombers to slaughter British men, women and children, we would act, no? And yet Israel is always condemned for acting... Let yourself be attacked – that is really what the ‘pro-Palestine’ activists in the Western chattering classes are saying when they tell the Jewish State, and the Jewish State alone, not to respond to those who attack it... Then there’s the fact of Islamic Jihad rockets often falling short of Israel and killing Palestinians in Gaza. Israeli officials say one-third of the Gazans who died in recent days were killed by errant rockets fired by Islamic Jihad – and, crucially, the Associated Press says this ‘appears consistent with AP reporting’. As for the Islamic State that Islamic Jihad wants to create: how would such an authoritarian regime be of benefit to Palestinians? The rise to prominence of both Islamic Jihad and Hamas speaks to the decline of the old secularist politics of national liberation, to the death of the Cold War-era dream of creating free, independent states, and that is surely a problem for the Palestinian people. Westerners’ witless attitude towards Islamic Jihad exposes their neo-colonial paternalism. If something is bad for Israel, it must be good for Palestinians – that’s their infantile mantra. Clearly, the emotional high of loathing Israel and pitying Palestinians has pushed aside all serious political thought. The failure to think about what Islamic Jihad represents, and why Israel might be justified in countering such a regressive movement, confirms how degraded anti-Israel activism has become. Hating Israel is now such a received prejudice in right-on circles that there is no need for reflection or inquiry. Indeed, such intellectual pursuits would only muddy the moral thrill these people derive from defining themselves in opposition to this apparently uniquely evil state. We end up in a situation where we have ‘Queers for Palestine’ – literally – and Progressives for Jihad. Where the right-on and radical Islamists are united in a strangely intense hostility towards one country. Where people who say ‘My pronouns are ze / zir’ are virtually lining up with jihadists who outlaw homosexuality. An unholy marriage in favour of holy war. Nothing better sums up the suicidal tendencies of modern Western progressives."
Liberals hate success and strength and love weakness and failure, after all

Israeli minister demands accountability for Berlin's Holocaust comparison - "Chikli questioned the rationale behind comparing the systematic, industrial murder of millions of innocent Jews during the Holocaust to an armed conflict between the Zionist national movement and Arab countries and Palestinian militias. He reminded readers of the role played by Amin al-Husseini, a fervent supporter of the "Final Solution" and initiator of the Palestinian struggle, who colluded with Nazi propaganda and hindered the escape of Jewish children to the land of Israel. Chikli also revealed that the event in Potsdam was not an isolated incident, but rather part of a series of events held in public institutions in Berlin over the past few months. These events included lectures with titles such as "Understanding the Pain of Others: The Holocaust and the Nakba" and "Highjacking the Memory of the Holocaust for the Benefit of Dehumanization in Palestine, and Zionism can also Motivate Antisemitism." Chikli strongly criticized the use of the Holocaust to incite against Israel and called such comparisons abhorrent and devoid of reality."
Holocaust comparisons are only bad when the left disapprove of them

Meme - "Ancient Coins from Israel
Jewish *4 coins* 2000+ years old
Palestinian *nothing*"

Barry Tigay on Twitter - "Israel is building in Judea and Samaria, the Jewish heartland, on state land, recaptured from illegal occupation by Jordan (who have since renounced it) after abandonment by British mandate forces, who had conquered it from defunct Ottoman Empire which renounced it by treaty."

GOLDSTEIN: NDP MPP Joel Harden epitomizes left's obsession with Israel | Toronto Sun - "what is anti-Semitic is holding Jews in Canada responsible for the policies of Israel’s government, because it raises the anti-Semitic canard that Jews have dual loyalties — first to Israel and only second to the country they reside in. On that issue Harden, in my view, clearly descended into anti-Semitism, by his own description. He said he canvasses the homes of Jewish constituents in his riding wearing a pro-Palestinian pin and if they react negatively: “I have asked many questions of Jewish neighbours here about, you know, how much longer we should put up with this, because if I were to name the single greatest threat, the single greatest origin of violence in the Middle East, it is unquestionably the state of Israel, and the way in which they feel absolutely no shame in defying international law doing whatever they want.” So, Harden visits the homes of his Canadian Jewish constituents hoping to provoke an argument with at least some of them — why else specifically mention wearing a pro-Palestinian pin — and if the Jewish person reacts negatively, he challenges that person to defend the actions of Israel’s government, which he describes as horrific... what’s also anti-Semitic is holding Israel up to a moral standard one does not demand of other countries."
No surprise. These views tend to come in a package

What articles on Israel's 'one-state reality' get wrong - analysis - "The premise behind it is that Israeli rule has gone on for so long that the two-state solution seems too far-fetched; “one state” is what exists now. But the argument is predicated on a basic flaw thematic of all the proposals: Those advocating “one state” claim that Israel continues to occupy the Gaza Strip to portray Israel as controlling millions of Palestinians who are denied rights in Israel – this completely ignores the fact that Gaza is run by Hamas and that there is little to no evidence that Palestinians, under Palestinian Authority or Hamas, want to be integrated into Israel. The bait and switch of the “one state” story are to force Israel to re-invade Gaza, control it and extend Israeli rule back into Palestinian cities, despite decades in which Palestinians governed cities in Gaza and the West Bank themselves. It’s unclear why anyone thinks this would work, considering that Israel can’t even fully control parts of Jerusalem when it comes to violence. Is there anything to the theory? In January 2021, B’Tselem published a report claiming that a “regime of Jewish supremacy” exists “from the Jordan river to the Mediterranean sea,” calling it “apartheid.” The report said that “more than 14 million people, roughly half of them Jews and the other half Palestinians, live between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea under a single rule.”... Amnesty International published its own report about “Israel apartheid against the Palestinians,” writing that “the entirety of the West Bank and Gaza Strip remains under Israeli military occupation, with Israel controlling the Palestinian population living there,” though it noted that “the Egyptian authorities also maintain tight Egyptian restrictions on the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt.”... Human Rights Watch (HRW) published its own report in April 2021, writing that “about 6.8 million Jewish Israelis and 6.8 million Palestinians live today between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River, an area encompassing Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), the latter made up of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.” The report claims that in regards to Gaza, “the Egyptian government often imposes restrictions along its border with Gaza, which exacerbate the impact of Israel’s policies on residents of Gaza, but Egypt’s obligations differ since it is not the occupying power and can, with some key limitations.”... The Foreign Affairs article joins many others portraying Israel as continuously controlling Gaza, writing that “even after it withdrew forces from Gaza in 2005, the Israeli government retained control over the territory’s entry and exit points.” The articles slamming Israel for “apartheid” all noted that Egypt controls access to the Gaza Strip; Egypt is not mentioned in the Foreign Affairs article. A key part of the “one state” argument hinges on this depiction of Israel controlling Gaza, as well as downplaying what Hamas has done to Gaza over nearly two decades of rule... To downplay the policies of Hamas, the article claims that “Israel’s system of structural discrimination is more severe than those of even the most illiberal states.” It is unclear how this was measured, considering the large number of illiberal states in the world – Freedom House, a DC-based political advocacy organization, says there are 57 countries in the world defined as “not free.” The article also defines the Arab minority in Israel as “Palestinians who have Israeli citizenship and reside in pre-1967 Israel have political and civil rights but confront other limits – both legal and extrajudicial – on their rights, responsibilities, and protections.” In essence, this joins with the broader Palestinian nationalist “river to the sea” concept, only through “one state” advocacy. Palestinians in Jerusalem were described as rejecting Israeli citizenship because accepting it “would be an act of disloyalty,” disloyalty to Palestinian nationalism... It is unclear how Israel can provide “equality” for everyone in Gaza, Ramallah and other areas run by the Palestinians while it is also told to end its military rule over these same areas. It is a contradiction to claim that Israel controls Gaza and must bring equality to everyone there, but not through military rule. How would Israeli civilian rule be extended to Gaza or Ramallah? According to the article, Arabs in Jerusalem don’t even accept Israeli citizenship when it is offered because they don't want to be “disloyal” to Palestinian nationalism. If Israel can’t get the people in east Jerusalem to accept more equal citizenship, how would it do this by re-invading Gaza? Israel can’t seem to control gun violence that is growing inside Israeli-controlled areas – how would it hope to control Jenin and Nablus and force those areas into “one state”? There is no evidence that Palestinians or Israelis want to live in one state, so how they would be forced to do so is unclear. Historically, trying to shoehorn different groups into one state, like in former Yugoslavia or elsewhere, has not been successful."

Meme - "So, you built this on top of this and I'm the occupier? *Dome of the Rock, Wailing Wall*"

Avi Benlolo: Israel's new coalition government would be a model of diversity. Its critics will never admit that - "As a new coalition government comes close to fruition in Israel, it threatens to derail the slanderous anti-Semitic campaigns raging worldwide accusing Israel of racism and of being an apartheid state. For the first time in history, the proposed new government — led by Yamina’s Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid — would see an Arab party playing a key role. A total of eight Arab parliamentarians would be brought in under the auspices of the Ra’am party, led by Mansour Abbas. In fact, the coalition, which would also have a record-breaking number of female cabinet ministers, and which would represent a convergence of right, left and religious parties, would be the most pluralistic and diverse in Israel’s history. This diversity is a reflection of Israel’s vibrancy and democracy. Time will tell if the coalition holds, but one thing is clear — it’s almost a mirror image of the reality of life in Israel. Yet anti-Israel activists are attempting to paint a completely different picture of the reality on the ground... a shocking if not convoluted opinion piece in the Toronto Star this week posited that the Palestinians and the Indigenous people of Canada have a shared framework regarding colonialism. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, the natural allies to Indigenous and Black people are Jewish people themselves. The Jewish people have been “occupied” throughout their history, ethnically cleansed and displaced from their lands. They were occupied by the Romans, by the Muslims, by the Ottomans and by the Brits all in a span of some 2,500 years. Each time, the Jewish people were evicted from their homes, enslaved, murdered and dispersed to foreign lands. But the campaign against the Jews by student unions, boards of education and even a medical school seeks to rewrite history and worse, to present a different reality about the incredible strides Jewish and Arab citizens are making in Israel... Matthias Schmale, the director of the UN Palestinian refugee agency’s mission in Gaza, was recalled for “consultation” with his bosses after he described Israel’s airstrikes as being “precise” during an interview with Israeli TV. What he was saying was that Israel took great pains to not harm civilians. Schmale, who also said during the interview that there were currently no shortages of food, water and medicine in Gaza and that supply lines were open, was forced to apologize for revealing the truth."
From 2021

Israeli Jews dress as Muslims to defy Al-Aqsa prayer ban - "Morris is one of a small group of right-wing Israeli Jews who try to circumvent a ban on non-Muslims praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by disguising themselves as Muslims and joining rows of worshippers during communal prayers... The group members go as far as taking Arabic classes, learning enough of the language and verses from the Quran to talk their way through security checkpoints without getting caught by Israeli police or Palestinian security guards at the compound gates."
Damn apartheid!
Presumably non-violent civil disobedience is bad when it's "Islamophobic"

StandWithUs - Posts | Facebook - "The real Israel: Muslim worshippers praying inside Ben Gurion Airport. Freedom of religion and coexistence is not just a dream in Israel but a reality! 🇮🇱🙏"

Facebook - "In the late 1990s, the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury's decided to start operating in Egypt. Egypt is the largest grocery market in the Middle East and had no modern grocery shopping culture at the time. Sainsbury decided to bring, "the way to shop in the future, rather than going to tiny corner shops who were overcharging them." I was ten at the time and remember it clearly. Shortly after they started their operations, rumors started to spread its a Jewish business. Imams started to tell people to boycott it. In my school, pamphlets were handed out, which I volunteered to distribute, telling people the owners were Jews and the money goes to Israel. Soon after, looting and riots of the stores started. I actually participated in one of the lootings. I even helped to draw Israeli flags to burn. Egyptian intellectuals started to talk about how its part of the Zionist conspiracy of "globalization." The Egypt Left agitated against international Zionist capitalism... Doing graduate studies in Middle East international affairs and economics in one of the world's biggest IR schools, George Washington U, not a single economist ever attempted to factor this kind of market behavior in their analysis of ME economic growth and foreign direct investments. In all US academic economics literature about ME, you will find ZERO researchers trying to analyze this kind of market behavior, just that will find ZERO political scientists trying to factor in Arab antisemitism, mass expulsion of Jews, into their historical analysis of the evolution of the modern Arab tyrannical state. This is how deeply ingrained and institutionalized ambivalence to antisemitism if not to mention antisemitism itself. This post is partially about Egypt, partially about antisemitism, and partially about how untrustworthy American institutions are! Remember how much hard-working American families pay to send their kids to these schools to get them an "education." No wonder the more education one gets, the more brainwashed they are. Moreover, your foreign policy is made and informed by the works of such experts."
Clearly Arab countries are underdeveloped due to colonialism

Bill Maher on Israel and the Jews - "It’s not that complicated: Stop firing rockets into Israel and perhaps they won’t annihilate you... Obama himself said the other day: There’s just not another country in the world that would allow missiles to be rained down on them without fighting back. What I find so ironic is that after World War II, everybody said, ‘I don’t understand the Jews. How could they have just gone to their slaughter like that?’ OK, and then when they fight back: ‘I don’t understand the Jews. Why can’t they just go to their slaughter?’ It’s like, ‘You know what? We did that once. It’s not gonna happen again. You’re just gonna have to get used to the fact that Jews now defend themselves — and by the way, defend themselves better. I mean, this is a country, after all, that is surrounded by far greater numbers than their own [and] they are like two generations ahead in the military technology they have."

They get around that by claiming the media is Pro-Israel

✡︎🇮🇱🏴‍☠️⚔️ on Twitter - "ireland greeting the israeli soccer team with palestinian flags and then losing to them is the funniest thing ive seen today"

Avi Mayer on Twitter - "A 25-year-old Palestinian man, Ahmed Abu Maria, who fled to Israel and was granted asylum two years ago due to his sexual identity, was reportedly abducted and taken back to the West Bank city of Hebron, where he was beheaded yesterday. May his memory be a blessing."
Queers for Palestine needs to visit Palestine

This rush to electric cars is a colossal mistake

This rush to electric cars is a colossal mistake (aka Electric vehicle mandates are an assault on the middle class)

"We may soon regret the radical and absolutist embrace of electric vehicles (EVs). Governments across the world are planning to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars, and to take older, gas-guzzling vehicles off the road. The Biden administration is proposing strict new pollution limits, as well as vast state subsidies, to accelerate the United States’ transition to EVs.

Replacing the massive $3-trillion global car industry is an extremely high-risk economic gamble, particularly for the West. It could also threaten the mobility of all but the richest among us. And all this is being risked for environmental benefits that may prove far less robust than is often claimed. This is not to say that EVs won’t help us to reduce CO2 emissions or to clean the air. The problem is that, at least in the immediate future, they should not be the only option available to consumers.

Toyota, for instance, has argued that there are other, more affordable and quicker ways to reduce emissions than transitioning exclusively to EVs. While Toyota is investing in electric batteries, it also hopes to continue offering hybrid and hydrogen-powered cars in the coming decades. For stating this openly, it has come under fire from green lobbyists and politicians. New York City’s comptroller, Brad Lander, has even decided to restrict the city’s pension fund’s investments in the Japanese car company, due to its unwillingness to faithfully follow the green party line.

The zealots and economic interests pushing an all-electric future generally ignore the challenges inherent in their plans. For one thing, despite promises of lower costs for EVs, the now enormous demand for key components, like lithium, copper and aluminum, means that prices are unlikely to fall any time soon. Battery prices alone will keep the price of EVs high, as the cost of components has risen threefold since 2021.

To be sure, EV mandates have made Tesla-owner Elon Musk a very rich man. But the transition to electric cars will be no boon to the middle and working classes. The average price for a brand-new EV is over $60,000 — about $12,000 more than the average four-door sedan. Even with tax credits, it is hard to see how consumers come out ahead, at least for now. Certainly, working- and middle-class Americans won’t be snatching up the newly planned $300,000 Cadillac EV. Even the popular Model Y Tesla SUV is out of reach for many, as its price has fluctuated between $54,000 and $70,000 over the past year. Perhaps more importantly, the electric version of the Ford F-150 pickup truck costs an additional $26,000 compared with the popular gasoline-powered variety.

In simple terms, the push for EVs represents an assault on the working class. Two-thirds of all EV owners have incomes in excess of $100,000. According to United Latinos Vote, a California-based advocacy group, green attempts to “phase out” affordable cars in favour of “expensive EVs” might make it possible for “our rich neighbours in the next town to charge their Teslas,” but they would “make it unaffordable to use our (cars).”

EV mandates are also likely to force up the price of now restricted traditional cars. In the meantime, greens will demand higher fuel prices to reduce drivers’ consumption of the demon petrol. Ultimately, as even the Washington Post recently admitted, electric vehicles are hastening a return to conditions not seen since the early 20th century, when the automobile was a luxury item. “New cars, once part of the American Dream, (are) now out of reach for many,” it notes. Not everyone will object to this, of course. Making cars more expensive will also advance the long-standing green goal of radically reducing car use.

More important still, the rapid shift to EVs may well accelerate the deindustrialization of America and other western countries. Although communities may welcome the arrival of new electric-assembly facilities, and under-performing firms like General Motors can hope to use federal EV mandates to boost their market share, many traditional component suppliers are likely to get forced out of business. Overall, electric-car production uses 30 per cent less domestic labour in the U.S. compared with traditional car-making. Ford recently announced massive layoffs, despite landing a $9 billion loan from the Biden administration to bolster its EV production. The firm is currently losing $60,000 per EV, which is not exactly sustainable without massive state subsidies. Meanwhile, Germany could lose upwards of 400,000 auto jobs by 2030 thanks to the green transition.

And then there’s the looming question of the electrical grid. In the United Kingdom, EVs are projected to double the demand for electricity by 2040. This capacity does not yet exist and nor is it planned for. So the U.K. government is already looking to ban people from charging their cars at home during peak hours. In California, the epicentre of green zealotry, policies banning the sale of non-electric vehicles mean the state will face “acute electricity shortages” over the coming decade, according to one recent analysis. By 2050, state consultants estimate total electricity demand to skyrocket, rising between 60 and 90 per cent according to some estimates. You won’t have to wait long for the blackouts. Last September, EV-loving California was forced to beg residents to stop charging their electric cars for fear of breaking the power grid amid a massive heatwave.

In fact, the grid is under strain across the U.S. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation forecasts that two-thirds of the U.S., including almost everyone living west of the Mississippi River, could experience “heightened reliability risks” this summer due to increased supply side shortages, partly caused by government attempts to throttle fossil-fuel production.

So, who wins here? Certainly not middle- or working-class families for whom climate change barely registers as a primary concern. Elon Musk, the last great American industrialist, is certainly a major beneficiary, as are his investors and those Wall Street insiders eager to cash in on the government-sponsored EV bonanza.

But the biggest winner is China. Western leaders endlessly virtue-signal about going green, but the Middle Kingdom is playing a brilliant double game by embracing EVs. China’s production of “green” cars is backed up by its growing use of cheap and reliable fossil fuels. Meanwhile, the West struggles with the high costs and unreliability associated with renewable energy, which has made our manufacturing processes more expensive.

Today, China produces twice as many EVs as the U.S. and the European Union combined. Its leading EV maker, BYD, is now the world’s largest. Its electric-car exports are expected to almost double this year, helping it to overtake Japan as the biggest car exporter worldwide, according to the South China Morning Post. China also seeks to leverage its total domination of the solar-panel industry, and its battery capacity is now roughly four times that of the U.S. China also exercises effective control over the world’s supply of rare-earth minerals, which are essential for making batteries, as well as the technology for processing them.

Yet, tragically, all of this pain and dislocation could be for little real gain. The environmental benefits that are supposedly driving EV policy are not exactly stellar. Volvo estimates that its EVs require 70 per cent more emissions to produce than its conventional models, due largely to the difficulty of making batteries. Economist Bjorn Lomborg calculates that a wholesale shift to EVs will lead to a reduction of global temperatures of no more than 0.0002 F by 2100. In addition, the EV transition will require, according to the World Bank, something like three-billion tonnes of minerals and metals — like nickel, lithium, cobalt and graphite. These will mainly be mined in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, where working conditions are brutal.

Fortunately, despite the incessant EV hype, we are starting to see some signs of pushback. Several European countries, including Germany, Italy and Poland, are pressuring the EU to revise its EV mandate, in large part to save what is left of the continent’s industrial base. There’s even some dissent from unions in the U.S. (at least from those who still concern themselves more with preserving jobs than with gaining political traction with the ultra-green Biden administration).

Over time, the dangers of the overly rapid shift to EVs will become far clearer. A sensible plan to reduce emissions would allow for a variety of technologies to emerge, rather than placing all our bets on one flawed approach. The race for EVs may be good news for China. It will also enrich a handful of financial and tech oligarchs. But it will be a loss to pretty much everyone else. It’s time we cancelled the mad race to an all-electric future."

Links - 11th November 2023 (1 - General Wokeness)

Meme - "You may support the current thing, but the current thing doesn't support you
*Purple short haired woman holding sign with woman in rainbow hijab*
*Black niqab woman holding head of rainbow-haired woman with glasses and a fullet on a pole*"

What Islamists and ‘Wokeists’ Have in Common - WSJ - "It never occurred to me that free speech would come under threat in my newly adopted country. Even when I first encountered what has come to be known as “cancel culture”—in 2014 I was invited to receive an honorary degree at Brandeis University and then ungraciously disinvited—I didn’t fret too much. I was inclined to dismiss the alliance of campus leftists and Islamists as a lunatic fringe.  But the power of the illiberal elements in the American left has grown, not just on campus but in the media and many corporations. They have inculcated in a generation of students an ideology that has much more in common with the intolerant doctrines of a religious cult than with the secular political thought I studied at Holland’s Leiden University. In the debates after 9/11, many people sought materialist explanations for the attacks. American foreign policy in the Middle East was blamed, or lack of education and employment opportunities in the Arab world. I argued that none of these could explain the motivations of the plotters and hijackers, who in any case were far from underprivileged. Their goal was religious and political: to wage jihad against their kin if they didn’t accept a literal interpretation of Islam, to denounce Arab governments as corrupt and their Western allies as infidels, and ultimately to overthrow the established order in the Middle East and establish a caliphate.  American policy makers preferred the materialist explanations, as they implied actions to solve the problem: invasion, regime change, democratization. It was unpopular to suggest that the terrorists might have unshakable immaterial convictions.  Nineteen years on, we see a similar dynamic, only this time it is within our borders. Naive observers explain this summer’s protests in terms of African-Americans’ material disadvantages. These are real, as are the (worse) socio-economic problems of the Arab world. But they aren’t the main driver of the protests, which appear to be led mainly by well-off white people.  Their ideology goes by many names: cancel culture, social justice, critical race theory, intersectionality. For simplicity, I call it all Wokeism. I am not about to equate Wokeism and Islamism. Islamism is a militant strain of an ancient faith. Its adherents have a coherent sense of what God wants them to achieve on earth to earn rewards in the afterlife. Wokeism is in many ways a Marxist creed; it offers no hereafter. Wokeism divides society into myriad identities, whereas Islamists’ segmentation is simpler: believers and unbelievers, men and women.  There are many other differences. But consider the resemblances. The adherents of each constantly pursue ideological purity, certain of their own rectitude. Neither Islamists nor the Woke will engage in debate; both prefer indoctrination of the submissive and damnation of those who resist.  The two ideologies have distinctive rituals: Islamists shout “Allahu Akbar” and “Death to America”; the Woke chant “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe.” Islamists pray to Mecca; the Woke take the knee. Both like burning the American flag.  Both believe that those who refuse conversion may be harassed, or worse. Both take offense at every opportunity and seek not just apologies but concessions. Islamism inveighs against “blasphemy”; Wokeism wants to outlaw “hate speech.” Islamists use the word “Islamophobia” to silence critics; the Woke do the same with “racism.”  Islamists despise Jews; the Woke say they just hate Israel, but the anti-Semitism is pervasive. The two share a fondness for iconoclasm: statues, beware. Both ideologies aim to tear down the existing system and replace it with utopias that always turn out to be hellish anarchies: Islamic State in Raqqa, the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle. Both are collectivist: Group identity trumps the individual. Both tolerate—and often glorify—violence carried out by zealots. This Sept. 11, then, let’s dismiss the fairy stories about the enemies of a free society. Their grievances aren’t merely economic and they won’t be satisfied with jobs or entitlements. Their motivations are ideological and they will be satisfied only with power."

Jordanian national allegedly planned attack on Jews in Texas - "A “radical” Jordanian national living in Texas was allegedly plotting an attack on Houston’s Jewish community before he was arrested on gun charges.  Sohaib Abuayyash, 20, had been studying how to build bombs and posted about his support for killing Jews, federal officials claim."
"Inflammatory rhetoric" is only an issue when the left is being criticised

Why this teacher is shaking up what we know about report cards - "Ungrading advocates say the traditional system encourages students to chase grades. But what’s in a grade? Every teacher has a different metric: a B+ to one might be a C to another. A mark could be bell-curved. It might include participation, or not. It could reflect the benefit of having a tutor."
When you're against accountability. Of course, liberals hate standardised tests too

FACT CHECK: Union boss wrongly claims Texas teacher was fired for reading 'Diary of Anne Frank' - "American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten in an X post Wednesday falsely claimed a Texas middle school fired a teacher for reading “The Diary of Anne Frank” to students... Her statement, however, contradicts reporting by Crisis in the Classroom (CITC) affiliate KFDM, which explains the teacher’s dismissal was due to having read “Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation,” an unapproved graphic novel rendition which contained sexually explicit passages. “KFDM reviewed a section of the diary shown to the Hamshire-Fannett eighth graders in which Frank wrote about male and female genitalia. The passage was not suitable for broadcast,” KFDM reported. “District officials claim the adaptation of Anne Frank's Diary has never been approved, yet it was on a reading list sent to parents at the start of the school year. So while the district is implying the teacher went rogue, parents believe someone higher than her knew about the book being part of the class," KFDM added... In a statement to CITC, DeAngelis called Weingarten a “lying clown.”      Randi Weingarten has reached a new low with this lie,” he said. “The book was a graphic adaptation that included sexual material. The teacher asked young kids to discuss molestation. A special session is coming to Texas next month, as Governor Greg Abbott just announced. It's time to empower all families with education freedom and hold lying clowns like Randi Weingarten accountable."  Weingarten likened parental rights advocates to segregationists Tuesday, sparking outrage. Her union also previously “coached” teachers to “inject gender identity politics” into classroom, according to a report by the Defense of Freedom Institute."
Why are liberals so keen to sexualise kids?

Meme - Wendell Chungus: "my dude, you know sex Ed is a thing right? And required? My thing is IDC if you even find it, because of all the things sex Ed could teach, they already put models of peens up for education, a dildo is basically the same. Keep trying hard to be mad."
Woke logic: showing kids dildos is sex education so it's good

British Army Veteran Arrested in the UK for Causing Anxiety - "A cellphone video taken by Laurence Fox showed United Kingdom police arresting 51-year old Darren Brady, a British Army veteran.  The arrest was made because Brady re-shared an internet meme that the officer claimed to have, “caused anxiety” for LGBTQ+ individuals."
Calling for Jihad is fine, of course. Just like covid protests were bad because they were against public health guidelines, but BLM protests were good and the police even joined in

Students hated ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ Their teachers tried to dump it. - The Washington Post - "Students first told Shanta Freeman-Miller about how it hurt to read “To Kill a Mockingbird” five years ago.  The stories came out during Wednesday meetings of the Union for Students of African Ancestry, a group that Freeman-Miller, one of the only Black teachers at Kamiak High School, founded at teens’ request. Students shared their discomfort with the way the 1960 novel about racial injustice portrays Black people: One Black teen said the book misrepresented him and other African Americans, according to meeting records reviewed by The Washington Post. Another complained the novel did not move her, because it wasn’t written about her — or for her.  A third spoke about how a White teen said the n-word aloud while reading from “Mockingbird,” disobeying the teacher’s instructions to skip the slur, the student recalled in an interview with The Post. She spoke on the condition of anonymity, for fear of harassment... Freeman-Miller wondered: Did the school really have to teach Harper Lee’s classic but polarizing novel, as was mandatory for all freshmen? She soon talked with three White English teachers also concerned about the novel. The foursome eventually launched a years-long quest to prohibit any teacher in the largely liberal Mukilteo School District from assigning “Mockingbird.” And it started with a formal book challenge in late 2021 — the first in 20 years, and the first ever to come from teachers.  “To Kill A Mockingbird centers on whiteness,” the teachers wrote in their challenge, adding that “it presents a barrier to understanding and celebrating an authentic Black point of view in Civil Rights era literature and should be removed.”... the progressive teachers who complained about the novel saw themselves as part of an urgent national reckoning with racism, a necessary reconsideration of what we value, teach and memorialize following the killing of George Floyd. They weren’t asking to pull the book from the library — just to stop forcing it on students. They believed they were protecting children... some teachers [were] scared to assign “Mockingbird” for fear of being labeled racist... The Black hosts of the show joked that “Mockingbird” ranked with Confederate monuments as something painful to Black people, but which White people adored. Johnson, who grew up loving “Mockingbird,” identifying with White protagonist Scout, felt shaken — and guilty...  she began to wonder why Kamiak couldn’t teach literature by Black authors instead.  “I don’t think that White authors and White characters should tell the narratives of African American people,” Kuzmany said. “The usefulness of the book has run its course.”... The committee split: 63 percent voted to remove “Mockingbird” from the ninth-grade required list... “It got into dark details, the hard truth of back then: how one person who was a White person could say one bad thing and a man, a person of color, would get in trouble for it,” she said of “Mockingbird.” She feels bad for students who didn’t read it: “They lost a good book.”  This year, the first year after Freemon’s retirement, no teacher in the Mukilteo district had assigned the book as of late October, she said."
So much for the right trying to "ban books"
The left tell us that removing a book from curriculum is also a "ban", so
Today, a black person can say one bad thing, but a white person will get in trouble for it. How the turntables

Addendum: "a California school district forbade teaching “Mockingbird” after parents alleged it was racist for its use of the n-word and portrayal of Black people"

James Lindsay, Wokesetta Stone on X - "Harvard is pushing the literal 2+2=5 guy as a fighter against "misinformation."

Thread by @DanFriedman81 on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - " The reason a lot of young progressives are so mad at JK Rowling is that they read the books as kids, and they thought they were Harry or Hermione. But they grew up into people like Percy or Dolores Umbridge or Cornelius Fudge or Rita Skeeter. And they know it. And on some level, they’re ashamed. I’m reading the fifth book with my niece and it’s kind of astonishing how well it tracks to contemporary controversies. And Rowling is on the same side now that she was when she wrote it. Which is the side of people who tell the truth, against people who suppress and deny the truth in service of their ideology. Cornelius Fudge and the Ministry of Magic are unprepared to deal with the return of Voldemort, so Fudge simply decides it isn’t happening and endeavors to silence anyone who says otherwise, which sets him in conflict with Dumbledore. Harry is attacked by dementors while he’s staying with his aunt and uncle, and he uses magic to defend himself. He’s put on trial for using magic outside the school, and his defense is that he was protecting himself from the dementors. But Fudge refuses to believe the dementors were there, because, if they’re not in Azkaban where they’re supposed to be, then that means his ministry has lost control of them.  After Dumbledore produces witnesses who exonerate Harry, and embarrasses Fudge in the process, Fudge sends his assistant Dolores Umbridge to Hogwarts as a teacher to curtail Dumbledore’s authority. Umbridge insists that the students do not need to learn magical defense because nobody is going to attack them. Every time Harry protests, Umbridge punishes him sadistically. She refuses to tolerate any evidence of truth that conflicts with her ideology, and zealously prosecutes heretics who speak against her beliefs. Twenty years ago, Umbridge, who zealously believes in the righteousness of her ideology, and, in the face of increasing evidence to the contrary, attempts to suppress that evidence and punish those who present it rather than changing her beliefs, probably read as a right-wing figure. But today, she’s the perfect model of a woke bureaucrat."

Thread by @Tyler_A_Harper on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "This is what we're witnessing – the dismantling of public higher ed in conservative states – and we've created the conditions for what's going on at UNC. How did anyone think we could get away with being nakedly ideological for years without any chickens coming home to roost? Universities have always been tacitly left-leaning and faculty have always been openly so, but institutions have never been this transparently, officially political. Almost every single job ad in my field/related fields this year has some kind of brazenly politicized language.
An example. Here's language from a current lit job ad: "We see this position as building on recent hiring in the English department in decolonial and anti-racist pedagogies and practices as well as a recent cluster hire in research related to diversity, equity, and inclusion."
Imagine if a public university job ad instead read: "We see this position as building on recent hiring in the English department in traditionalist pedagogies and practices as well as a recent cluster hire in research related to pro-life ethics, nationalism, and family values." If you lived in a blue state and your public universities were advertising jobs seeking scholars who promote family values and nationalist pedagogies, you would *rightly* be having a meltdown and demanding representatives fix it! This isn't about conservative or liberal profs. This isn't about the right of individual faculty to *be* political or teach political subject matter. That's the whole point of academic freedom! This is about universities shamelessly embracing, as their official institutional posture, an openly ideological framework/stance. It's *because* I'm a leftist humanities professor that I think we need institutional neutrality. The survival of higher ed, the humanities, absolutely depends on universities being officially non-political so that faculty/students have the academic freedom *to be* political. I don't care if I'm a broken record. Our society desperately needs the humanities, and a functional public higher education system more broadly. And *at the very moment* we're under sustained assault, some of us are still pouring fuel on Chris Rufo's bonfire. UNC is the result. What I find heartbreaking is that I really believe this was preventable. Or I at least believe that if defunding the humanities was inevitable, given the transformation of universities into Hedonist Experiential Luxury Resorts, it didn't have to happen this fast or in this way."
The liberal cope is that they are objectively right, so universities need to stand on the right side of history and do the morally correct thing
The replies are full of a lot of cope of people denying the left have politicised universities. Classic "this is not happening, and it's good that it is"

Meme - Black Woman: "This is a black only space, you're not wanted here"
Chad: "OK"
Chad: "This is a White only space, you're not wanted here"
Crying Black Woman: "I'm going to sue for discrimination"

Meme - Reddit: "Whoa there buddy, your post has been removed because it breaks one of our vague and convoluted rules. The community may have enjoyed your post and gave it thousands of upvotes and positive responses in the comment section, but I'm a moderator who was put in charge for unknown reasons and my decision is final"

Meme - "N.A.X.AL.T.
Not All [X] Are Like That
The mistaken belief that because you can name someone here that this center line does not exist.
NAXALT fallacy."
Liberals don't understand distributions

Jamie Sarkonak: UCP members refreshingly vote to purge toxic wokeness from education - "“Schools (in Saskatchewan) require a signed permission slip to take children on a field trip so it’s unclear why schools should not require parental consent for identification changes”... This one is quite popular with Canadians, who reasonably expect parents to be informed of their kids’ lives. It’s a live issue in Alberta, too: one report from earlier this year, for example, recounted a secret social transition of a Grade 6 child in Calgary, whose teacher conspired with the entire class to keep parents oblivious. The status quo undermines trust in public institutions, so a change would be welcome... Indeed, parental rights are well-established in Canada, evidenced by the 3,000 or so results of court cases and legislation retrieved from a database search on the Canadian Legal Information Institute website. It could be useful for Alberta to codify these long-standing parental rights in one place, however, since CBC insists on framing the concept as a whacko, foreign, United States-originating idea to give it the appearance of illegitimacy... the party membership voted to withdraw government funding from any institution with a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) office or policy (or equivalent). DEI sounds nice in theory, but the work is just that of progressive commissars whose job it is to collect identity statistics, make discriminatory procedures and centrally-plan the desired demographics of their institutions. What might un-DEI-ing the university look like in practice? For one, it should cut back on the identity-based hiring practices that are now widely accepted in the province. In the past couple years, for example, the University of Calgary has instituted a hiring program for “equity-seeking” groups only, while the University of Alberta has opened a number of faculty jobs up to exclusively Black people. These programs exist, in part, because the federal Liberals cleverly pressure institutions into equity-based discrimination hiring practices through contracting requirements and research funding policies — and so far, provinces have stood by and allowed it. Rejecting DEI could risk that funding and will certainly result in being called bad names in the news, but hey, it would probably get results. If Quebec Premier François Legault can basically oust English from the academy,  Alberta can surely take on a toxic ideology... Beyond education, a number of winning policies at convention focused on health. One would eliminate safe injection sites. A couple others were geared at preserving individual autonomy in health care, both for patients and doctors. Regarding professional regulation, one policy called for the party to limit professional regulatory bodies to investigating “on the job” conduct — a clear response to recent over-reaches that Canadian regulators have taken against conservatives like psychologist Jordan Peterson in Ontario, and former attorney general Tyler Shandro in Alberta. For a non-binding policy book, they’re not bad ideas. A good number of these resolutions — particularly those concerned with education — would be considered no-brainers only 15 years ago. Some observers are concerned that this convention represented a foray into the “ far right .” Really, it’s just a return to normal."

Why dozens of birds are being renamed in the U.S. and Canada - "The American Ornithological Society, a birding group, pledged Wednesday to change the English names of all bird species in the U.S. and Canada currently named after people. The organization said it was trying to move away from names "deemed offensive and exclusionary... "As scientists, we work to eliminate bias in science. But there has been historic bias in how birds are named, and who might have a bird named in their honor," American Ornithological Society Executive Director and CEO Judith Scarl said. "Exclusionary naming conventions developed in the 1800s, clouded by racism and misogyny, don't work for us today, and the time has come for us to transform this process and redirect the focus to the birds, where it belongs." The move is part of an effort to diversify birding and make it more welcoming to people of all races and backgrounds. The American Ornithological Society hopes more people will focus on protecting birds, too. "Everyone who loves and cares about birds should be able to enjoy and study them freely — and birds need our help now more than ever," Handel said."
Clearly confusing people by giving them new bird names will increase support for protecting birds

Why Oxford city council may sell its ‘inappropriate’ biblical paintings - "Oxford politicians may consider selling off classical and biblical paintings deemed inappropriate for a “progressive” council. A canvas depicting a Roman myth could be removed from the city’s 120-year-old town hall because it shows “gender-based violence”, if a motion is agreed by local councillors. Another painting of Salome bearing the head of John the Baptist could also be removed and sold off under the proposals to remove “inappropriate” artworks. It has been suggested that money raised by the sale of these works could be used to buy new paintings to “rebalance the lack of diversity” in the city council’s art collection. The motion states: “Within Oxford City Council’s art collection there are several items that are of no practical value to the city, do not have a clear link to Oxford, and depict themes that are inappropriate for a progressive public body that wants to lead by example: namely animal cruelty and gender-based violence.”  It adds that the artworks including a painting of the mythical Rape of the Sabine Women, a decapitated John the Baptist, and a sculpture depicting a fox hunt - which is not currently on display - are “not appropriate for display at the town hall”." The motion further states that the artworks owned by the city couch which are displayed at the town hall depict very few women, and overall “do not represent Oxford’s ethnic diversity”... The proposal has not yet been discussed by the council, which is controlled by Labour, a party which has sought to suggest amendments to the motion, claiming that the Grade II listing of Oxford’s Victorian town hall would make the removal of paintings difficult... Research by the council has found that there are 115 paintings or other artwork on display, including 45 portraits, with 37 of these depicting men, three depicting women, and two depicting both men and women. The council has previously struggled in its efforts to make this collection more diverse because funding would be needed to source new artworks, and to ensure that they fit with the historical interior of the ornate town hall building. Ms Miles believes her suggestion of selling unwanted artworks would raise sufficient funds to overcome this problem. Discussions about the diversity of public art in Oxford come after the city council created an “Anti-Racism Charter” in 2021, after pledging to tackle discrimination following Black Lives Matter protests the previous year."

New law lets staff sue their boss if customers offend them - "New harassment rules on the brink of becoming law will enable medics to sue the NHS if a patient insults them, allow bar staff to take legal action against landlords if they are offended by drunk punters, and let baristas take coffee shop owners to a tribunal if they overhear offensive remarks made by customers. Senior Tories warn the proposed law will lead to an explosion of litigation and force business owners to run their establishments like a “police state”...  Lord Strathcarron, a Tory peer who runs a publishing firm, said bookshops could be put off inviting authors such as JK Rowling to give talks, “on the off chance that one of the author’s fans might be wearing a T-shirt that says, ‘Woman Equals Adult Human Female’, knowing that an employee could sue for hurt feelings – real or vexatious”. Other scenarios, he added, could include “somebody going into the Dog and Duck ... then insulting the barman, and the barman suing the landlord. Or someone going for an MOT, the car fails, and they slag off the mechanic and the mechanic sues the garage owner. It’s mad and no one’s thought it through.” While a separate clause in the Bill putting a duty on bosses to prevent the sexual harassment of employees commands broad support, peers are demanding the Government drop the introduction of a new obligation on employers to prevent harassment by third parties that relates to a “protected characteristic” such as sex, gender reassignment or age. Critics fear this will lead to companies having to expel clients over trivial incidents and facing costly litigation by staff... During his campaign to succeed Mr Johnson, Mr Sunak promised to stop “mission creep” relating to the Equality Act, which he described as “a Trojan horse that has allowed every kind of woke nonsense to permeate public life”."

Meme - Soyjak: "Heh... if christians are so great, why don't you guys do more for the poor?"
Christian clergy: "In the US, 70% of food pantries and nearly 30% of homeless shelters are run by churches"
Soyjak: "Umm, well, what about the sick? Didn't Jesus say you should care for the sick?"
Christian clergy: "Nearly 20% of hospitals in the US are run by churches. In some states, more than 40% of you care for hospital beds are in Catholic hospitals alone"
Christian clergy: "The number of Christians in Africa has increased from 10 million in 1900 to an estimated 700 million by 2025. By God's grace that is a 6900% increase, largely due to western missionaries"

Meme - ""Over-smiling allows white people to mask an anti-Blackness that is foundational to our very existence as white." - Robin DiAngelo. Nice Racism, page 53"

Meme - "WHO PROGRESSIVES THINK THEY ARE. *Star Trek Enterprise Crew*

Waterloo Catholic school board trustee apologizes for tweet that had some calling for her to resign - "A Waterloo Catholic District School Board trustee has apologized for a tweet she made last fall that had some people calling for her to resign.  Trustee Wendy Ashby, who represents Kitchener-Wilmot, has deleted her Twitter account, but groups such as Parents as First Educators and Campaign Life Coalition have shared screengrabs of the tweet. The screengrabs say she wrote: "The most dangerous creature on the planet is the white Christian male. They're a threat to anyone that is not them."... "Conversations about inequality are often uncomfortable," Ashby wrote in the statement.  "As a Métis woman and in my professional role, I encounter these discussions regularly and part of these discussions is to challenge our existing systems. A great deal of my education and advocacy work is around understanding and furthering diversity, equity and inclusion."  Ashby says she deleted her Twitter account to ensure her comments and advocacy "will not be taken out of context in the future" and said she remained dedicated to her work as a trustee... Fellow trustee Marisa Phillips also issued a statement to express her "personal dismay and sadness regarding the hateful comments made by my colleague on Twitter."  "These comments deeply hurt members of our Catholic school community and are entirely inappropriate, unacceptable, and should be condemned without hesitation," Phillips said in an emailed statement.  "Racism and sexism against any group have no place in our society. These actions become especially heinous when they originate from an elected school board trustee whose hurtful comments are aimed directly at many of the families she has been tasked with representing.""
Damn institutional sexism, racism and Islamophobia!

Catholic School Board Member Calling Christian Men 'Dangerous' Sparks Anger - ""Do you approve or condemn this racist, sexist, anti-Christian statement? Yes or no?" Manzies asked, receiving no response.  The audience then erupted with loud clapping in support of Manzies' questioning, essentially drowning out Weiler's voice. Guests then continuously chanted "Shame! Shame!" as the board members walked out of the room... Fonseca described Ashby's two tweets in question as "racist, misandrist and bigoted anti-Christ filth" that proved "this was no momentary lapse of reason on her part but rather a deep-seated racist and anti-Christian sentiment that she harbors."... "She appears to consider herself a social justice warrior, fighting for justice and acceptance for all!" PAFE wrote in an April 6 post. "But where is the representation for the white Christian males she so blatantly discriminates against?  "If these comments had been made towards anyone of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community, or Indigenous communities, the school board would have taken immediate action and removed her from position as trustee, especially as a Catholic school board." Teresa Pierre, president of PAFE, told Newsweek via email that Ashby has had months to walk back the comments and now must face resignation. "There is no place for racism in Canadian public life," she said." Disgraced Trustee resigns seat in Waterloo Catholic school board over allegations of racism - "Disgraced trustee Wendy Ashby resigned her position as trustee of the Waterloo Catholic District school board... While commenting in March on the 2023 provincial budget’s allocation of money for Personal Support Workers (PSW), Ashby tweeted that the money was “hush money” to buy PSWs’ silence about being underpaid.  Ashby said at that time “White women make obedient soldiers for the christofascist patriarchy." At its May 1 meeting, the Waterloo Catholic board appointed an investigator to determine whether Ashby’s tweets violated the board Code of Conduct.   Ashby says she has decided to pre-empt that decision by vacating her seat, saying that she has been a victim of “harassment” from “outside interest groups that have their own agenda.”"
Clearly this is "backlash" and just shows how much feminism and anti-racism are needed

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