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Monday, July 15, 2024

Links - 15th July 2024 (1 - Joe Biden: Debate Fallout)

Biden backer George Clooney tells president he can't beat Trump - "After supporting him last month at a glitzy fundraiser in Los Angeles, George Clooney has told Joe Biden he needs to drop out of the upcoming U.S. presidential race... “I love Joe Biden. As a senator. As a vice president and as president. I consider him a friend, and I believe in him. Believe in his character. Believe in his morals. In the last four years, he’s won many of the battles he’s faced,” Clooney wrote.  “But the one battle he cannot win is the fight against time. None of us can. It’s devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fundraiser was not the Joe ‘big F-ing deal’ Biden of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate.”... Biden’s interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos last week only solidified his belief that the president must step aside.  “As Democrats, we collectively hold our breath or turn down the volume whenever we see the president, who we respect, walk off Air Force One or walk back to a mic to answer an unscripted question,” he wrote... The Ocean’s 11 star has been a vociferous critic of Trump... Clooney’s abandonment of Biden, who has maintained he plans to keep campaigning, follows similar pleas from author Stephen King and filmmaker Rob Reiner... Damon Lindelof, who is best known for co-creating the TV hit Lost, also spoke out against the president in a guest column that appeared in Deadline. “Our president’s debate performance has been characterized in many ways; disappointing, upsetting, terrifying… but for me it was simply game-changing,” he wrote.  In an email obtained by the New York Times, Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, a prominent Democratic donor, reportedly wrote that Biden needs to drop out and the Democratic Party needs to find another candidate to take on Trump... The View co-host Sara Haines also begged Biden to walk away. “I think President Biden needs to step down and be replaced,” Haines told her co-hosts."

Thread by @DrewHolden360 on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "🧵THREAD🧵  Biden’s disastrous debate performance brought to a screeching halt a multi-year campaign from the media to present the president as mentally fit.  Do you really remember how hard the press pushed you not to trust your lyin’ eyes on Biden’s decline?  Start here ⤵️
I suspect most of you remember the allegations from the White House that videos showing Biden behaving erratically were “cheap fakes.”  The media rushed to repeat this claim. Look at the extent @nytimes went to say you didn’t see anything and that Biden was fine. Perhaps the wildest was @washingtonpost, who gave “Four Pinocchio’s” to videos showing Biden displaying cognitive problems, dismissing them as fakes, “pernicious” efforts “to reinforce an existing stereotype.”  Part of their defense was that Biden “doesn’t dance.”  Really.  Just look at this headline from @AP.  And it only gets worse from there.  Again, your lyin eyes are the problem. Not Biden. Allegedly. @AP took specific issue with one supposed “fake”: a video where Biden freezes and needs to be led off a stage.  The video looks brutal.  But why would you believe what you can see, rather than Biden’s and Jimmy Kimmel’s comms teams? @TheWrap blamed Biden’s stutter.  Really. Line highlighted. @NBCNews lamented how hard all these deceptive “cheap fakes” were for our noble fact checkers. But this headline was everywhere.  An obviously dubious statement from a White House official was repeated as gospel truth.  Here’s @ABC, @NBCNews, @thedailybeast and @CNN. Really. I’m not exaggerating. There are even more at my full write up (link is in bio) but here’s another four boxer courtesy of @washingtonpost, @CBSNews, @Salon and @RollingStone.
But what you may have forgotten are the ways that this was just the latest attempt from the press to hide the fact that the president might lack the mental wherewithal to execute the duties of his office.  Remember the special counsel report on Biden’s documents? Back in February, special counsel Robert Hur determined that Biden lacked the mental fortitude to face a jury without seeming like a feeble, affable old man.  The press were incensed. @nytimes threw up the roadblocks, saying we needed more evidence to make a real diagnosis. @washingtonpost claimed that what had been disclosed about Biden was just like anyone mixing up the names of their children.  Nothing to see here! It was a popular refrain. Here’s @AP doing the same. Just like mixing up your kids’ names!  How silly! Even the leader of the free world does it! @CNN assured us that it was nothing to worry about, Biden was fine, especially at his age.  They quoted a comms professor as their authoritative source. These built off longstanding claims that criticism of Biden’s mental capacity were “ageist.”  Here’s @TIME pushing that claim repeatedly. And some more from @Forbes, @NPR, @TheView and @Will_Bunch.
Perhaps the richest of them all came last year from @nytimes.  Biden was so spry and vigorous that his young staff couldn’t keep up! Everyone was saying so!  It reads like North Korean propaganda.
The debate dashed this narrative that the press had worked so hard to build. Biden has lost even the editorial boards of @nytimes, @BostonGlobe and more. It’s time, the press laments, to move on. And maybe we should’ve seen this coming.  I don’t think it’s a mystery why this topic wasn’t covered well, @CNN. That isn’t to say that some outlets haven’t maintained the fiction.  Biden had a cold at the debate. That was the problem, they claimed. I won’t let @CBSNews, @axios, and @NBCNews forget. Or @AP…whatever this is.
It should go without saying, but the media actively working to hide from the American people that the commander and chief is exhibiting signs of serious cognitive decline is an enormous problem...  And that the press, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say, pushed this fiction to give one side a leg up in the election?  I think the media’s word for that is “election interference” I know it’s hard to believe, but there are many more examples of the media covering for Biden’s mental state than what I could fit in this thread."
Once again, "fact checking" is a way to push the left wing agenda

Eric Weinstein on X - "Can someone walk me through the official narrative of how the impartial press *suddenly* ascertains there is a problem that only seconds earlier they were dismissively defaming people for discussing? I can’t even come up with a story. Any story. At all. Thanks in advance."

Joe Biden and the Common Knowledge Game - "Common Knowledge is what everyone knows that everyone knows.  Common knowledge is why coronations and executions are held in public – not so a crowd can see the new king or the hanged man, but so a crowd can see a crowd seeing the new king or the hanged man. Common knowledge is why sitcoms have laugh tracks, why American Idol has a live studio audience, and why professional sports teams pipe in crowd noise. Common knowledge is why the Egyptian government fell in 2011 after a televised protest in Tahrir Square, why the Romanian government fell in 1989 after a televised protest in Palace Square, and why the Chinese government will arrest you today if you distribute pictures of a 35-year-old protest in Tiananmen Square. Common knowledge is why inflation has been non-transitory and persistent, why the US withdrawal from Afghanistan was a fiasco, and why the US response to Covid was so heavy-handed and ineffective. Common knowledge is also why the 2024 Biden/Harris campaign has collapsed... Pretty much everyone in Hollywood knew that Harvey Weinstein was a rapist and a really bad guy, including his wife and his business partners and all the actors who wanted a role in one of his movies. It was widespread private knowledge, verging on public knowledge. I mean, if you’re making jokes about it on 30 Rock, it’s out there.  But it didn’t matter that everyone in Hollywood knew that Harvey Weinstein was a rapist. No one’s behavior changed. No one shunned the guy. No actor turned down a role. No politician turned down a donation. His wife didn’t leave him, and his business partners just upped the D&O insurance and paid out settlements. They all knew, and I’m sure they cared a little and shook their heads in a tsk-tsk sort of way, but they didn’t care enough to change their transactional relationships with Harvey Weinstein. Because that’s the thing about private information, no matter how widespread. Even if everyone in the world believes a certain piece of private information, no one will alter their behavior. Behavior changes ONLY when we believe that everyone else believes the information. THAT’S what changes behavior. Just like with the Emperor’s New Clothes... In the absence of common knowledge, staying quiet — whether you’re an abettor or a victim — is the rational thing to do. In fact, this is what Weinstein and his abettors count on, that their threats and shaming and bribes will set up a Hobson’s Choice for victims. Sure you can go public, but no one will believe you and then we will ruin you. So yeah, go ahead. It’s your choice. Of course no one goes public, because a Hobson’s Choice is not a real choice. Only a victim with Missionary power (and that’s a really rare thing) has the option to not just go public with the story — because simply going public is not enough to change behavior — but to create common knowledge with the story by going SO public and SO loud.   Joe Biden was his own Missionary. Joe Biden was his own little girl who yells out SO loudly that the Emperor has no clothes.  Honestly, I think Biden is the only person with enough juice to pull it off. Maybe Obama. No one else could have been the Missionary here...   You cannot ‘restore confidence’ by reading a speech off a freakin’ teleprompter! There is no ‘confidence’ to be restored!  Everything Joe Biden does for the rest of his life will be seen through the lens of last Thursday night...   And not only will every future public action be put under a microscope, with the entire world waiting for the accident to happen, but all of Biden’s past public actions will be put under renewed scrutiny. You think Attorney General Merrick Garland hasn’t compared the audio recording of Biden’s deposition with special prosecutor Robert Hur to the written transcript? You think there might be some … ummmm … discrepancies between the audio recording and the transcript? You think Garland is feeling all warm and fuzzy right now about his very public vouching for Biden’s mental acuity? LOL. Biden’s cabinet officers are now in exactly the same spot as Harvey Weinstein’s business partners. Of course they knew. But now they know that everyone knows, and that puts their careers in danger. They can’t be seen as the courtiers insisting that the Emperor is wearing a fine suit of clothes now that we all know that we all know he’s naked, but they also can’t be seen publicly sticking a knife into Biden’s back. So what do they do? They bail. They distance themselves. They start waffling. They are ‘busy with crucial departmental business’ when the campaign asks for a photo shoot in the Rose Garden. They say nice things about Biden to his face, and in private they start talking on background to disavow him... Obama saying it was a ‘bad night’ is a classic limited hangout, where you confess truthfully to a small thing to stop the questioning on a big thing. Obama can’t be seen as the guy with the knife, but he can absolutely give his boys Jon Favreau and Ben Rhodes the green light to, if not stab away, then at least to distance themselves, their social media and their fundraising from the Biden campaign.  No Democrat who sees a future for themselves in politics is going to commit wholeheartedly to the Biden/Harris campaign now... It’s the entirely rational way to play the game.  All that remains is the cope... I knew Heather Cox Richardson when we were in grad school at Harvard. To see her descend to this level of party apparatchik cope at this point in our lives … ugh. Jeff Sonnenfeld is a professor and dean at the Yale Business School. He also runs an ‘executive leadership’ company that’s affiliated with Yale, sort of a WEF wannabe thing. Barf. But if you think the cope and the recriminations are bad now, just wait until after the election. Man, it’s going to be QAnon-level stuff flowing from the true-believers."

End Wokeness on X - "NEW: Parkinson's expert Dr. Tom Pitts tells NBC that Biden clearly has it. No debate. He compares the coverup to the Soviets. This is coming from a lifelong Democrat."

Collin Rugg on X - "JUST IN: Crowd starts cracking up after Ben Shapiro breaks Democrat Rep. Eric Swalwell's brain after he asked a question about Project 2025.
Swalwell: "How much do you support Project 2025?"
Shapiro: "Like President Trump, I haven't looked all that deeply at Project 2025, but it seems that Democrats on this committee are sort of like Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. If they say Project 2025, enough, their presidential candidate becomes alive again."
Brutal."

Biden Can’t Spin His Way Out of This - WSJ - "To me it feels like August 1974. The president’s position isn’t going to get better, it is going to get worse. The longer he waits to step aside the crueler his departure will be. The post-debate polls show he is losing support both overall and in the battlegrounds. A cratering like that doesn’t happen because you had a bad night, or a cold, or were tired. It happens when an event starkly and unavoidably shows people what they already suspected. It happens when the event gives them proof. Before the debate a majority of those polled said they no longer thought he had it in him physically or mentally to do the job of president anymore. After the debate that number reached 72%. You can’t un-ring that bell... I don’t agree with the narrative that what was revealed in the debate was a sudden and dramatic decline. What he has been showing, for at least two years, is a steady and unstopping decline. In January 2022 we worried here about the president’s propensity for “unfinished sentences, non sequiturs; sometimes his thoughts seem like bumper cars crashing and forcing each other off course.” In April 2022 we wrote of a poll in New Hampshire that asked if Joe Biden was physically and mentally up to the job if there is a crisis. Fifty-four percent said, “not very/not at all.” In June 2022 we said there’s a broad sense it’s not going to get better: “He has poor judgment and he’s about to hit 80 and it’s not going to change.” Voters feel “unease.” In December 2022: Mr. Biden doesn’t think he’s “slipping with age,” but he’s wrong. “He’s showing age and it will only get worse, and he will become more ridiculous, when he’s deeper into his 80s.” Trusted Biden intimates must tell him to get out of the race. “You got rid of Donald Trump. You got us out of Afghanistan. You passed huge FDR-level bills that transformed the social safety net. . . . You did your job in history. You fulfilled your role. And now you should go out an inspiration.” In September 2023 Mr. Biden had been busted in the press for telling tall tales that didn’t check out. We noted that while repeated lying is “a characterological fault, not knowing you’re lying might suggest a neurological one.” “The age problem will only get worse.” “In insisting on running he is making a historical mistake. . . . He isn’t up to it.” What we saw in the debate isn’t new. That’s why voters won’t accept the idea that it was just a bad night. They think it’s been a bad and worsening two years... Can America afford for another four years to have an obviously neurologically impaired president? No, it isn’t safe. It is on some level provocative. Weakness provokes. The president’s rationalizers point out that he’s fine from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I am sure presidents Xi of China and Putin of Russia will only decide to take back Taiwan or move on Poland at lunch time EST, to keep things fair. Why wouldn’t they schedule their aggressions around the president’s needs? The elected officeholders of the Democratic Party should take responsibility and press the president to leave. You can’t scream, “Democracy is on the line,” and put up a neurologically compromised candidate to fight for it. They haven’t moved for two reasons. One has to do with their own prospects: You don’t want to be the one who kills the king, you want to be the one who warmly mourns the king and takes his mantle after someone else kills him. The other is fear of who would replace him on the ticket, and how exactly that would happen. These are understandable fears. But the answer isn’t to hide in a dumb fatalism, a listless acceptance of fate. It makes no sense to say, “Joe Biden is likely going to lose so we should do nothing because doing something is unpredictable.” Unpredictable is better than doomed. This is a party afraid of itself, literally afraid of its own groups and component parts. They are afraid of their own delegates. Party professionals think letting the convention decide would reveal how fatally shattered and divided the party is—how wild it is. But that’s how the party looks now, with its leaders in Washington frozen and incapable and no one in charge. What a tragedy this is. A president cratering his historical reputation, his wife and family ruining any affection history would have had for them when Donald Trump wins. They have no idea how they’re going to look."

Joe Biden vows to 'beat Trump in 2020' and says he's proud to be a black woman in latest gaffes - "Maura Healey, the governor of Massachusetts, became the most high-profile sitting Democrat to publicly call for Mr Biden to consider his position... Mr Biden may not even be wholly in charge of which policies the White House puts through, a source from “inside the building” told Semafor news website yesterday.   The source said much appeared to be handled by his close team including chief of staff Jeff Zients. The White House denied the claim... when asked why voting mattered, Mr Biden delivered an apparently unrelated answer that referred to the Supreme Court’s recent decision to grant Trump considerable immunity to prosecution... he fluffed his lines when speaking to military families on the White House South Lawn. During a four-minute address he said he was “not going anywhere” but he seemed to stumble when he referred to Mr Trump as “one of our colleagues”. While defenders of Mr Biden say he has long mixed up words, during his 90-minute debate last week he frequently appeared lost.  Further damaging revelations about his mental capacity have since emerged in the US media, including the suggestion that he is not cogent after 4pm each day, and that he sometimes forgets the names of close friends.   A guest at a party attended by Mr Biden told New York Magazine they were shocked to find he could not make it through an evening reception because it was too late."

Meme - Ben Dreyfuss @bendreyfuss: "Biden must only step aside if the coalition of pundits calling on him to do so includes a black, a Hispanic, an Asian, a SE Asian, a Native American, 3 gays and lesbians (each), a trans person, a cripple, a drug addict, a homeless person, & a few people with self-diagnosed autism"
Tristan Snell @TristanSnell: "These are the folks calling for Biden to quit.  Gosh, if there was only something they all had in common..."
Lex Jurgen on X - "White men attacking other white men over DEI credentials is the WNBA of political activism."
Slate56 on X - "Yes! They're all progressives like you for one. You loved each and every one of them until they voiced an opinion you don't like, but supported every opinion of them when agreed with their opinons."
Noam Blum on X - "This would make your opinions just as invalid as theirs. You’re a more generic white guy than the default character in a video game."
MuhSocioFactors on X - "Cool it with the anti-semitism."
Future Moldovan Citizen on X - "I don’t get it. You think these guys want Kamala Harris to become president because they are racist?"

Dr. Eli David on X - "Biden is the same age as Mick Jagger 🧐 *Video of vigorous and energetic Jagger*"

White House Claims Biden Has Had A Cold For The Past 4 Years | Babylon Bee - ""He's just had a bad four years," Jean-Pierre said. "And he's been perpetually jet-lagged since the '70s — a rare but serious condition."... Peter Doocy of Fox News asked, "Do you mean to tell me that he's had a cold all these years but still goes out in public to shake hands with world leaders? Isn't that irresponsible? Is he trying to get people killed, Karine?"  Jean-Pierre shut him down immediately. "Look, I'm not going to discuss the president's public interactions with world leaders because those are private, okay? That would be wholly inappropriate."  "How is a public interaction private?" Doocy asked in a follow-up.  "I already told you that's inappropriate," the press secretary answered. "I will now only take questions from NPR.""

Meme - NH State Rep. Wendy E. N... @WendyENThomas: "First, I unequivocally support Biden for President. 100%. What everyone is calling dementia *could* be long covid. When I had long covid, I had difficulty with reading, word retrieval, and short term memory."

Black Insurrectionist--I FOLLOW BACK TRUE PATRIOTS on X - "I just hung up with my friend who works in D.C. The guy who has nailed everything and given me inside scoops for months that have led to viral tweets, correct predictions and he has not been wrong yet. Not sure if I should post this, but:
Jill Biden is running the country right now.
Joe Biden is sleeping up to 16 hrs. per day.
The Biden and Obama family rift has now blown fully open and any aides loyal to Obama are going to get canned.
Obama is going to try and force Joe out. Obama is meeting privately with power players to get them to withdraw funding.
Hollywood will begin to turn on Biden via Obama is telling them.  Democrats are making decertification plans in case of a Trump win. Deals are being attempted with some republicans right now to turn on Trump.   A full-blown civil war in the DNC and an attempt to make sure Trump does not get elected at any cost is now happening. Many in D.C. are already saying that the Biden family has completely obliterated the constitution with how they are running the country.   Obama has the CIA and NSA in his corner. Bad news for Biden. The Biden family has cut Joe Biden off to anyone other than a few close people.
The Hur tapes are completely different than the transcription. The desperation to keep them is because apparently Joe Biden had full blown Dementia during most of that interview and some are saying the transcripts are in fact, doctored. I was even warned that I probably should not post this, but the hell with it, I hate the DNC, I hate democrats. The quicker we get rid of the democratic party the better off we all will be. But that includes getting rid of the GOP. Both parties suck.   Anyway, last night press conference did nothing, there is a full court press to get rid of Joe Biden and it is intensifying, watch for leaks to the press about Joe Biden and things that are happening behind the scenes. If the Hur tapes come out, it will be the end of Biden for sure and will lead to prosecutions because of the doctoring of the transcriptions. Internal polling has been disastrous. Many saying Biden has no path to win and if he were to win, the country would go up in flames. Crazy times we live in."

Charles Gasparino on X - "BREAKING: An alternative view from a CEO who knows @JoeBiden  well and says "NO FUCKING WAY he's dropping out." Here's his take: "Joe Biden couldnt care less what the elite in his party thinks, what the elite fundraisers think or anyone else. He really hates them; he'll take their money but he knows they look down on him as some rube. Plus he thinks he earned the presidency after trying so many times and there's no way he's giving it up to go down in history as a loser who dropped out because he isnt tough enough. He only cares about his wife and family and he will tell everyone else to fuck off.""

White House screened Cabinet officials' questions for Biden during rare meetings with prez: report - "President Biden’s Cabinet members have been emphatic that the commander-in-chief is sharp and probative behind closed doors.  However, the 81-year-old chief executive’s interactions with key members of his administration are actually pre-scripted and carefully choreographed — with aides going over questions and discussion points with Cabinet secretaries ahead of time.  Biden has not convened a meeting of his full Cabinet since Oct. 2, 2023, nine months ago. “The entire display is kind of an act,” one source told CNN of the closed-door get-togethers. “They would come and say, ‘Hey, the president is going to call on you about 25 minutes in and ask this question. What are the bullet points you’ll respond with?’” One unidentified Cabinet secretary told the outlet that they were unclear on the status of Biden’s health or cognitive performance because they met with the president so infrequently. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who is not a Cabinet member but is nominated by the president, told House lawmakers Wednesday he had not met or spoken with Biden since May 2022... multiple sources claimed to CNN that such carefully choreographed exchanges between the president and top officials were not the norm in the Obama administration... Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, 77, confirmed Tuesday to a congressional panel that the Cabinet had not mulled the use of the 25th Amendment power to remove Biden from office and defended his astuteness.  “The president is extremely effective in the meetings that I’ve been in with him,” she said, declining to specify when the last time the two met... Biden’s allies managed to muddle through controversy over the president’s age back in February, despite him making a major gaffe at a subsequent presser, intended to allay concerns over his age, in which he referred to the Egyptian leader as the president of Mexico.  Mishaps and verbal flubs have dogged Biden’s White House tenure — even during carefully orchestrated events."

Radio host resigns after Biden campaign fed her interview questions - "A Philadelphia radio host has parted ways with her station after interviewing President Biden with questions provided by his campaign, a move prohibited by many newsrooms including her own.  Andrea Lawful-Sanders is one of two journalists — both hosts of Black radio shows in critical swing states — who acknowledged over the weekend that the Biden camp had fed them questions for interviews earlier in the week.  Their admissions come at a time when the president is already facing heightened scrutiny...   NPR has confirmed that the Biden campaign — as opposed to the White House — engaged with the hosts ahead of their interviews.  Biden campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt defended the move in a statement, saying it’s “not at all an uncommon practice for interviewees to share topics they would prefer” and that the questions asked of Biden were “relevant to the news of the day.”... Biden has engaged in fewer press conferences and media interviews than any of the last seven presidents at this point in their terms, according to an analysis shared with NPR by presidential scholar Martha Joynt Kumar... The practice of accepting interview questions from subjects is widely frowned upon in most newsrooms."

At Biden’s high-stakes press conference, the trouble began when the teleprompter stopped - "The trouble began as soon as the teleprompter was turned off. Just two weeks after a disastrous debate plunged his campaign into crisis, and with heavy hitters in his own party refusing to publicly support him, Joe Biden’s performance needed to be flawless. But in his first answer, to the first question, at his first open press conference in eight months, he confused his running-mate, Kamala Harris, with his mortal enemy, Donald Trump... That might not have drawn so much attention if he hadn’t confused president Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine with his mortal enemy, Russian president Vladimir Putin, just hours earlier... This was billed by the White House as a “big boy” press conference — a demonstration of the president’s mental strength after so many doubts. That such a description could be given to a routine part of a president’s job is a sign of how low the bar has been set for Biden following that catastrophic 90 minutes on stage with Trump in Atlanta."

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Links - 14th July 2024 (2)

Some Gen Zers seem to be bringing parents to job interviews. It may not be as bad as it sounds. - "For the Gen Zers who said they had a parent at an in-person interview, 37% said they had them come into the office, 26% said the parent physically sat in the room while the interview took place, and 18% said their parent introduced themselves to the hiring manager, Seven percent said their parents even answered questions for them... In a survey of 800 managers, directors, and executives commissioned by the student-life publication Intelligent last year, one in five employers said a candidate showed up to their interview with a parent. Some employers, 39%, said they avoided hiring recent graduates in favor of older candidates. When asked about interview behavior, 50% said they'd had young candidates ask for too much compensation, and 47% said they'd dressed inappropriately. These polls have limitations. Managers saying they have encountered candidates doing something doesn't mean it's becoming the norm. (Business Insider could not find any Gen Zers on social media who said they'd brought their parents to interviews.) It's also cyclical that younger generations are criticized for their every move. In 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that in an Adecco survey of college graduates, 3% of millennials said they were dragging their parents into interview rooms. But there also could be some truth in it. Erin McGoff, a content creator who gives career and life advice, said she had asked around and had been surprised to find evidence of parents attending interviews and trying to set them up for their adult children... It could provide a much-needed confidence boost for young people and may be the difference between them performing well or badly."

TERRAZZANO: Time to end taxpayer-funded bonuses for failure - "Bureaucrats working in federal departments have raked in more than $1.5 billion in taxpayer-funded bonuses since 2015. Every year, about 90% of government executives receive a bonus, for an average of about $18,000. What have these government executives done to deserve a bonus? “Less than 50% of (performance) targets are consistently met within the same year,” according to the parliamentary budget officer. In the real world, when you can’t even meet half of your own performance targets, you should polish up your resume, not expect an $18,000-bonus cheque. But Ottawa isn’t the real world... Rewarding failure with bonuses is also common practice in federal Crown corporations... The CBC handed out $15 million in bonuses to 1,100 staff in 2023. Meanwhile, CBC announced hundreds of layoffs just before Christmas. And President Catherine Tait claimed the state broadcaster is plagued by “chronic underfunding.” What’s worse? The fact Tait thinks the CBC is chronically underfunded, but refuses to end the bonuses. Or the fact she thinks the CBC is chronically underfunded even though it takes more than $1 billion from taxpayers every year."

I arrived at prom in a coffin — I've never wanted to fit in

Meme - "PAYSAGE CHIANT RISQUE DE DOUTE EXISTENTIEL SUR 25 KM"

Meme - Will Mavity @mavericksmovies: "It's been 15 years and the lifeless CGI eyes in The Polar Express still freak me out *3 people from The Polar Express and Mark Zuckerberg*"

Actual Fact Bot: Revived | Facebook - "A 19-year-old wrestler died after losing 9 pounds in 8.5 hours by exercising vigorously in a hot environment wearing a vapor-impermeable suit under a cotton warm-up suit. He resumed exercising 2 hours after the weight loss and died from cardiac arrest an hour later."
Wrestling hyperthermia and dehydration

Meme - "ROBERT, ARE YOU IN HERE MAKING DEEPFAKES OF GIRLS AT SCHOOL?!"
"I... I.. DON'T LOOK!"
"BOBBY, YOU ARE LOVED AND VALUED, AND I'M SORRY YOU ARE NOT TREATED WELL AT SCHOOL."
"OH CHRIST JESUS IT'S SAD INSTEAD OF GROSS."
"AM I IN TROUBLE?"
"WHAT SOFTWARE ARE YOU USING?"
LATER... "SHIRLEY, YOU ARE LOVED AND VALUED AND I'M SORRY YOU'RE NOT TREATED WELL AT WORK."

Meme - "What happened, Gandalf? Why didn't you meet us?"
"I am sorry, Frodo. I was delayed."
"A wizard is never late... Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to."

Meme - *Running away balloon*
"JESUS CAME TO LIBERATE THE OPPRESSED"
"PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANS"
"FROM SIN"

NYC shootings erupt across city, killing two, as warm weather hits
Clearly, we need to destroy the economy to prevent climate change

Lottery prize winner in Ontario can't collect prize - "When he went to claim his prize, he couldn’t remember where the ticket was purchased and has since been unable to claim his windfall...  When CTV News reached out to OLG, a spokesperson said in a statement: “OLG always pays the right prize to the rightful owner of a winning ticket. OLG has detailed information about all our lottery tickets sold, for example, exactly when and where it was purchased.”  “The one piece of information we don’t have is the name of the person who purchased the ticket, especially if they purchased it at an authorized lottery retail location. If a customer purchases a ticket on OLG.ca, then they are registered in our system, and we notify them directly when they’ve won a prize.”  The spokesperson added, “When a winning ticket of $1,000 or more is presented for claim, the OLG Prize Centre is required to determine the rightful ownership of that ticket. As part of the standard prize claim review process, claimants are asked a series of questions to determine ticket ownership, such as, 'where did you purchase the ticket?', 'when did you purchase the ticket?' or 'did you purchase any other lottery products such as ENCORE or another game at the same time?'"...  After CTV News got in touch with OLG, they took another look at Zhou’s case. He’s since been informed his cheque has been processed and will be sent shortly to him in the mail, which was great news for him.  A good habit when buying lottery tickets is to keep the receipt, which also serves as proof of “where and when” you bought it. Also, don’t write anything on the lottery ticket other than your name, as that can slow down the process if you have a winning ticket."

Meme - "Video games allow us to do and experience things that are completely impossible in real life
You awaken feeling Well Rested"

Ontario family kidnapped, robbed in South Africa - "On the last day of their trip, Stephens and the kids along with his mother and a vulnerable 12-year-old girl she’d adopted ventured to the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) to visit a children’s home and donate medicine.  After a visit at the orphanage, the group jumped back in their rental vehicle en route to a youth camp run by his mother.  But before embarking on that roughly three-and a-half hour drive they stopped in the city of Mbombela to grab some take-out food and fuel.  That’s when everything went south.  There, Stephens said he was pulled over by what he believed to be a police officer, but soon realized he was simply posing as one.  “They were immediately aggressive. … (The officer) also had no insignia and no police hat,” he told CP24.com on Wednesday morning.  Stephens said that the individual was wearing a vest with the word “POLICE” on the front and was quickly joined by a number of other men who approached his SUV.  One of them then reached inside the vehicle to unlock the door, he said.  “Suddenly my mother said, ‘He’s got a gun’,” Stephens told CP24.com. “He then pointed that gun at my head.”  Stephens, who is the CEO of a digital marketing company called Treefrog, said he initially assumed the assailants were after the rental vehicle, their cellphones, and other personal effects...  Stephen said that the suspects drove for about 30 minutes before coming to a stop at a forested area, near a cliff.  The men then opened the doors of the vehicle with guns drawn and rifled through the family’s belongings taking their debit and credit cards and demanding that they divulge their PIN numbers, he said.  “They threatened to rape my daughter if the PIN was incorrect,” Stephens said, adding that the assailants then grabbed him and beat him up further outside the vehicle.  At that point, the whole family was transferred and locked inside the bed of the pick-up truck, which was driven to several places over the course of about 90 minutes, he said.  Stephen said that he suspected at the time that the assailants were “going from ATM to ATM” and was fearful that they would kill him and his family once they were done emptying their bank accounts.  However, he said that the kidnappers eventually brought them back to another location where their SUV had been taken and allowed them to go their own way.  In the end, Stephens said they lost roughly $10,000 in cash along with a few cellphones and some jewelry.  Stephens said that police told him that they’re seeing a rash of similar robbery-kidnapping incidents in the area, which they believe are being led by a group known as the Blue Light Bandits."
Newmarket business owner overwhelmed with support after kidnapping in South Africa - "The Treefrog CEO spent the Christmas holidays with his 18-year-old daughter, Trinity, and 15-year-old son, Kai, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania... Stephens drove to a police station, but the police told them that they couldn’t help. So they then drove to his father Chuck’s house, who’s also a missionary in South Africa, and he instructed them to go to another police station.  They ended up going back to the city they were kidnapped to speak to the police. Stephens thinks because there was a tourism worker there, the police were more helpful... After the traumatic experience, Stephens said there was no way he was keeping his children there any longer despite having a concussion and being told not to fly.  “All that mattered was getting them back to their mother,” he said. “I didn’t care if I died on the plane.”"
This could have happened anywhere, and if you suggest non-white countries can be dangerous, you're racist

Who was the last NHL player to not wear a helmet and is it still allowed? - "The last player to venture onto the ice without a helmet was none other than the former Edmonton Oilers centre and head coach, Craig MacTavish, who boldly went helmet-less until the 1996-97 season... The transition towards mandatory helmet usage in the league was pivotal in reducing the risk of head injuries, concussions, and other potential dangers associated with head trauma. The league introduced this rule over 40 years ago, stipulating that any player entering the NHL after June 1st, 1979, must wear a helmet while playing. It was a proactive step towards safeguarding the well-being of the league's finest athletes. Yet, there was a provision for players who had already signed their first professional contracts before the helmet rule came into effect. They were permitted to play without a helmet, provided they signed a waiver acknowledging the risks involved. Craig MacTavish was one of those few hockey players."

Unflattering helmet cam footage emerges from dead ISIS foot soldier (VIDEO) - "Vice News fell into some video purportedly from the headcam of an Islamic State fighter zapped by Peshmerga last month in Iraq and it gives a window into just how slapsticky these guys are."
From 2016

Shocked doctor discovers 30-YEAR build-up of smegma under the foreskin of married man who was suffering agonising pain in his penis - "The patient was taking a shower when he felt pain in his genitals and bits of hardened dirt began to fall into the drain.  Mistaking them for kidney stones, he hurried to urologist Dr. Chen Zhaoan in the city of Taichung, Taiwan on March 14, to have himself checked.  The medical professional peeled back the man's foreskin and beheld the revolting accumulation of sickly yellow-brown smegma.   As Dr. Chen cleaned up the calcified scales of dirt, oil, and dead skin, a foul odour began to fill the clinic... 'His private parts hadn't been 'active' for 30 years. If we hadn't found it, his partner might have discovered this "treasure" first.'... Meanwhile, the aged smegma was sealed in a specimen bottle at Dr. Chen's office."

How Parisians Fell in Love with Their Own Weird Interpretation of Bagels - "When I moved to Paris, it took me three months to find a real bagel. As a native New Yorker, I immediately sought out the Jewish bakeries on Paris' rue des Rosiers, but while I found challah and cheesecake, bagels were nowhere to be found. It was at an American superette, alongside Funfetti frosting and Oreos, that I finally found frozen H&H bagels sold in packs of six.  Nine years later, Paris is positively blooming with bagel restaurants, boasting approximately American names with improbable punctuation: Bagel Day'S, So Good Bagel, bagel's Family. Completely distinct from the nondescript deli where most New Yorkers buy their bagels and schmear, these restaurants are a testament to what Parisians think America is, decked out alternately in 1950s diner memorabilia or exposed brick—a wink at the current Parisian obsession with Brooklyn... It's closed in the mornings; the idea of a bagel for breakfast is too farfetched even for the most daring of Parisians... "We're sick of sushi, baguette sandwiches—we eat them all the time," he says. "And there's a trend now where at least part of the Parisian population wants to discover new foods."  While the bagel seems to have finally had its coming out party in Paris, bagels have actually existed in France for decades, albeit in a very different form. The Polish braided beigel first appeared on the rue des Rosiers in 1946, when Joseph Korcarz, a Polish Jew recently freed from Auschwitz, opened Korcarz bakery. This everyday Ashkenazi Jewish bread had already appeared on Manhattan's Lower East Side at the turn of the century and had even spawned the denser American bagel, made with local high-gluten flour. But while the bagel soared to new heights in America, particularly after the 1963 invention of the bagel machine by Daniel Thompson, Polish Jews who fled to France after the War encountered a much different cultural topography than their American brethren: the predominantly Alsatian Jewish community that had prevailed in France since 1306 left no room, amongst cheese tarts with raisins and chicken soup with noodles, for these newfangled beigels.  "In France, you don't eat your special food outside of your home," says Yaelle Ifrah, a French-Jewish restaurateur. "You can eat it at home, and you're going to be an immigrant at home, but in France you have to blend in." It wasn't until 1992 that Joseph's grandson Alain Korcarz began selling the American bagel with its "texture of chewing gum," according to Alain. He claims to have been the first person to bake them in Paris, at the behest of Euro Disney's Mike Leisner. Of course, transitioning from the beigel to the bagel was no easy feat. After six months of attempts, Alain called in an expert—not from Poland, but from the United States—to teach him to reproduce a real New York boiled bagel, with its dense, chewy interior and crisp skin... Olivier's hipster bagels, meanwhile, definitely have a Parisian flair, with fillings ranging from salmon with grapefruit to chicken with pineapple and curry sauce... it would be impossible to sell a true boiled bagel to Parisians—not that she didn't try... In the kitchens at Rachel's Cakes, bagels are made alongside burger buns—about 5,000 bagels for every 30,000 buns. The pairing is no coincidence: for many restaurateurs, the two American imports, which have no real similarities save their roundness and vaguely Central European roots, go together like salt and pepper. Olivier even sees the bagel as the more "feminine" version of the burger... in Paris, bagel has become a metonym for a sandwich served on a bagel, and even for a type of restaurant... "burger-bagel."  No, that's not a mutant sandwich—it's an "American" restaurant... "We also have a lot of other New World flavours, so that our customers don't get bored," she explains. "So fried shrimp with a Thai vinaigrette, or we might use Italian burrata."  I'm not sure which New World those ingredients come from, but it seems to work. This may be because, as Antoine explains, most of his clientele has never actually been to the US. "It's what we, as French people, expect from an American menu," he says. "Not necessarily what is eaten there, but what we think they eat there."  On most Parisian "American" menus, this translates to barbecued ribs and T-bone steaks. Here, that means the bagel, which Antoine believes that French people see as, "the refined American sandwich. Manhattan vs. New York."... Of course, if the French are finally willing to embrace American food, it may be because they believe that France is the reason American food is finally good."
From 2017

Drama around Toronto corner store that may close over mystery complaint continues - "Netizens are also using the case as an example of how restrictive zoning, technicalities and NIMBYism by a few can destroy local businesses and the enjoyability of neighbourhoods in Toronto.   "Honestly did not realize city regulations covered whether a corner store could have an espresso machine. Kind of insane when you think about it for more than five seconds," one person wrote on X on Thursday.  "The fact that people can self-serve but can't be served coffee here is crazy. Zoning really has gone too far. Also, this redditor's comments had the opposite intended effect on me," another wrote... Finch Store Yana Miriev told blogTO earlier this week that the business has had the appropriate documents — for over five years, "enabling us to serve drinks and provide to-go food services" as grandfathered in from the previous owner.  "It's frustrating because it was the municipality's Licensing and Standards department that initially issued this licence to us, [and] after investing significantly in these services, it's disheartening to face the threat of not only a potential downgrade but also the complete loss of our licence.""
Clearly, we need more regulation to protect people

Metro Transit Police on X - "Fare enforcement isn’t just about fare collection, it’s about keeping our communities safe. Yesterday, while addressing fare evasion, MTPD officers arrested 4 individuals with open warrants for charges ranging from larceny to armed carjacking. #wmata"
wanye on X - "Pay attention to what's being revealed here. Criminals with open warrants "for charges ranging from larceny to armed carjacking" nevertheless jumped a turnstile in front of a cop. You cannot overstate how stupid and brazen the average criminal is."

Violinist calls out childhood bully who asked her to perform for FREE at her wedding - before a shock twist sees the nuptials called off - "Tiffany Moore, 31, a professional musician who has been performing at events for 19 years, was horrified to get a random message from the woman who tormented her when they were kids... The fiancé shared his soon-to-be-bride's version of events, which was that the potential violinist for their wedding, a.k.a. Moore, was rude and unprofessional to her. 'She's being secretive and hiding things constantly,' he wrote about Moore's bully. '...I feel like she's cheating on me too so I don't know what to do.' He ended up confronting his bride-to-be after a church service, and was met with an attitude of aggression Moore was familiar with. The fiancé later messaged Moore to say she 'lashed out like the bully she is,' telling him things like she never loved him anyway, screenshots show. 'She ostracized him from his friends. He hasn't had friends in two years because she made him only spend time with her,' Moore said in the interview. In the midst of the blowup, the wedding was called off. The man messaged Moore to say he was grateful he found out who his partner really was. 'You literally saved my life,' he wrote in an Instagram message to Moore. 'I'm gonna try to fix things with my friends.' Moore wrote back: 'Today is the beginning of a new chapter for you. Cheers to a fresh start, no more narcissistic relationships.'"

Meme - "Best Buy Valued Partner Induction Training
We should greet all Best Buy customers.
Incorrect. You did not select the correct response. We Welcome our customers, not greet them."

The Bizarre World of Chicken Beauty Pageants Photographed by Ernest Goh - "Photographer and visual artist Ernest Goh is known for his work photographing wildlife and other animals. His latest book documents the strange world of chicken beauty pageants in Malaysia where he encountered a breed of bird called the Ayam Seramas, an ornate chicken raised not for its meat but purely for its appearance. These chickens not only have decorative plumage but possess the ability to strike ridiculous poses"

Review: 'Cultish' Examines the Language of Fanaticism - The Atlantic - "the demands of modern living, Montell argues, has left many people looking to brands and “gurus” for the kind of guidance and meaning they used to find in religion. I know more people who worship at the altar of Peloton than I do who go to church. And with anything that engenders devotion and financial commitment alike, there’s space for exploitation to occur. Cultish thoroughly examines the ways that words can be manipulated to build a sense of community, enforce collective values, shut down debate, or even coerce damaging behavior in the name of ideology. Though the “stakes and consequences” of being a CrossFit enthusiast versus joining the spiritual group 3HO differ, the book argues, the methods used by both groups can seem “uncannily, cultishly similar.” Consider the “private patois” and beloved catchphrases of CrossFit (functional movements, DOMS, EIE), Montell writes, alongside the terms of 3HO (Piscean consciousness, lizard brain, old soul)... Cultish language, she proposes, does three things: It makes people feel unique but also connected to others; it encourages people to feel dependent on a particular leader, group, or product to the extent that life without them feels impossible; and it “convinces people to act in ways that are completely in conflict with their former reality, ethics, and sense of self.” The last two effects are what tend to separate brands or people who inspire cult followings (e.g., SoulCycle) from more malign groups and leaders."
Or maybe modernity isn't to blame and most humans need religion or something similar

What’s the Worst Corporate Buzzword? - The Atlantic - "several readers raised a compelling point: What if these words aren’t so bad after all? Some defended their simplicity. “What else are people supposed to say? ‘Let me dial your phone number so we can converse about a relevant work related topic’?” Ryan Freeman asked. That justification made sense to Karlee as well. “It’s an understandable ‘script’ when you need to communicate a meaning quickly and smoothly,” she explained—benefits that are even more important with so many meetings occurring remotely now... Value proposition offered a strong performance in the finals, but the winner was too formidable an opponent to shake. Ultimately, lean in, a term for grabbing opportunities without hesitation popularized by Sheryl Sandberg, claimed victory as the worst buzzword."

David Epstein's 'Range' Makes the Case for Dabbling - The Atlantic - "Range, a book about the value of being a generalist rather than a lifelong or career-long specialist, argues that many of the most effective people in elite professional fields (such as sports, art, and scientific research) succeed not despite the fact but because they find their way to that particular field after pursuing other endeavors first... The Federers, Epstein notes, did a lot of things that served their son well. For starters, once they learned that Roger loved playing sports, they encouraged him to try a variety of them—or to have a “sampling period,” as Epstein calls it in the book. Sampling periods are crucial, he argues, because they allow kids to discover organically what they love doing and most want to succeed in.  They’ve also grown less popular in recent years... There’s a lot of concern among parents who follow these kinds of ideas, Epstein said, that without early specialization they’ll “miss” the next Tiger Woods, or the next Mozart. But that’s a somewhat misguided fear, “not only because of course that [kind of professional success is] very rare, but in both those cases a lot of the public consciousness is that they were created by their fathers, or manufactured,” Epstein said. “When in fact, in both cases the father started responding to the kid’s very unusual display of interest and prowess.” Indeed, in a study of 1,200 young musicians, overwhelmingly those who quit did so because they felt there was a mismatch between the instruments they wanted to learn to play and those they eventually took lessons in—and another study Epstein cites found that among musicians ages 8 to 18, the students who went on to become the most successful only started practicing more when they identified the instrument they themselves wanted to focus on... The other major principle that Epstein hopes parents will take away from Range is not just the acceptability but the importance of quitting. Quitting sports or music lessons or other activities, it should be noted, has also gotten controversial among parents. Some argue that, in line with the old adage “Quitters never win,” hanging in there when an activity becomes unfulfilling or hard builds character, or encourages the development of “grit.” But as Epstein points out, while the ability to persevere when something is difficult can certainly be a competitive advantage, in the long run so can knowing when to quit. Epstein points to research that has shown that quitting something that’s unrewarding or unfulfilling and moving on to something that’s a better fit makes people happier. For example, when the economist and Freakonomics co-author Steven Levitt conducted a study online in which participants who were considering a career change could flip a digital coin, heads for quit and tails for stay, he found that six months later, those who flipped heads and changed jobs were substantially happier. And perhaps more important, they had freed themselves up to try other things and find out what fulfilled them more than their current career."

Meme - "Free 4 u *eggplant and 2 melons*
Just a little something that may fill your belly!"

Meme - "How people view winter in New York vs reality *Frozen Central Park with snow* *Slipping on ice*"
"When discussing how bad weather is in a place, it's always important to mention the difference between how awful weather is in a walkable place and a car-dominated place.  90f in Florida sucks but you largely just drive in an air-conditioned car to an indoor air-conditioned place most of the time. You don't have to be outside if you don't want to be. 90f in NY is much more hellish because you're walking everywhere. My daily commute involves around 25 minutes of walking, let alone going elsewhere.  Same applies to winter. Yeah, winter in north dakota sucks, but you drive everywhere. In NYC we have to walk, often on icy streets where we are constantly slipping and falling."

Being What You Want To Be

OodleNoodleRoodle — jumpingjacktrash: neminine: ...

“And remember: the sky is the limit! You can be anything you want to be!”

“Thank you. I want to be a secretary.”

That stopped them short. “What?”

“A secretary,” she repeated.

“But…” they trailed off, dumbfounded. “Why? You could be a CEO, a scientist, a law–”

“I don’t want to be a CEO,” she said. “I want to be a secretary.” 

They scoffed. “You want to answer phones all day?”

She smiled. “Yes.”

“Schedule appointments?”

“I like organizing.”

“Be a second banana?”

An affirmative nod. “I’m skilled at helping.”

“I just don’t understand,” they said. “HOW could you be okay with all of this?!”

“I enjoy the work.”

“BUT YOU CAN BE WHATEVER YOU WANT TO BE!”

“I know.”

“Then WHY?!”

She shrugged.

“Because I want to be a secretary.”

 

Comments:

"Honestly though, this is very similar to my mom’s experience. She’s always been super bright, but has realized as she’s gotten older that intellectual pursuits just aren’t her jam. She dropped out of her PhD program to have kids, and although she has her master’s and was a pretty good school psychologist, she hated having to make huge decisions. She’s a church secretary now and loves it, and she’s GOOD at it; she’s letting her school psych certification permanently expire this year with zero regrets. If you can be anything you want, that includes the things we don’t tend to value as highly as a society. Not everybody is built for or wants the “respectable” careers."

"My grandma did this to me, saying that i didn’t want to get stuck on the outside, making coffee and filing papers. The thing is, that’s exactly what I’ve always enjoyed the most, making and organizing things. That would be enough for me."

"Nobody seems to realize that if you tell people they can be anything they want to be they will. And not everyone WANTS to be doctors or lawyers or CEOs or scientists. Sometimes, they just want to be a secretary."

 

"When I was in uni I was tricked into participating in this day-long workshop thing about like your future goals and stuff. And one of the things they did was like, pick a goal and then visualise the steps to that goal. So for the sake of this workshop I said my goal was to be a lecturer in art school. And the person running the thing was like “mm how about dean or department head instead” (like trying to make the goal higher). And like, I’ve talked to the department head and he was always griping about how he doesn’t get to do any actual teaching or interacting with the students anymore (and neither does he have time to do his own art). And I’d obviously never even met the dean, like, deans don’t interact with students at all.

I like teaching and interacting with students and helping people realise their own projects and visions. I would never want to be a department head or dean, jeez.

Not everyone wants money and power, John."

Links - 14th July 2024 (1 - General Wokeness)

Eric Kaufmann: Creating a post-woke society - "“The Third Awokening” revolves around the left-liberal anti-racism taboo of the mid-1960s. Like the big bang, this was a cosmic event; its logic has been progressively expanding, defining our social universe. It has introduced a zone of unbounded identitarian sacredness around race — a form of social kryptonite which irradiated anyone standing in its way. This powerful magic was borrowed by the feminist and later LGBTQ+ movements, weaponized by the revolutionary left and stretched to new frontiers of microscopic and confected emotional grievance. Along the way, it has eroded freedom, truth and excellence while vandalizing cherished national identities and undermining social cohesion. Until the taboo is reformed into a proportionate norm like any other, cultural socialism will remain a dominant force in polite society. While there is no question that the energy behind cancel culture has peaked, my view is that, far from disappearing, the underlying ideology is likely to maintain or increase its power in the years ahead. Its wings have been clipped, but the core myths and symbols from which it springs remain intact. This seedbed stands ready to nourish another moral panic the next time a white policeman kills an unarmed Black man or a whistleblower exposes a high-profile sexual predator. Young people, especially young women, are much less tolerant of speech which offends historically disadvantaged race, gender and sexual identity groups than older generations. This is especially true of gen Z (zoomers) and millennials educated at the best universities. As they become the median employee in elite institutions and attain positions of power, they are likely to upend the country’s classical liberal and patriotic creed. The senior liberals who are behind the modest anti-woke correction in the mainstream media will have left the scene as part of the inevitable generational turnover of institutional leadership. While radical ideas like critical race theory or gender ideology have gained ground, they only succeeded because they resonated with an established left-liberal hypersensitivity around identity issues. This attention to the demand side, or consumption, of ideas, is missing from many books which focus only on the radicals and the ideas they produce. Left-liberals, not revolutionary radicals, were also responsible for a number of woke innovations. Like water gradually heating to boiling point, their sensibility evolved incrementally from the ’70s through a process of therapeutic “concept creep” in which ever-finer microaggressions came to be declared traumatic. This is how we evolved from “crippled” to “handicapped” to “disabled” to “differently abled.” It also accounts for the ratcheting extremism of a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions between the ’60s and ’80s. Throughout the book, I show how the left-liberal majority in cultural institutions like universities is ambivalent about cancel culture but attracted to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) policies such as diversity statements or broad definitions of harassment, which drive cancel culture. While fear is an important aspect of conformity — as it was during the McCarthy era — left-liberals today, like radicals, worship the totems of equal outcomes and harm protection for minorities. They accept that this is the north star toward which morality must orient. This renders modern liberals powerless in the face of radicals to their left. Like pious Muslims trying to argue against Islamic fundamentalists who point to passages in the Qur’an to authorize their violent global jihad, left-liberals are tied into a common moral framework with the fundamentalists, making it nearly impossible to resist their claims. While Patrick Deneen, Yoram Hazony and other post-liberals believe that the entire philosophy of liberalism is to blame, I believe liberal ideas can be salvaged if today’s left-liberals come to understand, question and control their “minorities good, majorities threatening” emotional reflex... I urge conservatives to use legislation and executive action at federal and state levels to intervene in public bodies and schools. The goal is to enforce political neutrality and introduce new conditions on public funding that require recipients to uphold political nondiscrimination and free speech. Legislation and executive orders are needed to proactively dismantle the DEI apparatus and ethos of the public sector and school system. While the battle of ideas is the only way to ultimately prevail, it will take decades to change public attitudes among younger generations. And while lawfare can protect dissenters’ speech rights in some contexts, this is expensive, stressful and can be gamed by organizations. Ultimately, most will want to avoid the hassle, choosing instead to self-censor. Conservatives must upgrade the back end of their operation, relying not just on election victories, but also on mobilizing and organizing between elections. Regardless of what you think of the National Rifle Association, pro-life movement, Straussians or the Federalist Society, they show that conservatives can be focused and effective. Nurturing a pipeline of elite talent, even where the right is vastly outnumbered — as in Ivy League law schools — is a vital task. For at present, Republican administrations (or conservative ones in other western countries) lack the cadres of qualified appointees necessary to repopulate the bureaucracy and public bodies that have drifted left over time. Politicians lack the grounding in conservative and classical liberal ideas to help them resist the inevitable allure of acceding to progressives in institutions... Changing the flag flying over public buildings from the Stars and Stripes to the Chinese star is, at one level, a trivial act, but none of us question its importance. Why, then, is it so difficult for many to grasp why flying the Progress Pride or Black Lives Matter flag is so subversive? Reform of public schools must be the highest priority. Studies show that school indoctrination really works... As the example of Twitter/X in relation to would-be alternatives like Gab and Parler shows, reforming the mainstream is more effective than starting separate institutions... [Most conservatives] are primarily oriented against government power and have been only too willing to submit to cultural left speech policing and affirmative action in order to placate liberals in the media and well-heeled donors. As a result, conservative politicians have heretofore provided little resistance to equity-diversity (read: discrimination to achieve equal outcomes) or inclusion (read: control over freedom of speech)... So long as our value system is based around the “minorities good, majority bad” reflex, a catastrophizing “fascist scare” approach to cultural conservatism, and race, sex and LGBTQ+ taboos, nothing will change. We must return to where it all began, planing our totalizing taboos down to proportional norms like any other."

Lesbian couple beaten up by gang in homophobic attack during birthday night out - "One of them made a sexually degrading comment towards Emma so Tori stood up for her saying ‘hey, that’s my girlfriend.’... She said the group appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent, possibly from Syria, and estimated they were aged 18-25.  Screaming can be heard in the distressing footage as the group of men surrounded the couple, who were lying on the ground... Several people were filmed standing and watching the assault and not intervening. A bystander called police but the fight had ended by the time officers arrived.  They spoke with one of the men involved, who blamed the fight on the two women, while the rest of the men refused to cooperate or show their IDs to police"
Lesbian couple beaten up by gang (middle eastern) in homophobic attack during birthday night out : r/atheism - "Imagine a gay or ex-muslim asylum seeker defying all odds and fleeing their muslim country to get bashed or murdered by muslims in the liberal secular country. What a circle we've come to."
Lesbian couple beaten up by gang (middle eastern) in homophobic attack during birthday night out : r/atheism - "It's insane. The Halifax and Canada sub mods have been deleting this all day a few minutes after posted"
Damn colonialism and white supremacy! Time to jail the lesbians for racism and provoking minorities

Moment lesbian couple are beaten by mob in 'homophobic attack' on night out : r/halifax - "Me, my future kids, family friends have to live in today’s society. It’s important to be aware of history, however currently I am not fearful of Christians raping or beating me or my loved ones. Theres only one group that shows that blatant disrespect out on the open"
Naturally, there were people in the thread insisting that Christians were the biggest threat to LGBTQ+s today

Moment lesbian couple are beaten by mob in 'homophobic attack' on night out : r/halifax - "Wait…are the broad strokes suggestions here that: A) the motherfucking sun is a totally legitimate and upstanding publication? And B) …homophobic attacks, ESPECIALLY against women are like…new? And something you all…give a fuck about?  It’s giving women’s sports when trans issues are brought up. Stop pretending you give a shit about us so you can shit on someone else. Thank you."
"I don't think anyone's shocked by a homophobic attack occurring in Canada in 2024 (not anyone who isn't ignorant anyway).  It's more so the brazenness... If 10 people can shout homophobic slurs at you and then curb-stomp you on ARGYLE STREET at like 11 pm on a Saturday night with the police present/nearby and face no immediate repercussions, then where the hell won't they do it? Where the hell are you safe?"
"  This cuts to the heart of the matter. Not that I am trying to minimize this attack on members of the LGBTQ+ community, but it could have just as easily have been an interracial couple, a person with a kippa, a sikh person, a woman who did not want to be aproached by a strange man (men?) that night, a person in a soldier's uniform, anybody that this gang of hoodlums believed that they had the right to put the boots to for no other reason than because they could.  While I can understand the need for the police to proceed in a deliberate manner to make sure all these guys face justice, I also worry in the back of my mind that there is an unofficial policy from the top of avoiding the possibility of pissing off the perpetual activist classtm like what happened during homeless encampment situation."
"if police don't do their job because they don't want to aggravate "activists" then they're simply using that as cover to not do their job -- because they regularly have absolutely no fucking problem pissing off activists."
If the Sun says the earth is round, that means it's flat
Just because activists are perpetually pissed off doesn't mean the police put on kid gloves to try not to piss them off

Moment lesbian couple are beaten by mob in 'homophobic attack' on night out : r/halifax - "What do you mean? They're integrating into the local culture..."
"And look at the response to that case compared to this one."
"  12 years ago... A single horrible act in a small town.  Now you have gangs of immigrants causing problems. We have our own problems here and have worked pretty hard to bring tolerance and understanding (pretty successfully). Now we are bringing in immigrants who, let's not dance around it in general are not fans of lgbt people.  It's also putting incredible strain on our resources like housing, health care, infrastructure and other services."
Pearl clutching and digging up of ancient history to justify minimising violence, in order not to threaten the left wing agenda. Brilliant

Moment lesbian couple are beaten by mob in 'homophobic attack' on night out : r/halifax - "It says a lot about our political/cultural climate when it takes a foreign journalist to provide a more robust account that doesn't intend to blur important details about the demographics of the perpetrators."
"  I am having my concerns about anti-LGBT sentiment that I experience on a daily basis minimized by "liberals" and "leftists" because it is all coming from recent immigrants.  They tell me I'm a token and that supporting right-wing politics is going to get me put on a first class traincar to the death camp.  Well, I've been trans in Canada for a long time, and was well-versed in good ole Canadian bigotry. It is increasing, sure, but it PALES to how people who are not pre-adjusted to Canada behave.  We really need to understand that anti-gay attitudes here - where there is beginning to be some cultural backlash over how vocal and prominent social issues are - is completely different from the kind of anti-gay attitudes in places where there NEVER was any acceptance to begin with."

Moment lesbian couple are beaten by mob in 'homophobic attack' on night out : r/halifax - "Yes, a British tabloid is looking anywhere they can in the world for things that will fire up their base.  Bet they didn't report on Raymond Taavals murder"
"In fairness this heinous act was a hate crime done by a mob, which is more attention grabbing than , “violent mental patient becomes violent again”"
Moment lesbian couple are beaten by mob in 'homophobic attack' on night out : r/halifax - "assaults aren't common - but they're far more common than the rare post like this would have you believe. the reason this one gets gas is because they're white girls who went to the cops, and we're coming off the heels of pride month. basically - per THE SUN - these two are amicable westerners practicing the freedoms granted them by liberalism, until they were attacked by "probably not very good words."  don't believe for a second that THE SUN wasn't salivating all over this story. if it had been some white boys beating another white boy, it wouldn't even be listed. black kids beating a black kid? you'd never hear of it.  this article is Kiiind of despicable."
"Black on black , white on white, just gonna gloss over the hate crime part are we?"
"If you think the motherfucking Sun cares about queer people then I have a bridge to sell you."
"You advocating for censoring journalism based on perpetrators religion?"

Moment lesbian couple are beaten by mob in 'homophobic attack' on night out : r/halifax - "The far right are the ones doing this. Who do you think is intolerant to LGBTQ lifestyle?"
"Not all far rights are created the same. Islam is the most extremely conservative religion but it is championed by leftist causes in the West."
"Bullshit."
So much cope

Sajjan instructed special forces to rescue Afghan Sikhs during fall of Kabul - The Globe and Mail - "Then-defence minister Harjit Sajjan instructed Canadian special forces to rescue about 225 Afghan Sikhs after the Taliban takeover in August, 2021, in an operation that three military sources say took resources away from getting Canadian citizens and Afghans linked to Canada on final evacuation flights out of Kabul.  Mr. Sajjan also relayed location information and other details about the Sikhs to the military as special operation forces worked to meet up with the group. The information was passed to him from a Canadian Sikh group that was in contact with these Afghan Sikhs.  Military sources who were in Ottawa and on the ground in Kabul painted a picture of the final chaotic, dangerous and desperate hours as evacuation flights were ending and Canada and other Western countries scrambled to get their citizens safely out of Afghanistan by the U.S. withdrawal deadline at the end of August.  The sources said Afghan Sikhs were not considered an operational priority for the Canadian military as they had no link to Canada. Mr. Sajjan’s intervention, the sources say, impacted the rescue of Canadians and other Afghans on Canada’s priority list... “The way it was presented to us at first was: If we can do this and pay attention to it, great, but not stopping doing everything else,” said one source, a special forces officer. “But a day or so later, it came back to us as a firm order. Our leadership was furious. They were very upset.” “There was such furious anger that the last 24 hours were solely dedicated to getting the Sikhs out. We were unsuccessful.”... Vulnerable groups, such as feminists, human-rights activists, minorities and LGBTQ people, were third on the priority list... The Taliban’s swift takeover also came in the early weeks of a federal election campaign. Sikh Canadians were viewed as a key voting bloc for the governing Liberals in several ridings in the Greater Toronto Area and Lower Mainland of British Columbia... The military sources say they feel Mr. Sajjan was out of line in pressing Canadian special forces to rescue the Afghan Sikhs. The operation involved intense planning and it meant fewer soldiers were available to screen people awaiting the last flights out of Kabul.  One of the sources said the change of mission to rescue these Sikhs became a logistical nightmare at the same time that “we are still trying to hurry and process people through who have Canadian passports.”  “Finding them; and getting them through the Taliban checkpoints; linking up – it turned into a telephone game,” the source said... one of the sources, a senior commander in Ottawa, told The Globe that a directive or even suggestion from the defence minister is effectively considered an order. “What is the difference?” the officer said... Retired lieutenant-general Mike Day, who once headed JTF-2 and Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, said he found it difficult to “understand or see a rational explanation why this group of Sikhs would have been of sufficient priority at the cost of other groups who likely had a greater claim on Canadian support.” “There is no analytical process that says ‘Yeah, there are 225 Sikhs there, let’s go get them.’ The only way this gets onto the task list is if we are operating on behalf of another state or somebody inside government inserted this on to the task list and asked for it to be considered,” Mr. Day added. Canadian Sikh leaders who had urged Mr. Sajjan to help the Afghan Sikhs said the defence minister had not shown any favouritism. He was acting to help one of many vulnerable groups, they say... Retired major-general David Fraser, who led more than 2,000 NATO coalition troops in southern Afghanistan and played a key role in private efforts to evacuate Afghan military interpreters in 2021, expressed disapproval of Mr. Sajjan’s directive.  “In a humanitarian crisis, we have a responsibility to get Canadians out first and we get Afghans out who helped us out next. Once you get all those people out, you can start to look at the rest.”... Mr. Sajjan said in his statement that he is saddened to have to answer questions about a matter that reflected government policy to support and assist vulnerable Afghans. “I can only surmise that if I did not wear a turban no one would question whether my actions were appropriate.”"
Damn racist whistleblowers! Their identities must be exposed and their lives must be ruined, or White Supremacy will have won. Only straight white cis mens' identities can be relevant - for everyone else, it's a dog whistle

Sajjan's office cites privacy, won't say if he intervened for other Afghan groups

Treason??? : r/Canada_sub - "Imagine the backlash if it was the situation was, say, a white Christian Defence Minister who diverted National resources to prioritize protecting a handful of other white Christian citizens of another country?"

India’s Afghan Sikh 2021 evacuation plan was nixed by Canadian antics - "A Canadian media report that the country’s former defence minister, Harjit Sajjan, put the Afghan Sikh community on a priority evacuation list ahead of other Canadian nationals and Afghans linked to Canada after the fall of Kabul have evoked interest on Raisina Hill. The reason is that explains some of the unexpected last-minute hurdles that the Indian evacuation mission faced in August 2021, exposing the Hindu and Sikh minorities to peril at the Kabul airport, according to people aware of the matter. It was ostensibly due to the unanticipated instructions of the Canadian Sikh minister, whose father was said to be on board of the World Sikh Organisation, that the Indian evacuation flight was delayed from Kabul airport... With landing slots at a highest premium at the Kabul airport and a worsening security situation, the Indian missions in Delhi and Kabul were worried about the security of the Afghan Sikh group as it had not made it to the airport at the scheduled time and was incommunicado for over two hours. When Indian officials at airport enquired about the whereabouts of the Karte Parwan group, they were told that the Justin Trudeau government had given assurances to the Afghan-Sikh community that they would be evacuated to Canada from Kabul. This led to delay in the departure of the scheduled evacuation flight to Delhi as Indians awaited the arrival of the Karte Parwan group, putting the lives of other evacuees at high risk at a time when bullets, missiles and bombs were flying in Kabul."

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan's 'mistake' was a lie - "Who can tell what possessed Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan to “embellish” — a too kind a word — his role in the 2006 assault on the Taliban in Afghanistan codenamed Operation Medusa.  After all, he arrived on the political scene already a bona fide stud with no need for the hyping of credentials and, when sworn in as a member of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, was lauded in the media as Canada’s “bad ass” defence minister.  And he fit the bill.  In fact, he appeared to be “bad ass” to the core, and in the best way possible. He had served Canadians on two fronts, both where the call of duty involved putting one’s life on the line.  Before politics, Sajjan worked as a detective in the Vancouver Police Department, investigating violent street gangs and drug traffickers, and was then a regimental commander in the Canadian Armed Forces reserves, a decorated war hero carrying the rank of lieutenant colonel — having served in Bosnia and later three tours in Afghanistan.  During Operation Medusa, the largest Canadian battlefield action since the Korean War, four Canadian soldiers under Sajjan’s command were killed, according to his Wikipedia page but, when the dust finally settled more than 1,500 Taliban fighters caught up in the battle had been given a one-way ticket to paradise.  During one on-the-record speech, however, Sajjan not only talked of being a participant in Operation Medusa, he also claimed to be the “architect” of the operation.  He loved the story so much, in fact, that he told it a second time in another speech overseas, again on the record.  But he wasn’t the “architect.” Far from it.  Once caught in a valour grab loathed universally by all military personnel, Sajjan apologized.  He said on his Facebook page that it was a “mistake.”  But it wasn’t a mistake. It was a lie. In the House of Commons on Monday, Harjit Sajjan took his seat in the Trudeau benches to face furious and unfriendly fire from the opposition parties, but dodged all calls for his resignation by repeating his apology over and over again as if engaging a loop tape."
From 2017

Idris Elba launches new campaign to tackle knife crime - "The new campaign was launched by Elba in a symbolic display outside Parliament Square in central London and it featured an installation of over 200 items of clothing placed in rows, representing the lives of those lost to knife crime in the U.K. last year. “In 2023, serious youth violence rose across the country. That means hundreds more promising lives cut short over an argument or a fleeting emotion,” said Elba. “Every day, the feeling of helplessness in us parents grows bigger and bigger. If you have kids of a certain age, then you know – that feeling is relentless. Every walk to school. Every hug goodbye. You can’t help but wonder if that’s it; that’s the last one.”"

Tories tell police: Bring back stop and search - "Police must increase their use of stop and search to tackle knife crime rather than “appease” campaign groups who claim it is discriminatory, the policing minister has said. Writing in The Telegraph, Chris Philp says stop and search is a “vital tool” in taking knives off the streets but warns it is “not used nearly often enough” by police. It comes after use of the tactic became a major political issue a decade ago, when Theresa May, as home secretary, curbed the powers amid claims by campaigners that black people were being disproportionately targeted by police. The move resulted in the number of stop and searches falling dramatically, from a high of 1.2 million in 2010-11 down to 279,728 in 2017-18... Stop and searches have declined as knife crime soars in England and Wales... The public think that crime is one of the most important issues facing the country... Knife crime nationally has risen by 7.2 per cent to nearly 50,000 offences, close to the past record high of 51,200, according to the Office for National Statistics... Although stops and searches have increased from a low of 280,000 in 2017 after successive home secretaries reversed the restrictions, they have continued to drop in the Metropolitan Police to 137,059 in 2023-24, the second lowest on record... The latest government figures show black people were five times as likely to be stopped as white people, with 27.2 stops per 1,000 black people against 5.6 per 1,000 white people. But official data also show that black men were nine times more likely to be murdered and five times more likely to require hospital treatment. Government sources pointed to data showing stop and search “success” rates – where drugs, knives or stolen goods are found – were about the same at 25 per cent to 30 per cent for all ethnicities, showing that particular ethnic groups were not being unfairly targeted... As home secretary, Mrs May introduced the “best use of stop and search scheme” which required police chiefs to open up the tactic to public security and placed stringent safeguards on the use of “no-suspicion” searches. Within two years, stops and searches fell by two-thirds."

End Wokeness on X - "BREAKING: Former Somali Prime Minister Hassan Khaire rallies for Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minneapolis, USA): "This is not a Minnesota issue. It's not an American issue. It's an issue of Somalis." Not a single American flag. Zero English."
Ted Cruz on X - "This is a sitting Member of Congress campaigning that her interests: “are NOT the interests of Minnesota” and “NOT the interests of the American people.” Stunning. And her supporters cheer."
Damn racist Khaire! How dare he talk about dual loyalty?!

Meme - alex @washdovrurgrave: "racism against white people exists but it's not even an issue imo. if someone yelled at me for being a cracker on the street i'd laugh about it. i don't have to live my life in fear that i'll be the victim of an anti-white crime. they are NOT the..."
Hex3D @DoomerCoomer: "the police in my country helped cover up, aid and abet, the systematic rape of thousands of native British children because their rapists were not white"

Hugh Riminton on X - "Greens deputy leader Mehreen Faruqi says she would like to get rid of the Lord’s Prayer, which starts each day of Parliament. #insiders"
Drew Pavlou 🇦🇺🇺🇦🇹🇼 on X - "As a Pakistani Australian with a passionate interest in global human rights issues I’m just wondering has Mehreen Faruqi ever once criticised the brutal persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan - a solely Muslim state which discriminates against non-Muslims in its Constitution. Mehreen Faruqi wants Israel to be abolished but Pakistan is allowed to exist as an explicitly Islamic state that discriminates against non Muslims in its Constitution.   Israel and Pakistan were founded at roughly the same time in history, both came into existence partly as a result of failed British colonial partitions, Pakistan’s Constitution sets out that it is an Islamic state, non Muslims are banned from running for President or Prime Minister, there are strict blasphemy laws that are often weaponised against religious minorities. Mehreen only criticises Israel though "

Meme - Elwansyah Risman: "Wow didnt know that... Probably because hes not flaunting about it, begging for acceptance and just focusing on his gig?? Gee who wouldve guess?? RIP legend.."
Eamo does Art @EamoArt: "Remember this Pride Month that the man who brought Batman to life more times than anyone else, Batman's most iconic voice, was Kevin Conroy, a proud gay man. May he rest in peace, and may his legacy last forever in the hearts of all Batman fans."

Meme - i/o @eyeslasho: "My dad was from the US, where the Beastie Boys once fought for my right to party."
"Kamala Harris's dad was from Jamaica, where a fierce woman warrior once fought slavery"

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Links - 13th July 2024 (2 - Ukraine War)

Ukraine knocks out one of Putin's newest £51million Su-57 warplanes in drone blitz on Russian airfield - "Ukrainian forces knocked out one of Vladimir Putin's newest warplanes when a kamikaze drone exploded a Su-57 multi-purpose fighter plane, it has emerged.  The £51million aircraft was on the ground in Akhtubinsk military airfield in the Astrakhan region of southern Russia.  The drone - one of three - flew some 365 miles from the frontline, evading Russian air defences... 'Su-57 damage is the first such case in history.'... Russia has previously boasted the warplane is 'the best combat fighter in the world'.   The Ukrainian agency said the plane, which is capable of carrying stealth missiles across hundreds of miles, was among 'a countable few' of its type in Moscow's arsenal."

How Putin's gas empire crumbled - "Vladimir Putin is throwing everything he has got at ramping up Russia’s war machine.   That is why the nation’s economy – if one believes Moscow’s figures – has held up better than might have been expected in the face of Western sanctions. Rather than reflecting anything remotely like prosperity, the statistics show more weapons being produced for the meat grinder of eastern Ukraine.   The resources funding this include oil revenues. Higher oil prices send more cash into the Kremlin’s coffers, thanks in large part to sales via Moscow’s “shadow fleet” of embargo-busting tankers, ferrying black gold to customers without moral qualms in supportive or non-aligned nations.   But Putin’s financial firepower does not include one previously reliable source of cash: natural gas.   Gazprom, the largely state-owned energy giant, has tumbled to its worst loss in a quarter of a century, losing 629bn roubles, equivalent to £5.5bn, last year, as its revenues dived by more than one quarter in rouble terms. It is the biggest loss in at least 25 years... In 2021, more than 40pc of European Union gas imports came from Russia. That dropped to 8pc last year, according to the European Commission... Europe replaced the loss of Russian gas at considerable expense, but new networks have now been established which mean Moscow has lost its grip on the Western market forever.  Liquefied natural gas, imported on tankers, has grown in importance. The EU added capacity to import an extra 40bn cubic metres of LNG last year, and plans to add capacity for another 30bn this year."
Too bad Trudeau wants to weaken European "allies" by not helping

Russia Is Running Out of Missiles. That’s Bad News for Ukraine (Sep 2022)
Russia firing ageing cruise missiles because stocks are depleted, MoD suggests | Ukraine | The Guardian (Nov 2022)
Russia May Run Out of Missiles in Three Months: Intelligence Report (Jan 2023)
The Clock Is Ticking: Russia Has A One-Year Reserve Of Weapons (Apr 2024)
Trust the Experts!

Is Russia running out of ammunition? (Dec 2022)
Exclusive: Russia producing three times more artillery shells than US and Europe for Ukraine | CNN Politics (March 2024)

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Confronting racism on Chinese social media - "‘Frankly, I have an extremely negative attitude towards Ukrainians, he answers. Before adding, if I were Putin I'd smash all those Nazis. I reckon that's what all Russians think. His friend Sergey chimes in over the phone line: you know in 1941 everyone was telling Stalin that the fascists would invade the Soviet Union, but he didn't believe them, and then 27 million people died. But this time, to make sure it didn't happen again, we began a preemptive operation, Sergey goes on. Putin did the right thing by starting it literally a day or two before we were going to be attacked, he adds. As I tune in to one television program at work one morning, a presenter is warning what Ukraine could do if it somehow manages to liberate the now devastated city of Mariupol. The Ukrainians view the people there as collaborators, the Russian TV anchor tells her viewers. If they take the city back, they could stuff the children there into gas chambers. And as my conversation with Victor illustrates, there's a perverse sense of victimhood permeating the way many Russians view their country's actions in Ukraine. Why has the whole world turned on us?, he asks me. Just because we're giving the Nazis a good kicking. Well, that means they support the Nazis then. And state TV is not shy about threatening the West with Russia's wide array of nuclear weapons’"

Meme - "'Unfriendly' countries according to Russia
Countries where you can drink tap water
*very high overlap*"

Renson Seow | Facebook - "Let's talk about the deal between Russia and North Korea for artillery ammo. Some media outlets are dismissing NK ammo as unreliable, low tech etc. But the important thing to note is the potential 𝙫𝙤𝙡𝙪𝙢𝙚 NK can supply, and 𝙬𝙝𝙮 NK artillery stockpiles (which match Russian artillery calibres) are exceptionally large compared to other nations: Because NK battle doctrine plans for use of artillery as a pseudo-weapon of mass destruction (WMD) equivalent / deterrence against civilian populations, compared with conventional battle doctrine of other nations where artillery fire is usually used as battlefield support against military targets (see the graphic drawn from 2020 research showing how NK artillery will be used in a pseudo WMD role). The NKs know that in order for such a pseudo WMD to be effective as a deterrent, it will need to hit hard, fast, and in overwhelming numbers before US and South Korean counterfire / counterbattery gets to degrade the amount of outgoing fire. Means ammo supply cannot be a limiting factor when the NK guns are going at full rate. Unlike the slower arty ammo consumption of other nations which will likely depend on availability of battlefield targets, NK artillery used in a pseudo WMD role will not run out of (civilian) targets, and is thus expected to continue shooting until destroyed. We can thus conclude that arty ammo is stockpiled to the eyeballs in NK, and the NK ammo supply deal to Russia can't be easily dismissed as insignificant. (Nb: also note that the South Koreans took quite a risk to supply stocks of 155mm artillery shells to the US (and thus Ukraine) as this would degrade their counter battery fire capabilities. But this move likely led to NKs decision to free up some of their ammo as well, ironically demilitarising the Koreas a bit more.)"

Opinion | Everyone Wants to Seize Russia’s Assets. The REPO Act Is a Terrible Idea. - The New York Times - "The very act of seizing Russian assets would pose dangers to the U.S. economy, because other countries, not just Russia, would view it as an act of brigandage. This could weaken the dollar’s status as the main global reserve currency.  The dollar is probably the most valuable strategic asset the United States has. We exercise a degree of control over the world economy because the world, for trading purposes, allows its transactions to pass through our currency. This leaves us with cheaper transaction costs and lighter financial burdens. It gives us leeway to run up debt ($34 trillion of it so far) that other countries lack.  If Russia, China and other diplomatic rivals were to decide that their dollar assets were vulnerable and that they could no longer trust the dollar as a means of exchange, we would feel the pain of that $34 trillion in debt in a way that we don’t now. Retaining the advantages of a reserve currency depends on our behaving as a trustworthy and neutral custodian of others’ assets. If we start stealing people’s money, that could change... If the REPO Act is enacted, then currency seizures, now seen as a tool of last resort, might turn into standard operating procedure, to America’s detriment. Any foreign government liable to having an American voting bloc riled up against it — China, for starters — would think twice before parking its assets in the United States or with one of its NATO allies."

Opinion | J.D. Vance: The Math on Ukraine Doesn’t Add Up - The New York Times - "President Biden wants the world to believe that the biggest obstacle facing Ukraine is Republicans and our lack of commitment to the global community. This is wrong.  Ukraine’s challenge is not the G.O.P.; it’s math. Ukraine needs more soldiers than it can field, even with draconian conscription policies. And it needs more matériel than the United States can provide. This reality must inform any future Ukraine policy, from further congressional aid to the diplomatic course set by the president... The most fundamental question: How much does Ukraine need and how much can we actually provide? Mr. Biden suggests that a $60 billion supplemental means the difference between victory and defeat in a major war between Russia and Ukraine. That is also wrong.  This $60 billion is a fraction of what it would take to turn the tide in Ukraine’s favor. But this is not just a matter of dollars. Fundamentally, we lack the capacity to manufacture the amount of weapons Ukraine needs us to supply to win the war.  Consider our ability to produce 155-millimeter artillery shells. Last year, Ukraine’s defense minister estimated that the country’s base-line requirement for these shells was over four million per year but that it could fire up to seven million if that many were available. Since the start of the conflict, the United States has gone to great lengths to ramp up production of 155-millimeter shells. We’ve roughly doubled our capacity and can now produce 360,000 per year — less than a tenth of what Ukraine says it needs. The administration’s goal is to get this to 1.2 million — 30 percent of what’s needed — by the end of 2025. This would cost the American taxpayers dearly while yielding an unpleasantly familiar result: failure abroad. Just this week, the top American military commander in Europe argued that absent further security assistance, Russia could soon have a 10-to-1 artillery advantage over Ukraine. What didn’t gather as many headlines is that Russia’s current advantage is at least 5 to 1, even after all the money we have poured into the conflict. Neither of these ratios plausibly leads to Ukrainian victory.  Proponents of American aid to Ukraine have argued that our approach has been a boon to our own economy, creating jobs here in the factories that manufacture weapons. But our national security interests can be — and often are — separate from our economic interests. The notion that we should prolong a bloody and gruesome war because it’s been good for American business is grotesque. We can and should rebuild our industrial base without shipping its products to a foreign conflict. The story is the same when we look at other munitions. Take the Patriot missile system — our premier air defense weapon. It’s of such importance in this war that Ukraine’s foreign minister has specifically demanded them. That’s because in March alone, Russia reportedly launched over 3,000 guided aerial bombs, 600 drones and 400 missiles at Ukraine. To fend off these attacks, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and others have indicated they need thousands of Patriot interceptors per year. The problem is this: The United States only manufactures 550 per year. If we pass the supplemental aid package currently being considered in Congress, we could potentially increase annual production to 650, but that’s still less than a third of what Ukraine requires. These weapons are not only needed by Ukraine. If China were to set its sights on Taiwan, the Patriot missile system would be critical to its defense. In fact, the United States has promised to send Taiwan nearly $900 million worth of Patriot missiles, but delivery of those weapons and other essential resources has been severely delayed, partly because of shortages caused by the war in Ukraine. If that sounds bad, Ukraine’s manpower situation is even worse. Here are the basics: Russia has nearly four times the population of Ukraine. Ukraine needs upward of half a million new recruits, but hundreds of thousands of fighting-age men have already fled the country. The average Ukrainian soldier is roughly 43 years old, and many soldiers have already served two years at the front with few, if any, opportunities to stop fighting. After two years of conflict, there are some villages with almost no men left. The Ukrainian military has resorted to coercing men into service, and women have staged protests to demand the return of their husbands and fathers after long years of service at the front. This newspaper reported one instance in which the Ukrainian military attempted to conscript a man with a diagnosed mental disability. Many in Washington seem to think that hundreds of thousands of young Ukrainians have gone to war with a song in their heart and are happy to label any thought to the contrary Russian propaganda. But major newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic are reporting that the situation on the ground in Ukraine is grim.  These basic mathematical realities were true, but contestable, at the outset of the war. They were obvious and incontestable a year ago, when American leadership worked closely with Mr. Zelensky to undertake a disastrous counteroffensive. The bad news is that accepting brute reality would have been most useful last spring, before the Ukrainians launched that extremely costly and unsuccessful military campaign. The good news is that even now, a defensive strategy can work... By committing to a defensive strategy, Ukraine can preserve its precious military manpower, stop the bleeding and provide time for negotiations to commence. But this would require both the American and Ukrainian leadership to accept that Mr. Zelensky’s stated goal for the war — a return to 1991 boundaries — is fantastical. The White House has said time and again that it can’t negotiate with President Vladimir Putin of Russia. This is absurd. The Biden administration has no viable plan for the Ukrainians to win this war. The sooner Americans confront this truth, the sooner we can fix this mess and broker for peace."
Maybe the plan is to wait until Biden is out, then blame Ukraine's loss on Trump
Good luck to the US in its next war, when it will need even more than what Ukraine needs. But of course the left still wants to cut defense spending, while labelling those who don't want to provide unlimited support for Ukraine as traitors

Vice president of Russian bank falls to her death in Moscow apartment in latest mysterious fatality - "Kristina Baikova, 28, an executive at Loko-Bank, is just the latest mysterious casualty involving Russia's top business people.  Ms Baikova allegedly fell from her 11th floor apartment on the Khodynsky Boulevard in the early hours of last Friday. She died instantly at the scene... A spate of unexplained deaths of high-ranking energy officials has taken place since the start of Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine in February last year.  In May this year, Russia's deputy science minister, allegedly a private critic of the 'fascist' invasion of Ukraine, died suddenly after falling seriously ill on a flight to Moscow.  Pyotr Kucherenko, 46, was returning from a business trip to Cuba when his plane was forced to make an emergency landing in southern Russia, the Science and Higher Education Ministry said.  Doctors performed CPR but were unable to save the official. His family said the death was linked to an underlying heart condition.   Independent journalist Roman Super wrote after the announcement that his 'old friend' had spoken in private about his inability to escape Russia following what he called the 'fascist invasion' of Ukraine. In April, energy boss Igor Shkurko was found dead in his prison cell after he was accused of taking a bribe.  The 49-year-old was the deputy general director of Russian energy company Yakutskenergo.  He was a member of the pro-Putin United Russia political party but his membership was suspended when the bribe allegation was made.  Only two months prior, Russian oil magnate Viatcheslav Rovneiko, 59, was 'found unconscious' late at night at his home.  Doctors were unable to save him from dying, according to a report by Moskovsky Komsomolets newspaper.  In February, a top Russian defence official was found dead after plunging 160ft from a tower block window last week.  Marina Yankina, 58, was a key figure in the funding of Vladimir Putin's illegal war in Ukraine as head of the financial support department of the Ministry of Defence for the Western Military District, which is closely involved in the dictator's invasion... On December 26, Pavel Antonov - the richest deputy of the Russian Duma (Russia's parliament) and a Putin critic - died in India falling out of a hotel window. His companion Vladimir Bidenov was found dead in the same hotel four days earlier.  Aleksey Maslov, 69, the former chief of Russian Ground Forces, died in hospital on December 25 while Aleksandr Buzakov - who had been the head of Russia's 'admiralty shipyards' for a decade - died on December 24 2022.  In July, 76-year-old Yevgeny Lobachev - a retired Major General of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation - was found dead in Moscow with a pistol nearby.   His death was also ruled as suicide.  Other recent deaths have included the editor of a popular Russian propaganda magazine, the vice-president of Gazprombank and a senior Gazprom official. Dmitry Zelenov, a real estate tycoon, died on December 9 in the French Riviera town of Antibes.  The oligarch, 50, was out to dinner with some friends when he began feeling unwell and tumbled down a flight of stairs, sustaining serious head injuries... The circumstances around the real estate tycoon's death are remarkably similar to those of Anatoly Gerashchenko, the former head of Moscow's Aviation Institute (MAI) who is said to have tumbled down a flight of stairs at the institute's headquarters in the Russian capital in September... Vladimir Putin's point man for developing Russia's vast Arctic resources 'fell overboard' while sailing off the country's Pacific coast.  Ivan Pechorin, 39, was managing director of Putin's Far East and Arctic Development Corporation and had recently attended a major conference hosted by the Kremlin warmonger in Vladivostok... The corporation's former CEO Igor Nosov, 43, also died suddenly in February, reportedly from a stroke.  On September 1, oil tycoon Ravil Maganov, 67, fell to his death from the sixth floor window of a Moscow hospital.  One report said the chairman of Lukoil - Russia's second largest oil company - was 'beaten' before he was 'thrown out of a window', though this has not been independently confirmed. Lukoil had previously voiced opposition to the war in Ukraine... Yuri Voronov, 61, head of a transport and logistics company for a Gazprom-linked company, was found dead in his swimming pool amid reports of foul play. Two more deaths of Gazprom-linked executives were reported in elite homes near St Petersburg, stoking suspicions that the deaths may well have been murders.  Alexander Tyulakov, 61, a senior Gazprom financial and security official at deputy general director level, was discovered by his lover the day after war started in Ukraine in February.  His neck was in a noose in his £500,000 home in the elite Leninsky gated housing development, yet multiple reports claim his body had been badly beaten, leading to speculation he was under intense pressure from bad actors.  That came just three weeks after Leonid Shulman, 60, head of transport at Gazprom Invest, was found dead with multiple stab wounds in a pool of blood on his bathroom floor in the same gated housing community.  Billionaire Alexander Subbotin, 43, also linked to Kremlin-friendly energy giant Lukoil where he was a top manager, was found dead in May.  One theory is that Subbotin - who also owned a shipping company - was poisoned by toad venom triggering a heart attack.  And in April, wealthy Vladislav Avayev, 51, a former Kremlin official closely linked to Russian financial institution Gazprombank, appeared to have taken his own life after killing his wife Yelena, 47, and daughter, 13... multimillionaire Sergey Protosenya, 55, was found hanged in Spain, with his wife Natalia, 53, and their teenage daughter, Maria, found dead from stab wounds...  Yevgeny Palant, 47, and his wife Olga, 50, both Ukrainian-born, were found by their daughter Polina, 20, having suffered multiple stab wounds.  An official briefing to the media claimed the woman took her own life in a jealous rage after Palant said he was leaving her - claims which were strongly disputed by the couple's best friend."
From June 2023

In Ukraine men aren't safe, no matter the age : MensRights - "Few days ago, in village Pryozerne of Odesa Oblast, a truly terrifying situation has happened - a 14 y/o boy literally got kidnapped by Ukrainian military commissariat (ТЦК). When he was walking to meet his girlfriend, three military men stopped near him, wrung his hands, and forcibly dragged him into their minivan, without asking any questions. Since he was scared and tried to resist, they began to apply the barrel of a gun to his temple, than to his forehead, afterwards he was hit with that gun on his back, and had his hands tied up. As was later found out during a medical exam, that military personal were quite experienced on hitting people "in the right way", since there were almost no bruises on the boys body, apart from hand ties, yet all his internal organs hurt. That boy got lucky, that the military guys decided to verify his age, in the middle of the ride. Only then he got released, and got threatened not to tell anyone about this situation, since they can easily find out where his relatives live. Since he was left in the middle of nowhere, he was forced to walk 7 km home by himself.  After his teacher found out about the whole situation, she immediately notified the head of the village, and the police, who ended up doing nothing. Only after two days, when this story started spreading across the whole country, police decided to simply come there, just to take a look. As of today, no comments were left neither by the Odesa military commissariat, nor by police, and no criminal investigation was started.  After all of this I just have one question: why such a country, that violates basic human rights, instead of being investigated, and having all responsible people tried in International court, offered benefits such as EU membership negotiations?"

Meme - "Senator Rand Paul single-handedly holds up $40bn US aid for Ukraine
Paul, a libertarian who often opposes U.S. intervention abroad, said he wanted language inserted into the bill, without a vote, that would have an inspector general scrutinize the new spending."
"40 billion is a metric fuckload of money. We should at least have someone keep track of how it's being spent."
"Treason charges are feasible."
"So one man is threatening the lives of millions. think we have a word for that. Terrorist."
"When are they hanging him for treason?"
"He is a Russian spy that's treason"
"He should be investigated for high treason, he is actively sabotaging US interests and aiding Russias."
"Rand Paul is a Fascist."
"He is the worst. I truly think he is a communist. Definitely a Russian sympathizer."
Government accountability is fascism and treason. Fascinating

Russians still enjoying American burgers and sandwiches as companies refuse to leave - "The franchises of Carl’s Jr., Papa John’s, Costa Coffee, Burger King, and TGI Fridays have continued to operate, business as usual. Of these six, Subway and Carl’s Jr. boast a unique accolade — they are the only Western food chains to never have stopped advertising on their Russian Instagram accounts at any point since the start of the full-scale invasion, actively marketing non-stop to their 20k and 6k followers, respectively."

Putin Withdraws From Ukraine After Celebrities Threaten To Sing 'Imagine' | Babylon Bee - "At publishing time, the celebs had confirmed the song will not be available on Spotify unless Joe Rogan's podcast is pulled."

Meme - Putin: "Let me in"
Ukraine: "Why?"
Putin: "So I can save you."
Ukraine: "From what?"
Putin: "From what I'm going to do to you if you don't let me in."

Richard Hanania on X - "If the right wanted to find a masculine hero, they could've had Navalny.   The man was poisoned by a *nerve agent.* I consider myself brave, but when I hear nerve agent I think I would do whatever it took to avoid that fate. But the man goes back to Russia to go on trial for fake charges cooked up by the Putin regime, and predictably faced a slow death in prison, maintaining his dignity through the entire process.  Instead they slobber over Putin. A man who sends tens of thousands to their deaths and has never shown any personal courage. He doesn't even have the honesty to call the major war he launched a war, or openly prosecute his opponents, instead sneakily working behind the scenes to frame them for crimes like the sadistic paper pusher that he is and then shrugging in interviews when asked about what happened. Remember, Zelensky regularly visited the front line of the war from the beginning, which only much later finally shamed Putin into making a few stage managed trips.   Of course, the reason many on the right like Putin and not Navalny is hatred of America is their driving motivation. All foreigners are simply props, judged by the nature of their relationship with the Great Satan.   Between Tucker's videos of him going into ecstasy over Russian shopping carts and Navalny's death, I hope this week has seen a final discrediting of the anti-American right. Yes, Eva Vlaardingerbroek will continue to slobber over Putin's "grasp of history," and losers driven by a combination of impotent resentment and horniness will give her an audience, but anyone with a minimum level of intelligence and sense of decency will see this style and mode of thought for what it is."

Ravaged by war, Russia's army is rebuilding with surprising speed - "Only nine months ago, American intelligence officials were telling the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that it would take a decade — or more — for Moscow to recover from the staggering losses inflicted by Ukrainian defenders. The German Council on Foreign Relations refined that estimate last fall, warning that the window would be more like five to eight years.  "They are sparing no effort in their reconstitution," Gen. Christopher Cavoli, NATO's supreme allied commander, said last month after a meeting of the alliance's chiefs of defence staff."

Meme - Lucas Lynch: "This woman is on the New York City council, lolllllll. "Where are these leftists They are literally on the city Council" Kristin Richardson Jordan (KRJ) @Kristin4Harlem: "The US, has been sending the Ukrainian military weapons ($650M in military assistance this past year alone) which have ended up in the hands of neo-nazi militias like the Azov Battalion. The ethnically Russian Donbass region (Donetsk and Luhansk ) has been under heavy violence and shellings from the Ukrainian military for the last 8 years. Last week a kindergarten was destroyed. Civilians are being targeted and killed for opposing fascism. Over 14,000 people have died as a result and Kyiv, with U.S. and NATO backing, has refused to implement the Minsk II Agreements which calls for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of illegal armed groups, military equipment, fighters and mercenaries. This is the tip of the iceberg. The U.S. and NATO have a violent history destabilizing the region, such as when it facilitated the breakup of Yugoslavia after bombing Serbia for 78 days. Ignoring or excusing the U.S.' role in this crisis is ahistorical and chauvinist."

Lift and strike (Bosnian War) - Wikipedia -"At the beginning of the Yugoslav Wars, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 713 on September 25, 1991. The resolution imposed an international arms embargo on all Yugoslav territories, in an effort to prevent escalating violence"
People got very upset Elon Musk wouldn't let Ukraine use Starlink to escalate the war

Top Russian general issues stark warning over Ukraine war - "A top Russian commander has admitted that the war in Ukraine is ‘a stepping stone’ for the rest of eastern Europe. General Andrey Mordvichev hinted at Vladimir Putin’s future plans to expand the frontline, setting off alarm bells in Poland, Moldova and Georgia, which have long feared such escalation."
How can anyone deny Russia's right to self-defence?

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