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Saturday, December 30, 2023

Links - 30th December 2023 (2 - Justin Trudeau)

Leave it to Justin Trudeau to further degrade Canada-India relations - "If Canada-India bilateral relations were in the deep freeze after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s gaffe-ridden visit to India in 2018, following last weekend’s G20 summit in New Delhi, they are now officially in the Arctic tundra. The G20 was a perfect opportunity for Trudeau and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reset the relationship. But it was not to be. The first early warning sign was the perplexing news that Canada had put a “pause” on the on-again-off-again trade negotiations with India just days before the summit, which we first learned about from the Indian high commissioner to Canada, not the Canadian government. Warning bells rang again when, at a press conference in Singapore ahead of the G20, Trudeau said that he was going to raise foreign-interference allegations with Modi, setting a hostile tone even before stepping foot in New Delhi... At the summit itself, Canadians saw images of an uncomfortable handshake, in which Trudeau pulled away from Modi. Trudeau also opted to skip the official leaders dinner, a serious faux pas that was widely — and correctly — seen as a snub to his host. Trudeau struck no major deals and was all but peripheral to the main business of the summit — and largely invisible, except for a few photo opportunities with other western leaders... Unfortunately, rather than taking a strategic, realpolitik view of India, the Trudeau government appears to see India principally through the lens of domestic diaspora politics. Sikh-Canadians have been loyal Liberal voters over the years, and their concentration in key ridings in the Toronto and Vancouver areas makes them far more consequential than their small percentage of the population would suggest.  Ignoring the bigger picture, Trudeau has consistently played to the diaspora gallery when it comes to India. In 2018, Jaspal Atwal, a British Columbia man convicted and jailed for attempting to murder a visiting Indian state minister, ended up on the official invitation list for a private reception hosted by Trudeau on his India trip.  Recall, too, when speaking to a group of Sikh-Canadians in November 2020, Trudeau said that he supported the farmer protests in India, which had jammed up the highways in and around New Delhi for months. The protesters were largely Punjabi Sikhs and, pointedly, Trudeau made his remarks on a day celebrating the founder of the Sikh religion. Indian officials took umbrage, seeing this as attempted interference in their domestic political affairs.  His poor showing at the G20 is yet another sorry chapter in Trudeau’s mishandling of what could, and should, have been an important bilateral relationship, apparently prioritizing partisan electoral calculations over Canada’s global strategic interests."

Philippines receives climate finance commitment from Canada - "The UNDP said the Philippines is included as part of a total international climate finance commitment by Canada of $5.3 billion."
Clearly taxes need to go up to fund more social spending, and only heartless conservatives disagree

Federal minister accuses some premiers of holding Canada back - "Boissonnault pointed specifically to Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs. All three have said in recent weeks they will defy, or have considered defying, federal environmental regulations. But Boissionnault's concerns went beyond his government's environmental policies. He also attacked new rules in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick that require parental consent for a student under 16 to have their name or pronoun changed in school."
Clearly, if you disagree with the liberal agenda and federal overreach, you are backward

Half of private Canadian journalism could now be government supported - "the Trudeau government announced that it had reached an agreement with Google that would see the tech giant pay $100 million annually to Canadian news outlets under the Online News Act... “We’re pretty close, by my estimation, to a 50 percent wage subsidy on journalist salaries up to $85,000 per year,” says Rudyard Griffiths, executive director of The Hub... “What does it mean long term when as much as half of the newsroom costs of private media organizations, not the CBC, will be paid for by government support?” asked Griffiths. “This likely is not going to be positive for the ongoing challenges that mainstream media is facing in terms of declining public trust in the very news and information that they produce.”   Trust in Canadian news media has noticeably declined in recent years. According to one survey, the share of Canadians who reported that they trusted the news most of the time fell from 55 percent in 2015 to 40 percent in 2023. Griffiths says this declining trust is unlikely to be reversed when half of newsroom costs are being subsidized by the federal government and large technology firms like Google.   “They’re paying half of the bills of the very newsrooms that are extensively there to investigate them, challenge them, and report on their policies and prescriptions for society,” says Griffiths.   Appearing before the committee as a witness, Michael Geist, the Canada Research Chair in Internet and e-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, stated that any funds raised for media outlets through the Online News Act would mainly benefit legacy media organizations. “The parliamentary budget officer tells us 75 percent of the money goes to the broadcasters, radio, and television largely based on the way it was structured,” said Geist, noting that media in Canada is dominated by a handful of large organizations. “Personally, I think it was a mistake to think that, at a minimum, if the goal was to support the core and what we would think of as newspapers or digital publishers. And that’s where the focus of the legislation ought to have been.”"

‘No actual legal, logical, or moral case’: Five Tweets reacting to Ottawa’s agreement with Google - "Macdonald-Laurier Institute senior fellow and regular Hub contributor Peter Menzies described the agreement as a “surrender” on the part of the government that avoided a “catastrophic Google shutdown.” That Google’s annual payment is about $72 million less than the government had set out in its draft regulations in September may be viewed by some as evidence of Ottawa’s ultimate compromise."

Andrew Coyne 🇺🇦🇮🇱 on X - "There is no actual legal, logical or moral case for forcing Google to underwrite the Canadian media. It’s strictly opportunistic: 1. Google has a lot of money. 2. We want some. 3. Make them give it to us."

As news is still shared on Facebook, Instagram, Meta may yet be regulated: St-Onge - "Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge has signaled that she would like to see Meta regulated under the Online News Act, as social-media users find loopholes to share news on its platforms... Users have also found other ways to share news stories on Facebook and Instagram, by direct messaging news links, sharing screenshots of articles and shortening news links so they can appear on stories, which are photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours...   Meta said it doesn't believe the law applies to private messaging services, so it said users can still send news links through direct messages."
When you didn't understand how internet links work, and are now doubling down with an even more epic misunderstanding of how the internet works. Maybe now Facebook will just withdraw from Canada instead

Opinion | News Publishers Are Fighting Big Tech Over Peanuts. They Could Be Owed Billions. - The New York Times - "The Canada-Google deal sets an important precedent: It prevents Google from influencing which media businesses survive and fail." Apparently the government influencing which media businesses survive and fail is good

The government guts the Online News Act in an attempt to fix a mess of its own making - "The government this morning released the final Online News Act regulations, effectively gutting the law in order to convince Google to refrain from blocking news links in Canada and to fix some of the legislative mistakes that have been apparent from the start. While proponents of the law will point to the $100 million contribution from Google as evidence of success, privately most in the industry and government acknowledge the obvious: Bill C-18 was deeply flawed and a massive miscalculation that has created far more harm than good.  Canadian Heritage Minister Pascale St-Onge seemingly agrees as she was willing to make changes that were derided by the government throughout the legislative process. Indeed, by the time St-Onge took over the file that was a challenging salvage job, Meta’s $20 million in news deals were lost and blocked news links on Facebook and Instagram were a reality. The prospect of the same happening with Google was too much for the industry and the government since the lost deals would have been at least double that amount (many believe in the $40-50 million range) and lost news links in search would have been catastrophic... The $100 million from Google is likely to yield relatively little new money after subtracting $20 million lost from Meta, an estimated $50 million from existing Google spending is folded into the new funding model, and $5-6 million to cover administrative costs of the new system. In other words, the entire Canadian news industry picks up roughly $25 million in new money, set against lost links on Facebook and Instagram and lost investment in the sector due to regulatory uncertainty. That is disastrous and helps explain why the deal also comes with the government’s increased bailout for newspapers with the expanded labour journalism tax credit and the expectation that the CRTC will use Bill C-11 to funnel more money to broadcasters to cover news costs.   The relatively small amount of new money also helps explain why the government has directly engaged in determining how it will be allocated. While its Bill C-18 pitch changed over time—from payments for links to levelling the bargaining playing field—it ends with a simple shakedown. Google has money and this tax-like approach forces them to pay up to make the contentious policy battle go away. The government had claimed that it would not become directly involved in either negotiating payments or determining how the money would be allocated. It was—in the words of Rodriguez—merely setting the table for the two private sector sides to reach a deal with mandated arbitration lurking in the background. Today’s final regulation discards both claims and overhauls the law, adding a Google-specific regulation that specifically grants it an exemption from arbitration in return for the $100 million payment and a specific reference that the payment is not about payments for links. The Google-specific provision is exhibit A for the absurdity of the legislation as it literally creates a singular exception for one company... The combined effect of this regulation should be obvious: excluding some smaller and ethnic outlets altogether while reserving most of the remaining money for larger entities such as Torstar or Postmedia who employ more journalist-adjacent personnel. I suspect many of the smaller players could see this coming, but they’ve been tossed under the bus in the effort to send more money to bigger outlets who stood to lose the most from Bill C-18 (and who incidentally lobbied the most for the legislation). While not in the regulations, added to the mix is a battle to become the new fund manager."

It's the end of an era for news—the industry can either adapt or die - "Since the turn of the century, there have only been two alternatives for legacy news organizations: adapt or die. While there has been some evidence of success in terms of the former, public policy support has ignored new ideas in favour of propping up the ones everyone knows won’t make it. The results have ranged from inconsequential to catastrophic... it’s just as unlikely journalism can find salvation in the arms of Canada’s heavily regulated broadcasting industry. For it, with exceptions acknowledged, the provision of news has always been primarily a regulatory obligation and not a core business proposition. Broadcasters are in the business of entertaining people with music, drama, chat, and related programming and have long acknowledged there is little or no money in them for news. All too often, it’s just regulatory rent... there is increasing evidence to suggest that the more the public becomes aware of direct government funding to journalism organizations, the less likely it is to trust those organizations and label reporters as toadies... It is one thing to have a public broadcaster. But today’s CBC is not that. It has evolved into a publicly funded commercial broadcaster and online content provider. Even its radio content, while broadcast free of advertising over the air, is repurposed to build online audiences and revenue in direct competition with news startups and legacy media attempting to transition into vibrant digital platforms. No industry can survive, let alone prosper, when the government subsidizes one commercial entity—in this case with $1.2 billion annually—to the detriment of all others."

How the CRTC could kill Netflix in Canada—All in the name of 'modernizing' broadcasting - "the CRTC’s idea of “modernizing” broadcasting appears heavily weighted in favour of applying its 1990s way of doing things to the online world of 2023. If that’s the case, the Commission is entirely unprepared to deal with the harsh truth that offshore companies don’t have to play by its rules. For decades, primary CRTC hearing participants have been dependent on the regulator. In the case of broadcasters like CTV and cable companies such as Rogers, their existence is at stake. Without a license, they are done. Which means they have to do what the Commission wants. But if the regulatory burden the CRTC places upon the offshore streamers doesn’t make business sense to them, they are free to say, “Sorry Canada, the juice just isn’t worth the squeeze. We’re outta here.” This is most likely to occur among the smaller, niche services at the lower end of the subscription scale. The CRTC has to date exempted only companies with Canadian revenues of less than $10 million. Any company just over that line would almost certainly not bother to do business in Canada —a relatively small and increasingly confusing market—if the regulatory ask is anything close to the 20 percent commitment being suggested... Too much burden without benefits would make it far cheaper for many to leave and sell their most popular shows to a domestic streamer or television network. The Online Streaming Act (Bill C-11), which led to this tussle, was originally pitched as making sure web giants “contribute” their “fair share.”"

The CRTC said it would leave podcasts alone. Turns out that was a myth - "what the CRTC denounced as “myth” in the spring has become a “fact” in the fall. It has kicked open the door to the regulation of online content, if not directly then by proxy through the platforms that deliver the work of podcasters to their audiences.  It is a bureaucratic master stroke."

Canada has a serious fiscal challenge looming as the federal debt explodes - "Federal finances are under increasing strain from slowing economic growth, expanded affordability measures, new social programs (such as dental care), massive subsidies for battery plants, and, perhaps most important of all, rapidly rising interest rates.   In fact, the monthly interest costs of the federal government are now at an all-time high. The latest available data for August shows federal interest costs exceeded $4.3 billion, surpassing the previous record of $4.03 billion set in December 1995. It’s more than double the pre-COVID amounts, as I illustrate below. And it’s the fastest acceleration in interest costs in recorded history...  Excluding the COVID-19 years, which are obviously an exception, it would be an over $20 billion increase over last year. That’d be the largest increase since the financial crisis. And controlling for the health of the economy (using what’s called the “cyclically adjusted budget balance”), it would be the largest deficit, as a share of the economy, since 1995... the situation abroad is even worse. Based on the latest data compiled by The Economist, the U.S. federal deficit is set to reach 5.7 percent of GDP this year, equivalent to roughly $165 billion in Canada. Borrowing in the Euro area is 3.4 percent. The U.K. is 3.9 percent. Indeed, of all the countries it tracks—developed and developing alike—only three expect a surplus: Australia, Denmark, and Norway... The federal government’s 2023 budget was based on a 10-year interest rate of approximately three percent. That may now have to increase by half a point, which could increase borrowing costs by several billion per year for the foreseeable future.  And if rates stay higher for longer, as many (including the Bank of Canada) now expect, the government’s debt levels may not be sustainable... Federal debt that grows faster than the economy is not sustainable... What can Canada do? As I’ve noted before, sticking with the government’s own previous plans would be a good start. Ratcheting up spending plans with every single budget is an important reason why we’re in this situation"
Don Martin reacts to Canada's fiscal update - "And lest we forget, as debt servicing charges and health-care costs achieve an ugly budgetary equilibrium, this red-ink burden is not one to be borne by the current crop of parents and grandparents.  The borrowing of today will be paid with high interest by the kids who become the taxpayers of tomorrow.  For squandering their hard-earned income tax on the questionable expenses we have incurred, they are owed a proactive apology."
Damn conservatives and austerity! We need to spend more on social welfare!

Canada is not broken but Ottawa is definitely broke - "In her economic update Tuesday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland just couldn’t help taking a swipe at Leader of the Opposition Pierre Poilievre when she declared: “Canada is not and has never been broken.” In the early 1990s, Canada did come close to needing IMF assistance, but Liberal finance minister Paul Martin’s 1995 budget pulled us back from the abyss by cutting program spending 20 per cent and putting the country back on a path towards balanced budgets. We did receive short-term finance from the IMF during the currency crisis of 1962, but we have never reneged on public debt, unlike hapless Argentina, which has defaulted nine times since its independence in 1816. Canada may not be broken but the federal government is all but broke and is clearly running out of steam... the finance minister predicts, debt as a share of GDP will fall ever so gently to 39 per cent over the following four years. I am quite skeptical about five-year forecasts, especially from a government that over eight years has failed to keep any deficit and debt promises. The 2015 election commitment to cap the deficit at $10 billion is long gone. So is the promise to keep the debt/GDP ratio from rising.  Even before the pandemic, federal debt was creeping back up to over 30 per cent of GDP. After eye-popping spending during COVID, any plan to return to pre-pandemic levels has been ditched. Instead, we just accept debt at 40 per cent of GDP and move on. And if a recession hits, you can bet your bottom dollar — which may be the only dollar you have left — that federal debt/GDP will reach a new plateau, also never to be reversed...  Economic updates used to be just that, reports on how things are going, but increasingly they are mini-budgets that introduce new measures. With the Liberals sinking in the polls, housing affordability is the focus. But with higher interest rates and more stringent climate and other regulations adding to construction costs, it is unclear how much more housing supply will grow even with the new measures... The housing plan wasn’t the only focus in the economic statement. To address affordability and climate change, the current government takes pride in its pyramid of budget-busting subsidies for clean energy and regulations dictating private-sector behaviour regarding such things as “junk fees” and grocery prices. There’s also GST relief for psychotherapists and more generous subsidies for journalists and news organizations. (I suppose I should bend a knee to the minister and doff my cap.) What’s missing in the statement? It barely mentions the country’s poor productivity performance. And you will word-search in vain for “tax reform,” “general tax relief” or “deregulation” aimed at spurring private sector investment. No mention is made that accelerated tax depreciation for capital investment, introduced in 2018, is being phased out beginning January 1st, which will discourage private investment, including in housing construction. Instead, the Liberal economic plan is all about more government, not less, to grow the economy. Without the private sector, that’s not going to work."
Of course, the left just keeps calling for more social support and spending, and they think it can all be financed by money printing and debt. If the country defaults on debt, that will be proof that "capitalism has failed"

Justin Trudeau on X - "We need more women in politics and at decision-making tables. Because throughout our country’s history, progress has been made when women’s voices have been heard. To everyone at @EqualVoiceCA who is committed to making that happen: Thank you. Let’s keep working on that together."
Alex Pierson on X - "You fire every strong woman at your table who stands up to your decisions. 🤷‍♀️"

LILLEY: Trudeau votes against more guns for Ukraine; is he pro-Putin? - "If we used Trudeau’s standard, every single one of these MPs, including Trudeau himself, would be considered to have taken the side of Russia. That’s a ridiculous assertion but so too is Trudeau’s claim that the Conservative Party has abandoned Ukraine and sided with Russia. This is simply Trudeau trying to play ethnic politics to try and increase his support amid plummeting poll numbers. That he would stoop this low shows how truly desperate the Trudeau Liberals have become."

Rahim Mohamed: Liberals doing their best to make sovereignty act look like a masterstroke - "It will indeed be an uphill battle (if not a total suicide mission) for the Liberals to sell Canadians on a $54-billion push to fully decarbonize the nation’s electricity grid in little more than a decade — particularly with a double-digit increase in demand for electricity expected over the same time period. Albertans, who currently rely on carbon-based sources for 90 per cent of their electricity, should be feeling especially skittish about this accelerated timeline. (The Alberta government has shrewdly rolled out a series of TV ads depicting power outages taking place during Christmas dinners, hockey games, and other inopportune times.)... Smith herself has conceded that her use of the act here is more symbolic than substantive but the gesture could galvanize other provinces or, at the very least, keep the pressure on courts to uphold the letter of the Constitution."

YOU SAID IT: Fear policy - "When it appeared Stephen Harper would win the election, the Liberals put out ads warning Canadians that he would put soldiers in their streets. Now, with Trudeau tumbling in polls, they are claiming the Poilievre Conservatives support Vladimir Putin! Like the little boy crying wolf, Liberals cannot use the policy of fear to save them with Canadians struggling because of Trudeau’s radical ideologically driven policies."

Poll suggests widespread dissatisfaction with Trudeau government

Opinion: Canadians face 40 years of stagnant incomes – government’s economic strategy is failing - The Globe and Mail - "In the five years to 2019, Canada’s real GDP per capita growth was an anemic 0.5 per cent per annum. Since 2019, it has been the fifth-weakest of 38 OECD countries – and per capita GDP growth has even turned negative over the past year... in per capita terms the Canadian economy is shrinking by 2 per cent year-over-year.  Canada is one of the few advanced countries where real incomes are lower than before the pandemic... Several of the government’s core policy beliefs are misguided. The first is that freewheeling government spending, untethered by the defined limits of a credible fiscal anchor, is not “consumption” but rather “investment” that raises real incomes. The data say otherwise.  A related belief is that government programs are what entice companies to become more innovative and productive, rather than signals from well-functioning, competitive product markets and discerning customers. The government has relied on households and business taxpayers to fund subsidies for preferred recipients and has massively expanded the bureaucracy without much to show for it other than shrinking the relative size of the private sector. That is a recipe for a low-productivity, low-wage economy. A third belief is that “ever-increasing” immigration is an economic panacea. The academic literature overwhelmingly finds that the level of immigration has a negligible or neutral overall impact on indicators that determine a country’s living standards: labour productivity, real wages, the employment rate, the population’s age structure and, crucially, GDP per capita.  Ramping up immigration to fill low-wage jobs instantly increases demand for things that take years to build, such as housing (especially rentals), roads, schools and hospitals. We have no idea how provinces and municipalities can be expected to quickly address the needs of 800,000 extra temporary residents arriving in the past two years – people they did not know were coming – along with 920,000 additional permanent residents. Our concern is compounded by the revelation that Statistics Canada has undercounted – by one million – the number of temporary residents already here. The federal government’s immigration strategy is like believing Christmas dinner will be made easier if you invite more people because they can help with the washing up. “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so,” wrote Mark Twain. Demonstrably, federal policies are yielding “prosperity-free” economic growth. We believe Canada needs an economic policy agenda focused on raising average living standards. The country would benefit from modest (and co-ordinated) fiscal and monetary policy restraint to dampen inflation, alongside a productivity-focused agenda to expand the economy’s supply-side capacity, expedite business investment and innovation, scale domestic firms and ensure Canada can supply the world with responsibly produced natural resources and manufactured goods.  This will require overdue reforms to our inefficient tax and regulatory systems. Such a policy agenda would aim to cool demand and enhance supply, bringing them into balance. Critically, this would lift rather than reduce or stagnate average real incomes, as is happening under the federal government’s current approach."

Eli Steele: Jodi Shaw and the Racial Mask of Whiteness

Eli Steele: Jodi Shaw and the Racial Mask of Whiteness

"I grew up hearing stories of how the racial mask of black inferiority was imposed upon blacks by the racial order of white supremacy. Refusing to conform to this mask meant the loss of a job or being met with violence, beat-downs to lynchings. I also learned how whites embraced the racial mask of superiority as a means to power — a poor white could lack education and wealth and still believe he was superior to the most accomplished of blacks because of the illusion of superiority that his racial mask offered him. Any white that questioned that mask faced being ostracized as a race traitor. And that was how the racial order of white supremacy thrived, by keeping the humanity of these individuals hidden behind racial masks. 

There were courageous blacks and whites who rejected these racial masks. They risked everything as they marched in the civil rights movement to destroy white supremacy. But, today I wonder: Have we somehow betrayed the decades-long sacrifices of these marchers by creating a new racial order out of the corpse of white supremacy, a racial order that nearly derailed the life of Jodi Shaw?...

She landed a temporary job at Smith College as a librarian. Throughout her first year, she heard phrases like "white privilege," "systemic racism," and "white supremacy." She confessed to me that even though this racially charged culture didn’t sit right with her, she said nothing; a betrayal – in her words - of the lessons she learned about humanity on the subway platforms. She also confided that she had doubted herself because who was she to question the esteemed minds running the college?...

She was told that her presentation must be "wild and crazy" because the library orientation was on the last day of a weeklong orientation and the students would be exhausted by then. Jodi smiled, "Well, I’ll do a rap!"

Then an incident occurred on July 31, 2018, that changed the campus forever. 

A rising sophomore named Oumou Kanoute was eating lunch in the dorm lounge located inside Tyler House when a custodian called the campus police on her. An unarmed officer, Bob Young, approached and asked Kanoute what she was doing there. When she replied that she was working as a teaching assistant, he allowed her to stay. The encounter, recorded by Kanoute on her phone, was civil.

However, Kanoute later posted to Facebook that the encounter left her near "meltdown" since "all I did was be Black." She also wrote: "It’s outrageous that some people question my being at Smith College, and my existence overall as a woman of color."

This incident occurred at a time when it seemed that everyday there was a new video of a "Karen," usually a white woman, questioning the rights of blacks to be where they areThe Smith College incident fit into that narrative and media outlets from Boston Globe, Washington Post to CNN ran with Kanoute’s story. 

Jodi, too, was appalled by the incident and thought it "terrible." She nodded along when Smith College President Kathleen McCartney placed the custodian on leave, apologized profusely to Kanoute, and said: "This painful incident reminds us of the ongoing legacy of racism and bias, in which people of color are targeted while simply going about the business of their ordinary lives." The president also stated that "every Smith staff member will be required to participate in mandatory anti-bias training." 

All of this happened before the wheels of due process could begin to turn.

Then Kanoute made another move three weeks after the incident on July 31. Raised in New York by a family from Mali, Kanoute searched the college’s staff directory for those who she believed called campus police on her. She posted to Facebook the photo of Jackie Blair, the dining room assistant who had asked if she was assigned to eat in that particular house. She also posted the photo of Mark Patenaude and claimed he was the offending custodian. She branded both Jackie and Mark as racists and the post went viral. 

If Jodi thought she could escape the toxic cloud of racial strife she soon found out that she was wrong. A week before she was to perform the rap for the incoming freshmen, her supervisor informed her that due to the fallout from the incident on July 31, she could no longer do the rap. She protested that she put in countless hours of work, called in favors from many people, and she demanded to know why. Her supervisor replied: "Because you are white."

The words stung. Jodie felt impotent. The racial mask of whiteness was now imposed upon her...

One of the forgotten lessons of the civil rights movement was that my grandparents and so many others marched to destroy the use of race in public affairs. They knew that classifying people by race was poison; the negro box had been marked inferior, the white box superior, and both were lies that had to be destroyed...

Iif classifying people by race was poison, how could the racial order of identity politics use poison to cure centuries of poison?

That was the vicious contradiction that Jodi found herself trapped in. All she saw was increasing racial divisions. 

In October of 2018, President McCartney announced that the investigation into what happened on July 31 found no evidence of racism. During the summer months, the Tyler House serves as a dining facility for a summer dance camp attended by young minors. Staffers had to pass background checks and only staffers assigned to Tyler House were permitted to enter.

That is why Kanoute was out of place when she chose to eat at Tyler House instead of walking across campus to eat at the dorm she had been assigned to. The custodian who reported her was following administrative orders when he let the campus police handle the interaction.

The investigators also found that Jackie Blair — the dining room staffer smeared by Kanoute as a racist - was innocent. And Mark Patenaude? The falsely accused custodian was at his house eating lunch when the incident took place. 

These findings provided no reprieve for Jackie and Mark who still remained guilty in the eyes of many. When Jackie tried to return to work she was repeatedly called a racist by Smith College students. Mark’s anxiety became unmanageable and he was forced to take an early retirement, upending the retirement plans he had been working toward for the last two decades. 

It was at this moment that President McCartney had the chance to make things right. She could have stood by her staff, an act that would have repaired their reputations considerably. She could have reprimanded Kanoute for racially profiling two innocent staffers and destroying their lives in the process. Instead, the president doubled down and evoked systemic racism as the root cause of what happened on July 31: "It is impossible to rule out the potential role of implicit racial bias."

President McCartney learned her lesson in 2014. After several blacks were killed by police officers across America, including Michael Brown, the president announced to the college, "All lives matter." She was lambasted and quickly learned that if she wanted to keep her $600,000 a year job and the campus mansion that she renovated for $3 million, she’d have to wear the white mask and serve the racial order of identity politics. 

Jodi found herself being required to attend endless racial sensitivity trainings along with other staffers. She soon learned from her superiors that the qualifications for the permanent librarian position that she was up for had been changed to attract more minority candidates. Jodi saw the writing on the wall and withdrew her application for the position. 

She then told me that she thought if she left the academic side of Smith College and took a lower-paying job in the residence life division, she would escape the racial strife. After all, what role can race play in issuing students' ID cards, handling room changes, and the other tasks that come with running dormitories. What she didn’t know was that most of her new superiors had graduated with master degrees in education where they learned how to see color in every aspect of life. They informed Jodi that they expected the same of her. "But what does it mean to see color?" Jodi wondered.

She found out shortly when a student complained that a fellow student’s service dog was making too much noise in a nearby dorm room. Jodi reviewed the complaint and learned that the student with the service dog had documented multiple efforts to resolve the issue with the complaining student. The complaining student did not provide anything. At that point, Jodi decided the sensible thing was to offer the complaining student a room change since the student with the service dog had legal disability status.

Then Jodi and her superiors learned that the student with the disability was white and that the complaining student was black and none other than Oumou Kanoute. Jodi was ordered to base her decision on the color of the students and that meant moving the student with the disability into a new room, despite her being a senior and a month away from graduating. 

Jodi revealed to me that she felt sick to her stomach and ashamed for not standing up for what was right during that ordeal. She also feared that her superior’s orders to engage in blatant racial discrimination put her at legal risk. 

Jodi began to feel true loneliness. She reflected on how much the campus had changed since the incident of July 31. Officer Bob Young, affectionately known on campus as "Officer Bob," had been questionably terminated despite a spotless record for 35 years. A newly hired police chief was also terminated after students posted the chief’s twitter feed around campus and tarred him as a racist. Then Jodi found a list of demands posted to her door and the students warned that if she did not meet them, they would "make (her) feel our pain."

She chuckled at the absurdity of what she was telling me. She felt like she was going crazy. 

To keep her sanity she began to document every incident of racial discrimination that she witnessed on campus and that led to her filing an 80 page internal complaint. Only days after she filed that complaint, George Floyd was killed and the college went into overdrive with its antiracism trainings. Jodi then received a three page response from the college, dismissing her complaints as without merit. (By contrast, the college responded to Kanoute’s Facebook post with a 70 plus page investigative report.)

It was at that moment that Jodi had to make an existential decision: how did she want to live her life from here on? As a conformist to the racial order? Or as a free individual?

Jodi confided to me that the psyche pain of living as a coward who betrayed her morals would be too much for her to bear. After sending out several Hail Mary emails in hopes that her superiors would come to their senses, Jodi summoned the only thing that could save her: courage. Somehow, she instinctively knew that the only antidote to racial orders was courage. And that it was only courage that would lead her out of the racial quagmire and back to her true self. 

In October of 2020, Jodi made her first youtube video and blasted Smith College for reducing her to a white mask. When President McCartney released a statement that summarily dismissed Jodi’s first video, the president had no idea that she was dealing with a woman that was no longer bound by fear. Jodi saw the president for the opportunist paper tiger that she was and continued to make video after video. Her loneliness began to fade as she found a powerful online community of Americans cheering her on. This community also gave her the gift of reassuring her that she was indeed not crazy and that only gave her more courage. 

In February of 2021, Jodi finally resigned from Smith College and filed her lawsuit alleging racial discrimination. The suit is still pending.

Today, the beautiful campus of Smith College feels like a shell of the elite institution it once was. Bedsheets with "Black Lives Matter" painted onto them hang from buildings as if to warn students and outsiders that dissent from the racial order would not be tolerated. Staffers tiptoe around students, afraid of saying the wrong thing or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. None of the faculty possessed the courage to stand alongside Jodi unequivocally."

Links - 30th December 2023 (1 [including Snopes, Ultra-Processed Foods])

HuffPost attacks Tucker Carlson for fixating on Karine Jean-Pierre being black and gay by fixating on her being black and gay. - "When Snopes rates an accusation against a political ally as "mixture," you know it's true.  In fact, they have an inventive approach to dealing with these situations. first, they admit it's true... Then they ask you to please ignore that it's true."

Is This 'LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP' Inclusiveness Training Session Flyer Real? - "What's True: A poster advertising an inclusiveness training for LGBT students used the acronym "LGGBDTTTIQQAAPP."
What's False: The acronym was used facetiously as a way to attract participants to the training."
No surprise they're spreading fake news again, pretending that the acronym was used facetiously when it was earnest (just because the organisation doesn't personally use the acronym internally doesn't mean it thinks it's invalid)

The CEO of Fact-Checking Site Snopes Plagiarized Dozens of Articles - "The plagiarized pieces were taken from major news outlets like The Guardian, and published under at least three separate bylines. Mikkelson's own name was tied to some, as was the general "Snopes Staff" byline and a pseudonym Mikkelson set up under the byline Jeff Zarronandia.   Journalists rarely publish under pseudonyms, and the practice is often reserved for journalists operating in a dangerous situation where their identity needs to be protected. In the case of Mikkelson, the pseudonym was used, "to write about topics he knew would get him hate mail under that assumed name," a former managing editor of Snopes, Brooke Binkowski, told BuzzFeed News. "Plus it made it appear he had more staff than he had.""

Did a 'Convicted Terrorist' Sit on the Board of a BLM Funding Body? | Snopes.com - "Claim: Susan Rosenberg is a convicted terrorist who has sat on the board of directors of Thousand Currents, an organization which handles fundraising for the Black Lives Matter Global Network.
Rating: Mixture
What's True: Susan Rosenberg has served as vice chair of the board of directors for Thousand Currents, an organization that provides fundraising and fiscal sponsorship for the Black Lives Matter Global Movement. She was an active member of revolutionary left-wing movements whose illegal activities included bombing U.S. government buildings and committing armed robberies.
What's Undetermined: In the absence of a single, universally-agreed definition of "terrorism," it is a matter of subjective determination as to whether the actions for which Rosenberg was convicted and imprisoned — possession of weapons and hundreds of pounds of explosives — should be described as acts of "domestic terrorism.""
Ironically, Snopes talks about "the September 11 terrorist attack". So they need to cancel themselves for spreading fake news

Critics mock liberal fact-checking site for rating reporting on Biden crack pipe funding 'mostly false' - "Snopes, a liberal fact-checking site, was mocked by critics this week for rating reporting on the Biden administration's alleged funding of crack pipe distribution to drug users as "mostly false," while also admitting that "safer smoking kits" were required to be distributed as part of a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant.   In a Tuesday piece claiming news reports "grossly misrepresented" details about the substance abuse harm reduction program, Snopes stuck with its "mostly false" rating by arguing it was inaccurate to say that the distribution of the "smoking kits" was intended to "advance racial equity," but admitted that the pipes would be distributed with race as "a secondary consideration."... "In 2022, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services substance abuse harm reduction grant did require recipients to provide safer smoking kits to existing drug users. In distributing grants, priority would be given to applicants serving historically underserved communities," Snopes wrote in its fact-check.  "This was just one of around 20 components of the grant program and far from its most prominent or important one, despite being the primary focus of outraged news reports. The purpose of the program was to reduce harm and the risk of infection among drug users, not to advance racial equity, although that was a secondary consideration," it added, essentially disproving its own fact-check... After being pilloried by critics, Snopes oddly updated its fact-check from "mostly false" to "outdated." It also updated the piece with an explanation to reflect the change."

Michael Knowles on Twitter - "What's True: everything
What's False: nothing
@Snopes Verdict: MOSTLY FALSE"
Billy Gribbin on Twitter - "“This is literally true in every way, but we dislike the emphasis. FALSE.”"
John McCormack on Twitter - "By "Mostly False" @snopes means "True, But We Think the Program Is Good""

Ian Haworth on Twitter - "Claim: "Man went to the moon."
What's True: Man went to the moon.
What's False: Men also went to Starbucks.
@Snopes: "Mostly False.""

Did Biden Poop His Pants in Rome? | Snopes.com - "False"
Snopes does it again. Normally if there's no evidence they'll call a claim "unproven". Though at least they acknowledge Trump got smeared multiple times about this

Snopes Media Bias - "AllSides moved Snopes' rating to Lean Left following a June 2021 independent review by AllSides editors on the left, center and right. It was previously rated Center.  We reviewed the numerous instances of Snopes' left-wing bias that we found during our June 2020 Editorial Review, such as slant. We also noted a number of times that Snopes had recently interpreted things in favor of the left, including when it "fact checked" a subjective opinion on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), when it defended Gov. Andrew Cuomo by saying an accurate tweet about him was "Mostly False," and when it "fact-checked" satire from humor website The Babylon Bee (an entry Snopes then had to edit following criticism).  AllSides noted that Snopes' story choice is generally favorable to the left, and it lacks fact checks on subjects that speak to a conservative or more right-wing audience. Its collections page also showed left bias, with the first page still predominantly highlighting Trump."

Did Biden Say 120 Million People Had Died from COVID-19? - "Claim: On June 25, 2020, at a campaign event in Pennsylvania, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden incorrectly said 120 million people had died of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease.
Rating: Mostly False
What's True: Biden said "Now we have over 120 million dead from COVID" at the Pennsylvania event in apparent reference to U.S. fatalities."
Snopes is just coasting on its reputation from the 90s.
Motivated reasoning means that even when you point out that Snopes is lying, some people will wave this away (one guy had some very elaborate Jedi mind trick to explain away all of their mendaciousness). Yet when you point out that even Snopes says Trump didn't call Covid a hoax, this is ignored

Did AOC Exaggerate the Danger She Was in During Capitol Riot? | Snopes.com - "Claim: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez exaggerated the danger she was in during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, in that she "wasn't even in the Capitol building" when the rioting occurred.
Rating: Mostly False
What's True: Ocasio-Cortez wasn't in the main Capitol building where the House and Senate Chambers are located."
Seth Dillon on Twitter - "They acknowledge the claim is true, then go on to rate it "mostly false," anyway. @snopes is shameless."

Is your new car on a storage compound? Inside Kia's scheme to deliberately withhold deliveries - "New Kia vehicles that have arrived from overseas are sitting on a storage lot in Wolverton, Ont., purposely locked up even though customers have been waiting months and months — some well over a year — to get their vehicles.  The new cars are being withheld from Kia's Ontario dealerships — and reportedly from many more across the country — as part of a controversial plan by Kia Canada to game the number of sales in the last six weeks of the year... The reason for this, he explained in the call, is to avoid appearing too successful in the eyes of headquarters in Korea... "There's a high risk with over performance that Kia headquarters will not provide Kia Canada resources necessary in our budget for 2024 to have a successful year if we over perform for the balance of 2023 at too high a rate."  According to Capicotto, Kia Canada has hit its target of selling 84,000 vehicles for 2023. He said there was concern that if sales continued to go well, headquarters would decide Canada didn't need marketing support in the new year and would cut back on that... "It is normal for automakers to use creative strategies at the very end of the year," said Shari Prymak, senior consultant at Car Help Canada, noting this includes pre-registering vehicles toward the end of the year so they can show higher sales.   "Usually, those strategies are to help increase sales, not reduce them," he said... he's already had customers who've paid a deposit walk away when they learned of the additional delays... He says working at Kia has been almost four years of frustration, since early 2020.   Some 30 rail blockades swept the country in February of 2020, halting freight traffic in many parts of the country.   Then the pandemic hit and supply chain issues — such as a shortage of semiconductor chips — severely affected the availability of inventory for all car manufacturers. Kia has experienced shipping problems, and a two-week port strike in Vancouver this July froze all freight traffic... Brian Olmsted put down a $500 deposit for a Kia EV6 in June 2022.   The Toronto resident says he's contacted his dealership every few months to see how much longer the wait will be, and fully expected to have his car by now... Kia customers already endure some of the longest wait times in the industry, according to car expert Prymak, who called it a major problem."

Simulated Mars Base Got Kinda Rebellious, Worrying Scientists - "One of the things that astronauts need to contend with when we colonize Mars is isolation. After all, they’ll be alone with just their fellow crew members for months or even years at a time. Plus, it could get even get worse if a "The Martian" situation occurs and someone ends up totally alone on the Red Planet.  Unfortunately, a recent long term isolation experiment on a simulated Mars base found that participants often get distant and rebellious as time goes on."

Blockchain Guy Struggles to Explain a Single Practical Use for Web3 - "According to its evangelists, Web3 is supposed to revolutionize by decentralizing it with the help of blockchain technology.  But there's one big problem: nobody seems to know what tangible benefits that would have — especially in concrete terms that apply to the real world as it exists today.  During a recent chat with author, podcast host, and Bloomberg columnist Tyler Cowen, billionaire investor and Web3 advocate Marc Andreessen struggled to explain a practical, real-world use for the technology."

Database Indicates U.S. Food Supply Is 73 Percent Ultra-Processed

The alarming truth about ultra-processed foods – and why you should stop eating them - "In recent BBC programme What Are We Feeding Our Kids? Dr Chris Van Tulleken committed to a month of eating a diet of 80 per cent ultra-processed food, the same proportion of UPFs eaten by one in five Brits. The initial results were predictably depressing: he put on a stone and developed constipation, headaches and heartburn. He found his libido was reduced, he was eating more often, and was less satisfied by the processed food. But more significantly, scans showed that the activity in Van Tulleken’s brain had changed in ways that mirror its response to substances like tobacco and alcohol, suggesting junk food is addictive... According to What Are We Feeding Our Kids?, healthy foods such as vegetables, fruit and fresh fish cost more than double per hundred calories than less healthy convenience foods... So don’t tell me this is about personal responsibility. As Prof Chris Millet points out to Van Tulleken, people “haven’t suddenly lost moral fibre over the last 20 or 30 years” as obesity has rocketed... if one thing delights me about the NOVA system, it is that it rewards real cooking. Sugar and fat are OK, if you are using them to cook something rather than buying a bag of chips or a packet of biscuits. So we can still have treats provided they are homemade – which makes sense as then the majority of us will only get round to putting one on the table once a week, if that. Enough with the salted caramel pretzels, the Great British Pudding is back."
It's popular to claim that eating too many calories is the problem and that it's very simple: people should just eat fewer

How ultra-processed food took over your shopping basket - "he noticed that many of these commonly eaten foods did not even feature in the standard food pyramids of US nutrition guidelines, which show rows of different whole foods according to how much people consume, with rice and wheat at the bottom, then fruits and vegetables, then fish and dairy and so on. These pyramids are based on the assumption that people are still cooking from scratch, as they did in the 50s. “It is time to demolish the pyramid”, wrote Monteiro in 2011... At the end of 2018, Hall and his colleagues became the first scientists to test – in randomised controlled conditions – whether diets high in ultra-processed foods could actually cause overeating and weight gain.  For four weeks, 10 men and 10 women agreed to be confined to a clinic under Hall’s care and agreed to eat only what they were given, wearing loose clothes so that they would not notice so much if their weight changed. This might sound like a small study, but carefully controlled trials like this are considered the gold standard for science, and are especially rare in the field of nutrition because of the difficulty and expense of persuading humans to live and eat in laboratory conditions. Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina, has praised Hall’s study – published in Cell Metabolism – for being “as good a clinical trial as you can get”... during the weeks of the ultra-processed diet, the volunteers ate an extra 500 calories a day, equivalent to a whole quarter pounder with cheese. Blood tests showed that the hormones in the body responsible for hunger remained elevated on the ultra-processed diet compared to the unprocessed diet, which confirms the feeling I used to have that however much I ate, these foods didn’t sate my hunger. Hall’s study provided evidence that an ultra-processed diet – with its soft textures and strong flavours – really does cause over-eating and weight gain, regardless of the sugar content. Over just two weeks, the subjects gained an average of 1kg. This is a far more dramatic result than you would expect to see over such a short space of time (especially since the volunteers rated both types of food as equally pleasant)...  the concept of ultra-processed foods is “almost a relief” to people, because it liberates them from the polarities and restriction created by fad diets or “clean eating’”. People are thrilled, Lobo says, when they realise they can have desserts again, as long as they are freshly made. But modern patterns of work do not make it easy to find the time to cook every day. For households who have learned to rely on ultra-processed convenience foods, returning to home cooking can seem daunting – and expensive. Hall’s researchers in Maryland spent 40% more money purchasing the food for the unprocessed diet. (However, I noticed that the menu included large prime cuts of meat or fish every day; it would be interesting to see how the cost would have compared with a larger number of vegetarian meals or cheaper cuts of meat.)  In Brazil, cooking from scratch still tends to be cheaper than eating ultra-processed food, Lobo says. UPFs are a relative novelty in Brazil and memories of a firm tradition of home cooking have not died yet here. “In Brazil, it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, you grew up eating rice and beans. The problem for you [in the UK],” Lobo remarks, “is that you don’t know what your ‘rice and beans’ is.” In Britain and the US, our relationship with ultra-processed food is so extensive and goes back so many decades that these products have become our soul food, a beloved repertoire of dishes...  In the curious coding of the British class system, a taste for industrial branded foods is a way to reassure others that you are OK. What kind of snob would disparage a Creme Egg or fail to recognise the joy of licking cheesy Wotsit dust from your fingers?... We still don’t really know what it is about ultra-processed food that generates weight gain. The rate of chewing may be a factor. In Hall’s study, during the weeks on the ultra-processed diet people ate their meals faster, maybe because the foods tended to be softer and easier to chew... For as long as we believed that single nutrients were the main cause of poor diets, industrial foods could be endlessly tweaked to fit with the theory of the day. When fat was seen as the devil, the food industry gave us a panoply of low-fat products. The result of the sugar taxes around the world has been a raft of new artificially sweetened drinks. But if you accept the argument that processing is itself part of the problem, all of this tweaking and reformulation becomes so much meaningless window-dressing.  An ultra-processed food can be reformulated in countless ways, but the one thing it can’t be transformed into is an unprocessed food."

How Do Ultraprocessed Foods Affect Your Health? - "According to some estimates, nearly 60 percent of the daily calories U.S. adults consume are from ultraprocessed foods. It’s worse for kids and teenagers, whose diet is almost 70 percent ultraprocessed.  But a growing number of studies have linked higher consumption of ultraprocessed foods to a long list of health effects, and scientists are only just beginning to understand why... As a rule of thumb, these are any foods that cannot be made in an ordinary kitchen—in other words, they contain an ingredient that is not typically found in homes or one that has undergone an industrial process that a home cook would not be able to replicate. “A whole lot of things that you could never imagine can be done [to food],” says Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “You can’t tell simply by the ingredients.” For example, he says, “it’ll be flour, but you really don’t know that wheat flour has been decomposed in such complex ways and then put back together.”...  Julie Hess, a nutritionist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and former vice president of scientific affairs at the National Dairy Council, contend that NOVA is not the best or most consistent way to identify an ultraprocessed food. She argues that not all ultraprocessed foods are the same, in terms of nutrition. “When we say ultraprocessed food, are we going to include things like canned beans? Are we including canned oranges and dried peaches?” Hess says. “That question of nutrient density isn’t currently reflected in the NOVA categorization system.”  Popkin is proposing another way to identify foods as ultraprocessed in a forthcoming paper. He says that having just one of 12 types of additives—including specific flavors, emulsifiers, foams, thickening agents and glazing agents—as an ingredient is a feature of all ultraprocessed foods. The presence of artificial coloring and flavorings would already be a telltale sign for about 97 percent of these foods, he says... On the minimally processed diet, participants ate less and lost about the same amount of weight as they gained on the processed diet. In both settings, participants were given access to about double the number of calories they needed and were told to eat as much as they wanted. Kevin Hall, the study’s principal investigator and a clinical researcher at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, says he designed the investigation because he thought the NOVA classification system—which doesn’t account for the nutrients contained in different foods—was “nonsense.” He says he matched the foods in both diets to have the same total amount of nutrients, including fat, carbohydrates and fiber, “because I thought the nutrients were going to drive the effects,” Hall says. “And I was wrong.”... Hess’s own lab designed a diet in which 90 percent of the calories were from ultraprocessed foods, and it still met most national guidelines for nutrients... Studies have also suggested a link between higher consumption of ultraprocessed foods and a profound change in the composition of gut microbes. And an altered gut microbiome has been linked to mental health conditions.  The negative effects of these foods might also be a result of what they lack: fiber... “There are probably some subcategories [of ultraprocessed foods] that are perfectly fine—maybe even really good for you—and others that are particularly damaging,” Hall says. “I just don’t think we know which ones [are which].” Part of the problem with ultraprocessed foods is that they’re often packed with calories yet leave us craving more... In a 2021 study Hall attempted to compare a low-carbohydrate diet with a high-carbohydrate one to examine the effect on energy intake. When people were presented with meals that were high in both fat and sugar, fat and salt or carbohydrates and salt, people tended to eat more calories, he says. “These are so-called hyperpalatable foods,” Hall adds. Such foods essentially have artificially enhanced palatability that exceeds the palatability any ingredient could produce on its own—in other words, they have a combination of fat, salt or sugar “that would never exist in nature,” Juul says. Previous research has shown that foods combining fat and carbohydrates were better at activating the brain’s reward system than foods with just one of those ingredients. The ultraprocessed meals in Hall’s study also had more calories per bite than the minimally processed diet. Some researchers hypothesize that certain foods are addictive. People don’t lose control over eating bananas, but with ultraprocessed foods, they show all the hallmarks of addiction... Ultraprocessed foods are a lot cheaper and more convenient than less processed ones, Hall says. In his study, the minimally processed meals cost 40 percent more to buy and took the chefs longer to prepare."

Protein mania: the rich world’s new diet obsession - "In 2005, two biologists called David Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson put forward the “protein leverage hypothesis”, in which they argued that protein could be the missing link in the obesity crisis. Since the 1960s, the absolute level of protein consumed by the average westerner has not changed. What has changed is the ratio of protein in our diets"
The writer spends too much time going on about whey protein and other processed protein supplements

Aussie cops caught talking about victim's breasts in voicemail message - "Queensland Police have been forced to apologise for the behaviour of two officers who were caught making lewd comments about a domestic violence victim after one accidentally pocket-dialled the woman from his patrol car.  A recording of the officers in which the two men spoke about the woman saying she had a "great set of tits", took place in May, 2022 but was made public earlier this week. The two were discussing a callout to the woman's home, where she was found naked, after a domestic violence incident. It's understood the offensive conversation was sent to the woman's voicemail, who had earlier called one of the officers for help... It's understood the two continued on to discuss the woman's mental health throughout the call, labelling her "crazy"... The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, later had a second run-in with police, where she allegedly kneed an officer after trying to escape a mental health assessment at a Gold Coast hospital. She was arrested and charged."

Consanguineous marriages and their association with women’s reproductive health and fertility behavior in Pakistan: secondary data analysis from Demographic and Health Surveys, 1990–2018 - "According to a rough estimate, nearly one billion (20%) of the global population live in communities with a preference for consanguineous marriages, predominantly in Muslim countries of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. With 65%, Pakistan has one of the highest rates of cousin marriages globally, followed by India (55%), Saudi Arabia (50%), Afghanistan (40%), Iran (30%), Egypt, and Turkey (20%)"
How Many Americans Are Married To Their Cousins? - "An estimated 0.2 percent of marriages in the United States are between individuals who are second cousins or closer"
Someone tried to mock someone else talking about cousin marriage in Pakistan for allegedly being from the South(ern US), but even if all the cousin marriages in the US were in Alabama, the rate of cousin marriage in Alabama would only be 13.3% (with simplifying assumptions like each state having marriages in proportion to its population)

Meme - Zane Schacht - Voice Goblin: "Every wizard should hit the gym and learn some staff combat. "Nooooo I've mastered the arcane winds" bitch if you're out of mana you need to be ready. You have a 7 foot long piece of wood in your hands. Learn to use it."
gay wizard @seamussy: "What's a wizarding opinion that'll get you locked up like this"

Meme - "My wife took our cat to the vets, & my son told the vet his toy dinosaur was feeling poorly so the vet gave it an xray... *T-rex x-ray*"

"I KNEW IT. COME TO MAMA! *gambling table in heaven*"

Meme - "YES, I GET IT, AND I FiND IT OFFENSIVE." - Hammerhead shark to normal shark with hammer tied to forehead at Halloween party

Links - 29th December 2023 (2 - General Wokeness)

Claire Lehmann 🎄 on X - "2023's been great for @Quillette: 465 articles ✍️ MRR up 66% 💰 Subs up 52% 📈 @IonaItalia & @zoecabina full-time 🌟 Profitable 📊 Still independent & founder-owned! 🙌 3 QSocials in New Orleans, Melbourne & London 🌍 Special thanks to Jamie Palmer, @jonkay, & all contributors😊"
Why the left hate it so much (just like X) - it's not failing like the leftist media

i/o on X - "In less than two decades the number of PhDs more than doubled, while the academic job market shrank. So what do all these underemployed overwhelmingly lefty humanities and social science "doctors" end up doing? If your city is like mine, they take control of local politics."

Scientific American on X - "The heightened concern about black women's weight reflects the racist stigmatization of their bodies. It also ignores how interrelated social factors impact black women’s health."
i/o on X - "Average BMI of Japanese-American woman: 20.4
Average BMI of African-American woman: 32.8
Average lifespan of Japanese-American woman: 89 years
Average lifespan of African-American woman: 77 years"
demonfaZe on X - "In healthcare, The proposed solution to everything is to educate the patient on X And that will result in change. After being a physical therapist and a physical medicine physician for 15 years now, I can tell you that certain cultures are more willing to listen and implement changes than others. Black culture is highly resistant to any sort of change. Even pointing out things like weight is damn near impossible without dealing with emotional outbursts, which make my survey scores lower which makes me not want to even approach the subject."

GOLDSTEIN: Why are race-crime statistics banned in studies of police racism? - "From the very beginning, the OHRC has simply asserted that the only reason Blacks are overrepresented in interactions with the police is due to the fact the police are systemically racist and that it has nothing to do with Blacks being disproportionately involved in crime. Today, it is impossible to address this issue because it is illegal for police to gather or release race crime statistics unless they are part of studies on systemic racism by police. The problem is it is simply absurd to keep avoiding the issue of crime rates in the Black community in the context of accurately evaluating, and correcting, systemic racism by the police. Indeed, the two OHRC researchers who worked on the commission’s 2020 report on systemic racism in the Toronto Police Service raised this issue themselves... The 2020 OHRC report, which found Blacks were disproportionately arrested and charged by police compared to whites, also found whites were disproportionately arrested and charged compared to other visible minorities. Should we thus conclude Toronto police are systemically racist toward Blacks compared to whites and toward whites compared to other visible minorities? The problem is this infers that for the police to prove they aren’t racist, they must demonstrate the percentage of people they arrest and charge in every racial group exactly reflects their percentage in the overall population. But that’s absurd. We don’t want police arresting and charging people based on their race. We want them arresting and charging people based on credible evidence they have committed crimes. Finally, if adverse social conditions caused by racism lead to Blacks being disproportionately involved in crime, the police cannot alleviate those conditions in order to lower their interactions with Blacks, and it would be unfair to suggest they can."

GOLDSTEIN: Why we no longer talk honestly about police race-based data - "it has been illegal for police forces in Ontario to gather or reveal this data for decades. That was the result of a controversy that erupted in 1989 when then Toronto police superintendent Julian Fantino released statistics suggesting Blacks in one Toronto community were disproportionately involved in crime. Fantino said he did it to counter allegations police were racist. But politicians, criminologists and civil rights groups responded that releasing the data without the context that the Black community was over-policed, was unscientific and would feed into racism... The problem is that by continuously ignoring the issue of crime rates within the communities with which the police interact, we are no longer looking honestly or completely at all aspects of the issue. This will inevitably contribute to public skepticism among many about the findings of this latest report by Toronto Police identifying systemic racism in the force."
Begging the question about over-policing, putting your head in the sand and repeating liberal platitudes works as long as it's black people getting killed

“-Phobic” is a Mind Rape of Epic Proportions - "The targets of these "phobic" insults most often are engaged in nonviolent conflict. They show emotions related to anger – disdain, contempt, disgust, or resentment. If those normal emotions constitute extreme physiological reaction to unreasonable fear, then every human being on the planet is “phobic” because everyone has experienced those gradations of anger.  The sinister result of accusing sociopolitical opposition of “phobia” is that the target becomes a figurative mental patient. We don’t engage a crazy person as a cognitive peer – we engage them like an adult engages a child. Rather than exchanging facts and critique, they now exchange emotions and disrespect...  The correct reaction is to expose how the accuser is the fearful one – hiding their own fear of respectful and factual debate that could challenge their identity, beliefs, and values. The users of “phobia” language have dehumanized their opposition, while advancing their own agenda with dishonesty, and should thus be treated as aggressors.  Where did this dysfunctional sociopolitical dynamic begin? If you’ve noticed that homophobic is the most common “phobic” mind rape, you are perceptive. George Weinberg, a psychotherapist and homosexual activist, promulgated the dishonest tactic in his 1972 book Society and the Healthy Homosexual.  Borrowing from the primitive value system of socialism, where “the ends justify the means,” he did not have remorse for spreading the idiot’s lollipop. In 2012, he wrote in reflection, “As it turned out, the word ‘homophobia’ was exactly the concept that gay men and lesbians needed to achieve liberation.” What a shame that he credited rhetoric instead of something eternal like empiricism. A disgrace to LGBT history.  Semantic deception is not limited to pejorative “phobia.” It changed prostitutes to sex workers, swamp to wetlands, trolleys to light rail, and illegal aliens to migrants. With the flip of a tongue, centuries of human experience captured in vocabulary can be erased and replaced with modern agendas.  Semantic deception of any sort should be the first sign to an intelligent and dignified citizen that the manipulative speaker is unjustified. George Weinberg soiled the LGBT movement with these dishonest tactics, in tacit admission that the cultural truths were not so axiomatic. People with confidence in the veracity of their position do not choose such manipulative tactics... People who recognize the catastrophic impact of illegal immigration on social insurance, public services, and cultural continuity are not xenophobic – in fact, by speaking up, they are courageous. There are many stupid and emotional people who will ostracize or punish them for criticizing illegal immigration.  People who criticized France for abstaining from the Iraq War are not Francophobes, they are people with an opinion on warfare.  People who point out the negative impact of promiscuity and gluttony are not “whorephobes” and “fatphobes,” they are people who think critically about sexual behavior and nutrition.  People who criticize Islamic culture for security, crime, and civil rights are not fearful of Islam – in fact, they are courageous to even speak out in a time where violence is threatened against those who oppose Islamic sociopolitical norms."

Gay man who claimed thugs carved a homophobic slur into his buttocks admits he LIED - "A gay man who claimed homophobic thugs carved a slur into his buttocks with a knife has admitted he lied and two sadistic lovers did it with his consent while he cheated on his boyfriend.  The 20-year-old had told detectives he was assaulted at the entrance to his apartment block in the Madrid neighbourhood of Malasana.   The 'eight assailants' blamed for the attack were said to have cut his lower lip with a knife and then scored the word 'maricon' into his buttocks - the Spanish equivalent of 'fa###t'... Local reports said he had invented the gang attack to stop his partner finding out he had cheated on him with two other men."

The Rabbit Hole on X - "One piece of advice for Woke Asians would be to stop acting as useful idiots for DEI commissars to justify discrimination.  Many of you worked hard and come from hard working families of immigrants - why enable people who think your race is what should be considered?  Don’t feel guilty for succeeding as a natural consequence of your efforts."
Since we know that rationality (ie "Objective, rational linear thinking", "Cause and effect relationships" and "Quantitative emphasis") and hard work are whiteness and white values, it follows naturally that Asians succeed because of their adherence of white supremacy

Richard Hanania on X - "I'm starting to like the term classic liberal, whereas I shied away from it before. There are a few reasons for this.
1. One thing that used to drive me crazy about people who used the term was that they used to treat anything that pushed back against DEI/wokeness/civil rights as violating their principles. This has changed. Many or most classical liberals are now radicalized against the DEI bureaucracy, and when you say civil rights law is a problem now they get it, they don't think that you're trying to bring back Jim Crow. I personally played a large part in this. See here: https://tinyurl.com/4mfxf7rv
2. The rising power of theocrats after Dobbs necessitates a term to separate one's views from them. I have as little in common with opponents of surrogacy, euthanasia, and abortion as I do with wokes, if not even less. The Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the news is a reminder that the battle against theocracy is global.
3. There are a few problems with libertarians, namely their naive foreign policy views. Also, from an epistemological perspective, the term is associated with eccentricities like starting from the non-aggression principle and building a philosophy from there, while classical liberalism signals an openness to empirical evidence.
4. Unlike libertarianism, which invokes closed-minded dogma, classical liberalism can claim to be the ideology of the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, the American Founding, and the basis of the modern world. It can claim a history of winning and making the world a better place to a much greater extent than libertarianism can.
Labels can blind people more than they help facilitate communication, but I think that the two front war against woke and theocracy needs a banner it can unite under. As the abortion issue, etc., continues to destroy the electoral chances of conservatives across the Western world, thus empowering destructive leftists, in the coming years I expect more people to realize this."

'Just a Coincidence': New Minnesota Flag Draws Backlash for Somali Resemblance - "A Minnesota commission tasked with redesigning the state’s flag faced significant backlash on Twitter due to allegations that the new design closely resembled flags from territories in Somalia, an East African country.   The proposed design includes an eight-point North Star, along with a tricolor stripe (blue, white, and green) symbolizing elements reminiscent of the state’s geography, including mountains, water bodies, and the sky. The change came after complaints that the old flag was offensive to Native Americans... the final draft came under immediate scrutiny from social media critics who drew parallels between the proposed flag and those of Jubaland and Puntland, two Somali federal states.  In response, a popular conservative account, End Wokeness, posted on Twitter, “Minnesota is home to the largest Somali population in the West. Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minnesota) is from Puntland. Minnesota just unveiled their new flag. I’m sure this is just a coincidence.” In a separate tweet, End Wokeness added, “Minnesota just replaced its official state flag with a new flag that looks awfully similar to Somalia. They are rubbing it in our faces.”   Political science professor Wilfred Reilly reacted, expressing disbelief, “Holy crap – this is actually real.”    Similarly, Conservative commentator James Lindsay blasted what he described as a rampant attempt to change the designs of American flags.  “The state-by-state agenda to change state flags is big. Happened first in Utah. Now Minnesota with Pennsylvania up to bat. The revolution is proceeding with what pretend to be reasonable issues,” Lindsay said."

Wesley Yang on X - "You didn’t have to teach the woke to hate Jews per se — you just had to teach them anyone who has anything out of proportion to their population share is an oppressor and let them reinvent the oldest hatred"

Richard Hanania on X - "Part of the Rosa Parks story most people don't know. In 1994, age 81, she was living in Detroit. A black man broke into her house, beat her, and stole $53. Her reaction: "We still have a long way to go" In 2020, the same man was arrested again for assaulting an elderly woman."
Damn racism, forcing him to attack a Civil Rights Heroine!

Meme - Libs of TikTok @libsoftiktok: ".@WSSchools sent out a memo to employees that they can't put up Christmas decorations, play Christmas music, or dress up for Christmas. Meanwhile they proudly celebrate pride month in their schools. Can't celebrate Christmas but it's okay to celebrate who adults like to have s*x with!"
School District Goes Full 'Grinch' with Order Banning Christmas Decorations - "In the town of Wallingford, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb, a memo went out to all school bus drivers and aides. Subject: “Bus Decor & Attire.”  “As per Dr. Marseille” — Wagner Marseille, the superintendent of the Wallingford-Swathmore School District — “he has been receiving complaints from parents concerning District employees displaying ‘Christmas’ themed decorations and/or wearing clothing of the same nature,” the memo, obtained by WTXF-TV, read.  “If you have decorated your bus with anything specific to the Christmas Holiday or any other decorations relating to a specific religion, please remove them immediately,” the memo continued.  “In addition, employees are not instructed to wear clothing related to Christmas or any other religious holiday,” it said. And, just in case you didn’t get the message: “THIS IS NOT SPECIFIC TO OUR DEPARTMENT, IT APPLIES TO ALL DISTRICT EMPLOYEES.” All caps, so you know they meant it!... And yes, in case you’re wondering, the Wallingford-Swathmore School District does have an eight-page guide to “ensuring equity and nondiscrimination” for “gender expansive & transgender students,” adopted in 2018, but a terse, three-paragraph tell-off to employees who might want to experience some of that “nondiscrimination” in expressing their faith traditions."
We're still told the War on Christmas is a myth

JoJo Siwa WON'T have to kiss a man in upcoming Christmas movie Bounce now she's come out as LGBTQ - "Teen sensation Jojo Siwa has won her fight to get a kissing scene with a man cut from her upcoming Christmas movie Bounce.  The former Dance Moms reality star, 18, who has a girlfriend, told EW this week that she is 'madly in love and I do not want to kiss another human. Especially because it’s a man.'"
So much for do your job or get fired. Liberals don't believe in that anymore

Boy, 9, found hanged 'was bullied for being white' - "A boy of nine who was found hanged is believed to have killed himself after he was ‘bullied for being white’ by an Asian gang at school.  Aaron Dugmore – thought to be one of the youngest children in the UK to commit suicide – was discovered in his bedroom after being tormented for months, his parents said. They said Aaron was threatened with a plastic knife by one Asian pupil, who warned him: ‘Next time it will be a real one.’  He was also allegedly told by another pupil that ‘all the white people should be dead’ and he was forced to hide from the bullies in the playground at lunchtime.  Aaron’s mother, Kelly-Marie Dugmore, 30, and stepfather Paul Jones, 43, said that despite complaints to the school, nothing was done to stop the bullying... His mother claimed she went to see the head teacher of the school several times only to be told: ‘You didn’t have to come to this school, you chose to come here.’  A neighbour of the boy’s grandmother  earlier told how ‘he had been targeted by a gang of older bullies at the school’."
Damn white supremacy!

"Thanks for the good news"

Meme - Gretchen Felker-Martin @scumbelievable: "today i learned that the guy who shot osama bin laden brags about it in his twitter
"haha i put three bullets in a sick old man's head for daring to strike back at the country that helped to gut and cannibalize his home"
the huge crime of is that the shit we do every day overseas got done to us exactly once"
When you support terrorism
Apparently the US destroyed Saudi Arabia

Meme - "This graph show how America conveniently became racist after Occupy Wall Street
Number of NYT Articles Mentioning 'Racism'
Total N = 21,726
End of Occupy Wall Street: 2012
*massive acceleration after 2012*
2012: "Foreclose on Banks Not People. Occupy Wall St
2018: *JP Morgan Pride Float with Chase Float in background*"
Greg Croll on X - "Let’s not forget the abrupt shift of the MSM toward the racism narrative (hello NYT 1619 Project) after the 3yr Russia narrative fell apart..."
Keywords: mentions of racism, New York Times

Meme - GAWD @_benjvmins_: "yt girls killing themselves to get surgeries to look like us. Imao, you won't win creature"
parody, promise its parody...par...: "Dad left before he taught you English. Maybe your kids missing dad will send a check, but I don't know if he has a bank account" *GAWD @_benjvmins_ with long blonde hair and fairish skin and huge fake eyelashes*

Meme - Cassandra MacDonald @CassandraRules: "Its a "thumb" tack. Its a funny pun and cool swag. Stop looking for crap to cry about. Youre lame."
Stacey Patton @DrStaceyPatton: "Was at the AAAM conference, a Black event, today in Nashville. A white male exhibitor, whose company makes exhibit mannequins, was giving out these thumbtacks as "swag." Deeply triggering to me as someone who researches lynchings where fingers and genitals were cut and sold."
Of course, if they'd only had white thumbs, this would've been exclusion and racist

Supreme Court Rules Philadelphia Can’t Force Catholic Agency To Serve Gay Foster Parents - "Philadelphia officials were in the wrong when they tried to force a Catholic charity to ignore its religious convictions and place children in the foster homes of same-sex parents, the Supreme Court ruled...   In a decision that saw no dissents, the Supreme Court justices determined that the First Amendment religious freedoms of Catholic Social Services were violated when the city of Philadelphia refused to renew a contract with the organization to handle the placement of foster children there because the agency would not place kids with same-sex couples. The refusal put the organization at odds with the city's anti-discrimination policies. And so, while the city still contracted with Catholic Social Services for other programs, it stopped doing so for foster child placement. Today's majority decision in Fulton v. Philadelphia bears some resemblance to the 2018 Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission decision about gay wedding cakes. In that ruling, the majority decision didn't actually determine whether the state could mandate under its anti-discrimination law that a baker must make a cake for a same-sex wedding, despite his religious objections. Instead, the majority determined that the discrimination ordinance was not being neutrally applied. Comments from members of the commission indicated hostility toward the baker's religious beliefs.  In today's case, the majority similarly determined that Philadelphia's anti-discrimination regulations were not being neutrally applied. The city's foster care contracts grant the commissioner of the Department of Human Services "sole discretion" in allowing exceptions to the city's nondiscrimination regulations. Inherently, that means these regulations are not "generally applicable."... despite the ruling against Philadelphia, much as what happened with the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, the Court has declined to deal with the underlying religious liberty issues involved.  Alito is at least correct in saying that keeping the ambiguous status quo here guarantees more cases will arise"
Damn far right Trump judges!
Weird. I thought gay marriage becoming legal wouldn't affect anyone except those who wanted to get a gay marriage. There's the "myth" of the slippery slope again.

85% of Liberal Students Think Professors Should Be Reported for Offensive Comments - "While most students think their professors adequately encourage diverse viewpoints in the classroom, don't want speakers disinvited from campus, and are comfortable sharing controversial opinions, 85 percent of liberals think professors who say something offensive should be reported to the university.  That's according to a new survey of student attitudes conducted by North Dakota State University's Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth... Probably the most concerning result was that 70 percent of students—85 percent of liberals, 41 percent of conservatives, and 65 percent of those classified as "independent/apolitical"—wanted professors reported to the administration for making offensive statements. Most students also felt this way about other students who said offensive things.  The survey does not define the word "offensive," so it's impossible to know what kind of speech the respondents had in mind. Professors are frequently reported for uttering ethnic slurs, though many such occurrences are misunderstandings or arguably legitimate educational uses."
Meme - "If a professor says something that students find offensive, should that professor be reported to the university?
American College Student Freedom, Progress and Flourishing Survey, Shella and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth, June 2022"

The Associated Press on X - "Protesters demanding a cease-fire in Gaza shut down the 110 Freeway in Los Angeles Wednesday morning. All lanes were blocked as protesters lined up, sitting down along the southbound side of the freeway. 75 people were arrested, according to the California Highway Patrol."
Conor Friedersdorf on X - "This protest made thousands of people worse off and no one plausibly better off because there is no logical reason why shutting down a Southern California freeway would lead to a cease fire, though it could easily lead to a death if an ambulance was stuck in traffic."
James Lindsay, epic manspreader on X - "I'll repeat again: appealing to emergency vehicles is correct but weak. Thousands of people with things to do, some incredibly important, some emergencies, some time-sensitive, have their circumstances ruined because of this stuff. Pilots, parents, businesspeople, etc. Blocking highways isn't merely "inconvenient," and it's not just a problem because people might have emergencies. It should be treated as a tremendous crime because of the size of the impacts, some moral, some personal, some economic, all ruined for a spectacle."
Yuri Bezmenov's Ghost on X - "Mid-level violence is violence and should be recognized as such. Blocking a road is similar to any other "I'm not touching you" provocative Marxist action intended to erode your power or draw an overreaction."
HarmlessPirateRadio on X - "It's funny, because show only the bit where it's a young boy doing it to a young girl and they would instantly know it as violence, but show a person with rainbow clothing and technicolor hair doing it to a person in a red cap and they will deny, deny, deny."
This is similar to the left milkshaking people they disagreed with - pretending that their assault is not really assault. Of course, if a "far right" person throws glitter on someone the left approves of...

Boston city council holiday party bombs after 'no whites' event: Report - "Only six elected officials showed up to the Boston city council holiday party on Monday night after Wu was criticized for organizing an earlier “no whites” event... only three state representatives, a state senator and two city councillors attended despite 40 being invited. Wu tried to play down the drama and blamed the unnamed councillor who leaked the smaller party’s invitation... Wu claimed the backlash was less about the event being exclusive and more that people were “shocked” there were so many minority leaders in Boston. She said the existence of the group and its celebrations were well-known by councillors and the leak had a “political motive.”"
When you can't withstand scrutiny, blame whistleblowers
If you're against liberal-endorsed segregation, you're a bad person

Jonatan Pallesen on X - "A famous paper by Lisa Cook claims that Black patents declined in 1900, and that this was caused by racial violence. However, the results immediately look suspicious. There is a full halving of patents in exactly 1900, after which the levels are stable at 1880 levels. This doesn't look like a pattern that ongoing violence would cause. It looks like a specific thing changed in 1900. And as it turns out, a specific thing did change in 1900: the data set. The Black inventors were identified in a variety of ways. One of the sources was from the dataset gathered for the 1900 World's Fair, in which there was an exhibit of African American inventors. Wikipedia says there were nearly 400 Black inventors identified here. The total size of the data set is 726. Thus, most of her data points comes from this source from the year 1900. It is obvious that if you get most of your data from a source that only includes data up to 1900, then your data points will be more sparse after 1900. And this is precisely what we see in the graph. The Brookings institute looked at the number of Black patents, and identified ~50,000 patents over this same period, instead of the 726. And they found no significant decline around year 1900. It is quite depressing that a paper with such an immediately obvious flaw can achieve such acclaim. It was probably an important paper in getting Lisa Cook nominated to the Fed, even though she has little to no experience in matters of monetary policy. Paul Romer wrote a post supporting her appointment based on this paper. (https://paulromer.net/lisa-cook/) He writes: "The surprise for me was the size of the effect on black patenting at a time when the control group of white inventors shows no comparable change." He was right to be surprised. But I increasingly find that when research surprises you, your first consideration should be whether the research should be trusted."

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