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Saturday, April 06, 2024

Links - 6th April 2024 (3 - Justin Trudeau)

Michael Higgins: Trudeau isn't the solution, he's the problem - "The issue of temporary foreign workers was an issue Trudeau was aware of even before he became prime minister. In 2014, Trudeau, then Liberal leader, blasted the Conservatives for allowing too many temporary foreign workers (TFWs) into the country. What’s happened since he became prime minister? “In 2015, 248,590 TFWs came to Canada compared to 597,075 in 2022, representing an increase of 240 per cent,” says a government of Canada briefing document . But a truer picture emerges when looking at non-permanent residents (NPRs) which include foreign workers, international students and asylum seekers. According to Statistics Canada, there were 1.3 million NPRs in the third quarter of 2021. That figure has now doubled to 2.6 million... The latest RBC Housing Affordability report shows that in Oct. 2015, the share of income needed by a household to cover ownership costs stood at 39.3 per cent in Canada. That is now 63.5 per cent, a figure RBC described as “staggering.”... Canada is also “struggling” and “under performing”, according to another report co-authored by no less an éminence grise than Kevin Lynch, whose list of past titles include clerk of the privy council, secretary to the cabinet, deputy minister of finance, deputy minister of industry, as well as executive director for Canada at the International Monetary Fund. We are suffering a “national malaise,” says the report whose other co-author, Jim Mitchell, spent 17 years as a public servant primarily in the Privy Council Office and the Treasury Board Secretariat. Experts on government don’t get much more expert than these two. The signs of that national malaise? “The cost of living is high but growth in per capita income is negative. Government spending is soaring, but delivery of essential government services is sputtering, and procurement is a quagmire. Debt servicing costs are skyrocketing but spending, deficits and debt are still rising. Monetary policy is painfully reining in inflation but without help from fiscal policy. “Immigration is soaring, but the country has a housing crisis. We commit publicly and frequently to NATO’s two per cent defence spending target, but in practice we appear to have no intention of meeting it. Ambitious climate change goals are proclaimed, but climate change policy itself is unclear to Canadians.” Lynch and Mitchell say key areas to address are: “Political short-termism” — too much attention on press releases and not enough focus on priorities; “Excessive centralization of decision-making in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO)” — ministers and public servants with valuable advice are sidelined; “Provision of core services to Canadians” — inefficient and inconsistent services despite bloated public service and “Government procurement” — “a mess.” A fifth area to be addressed is “government policy,” say Lynch and Mitchell, who argue that the government relies too heavily on external consultants... Of all the obstacles facing Canada, the two men never mention the biggest problem of all: Trudeau."

Trudeau should really resign as PM and run to be premier of Quebec - "Over the past several years, Trudeau has introduced childcare programs, pharmacare, dental care, and now he’s talking about a renter’s bill of rights. To accomplish this goal, like all the other programs, Trudeau will need to negotiate with the provinces and territories. Anything to do with real property, contracts, landlord and tenant issues all fall clearly under provincial jurisdiction in the Constitution... he can’t accomplish anything here without the express and full cooperation of the provinces, some of whom won’t like the PM meddling in provincial jurisdiction... If Trudeau really wants to run all kinds of social programs across the country, then he should run at the provincial level. This is clearly where his heart is at, it’s what he spends his time, and our money, obsessing over. Meanwhile, he lets areas of federal responsibility wilt and whither from neglect. Our military, already a shadow of its former self, is facing budget cuts in two weeks’ time. In addition to recruitment and retention problems, the military recently announced that we would no longer train our own Air Force pilots but instead send them to Texas, Italy or Finland. It’s just one of many major embarrassments over the past several years. Our allies no longer see us as a reliable partner on many fronts, as evidenced by Canada being excluded from intelligence sharing operations with the Americans, Australians and Brits. We were similarly cut out of a defence agreement with these same countries. In the wake of the horrific attacks Hamas carried out against Israel on Oct. 7, U.S. President Joe Biden convened a call with major allies including Britain, France, Germany and Italy. The country the American president did not call was Canada, a G7 and NATO ally and the country with the fourth-largest Jewish population in the world. And who would want to hear from Canada under Trudeau in a serious moment like that. As Trudeau was leaving the G20 conference in India a month earlier, a reporter asked him what Canada had contributed to the meeting. “Gendered language,” was Trudeau’s immediate and unprompted answer. While Trudeau claimed that Canada left the world stage under Stephen Harper and that he would bring us back, the opposite is true. Under Harper, three Canadians chaired G20 committees during the 2008-09 financial crisis — Harper himself, the late Jim Flaherty and then Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney. That would never happen today. Instead of focusing on the things the federal government is responsible for, Trudeau focuses on provincial issues and in so doing hurts national unity, another key responsibility of any federal government. Let’s face it, Trudeau doesn’t like the job he has, so maybe it’s time he looked for a new one."
When you believe in big government, you want everything

Jack Mintz: Provincial deficits are out of control. The feds are up next - "Defining every new expenditure program as a “right” gives Ottawa an excuse to spend more. How could it deny Canadians their “rights”? This past week, the prime minister, taking a leaf from COVID days with daily spending announcements, publicized $1 billion in new spending on child-care spaces, $6 billion on housing, $15 billion in rental loans and $1 billion on school lunches. This is on top of a new pharmacare program, dental care, sky-is-the-limit climate and business subsidies and a host of other new programs. Not surprisingly, polling shows that deficits and debt are low priorities for Canadian voters, who seem happy just passing the bill onto someone else. This attitude changes only when the costs of deficit financing become apparent to voters, as they did in both 1984 and 1993 when Canadians turfed the governments of, respectively, Liberal John Turner and Conservative Kim Campbell after a surge in out-of-control deficit spending during recessions. Larger deficits add to inflationary pressures, which makes life harder for the Bank of Canada by moving the economy along at a faster pace than would allow the bank to cut interest rates. To make room for looser monetary policy, the government should tighten fiscal policy. Public deficits also crowd out private investment. Governments issuing more bonds pushes up interest rates as investors come to see the debt as less and less sustainable. The cost of capital for businesses rises, weakening already anemic investment even further. And higher interest rates mean less homebuilding, despite sharp rises in housing demand because of immigration. Burgeoning public deficits also create uncertainty for private investors, who expect governments will eventually have to raise taxes to finance their debt costs. Knowing it’s always tempting for governments to levy wealth and capital taxes, investors respond to growing deficits by deciding not to invest. Deficit spending also causes a misallocation of resources. When child care was introduced at $10 per day, what would any competent planner expect? That even parents with alternative arrangements like neighbours, au pairs or grandparent supervision would rush to fill cheap child-care spaces. And that suppliers of child-care services, now heavily regulated, would close or cut back on spaces. The prime minister blames the provinces for the undersupply of child-care spaces but the root of problem is no mystery. When something is free, shortage happens. Margaret Thatcher liked to say “the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” That quote should be displayed on every MP’s desk when the finance minister gets up to present the 2024 federal budget."

Justin Trudeau's legacy could be a poorer Canada - "He has done plenty of popular redistribution — subsidizing child care, child benefits, dental care and a skeletal pharmacare program, all paid for by rising corporate and marginal personal tax rates and higher debt. He can also claim credit for recovery from the COVID recession, though he did it with over-the-top, inflationary deficits. He imposed social justice and carbon policy criteria throughout the government, whether in trade agreements and academic research grants or approvals for resource projects. Even federal budgets now contain a (rarely read) gender analysis, concocted no doubt by glassy-eyed civil servants holed up in windowless rooms. Despite these achievements, the prime minister doesn’t seem ready to leave. Saying “I couldn’t be the man that I am and abandon the fight at this moment,” he has made clear he still has work to do pushing for women’s and LGBTQ rights and fighting climate change. He’s certainly right there is more work to be done — but not the kind he’s thinking of. Canada is falling behind economically and it’s getting worse. Eighth among OECD countries in per capita GDP in 1974, we are 14th today. From 2015, when the Liberals were elected, to 2022 our GDP per capita fell from 78.6 per cent of U.S. levels to 72.8 per cent. Relative to the G7 average (the favourite comparison for a finance minister), it fell from 92 per cent in 2015 to 88 per cent in 2022. As Trevor Tombe of the University of Calgary has shown, almost all of Canada is now poor by U.S. standards. British Columbia (average per capita income of US$57,000), Ontario (US$55,000) and Quebec (US$51,000) are at roughly the same level as West Virginia (US$54,000), South Carolina (US$56,000) and Alabama (US$55,000). Only Alberta (US$80,000) lies closer to the top — though it ranks only 14th among the 60 states and provinces. Saskatchewan (US$71,000) is second in Canada but 25th in North America. If he does stay on, Justin Trudeau’s eventual legacy may be to have made us poorer than the poorest U.S. state — Mississippi at US$47,000. Continuing with the same anti-growth framework of the past nine years will eventually achieve that. Expand the federal civil service by another 40 per cent so they can dream up even more inefficient programs while working from the comfort of home. Keep hiring by woke criteria rather than merit. Impose even more regulations and taxes to discourage entrepreneurship, investment and growth. Encourage more emigration of our talented and well-educated workers to countries offering now much higher after-tax incomes.  Some of our decline is the result of ideologically driven emissions reduction. An energy transition that shifts resources from our highest value-added sector — oilsands, where VA is almost $1,000 per production hour — to manufacturing and other sectors where it is less than a tenth is obviously going to be very costly. But we don’t have to deliberately make it even worse than it has to be, as we did by failing to provide European allies with multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas exports to replace Russian gas. After we bailed on Germany, she went to the U.S. and Qatar (not her long-time ally)... The prime minister is also pouring money into EV and renewables projects that will certainly enrich both foreign and domestic investors in these projects — so much for our concern about inequality — but are far from certain to result in viable production. At the same time, he is piling higher energy costs onto consumers and businesses with new clean fuel regulations, emissions caps and mandates for clean electricity and EV sales. These non-price interventions are contrary to his recently declared preference for the “cleaner … market-based solution” that is the carbon tax. That tax is now in intensive care after he exempted heating oil to gain more political support in the Atlantic provinces. The Trudeau government’s lack of focus on economic growth will hurt Canada. Bloated, inflationary federal spending on a featherbedded civil service, combined with poorly designed subsidy programs, leave little money for critical federal responsibilities. We have downgraded our military, which hardly has a working tugboat or jet to its name. We haven’t yet been kicked out of NATO for failing to live up to our commitments but we are no longer on speed dial with our U.S., U.K. and Australian allies, who are building next-generation nuclear submarines together. Immigration has become our de facto growth policy. Yet we don’t have adequate housing or public services to support the large numbers coming here. And our health care is ailing, with long wait times, not enough doctors and nurses and emergency triage that needs to be fixed. Whoever is prime minister in the next few years does have their work cut out for them, but not on more climate and woke rights policies. The challenge will be to reverse an economic slide that is seeing us lose investment and our best and brightest to the rest of the world."

Rapid public-sector growth means flat living standards for us - "so weak has business investment been in Canada since 2015 that in addition to declining capital investment, the capital stock itself, adjusted for the number of workers, is falling. If business investment is down so significantly, which categories of real GDP per capita have increased to make up the total 0.8 per cent change over eight years? Household consumption is 2.1 per cent higher, but the big growth is in government. General government consumption grew at 6.8 per cent — three times the rate of household consumption — while general government gross fixed capital formation is up 6.3 per cent. The remaining changes were: non-profit consumption up 10.9 per cent; exports down 2.3 per cent; and imports up 2.4 per cent... Where GDP comes from is important. Household spending is a good measure of standards of living, because people only buy things that they expect will improve their material lives. Business investment is a helpful measure, too: businesses survive by making productivity-increasing investments to produce the goods and services people want. Government spending is very different. Politicians buy things they think people ought to want, not necessarily the things they actually do want, and usually at outrageous prices — witness the ongoing ArriveCan debacle. Even greater cause for alarm: if government consumption and investment are excluded, real per capita GDP is actually down 1.1 per cent over the last eight years. The growth of government and the decline of the private sector are related. In order to spend, the government must take from the private sector, but by discouraging and distorting private activity with taxes, raising an extra $1 of government revenue costs the private sector $2 to $3. That’s the “marginal cost of public funds,” as economists call it. Moreover, as Milton Friedman once mused, “It costs government about twice as much to accomplish any given task as that same task would cost if done by private entities operating in a competitive environment.” So $1 of government spending costs the private sector $2 to $3 but generates only $0.50 of economic benefit. As discouraging as the recent and medium-term past have been, the outlook is no better. “A further deterioration in Canada’s weak productivity performance since the pandemic,” RBC economist Nathan Janzen wrote last week, “is threatening the sustainability of wage growth, which has already been relatively modest when measured against surging inflation.” While worker productivity in the United States is about 6.1 per cent higher than in 2019, it has actually fallen slightly in Canada. Wage growth in Canada is “broadly expected to be slow,” Janzen cautions, and there is “little reason to think that productivity growth will substantially accelerate in the near term. Capital investment has remained relatively weak.” That productivity improvements, the main driver of rising standards of living, are expected to continue to be weak cannot be a surprise. The government sector, which continues to expand rapidly under the Liberals, is not known for its efficiency and productivity."

EDITORIAL: Trudeau ‘rescues’ parents from the mess he created - "Trudeau announced this week that his government will provide $1 billion over five years to set up a national school food program. In 2019, he claimed his government had raised 900,000 Canadians out of poverty since he was elected in 2016. Now, soaring housing costs and the skyrocketing cost of food have depleted so many families that he has to ride to rescue them — from the dire situation he created. Had he managed the economy better, he’d have left more money in the hands of parents so they’d have the dignity to feed their children themselves. Instead, he hiked the carbon tax, fuelled inflation with his irresponsible spending and racked up a massive debt that will haunt our children and grandchildren. In the third quarter of 2023, the government spent $24.7 billion on interest, up 20.7% compared with the same quarter of 2022."

Chris Selley: School meals is another phoney Liberal 'national' program. Don't fall for it - "Point out a basic fact like “school lunches are not federal jurisdiction,” online or off, and you will immediately be set upon by people who understand very well how federalism works, but think it’s downright ghoulish for you to bring it up in the matter of hungry children. (It’s all they can do not to literally channel Helen Lovejoy’s immortal, agonized cry from The Simpsons : “Oh won’t someone please think of the children!”) You can assemble an impressive roster of such people quite quickly by sticking your neck out slightly on social media: journalists , criminal defence lawyers , a candidate for the Alberta NDP , even a former premier: “Let’s skip the long debate about jurisdiction,” Kathleen Wynne advised , without explaining how exactly we would go about that."

Mackenzie Gray on X (Apr 2 2024) - "PM Trudeau says immigration to Canada has "grown at a rate far beyond what Canada has been able to absorb," adding that "temporary immigration has caused so much pressure in our communities," in relation to housing #cdnpoli"
Shazi on X (Dec 2023) - "When asked about reducing immigration numbers to soften demand on housing, 🇨🇦 PM Justin Trudeau claims his government has always been doing immigration responsibly and at a pace that our cities can absorb. 👇🏽"
Paul St-Pierre Plamondon on X - "Justin Trudeau est un pompier pyromane.   Il a volontairement créé une situation intenable sur le plan du logement, du français et des services et il veut aujourd’hui nous faire croire qu’il est la solution. Il y a un prix à ne pas contrôler ni nos frontières, ni nos aéroports, ni notre planification de l'immigration. Et l’arrivée potentielle de  Pierre Poilièvre, qui est resté silencieux sur cette question alors que Justin Trudeau mettait en place sa lubie idéologique, n’apporte rien de rassurant. Il faut rapidement sortir de ce bordel." ("Trudeau is a firefighter obsessed with setting things on fire. He created an imbalance in housing through migration and then here comes acting like a savoir")
PM Trudeau says immigration to Canada has "grown at a rate far beyond what Canada has been able to absorb," adding that "temporary immigration has caused so much pressure in our communities," in relation to housing : CanadaHousing2 - "Justin Trudeau has been permanent banned from /r/ CanadaHousing"

FIRST READING: Trudeau's weird habit of denouncing his own government - "this is far from the first time that Trudeau has emerged as a public critic of policies for which he is technically responsible... While Trudeau’s Dartmouth statements were among his most poignant criticisms of sky-high rates of temporary immigration, he’s been decrying the phenomenon ever since Christmas... After a September incident in which the combined Canadian parliament gave a standing ovation to Yaroslav Hunka — a 99-year-old former member of a Waffen-SS unit in Ukraine — Trudeau’s initial stance was to blame the gaffe entirely on the neglect of House Speaker Anthony Rota. Rota had invited Hunka, and Trudeau said in the House of Commons that if he made it a point of vetting the guest list of every parliamentarian, it would be a “grievous attack” on the independence of MPs. But months later, it would emerge that Trudeau’s office had been just as derelict as Rota in vetting its invitees. While Rota had invited Hunka to Parliament, it was the prime minister’s office that had invited the nonagenerian ex-Nazi to a reception later that day... From the beginning, whenever opponents criticized the carbon tax as a cash grab, the consistent answer from the Trudeau government was that any affordability concerns with the tax had been addressed via rebates... But last year, this whole argument was detonated when the Trudeau government made a public concession to the claim that carbon taxes actually were hammering the ability of Canadians to pay the bills. In October, a coalition of dissident Liberal MPs in Atlantic Canada began claiming that the carbon tax was making it difficult for constituents to afford groceries or heat their homes. Trudeau didn’t respond by saying that the constituents would be fine once they received their rebates. Rather, he acceded to the dissidents claims on affordability by approving a carbon tax exemption on home heating oil... “I’ll be blunt … housing is not a primary federal responsibility”... But by denying federal responsibility for housing, Trudeau was contradicting nearly nine years of his party asserting that housing was indeed an issue over which they had jurisdiction. On the eve of Trudeau’s election as prime minister, one of the key pledges of the Liberal campaign platform was that they had “a plan to make housing more affordable for those who need it most — seniors, persons with disabilities, lower-income families, and Canadians working hard to join the middle class.” He said procurement (particularly in regards to ArriveCAN) is a scandalous mess"

LILLEY: Trudeau makes life more expensive for you as MPs get pay hike - "taxes already make up about 50% of the cost of alcohol in Canada and the federal government just adds more every single April 1. This is on top of the increase to payroll taxes that saw smaller paycheques coming home after Jan. 1. It comes before the 33% increase to the airport security charge that will come into play on May 1. And somehow, despite the carbon tax hike, the alcohol tax hike, three payroll tax hikes, and an airport tax hike, the Trudeau government will claim they aren’t contributing to inflation. About the only people who can afford this and not notice the price increases will be Canada’s MPs, who got a significant pay increase of 4.4%"

Trudeau in Shock As Young Canadians Threaten Rebellion - "Canada ranks 8th worldwide for happiness among those aged 60 and up, but a dismal 58th for people under 30. This puts Canadian youth on par with developing countries like Ecuador and Honduras when it comes to life satisfaction and overall well being...   For decades, liberal politicians headed by Trudeau have ignored problems like housing affordability, prioritising “woke” globalist visions over common sense domestic priorities. This has allowed home prices to skyrocket beyond the means of most young people.  Instead of addressing issues like supply and urban density, liberals virtue signal on climate change – while shoving unnecessary and costly taxes down our throats – and expanding the provably harmful and countless immigration policies, making life harder and harder for younger Canadians looking to set their foot and carve their place in their own country.  At the same time, Trudeau has allowed alarming debt levels across both the public and the private spheres, leading to younger generations bearing the harsh burden of paying all of this back, limiting their own prosperity and success.  And how could we forget about all the “woke” ideological experiments in schools and workplaces that have left younger Canadians feeling disconnected from their own country’s history and values. Is it really surprising they feel unhappy and alienated from their homeland?"

David Rosenberg: Canada was once productive and competitive, but not today - “If not for the tight trading ties with the United States and the good fortune of a rich endowment of resources, the Canadian economy would be in perennial recession. There has been no capital deepening or productivity growth in Canada in eons because the massive spending at the government level has continued to crowd out private-sector investment. All the spending that was used to combat the pandemic has become a permanent feature of the budgetary landscape. The level of program spending in Ottawa today is 35 per cent higher than it was pre-COVID-19. Meanwhile, volume spending on aggregate business investment is lower today than it was in 2012. How can the citizenry be OK with that? On a per-capita basis, government program spending is 27 per cent higher than it was in 2019 and almost double the average of the past 40 years. Inflation has only accounted for 40 per cent of that gap in per-person spending now compared to four years ago. The fiscal spending is out of control, and a clear sign is that when it comes to the government sector, what is always billed as a temporary spending measure to fight a crisis inevitably finds a way to remain on the books. Either Canadians don’t know about what is going on with this fiscal profligacy or, as is typical in this country, totally apathetic to what is going on. The government incursion into the economy in this country is so acute that the public sector now comprises 27 per cent of GDP. Business capital spending? Try a mere eight per cent share and flirting with two-decade lows. The capital spending share of the U.S. economy is practically double that, which is why productivity growth stateside is running at a 2.6 per cent year-over-rate pace versus minus 0.6 per cent (yes, negative) north of the border. When you blend labour and capital together, total factor productivity in Canada, under this current government in Ottawa, is now back to where it was a quarter-century ago. And productivity is the mother’s milk of future standard-of-living enhancement and no amount of pro-immigration policies to provide the illusion of economic prosperity can act as a true antidote… the country’s productive capital stock has stopped growing over the past two decades, and, indeed, has actually decayed 1.5 per cent over the past year… Because of this dismal productivity performance, unit labour costs of five per cent at an annual rate are running double the U.S. trend. That means we are increasingly uncompetitive and that is showing through in a Canadian dollar that instead of reaping the benefits of this year’s commodity price run-up, has headed south and, by most measures, is undervalued by at least five per cent. It is why, under this current government’s watch, Mexico has replaced Canada as the top exporter to the U.S. — this happened two years ago. Historically, Canada exported around 20 per cent more to the U.S. than Mexico did; today, Mexico sells 10 per cent more to the U.S. than we do. That says everything we need to know about how current and past policies have failed us. Too much emphasis on government intervention and less on promoting pro-productivity business investment and export competitiveness. All so sad. Brian Mulroney (R.I.P.) certainly did leave a legacy — too bad this current government has had nearly a decade to tear it apart. The world not only lost one of the greatest statesmen of the 20th century, but Canada lost its most effective prime minister of the 20th century. What he accomplished in his near-decade in office from 1984 to 1993 was most impressive: taking Canada out of the dark ages of economic sclerosis after years of inept government rule under the Liberals (talk about being back to the future given what is happening today in Ottawa) using Ronald Reagan-style deregulation, tax reform, breaking the back of inflation and embarking on the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement… The controversial, but powerfully positive policies Mulroney embarked on that cost his Conservative Party the 1993 federal election ended up being nurtured by the ensuing Liberal government, even though it had pledged to abandon all those pro-growth, supply-side policies”  
Left wingers claim government spending is the way to economic growth, so clearly it needs to be increased even more. Either that or they want de-growth, or that economics is astrology for men so we must ignore it  
No wonder left wingers hated Mulroney

Meme - Justin Trudeau's Ego @Trudeaus_Ego: "My Government is increasing our military funding to meet NATO targets, and spending the money on what our troops need most.  Tampons.  Moving forward, every military workspace where men operate will have extra tampons including tanks, submarines, and fighter jets."

GUNTER: Trudeau tanks Canadian economy as Americans prosper - "rampant immigration and the economic cluelessness of the Trudeau government... the housing affordability crisis is unlikely to get better anytime soon, because the Trudeau government is neither encouraging home building fast enough nor willing to cut back immigration levels until the housing market catches up.  Also, the Liberals’ record-high spending and massive expansion of the federal civil service have led to the inflation that has caused the Bank of Canada to jack up interest rates to the highest levels in more than 20 years.  That not only makes it more expensive to buy a home, but according to Marc Desormeaux, principal economist at Desjardins, high interest rates led to a decline in residential housing investment of more than 12% last year... It’s not just Liberal governments that have failed to increase productivity and core growth in our economy. The few Conservative administrations we have had in that period have done little more than slow the decline.  The Trudeau government, though, has put our decline on steroids with their emphasis on woke social objectives over economic progress, especially their obsession with climate alarmism.  The OECD estimates that with our current, Liberal-dictated industrial and economic policies (which are “green” maniacal, anti-business, debt-ridden and tax-heavy), Canada will remain at the bottom of the developed world in growth for the next quarter century. By 2050, we will no longer qualify for the G7 and could find our standard of living in the range of Spain and Greece, rather than the U.K. and France.  At present, despite being battered by endless Liberal environmental mandates, Alberta is the only province near the midway point of the 60 states and provinces, economically, and it is in real danger of sinking below the surface, too, if the Trudeau government remains in power."

Lucy's Lemonade Stand

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Links - 6th April 2024 (2 - Victim Culture)

The dangerous allure of victim politics - "Buruma thought people liked to feel like society's victims, even where they were personally doing rather well, because modern life hollows out our identities. Hyper-capitalism is reducing meaningful beliefs and identity to fast food restaurants, sterile movies and empty gestures. But people want and perhaps need the authentic, the real, and the genuine in life. And so in an external world in which everything seems so empty, we turn inward in a search for authenticity. The only thing that can deliver authenticity is our feelings. And what more powerful feeling than victimhood and struggle?   It's quite true that feelings have become something of a modern obsession (Will Davies in his excellent new book about happiness calls feelings ‘the new religion’). They are being elevated to the highest measure of what it means to be human: what matters is how we feel about something. And a growing number of writers – most recently Mick Hume in his new book ‘Trigger Warning’ – think that people’s feelings are fast becoming the only test of whether something should be allowed. Prioritising feelings invariably means that if those precious feelings are hurt, upset, or offended, then these things should be banned or stopped...   I suspect the internet makes this worse, because it provides unlimited opportunity to find reasons to feel victimised and assert that claim to the world. Take the modern scourge, internet trolling. Many people – I’ve documented some of them in my book The Dark Net – are genuinely tormented and terrorised by trolls. Others appear to almost revel in it. If you’re not getting trolled, you’re obviously not famous enough. Being trolled by strangers on the net gives you the chance to show how hard things are for you, how right you were, and how noble and magnanimous you are in sharing your suffering with the world. It is very rarely mentioned that the victims of trolls are often far more often privileged, wealthy, happy, and successful than their perceived oppressors, who are often frustrated, jealous, and lonely.   There are lots of reasons for progressive to guard against feeling based victimhood politics. First, it’s inherently anti-political. Politics is about disagreement, argument and debate. Feelings, especially those relating to victimhood, cannot really be argued with, debated or questioned – ‘only meekly accepted’, as Buruma put it. Arguing over degrees of victimhood replaces moral reasoning, since victims aren’t always right. This can be used as justification for bad behaviour. Consider the recent case of the Goldsmiths Equalities Officer, Bahar Mustafa. She asked white people not to attend an event for black and ethnic minority students... she argued that she could not be racist or sexist to white men, as she is a BAME woman. Bahar identified herself as a victim. Not personally, but by virtue of her historic status as a member of a victim group. As a victim, eternally and forever a victim, she couldn’t victimise others, especially people who are not victims, like white men. But if only those who claim to feel victimised that can truly speak about it, politics stops being a world of equals people and ideas. That leads toward a world of self-censorship and hecklers’ vetoes.   In a strange way, victimhood politics can also keep genuine victims oppressed. In 1950 Bertrand Russell wrote an essay called The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed. He argued that people tend to imagine those who are oppressed have some kind of superior moral quality. It started with Rousseau’s noble savage, if not before, and has been applied to women, to nationalities, to the proletariat etc. Russell said those admiring these superior qualities prefer to sentimentalise them, rather than actually live as them...  “Reverence” as Russell put it, “was a consolation for inferiority”.  Worse, I think, is that the more we focus on redressing people’s surface feeling of being a victim, the less time and enthusiasm we have to left to resolve deep and structure problems. If everyone declares themselves as victims, then every claim, no matter how grand or trivial, is put together in the same to-do tray, and whoever shouts loudest gets resolution. If Twitter is any guide, we appear to be more worried about internet trolling and Tim Hunt’s (probably / possibly) sexist remarks than we are about ISIS butchering innocent people and North Korea. Some oppressions are objectively worse than others, and we should focus more energy on them. At the very edges of this problem, the constant vigilance – the countless declarations of our society or our institutions being riddled with racism, sexism, Islamophobia etc – can become a counsel of despair... You will find this sense of victimhood sitting squarely behind many of today’s extreme political movements. British Muslims who join or are inspired by al-Qaeda or ISIS are often not themselves particularly poor or in any sense oppressed – seek to personally identify with the (genuine) oppression of other Muslims around the world. Anders Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist who murdered 77 people in Oslo in 2011 was fairly well off and educated, and yet claimed he (by which he meant White Europeans) were victims of cultural Marxism trying to destroy his culture and religion. The mother of the Tunisian gunman Seifeddine Rezgui, who killed dozens of holidaymakers, said her son was a victim. All in some sense, believing they are victims, and as such their cause was just... The progressive must be on guard that victimhood is never fetishized, is never equated with some mystical superior virtue or assumed moral authority, and that feelings don't become the arbiter of what is right. Above all, the progressive should not seek out a victimhood identity for themselves for the purposes of moral rectitude and righteous indignation. Because in the end, this obscures sight of genuine injustices and fuels a victimhood mentality that does nothing to help genuine victims, and most likely harms their cause."
Is this bigot going to be deplatformed soon?

‘It’s ludicrous’: Ian McKellen sparks debate over trigger warnings in theatre - "When a London theatre decided to warn potential audiences about strong language, sexual references, grief and death in its latest production, the play’s celebrated star didn’t hold back.  “I think it’s ludicrous,” Ian McKellen told Sky News. “I quite like to be surprised by loud noises and outrageous behaviour on stage.”...  The warning issued by the theatre, the Other Palace, was in line with a growing trend to alert the public about potentially upsetting themes in plays new and old. And not just the theatre: universities applied trigger warnings to more than 1,000 texts, including many classics, an investigation found last year... Others say the power of art and literature to shock or discomfort people is integral to its value, and that the unknown and unexpected is part of the experience. Warnings diminish or remove this.  Earlier this summer, Chichester Festival theatre issued a warning about the content of its production of The Sound of Music... This, said actor Simon Callow, demonstrated “a fundamental failure to grasp what the theatre is: not a model for behaviour but a crucible in which we look at what it is to be human”.  Theatre is “not a pulpit but a gymnasium of the imagination”, he said in a letter to the Times. “It is perfectly clear that what happens on the stage is performed by actors, on a set, very visibly lit by artificial light, and that the whole thing is an act of the imagination.”... “woke theatre bosses” had “slapped a trigger warning” on a production of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion at the Old Vic in London. The show contained “portrayals of abuse, abusive language and coercive control”, according to the report... The Globe theatre has warned audiences about themes contained in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (suicide and drug use), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (violence, sexual references, misogyny and racism) and The Merchant of Venice (antisemitism).  The latter prompted a response from Tracy-Ann Oberman, a Jewish actor and director, who re-envisaged Shakespeare’s play with its central character Shylock as a matriarch confronting fascists in London’s east end in 1936.  “Didn’t the Globe’s last version of the Merchant have trigger warnings about antisemitism?” she said in an interview with the Times. “I’ve got a real, real thing about trigger warnings … If something’s upset you in a play, go look it up, go and find out when and why it was written – why it’s there.”  “You’re meant to feel emotions that feel uncomfortable, but in the safe environment of the theatre. You’re meant to feel fear, pity, anger, upset, horror, outrage … it’s meant to be able to change you.”... A survey of UK students last year found that 86% agreed content warnings should sometimes or always be used on set texts, with just 14% opposing them.  But an analysis carried out by Australian academics concluded that warnings had no meaningful impact on an individual’s emotional response to the material in question, or whether they avoided the material. Trigger warnings are “fruitless”, the academics said."

Meme - BLAIRE WHITE @MsBlaireWhite: "Y'all want to be oppressed so damn bad. No one has ever been denied any rights because they don't have sex, you absolute cringe ball."
Yasmin Benoit, MSc @theyasminbenoit: "Asexual people deserve equal rights. We deserve legal recognition. We deserve protection. Thank you @stonewalluk for allowing me to march with you again at #PrideInLondon today & for helping me to bring about this change. #ThislsWhatAsexualLooksLike #IStandWithStonewALL"

Sophie Turner Expects to Deal With “Symptoms of Trauma” From Game of Thrones
Keira Knightley had to go through years of therapy over trauma from starring in Pirates of the Caribbean
Everything is "trauma" nowadays

Take It from Someone Who Has Suffered Real Physical Abuse: Words Aren't Violence - "The ordinary challenges of life now are being reinvented as trauma, and words are conflated with violence. It is all part of our ongoing cultural embrace of the “untruth of fragility: what doesn’t kill you, makes you weaker,” as illuminated by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff in The Coddling of the American Mind. Debates, lectures and even ordinary conversations now can be brought to an end when one party declares checkmate by asserting that this or that argument serves to “deny their humanity” or makes them feel “unsafe.”   As someone who has experienced nine of the 10 most studied Adverse Childhood Experiences, who lives with chronic physical pain from violence-inflicted injuries, who spends three hours a week with a therapist specializing in trauma, I can attest that such claims strike me as dangerous gibberish. Can words do damage? Of course. But the difference between words and violence is that mentally competent adults nearly always have a choice about how much damage words can inflict, whereas the damage caused by my father’s belt—like all physical abuse—didn’t rise or fall depending on my psychological state at the moment of impact.   Our laws, rooted in a wiser age, recognize that only truly vulnerable—not those who merely assert that they feel vulnerable—must be protected from certain very specific kinds of words... If words cause me a level of harm that I can’t—or won’t—seek to control, then I am implicitly resigning myself to an existence without agency or dignity. I reject this way of living. And I refuse to stand silently by while our culture collectively embraces a spirit of morbid passivity. Overcoming verbal abuse is hard—like almost everything else worth doing. In moments of failure, frustration or shame, I feel my mother’s or father’s voice ringing in my head, sneering, calling me worthless. But therapy has helped me learn that the power over how much pain these voices can cause is in my hands. I can work to use my rational faculties, reject their post facto assessment of my worth as a human, and move on. While words are not violence, the media has done a good job blurring the difference. In a 2017 New York Times article, Northeastern University psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett argued that chronic stress can cause physical harm, and so speech should sometimes be regarded as violence in verbal form...   Only those with the privilege of having led violence-free lives could make such claims with a straight face. If an otherwise mentally healthy person becomes paralyzed by trauma when someone recites political opinions they disagree with, or describes them with the wrong pronoun, the way they react is their choice. If the ordinary unpleasantness of daily life causes traumatic reactions that cannot be alleviated with a spirit of resilience, that is evidence of a serious mental health problem... I began this essay with the words of Justice Brandeis, which bear repetition, since they show how issues of free speech and psychological self-protection have become intermingled: “Fear of serious injury cannot alone justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.”... Teaching people to react to words as if they were weapons is teaching them to fetishize their damage—or even to create new damage...   When I enrolled at my university as a mature student trying to piece her life back together, I knew there was a chance that I might need some kind of special accommodations. But the university’s disability officer offered me so many accommodations that it was embarrassing. If I wanted to, I could have remained deeply mired in my mental debilitation without even the slightest spur toward recovery.  Self-pity is an addictive drug; and students who come to campus looking for ways to avoid stress, instead of deal with it, will find dealers in every office and classroom.  We can’t force students to fight their demons. But at the very least, we shouldn’t be encouraging a policy of immediate surrender."
Lived experience is only important when it supports the liberal agenda. Every time it doesn't, the people are told that "not everyone is as strong"

The perils of being perpetually offended - "You couldn’t make it up. An event called ‘An Evening with Cancelled Women’ was due to feature a number of women who had been disinvited from public engagements due to objections from people who disagree with their viewpoints. But it was itself cancelled – due to objections from people who disagree with their viewpoints... These perpetually offended people see themselves as being on the progressive left of the political spectrum, although many would argue that they are in fact an embarrassment to the radical tradition.  Often, the demand for censure and silence is made on the basis of the emotional harm that the expression of certain views will cause. These ‘radicals’ tend to be schooled in a mishmash of poststructural and queer theories. They see certain language as so oppressive that its very utterance must be suppressed. Texts, films and speech are all carefully analysed in order to find the hidden forms of oppression that lie within. It is hard not to get away from the impression that these wordplay warriors actively seek the thrill of being offended.   While secular in nature, this censoriousness is performed with an evangelical zeal that would have impressed the Witchfinder General. Such righteousness is a heavy burden to bear. The neo-puritans must develop a heightened sensitivity to breaches in the correct mode of thought, even among their own. Excommunication from the group is a real risk.   I was pondering these regressive developments while doing some research for a book on stigma. Looking back, it is easy to forget the progress that has been made in recent decades when it comes to race, gender, sexuality and disability...   Being perpetually offended requires perpetual protection. And that means that rather than challenging the powers-that-be, today’s self-professed radicals end up demanding greater powers for the government, the police and employers to silence dissenting views and maintain the status quo."

WTF? Corporate America is canceling Mother's Day - "Corporate America, though, has for some reason decided that Mother’s Day is a “sensitive” time, a “challenging” time, or a “difficult” time, so they are inviting customers to opt out of emails related to the triggering day... There is something particularly sick about a society where a company called “buy buy baby” is sensitive about celebrating mothers. What’s particularly fascinating is that this is clearly coordinated somehow. Nothing like this arises organically.  So: who? I have no idea, except that it is likely some alphabet-person movement.  Why? This is easy: there is a widespread movement to destroy the family."

Meme - Catherine Kronas @CatherineKronas: "Slides from a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Decolonization (DEID) workshop held at @WesternU yesterday. Mandatory training for all housing staff (eg. residence dons, front desk staf, student advisors). Microaggression: "I believe the most qualified person should get the job.""

Schoolgirl, 13, calls for 'nerd-face' emoji to have glasses removed - "A schoolgirl whose dream came true when Disney created a heroine with glasses in a hit film has now set her sights on taking the spectacles off the ‘nerd-face’ emoji.  When Lowri Moore, now 13, was nine, a letter she wrote to Disney pleading for its next princess to wear glasses went viral."
Grievance-mongering never ends

This activist says scars aren't Halloween costumes - "In recent years, people have been asking themselves if their Halloween costumes are culturally appropriative. But activist Phyllida Swift says there's one possibly appropriative element of Halloween costumes many people may not even think about — their makeup.  After a car wreck left her with a scar across her face at age 22, Swift started noticing facial scars all over villains in movies and scary Halloween costumes."

We Love ‘Lived Experience’...Until It Undermines the Narrative - "There is an unhealthy relationship in our culture between victim status and what is called “lived experience.” Ironically, it is through my own experiences with these two concepts that I have come to see this. I used to look at the world through the lens of victimhood. When I identified as a victim, my lived experience was lauded by all as authentic. However, when I came out as a proudly free-thinking black individual, and no longer claimed victimhood as a part of my identity, my lived experience was rejected and discredited by both friends and strangers alike. This striking selectiveness in other people’s acceptance of my lived experience has led me down a somewhat sad and perplexing path... My entrance into collegiate life was not simply the pursuit of higher education, but an opportunity to reconstruct my entire persona for proper acclimation to American life. However, unbeknownst to me at the time, third-wave feminist theory and critical race pedagogy was sprinkled throughout my various courses of study in sociology, symbolism, and mythology (to name a few). It wasn’t long before I assumed the persona of a black woman with special insight into the experience of social inferiority and harm that I believed those with other shades of skin could never grasp.   It was only when I exited the college system that I realized this new persona was not one that I naturally fit into. The worldview that I had assumed was awfully cynical, as I filtered all my daily interactions through the lens of racial power dynamics. Any mistreatment that I perceived from strangers or friends I often interpreted as a diluted form of racism called a microaggression. These perceived microaggressions soon became the main cause of depressive episodes in my day-to-day life. There were times when it felt futile to wake up. At other times, I would burst out crying simply because I was too overwhelmed by the prospect of having to face another day of missed opportunities in a racist society. I came to realize that this “way of knowing,” in the currently fashionable language, was more of a burden than a realization of identity.  I vividly recall the day I sat down at my dining table and decided that I’d had enough. Whatever lens I had viewed the world through prior to moving to the States, I wanted it back. The Nelson Mandela approach to reconciliation. The Dr. Ben Carson attitude towards accomplishment. I began to release the grudges that I held against those I deemed “racist.” It was through this process that I reconnected with an essential part of being human, a part of myself that I had lost under the spell of critical social justice ideology. We as humans all have the potential—in fact, we are all bound—to make mistakes. For that reason, we all deserve a chance at a “restart” in the hearts of those around us."

The Tyranny of Fragility: How Alexis De Tocqueville Foretold the Rise of Victimhood Culture - "“The more people resemble one another,” as Harvey Mansfied sums up the Tocquevillian view, “the weaker one person feels in the face of all the others.” Tocqueville describes the massively anxiogenic effects of the novel forms of social comparison that arose after the American and French revolutions...   As the good-enough life always lies just beyond the next hill or the next promotion (or in your neighbour’s driveway), people in modern democracies often adopt a deficit-based understanding of their lives. There is nothing wrong with an aspirational mindset—how else would our species have invented and transcended so much? This is all well and good—until this deficit view becomes a raison d’être of modern existence.
This is an interesting downside of equality and reduction of hierarchy

Opinion: A big problem with how we talk about race today - "For the most part, the people I grew up around seemed to share my lack of interest in race. They agreed with Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous dictum about the content of one’s character trumping the color of one’s skin — even if collective overuse had already made it a cliché. On the rare occasion that some petty person did try to use race as a weapon — to bully someone, for instance — the dominant value system would come down on them like a tornado. They would be ostracized and punished. Where I grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, racists existed, but they were the exceedingly rare exceptions that proved the overwhelming rule... Though I wouldn’t have known to call it this at the time, the conference was essentially a three-day critical race theory and intersectionality workshop. It was there that I first heard terms like systemic racism, safe space, White privilege and internalized oppression — ideas that were fringe in 2012 but would sweep through elite universities just a few years later. Up until 2012, I had never been immersed in a subculture where my race was considered to be important. The People of Color Conference changed that. At the conference, my Blackness was not considered a neutral fact — irrelevant to my deeper qualities as a human being. My Blackness was instead considered a kind of magic. My skin color was discussed as if it were a beautiful enigma at the core of my identity, a slice of God inside my soul. The conference leaders taught us one idea that pertained directly to my unfortunate afro experience from middle school: a microaggression. A microaggression, I learned, was a statement or action that conveys subtle, unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group. Before learning this term, I had filed the afro fiasco under the heading of “difficult experiences that many kids face in middle school.” In fact, I recall thinking that it was not nearly as bad as the verbal abuse experienced by my White friend for being an unlucky mix of pale, skinny, nerdy and awkward — bullying that eventually prompted him to leave the school. Nor was it anywhere close to the mocking endured by the overweight, pimply White kid whose manner of speech seemed to be permanently slurred. In truth, it wasn’t even bullying. The kids touching my afro were never malicious, only curious. They never teased me or insulted me. And I easily got along with them in every other context. As annoying as their behavior was, the obvious goodwill behind their actions softened my judgment of them. At the conference, however, I was taught to frame my experience differently. It was a microaggression. Whereas bullying can be experienced by anyone, only members of marginalized groups can experience microaggressions. My afro experience was placed on the same continuum as the violent racism I had learned about in history class. At one end of that continuum was Emmett Till and the brave civil rights protesters beaten at Selma. And on the less severe end of that same continuum was me. I had experienced a microdose of the same poison. I was taught that my victimization was special, and that made me special. Where my White friends had the wind of White supremacy at their backs, I faced a headwind. And everything I had accomplished in spite of it was that much more impressive as a result. That was the ideology that I, along with hundreds of other students, absorbed at this three-day conference. The atmosphere, however, was less scholarly than it was spiritual. For instance, many of the students at the conference were gay and came from households that were socially conservative. For some, the conference was the first time in their entire lives that they could voice their sexuality out loud without fear of judgment. There was crying and hugging and warmth. In those ways, the energy in the room was uplifting. But in other ways, it was suffocating. The teachers enforced a strict orthodoxy; dissent was never welcomed and was therefore rarely even attempted. As a kid who enjoyed debating with professors, I couldn’t help but notice, and lament, the stifling conformism... I never imagined that I’d encounter this subculture again. Then I enrolled at Columbia University... I felt acutely aware of my Blackness. And that awareness ironically made me feel less connected to the people around me, not more. I worried that rather than approach me as a blank slate, these students would approach me as a Black man, and, by implication, a victim. In my four years at Columbia, hardly a week passed without a race-themed controversy. In the school newspaper, students would say they experienced White supremacy routinely on campus. A professor of mine once told our class that “all people of color were by definition victims of oppression,” even as my daily experience as a Black person directly contradicted that claim. It felt as if I was dropped into a simulation where the Real Racism dial was set close to zero, but the Concern About Racism dial was set to 10. Though I found the topic of race to be boring in and of itself, the surrounding culture was obsessed with it — and was hell-bent on dragging me in. Eventually, I became curious. Why were White students and professors confessing their inner racism unprompted? Why were Black students in one of the most progressive, non-racist environments on Earth claiming to experience racism all the time? And why were so many otherwise reasonable people pretending to believe them? Why did these kids sound more pessimistic about the state of American race relations than my grandparents (who lived through segregation) do? The more I asked these questions, the more I became convinced that the new race obsession that brands itself “anti-racist” is in fact the opposite. It is racist, destructive and contrary to the spirit of the civil rights movement. Taken to their logical end points, the ideas I encountered first at the People of Color Conference and then at Columbia paved the way toward a social and political hell-scape where skin color — a meaningless trait — is given supreme importance. If these ideas were confined to high school conferences and Ivy League universities, one could make the case that they are not worth worrying about. But they have infected all of our key institutions: government, education and media. Some of our most celebrated and sought-after public intellectuals routinely espouse ideas so extreme that the public has been desensitized to them."

Saying 'the most qualified person should get the job' is a microaggression, Britain's top universities insist - "Britain's top universities warned staff and students that saying 'the most qualified person should get the job' is a microaggression.   Russell Group universities, including the University of Glasgow, have issued guidance and even provided training courses to educate people on how to eliminate microaggressions.  Guidance from the Scottish university alongside the engineering department of Imperial College London insisted that using the phrase was discriminatory... Other examples of microaggressions included using phrases like 'men and women have equal opportunities for achievement' and 'positive action is racist'.  Newcastle University warned students and staff not to respond to discussions around police brutality with 'white people get killed by the police too'... These recent statements and guidance were revealed by the Committee for Academic Freedom (CAF), a group of academics worried about the erosion of free speech on campus.   Dr Edward Skidelsky, a philosophy lecturer at the University of Exeter, and director of CAF, was alarmed by these statement and expressed fears over a lack of free speech on university campuses.  He  said: 'By campaigning against questioning and denial, these universities are advocating an uncritical acceptance of statements in the various, undefined areas that they refer to.  'The effect, again, is to undermine a culture of free enquiry.'   Chris McGovern, the chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: 'It would seem that the woke virus has infected universities in a major way. It is cowardly. Universities are supposed to show their intelligence and reason and they are disapplying their intelligence and reason in order to pursue the woke agenda.'"
In the 00s it was predicted that soon it would be discrimination to discriminate against the lazy and the stupid

The Evolutionary Advantages of Playing Victim - "humans have evolved to empathize with the suffering of others, and to provide assistance so as to eliminate or compensate for that suffering. Consequently, signaling suffering to others can be an effective strategy for attaining resources. Victims may receive attention, sympathy, and social status, as well as financial support and other benefits. And being a victim can generate certain kinds of power: It can justify the seeking of retribution, provide a sense of legitimacy or psychological standing to speak on certain issues, and may even confer moral impunity by minimizing blame for victims’ own wrongdoings.  Presumably, most victims would eagerly forego such benefits if they were able to free themselves of their plight. But when victimhood yields benefits, it incentivizes people to signal their victimhood to others or to exaggerate or even fake victimhood entirely. This is especially true in contexts that involve alleged psychic harms, and where appeals are made to third-parties, with the claimed damage often being invisible, unverifiable, and based exclusively on self-reports. Such circumstances allow unscrupulous people to take advantage of the kindness and sympathy of others by co-opting victim status for personal gain. And so, people do. Newly published research indicates that people who more frequently signal their victimhood (whether real, exaggerated, or false) are more likely to lie and cheat for material gain and denigrate others as a means to get ahead. Victimhood signaling is associated with numerous morally undesirable personality traits, such as narcissism, Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and exploit others for self-benefit), a sense of entitlement, and lower honesty and humility... there may be a personality type that—independent of one’s actual experience of real victimhood or internalization of real virtue—drives individuals to signal virtuous victimhood as a means to extract resources from others.  Consistent with this theory, other recent work indicates that victimhood, or the enduring feeling that the self is a victim, may be a stable personality trait. This personality trait is characterized by a need for others to acknowledge and empathize with one’s victimhood, feelings of moral superiority, and a lack of empathy for others’ suffering. This personality trait was found to be relatively stable across time and relationship contexts, and was associated with higher perceived severity of received offenses, holding grudges, vengefulness, entitlement to behave immorally, rumination, distrust, neuroticism, and attribution of negative qualities to others... In general, people reward victimhood signaling... Just as people may fake competence to attain status and benefits (e.g., by doping in sports, or using one’s smartphone during pub trivia), and fake morality to attain a good reputation (e.g., by behaving better in public contexts than in private situations), they may fake victimhood to get undeserved sympathy and compensation.  It’s also important to remember that many claims of victimhood are made to strangers online, especially through social media or fundraising sites. This can increase the reach and effectiveness of insincere claims because they are directed toward strangers who have no basis for investigating (or even entertaining) suspicions of fake victimhood, except on pain of appearing callous. When a person knowingly wrongs someone in his or her family, circle of friends, community, or professional orbit, they often are willing to make amends, and so victims can often appeal directly to transgressors for recompense. Even if a transgressor has little remorse, nearby others (such as friends and family) aware of the harm are often willing to provide sympathy and assistance. Third-party appeals to strangers, on the other hand, are perhaps especially prone to falsehood, because the soliciting party is appealing to individuals who don’t know their circumstances or character. This certainly doesn’t mean that all (or even most) appeals of this nature are fake—only that this will be the preferred strategy of those whose claims have been rejected (or would likely be rejected) by those who have the most information.  Nearly all people experience disadvantage or mistreatment at some point in their life. Many quietly and humbly work through these challenges on their own or with the help of close friends and family. Only a minority will turn every slight into an opportunity to seek sympathy, status, and redress from strangers. If eventually discovered, they can suffer catastrophic reputational damage, or even go to jail. But in the short term, at least, this group can receive more benefits, with less effort, than the former... it is worth reflecting on the system of incentives we create is precisely that there are genuine victims: Habitual, false victim signalers deplete available resources for genuine victims, dupe trusting others into misallocating their resources, and can initiate a dysfunctional cycle of competitive victimhood within society more broadly. For example, research has shown that people ramp up their own status as victims of discrimination when they are accused of discriminating against others or even when they are merely characterized as being relatively advantaged. This phenomenon may help explain why it is common for people to believe that they are getting the short end of the stick in many situations... Historically, our ancestors may have been better able to discern habitual or false victim signalers from those in true need. We lived in smaller communities where we tended to know what was happening, and to whom—and so those who deceived others were at higher risk of getting caught.  In modern, affluent societies, by contrast, people can signal their difficult-to-verify suffering to thousands or more strangers online. Although genuine victims may benefit in such environments (because they can spread awareness of their plight, and solicit support, on a large scale), manipulative individuals inevitably will use the same mass-broadcast tools to extract resources and possibly even initiate a cycle of competitive victimhood that infects everyone. Those who most vociferously declare their victimhood to others may often be villains instead."

Understanding Victimhood Culture: An Interview with Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning - "The combination of high sensitivity with dependence on others encourages people to emphasize or exaggerate the severity of offenses. There’s a corresponding tendency to emphasize one’s degree of victimization, one’s vulnerability to harm, and one’s need for assistance and protection. People who air grievances are likely to appeal to such concepts as disadvantage, marginality, or trauma, while casting the conflict as a matter of oppression. The result is that this culture also emphasizes a particular source of moral worth: victimhood. Victim identities are deserving of special care and deference. Contrariwise, the privileged are morally suspect if not deserving of outright contempt. Privilege is to victimhood as cowardice is to honor... you end up with a system of morality that doesn’t offer much incentive for good behavior. Honor cultures incentivize bravery while neglecting other virtues. But if you want esteem in a victimhood culture, what can you do? It’s not like you can become a victim. Or actually, you can — you can portray yourself as weak and in need of help, you can portray others’ behavior toward you as harmful and oppressive, and you can even lie about being the victim of violence and other offenses. Victimhood culture incentivizes bad behavior. The extreme form of victimhood culture we see among activists on college campuses leads to another problem in that one’s status as a victim comes not just from individual experiences of victimhood but also from one’s identity as part of a victim group. The idea is that all members of certain groups are victims, but that no one else is. Activists even argue that whites cannot be the victims of racism, or men the victims of sexism. Likewise, whether people can be victims of new offenses like cultural appropriation or microaggression, depends on their identity. A white person wearing a hairstyle associated with African Americans would be cultural appropriation, for instance, but an African American wearing a hairstyle associated with whites would not be. Likewise, those who have pioneered the concept of microaggression have made it clear that not all slights count. A white male elementary school teacher may experience stereotypes and put-downs, for example, but to call those microaggressions would be a “misapplication of the concept.”... Jonathan Haidt identifies seven groups that are currently treated as sacred: people of colour, women, LGBTs, Latinos, Native Americans, people with disabilities, and Muslims. Under this schema even many minority groups, such as Evangelical Christians, fail to qualify, and any discrimination against them is ignored or celebrated. We have two problems with this. The first is a fundamental moral objection. We believe in the ideals of dignity culture — that all human beings have an inherent worth and should be treated accordingly — and we object to the new hierarchy of victimhood just as we would any racial and ethnic hierarchy. The second problem is the reactions it may produce. Whites, men, and others who do not have victimhood status are unlikely to accept a new morality and a new moral hierarchy in which they’re at the bottom. And they may end up embracing one in which they’re at the top. We find the recent prominence of alt-right white nationalists alarming, and we worry there will be more of it in reaction to the spread of victimhood culture. It’s a dangerous thing to undermine dignity culture and its ideals of equality... Complaints of cultural appropriation illustrate victimhood culture quite well. As with microaggression complaints, it’s a grievance about a nonviolent, probably unintentional slight that many observers wouldn’t even see as offensive. As with microaggressions, the offense is framed as a matter of collective oppression, of one social group harming another. And in practice, it’s usually an offense defined by identity, something only people in designated privileged groups can be guilty of. Victimhood culture’s high sensitivity to slight means it continually coins new types of offense. And this is certainly one of the most baffling of the new offenses. As we’ve discussed elsewhere, one particularly confusing aspect is that many of the things that get called cultural appropriation were, until very recently, virtues — signs that one was cosmopolitan and open-minded. If anything, we might expect social and cultural conservatives to be the ones most upset about Westerners practicing yoga or mindfulness meditation, or white kids adopting black fashions and hairstyles. In many cases they are, but these days so-called progressives are often vocal and visible critics... it might be more helpful to understand it as a matter of the offenders aping their betters. As sociologist Donald Black discusses in his book Moral Time, various societies throughout history have had rules — sumptuary laws — preventing people from adopting the styles, entertainments, and recreations of their social betters... According to Black’s theory, tolerance of diversity is greater in exactly those places that have more diversity to start with, while concern with cultural purity is greatest where culture is relatively homogeneous."

The Free Speech Crisis on Campus Is Worse than People Think - "A lot of campus critics have pointed to the left-wing political skew of faculty, he said, and have worried about indoctrination in the classroom. But indoctrination is much more likely at campus events outside the classroom, and the political skew of administrators in charge of student life is even greater than that of faculty... Remember, Abrams is a tenured professor commenting about a widely discussed issue and writing about his research in the New York Times—America’s pre-eminent newspaper, hardly some right-wing rag. And what was the reaction at Sarah Lawrence College? Campus activists, after apparently trying to break into Abrams’s office, vandalized the office door, taking away the items he had put up, including a picture of his newborn son, and putting up signs with statements such as “Quit” and “Our Right to Exist Is Not ‘Ideological’ Asshole.” The student senate held an emergency meeting to discuss the offending op-ed, and the college president, Cristle Collins Judd, suggested to Abrams that he had created a hostile work environment and asked him whether he thought it was acceptable to write op-eds without her approval. She also asked him if he was on the job market, perhaps as a suggestion that he should be... Dignity culture fights oppression by appealing to what we all have in common. Our status as human beings is what’s most important about us. But victimhood culture conceives of people as victims or oppressors, and maintains that where we fall on this dimension is what’s most important about us, even in our everyday relationships and interactions. And this means that victimhood culture is ultimately incompatible with the goals of the university. Pursuing truth in an environment of vigorous debate will always involve causing offense—and one of the shibboleths of victimhood culture is that it’s okay to offend the oppressors but not the oppressed. Many campus activists, realizing this, have attacked the ideals of free speech and academic freedom... Recognizing their moral concerns helps us understand better what Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt call vindictive protectiveness, whereby activists are simultaneously protective toward some people and vindictive toward others... Jason Manning points out that the [grievance studies] hoax probably gave these fields’ practitioners some “momentary embarrassment, but what is that,” he asks, “against tenure, travel money, professional status, and the ability to spread your politics to the young?”... At Harvard University’s School of Public Health, students are now asked on course evaluation forms about microaggressions. Last Spring, in 43 of the 138 courses evaluated, at least one student reported hearing “verbal or nonverbal slights/insults.” Administrators said they were investigating the seven professors whose courses received three or more such reports.

Validating his fetish / Surgery Success / Who’s Afraid of Liv Hewson?

MTF: "You! Validate my fetish! I need to show your kid!"
Normal person: "No thank you! *disintegrates MTF with laser beam from eyes*

The above is a more realistic take on a pro-trans comic (which of course iFunny is okay with):

MTF: "I LOVE being trans"
Normal person: "You! Justify your happiness to me! Debate me no-"
MTF: "No thank you! *disintegrates normal person with laser beam from eyes and happily walks off*"

Why are MTFs always so violent?


Mia @_CryMiaRiver: "Who’s Afraid of Liv Hewson?

Me. I’m afraid. I’m afraid because I know that these glam shots glorifying her medically unnecessary bilateral mastectomy are going to trigger a wave of teenage girls and young women going down the same destructive path.

Just as Princess Diana’s bulimia triggered a wave of women binging and purging, Karen Carpenter’s anorexia triggered an epidemic of anorexia, and Jazz Jennings unleashed a flood of “trans kids,” this photoshoot is going to set off a cascade of young women seeking mastectomies as the remedy for their misery.

The role of the media is crucial in these contagions. This ghastly photoshoot will plant the dangerous idea in the minds of vulnerable teenage girls that if they hate their developing breasts, having them amputated is the perfectly natural and healthy solution.

In the 19th century, there was an epidemic of hysteria, and one remedy was the surgical removal of healthy ovaries. Women who had imbibed the cultural narrative of the age would fixate on their ovaries and plead with surgeons to perform the surgery.

Today, we find ourselves witnessing the same horror, with vulnerable women, swept up in the epidemic of our time, believing that the surgical removal of their healthy breasts, and sometimes the ovaries and uterus as well, is the miracle cure for their unhappiness.

Young people no more need trans role models than they do anorexic, bulimic, or hysteric role models, and every media outlet that glamorises the demolition of healthy bodies in this way sacrifices countless young people to this medical crime."

Links - 6th April 2024 (1)

Christine Van Geyn: A solar eclipse is not an emergency and declaring it one is unlawful - "The statutory definition of an “emergency” in the EMCPA is not met by an eclipse. An emergency is “a situation or an impending situation that constitutes a danger of major proportions that could result in serious harm to persons or substantial damage to property and that is caused by the forces of nature, a disease or other health risk, an accident or an act whether intentional or otherwise.” An increase in tourism combined with less than three minutes of darkness is not an emergency. If it were, New Year’s Eve, the Toronto International Film Festival, many protests and other large community events would all be emergencies. If this goes unchecked, it is a virtual guarantee that future activists will argue that various social issues also constitute “emergencies” under the EMCPA. We know this because it’s already been done. In fact, Niagara Region is a leader in expanding the scope of what constitutes an emergency. In February 2023, Niagara declared a state of emergency over homelessness, mental health and opioid addiction. In that case, Bradley said this declaration was to send “a signal to the province” that these issues constituted an emergency requiring “additional funding from the province.” While these are serious social issues, they are not emergencies under the EMCPA. Even Bradley seemed to acknowledge this earlier in a memo to regional council in 2021, when he wrote that such a declaration would be “symbolic,” that it does not grant access to provincial funding, and that the EMCPA “was not designed to address social and economic problems of an ongoing systemic nature that cannot be resolved in days, weeks or months.” The same memo also cautioned council that such a declaration may set a “precedent for similar declarations to be made in the future, as well as an expectation that there will be additional resources allocated.” Indeed, this is exactly what happened... Ontario’s EMCPA may be used to do things like impose a curfew or ration goods. Just imagine how these powers could be used if we permitted emergency declarations over social issues. In this case, all the region has done so far is order April 8 closings and cancellations for a variety of public services like child and family centres, public health offices, parenting courses and seniors’ community programs, including programs in communities as far afield as Port Colborne, more than 30 kilometres away from the crowds in Niagara Falls. Even if closing these services was necessary it would not require a declaration of an emergency. Large crowds can be managed by police using existing powers under the Highway Traffic Act, and by activating emergency operations centres (physical locations where the leadership of a municipality can gather to collectively support emergency response) for monitoring, as often happens during large events. None of this requires the declaration of an emergency 11 days before a three-minute eclipse. The good news is that the EMCPA gives Premier Ford the power to rescind this illegal and illogical invocation. And there is precedent for a premier doing just that. In New Brunswick, the town of St. Stephen declared a state of emergency over homelessness, and the province’s safety minister rightly rescinded it, warning the town that a state of emergency should only be used for “imminent threats.”"
Left wingers want to declare everything an emergency (homelessness, gender based violence, climate change etc) so we get more and more emergencies (just like everything is "genocide" - I just learnt that climate change is "genocidal"). Soon a new legal state will be needed, because of the "myth" of the slippery slope

"Keanu Reeves fell down 50 flights of steps... Tom Cruise drove a motorbike off a cliff": Rachel Zegler’s PCA Award Win Makes Zero Sense - "The controversy surrounding the 2024 People’s Choice Award has reached a fever pitch with the inclusion of Rachel Zegler’s name among the award winners. Zegler, who secured the Action Movie Star of the Year award, has found herself at the center of a storm of criticism and disappointment from fans and industry observers alike.   Many were quick to express their dismay not only at Zegler’s victory but also at the perceived snubbing of Hollywood heavyweights Tom Cruise and Keanu Reeves."


Apple Vision Pro headsets are already being returned just 10 days after launch - "Select users across social media have found themselves returning the Apple Vision Pro rather quickly, with complaints about overall comfort. "

Meme - Linas Beliunas @linas.beliunas: "Apple Vision Pro + Microsoft Excel is going to be a game changer. Pivot tables will never be the same."
"#REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF! #REF!"


Meme - Mahesh Rao: "Not to cause your cup to run over or anything but a new species of marsupial has been found in Australia."
It was just a reclassification of an existing species into 3 though

Meme - 1994: *Man wearing normal clothes barbequing with sexy lingerie apron*
2024: *Man wearing sexy lingerie barbequing with normal clothes apron*

Meme - "Krasdale EST 1908
premium extra virgin olive blend

Meme - "Replied to your story *muscular guy selfie*"
"What are you up to?"
"about to eat, you?"
"Wish your text had no punctuation"

Meme - "Girls on first day of CNY: *cheongsams and cheongsam-like short dresses*
Guys on first day of CNY: *All in red UNIQLO t-shirts*

Meme - *fat woman carrying tray of cookies spills them in shock when she sees her male partner looking at a photo of a topless (?) woman in a bikini bottom*
*sexy woman is upset when she sees her male partner looking at a photo of a woman with a tray of cookies*

Meme - Eowyn: "I'm attracted to older men."
Aragorn: "What a coincidence! I'm attracted to older women."
*Eowyn looks sad*
*Aragorn smirks*

Meme - *Napoleon movie poster*
*Juxtaposition so it looks like Napoleon is riding on a kiddie ride horse*

Meme - "Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson keeps saying it's his first time having In-N-Out, but he's posted the same claim three times."
"What if the rock loves hamburgers so much his team has to keep erasing his memory like in Men in Black so he stays in shape"

Meme - *Car*
"ABCDEFG *Honda Logo* IJK"
License plate: "QRSTUV"

Meme - "Quand il s'apprete à sortir avec ses potes alors tu le branles par surprise pour le faire jouir comme ça il n'aura plus assez d'energie et d'envie pour courir apres une autre meuf"

Warren Buffett Has Spent 70 Years Of His Life Married — His Advice: 'If You Want A Marriage To Last, Look For Someone With Low Expectations' - "Buffett’s philosophy on marriage is encapsulated in his advice shared during the 2015 Most Powerful Women Summit.  "If you want a marriage to last, look for someone with low expectations," he said."
Warren Buffett Had An Unconventional First Marriage — He Lived With Another Woman, And The Trio Sent Out Christmas Cards Every Year: 'Susie Put Me Together And Astrid Keeps Me Together' - "While enduring on paper from 1952 until she died in 2004, Buffett’s marriage to Susan Thompson was anything but conventional. Susan’s decision to move to San Francisco to pursue singing marked a pivotal change in their relationship. Despite the physical distance, their bond remained, characterized by extensive phone conversations and an unconventional, understanding of each other’s lives. Before leaving, Susan Buffett reportedly reached out to several women she knew from a cocktail bar where she performed, requesting them to look after her husband. Among these women was Astrid Menks, a waitress. Susan Buffett asked Menks to cook for Warren and assist in his care during her absence.  Menks moved in with Buffett, and together with his wife, they formed a unique trio. Susan and Astrid reportedly remained close friends. This was exemplified by their joint Christmas cards signed "Warren, Susie and Astrid.” Buffett captured the essence of his relationships with both women, stating in his biography, “Susie put me together, and Astrid keeps me together.” Susan’s understanding of Buffett’s need for love and absence of criticism played a crucial role in their dynamic."

Meme - *Wheel of Fortune*
"Hobby" "WI_E _ _ _ TING"
Muslim Man: "Wife beating"
Muslim Man: "Haram"

Meme - Pepe the Frog playing with dolls: "I'm the chad wojak wit the Kool beard, and dis is my big booby tradwaifu and we have seggs"

Meme - "Elrond: Everybody, this little boy is Aragorn. He'll be staying with us in Rivendell for a while
Arwen: *Liv Tyler in Empire Records, striking a coquettish pose*"

Dua Lipa fans notice major mistake the singer makes while 'grilling' shrimp during lavish holiday - "  The Levitations hitmaker, 28, looked incredible as she showed off her sensational figure in a strapless red minidress while standing over a grill.  With a plate of corn already cooked, Dua was seen holding a pair of kitchen tongs whilst pushing shrimp around the grill.  Looking very invested, the New Rules songstress kept her dark tresses out of her face with a patterned headband and accessorised by layering chunky gold necklaces.  Fans quickly took to the comment section to claim that the video was ‘staged’ badly for Instagram and that the ‘grill wasn’t even on’."

Ottawa Valley chip-truck man admits to bestiality ring, extortion - "Steve Sernoskie ran a bestiality ring in which he pimped out dogs — mostly St. Bernards — to be raped."

reactions on X - "I’m an empath sometimes I can tell how people are feeling simply by deciding how I think they feel in my own mind and instantly believing it"

The effects of cosmic rays on astronauts: the Light Flash phenomenon - "In 1952 the physicist Cornelius Tobias predicted that cosmic rays could interact with astronaut visual system to generate anomalous perceptions of light (without the effective presence of light) . In 1969, during Apollo 11 mission, Buzz Aldrin reported the first experience of these flashes after their eyes had become adapted to the low light in the cabin. He talked about strange flashed of multiple shapes and dimensions."

Meme - PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals): "This mom and baby need their wings this #SuperBowl and every day-you don't."
"Nearly 1.5 billion wings will be eaten on Super Bowl Sunday."
"We need our wings. You don't."
Orc from LOTR: "What about their legs? They don't need those."

This rapper getting offended because the interviewer called her a musician should show you exactly where rap music is today - "This is rapper Sukihanna, most famous for her song about performing sex acts on black men's behinds, and apparently she doesn't know what the word musician means despite the fact that she, herself, in the modern sense of the word, is a musician... Rap is dead and it has been for quite some time now. Shoot, these people don't even know the difference between musician and magician. Oh, before I go, let's check out Suki's Instagram page: musician"

Grab’s takeover of Trans-Cab is a smart move, but who will pay the price? | The Straits Times - "It is estimated that more than half of private-hire drivers here are casual drivers. Once they collect enough fares to cover their daily rental, they stop “plying” for customers, and start using the car as their own. This is partly why, despite the market having more than three times the number of point-to-point vehicles from 10 years ago, commuters are still finding it difficult to get a ride when they need one... With Singapore’s taxi fleet halved since ride-hailing firms appeared a decade ago, commuters are complaining of sharp fare hikes and increasing difficulty in securing a ride. A poll done in April by The Straits Times corroborated the anecdotal evidence. On average, fares have risen by around 27 per cent, while waiting time has increased by 34 per cent when compared with findings in a similar survey done in 2019. The increase in charges for rides secured with ride-hailing apps (Grab and Gojek) was the sharpest at 43 per cent. With Grab’s takeover of Trans-Cab, commuters have reason to expect more of the same. Business Times reader Ho Swee Huat wrote over the weekend that he feared the move would “confer further monopolistic pricing power on Grab”. “Fares have gone up significantly. In periods of ‘surge’ pricing, it is not uncommon for fares from the Central Business District to Changi Airport to double... to $60,” Mr Ho noted.  Others have highlighted the particularly infuriating practice of drivers cancelling on them. Not only do commuters in such a situation have to rebook and wait longer, but they also sometimes face a spike in charges when “surge” pricing suddenly kicks in. Likewise, driver-hirers will have one fewer option in town if and when Grab decides to raise rental rates or introduce new requirements."
A lot of private hire vehicle drivers in Singapore aren't in it to make money from driving, but to get a cheaper car for themselves
So much for ride hailing apps revolutionising the market

'A 33-year-old system has to be tweaked': Analysts on why the COE system needs a review - "As records continue to be broken at each COE bidding exercise, members of the public have questioned if the system is broken.  One commenter on a CNA Facebook post said Singapore is being “penalised unnecessarily by a good system gone rogue”. Another said it is not effective because there are still traffic jams and called for it to be abolished.  CNA asked analysts if comments that the system is beyond repair are valid, or if the system is working as it should.  Private cars being used for business purposes may be causing prices to climb, they said. For example, consumers have to compete with rental companies and buyers who intend to use the cars as private-hire vehicles... transport economist Walter Theseira said that the distribution of COEs across vehicle types and uses is based on Singapore’s vehicle numbers in 1990.  It is unclear if the vehicle mix – such as the categories and permitted uses – best suit the country’s economic and social needs more than three decades after the COE system took effect.   “The example of PHVs simply shows how changes to business models and technology can result in changing uses of vehicles, which then sits uneasily with a COE system which essentially relies on the implicit assumption that the use of vehicles hasn't changed much since 1990,” he told CNA.   Associate Professor Theseira, who teaches economics at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, acknowledged that the categories and growth rates have been tweaked over time. “But this has really not been accompanied by a more fundamental review.”  Another flaw in the existing COE system is the “highly uneven supply” per year, which means the cost of new vehicle ownership “swings wildly” over a 10-year period, said Assoc Prof Theseira.   Especially during periods of low COE supply and high premiums, there is a sense of a “growing gap” between COE prices and the actual value that a vehicle brings to its owner and the economy, he said.   Commenters on social media also point to the unaffordability of cars as a failure of the system. But experts said COE in itself is not meant to take social issues into consideration.  “It’s very hard to quantify, then we have to have social service officers interviewing people and recommending whether a family is entitled to this scheme. I think it’s not practical,” said Goldbell's Mr Ng, adding that other options are available, such as private ambulance services for families who have to make regular hospital visits.   People with young kids may have to manage with public transport or taxis, he said...   Mr Ng, however, said the soaring prices could be seen as a failure of the system because it affects non-car buyers as well.  “You need vehicles for the transportation of goods and the COE will have an effect. It affects the consumer, the retailer,” he said.  The Category C price for goods vehicles and buses shot up to more than S$90,000 in March this year, and has been hovering above S$80,000 in recent bidding exercises. In January last year, the premium was only around S$40,000."

Meme - "Me telling the cop "Prepare to meet God" as I reach into my pocket to hand him my church's brochure during a routine traffic stop"

Starbucks Launches Pork-Flavored Latte In China - "Starbucks China is giving the olive oil latte a savory run for its money. A few select Starbucks in China are offering a unique ode to Lunar New Year: a limited-edition beverage whose name translates to “Abundant Year Savory Latte” or “Lucky Savory Latte,” a sweet and smoky drink that infuses its coffee with pork flavors. It’s inspired by Dongpo braised pork, a Hangzhou dish served during traditional family gatherings. “Eating meat means prosperity in the coming year,” reads a post by Starbucks Reserve Shanghai Roastery posted Feb. 4 on Chinese social media platform Weibo. The drink features Dongpo pork sauce, espresso, steamed milk and a drizzle of extra pork sauce, and is garnished with a piece of pork. It’s priced at 68 yuan — which is about $9.45 — and is a limited-time drink available exclusively at 25 Starbucks Reserve stores in China."

Meme - Felicia Tan: "Hello, your articles are always worth reading. But we're not friends on Facebook. I sent you a friend request but it didn't go through. add me as friend If you don't mind you can add me Can you add me? We can continue to be good friends."
Christopher Bloor: "Felicia Tan Can I send you my life savings please?"
Felicia Tan: "Christopher Bloor send me friends request"

Bayesian Probability for Babies - "Fans of Chris Ferrie's Rocket Science for Babies, Astrophysics for Babies, and 8 Little Planets will love this introduction to the basic principles of probability for babies and toddlers!  Help your future genius become the smartest baby in the room! It only takes a small spark to ignite a child's mind.  If you took a bite out of a cookie and that bite has no candy in it, what is the probability that bite came from a candy cookie or a cookie with no candy? You and baby will find out the probability and discover it through different types of distribution.  Yet another Baby University board book full of simple explanations of complex ideas written by an expert for your future genius!  If you're looking for baby math books, probability for kids, or more Baby University board books to surprise your little one, look no further! Bayesian Probability for Babies offers fun early learning for your little scientist!"

🛒♡ ʝȶ ♥︎🛒 on X - "got my first HOA complaint so instead of just dealing with it and moving on I am reading the entire HOA handbook and snitching on every single one of my neighbors that has shit wrong with their house"

Meme - "Whenever I get a stack of resumes I immediately throw half of them in the garbage. I don't want unlucky people working in our department"

Meme - "Teacher: We finally arrived guys
Girls: Omg Czech Republic is so boring
Boys: *giving money to random girl*"

Meme - "When an indian goes on a walk with his dog *dog with broom and pan*"

Meme - Legolas to Aragorn: "I don't want to accuse anyone if anything. I'm just saying that it looks a bit odd. That the only one in this group that didn't want you to become King gets shot."

Meme - "If this guy gets a suntan he'll have a lot of explaining to do. *shadow of table looking like fishnet stockings, and guy in shorts*"

Meme - "This is like the guy that didn't know ovens mitts were a thing and would go "ohhhh I hate this part" before reaching into the oven and screaming while pulling out the cooking tray." "r/CasualConversation: I just realized I could let the shower warm up before stepping in
I'm 28. The girl I was wkth wanted to take a shower together. "Why dont you wait for it to warm up?" I stared back at her, a million thoughts running through my head. I feel so stupid, I couldn't enjoy the rest of the night. I has no answer for her, and I always hated showers. Today I stood and waited for the shower to heat up for the first time, and it was great! I dont know. Have you ever done something...this dumb? I'm working on my masters and I feel like such a dumbass"

Rally in East Toronto calls for reversal of plans to move Ontario Science Centre - "A large crowed gathered at East Lynn Park on Sunday, March 3, to oppose plans by the provincial government to move the Ontario Science Centre (OSC) from its current home on Don Mills Road to the Toronto waterfront. The rally was organized by Beaches-East York Liberal MPP Mary-Margaret McMahon and featured a large number of speakers from across the city including youngsters who had been directly impacted by being able to go to the OSC in its present location on Don Mills Road just south of Eglinton Avenue... She said if the OSC relocated down to the waterfront on the Ontario Place lands, which is the proposal by the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Doug Ford, the chances for her and her friends to go would be severely impacted. “It would be out of reach for the people of my community,” said Zhu. East Toronto resident Floyd Ruskin, of Save Ontario’s Science Centre and Lost Rivers Toronto, said the support to keep the OSC on the Don Valley ravine where it is currently located is strong among Liberal, NDP and Green Party members of the provincial government... Other speakers at the rally which lasted almost two hours included Mayor Olivia Chow, Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher, Toronto-Danforth NDP MPP Peter Tabuns, Don Valley East Liberal MPP Adil Shamji (who has the Ontario Science Centre in his riding), and Scarborough-Guildwood Liberal MPP Andrea Hazell. The OSC was built as a Canada Centennial project by the provincial government and opened in 1969. According to a report by Infrastructure Ontario, it would cost Ontario more money to repair the existing Ontario Science Centre than if a new facility were to be built."
They mock conservatives for being hostile to change, but don't want change themselves. Ironic.
Screw the people who will be nearer to the new location. We must protect the interests of those who benefit from the status quo!

The Democrats’ Last Chance to Save Democracy - The Atlantic
From 2021. Basically whatever hurts the Democratic / left-wing agenda is a "danger" to democracy. Ironically, packing the court as he wants is something you see in illegitimate states. Of course, despite the platitudes about the need to ensure the majority vote is supreme (e.g. abolishing the Electoral College or allocating Senators by population), it's a good bet that he's against referenda

Tokyo Serves up Lactation Bars - "Your eyes have not deceived you! That title does, indeed say what you think it does. Falling straight into the “only in Japan” category, Lactation Bars, which very much sound like something straight out of the latest Mad Max movie, is a new trend gaining popularity in the adult nightlife districts of Tokyo. Yep, whence else would a story like that originate? Apparently, real breast milk is the latest craze coming out of the Mecca of “Omoshiroi”"

Meme - "Average day in the life of a Unitedstatian
>wake up at 10 AM
>turn off the advertisement alarm
>see an 1% offer in uber eats and buy some overpriced burgers to not waste that cupom
>leave house at 11 AM
>get into his car and spend 1 hour on commute to go work 1 Km away from home
>lunch break from 12PM to 2PM
>buy some donuts and get back to work
>spend 30 minutes waiting for the elevator to go to his floor instead of walking 2 floors
>leave work at with another commute this time even longer
>*phone rings* another 1% off cupom got delivered into his uber eats account and he cant waste it and buy more $200 of burgers
>its dinner time, he grabs 2000 cal of frozen food and put into the microwave
>spends 2 hours searching for some "cool new movie" to watch on Netflix, but can't find anything worthy
>remembers he have food on the microwave but it's already cold
>eats it anyway
>open twitch and spend money to some guy pretending to be a girl to tell him "good night"
>eat some snacks until he fells asleep
>dream about food"

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