When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Links - 25th May 2024 (2 - Women [including Taylor Swift])

Meme - Man in bed: "Punish me!"
Woman in bikini: "Alexa, play Taylor Swift"

Meme - "TOOL Breakup Song
I know the pieces fit
'cause I watched them fall away
Mildewed and smoldering,
fundamental differing
Pure intention juxtaposed
will set two lover's souls in motion
Disintegrating as it goes
testing our communication
The light that fueled our fire then
has burned a hole between us so
We cannot see to reach an end
crippling our communication
Taylor Swift Breakup Song
We are never ever, ever getting back together
We are never ever, ever getting back together
You go talk to your friends,
talk to my friends, talk to me
But we are never ever, ever, ever
getting back together
Like, ever"

Meme - emily @emilykmay: "the thing about taylor swift is that she so perfectly encapsulates through her lyrics, the interior lives of women. It's why we all can't stop listening. We're all saying, "wait you felt that way? we were all feeling this way?" do men have someone like that?"
metal.txt @metaltxt: "we do, yeah
The boys are back in town
The boys are back in town
I said, the boys are back in town
The boys are back in town"

"Taylor Swift did NOT deserve album of the year over SZA": Grammys accused of "white mediocrity" over album of the year pick
How to go from misogyny to anti-racism

Meme - "The Taylor Swift Al pictures have shaken me to my core
I don't think I'm being dramatic. But I've seriously been crying on-and-off at work all day. I just can't fathom how (SoMe) men are. SHE'S LITERALLY JUST SUPPORTING HER BOYFRIEND. And they think she deserves to be humiliated and made to feel subhuman????!!!!!! I thought I was gay because I'm so terrified of men. I still don't think I could be in a relationship with a man even if I am bi. Too many stories of girls' long-term boyfriends violating them. I deleted Tik Tok because that's where I've been seeing the most of it. I haven't actually seen the pics (besides her face in them :/) but just hearing about it... I can't do it. Also I deleted Instagram for good measure. I still have Snap to talk to my friends and post on my private. I will probably delete Reddit as well because there's a lot of stories that make me feel how I've described. l am so tired of feeling scared and degraded and helpless. We don't deserve this pain. Plus, setting the fact that it's terrifying for all women aside, poor Taylor, holy fuck... she is probably terrified to go to a Chiefs game again. She has already been assaulted in public too. I'm a very emotional person and I cannot stop crying about
Edit: Why are there so many fucking men here. This"
Is this "white fragility"?

My wife gets JEALOUS when I tip the Hooters waitresses more than $10 - she claims I'm flirting but I just want to be nice - "his spouse would become angry after he tipped in the double digits while they were dining out. He claimed that her behavior made him 'not want to take her anymore', adding that she often became 'passive aggressive' towards him... he explained that he was a server as a teen, so he understands how difficult the job can be... 'A few times when I tipped an extraordinary amount, my wife gets jealous. One time I tipped $70 on a $120 bill and my wife got really jealous because the waitress was pretty and she wrote “thank you so much” with a heart on it,' he said. He then noted that after the couple left, his wife began calling the waitress names and said, 'She’s not worth that amount of tip and that I should have tipped her a dollar because that’s what she looks like.'... One person said: 'I bet this guy hasn't thought for a second about asking his wife's input on the tip amount. It's her money too."
Of course, if someone said a woman had to consult her husband about tip amounts, he would be a misogynist

Khloé Kardashian photo shows how they're peddling an unhealthy lie to women - "Women, celebrities and otherwise, can post images so expertly enhanced, it’s impossible to discern what is real and what is not... Which makes Khloe Kardashian’s latest temper tantrum over a realistic and undoctored image of the star poolside that was “accidentally” posted so infuriating. Her team has used legal means to try to have the image wiped off the internet and Khloe put out an overwrought plea for understanding about why she’s just so hurt by the perfectly acceptable photo circulating. She wrote, “As someone who has struggled with body image her whole life, when someone takes a photo of you that isn’t flattering in bad lighting or doesn’t capture your body the way it is after working hard to get it to this point — and then shares it to the world — you should have every right to ask for it to not be shared — regardless of who you are . . . It’s almost unbearable living up to the impossible standards that the public have all set for me.” Give me a break. “Impossible standards” is what Khloe and her sisters Kim, Kourtney, Kylie and Kendall push every day, and profit from immensely. Does she really expect us to believe Kardashian and Jenner Instagram posts are the results of “good lighting,” rather than PhotoShop and airbrushing? That she doesn’t have an army of trainers, nutritionists and, yes, plastic surgeons to keep everything in line? Khloe Kardashian perpetuates a machine of unrealistic body image, and now we’re supposed to feel sorry that we got a glimpse of the real her? We’ve seen the bikini body behind the curtain. Here’s hoping it will help tear down the whole illusion."

I never promised you the moon . . . - "Out of the 30 astro-marriages— spanning from the first American launched into space in 1961 to the moon landing in 1969 — only seven couples would stay married."

Men are freaked out by sexually aggressive women - "there are a couple of potential explanations for this. One thought is that guys associate sexually aggressive women with cheating women. In other words, they fear that sex bombs may also be time bombs — whose minutes of fidelity are ticking down. The other theory stems from men getting squirmy over role reversals between the two genders. “A woman’s desire might be associated with assertiveness, domination and other traits that are considered as less feminine,” the paper’s authors maintain. “Hence, a woman’s high levels of sexual desire at the beginning of romantic relationships might be confusing for men, raising worries and doubts about mate suitability.” Modest sexual desire combined with a tendency to nurture are characteristics that made women more appealing to men who participated in the study. Conversely, women showed increased comfort levels when guys amped up the carnality. The study maintains that this is because men, in that case, are doing what’s expected of them, and such behavior reduces anxiety in women"

Husband claims wife attacked him over open jar of garlic - "Raffaele Agovino has filed a $5 million lawsuit accusing his wife of battering and bruising him — all because he griped about an open jar of garlic in the fridge. The 59-year-old real-estate developer claims in court papers that his estranged wife, Lidia, snapped in April 2015 after he “noticed the presence of garlic” in the icebox at home and told her it “had been left open.” Lidia Agovino, 56, began “yelling, screaming, and/or harassing” Raffaele, and when he tried to walk away, she attacked him with a wine glass"
Clearly, it's his fault for triggering her

Meme - "Women signing a petition to release violent criminals after saying how they don't feel safe walking alone at night *black woman with huge pen writing on small piece of paper*"

Meme - Alexis Raynes: "How does one create a virus that only affects men? Asking for a school project?"
Douglas S Caprette: "Make one that only invades prostate cells."
Ariel Imrie: "'Cept Doug, I know that you know that some women have prostates."
Weird. We keep being told that men should be lucky that women want equality, not revenge

Meme - *Sexy woman in game*
Women: "These are unrealistic beauty stanclarcs"
*Sexy man in game*
Women: "Yeah, he's so fucking hot"

Meme - "Wedding dress never used
*White/Latina woman in mirror, with mixed black baby with her*"

Meme - Woman: "Tits or ass?"
Man: "Personality"
Woman: "That's incredibly ableist of you! Some of us have personality disorders. Learn to appreciate a nice pair of titties"

Thread by @SixBrownChicks on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "Q1. My soon-to-be ex husband is a MONSTER and he took my girls from me. I’m a gambler and I owed some bad people more than $26,000 so I sold my husband’s classic car to the highest bidder. (The car sale wiped my debt clean.) His great-grandfather gave him that car; it appeared in two Hollywood movies. It was a full week before my husband noticed someone “stole” it out of our garage. (Ironically, I stopped the insurance payments last year and I’ve been pocketing the money). When my husband realized there was no insurance, he became a different man around me and his attitude hurt our marriage. I prayed and forgave myself for selling his car. But my gambling debt hurts ME too; I never have enough money and I currently owe $8,000+ in NEW gambling debt. Instead of getting a third part-time job to help me, my husband filed for divorce and my teen girls went with him. This will be my first Mother’s Day without my girls. 😭He turned my girls against me; they’ve blocked me from their socials and they never call. How do I reconnect with them? #GoodMom4Ever #SBCCHAT ...
Q3. I see red flags. 🚩🚩🚩Two years ago, I ate sushi off my boyfriend’s naked body (and did other things) for his birthday. I had red eyes for a week. The eye drops weren’t working—my boss sent me home cuz he thought I was high at work—so I broke down and went to the ER. My diagnosis: Ocular Syphilis. There was a report that several women from our state contracted the same illness from the SAME MAN. This is what bothered me; he’s MY boyfriend but the media report stated that there were other women (age 40-60) who also got the STI in their eyes. My boyfriend said the women lied on him and that his doctor told him he didn’t have syphilis. (I don’t want to know my STI status right now because I’m pregnant and emotionally unstable.) I still don’t know if I can trust him. What to do? #SBCCHAT...
Q4. I’ve been blessed to sing for as long as I can remember. To create music is a gift from God, selling it, and making it in the music business is demonic. I should’ve been successful; I agreed to do the foul sh!t that was asked of me. I slept w/ men and women, and I never said no because I was playing the game. A minor label signed me—but the best song writers never worked with me, and no one promoted me—so the label cancelled my contract after one song. Still, I was sleeping around at industry events because I was trying to make it big. That was a decade ago. I’ve found God and I’m ready to make some real-life inspirational Gospel for bad girls. The execs I knew before—those who are still alive—have said it’s hard to market me as a gospel artist with the homemade s3x tapes of me floating around. I think being an EX-industry wh*re builds my credibility, and shows spiritual growth so I’m going for it. However, I fear that my husband and church family may find out about my wild past and disown me. What to do? #SBCCHAT
Q5. My wife and I moved to Florida for us to grow her business in a new market. I came down a month early to finalize things (my wife stayed behind to close on the house) so I brought my SideChick with me. SideChick can s*ck and f*ck, but she’s horrible at everything else. I DESPISE her long convos where she begs me to leave my wife. I was so close to leaving her stranded at a rest stop. Post-nut clarity; I realized that my SideChick was not worth my marriage. I told SideChick that I loved my wife and she’s wasting her time with me. SideChick unlocked my phone and took pics of us nude in bed (while I slept) and sent them to my wife. She sent a CashApp to herself and several of her friends. She drained my account. Then she left. I woke up to a text from my wife: “I got the pics. You should stay there in the bed you made.” I’m so confused; why is my ex-SideChick angry after I finally told her the truth? Why is my wife leaving me AFTER I decided to be faithful? She moved me out here and now she’s not joining me. How to fix this mess? I’m stranded and BROKE. #SBCCHAT
Q6. My 86-year-old, physically fit, always horny, sugar daddy promised me Mercedes, but we are stuck in a loop. The loop: We go to dinner, back to my place, 😔👅😔he spends the night and the next day he takes me to a car dealership. We browse the lot, the dealership runs his credit, and before he signs the contract, the salesman tells him about a better deal at a different location. My elderly lover slips him a tip and we leave the dealership empty handed. We went to 3 dealerships, until the final one sent us right back to the first dealership. I asked to speak to the finance manager because I felt they didn’t WANT to sell us a car. Manager said: “Miss, his credit is bad and he doesn’t have the money. He tips us because we don’t embarrass him in front of you.” Also, “You’re the Wednesday girlfriend. He brings a different woman here on Fridays.” I’m tired. It’s too much s3x going on for me to still be in an Uber. But I’m leaving with something; should I hang around until he dies? He’s obese, has asthma and high blood pressure. He’s also taking those get-hard pills. I’d hate to leave and then that Friday b!tch gets a car. Or money. Advice. #SBCCHAT"

Thread by @SixBrownChicks on Thread Reader App – Thread Reader App - "Q1. I’m Karl, I’m 48, married to a 34-year-old woman for 2 years. My kink is f—-king s3x workers at the end of their shifts. I love to smell other men on them; being their last client of the night makes me feel like the conquerer I am. (I give ‘em the knockout 🥜 ). A few allow me to hit naturally (no condom). I KNOW I have an STI, and I know I’ve given it to my wife. She hasn’t approached me about it, and that means she’s guilty of sleeping with somebody else. We’ve been on fire for a month and she hasn’t mentioned it. How to confront her cheating ass? #SBCCHAT
Q2. I’m dealing with a bipolar man and it makes me sick. First, he dated me for 2 months and he opened his home to me and my 3 kids. We moved out of my mom’s house and into his townhome. I registered my kids in his school district. He gave me a spare room to braid hair and earn money. We had a fun and loving vibe. I know he loves me and adores my kids. BUT, I made one mistake, and he threw us all out. (My side-dude stopped by to get his braids done and to borrow some money. I also gave him a quick BJ. I did not know there was a camera in my braiding room, or I wouldn’t have slipped up like that.) I apologized, but Mr. Bipolar switched up on me and threw me & the kids and all our things in the front yard. I took what I could fit into the Uber. I can’t believe how he snapped and turned on us like that. What relationship red flags did I miss? I’m so scared to be vulnerable with a man again. Advice. #SBCCHAT...
Q4. I bumped into my friend’s lover at her funeral (my friend had an accidental overdose). We chatted about my friend (briefly) and I offered to link with him for drinks. We’re a month into dating, and each time I see him, he wants to discuss my friend. “Did she ever mention me?” [I wasn’t that close to her, so no.] “Do you think she loved me?” [I dunno.] And the comment I blatantly ignore, “If she was still alive, you know I would’ve never entertained you, right?” [😒] He makes these stupid comments after s3x, while I’m naked in bed with him. I want to cuddle and discuss us. But before I can get comfy, he’s discussing my friend and putting me out his house. I asked him if he’d like to get married one day. Him: “The only woman I would’ve married has returned to God.” I want to settle down with this man but I can’t compete with my friend’s ghost. What to do? #SBCCHAT
Q5. My ex had my kids (ages 1 & 3) for the weekend because I had an appointment to get my body right for summer. The daycare called DCFS on me and put my kids out because they had lice and bedbug bites. DCFS put my kids in my ex’s custody while they investigated. I got my surgery and remained out of state for a few extra days to heal. TBH, I thought everything happened for a reason and I might as well reinvent myself as a child-free woman and live my best life. It’s been 5 weeks and my ex says his momma is tired of babysitting (they’re my kids not my ex’s kids). I feel like she might as well go all the way and adopt them. I’m only 28, I’m too young to raise 2 kids on my own anyway. (The kids’ bio dad is Polish and his family won’t accept them). I met a nice man and he doesn’t want kids so it’s all good for me. My main issue is that DCFS is chasing me down and my ex is calling me a deadbeat online. I’m not a deadbeat, I’m just MOVING ON from that single parenting lifestyle. Parents who have WALKED AWAY from your kids successfully, how did you do it? How do I escape DCFS? Help. #SBCCHAT
Q6. My friend Kaliyah introduced me to her cousin Juliette who was serving her last 7 months on a 4-year sentence. Juliette was the poor man’s Beyoncé. Tall, built, flawless skin with the cutest dimples. We became pen pals. I put money on her books. I started working out. She turned her life around and I was here to pick her up. At the same time, my babymomma was trying to move in with my son but I blocked that outright; sent them to her momma’s house. I made room for Juliette; she arrived, buff, hard, with a slash on her face that ran from her temple to her chin. She spits, cracks her knuckles, and she yanked my 🍆 so hard that I refused to perform. I overheard her on the phone telling a female inmate “you know you miss what this mouth do.” 😾 She steals from me. She pawns my things. I want her out of my house. But I’m afraid to tell her to leave. Help. #SBCCHAT"

Zarathustra on X - "Divorce lawyer: "I do divorces with people, the woman walks out with $200–$300 million dollars. He was an analyst at Goldman Sachs who built a hedge fund, sold it, and then used his trading algorithms to build it up to $500 million. She was hot. And slept with him. For a while. And then started sleeping with other people. And playing tennis. And having botox. And now she's going to get half. Do you know how insane that is? And it happens all the time."
Also note that at $500mm net worth, giving away half may not be a huge strain. But consider a far more common number: having to pay out half of $100K or $70K or $50K year is absolutely devastating, crippling even."
John Adams on X - "It took my dad 15 years to climb out of poverty after my mother wiped him out in their divorce. Every time we got to visit him, he'd sleep on the floor because all he could afford was a tiny one bedroom rental unit above a family's garage. Me and my sister would share the bed."

Meme - "Her: me If I'll you win a sex game against with you ave sex with you
Me after beating her at Russian Roulette:" *American Psycho man with woman's legs on shoulders meme*

Masculine Soul on X - "The best combination of hobbies to attract women: It's not lifting and MMA… It’s learning an instrument and a foreign language. Few talking about this."

Sofia Vergara Says Dating Is 'Hard' Over Age 50 - "Nearly one year after separating from Joe Manganiello, Sofía Vergara is opening up about dating as a single woman. “It’s already hard for a 50-something-year-old woman to find someone,” Vergara, 51, told People in a cover story published on Wednesday, May 1, noting that she would consider dating an actor again. “I’m not going to be picky about, ‘Oh, he can only be a doctor. Oh, he can only be an astronaut.’ No, I mean, I’m not that picky.”"

Meme - "My mom started an OnlyFans account. I have no idea why. It's not like we need the money. Dad was in the tech sector and made lots of investments before he passed so PG We're very financially stable. She posted about it for all the family and friends to see. I confronted her and based my arguments against her actions in Kant's Categorical Imperative. After half an hour she still wasn't understanding the concept and was just in tears that I wasn't being supportive. I told her alright look, imagine things in terms of universal actions. So you should consider whether the act of subscribing to your OnlyFans is something you'd want to see all men in the world undertake, i.e. me, your own son. Obviously this renders it immoral since it fails Kant's Categorical Imperative. Now she just thinks I'm trying to make an elaborate argument that justifies me subscribing to her OnlyFans because I'm a perv and she's starts crying whenever she sees me. She's threatened that I'll have to move out but think it's a bluff. I'm giving up on invoking the Categorical Imperative and need some other moral arguments. Unfortunately I've spent the last 7 years of my life pretty much exclusively reading Kant and secondary sources on Kant, so I don't really have a good grasp of non-Kantian morality. Any help would be appreciated."

Meme - Jerry Avenaim: "I just want you to believe in yourself as much as this woman believes in the buttons on her blouse."

🇬🇧 IM 🇬🇧 on X - "Just because a woman has stopped being promiscuous, doesn’t mean a man who realises she was promiscuous will treat her like she never was. To her, it’s an insult you expect her to do things she won’t do anymore. To him, it’s an insult you won’t do things for him you did for other men when you were younger and prettier. From the male perspective, the product got worse, but the price went up - and he recognises that for the bad deal that it is. So it’s good you want to change your life and stop messing up and be a better person. You just have to accept a lot of men aren’t willing to pay the price for your past mistakes by making you their responsibility now."

Meme - "Women go through these ...just to look good for us... They deserve all" *Gladiator stilettos*
YOUR DAD: "Bros they've said it countless times, that they don't dress for us."

Meme - White top: "Don't get horny around me, I'm an empath *busty woman with visible nipples*"

Meme - ""Women live every day in fear of being raped"
"What if we mass incarcerate criminals"
"Defund the police"
"What if we limit mass migration"
"Refugees welcome"
"What if men can't claim to be women and enter their spaces"
"Trans rights"
"Whats your solution?"

Inez Stepman ⚪️🔴⚪️ on X - "I see that once again the assumption is that men learn this from p*rn and not from previous sexual encounters and that it’s treated as an exclusively screwed up male trend, even as 50 Shades made a gazillion dollars from women."
Covfefe Anon on X - "After all these years, NYT finally finds a politically correct explanation for lagging female IQ and intellectual accomplishment ...brain damage from being choked during sex (seriously, the article is a pile of bad reasoning and ignorance)"
Richard Hanania on X - ""A male freshman said 'girls expected' to be choked and, even though he didn’t want to do it, refusing would make him seem like a 'simp.' And a senior in high school was angry that her friends called her 'vanilla' when she complained that her boyfriend had choked her.""
As usual, women have no agency when it threatens the feminist agenda

Cougar, 40, dates 18-year-olds because middle-aged men 'can't keep up' (Feb 2023) - "A West Midlands "cougar" aged 40 says she dates men as young as 18 - because middle-aged men "can't keep up". Shirley Rosemary Flynn started casually dating younger guys after finding that men her own age were "boring" and "didn't want to explore in the bedroom" in the same way she did."
'I'm too beautiful to get dates and jealous women won't be friends with me' (Apr 2024) - "Shirley Rosemary Flynn believes her beauty is getting in the way of her finding love. The 41-year-old model claims she can't get a date because men are scared off by her looks. Single Shirley hasn't been on a date for six years and despite arranging meet ups, she says potential suitors often cancel on her at the last minute"

Meme - "Doing a 12 hr shift really makes you side with the men that get upset when they come home to no food on the table"

Meme - Denise Frazier: "Stop asking stupid questions Every girl does this. I just got caught."
Whitney Williamson: "Are you the one that had sex with dog???"
"Wtf why"
"Why not"

Israel Must Crush Palestinian Hopes

Israel Must Crush Palestinian Hopes

"A common argument made against the kind of war that Israel is waging in Gaza is that it is creating more terrorists, which it will have to deal with at a later time...

Among pro-Israel types, there’s a different view. Palestinians simply hate Jews. One may argue that it is part of their religion, or that they can’t let go of the past...

Finally, there is another model, which I call “Lose Hope.” Palestinians start out hating Israelis, and anger is a reaction people have when they feel like they have enough agency to change their situation. This positive change might be years or decades down the line, and in the short term the Palestinians look forward to immediate victories, like the attack of October 7. Here, the more Israel makes clear that the Palestinians will never achieve their goals, the less trouble they will have with them. In addition to the direct benefit of eliminating terrorists and stopping them from attacking you, fewer are actually created by each one you kill, as long as it is clear you are willing to go as far as it takes to neutralize the threat...

These models are usually implicitly held by people taking different perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I think we can advance the debate forward by making them explicit, and checking which models are more or less consistent with the evidence in terms of how Palestinians react to events and what we have seen in other conflicts in the world.

None of these models captures all of reality, and each can be more or less true at any particular point in time...

I believe that, as of 2023, the Linear Model of oppression is simply an inferior framework for understanding the world, relative to the other two models. In fighting the war in Gaza, Israel should not worry about “creating more terrorists” or anything similar, because the increase in Palestinian hatred will either be small, or actually decrease as their hopes and dreams are crushed. Moreover, as I’ll explain below, the Lose Hope Model is not only unquestionably true under certain conditions, but Israel needs to work towards those conditions if it ever wants to settle its problem with Gaza and the Palestinians more generally.  

In his memoirs, Jared Kushner writes that when Trump decided to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the State Department informed him that US approval in Gaza had dipped to 6% as a result. When he asked them what the US approval rating had been before the move, he was told it was 9%. What this story demonstrates is that anti-American sentiment has reached some kind of maximum among the Palestinians, and although one could argue for trying to make things better, it doesn’t appear that they can get much worse. Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem was considered quite inflammatory at the time, but its effects on attitudes towards the US turned out to be negligible. A more recent poll shows Israel and the US with approval ratings of 0% among Palestinians. 

If there is any conflict in the world where one group hates another at something close to a theoretically maximum level, it is this one.

The people in Gaza and the West Bank seem to hate Jews a lot more than say Russians and Ukrainians hate one another, or Americans hate any of their foreign enemies. A poll taken after the current war began shows that the majority of Palestinians support the events of October 7. It is difficult to imagine Russians parading random Ukrainian women they captured in the streets, battered and unconscious, and regular citizens coming out and spitting on them. We’re not supposed to play the Hitler card, but I agree with historian Andrew Roberts that a careful study of Nazi propaganda will show much less hatred towards Jews than what one regularly hears from Hamas spokesmen. Hitler’s famous speech in which he predicted “the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe” is remembered because he was rarely that explicit, and even that was conditional and framed as a prediction rather than a threat. Meanwhile, Hamas in its charter promises talking stones and trees telling Muslims where the Jews are so they can kill them, and its members regularly reaffirm the same message. 

Of course, just making a comparison to Nazis doesn’t settle a debate. Even though it’s politically incorrect to do so, one could point out that their systematic mass killing of Jews did not begin until after the Second World War had begun, showing that the way Nazi ideology manifested itself depended on political considerations and psychological dynamics that responded to real world events. The same is certainly true for Hamas, and any other extremist movement. That said, I’m not sure this consideration helps the argument of those who want Israel to compromise with the Palestinians. Even when Israel has an overwhelming military advantage over them and can determine what goes in and out of the enclave they control, Hamas doesn’t suppress its genocidal intentions. One could alternatively argue that Hamas and other militants would mellow out if they had more power relative to the Jews, but this is not an experiment I would encourage Israel to run.

The Middle East Research Institute (MEMRI) puts out videos from Arab television, and it’s worth browsing through them to get a glimpse of the political culture of the region. Some of their more interesting clips come from a Palestinian kids show called Pioneers of Tomorrow that ran from 2007-2009, which involved scenes starring a Mickey Mouse-like character named Farfour who taught children about the glories of martyrdom. Little kids would call in and talk about how they looked forward to sacrificing their lives for the Palestinian cause...

Beyond polls, individual incidents, and cultural products, the entirety of Gazan society appears to be built around resisting Israel and achieving political ends. Observers have pointed out that Hamas came to power in 2006 and hasn’t held an election since, but there appears to have been no pressure from within Palestinian society to moderate with regards to Israel, or even put forward demands to gain independence, and surveys show that public opinion in Gaza remains uncompromising and militant. While Hamas may have lost some popularity over the years since winning the election of 2006, there is little evidence that Palestinians dislike them for being too extreme, and the approval ratings of groups that are even more radical are actually higher. Dictators face pressure from public opinion all the time, and in the case of Palestinian leaders and what posture to take regarding Israel, it is always towards being more belligerent and never in favor of taking steps to make people’s lives better...

Current Palestinian anti-Semitism is so extreme because it required a combination of factors to all be pushing in the same direction. These include the history of the region, but also the fact that the dispute is over land considered sacred, and Muslim ideas about martyrdom and Jews. The fact that Arab Christians were kicked off their land and did not, with very rare exceptions, become terrorists, shows the religious nature of Palestinian grievance. Israelis can’t change the past, nor the religion of the Palestinians, nor the nature of the land that the two sides are fighting over.  

Given all of that, it is questionable whether more oppression on the part of the Israelis can make things much worse. Palestinians by and large reject Israel’s right to exist, deny the Holocaust, and celebrate the slaughter of innocent Jewish civilians. In what ways do we expect things could possibly get worse? Perhaps instead of denying the Holocaust, Palestinians will start believing that Jews murdered millions of Germans during World War II? Already, 75% of Palestinians support October 7, which involved torturing Israeli civilians to death. If that number goes to 82%, will that make a big difference in terms of Israeli security? I’ve seen some say that Palestinians actually deny that civilians were killed on purpose in the operation, but that doesn’t help the case of people arguing for the Linear Model of anti-Israel sentiment, since it assumes public opinion is disconnected from reality and can be manipulated at will by Hamas or other militants. If Palestinians can’t accurately perceive the state of the world, it’s difficult to see how Israel being more humane towards their adversary can result in good public relations. 

In addition to the likelihood that the Palestinians are close to having maxed out on anti-Semitism, we should consider the fact that anti-Israel sentiment is so irrational as another reason why the Linear Model is highly unlikely to be correct. This is true whether we are talking about the international community or the Palestinians themselves.

The Linear Model assumes that there is something Israel could do in order to placate Palestinian hatred. But it fails to acknowledge that by historical standards, they have been treated shockingly well by an enemy they are in a constant struggle against. Before the most recent war, Israel had killed fewer than 5,000 Palestinians over the last 30 years. Even in the current conflict, it has taken more pains to avoid civilian casualties than Muslim governments do in most other conflicts, despite being more threatened than they usually are. If being restrained could make Palestinians less angry, one has to wonder why it hasn’t worked thus far, and why Arabs don’t hate any other governments of the region, including Hamas and the PA, nearly as much.

Meanwhile, we’ve seen perhaps over half a million people killed in the Syrian civil war, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Kuwaitis slaughtered by Saddam Hussein in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and perhaps a million or more Muslims arrested and detained in Xinjiang. None of this provokes nearly as much outrage as what Israel has been doing, either on the Arab street or at the UN.

Remember, Israel had to do something after October 7. Those who have been arguing for a less aggressive response hold that there is some important delta in terms of increased hatred between killing, say, 500 Palestinians and killing tens of thousands, or expelling 100,000 people from their homes versus expelling a million. Yet nothing about the previous history of the conflict makes me think that this is likely to be true. The idea of a Jewish state is deeply offensive to Palestinians, for reasons based in religion and history. Every additional act that Israel commits rubs salt in the wound, but at some point you must reach some kind of limit beyond which there is no point in restraining yourself. It seems to me we’re long past that point, not because Israel has been particularly bad from a historical perspective, but because Palestinian society is uniquely hateful. 

The same applies to the attitudes of the international community. Imagine that you’re living in a town where the police are always arresting you for jaywalking and trying to make sure you get a long prison sentence. At the same time, they ignore the crimes of murderers and rapists. It would be irrational to think “well, if only I stopped jaywalking, they would leave me alone.” It’s clear that the cops are out to get you, and the jaywalking is just a pretense.

From 2015 to 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted resolutions on Israel 140 times, and on countries of the rest of the world put together only 68 times. Similarly, from its creation in 2006 to 2022, the UN Human Rights Council adopted 99 resolutions against Israel, but only 61 against Syria, Iran, Russia, and Venezuela combined.

It’s difficult to understand this by referencing Israeli behavior. What you have is a confluence of prejudices coming together at the UN. There is most obviously the Muslim world taking the side of its co-religionists. Combine that with leftist and third worldist dislike of societies seen as powerful and successful, along with old fashion anti-Semitism, and you get an international community that cares more about the sins of Israel than those of everyone else in the world combined.

There’s a 2014 story in Tablet in which a former AP reporter writes that the organization had 40 staffers working on Israel and Palestine when he was there, more than Russia, China, India, and sub-Saharan Africa combined. Sins committed by Israel are endlessly harped upon, while those of others, including the Palestinians themselves, are ignored. He blames this on Western anti-Semitism, though I’m inclined to think it’s more anti-white or anti-Western bias, and that Israelis would get covered in an even more hostile way if they were Nords.

I think even Israel’s critics would acknowledge that hatred of that nation is disproportionate relative to what it has done when compared to much of the rest of the world. But they seem not to appreciate what this implies about their theories regarding what Israelis can do to make Palestinians and their critics abroad hate them less. An irrational hatred based on identity and historical grievances is unlikely to be pacified through concessions. 

Thus far I’ve been making the case that Palestinian hatred of Israelis is close to maxed out and also irrational, and an increase in oppression is therefore unlikely to create much more of it. But I think there’s also an argument that it is Israeli vulnerability that brings hatred, consistent with the Lose Hope Model.

The muted response to the Chinese war on the Uyghurs is instructive here. Precise estimates are impossible, but perhaps 1 or 2 million Muslims have been locked up by Chinese authorities since 2017. Starting the year of the crackdown, the birthrate in Xinjiang fell off a cliff, in what appears to be the result of a deliberate program of secularization and population control.

You would think that this would draw outrage from the Muslim world. But we’ve mostly seen silence, with the UN Human Rights Council voting to not even debate the issue last year. Unlike the case of Saddam Hussein, this isn’t an instance of Muslim-on-Muslim violence. Rather, it’s infidel-on-Muslim violence, which you might think the Islamic world would be particularly interested in.

I think what’s going on here is that there’s no enjoyment in taking up a cause that is hopeless. If Uyghurs start throwing rocks at Chinese tanks or whatever, they will be brutally crushed. People talk about the romance of the lost cause, but for that you at least need an audience to perform in front of. Uyghurs suffer in silence, and the Muslim world largely doesn’t care because the whole thing is too depressing to think about. I don’t condone the Chinese treatment of Uyghurs the way I support Israel waging total war on Gaza, because the threat involved is in no way comparable. But one can’t deny that it has worked, and Muslim terrorism in China has been brought down to zero.

When fighting Israel, in contrast, you get to not only throw rocks at tanks and usually live to tell about it, but even lob rockets at their cities without being wiped off the map. You can try to pull off events like October 7, and perhaps live to glory in your victory if your enemy is too squeamish to bomb mosques, hospitals, and schools. Palestinians can hope that there will eventually be a political outcome in their favor, decades down the line, as a result of the Arab population continuing to grow, the international community becoming even more hostile to Israel, and developments in drone and rocket technology making life in Israel unbearable enough that investment declines, the economy begins to stagnate, and many citizens of the country leave due to a combination of security and economic concerns.

In addition to the sad case of the Uyghurs, the change in Arab attitudes towards Assad since 2011 also demonstrates how weakness can inspire hate. At the start of the Syrian Civil War, the countries of the region armed insurgents fighting against the government. The entire Arab world treated Assad as a pariah. In early 2012, despite longtime support from Damascus, even Hamas itself endorsed the rebels fighting to topple the Syrian regime. After Assad, with Russian and Iranian help, did what it took to stabilize his government and extinguish all hopes of overthrowing it, everyone basically went “oops, never mind.” In May, the Arab League welcomed Syria back into the fold and individual countries have been reestablishing diplomatic relations. Members of Hamas visited Damascus late last year, with one of its officials calling it a “glorious and important day” in which both sides decided to “move on from the past and look to the future.”

None of this is to say that the outrage against the Assad regime in the early 2010s wasn’t genuine at the time. But there’s a psychological story we can tell here, in which people get angry when doing so is useful. If someone who is about the same size as you comes and slaps you in the face, you might get mad and hit him back. If he is a professional boxer, there’s a good chance that you’ll know better than to even get angry in the first place. Anger requires both grievance and some hope of taking action to change your situation for the better. When there’s no hope, it either never forms or dissipates.

From this perspective, anti-Semitism among Westerners and Arabs feed off one another. Palestinians know that they can only continue fighting because of widely accepted human rights norms. Leftists in the US and Europe hold Israel to higher standards than other countries. That gives Palestinians even more hope of victory, and their resistance inspires more Israeli reactions, which gets liberals even more agitated. This cycle explains why there is so much hate directed towards Israel coming from international institutions. 

Overall, I think that we’re in a world of the Logarithmic Model right now, which means that Israel should just keep killing terrorists and trying to destroy Hamas because the increase in hatred among the Palestinians will be small. This war will probably end with Palestinians hating Israel a little bit more than before but having their ability to hurt the Jewish state degraded to an even larger degree, leading to a net gain in Israeli security. That won’t get us towards a two-state solution but that is impossible anyway because Palestinian hatred of Israel is based mostly on religion and historical grievances that can’t be erased from memory.

In the long run, I think there is a good chance that Israel can end the conflict by breaking Palestinian will, which may require constant brutality towards Gaza and making everyone understand that the Palestinian cause is hopeless as every generation of Israelis is more hawkish than the one that came before. This may even happen in this war if Israel is brutal enough, but international pressure, mostly American, will likely stop things before we get to that point.

One thing that I find strange about those who adopt the Linear Model of anti-Israel sentiment is that they never seem to conclude that things have gone too far and that Palestinian hatred has reached its maximum. We’re not even in the first two months of the war, and Israel has already killed more Palestinians than have died in every other conflict between the two sides of the last several decades put together while displacing around half the population of Gaza. Yet the people who thought a war like this would increase Palestinian hatred for Israel never say “now that you’ve started this thing, you better finish it, because they’re going to hate you forever.” No matter what has happened in the past, they think that more oppression or killing by necessity increases Palestinian resistance, presumably with no limit. If there was one Gazan left, I guess he would be so filled with rage that he would die of a heart attack before he could threaten Israel’s security.

I think that what’s going on here is that the argument that Israel can’t kill its way to victory is a debate tactic. People who are pro-Palestine can see how throughout the world disputes are often settled by violence. When they say “Israel can’t win by military means alone” what they’re really saying is “we don’t want them to,” because they don’t think it is worth it. Yet they feel a need to appeal to the self-interest of Israelis and make arguments that are convincing to Westerners who support Israel and don’t care that much about the Palestinians. They of course convince themselves of this too, and set aside what they presumably know about Xinjiang, the Russian experience in Chechnya, the Syrian Civil War, and countless other conflicts that were settled by the stronger side simply imposing its will on the enemy.

The problem with hampering the Israeli war effort through appeals to human rights norms is that it simply ensures that the conflict continues indefinitely into the future. Are Palestinians being well served right now? Would living under occupation for another 75 years do them good? The way I see it, for Israel to survive there will have to be separation between the two sides at some point, and it would be better for it to happen now than later.

During and after the Second World War, Japan and Germany saw their governments destroyed, and the political ideology that the previous regime had relied on in each country extinguished. Both peoples were better off for it in the end. I think the next generation of Uyghurs will be some of the most loyal members of the Chinese Communist Party. This is a less hopeful example since Chinese totalitarianism is bad, unlike liberal democracy. But it shows that when people are given no other options they adjust to their new reality.

Right now, it’s hard to imagine Palestinians giving up their political dreams. But the idea that Japan would become a pacifist society content to manufacture electronics and watch anime while renouncing all geopolitical ambitions must have seemed just as improbable in early 1945. What ended World War II wasn’t the two atomic bombs that the US dropped, as Japan still had the capability to go on fighting. It was knowledge that there would be a third, a fourth, and a fifth if it didn’t surrender. If there was a way Israel could guarantee with 100% certainty that it wouldn’t stop until Hamas was destroyed, I think Palestinian resistance would decline. As things stand, there’s still a good deal of hope out there that Western pressure will eventually force Israel to stop short of regime change in Gaza. In which case, we would simply find ourselves in the same situation as before October 7. 

Unlike the Palestinians, Japan already had a state, so in this case moving on means trying to make Gazans into refugees, in many cases not for the first time of course. This will be tough for one or two generations, but eventually lead to a more humane outcome for all involved. Right now, even Westerners seem outraged by the idea of population transfer. One might ask why in every other conflict in the world, we consider it a self-evidently good thing to get civilians out of war zones. What’s special about this particular conflict is the attachment that Arabs and Westerners feel to the cause of Palestine. But it’s an evil cause, which clearly emphasizes hating Jews more than making its own people better off.

As long as hope for a two-state solution exists, the idea of reducing the Palestinian population in the region conflicts with larger political goals. Gazans themselves, living off of international charity and romanticized as warriors, feel no urgency to call for their leaders to let them leave or demand that the rest of the world welcome them in. The end of the Palestinian cause would reduce the terrorist threat inherent in accepting people from Gaza as refugees and make other countries potentially more welcoming."













Links - 25th May 2024 (1 - Covid-19)

The Pandemic Is Resetting Casual Friendships - The Atlantic - "Casual friends and acquaintances can be as important to well-being as family, romantic partners, and your closest friends. In his initial study, for example, he found that the majority of people who got new jobs through social connections did so through people on the periphery of their lives, not close relations... losing the incidental, repeated social interactions that physical workplaces foster can make it especially difficult for young people and new hires to establish themselves within the complex social hierarchy of a workplace. Losing them can make it harder to progress in work as a whole, access development opportunities, and be recognized for your contributions. (After all, no one can see you or what you’re doing.) These kinds of setbacks early in professional life can be especially devastating, because the losses tend to compound—fall behind right out of the gate, and you’re more likely to stay there. The loss of these interactions can make the day-to-day realities of work more frustrating, too, and can fray previously pleasant relationships. In a recent study, Andrew Guydish, a doctoral candidate in psychology at UC Santa Cruz, looked at the effects of what he calls conversational reciprocity—how much each participant in a conversation talks while one is directing the other to complete a task. He found that in these situations—which often crop up between managers and employees at work—pairs of people tended to use unstructured time, if it were available, to balance the interaction. When that happened, both people reported feeling happier and more satisfied afterward... Strip out the humanity, and there’s nothing but the transaction left. The psychological effects of losing all but our closest ties can be profound. Peripheral connections tether us to the world at large; without them, people sink into the compounding sameness of closed networks... The loss of these interactions may be one reason for the growth in internet conspiracy theories in the past year, and especially for the surge in groups like QAnon. But while online communities of all kinds can deliver some of the psychological benefits of meeting new people and making friends in the real world, the echo chamber of conspiracism is a further source of isolation. “There’s a lot of research showing that when you talk only to people who are like you, it actually makes your opinions shift even further away from other groups,” Sandstrom explained. “That’s how cults work. That’s how terrorist groups work.”... social isolation increases the risk of premature death from any cause by almost 30 percent."

How the Public-Health Messaging Backfired - The Atlantic - "Throughout the past year, traditional and social media have been caught up in a cycle of shaming—made worse by being so unscientific and misguided. How dare you go to the beach? newspapers have scolded us for months, despite lacking evidence that this posed any significant threat to public health. It wasn’t just talk: Many cities closed parks and outdoor recreational spaces, even as they kept open indoor dining and gyms. Just this month, UC Berkeley and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst both banned students from taking even solitary walks outdoors... On social media, meanwhile, pictures of people outdoors without masks draw reprimands, insults, and confident predictions of super-spreading—and yet few note when super-spreading fails to follow.  While visible but low-risk activities attract the scolds, other actual risks—in workplaces and crowded households, exacerbated by the lack of testing or paid sick leave—are not as easily accessible to photographers. Stefan Baral, an associate epidemiology professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says that it’s almost as if we’ve “designed a public-health response most suitable for higher-income” groups and the “Twitter generation”—stay home; have your groceries delivered; focus on the behaviors you can photograph and shame online—rather than provide the support and conditions necessary for more people to keep themselves safe. And the viral videos shaming people for failing to take sensible precautions, such as wearing masks indoors, do not necessarily help. For one thing, fretting over the occasional person throwing a tantrum while going unmasked in a supermarket distorts the reality: Most of the public has been complying with mask wearing. Worse, shaming is often an ineffective way of getting people to change their behavior, and it entrenches polarization and discourages disclosure, making it harder to fight the virus... Amidst all the mistrust and the scolding, a crucial public-health concept fell by the wayside. Harm reduction... Another problem with absolutism is the “abstinence violation” effect, Joshua Barocas, an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, told me. When we set perfection as the only option, it can cause people who fall short of that standard in one small, particular way to decide that they’ve already failed, and might as well give up entirely. Most people who have attempted a diet or a new exercise regimen are familiar with this psychological state. The better approach is encouraging risk reduction and layered mitigation—emphasizing that every little bit helps—while also recognizing that a risk-free life is neither possible nor desirable.  Socializing is not a luxury—kids need to play with one another, and adults need to interact... Socializing is perhaps the most important predictor of health and longevity, after not smoking and perhaps exercise and a healthy diet"
From 2021. When political and media incentives aligned to fan covid hysteria

Bill Maher calls for COVID Commission: The 'powers that be' refuse to admit they 'got it wrong' - ""Real Time" host Bill Maher closed his show Friday night by calling for a "COVID Commission" to investigate how the country mishandled the pandemic.   "I get it that we didn't know exactly what was happening at the beginning of COVID, and some mistakes were inevitable," Maher told his audience. "But four years on, I'm tired of hearing, 'Well, we didn't know.' No, we didn't. But some people guessed better than others. And the people who got it wrong don't seem to want to acknowledge that now."   "Some people said closing schools for so long was pointless and would cause much worse collateral damage to kids, and they were right," Maher said. Maher took aim at The Daily Beast for a hit piece it ran on him in 2021 for considering the lab-leak theory, running the headline "Bill Maher pushes Steve Bannon Wuhan lab conspiracy theory," something he noted was "typical of the mainstream media at the time."   "Of course, it wasn't a conspiracy theory, and it wasn't owned by Steve Bannon. And now everyone, including the Biden administration, admits there's at least a 50-50 chance that the virus could have begun in the lab in Wuhan that was doing gain-of-function research on that virus, duh! But I don't see a lot of retractions being printed," Maher said. The HBO host blasted the claim years back that natural immunity was inferior to the COVID vaccine and listed several COVID-era overreactions like washing the mail and wearing masks outdoors.  "Because the last thing you would want to do when a disease is afoot is get fresh air and sunshine and vitamin D," Maher sarcastically said. "No, much better to stay locked up, stressed out and day drinking." "Yes, some very bad ideas were embraced as the conventional wisdom, ideas that haven't aged well. And a lot of its dissenting opinions that were suppressed and ridiculed at the time have proven to be correct," Maher said. "Maybe that's why the powers that be never wanted a COVID commission. Why not? We love commissions! The Warren Commission, the AIDS Commission, 911 Commission. The NFL even had an 'Is ramming your head into another guy's head bad for heads?' Commission."... "But if there's been a big national to retrofit buildings, I missed it. Gain of function research is still going on in labs. We're still torturing animals by raising our food in conditions ideal for viruses to make the leap to humans… We handed out $4 trillion dollars of free money, 280 billion of which was just flat-out stolen in what the AP called ‘the greatest grift in US history’ and which started an inflationary spiral that we now blame on Biden. So we're gonna bring back Trump?! The guy who ignored COVID like it was the dinner check?!""
Why the left hate him so much nowadays

🇺🇸Travis🇺🇸 on X - "SHOCKING:  In new documents obtained by Senator Rand Paul, the entire COVID wuhan story is exposed.  A group called DEFUSE went to several government agencies to receive funding to engineer a virus in Wuhan similar to Covid, and Fauci’s lab in Montana was listed as a partner.  This happened in 2018 before Covid was released.    15 different federal agencies knew about this and not a single one of them have come forward and exposed this.  Senator Paul has had to fight for years to get these documents released.    Why was a group working on a coronavirus in 2018?  How did an almost identical virus just happen to leak from Wuhan?  Why did Fauci hide this information, and why was he using government funding to pay for this?    Did the US government release a virus onto its on citizens and globally just to win an election and gain more power?"

Leana Wen, M.D. on X - "For those who don’t agree that the vaccinated can return to pre-pandemic normal, I ask: What should we all do? Perpetual masking? Forever not dining out, avoiding large weddings & indoor gatherings, etc? Virtually everything has risk, and zero covid is not a viable strategy."
From Mar 2022. The replies are a good illustration of covid hysteria. Left wingers didn't want the pandemic to end (some of them are still pushing covid hysteria to this day)

David French on X - "One of the worst aspects of the new right is its "no apologies" ethos. That's not just unchristian, it's fundamentally anti-Christian. We all fall. We all make mistakes. Repentance isn't optional. It's a necessary part of life."
Seth Dillon on X - "Remember when you sanctimoniously shamed anyone who opposed mask mandates? You said we didn't love our neighbors. You said we had blood on our hands. You tried to guilt us into compliance with anti-scientific groupthink so you could score virtue points on the internet. And you've never apologized."
Bushwackerbob on X - "I totally agree. Funny how libs suddenly find God when it is convenient for them. I was pro vaccine, but I was disgusted by the toxic discourse of pro vaxers when folks would not conform to the pro vaxer mob. The vaxer crowd was downright cruel at times."

Ekstra Bladet: Danish newspaper apologises for not questioning Covid-19 case numbers - "In an article in the Ekstra Bladet tabloid last week headlined “We Failed”, journalist Brian Weichardt issued a mea culpa to the public on behalf of the media for not doing more to interrogate Covid-19 statistics. Weichardt wrote that for nearly two years, both the press and the public had been “almost hypnotically preoccupied” with authorities’ daily coronavirus updates, obsessing over infections, hospitalisations and deaths, as the significance of the “smallest movements” was “laid out by experts, politicians and authorities, who have constantly warned us about the dormant corona monster under our beds”.  “The constant mental alertness has worn out tremendously on all of us,” he wrote. “That is why we – the press – must also take stock of our own efforts. And we have failed.” He said the press had not been “vigilant enough” in questioning authorities about whether people were hospitalised “with corona and not because of corona”.  “Because it makes a difference,” he wrote... NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard revealed to The Daily Telegraph earlier this month that up to half of cases being classified as Covid-19 hospitalisations “are actually people with other reasons for admission”, including broken bones, labour pains and even mental health issues... Late last year, White House chief medical adviser Dr Anthony Fauci also stressed the distinction... In Canada, Ontario chief medical officer Dr Kieran Moore made nearly identical comments... The comments frustrated some critics of the Biden administration, who have been asking about the distinction for some time.  “A shatteringly bad outing outside of the protected zone of friendly cable TV nets,” conservative polling group Rasmussen Reports wrote on Twitter."
From 2022. If only more media outlets had the honesty and integrity to do so. Even in 2022 there were still covid hystericists denouncing as "covid deniers" those who point out that those hospitalised with covid were not the same as those hospitalised for covid, even though multiple governments had admitted that. Presumably they're still singing that same tune

The death of Europe - "Europe is on a precipice. It has marched, blindly, towards something very much resembling tyranny. Austria will shortly criminalise those who refuse the Covid vaccine. Germany looks set to follow. Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, is wondering out loud if every member state should do likewise and make offenders of those who reject this form of medication. In Italy you are deprived of your livelihood rather than your liberty if you say no to vaccination: the unvaxxed are not permitted to work. Anywhere. In Greece, everyone over the age of 60 must pay the government 100 euros for every month they remain unvaxxed. As if the Greek government, in cahoots with its masters in Brussels, had not immiserated Greek pensioners enough already.   Police in Rotterdam opened fire on people protesting against Covid restrictions. Three were seriously injured. Austrian cops have wielded batons and shields against the thousands who took to the streets of Vienna to say no to mandatory vaxxing. In Brussels, the black, bureaucratic heart of the EU project, water cannons and tear gas were unleashed upon citizens agitating against vaccine passes. The irony is almost too much: in the European quarter of Brussels, the very part of Europe in which the modern European sensibility was forged by politicians, experts and technocrats, ordinary people make a blow for freedom and the forces of this supposedly liberal new continent beat them down. Rarely has modern Europe’s bluster about ‘human rights’ and ‘respect’ been so savagely exposed... outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel says mandatory vaxxing is likely to be introduced early next year. Ursula von der Leyen seems to think that every EU member state should force vaccination upon its citizens... Even the vaxxed will not be truly free people in this world. Rather, we will be the beneficiaries of state favour, the enjoyers of small privileges, in return for our agreeing to receive an injection. We will have a license from on high to go about our daily lives. And we will know that that license could swiftly be revoked if we refuse medical treatment in the future. The redefinition of ‘freedom’, the making of liberty contingent upon submission to medicine, will throttle the rights of all of us – vaxxed and unvaxxed alike. Strikingly, there is very little pushback from the so-called human-rights lobby against the proposed new regime of forced medication. Europhiles in the UK and elsewhere – the kind of people who assured us the EU was the great modern defender of the dignity of the individual – are meek as mice in the face of these state threats to strongarm citizens into medical compliance. It wasn’t meant to be like this, you see. It was Brexit Britain, they said, that would become a hotbed of deranged authoritarianism, while the EU would hold a candle for the modern principles of rights and respect. And now that the opposite has proven to be the case, they look the other way, or they subtly give their nod to what amounts to a tyranny of the state over the souls and flesh of individual human beings. European liberalism is dying, the European Union stands exposed as a seat of extreme authoritarianism, and the future of this continent looks very uncertain indeed. Covid will look like a blip in the affairs of man in comparison with the fallout from this political and moral crisis of the European continent."
From December 2021. This doesn't stop vaxholes pretending that no one was forced to get vaccinated (of course, some of them also complain that "forcing people to work" because they don't get enough free money is fascist, and most of them invoke bodily autonomy to push for unlimited abortion on demand at any point during a pregnancy)

Meme - Grey Matter Podcast @GreyMatterConvo: "The law firm that represents Canada Post in the vaccine mandate lawsuit brought against it by workers put out of work for refusing to take the jab, just hired the Justice Minister who imposed the mandates and unconstitutionally invoked the Emergencies Act. Do you see a problem?"
FASKEN @faskenlaw: "Honored to welcome Mr. David Lametti, former Justice Minister and Attorney General of Canada to Fasken as Counsel. A dedicated advocate for Indigenous reconciliation, he's also deeply engaged in emerging technology, particularly artificial intelligence."

The Virus Has Killed the Liberal Order - "wars and epidemics throw us back on our most basic hunter-gatherer instincts. We become more inward-looking, more tribal, more collectivist, more hierarchical. To put it another way, major disruptions of this kind remind us of how unnatural the liberal order is, and how fragile and contingent the individualism and prosperity of the past two centuries has been.  “Free trade, the greatest blessing a government can bestow on a people, is in almost every country unpopular”, wrote Lord Macaulay in 1824. Since then, average global incomes have risen, at a conservative estimate, by 3,000 per cent – having previously barely sloped upwards at all. Globalisation and open markets have been miraculous poverty-busters. Take any measure you like: literacy, longevity, infant mortality, female education, calorie intake, height.  Yet, in thrall to our Palaeolithic instincts, we still refuse to accept it. We deny the evidence of rising prosperity; or else we tell ourselves that rising living standards come at a terrible cost, that society has become soulless and materialistic, that something is missing. Every protest movement against the modern liberal order – romanticism, existentialism, fascism, communism, religious fundamentalism – is a tortured cry from our inner caveman, yearning for the collectivism and authority of the kin-group.  As we haul ourselves from the pupa of lockdown, we find we are subtly transformed. There is more demand for authoritarian governments of both Left and Right. There is more protectionism, and thus more poverty. There is less tolerance of dissent. There is more identity politics – the ultimate form of collectivism, because it defines people, not as individuals, but by group."

Should You Swab Your Throat Plus Your Nose for COVID? | Scientific American
When you're still playing this game in 2024

COVID, Quickly, Episode 5: Vaccine Safety in Pregnancy, Blood Clots and Long-Haul Realities | Scientific American - "The patients were all in the Veterans Administration health system, so they have detailed records. Compared with non-COVID patients, they had a 59 percent higher risk of death during those six months. A whole slew of medical problems cropped up during that time: heart attacks, respiratory failure, diabetes, neurological problems, anxiety, and more. These patients kept showing up in doctors’ offices and used more medications. There was also a higher rate of opioid use. Not everyone runs into these problems, but they’re real.  And here’s a striking comparison. You know how people say, “Oh, COVID is just like a flu”? No, it’s worse. This data, published this week in the journal Nature, compared COVID patients to flu patients. The flu patients had lower levels of all the illnesses I just mentioned. And COVID patients were more likely to die during that half-year—about 50 percent more likely"
From 2021. Apparently being ~50% more deadly than the flu was good reason to get all hysterical

As COVID-19 cases drop, some hospitals still barring families even if they’re fully vaccinated - The Globe and Mail - "Her grandmother takes good care of herself, the granddaughter said, but little things went neglected. Hearing aid batteries died and clothing went unchanged, she said. After three weeks, a doctor was in touch to say he was worried Ms. Robertson was experiencing cognitive decline. “You can’t base a diagnosis like this based on the situation she was in,” Sarah Robertson said.  The doctor agreed and allowed the family to send in Ms. Robertson’s daughter to give her a pep talk. The doctor and other hospital staff immediately noticed improvement, the granddaughter recounted.  A series of meetings among the family, the therapy team and floor management finally allowed two family caregivers at Ms. Robertson’s side, after nearly five weeks. Her daughter and son are now allowed to visit. But Sarah Robertson, 35, still can’t visit her grandmother, despite her complete vaccination status and eagerness to help.  A hospital social worker, Sarah Robertson says she thinks a lot about how her skills as a health care advocate were required to push for limited visits. “I’m not afraid to be loud and passionate. What happens with the people who don’t know they can push?” she said. She emphasized the staff have given her grandmother excellent care, but they are handcuffed by hospital policies. “In the last 10 years, the health system has done so much to put mental health and humanity a bigger component. I feel like we’ve gone back years,” she said.  Michael Warner, an intensive care physician at Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto, has advocated to loosen patient visiting rules. He says patients are delaying going to the hospital because they are afraid of being alone.  “In my view, these are not evidence-based restrictions, and they harm patients and contribute to the moral distress of physicians and nurses having to tell loved ones they can’t visit,” Dr. Warner said. “At my hospital before COVID there were no visiting hours, they were 24 hours, seven days a week because we recognized the benefit of visitors at the bedside."
From 2021

Covid-19: a glimpse of the dystopia greens want us to live in - "Greens just can’t help themselves. As the rest of us do what we can to tackle or withstand the Covid-19 crisis, they treat it as a sign, a warning from nature, a telling-off to hubristic, destructive mankind. The speed with which they have folded this pandemic into their misanthropic narrative about humanity being a pox on the planet has been shocking, but not surprising.  Right from the top of the UN, they have been promoting their backward belief that this virus is a reprimand from nature. Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, says ‘nature is sending us a message’ with this pandemic and other recent disasters, including bushfires in Australia and locust invasions in Kenya. Of course nature is doing no such thing, because nature is not a sentient being, however much the new religion of environmentalism might fantasise that it is.   The Guardian reports that Andersen thinks humanity’s ‘destruction of the natural world for farming, housing and mining’ is making pandemics more likely... This is positively Biblical. Gaia is God in this scenario, coming to punish us for our sins.   A group of scientists agrees with Andersen. They describe Covid-19 as a ‘clear warning shot’ from nature, telling human civilisation that it is ‘playing with fire’. This is the political exploitation of a horrible disease to the end of winding back human industry: what a low trick. Britain’s chief bourgeois misanthrope, George Monbiot, was hot on the heels of the UN’s eco-medievalists. He says Covid-19 has shattered humanity’s self-serving myth that it has achieved ‘insulation from natural hazards’... Monbiot and other greens seem to view Covid-19 as a disaster that will have an upside: it might roll back the Enlightenment-era belief that humankind can exercise dominion over nature and remind us that actually we are at nature’s mercy. They hope this disaster will restore nature’s power over the humanised world.  This is also why so many greens online have been sharing images of dolphins swimming near Venice or an absence of airplane trails over California. Because to them, these are signs of a benefit from Covid-19: the humbling of humankind, the reining in of our industrial and technological activity, and the reassertion of nature’s awesome power. If you see a disease as a political statement, as an opportunity to pursue your pre-existing misanthropic agendas, there is something very wrong with you.  Even though all of this is morally perverse, it is not surprising. For a long time, greens have viewed human beings as a pox, a virus in our own right, doing untold damage to the planet. Green god David Attenborough has said humans are ‘a plague on the planet’. Even when greens don’t use such explicitly hateful language, they constantly promote a view of human production and development as toxic and destructive. And they latch on to everything from bushfires to floods, from plagues of locusts to melting ice-caps, as signs from nature, lessons from a furious Gaia. When religious crackpots blame floods on gay marriage, claiming God is punishing us for losing the moral plot, we rightly mock them. Yet greens offer merely a secular version of such backward, apocalyptic claptrap.   The truth is that if the Covid-19 crisis has shown us anything, it is how awful it would be to live in the kind of world greens dream about. Right now, courtesy of a horrible new virus, our societies look not dissimilar to the kind of societies Greta Thunberg, Extinction Rebellion, green parties and others have long been agitating for. Fewer flights, industry halted, huge infrastructure projects put on hold. Less driving, less travelling, less human interaction. Over the past few weeks, as a result of our response to Covid-19, the ‘human footprint’ will undoubtedly have shrunk. And what an awful world it has become: smaller, quieter, more atomised... Greens really should be careful when they talk about Covid-19, because it won’t be long before more and more people realise that this unpleasant emergency we are living through is just like the warped dystopia greens want to build."
No wonder the left were so upset by the lab leak theory
Those who insist that "we are the virus" should be true to their principles and off themselves

Meme - "I would take a bullet for my country"
"You would"
You wouldn't even take a stand for your neighbors"
This is an edit of the vaxhole meme claiming people wouldn't take a needle for their neighbours
We are still told that no one claimed the covid vaccines reduced transmission

Meme - Scott Dworkin @funder: "If you get fired for not getting vaccinated, just know, that you deserve it."
Scott Dworkin @funder: "Republicans need to stay the hell out of our private lives. Have a nice Friday."

Prof Francois Balloux: ‘The pandemic has created a market for gloom and doom’ - "There was a suggestion in a Sage paper that a very lethal variant could emerge, while other scientists suggest that the virus has reached its “maximum fit”, that if it evolves further it will lose the ability to coexist with its human hosts.
It’s important to balance the scariness of predictions with their likelihood. The likelihood of a lineage emerging that is 50 times more lethal is extraordinarily implausible. I say that because we have 200 respiratory viruses in circulation and most of us get infected on a regular basis. We’ve never seen that kind of sudden change in mortality. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but you may have a better chance of winning the lottery jackpot many times over...
You have stated that a “non-trivial” number of long-Covid cases are psychosomatic.
We know that infections such as Covid lead to post-viral syndromes. At the risk of being insensitive, I would be surprised if there wasn’t a link between disease severity and the severity of follow-up symptoms. Like tuberculosis or influenza, people who have a severe case should expect to take a long time to recover fully. And sometimes recovery is never complete. The situation is more complicated with a mild infection. Post-viral symptoms can happen but it seems relatively implausible to me that this would happen very frequently. In all likelihood, some cases are psychosomatic – though this doesn’t make the suffering less real for those affected or reduce the cost to society. All disease is real, irrespective of its root cause.  There is a mental component to health and disease. Just the fear of something bad happening to us can make us feel unwell. A remarkable example of this process can be seen in the way over 30% of the people who were enrolled in the control arm of the Pfizer vaccine trial reported headaches and fatigue, despite not being injected with a vaccine...
This issue is amplified when, as now, scientists are talking directly to the public…
Before the pandemic, scientists were rarely asked anything, or we were listened to in a polite, slightly bored way. But now people are clinging to the words of scientists, which can make it more difficult for them to change their mind. Few scientists have changed their views on Covid but when they do it’s often not well received – there’s an element of groupthink and for more media-savvy scientists, an expectation from their adoring crowd that they’re not meant to do that...
Can you explain what you mean by “scientific populism”?
As the pandemic has advanced the mood of the public has become darker and more fearful and this has created a market for gloom and doom. It’s as bad as the effects of the super-optimism at the beginning – stay at home for two weeks, it’s a mild disease or wear a mask and it will be gone. So I kind of captured the market for corona centrism – not to be systematically optimistic or pessimistic and to make it clear there are major uncertainties. And this is empowering, because understanding things is."
Remarkable level-headedness from 2021

Friday, May 24, 2024

Links - 24th May 2024 (2 - Hamas Attack Oct 2023: College Campuses)

John Ivison: China’s alleged links to Canadian anti-Israel protests fit a subversive pattern - "The National Contagion Research Institute, an independent body that identifies cyber threats to civil society, says that a number of left-wing organizations that have united under the Shut It Down for Palestine (SID4P) banner are linked to Beijing through Communist Party associates, Neville Roy Singham and his wife, Jodie Evans. It concluded that organizations operating under the SID4P umbrella are members of the “Singham network” donor program, which is widely considered to be a conduit for CCP geopolitical influence... NCRI says Singham has been investigated by the U.S., Canada and India for his CCP-linked operations. Evans, his wife, is listed as a board member for the pro-China People’s Forum and as a co-founder of the anti-war Code Pink, official endorsers of SID4P. She is also the co-author of a forthcoming book: China is Not our Enemy. The report says SID4P uses loopholes in the U.S. non-profit system, such as anonymous donations, to facilitate the flow of U.S. dollars to organizations intent on stoking social unrest. The “conveners” of SID4P listed in the report include the People’s Forum, the ANSWER Coalition, the International People’s Assembly, Al-Awda NY, National Students for Justice in Palestine, the Palestinian Youth Movement and the Palestinian American Community Centre... Richard Robertson, director of research and advocacy at B’nai Brith Canada, said that the Revolutionary Communist Party, a new group established to “prepare (Canada) for revolution,” has been present at nearly every single protest, including encouraging walkouts at high schools... Charlotte Kates, a director of Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in Vancouver, is listed as an official of Al-Awda, another convenor of SID4P. She was arrested in Vancouver earlier this month , after making a speech on the steps of the city’s art gallery on April 26th in which she shouted: “Long live October 7th” and claimed that Hamas is not a terrorist organization. “They are resistance fighters. They are our heroes,” she said. Kates recently spoke at an event alongside a Hamas politburo member and she is married to an alleged official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is listed as a terror organization in Canada, the U.S., Israel and Germany. Both Kates and her husband Khaled Barakat advocate the violent dissolution of Israel. The Samidoun website expressed its solidarity with Kates after she was charged with public incitement and wilful promotion of hatred for her comments. “This is the moment we must all fight back — by raising our voices in support of Palestinian armed resistance — including the heroic and momentous operation, the Al-Asque Flood launched on October 7th, by calling for the removal of Palestinian and Arab resistance movements from so-called terror lists,” it said. Where to begin in analyzing all this? It is clear that the West is facing unprecedented challenges that demand a vigorous response. Robertson, at B’nai Brith Canada, said there has been a maturation of the anti-Israel movement in Canada since October 7th, which may indicate more funding. “There has been a much more professional approach to branding, for instance,” he said. It is equally clear that the response so far from governments has been underwhelming. We have laws that guarantee freedom of speech but we also have laws that ban people from inciting violence and vilifying a specific group of people... As the NCRI report noted, the activities of SID4P highlight a trend in which “the instruments of democracy are being exploited to undermine its foundations.” It offered the example of the democratic protections offered to the non-profit system, such as anonymous donations that are being used to bolster anti-democratic ideologies. The report called for more accountability to ensure bad actors are not exploiting those protections to support terrorist activities or further the agenda of foreign powers... The late British historian, Arnold Toynbee, said civilizations die from suicide, not murder. They grow by meeting new challenges and responding, he said. But those that do not respond to internal strife and diverging values eventually collapse. There is a cohort in our society of what Lenin and Stalin called “useful idiots” — idealists who are being manipulated to pursue the agendas of our adversaries. Canadians need to wake up to the fact that their democratic principles are being exploited by people who want to dismantle them."

''Illegal, destructive, dangerous': UVic president cites complaints about encampment - "The president of the University of Victoria says a pro-Palestinian protest encampment on its campus is drawing an increasing number of complaints about harassment and intimidation, but also illegal and "dangerous" activities. Kevin Hall outlined the university's concerns in a statement on Wednesday, saying they included what he described as rising acts of vandalism, spreading misinformation and the unauthorized use of buildings at after-hours times. Police in Saanich say they arrested a man on Tuesday after he was allegedly threatening people inside an academic centre for Indigenous students. Hall says the man was believed to have set up a tent on campus earlier in the week and he was "showing signs of substance use" that required medical response from campus security and emergency first respondents. Hall's statement says that response was "hindered because of interventions from members of the encampment.""

Carson Jerema: Ignore left-wing 'experts,' there is no right to camp on university property - "A group of Alberta law professors, who signed an open letter Tuesday objecting to the removal of anti-Israel protest encampments at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary, are using their positions as “experts” in order to justify subordinating the law to politics. In claiming that the dispersal of the camps violated the Charter-protected right of free expression, they are not engaging in serious legal analysis... Justice Jack Watson wrote that even though the university is subject to Charter review, that “does not threaten the ability of the University to maintain its independence or to uphold its academic standards or to manage its facilities and resources.” The judge also noted that expression rights must be balanced against the need for the university “to be a suitably regulated, peaceful and safe environment equally for all its students, faculty, staff and visitors.” And a few paragraphs later, Watson added that being neutral as to which political causes are allowed on campus “does not condemn the University to ignore issues of safety, security and cost.” In other words, a university is within its own rights to manage its property and enforce its internal rules and codes of conduct, so long as any limitation on expression can be reasonably justified. The dictum that, “you can protest all you want, but you can’t sleep on the lawn” is an eminently reasonable position for a university to take. The law professors’ open letter complained that the anti-Israel camps “were served trespass notices almost immediately after setting up and without meaningful engagement.” Presumably, the professors seem to think, the protesters should have been consulted extensively before being tossed. Perhaps, but under what circumstances the university would be permitted to issue a trespass notice, the law professors do not bother to say. Besides, the Alberta encampments didn’t occur in a vacuum. Administrators would have been well aware of the dozens of other camps set up at universities across Canada and the U.S. Those encampments quickly took over university property and in some cases have prevented campus security from entering. They regulate who may pass through the camps, sometimes checking to see if a particular person is a “Zionist.” They are undeniably littered with fire hazards and other security concerns, not to mention being filled with non-students. In the U.S. they have taken over and vandalized buildings. If the U of A or U of C had waited, those camps could have become entrenched, immovable and potentially dangerous and volatile. While encampments are indeed a form of expression, courts in other provinces have recognized the need to manage and regulate the use of temporary structures for political purposes. A 2010 B.C. Court of Appeal ruling found a Vancouver bylaw regulating such structures was unconstitutional, but the court acknowledged the city’s interest in preventing “the unregulated and haphazard proliferation of structures of a political nature on city streets.” In 2011, the Ontario Superior Court upheld the City of Toronto’s trespass order issued to “occupy” protesters."
Of course, if right wing protesters had set up camp, the left would be screaming about far right violence

U of T has given into the radicals that have taken over their campus - "You can set up an encampment that takes over the central part of the University of Toronto but don’t dare bring in an opposing point of view. That’s the message from university officials as the takeover of their central campus hits the two-week mark. Mohammed Rizwan, a director of the group Council of Muslims Against Antisemitism, had come in from Mississauga with a truck trying to bring a different point of view to the campers at what has become known as Little Gaza... Officials at the University of Toronto weren’t interested in that kind of message being disseminated on campus. For two weeks now, the school’s administration has been happy to have this encampment not only set up, but also grow. While Rizwan’s truck with his dissenting message wasn’t let in, other trucks have been. A number of porta potties, obviously delivered by truck, have been delivered to the encampment site, a feat that could not have been accomplished without the cooperation of the university’s administration. “This country is not standing up to the values it holds,” Rizwan said after being told by officials his truck could not drive down what is normally an open street. “The answer was no from one security personnel, then there was another constable who manages the security of the campus, and without giving me any reason, he said that he can’t let us in,” Rizwan said. With decisions like this, it’s clear that University of Toronto President Meric Gertler has lost control of his campus to the radicals. Others were being allowed to drive onto school grounds, including a staff member who arrived while Rizwan’s truck was being blocked. King’s College Rd. is usually open to the public, but after the campers moved in, U of T officials closed off road access, via King’s College Rd. and Hart House Circle to public vehicles, unless it seems they are in support of the encampment."

Lorne Zeiler: Parents have a responsibility to help end the hate on university campuses - "My two daughters are currently in university. One, luckily, is in a co-op this year. They both have stories of Jewish kids being spat on, called names, yelled at, threatened, blocked from certain areas, losing friends and feeling ostracized and isolated. It is amazing that universities constantly preach about inclusion, the rights of the individual and fostering a caring community, but throw all this rhetoric out the window when Jewish students are being attacked and demonized. This year, Jewish students have had to choose between getting an education and their personal safety... The same people who a year ago would burst into laughter with my eldest daughter, ask for her help on assignments, advocate together for equal opportunities for all, go to parties and even discuss current events, have now blocked her from their social media, posted horrible comments about her and made her feel uncomfortable, unloved and in some cases unsafe. Interestingly, one of the groups that she really identified with was EngiQueers, which recently supported a BDS motion against Israel. Yet this group has no similar motion against any other country in the world. How about the dozens of countries that practice gender apartheid, make homosexual love a crime or forbid gay marriage?"

Carson Jerema: The Freedom Convoy was bad. The Hamas camps are much worse - "The convoy should have been contained, or cleared earlier, but instead lawlessness took over. It was bad, but not end-of-civilization bad. Even so, progressive journalists and professors were hysterically claiming democracy was within an inch of its life. Some demanded the army be deployed, and nearly all cheered on the government’s insane overreaction of invoking the Emergencies Act. Now that anti-Israel protesters are illegally occupying university campuses, and often celebrating Hamas’s October 7 massacre, many of those progressives want the same policing and political failures that so horrified them in 2022, to spread right across the country. For example, prominent University of Alberta law professor Ubaka Ogbogu posted on X Wednesday that even though universities don’t want the encampments on their property, they have no choice but to permit them. “There was never a doubt in my mind that the encampments are legitimate protest, if peaceful,” he wrote. “The point of protest is disruption and making people uncomfortable for the sake of change.” Back in 2022, Ogbogu expressed an entirely different opinion. “Freedom of Assembly does not just mean show up and start protesting. It is regulated for public safety,” he wrote. In a separate post at the time, he also suggested that the purpose of a protest should be a factor in whether it is considered lawful or not. “How are these white protesters getting protest permits for a cause that no longer exists?” he wrote. Yet, he included this in his Wednesday post defending the university protesters: “Just because you don’t like a form of protest does not make it unlawful.” When pundits complain about the growing lack of trust in experts, perhaps instead of blaming “populist” politicians, they should consider that it is the experts themselves, so willing as they are to use their credentials for political purposes, who are to blame. It isn’t, of course, just law professors who can’t keep straight whether occupying property is a legitimate form of protest or not. Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said Thursday that police would not be removing an encampment at McGill University that has taken over the quad. “We don’t want that, and Montrealers don’t want that,” she said, adding later, “I think we should not abandon diplomacy to come up with a peaceful resolution here.” Back in 2022, Plante had a different view, as Freedom Convoy protesters rolled into Montreal. They were free to protest, she said, but in no uncertain terms would police allow for an Ottawa-style occupation. “It is out of the question that Montreal be plunged into the situation Ottawa finds itself in,” she said. If the Montreal convoy had succeeded in entrenching itself, would Plante have been open to “diplomacy”? Despite its lack of elite support, the Ottawa Freedom Convoy had more right to protest than the university encampments, as it was unambiguously on public lands, where the regulation of expression is clearly subject to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That is not to say it had the right to block roads, or deny or disrupt access to downtown businesses, or to make life unendingly unpleasant for regular people. But insofar as a protest occupation is considered a legitimate form of expression, the convoy had a case to make. The pro-Hamas university encampments have much less of a case. The Supreme Court has previously ruled that the Charter does not apply to universities. Though, that earlier ruling has been complicated in Alberta after a 2020 Court of Appeal decision ruled that for the purposes of regulating the free speech of students, universities must be Charter compliant. In any case, that ruling doesn’t apply to Quebec, where McGill University’s argument that its grounds are private property is on firm legal footing. In fact, Quebec’s Superior Court agrees with the university that the encampment is “unlawful.” The court just doesn’t think there should be anything done about it... because the university no longer needed the quad for graduation purposes, the judge deemed the injunction request unnecessary, as if it matters why the owner of property wants access to their property. “The circumstances of the present case do not justify the Superior Court to issue an order to force the evacuation of the plaintiffs’ land by the demonstrators,” he said. All of this is maddening. These responses to the protests, from the police, judges, politicians and legal experts, are insidiously wrenching at the rule of law in this country."

Doug Armey's answer to Why are colleges and other venues having such a problem with pro-Palestinians protesting? They have every right to protest to what they see as devastation and genocide in Gaza. - Quora - "The US Constitution grants the rights of free speech and peaceful assembly in public places. And those who want to protest Israel’s response to the attack of Hamas have the right to do that.  But they don’t have the right to publicly advocate the annihilation of a country and the killing of a race of people.  They don’t have the right to incite violence.  They don’t have the right to illegally occupy private property.  They don’t have the right to vandalize and damage private property.  They don’t have the right to physically threaten and assault people.  They don’t have the right to call for the overthrow of the country they are protesting in.  They don’t have the right to claim they are part of an officially designated terrorist group.  They don’t have the right to block streets and bridges and otherwise physically hinder people.  They don’t have the right to do all the things the pro-Hamas protesters are doing.  The question actually asks, “Why are colleges and other venues having such a problem?”  It’s because they have faculty who side with the protesters.  They have faculty who teach students to hate anyone who has a different world view than they do.  They have faculty who shutdown the free speech of anyone who disagrees with them.  And they have administrators who either side with the protestors and faculty or are afraid of them.  And now all can see the festering infection many of our universities have become.  The real question that should be asked is, “What can we do about it?”"

Austin Lewis's answer to Why are colleges and other venues having such a problem with pro-Palestinians protesting? They have every right to protest to what they see as devastation and genocide in Gaza. - Quora - "Do they, though?  A professor recently commented that if he were to put on a white hood and say the same things that the ‘pro-Palestinian’ protesters are saying about the Jews about any group, he’d be removed from campus, fired, and unhireable by the end of the day.  And he’s right. I cannot fathom any college allowing, say, a protest group made up of the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and various other and sundry white supremacist groups, to act in this way. To create such a threat on campus that schools are telling Jewish students and professors that they CANNOT come to campus. To tell them that because they can’t (read as ‘won’t’) do anything about it, and cannot guarantee their safety, these minority students must suffer religious persecution that gets in the way of their education.  But because it’s a pro-’Palestinian’ (a lot of what I’ve seen of the protests seems pretty overtly pro-Hamas to me) protest, they get special treatment? Context suddenly matters?  Horseshit. Here’s what would happen if, say, a group of white supremacists did the same thing;  Widespread arrests, widespread expulsions, widespread bans from campus for non-students.  So, let’s see colleges apply their standards equally, and treat the pro-’Palestinian’ protesters as they would any other."

HonestReporting Canada🎗️ on X - "In the @TorontoStar, Canadian Arab Federation staffers referred to the recent anti-Israel occupations at Canadian universities, as a “beacon of hope”, instead of acknowledging the violence, harassment, intimidation, support for terrorism, & hate speech."

Meme - Richard Hanania @RichardHanania: "Palestinians are the new hot thing. Despite being excluded from minority status by civil rights law, the political movements that lead them raped and killed enough to make it into the big leagues. Congrats, fam."
smustudentssolidaritypalestine: "SMU has various political science, history, social justice, and religion courses that include topics that are impacted by what we are seeing today. These classes includes topics on Zionism, Judaism, Semitism, Islam, and the study of the lived experiences of people in South West Asia and North Africa. We demand a full review of these courses by a council comprised of at least 50% +1 Palestinians. On top of an investigation of classes, we demand an investigation of all members of the board of governors. We call for the resignation of any member of SMU who has any ties to the israeli project."
This is the Southern Methodist University

VIDEO: Extensive look at the destruction left inside the PSU library - "New video taken inside Portland State University’s Millar Library shows a staggering amount of graffiti strewn throughout multiple floors of the building, which was occupied by protesters demanding a ceasefire in Gaza for more than two days before the Portland Police Bureau cleared the premises Thursday morning.  Graffiti was marked across windows, walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, doors, bookshelves, computer screens and more. Additional damage seen inside the building included smashed windows, furniture tossed into makeshift barricades, a broken fire alarm system, piles of garbage and a flatscreen stripped from the walls of an elevator bank. Occupiers also left behind tents, pillows, blankets and large supplies of toiletries, food and water, suggesting that they could have remained inside the building for an extended amount of time. The protesters went as far as to mark off specific areas of the building for various needs, the video shows. Signs for a “lounge area,” “medic,” “safe rest space” and “bathroom” were labeled throughout the library.   Stacks of wooden pallets, traffic barriers and other building materials also lined the building’s entryways. It’s unclear how much it will cost or how long it will take to clean the public library... When police began arresting occupiers Thursday, four of the 12 suspects initially arrested were said to be PSU students. The number of arrests has since grown to 22. One PSU architecture student who asked to go by the name T. Priest told KOIN 6 News that she’s devastated by the loss of the library.  “I’m very, very lucky to be able to get my education here and these resources are going to be dearly missed by people,” Priest said. “… We don’t have these resources anymore and it’s a huge hit to us because [we] don’t have access to the things in this building. It’s not up to code anymore so it’s going to be shut down for months.”"
Nothing to see here. Just another peaceful protest. If you are against it, you don't support free speech
Why would the US government and Israel force the pro-Palestine protesters to do this?!

EXCLUSIVE: Internal Documents Show University Protestors Are Being Taught About Gay Nightlife In Palestine And How To Destroy University Property - "The documents, circulated via Google Drive, teach protestors about how to conduct an array of criminal activities, but also provides information on prison abolitionism and the gay nightlife in the West Bank.   The extensive drive contains multiple categories, including those dedicated to information on Palestine, prison abolitionism, student militancy, and “strategies and tactics.” The information is presented “zine” style, complete with snazzy graphics and artwork.  One file, titled “The DIY Occupation Guide,” contains instructions and methods on how to barricade doors, creating corrugated metal barriers, and forming “shields” from trash cans. Techniques also include how to break into buildings using crowbars, bolt cutters, and angle grinders. Vandalism and general criminal activity is celebrated in the guidance, with documents encouraging protestors to smash the cameras of media and bystanders who may be filming in one document titled “In Defense of Smashing Cameras.”   The opening of the document reads: “Photographers at demonstrations will soon outnumber demonstrators, those who are willing to take action. This is something we need to take a stand against. Cameras are tools of surveillance, and whether it is us or the enemy that wields them, we are participating in our own surveillance.”  It continues: “Next time you see someone thrusting their lens in someone’s face, getting a little too close and personal, blocking your path to assist your friends so they can get a winning angle, we ask you not to stand idly by. Fight back. Protect your friends. #smashcameras.”  In other documents, protestors are taught how to break locks, open car doors, and immobilize tractors and trucks.  But the protest leaders appear confident that arrests for criminal activity will not lead to harsh penalties, referring to being arrested as “easy.” The file instructs protestors to “just stay quiet and wait for them to let you out.” The Google Drive also contains advocacy information on prison, police, and University abolitionism.  In perhaps the most bizarre file, titled “Queer voices from the Fight for Palestinian Liberation,” protestors are taught that the West Bank has a bustling LGBTQ+ scene, including claims that gay raves take place in Ramallah.   The first page of the zine quotes Zaheer Suboh, a self-described “queer” Bay Area DJ who was born in the United States to Palestinian immigrant parents. At the age of six, his family moved back to Palestine but later returned to California during his teenage years.  “What do any of you know of my Palestine? Of the late night queer parties in Ramallah? Of raves held in biblically aged buildings? Of lesbians in hijabs, of gay men in hoop earrings, of trans Palestinians dancing with joyful abandon?” Suboh continues: “We fear Israel first, before our families, always. We’re 100 times more likely to die at the hands of an Israeli gun or bomb than by western propagandized ideas of honor killings. I’ve seen White Christian Americans wish their child be dead rather than gay … Israel is the one that weaponizes the homophobia that Queer people all over the world of all religions experience to justify murdering Palestinians of all kinds, young and old, Christian and Muslim, Queer and Straight.”"
Damn far right violence!

Behind the Ivy Intifada - "With respect to the law, at least, their affiliation with Columbia University has already greatly reduced their “skin in the game.” Contrary to earlier claims by university and city officials about a large proportion of “outside agitators,” more than 70 percent of those arrested at Columbia had a direct institutional tie to the university. This was reflected in how they were treated after arrest. Most of those swept up were released without charges. Among Columbia affiliates who were formally charged, none faced more than a single misdemeanor charge. Meanwhile, those who faced charges at City College, the nearby public university raided by police the same night, were all hit with felonies. While it’s possible that the City College kids just engaged in more extreme and unlawful activity, it seems more likely that belonging to the elite paid criminal-justice dividends for the Columbia arrestees."
I like how this apologia for terrorism supporters whitewashes the facts, despite claiming to look at them. It doesn't mention, of course, Jews being assaulted at Columbia or protesters chanting "kill all the Jews", and claims that "intifada" is taken out of context because it has a broader meaning in Arabic because clearly English-speakers in the English-speaking world are using the Arabic context. It does point out the hypocrisy of campus histrionics, though.

Meme - "So the press conference jihadist is a PhD student named Johannah King- Slutzky (really) and this is what she's working on. Dying. Absolutely dying. Beyond parody. @TheBabylonBee couldn't top this if they tried."
"COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY. Department of English and Comparative Literature. My dissertation is on fantasies of limitless energy in the transatlantic Romantic imagination from 1760-1860. My goal is to write a prehistory of metabolic rift, Marx’s term for the disruption of energy circuits caused by industrialization under capitalism. I am particularly interested in theories of the imagination and poetry as interpreted through a Marxian lens in order to update and propose an alternative to historicist ideological critiques of the Romantic imagination. Prior to joining Columbia, I worked as a political strategist for leftist and progressive causes and remain active in the higher education labor movement."
The Post Millennial @TPostMillennial: "Reporter grills Columbia student after she demands the university help feed protestors occupying Hamilton Hall: "It seems like you're saying, 'we want to be revolutionaries, we want to take over this building, now would you please bring us some food'"
Readers added context: "Her claims are misleading: (1) Per Columbia, campus dining is open (John Jay Dining Hall, Fac Shack, JJ's Place)
(2) Humanitarian aid is for saving lives in the most dire situations (violent conflict, natural disasters). The students can leave if they want."

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