Sunday, January 23, 2022

INSANE: Poll Shows 45% Of Dems Approve Sending Unvaccinated To ‘Designated Facilities’

Hitler and Stalin would have lots of followers in modern-day America

A Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey taken this month revealed an astonishing number of Democrats surveyed were perfectly comfortable sending Americans who were not vaccinated to “designated facilities or locations.”

When asked, “Would you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose a proposal to limit the spread of the coronavirus by having federal or state governments require that citizens temporarily live in designated facilities or locations if they refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine?” Forty-five percent of Democrats answered they favored such an idea. Among all voters surveyed, 71% opposed the idea; 78% of Republicans and 64% of unaffiliated voters said they would “strongly oppose” such an idea.

Additionally, although 66% of likely voters would oppose government using digital devices to track unvaccinated people to ensure that they were quarantined or socially distancing from others, 47% of Democrats approved of the idea.

Nearly half (48%) of Democrats favored federal and state government having the capacity to levy fines or imprisonment on people who publicly questioned the efficacy of vaccines on social media, television, radio, or in online or digital publications. Only 27% of voters agreed, including 14% of Republicans and 18% of unaffiliated voters.

A whopping 59% of Democrats favored a government policy that required citizens remained confined to their homes at all times, except for emergencies, if they refused to get the COVID vaccine. 61% of all voters opposed that, including a huge 79% of Republicans and 71% of unaffiliated voters.

Most frighteningly, 29% of Democrats favored temporarily removing parents’ custody of their children if the parents refused to get the COVID vaccine. Only 7% of Republicans and 11% of unaffiliated voters agreed.

Forty-eight percent of voters viewed Dr. Anthony Fauci unfavorably; 45% viewed him favorably.

Chris Talgo, senior editor and research fellow at The Heartland Institute, explained, “After two excruciatingly long years, likely voters are beginning to question the federal government’s handling of the pandemic. First and foremost, likely voters are beginning to sour on Dr. Anthony Fauci, who seems to have lost credibility after countless flip-flops.”

“Moreover, almost half of likely voters oppose President Biden’s vaccine mandates, which seem less about stopping the spread of COVID-19 and more about increasing the power of the federal government,” he continued. “When asked about several other potential strategies, such as fining those who refuse to get vaccinated, the consensus among likely voters is that the federal government should do less, not more.”

This week, the Salt Lake City Tribune suggested that the National Guard keep people in their homes if they were unvaccinated for COVID-19, writing:

Were Utah a truly civilized place, the governor’s next move would be to find a way to mandate the kind of mass vaccination campaign we should have launched a year ago, going as far as to deploy the National Guard to ensure that people without proof of vaccination would not be allowed, well, anywhere


Jordan Peterson: Why I am no longer a tenured professor at the University of Toronto

I recently resigned from my position as full tenured professor at the University of Toronto. I am now professor emeritus, and before I turned sixty. Emeritus is generally a designation reserved for superannuated faculty, albeit those who had served their term with some distinction. I had envisioned teaching and researching at the U of T, full time, until they had to haul my skeleton out of my office. I loved my job. And my students, undergraduates and graduates alike, were positively predisposed toward me. But that career path was not meant to be. There were many reasons, including the fact that I can now teach many more people and with less interference online. But here’s a few more:

First, my qualified and supremely trained heterosexual white male graduate students (and I’ve had many others, by the way) face a negligible chance of being offered university research positions, despite stellar scientific dossiers. This is partly because of Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity mandates (my preferred acronym: DIE). These have been imposed universally in academia, despite the fact that university hiring committees had already done everything reasonable for all the years of my career, and then some, to ensure that no qualified “minority” candidates were ever overlooked. My students are also partly unacceptable precisely because they are my students. I am academic persona non grata, because of my unacceptable philosophical positions. And this isn’t just some inconvenience. These facts rendered my job morally untenable. How can I accept prospective researchers and train them in good conscience knowing their employment prospects to be minimal?

Second reason: This is one of many issues of appalling ideology currently demolishing the universities and, downstream, the general culture. Not least because there simply is not enough qualified BIPOC people in the pipeline to meet diversity targets quickly enough (BIPOC: black, indigenous and people of colour, for those of you not in the knowing woke). This has been common knowledge among any remotely truthful academic who has served on a hiring committee for the last three decades. This means we’re out to produce a generation of researchers utterly unqualified for the job. And we’ve seen what that means already in the horrible grievance studies “disciplines.” That, combined with the death of objective testing, has compromised the universities so badly that it can hardly be overstated. And what happens in the universities eventually colours everything. As we have discovered.

All my craven colleagues must craft DIE statements to obtain a research grant. They all lie (excepting the minority of true believers) and they teach their students to do the same. And they do it constantly, with various rationalizations and justifications, further corrupting what is already a stunningly corrupt enterprise. Some of my colleagues even allow themselves to undergo so-called anti-bias training, conducted by supremely unqualified Human Resources personnel, lecturing inanely and blithely and in an accusatory manner about theoretically all-pervasive racist/sexist/heterosexist attitudes. Such training is now often a precondition to occupy a faculty position on a hiring committee.

Need I point out that implicit attitudes cannot — by the definitions generated by those who have made them a central point of our culture — be transformed by short-term explicit training? Assuming that those biases exist in the manner claimed, and that is a very weak claim, and I’m speaking scientifically here. The Implicit Association test — the much-vaunted IAT, which purports to objectively diagnose implicit bias (that’s automatic racism and the like) is by no means powerful enough — valid and reliable enough — to do what it purports to do. Two of the original designers of that test, Anthony Greenwald and Brian Nosek, have said as much, publicly. The third, Professor Mahzarin Banaji of Harvard, remains recalcitrant. Much of this can be attributed to her overtly leftist political agenda, as well as to her embeddedness within a sub-discipline of psychology, social psychology, so corrupt that it denied the existence of left-wing authoritarianism for six decades after World War II. The same social psychologists, broadly speaking, also casually regard conservatism (in the guise of “system justification”) as a form of psychopathology.

Banaji’s continued countenancing of the misuse of her research instrument, combined with the status of her position at Harvard, is a prime reason we still suffer under the DIE yoke, with its baleful effect on what was once the closest we had ever come to truly meritorious selection. There are good reasons to suppose that DIE-motivated eradication of objective testing, such as the GRE for graduate school admission, will have deleterious effects on the ability of students so selected to master such topics as the statistics all social sciences (and medicine, for that matter) rely upon completely for their validity.

Furthermore, the accrediting boards for graduate clinical psychology training programs in Canada are now planning to refuse to accredit university clinical programs unless they have a “social justice” orientation. That, combined with some recent legislative changes in Canada, claiming to outlaw so-called “conversion therapy” (but really making it exceedingly risky for clinicians to do anything ever but agree always and about everything with their clients) have likely doomed the practice of clinical psychology, which always depended entirely on trust and privacy. Similar moves are afoot in other professional disciplines, such as medicine and law. And if you don’t think that psychologists, lawyers and other professionals are anything but terrified of their now woke governing professional colleges, much to everyone’s extreme detriment, you simply don’t understand how far this has all gone.

Just exactly what am I supposed to do when I meet a graduate student or young professor, hired on DIE grounds? Manifest instant skepticism regarding their professional ability? What a slap in the face to a truly meritorious young outsider. And perhaps that’s the point. The DIE ideology is not friend to peace and tolerance. It is absolutely and completely the enemy of competence and justice.

And for those of you who think that I am overstating the case, or that this is something limited in some trivial sense to the universities, consider some other examples: This report from Hollywood, cliched hotbed of “liberal” sentiment, for example, indicates just how far this has gone. In 2020, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscar people) embarked on a five-year plan (does that ring any historical bells?) “to diversify our organization and expand our definition of the best,” They did so in an attempt which included developing “new representation and inclusion standards for Oscars,” to, hypothetically, “better reflect the diversity of the movie-going audience.” What fruit has this initiative, offspring of the DIE ideology, borne? According to a recent article, penned by Peter Kiefer and Peter Savodnik, but posted on former NY Times’ journalist Bari Weiss’s Common Sense website (and Weiss left the Times, because of the intrusion of radical left ideology into that newspaper, just as Tara Henley did recently, vis a vis the CBC): “We spoke to more than 25 writers, directors, and producers — all of whom identify as liberal, and all of whom described a pervasive fear of running afoul of the new dogma. … How to survive the revolution? By becoming its most ardent supporter. … Suddenly, every conversation with every agent or head of content started with: Is anyone BIPOC attached to this?”

And this is everywhere — and if you don’t see it, your head is either in the sand or shoved somewhere far more unmentionable. CBS, for example, has literally mandated that every writers’ room be at least 40 per cent BIPOC in 2021 (50 per cent in 2022).

We are now at the point where race, ethnicity, “gender,” or sexual preference is first, accepted as the fundamental characteristic defining each person (just as the radical leftists were hoping) and second, is now treated as the most important qualification for study, research and employment.

Need I point out that this is insane ? Even the benighted New York Times has its doubts. A headline from August 11, 2021: Are Workplace Diversity Programs Doing More Harm than Good? In a word, yes. How can accusing your employees of racism etc. sufficient to require re-training (particularly in relationship to those who are working in good faith to overcome whatever bias they might still, in these modern, liberal times, manifest) be anything other than insulting, annoying, invasive, high-handed, moralizing, inappropriate, ill-considered, counterproductive, and otherwise unjustifiable?

And if you think DIE is bad, wait until you get a load of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) scores . Purporting to assess corporate moral responsibility, these scores, which can dramatically affect an enterprise’s financial viability, are nothing less than the equivalent of China’s damnable social credit system, applied to the entrepreneurial and financial world. CEOs: what in the world is wrong with you? Can’t you see that the ideologues who push such appalling nonsense are driven by an agenda that is not only absolutely antithetical to your free-market enterprise, as such, but precisely targeted at the freedoms that made your success possible? Can’t you see that by going along, sheep-like (just as the professors are doing; just as the artists and writers are doing) that you are generating a veritable fifth column within your businesses? Are you really so blind, cowed and cowardly? With all your so-called privilege?

And it’s not just the universities. And the professional colleges. And Hollywood. And the corporate world. Diversity, Inclusivity and Equity — that radical leftist Trinity — is destroying us. Wondering about the divisiveness that is currently besetting us? Look no farther than DIE. Wondering — more specifically — about the attractiveness of Trump? Look no farther than DIE. When does the left go too far? When they worship at the altar of DIE, and insist that the rest of us, who mostly want to be left alone, do so as well. Enough already. Enough. Enough.

Finally, do you know that Vladimir Putin himself is capitalizing on this woke madness? Anna Mahjar-Barducci at covered his recent speech. I quote from the article’s translation:

“The advocates of so-called ‘social progress’ believe they are introducing humanity to some kind of a new and better consciousness. Godspeed, hoist the flags, as we say, go right ahead. The only thing that I want to say now is that their prescriptions are not new at all. It may come as a surprise to some people, but Russia has been there already. After the 1917 revolution, the Bolsheviks, relying on the dogmas of Marx and Engels, also said that they would change existing ways and customs, and not just political and economic ones, but the very notion of human morality and the foundations of a healthy society. The destruction of age-old values, religion, and relations between people, up to and including the total rejection of family (we had that, too), encouragement to inform on loved ones — all this was proclaimed progress and, by the way, was widely supported around the world back then and was quite fashionable, same as today. By the way, the Bolsheviks were absolutely intolerant of opinions other than theirs.

“This, I believe, should call to mind some of what we are witnessing now. Looking at what is happening in a number of Western countries, we are amazed to see the domestic practices — which we, fortunately, have left, I hope — in the distant past. The fight for equality and against discrimination has turned into aggressive dogmatism bordering on absurdity, when the works of the great authors of the past — such as Shakespeare — are no longer taught at schools or universities, because their ideas are believed to be backward. The classics are declared backward and ignorant of the importance of gender or race. In Hollywood, memos are distributed about proper storytelling and how many characters of what color or gender should be in a movie. This is even worse than the agitprop department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.”

This, from the head of the former totalitarian enterprise, against whom we fought a five decades’ long Cold War, risking the entire planet (in a very real manner). This, from the head of a country riven in a literally genocidal manner by ideas that Putin himself attributes to the progressives in the West, to the generally accepting audience of his once-burned (once (!)) twice-shy listeners.

And all of you going along with the DIE activists, whatever your reasons: this is on you. Professors. Cowering cravenly in pretence and silence. Teaching your students to dissimulate and lie. To get along. As the walls crumble. For shame. CEOs: signalling a virtue you don’t possess and shouldn’t want to please a minority who literally live their lives by displeasure. You’re evil capitalists, after all, and should be proud of it. At the moment, I can’t tell if you’re more reprehensibly timid even than the professors. Why the hell don’t you banish the human resource DIE upstarts back to the more-appropriately-named Personnel departments, stop them from interfering with the psyches of you and your employees, and be done with it? Musicians, artists, writers: stop bending your sacred and meritorious art to the demands of the propagandists before you fatally betray the spirit of your own intuition. Stop censoring your thought. Stop saying you will hire for your orchestral and theatrical productions for any reason other than talent and excellence. That’s all you have. That’s all any of us have.

He who sows the wind will reap the whirlwind. And the wind is rising.


Manchin: 'We Already Have Laws to Ensure People Have Voting Rights'

On Tuesday, Senator Joe Manchin told reporters that we already have laws and rules in place to make sure people "have the right to vote. We have that." He added that even if people “act like we’re going to obstruct people from voting. That’s not going to happen.”

A reporter asked, “There are a lot of people out there who are saying that you’re making it so that they’re not going to be able to vote in the next election?”

Manchin replied, “The law’s there. The rules are there. And basically, the government. The government will stand behind them and make sure they have the right to vote. We have that. The things they’re talking about now are in court. Marc Elias has an awful lot in court. The courts have struck down, like in Ohio, they struck down the gerrymandering. Things are happening, okay. We act like we’re going to obstruct people from voting. That’s not going to happen.”


Not One Corpse Has Been Found In The ‘Mass Grave’ Of Indigenous Children In Canada

The whole story, it seems, was concocted to stir up hatred against Christians and stoke outrage. It succeeded.

Remember last summer when a mass grave containing the remains of hundreds of children was found on the grounds of a former government boarding school for indigenous children in British Columbia, Canada?

In the seven months since this shocking news broke, not one body has been found, and not a single shovel-full of dirt has been excavated from the site in question. Contrary to the worldwide media coverage last summer, nothing, in fact, has been “discovered” on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

In a healthy society, this would be a scandal. A story that grabbed headlines for a week and inspired arson attacks that destroyed dozens of churches in Canada turns out to be based on flimsy, unexamined evidence at best, and an outright, pernicious lie at worst.

You might remember the overblown coverage. CNN breathlessly reported on what it called the “gruesome discovery.” The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation appended a warning label to its coverage, saying “this story contains details some readers may find distressing.” The Washington Post declared that news of the mass grave had “dragged the horror of Canada’s mistreatment of Indigenous people back into the spotlight.” Every corporate outlet took it for granted that a mass grave containing hundreds of corpses had indeed been discovered—corpses of children, no less. They reported it as fact.

Politicians quickly fell in line. Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau tweeted that the discovery “is a painful reminder of that dark and shameful chapter of our country’s history.” British Columbia Premier John Horgan said he was “horrified and heartbroken.” The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called it “a large scale human rights violation,” and called on Canada and the Vatican to investigate.

Tribal leaders in Canada went further and said the discovery was evidence of “mass murder of indigenous people,” that it was an “attempted genocide.” Some of them compared the priests and nuns who ran the boarding schools to Nazis, implying that, like the Nazis, these people should answer for their crimes.

Flags were lowered to half-mast. Calls were issued for an inquiry. Important and serious people said there must be a reckoning with Canada’s racist past. Lamentations poured forth from Catholic bishops for the church’s role in running these government boarding schools.

And then came the arson. In June, dozens of churches across Canada, most of them Catholic and some of them more than a century old, were burned to the ground. No church was safe. As my colleague Chris Bedford reported at the time, “In Calgary, 10 churches of various denominations were vandalized in a single night. A few days later, a Vietnamese church was set on fire — just hours after it held its first full service in more than a year.”

Overall more than two dozen churches in Canada have been targeted over the past few weeks — and people are cheering it on. Not just anonymous people, either: On June 30, Harsha Walia, the executive director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, responded to a story of another church arson, saying ‘Burn it all down.’

Others rallied to her defense. Naomi Sayers, a lawyer and blue Twitter checkmark, said ‘I would help her burn it all down … and also, I would help anyone charged with arson if they actually did burn things.’

At the heart of all this was a press release issued at the end of May by the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, saying that ground-penetrating radar had revealed the remains near the site of the Kamloops school, one of the largest such schools for indigenous youth that operated from the 1890s to the 1970s. “It’s a harsh reality and it’s our truth, it’s our history,” Chief Rosanne Casimir said at a news conference. “And it’s something that we’ve always had to fight to prove. To me, it’s always been a horrible, horrible history.”

The investigation was supposed to continue in conjunction with the British Columbia Coroner’s Office. The radar findings were only preliminary, and the eventual discovery of the “mass grave” containing the remains of children “as young as three years old,” which no one seemed to doubt, would confirm what “was spoken about but never documented” in the community.

That was more than seven months ago. Not a single corpse has been exhumed from the site since then. No human remains, of children or anyone else, have been found and confirmed as a result of the radar search.

The person who performed the ground-penetrating radar survey, a “conflict anthropologist” named Sarah Beaulieu, said at news conference back in July that the “probable gravesites” could not be confirmed unless excavations were done. Her investigation covered only two acres of the total 160-acre site and, she said, had “barely scratched the surface.”

Professor Jacques Rouillard, professor emeritus in the Department of History at the Université de Montréal, recently published a detailed essay in The Dorchester Review on what has been found at this and similar sites — and what hasn’t. There is no evidence, writes Rouilliard, in any of the historical records kept by the government, that deaths of indigenous children at these schools were ever covered up, or that any corpses were ever deposited in mass, unmarked graves which were kept secret, and parents of the children were never informed, as tribal groups repeatedly charged and the media dutifully repeated last summer.


The deep state is no conspiracy theory

In 1958, Aldous Huxley foresaw a congestion of power able to shape and defy popular will. “Under the relentless thrust of accelerating over-population and increasing over-organization, and by means of ever more effective methods of mind-manipulation, the democracies will change their nature,” he predicted. “The quaint old forms—elections, parliaments, Supreme Courts and all the rest—will remain. The underlying substance will be a new kind of non-violent totalitarianism.”

The changes, according to the author of Brave New World, would be almost imperceptible. “All the traditional names, all the hallowed slogans will remain exactly what they were in the good old days. Democracy and freedom will be the theme of every broadcast and editorial,” he continued. “Meanwhile the ruling oligarchy and its highly trained elite of soldiers, policemen, thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators will quietly run the show as they see fit.”

The Deep State today is Huxley’s prophesy arrived. Like it or not, Americans live inside a power complex and thought machine that radiates from Washington, DC. Concentrated in blue metro counties and states, its moving parts and wheels, as with a clock, enable us to live in the exacting polity, economy, and culture that we do.

In lofty circles, it is said that the Deep State is a far-right conspiracy theory, nothing more. The very words elicit an eye-roll and a smirk. But what else synchronizes uncountable public agencies and their private-sector partners — wink-wink — in the absence of executive statesmanship? What has made the wheels of government go round and round this last year, and if we are honest, for a very long time?

Surface government, elected and appointed, is only its polished clock-face. Television and newspapers report the ticks and tocks daily. Right now, this clock-face looks like something melting, or covered with ants, a surreal dreamscape straight out of Salvador Dali.

Seeking to federalize election rules, in Atlanta last week, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris compared last year’s Capitol riot to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Biden likened adversaries of “voting rights” to the ardent segregationists of the 1960s.

The spectacularly inept Harris matters because Biden’s crumbling façade could collapse at any minute. And there she is, the nation’s prospective jeweler-in-chief, the overseer of what Charles Hugh Smith schematizes as “a vast structure that incorporates hard and soft power — military, diplomatic, intelligence, finance, commercial, energy, media, higher education — in a system of global domination and influence.”

The Deep State is not a conspiracy or a cabal but a consortium of shared statist assumptions propelled by high-minded or financial self-interest. K Street’s mercenary lobbyists push boondoggles. True believers and single-interest advocacies pride themselves on their tunnel vision. The actual bandits are few.

The Deep State includes the federal civil service and its satellites in states, counties and municipalities, funded by and loyal to central power. It includes the military forces and defense industry; money, banking, credit, and finance; research universities; oil and energy, transportation, housing, food, and utilities; and, of course, the all-important electronic ether.

From the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Centers for Disease Control to the S&P 500, progressive monoculture has enveloped segments of the Deep State that previously resisted identity politics. The manufacture and propagation of progressive opinion give the New York Times and Washington Post unique power inside its multifoliate complex. (The Murdoch empire fashions an “acceptable” counter-message.) Message journalists have no illusion about the malign energies they can channel left or right.

Progressive mind managers include Endeavor super agents Ari Emanuel and Mark Shapiro, Def Jam music producer Rick Rubin, and Netflix’s Reed Hastings. Jeff Bezos’s and Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions know no limit. Bill Gates, Tom Steyer, and the MacArthur Foundation are in on the game. The New York Times’s 1619 Project seeks to erase American historical memory.

Woke has been trying for years to drum limited-government nationalists out of public life, calling them white supremacists and deplorables. Highly contestable outlooks on equity, race, acceptable speech, and biology stand inside public life as revealed virtue or expedient virtue. Woke can be a liturgy or a useful hustle. A malleable, celebrity-struck electorate wants its politics fast, simple, and preferably juicy. Junk news gets the eyes and clicks. Social media is trying to get inside your head, and knows how to do it better each year.

Promoted and funded by the Deep State, multicultural and therapeutic wrecking engines invade private institutions and endowments, forcing “diversity” makeovers. National courts and nonprofit lawyer-activists codify matters once left to private judgment, families, and churches. Litigation functions to delay justice and to sidestep public will and oversight.

The moral arrogations of our times are said to be about justice and equality, but they are actually about the redistribution of power, wealth and status at the expense of property holders and taxpayers, targeting white America as devils. Claiming moral advantage, the unscrupulous and the predatory have used race, sex, and inequality to damn and destroy their foes.

However sound his policies, the charmless narcissist Donald J. Trump has made for an easy political target. His still-potent cult of personality does not offer constitutionalists great hope, nor does it have much to do with conservative principles. His tenacity and aura in fact galvanize progressive misrule. Meanwhile, the Biden administration and its allies conjure a legion of right-wing terrorists. Using health emergency and fears as a wedge, they engage in psychological and legal warfare against anti-statists and localists, now raising the specter of voter suppression.

Whatever the outcome of current power struggles, the Deep State needs rules and sanctions to protect its material bounty and interests. Government, education, technology, industrial and financial systems cannot be altered very much without seizing the engine. Irreconcilable public disputes, reckless resets, or mass emotional upheavals, and the risk is pandemonium.

As Huxley feared, America’s thought-manufacturers and mind-manipulators seek to shift authority exclusively in their direction, and “voting rights” is the latest turn in the seizure. Yet inflation and inequality, border implosion, lawbreaking and vagrancy, racial divisions, and medical realities intrude on would-be leftist magic.

“We will not wake up after the lockdown in a new world,” the irrepressible French writer Michel Houellebecq predicted at the onset of Covid. “It will be the same, just a bit worse.”

Two years later, the gas pump tells us to Go Green. The ATM asks us — before we can secure our money — to Celebrate Juneteenth or Save the Planet. Meanwhile, most Americans just hope their $100 fast cash will buy something close to what it did a year ago — and that they don’t get mugged retrieving it.


Britain privileges cyclists

Needlessly obstructing mototorists is fine

Cyclists will be told to ride in the centre of the lane to make themselves more visible to motorists under far-reaching changes to the rules of the road intended to improve safety and “unleash our nation of cyclists”.

The updated Highway Code, which takes effect on Saturday, will also encourage cyclists to ride two abreast and require motorists to leave a minimum of 1.5 metres (nearly 5ft) when overtaking.

Even if there are adjoining cycle lanes and tracks, cyclists will not be obliged to use them.

The rules make it clear that cyclists, including children, are not permitted to ride on the pavement. Only pedestrians and wheelchair or mobility scooter users are allowed to do so.




Saturday, January 22, 2022

Men and women's brains really do work differently! Scientists find 1,000 genes that are more active in one gender than the other, making males sexually assertive and females more maternally protective

Everybody knew this once. It is only feminists who doubt it

It's often said that men and women's brains work so differently that one sex is from Venus and the other is from Mars. Well now a new study supports this hypothesis after finding 1,000 genes that are much more active in one gender than the other.

It looked into how male and female mouse brains differ by probing areas that are known to program 'rating, dating, mating and hating' behaviours.

The behaviours — for example, male mice's quick determination of a stranger's sex, females' receptivity to mating, and maternal protectiveness — help the animals reproduce and their offspring survive.

These differences are also likely reflected in the brains of men and women, the researchers from Stanford Medicine said.

A separate study by a team from the University of Pennsylvania scanned the brains of 900 men, women and children aged eight to 22. From the scans they were able to create a complete road map of the connections in each of their brains, called their connectome.

All connectomes are based on a common set of wiring between the regions of the brain, such as connecting the region which deals with speech to that which processes hearing, giving a fixed frame of reference for researchers.

But the team found subtle differences in how brains were wired in men and women.

The maps show that men's brains may be hardwired for better special awareness and motor skills, while connections in women's brains are wired to give them an edge in memory and social cognition.

The findings could help to shed light on brain diseases and behavioural conditions which progress faster in one sex than the other.

Analysing tissue that was extracted from these brain structures, the scientists found more than 1,000 genes that are substantially more active in the brains of one sex versus the other.

'Using these genes as entry points, we've identified specific groups of brain cells that orchestrate specific sex-typical behaviours,' said study author, Nirao Shah, a professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences and of neurobiology.

Sex-typical social behaviours have been built into animals' brains over millions of years of evolution. Male mice, for example, quickly distinguish the sex of strangers infringing on what they've deemed their turf. If the intruder is another male, they immediately attack it. If it's a female, they initiate a whirlwind courtship.

Female mice exhibit maternal rather than territorial aggression, attacking anything that threatens their pups. They're vastly more inclined than males to guard their youngsters and retrieve any that stray. Their willingness to mate varies powerfully depending on the stage of their cycle.

'These primal behaviours are essential to survival and reproduction, and they're largely instinctive,' Shah said.

'If you need to learn how to mate or fight once the situation arises, it's probably already too late. 'The evidence is pretty clear that the brain isn't purely a blank slate just waiting around to be shaped by environmental influences.'

Some of the genes the researchers discovered are also established risk factors for brain disorders that are more common in one or the other sex, they said.

Of 207 genes already known as high risk for autism spectrum disorder, which is four times as common in men as in women, the researchers identified 39 as being more active in the brains of one or the other sex: 29 in males, 10 in females.

They also identified genes linked to Alzheimer's disease and multiple sclerosis, both of which tend to afflict women more than men, as being more activated among female mice.

The researchers believe that males need some genes to be working harder, and females need other genes to be working harder — and that a mutation in a gene that needs high activation may do more damage than a mutation in a gene that's just sitting around.

The study also pinpointed more than 600 differences in gene-activation levels between females in different phases of their estrous cycle. In women, this is referred to as the menstrual cycle, but female mice don't menstruate.

'To find, within these four tiny brain structures, several hundred genes whose activity levels depend only on the female's cycle stage was completely surprising,' said Shah, who has devoted his career to understanding how sex hormones regulate sex-typical behaviours.

The brain structures the researchers focused on are shared among mammals, including humans.

'Mice aren't humans,' Shah said. 'But it's reasonable to expect that analogous brain cell types will be shown to play roles in our sex-typical social behaviours.'

He added: 'The frequency of migraines, epileptic seizures and psychiatric disorders can vary during the menstrual cycle,' Shah said.

'Our findings of gene activation differences across the cycle suggest a biological basis for this variation.'

Previous attempts to find gene-activation differences between male and female rodent brain cells have come up with only about 100 of them — seemingly too few, the researchers believe, to generate the numerous profound differences in known instinctual behaviour.

'We wound up finding about 10 times that many, not to mention the 600 genes whose activity levels in females vary with the stage of the cycle,' Shah said.

'In all, these add up to a solid 6 per cent of a mouse's genes being regulated by sex or stage of the cycle.'


Hate crimes in NYC skyrocket: Attacks on Asians up 343% and Hispanics up 700% from 2020 to 2021

We are not told the skin color of the attackers but I don't suppose we need to be told

Hate crimes surged a shocking 96 percent in the Big Apple throughout 2021, new data from the NYPD has revealed, as Manhattan's woke DA announced on Friday that he'll be expanding the hate crimes unit to address radically motivated attacks.

Asian hate crimes skyrocketed 343 percent from 2020 to 2021 as the pandemic rattled on, with 133 Asian Americans experiencing terrifying and dangerous experiences of discrimination, according to the new data, which was first reported by Fox News.

Hispanic hate crimes were also up a staggering 700 percent last year with a total of eight people being harassed or harmed in 2021, up from one in 2020.

Overall, the City That Never Sleeps city saw a 96 percent increase in bias crimes throughout 2021, as more and more New Yorkers are being attacked in the streets, pushed onto subway tracks, and harassed for their gender, race and religion.

A total of 538 hate crimes occurred throughout 2021, compared to 275 in 2020.

Only three categories declined in the number of attacks: African Americans, generalized religion and other, the data show. It is not clear what is considered 'other.'

Despite 'religious' hate crimes decreasing overall, Muslims and Jews did see an increase of 180 and 54 percent from 2020 to 2021, respectively.

African Americans saw an 11 percent decrease in bias crimes against them, with the NYPD reporting 33 attacks, down from 37. Caucasian Americans saw a 100 percent increase, but the total number of attacks remains one of the lowest, with only 20 attacks.

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, 48 - who recently found himself in hot water after downgrading many crimes and claiming that 'prison is a last resort' - is now saying his office will expand the hate crimes unit, created in 2018, to help address the increase in radically motivated attacks.

'Our [Asian American and Pacific Islander] brothers and sisters have been spit upon, coughed at, told to go back home. In my office we are deepening our capacity,' he said on Friday.

'We're expanding our hate crimes unit so that we can give these cases the resources that they deserve.'

Bragg, the first black man to hold his position, said on Friday that he would be expanding resources by partnering with local communities to 'strengthen our community ties,' but commended the existing 'small' hate crimes team for having 'great leadership.'


All criminals are welcome appears to be the policy of the New York district attorney

With the departure of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the election of Eric Adams, a Democrat who at least rhetorically voiced support for the police and law and order, some hoped that worrying crime trends in New York City would be reversed.

The early signs aren’t promising.

Newly-elected Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg released a “day 1 memo” highlighting how various crimes—some quite serious—will no longer be prosecuted under his leadership.

One of the crimes his office won’t prosecute is armed robberies of businesses. Suspects in those cases who make off with less than $1,000 in stolen goods will now be charged with the lesser crime of petty larceny, a misdemeanor.

Among the other crimes his office will no longer prosecute are resisting arrest, fare beating, prostitution, and trespassing. Basically, the only criminals who will now face serious jail time are murderers.

It gets worse.

“Even when Bragg does intend to seek jail sentences, the penalties will not be stiff,” wrote Seth Barron at City Journal. “Bragg says that the maximum sentence sought for any offense will be 20 years, and that his office will never seek life without parole. If 20 years is the maximum sentence for the worst offenses, expect a severe discount on sentences for other offenses across the board.”

If these policies seem familiar, that’s because they mirror a path charted by other radical, left-wing district attorneys across the country, like Chesa Boudin in San Francisco and Larry Krasner in Philadelphia.

These district attorneys have made policing nearly impossible, as even in the cases when an already stretched thin and beleaguered police force is able to arrest criminals, they are very soon put back out on the street.

Things aren’t working out well in those cities. Violent crime is soaring, and other types of crime—Like mass retail looting—are also on the upswing.

The situation is so terrible in San Francisco that Mayor London Breed, who defunded the police, recently called for an end to the “reign of criminals and the city,” and announced that the city would pursue more aggressive policing.

We’ll see if they follow through.

The problem remains that whatever the mayor and police department do to clean up criminality, those measures can be easily undermined by an out-of-control district attorney who simply refuses to bring criminals to justice in the name of social justice.

That’s what may soon happen in New York.

Like many big, blue metropolitan areas, New York has been hit with a massive surge in violent crime since the summer of 2020. Yet, despite the trend, New York has generally been safer than other cities, thanks to the crime fighting policies of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and others who cleaned up Gotham in the 1990s.

It seems many have forgotten the lessons of the very recent past.

The New York district attorney said that his policies were meant to “marry fairness and safety.” But given the details of his memo, it’s clear this marriage is a sham.

Some prominent New York leaders expressed concern with Bragg’s memo.

The New York Police Department’s newly appointed police commissioner Keechant Sewell said she thought they could put public safety at risk.

“I have studied these policies and I am very concerned about the implications to your safety as police officers, the safety of the public and justice for the victims,” she wrote in an email to police officers.

Should anyone be surprised though? Bragg ran on an explicitly progressive message. He is just carrying progressive ideas about defunding the police and “restorative justice” through to their logical conclusions.

The evidence is already coming in that criminals are learning that they have the keys to the city, and there’s little the justice system will now do about it.

A New York Post report on Wednesday highlighted a case in which Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Jay Weiner told an ex-convict being charged with misdemeanor petit larceny that his case “two weeks ago would have been charged as a robbery,” and that he was “lucky” that he wouldn’t face a long prison sentence.

The man, who had a lengthy criminal record, threatened a drug store owner with a knife and allegedly stole thousands of dollars in items.

Naturally, he didn’t show up to his follow-up court appearance after being released without having to post cash bail. New York abolished bail for minor crimes in 2019. Not great when almost all crimes are now considered minor crimes.

As a recent Wall Street Journal editorial’s headline noted, the new district attorney’s policies will make New York a “sanctuary city for crime.”

It’s not exactly a wild prediction to say that other hardened criminals in the city will likely realize that today can be their lucky day, too.

Unfortunately, this is not just a problem for New Yorkers or people living in cities with other radical district attorneys and irresponsible political leaders. Our cities becoming hives of violence and criminality will affect everyone. Like an infected wound, the lawlessness will allow criminality to spread as more dangerous people are let out on the street to act with impunity.

The progress this country made on crime in the last few decades will very soon evaporate and we will have to go through the arduous process of setting things right.

We all pay when progressive fantasies about restorative justice and crime become reality, and reality comes back to slug us all in the face.


Biden is failing because he abandoned his mandate

by Jeff Jacoby

I WAS WRONG about Joe Biden.

In his inaugural address a year ago this week, Biden pledged to pour his "whole soul" into "bringing America together" and "uniting our people." He urged Americans — sincerely, I believed — to "see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors," to "treat each other with dignity and respect," and to "join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature."

Far more than any previous president, Biden emphasized unity at his inauguration; it was the core and quintessence of his first speech as the nation's chief executive. True, nearly all presidents talk about bringing Americans together and rising above partisanship, but it seemed to me that Biden really meant it. I thought so for two reasons:

First, it was what he had campaigned on. Biden's most important message as a candidate for president was that he was no Donald Trump, stoking anger, demonizing critics, and widening the political rift. Rather, Biden said, he would bring to the White House his experience of working with legislators of both parties and fashioning compromises to get things done. With the possible exception of his vow to "shut down" the coronavirus, Biden's central promise was that he would be the political healer America needed — a "president who doesn't divide us but unites us . . . who appeals not to the worst of us but to the best." During the home stretch of the 2020 election, that was Biden's closing pitch to the electorate: not a policy agenda but a commitment to lead Americans in freeing themselves "from the forces of division . . . that pull us apart, hold us down, and hold us back."

Second, in the days following his election, Biden not only kept stressing the need to achieve cooperation, unity, and less ferocious political discourse, but also explicitly identified that as his mandate. "Now that the campaign is over," asked the president-elect, "what is our mandate?" His answer: "Americans have called on us to marshal the forces of decency and the forces of fairness. . . . Let this grim era of demonization in America begin to end — here and now."

That was exactly right, not just as moral sentiment but as hard-headed political analysis. Voters had elected Biden by a comfortable margin in both the popular vote and the Electoral College, even though a solid majority, 56 percent, said they were better off than they had been before Trump's election. On the issues, more Americans agreed with Trump than with Biden. It was his character that cost Trump the election. His obnoxious, bellicose, divisive, unpresidential behavior — that was what most of the nation wanted no more of. Biden's mandate was clear: to not be Trump and to usher in a period of reconciliation.

Given the centrifugal forces invariably unleashed by politics in a society as evenly divided between two parties as America is these days, maybe that was always a pipe dream. But Biden never tried.

Hardly had the fine words of his inaugural address receded in the rearview mirror than his commitment to healing and peacemaking faded. Soon it became clear that the new president had yielded to the temptation to push the sweeping, expensive, transformational agenda championed by his party's left-wing base — vast new spending measures, statehood for the District of Columbia, a student debt bailout, higher corporate taxes, a major expansion of the welfare state, and much of the radical Green New Deal. Biden was "a proud moderate during his three and a half decades as a senator, but he has fallen in firmly with the progressives as president," concluded The Atlantic in September. And the further leftward he moved, the more intolerant his rhetoric became.

With his "voting rights" speech in Georgia last week, Biden hit an atrocious low. The president who a year ago had beseeched Americans to see those with whom they disagree "not as adversaries but as neighbors," to "stop the shouting and lower the temperature," loudly slammed 52 senators who won't back his call to blow up the filibuster and pass his party's aggressive election bills as "domestic enemies" and acolytes of George Wallace, Bull Connor, and Jefferson Davis. His language was so unhinged and intemperate that even his ally Dick Durbin, the Democratic Senate majority whip, deplored it.

At the one-year mark of his presidency, Biden is failing utterly at the singular task he set himself: to bring the nation together. In a new Quinnipiac poll, a plurality of Americans (49 percent) say that he is doing more to divide the country than unite it. Fully 64 percent of respondents in a CBS News-YouGov survey released Sunday say the word "unifying" cannot be applied to Biden's presidency. The president's failure is reflected in his own unpopularity: Just 33 percent of the public approve of the job he is doing, while 53 percent disapprove. I really expected better of the man. My bad.


M&M’s unveils new ‘progressive’ characters

M&M’s has unveiled a “progressive” overhaul of its iconic characters to better represent themes such as female empowerment.

The Mars-owned chocolate brand revealed the new look and feel of its multi-coloured, anthropomorphised characters Thursday, saying it was “on a mission to create a world where everyone feels they belong”.

“As an iconic brand that’s been around for over 80 years, it’s really important that we’re evolving over time as well, and one of the most powerful ways we can do that is through our beloved characters,” M&M’s global vice president Jane Hwang told Cheddar News.

“We’ve done a deep look at them both inside as well as out, in terms of reflecting new looks, personalities and backstories.”

The Green M&M has ditched her high-heeled boots for sneakers, and will “better reflect empowerment and confidence and be known for more than just her shoes”.

“You’re going to see Green and Brown together being a supporting force for women who are throwing shine and not shade,” Ms Hwang said.

Orange, meanwhile, will suffer from anxiety issues to better reflect young people.

“You’ll also Orange really embrace his true self, worries and all, and not be afraid to express it,” she said.

“We actually know Orange as the most relatable of the characters in the crew based on some conversations we’ve had with gen Z, which we know is the most anxious generation.”

The M&M’s website includes new “profiles” for the characters – Yellow, Red, Orange, Brown, Blue and Green.

“Which M&M’s character are you?” it reads. “The world needs all colours. Which one do you add to the mix?”

Green’s bio says her “best quality” is “being a hypewoman for my friends”.

“I think we all win when we see more women in leading roles, so I’m happy to take on the part of supportive friend when they succeed,” it says.

Ms Hwang said M&M’s would also be using a wider colour palette in its branding, and would be placing more emphasis on the ampersand in its name.

“It’s a distinctive element of the M&M’s logo that connects the two Ms together, and it’s really a signal of our belief as a brand that we are better together,” she said.

Reaction on social media was mixed. “I will no longer be buying M&M’s. I’ve had enough of this woke nonsense,” one Twitter user wrote.

“Nobody asked for this. Especially women who have loved the Green M&M for years. Bring back the boots!” another said.




Friday, January 21, 2022

UK inflation jumps to 30-year high of 5.4% as cost of living crisis deepens

An old saying applies here. "When America sneezes, the world catches cold". For instance: Greenie thinking in the Biden administration has led to various attacks and restrictions on the oil industry. Fracking in particular has been hit. So while America was an oil exporter under Trump it is now a net importer.. So America now has to buy lots of oil from overseas. And, as ever, increased demand moves prices upward. But that higher price is paid by everyone, not just Americans. And that's inflation -- or at least a substantial part of it. Oil price rises have effects across the board

There are of course other upward pressures on prices worldwide. Supply chain problems caused by Covid and the government response to it are a major factor too

UK inflation has risen to a near-30-year high of 5.4%, driven higher by rising prices for food, furniture, clothes and housing costs. This deepens the country’s cost of living crisis, and heaps pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates at its next meeting in February, following December’s surprise hike.

Sterling rose 0.8% against the dollar to $1.3837 after the data, and was also supported by the surge in UK bond yields. The two-year gilt yield rose to its highest level since March 2018.

Related: UK inflation rises to highest level in almost 30 years at 5.4%

Related: Inflation is back, and there’s plenty more in the pipeline

Related: ‘I’m not getting through the month’: five Britons on the cost of living crisis

Crude oil prices are up for a fourth day and hit seven-year highs, after a fire on a pipeline from Iraq to Turkey briefly halted oil flows, raising fears about supply. Brent crude touched $89.05 a barrel, its highest level since October 2014 while US light crude climbed as high as $87.08, also the highest since then.

The explosion that set off the fire on the pipeline in the southeastern Turkish province of Kahramanmaras was caused by a falling power pylon, not an attack, a senior security source told Reuters.

European stock markets are trading between 0.2% (Italy) and 1% (France) higher. On Wall Street, US stock indices were boosted by upbeat results from a spate of companies such the consumer giant Procter & Gamble and the banks Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, which wrapped up the bank earnings season.


AT&T Gets Woke: 'White People, You are the Problem'

AT&T is getting woke....step two is to go broke...which is exactly what is going to happen if they keep up this nonsense.

In Christopher Rufo's latest article for City Journal, he exposed the communication company for teaching ideas that “racism is a uniquely white trait” and that white people are “the problem.”

Rufo is a leading reporter on the CRT-takeover of American companies and education.

He reported that AT&T’s CEO John Stankey launched a CRT-based program last year that sought to teach employees that the company has an “obligation to engage on this issue of racial injustice” and to agitate for “systemic reforms in police departments across the country.”

“According to a senior employee, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, managers at AT&T are now assessed annually on diversity issues, with mandatory participation in programs such as discussion groups, book clubs, mentorship programs, and race reeducation exercises. White employees, the source said, are tacitly expected to confess their complicity in “white privilege” and “systemic racism,” or they will be penalized in their performance reviews.

As part of the overall initiative, employees are asked to sign a loyalty pledge to “keep pushing for change,” with suggested “intentions” such as “reading more about systemic racism” and “challenging others’ language that is hateful.” “If you don’t do it,” the senior employee says, “you’re [considered] a racist.” AT&T did not respond when asked for comment," Rufo wrote.

He also exposed the program's internal portal, which insists that white people are to blame for racism. It tells employees, “White America, if you want to know who’s responsible for racism, look in the mirror.”

The portal also says, “White people, you are the problem. Regardless of how much you say you detest racism, you are the sole reason it has flourished for centuries.” Rufo also reports that the portal tells employees that “American racism is a uniquely white trait,” “Black people cannot be racist,” “ [white women} have been telling lies on black men since they were first brought to America in chains,” and that all whites “enjoy the opportunities and privileges that white supremacy affords [them].” Someone named Dahleen Glanton authored that page in the portal.

I am glad I have Verizon right about now.


Judge rules against Michigan gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the mdhhs in lawsuit

Michigan’s proud residents have experienced some of the worst policy decisions in the nation. Only supplanted by certain excessive restrictions in New York and California, Michiganders have experienced the heavy hand of a power hunger governor.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has bombarded Michigan people with an incessant number of tyrannical orders and restrictions. Nothing she has done has had any effect on case counts in her state. She is one of dozens of power hunger blue state governors who have abused COVID.

However, her orders have helped destroy hundreds of Michigan businesses. Nevertheless, one business may have helped to stem the tide of blue state governor destruction. The Iron Pig Smokehouse sued the state of Michigan, namely Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The Northern Michigan restaurant sued to overturn Whitmer’s unscientific, tyrannical block on indoor dining. Otsego County Judge Colin Hunter ruled in favor of the restaurant’s managing partnership, Moore Murphy Hospitality LLC.

In November, at Whitmer’s order, the state health department closed indoor dining and placed a heavy restriction on capacity. The owner of the Iron Pig Smokehouse resisted. They defied the order, continuing to amass violations and the accompanying heavy fines.

The Gaylord restaurant filed a lawsuit in Otsego County District Court. The resulting decision by Judge Hunter is a welcome sense of relief for the thousands of businesses across the nation, business owners who have suffered through these unnecessary shutdowns.

The Iron Pig lawsuit requests $25,000 in damages. They allege, rightfully according to the Michigan Constitution, that Whitmer lacked the authority to impose such mandates. Judge Hunter says they are correct. Like other blue state governors, Whitmer violated her authority.

The court clearly indicated that “In order to have the full force and effect of law, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services emergency order must draw its authority from a lawful delegation of power.” The court focused on a precise constitutional question.

The ruling contends; the director of MDHHS did not have the authority to enact such a mandate, regardless of any order to do so from the Michigan governor. Furthermore, the ruling cited multiple precedents, establishing that the mandate violated the separation of powers.

In support of their legal argument, lawyers for the plaintiff drew on a Michigan Supreme Court ruling from last year. That ruling pointed to a 1945 case where it was ruled that a governor’s order to close bars and restaurants was unconstitutional.

Like every tyrannical lockdown and business closure leveled throughout liberal states, each is a violation of our constitutional rights. The evolution of COVID-19 has also proven these heavy-handed mandates to be unsuccessful at stemming any surge in cases.

These Draconian power grabs have done nothing but destroy American businesses. Thankfully, one Michigan judge applied common sense. Americans are exhausted from COVID-19. However, they are more exhausted by the senseless power grabs from liberal Democrats.


Trump Banned From Banking

This did not get much attention when it broke a few weeks ago, so here it is again …

Do you remember when they said this would only happen to Alex Jones and Laura Loomer?

Any student of history knows that once the tyranny starts, it never ends.

The fact that they have chosen to go straight to the top first, for the man who was President of the United States yesterday speaks volumes about how emboldened these corporate cartels are.

The Hill reported:

A Florida bank announced Thursday that it has closed down former President Trump’s account, joining a growing list of entities that have cut ties with the former president following the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

In his financial disclosures, Trump had stated he had two money-market accounts with Banks United, The Washington Post reports. The accounts held somewhere between $5.1 million and $25.2 million.

“We no longer have any depository relationship with him,” said Banks United, without giving reasons for its decision to shutter the accounts.

Another Florida bank, Professional Bank, last week announced that it would be cutting ties with Trump, saying it would no longer conduct business with the former president or his organizations.

Signature Bank in New York and Deutsche Bank have also said they will no longer be conducting future business with Trump. Signature Bank notably took a strong stance against Trump and his allies in Congress, calling for him to resign and saying it would not conduct business with lawmakers who had objected to certifying the presidential election.

Deutsche Bank is seeking to resolve more than $300 million in loans, reportedly looking to offload the loans onto another lender due to the negative press their dealings with Trump has caused. Deutsche Bank’s relationship with the Trump Organization is under a civil investigation by New York attorney general Letitia James.’

Make no mistake, this will go down in history as one of the modern, digital, nights of the broken glass.

They did it to Trump … how long until they do it to me … or you?!


What is the most brutal truth about Ayn Rand's beliefs?

Before I tell you what I consider the most obvious truths about Ayn Rand beliefs, I want to, first, dispel one of the most persistent myths about Ayn Rand, and also to fill out some context.

The myth is that Ayn Rand had been traumatized by the brutality of the Soviet regime; that her whole philosophy was supposedly a reaction to the horrors that she experienced in the early years of the USSR. The actual truth is (1) different; and also (2) complicated. The Soviet regime committed some astounding acts of brutality, but Rand experienced none of them. (And to the extent that she despised empathy, it is difficult to imagine that she was traumatized, or that her worldview was formed, by brutality that happened to other people.) Her family lost its pre-Revolutionary wealth, true, but that’s just one way to look at it. Another way to look at it is that her parents chose to throw their lot with the new regime knowing exactly what it was all about; they invested in it — not unlike how many of my fellow Americans today are willing to part with fortunes to install Trump as dictator. The Rozenbaums had ample means to do what plenty of other wealthy Russians did as the situation in late-czarist Russia heated up: transfer their wealth abroad and become respectable white emigres. France, Germany, the US, Australia, Argentina, Brazil — all these were wide-open to people like Ayn Rand’s parents. They chose to stay in Russia. It was a calculated decision, and the family — including Rand — with the exception of the period from 1919 to 1921, when everyone in Russia had it bad — actually led a comfortable existence by Soviet standards of the early 1920’s. It was a decision with which Ayn Rand clearly did not agree, but this alone does not obviate the fact that Rand’s life in the Soviet Union was better and more privileged than the vast majority of its population at the time. For the record, she also was never a dissident and never ran into the sharp end of the Cheka. She may have despised them, but she never experienced their brutality personally.

The woman who would become known as Ayn Rand, was born Alyssa Rozenbaum in St. Petersburg in 1905. Her father was — according to some sources, including Rand herself, but by no means all — a wealthy pharmaceutical entrepreneur and, judging by his surname, and the fact that he lived and prospered outside the Pale of Settlement, a “cross-out” (vykrest) — someone of Jewish background who strategically converted to Russian Orthodoxy in order to escape the restrictions to which the Tzarist regime subjected Jews. Her mother reportedly was a crass social climber, who made no secret of the fact that she married Rozenbaum for his money, and openly lamented to her friends that she could have done better.

Little Alyssa attended an exclusive private school for girls. When she was ten years old, a teacher assigned the class a theme, “What I like about being a child”. The next day, Alyssa handed in a ten-page scathing denunciation of childhood. For the record, this was before the Bolshevik Revolution.

After the Bolshevik Revolution, the Rozenbaums fled to Yalta, which was under the control of the White Army, and where Alyssa and her two younger sisters continued to attend school. However, unlike most people of their economic standing (if not social class — the Rozenbaums were still Jews in the eyes of the Russian aristocracy and the bourgeoisie, no matter how hard they celebrated Christmas), they did not proceed to flee to Istanbul and from there to a new home in Western Europe, South America or the United States. I wonder if the resentment that Alyssa surely felt from being in a social no-man’s land — a Russian Orthodox Christian officially, but one of Hebrew extraction, who experienced no technical, legal disabilities but was still treated as a social inferior by the Russians and as an apostate by Jews — was the true cause of her “atheism”, rather than a profound self-examination. I say that simply because so much of what Ayn Rand believed seemed to be motivated by naked revanchism.

In any event, the Rozenbaum family could have emigrated … but didn’t. Instead, they returned to their native city, now patriotically/xenophobically renamed Petrograd. Most of what we know about this period of Ayn Rand’s life comes from Rand herself. Life was hard, which is something I believe, because Rozenbaum’s business had been confiscated, and the economy was a wreck. However, the misery that Russia endured during the period from 1919 to roughly 1921 was universal, and can hardly be blamed entirely on the Bolsheviks. The country had just emerged from its participation in World War I, which had plunged it into a deep recession and exhausted it both economically and in terms of the human cost. It was, following the Bolshevik Revolution, in the midst of a devastating civil war, in which the White Army, supported by foreign troops, attempted to retake power for the Tzar.

But, as the country emerged from this nightmare, the Rozenbaums … were doing okay, actually. They were living in Petrograd, apparently not afraid of persecution. Alyssa enrolled in Petrograd University, which was then the country’s most selective institution of higher learning. This, despite the fact that her high-bourgeois background should have disqualified her. Ironically, had it not been for the Revolution, Alyssa would not have been able to attend the university either: the Russian academia under the old regime utterly excluded women. It excluded women so hard, girls could not even audit courses in universities, never mind pursue degrees.

According to Rand, she and a bunch of other students were, in fact, expelled for being “bourgeois” a month before graduation, but then complaints by some “visiting foreign scientists” shamed the government into re-enrolling them, and she was able to graduate. This probably has a grain of truth in it, but on the whole, it sounds preposterous. Foreign luminaries sometimes — sometimes —succeeded in shaming the Soviet government into stopping persecution of people who were intellectual celebrities and well-known abroad. However, the idea of some random “foreign scientists” successfully pressuring the GPU (KGB forerunner) into leaning on the university to re-enroll a bunch of unknowns who weren’t even in science programs to begin with, does not sound credible to me. Nor does it sound credible that Alyssa and her friends so deeply impressed “some foreign scientists” with their intellectual conversation that said foreign scientists proceeded to get all up in the face of the GPU. It is indeed surprising that Alyssa was allowed to attend the country’s flagship university given her background, but this suggests far more strongly that her father informed for the GPU and its predecessor, the Cheka; and very likely Alyssa herself. (I am a former Soviet myself. My grandparents and their siblings lived through the same period of time as Ayn Rand, in the same places. One — indeed, the only — way to circumvent the Soviet regime’s discrimination against the former bourgeoisie was to become a snitch.) It also explains why the Bolshevik government apparently left the family in peace, and why Rand was able to obtain an exit passport and emigrate to the United States without triggering catastrophic consequences for her parents and sisters.

Incidentally, if you don’t know this already, do you want to take a wild guess what Ayn Rand majored in? If you guessed “philosophy”, God bless you, ye gullible creature, but no, sorry, no prize this time. She majored in social pedagogy. It was a new study track whose purpose was to pump out young ideological functionaries who would then create and operate a system for indoctrinating the older and more ossified Russian public in the new ideology and political culture.

As a former Soviet, who grew up when the wild immediate post-Revolutionary and Stalinist years were still within living memory, there is something that I find extremely exasperating when discussing Ayn Rand with Americans. Her fans in this country see no conflict between the facts that, on the one hand, she attended the most selective university in the early Soviet Union, was enrolled in a program for shaping ideological propagandists, and was able to publish an article; and, on the other hand, that she suffered brutal repression at the hands of the Bolshevik government. Those two things cannot, in fact, both be true, but alas, people living here have no idea what totalitarianism is actually like. In reality, the Bolsheviks quickly established a cast-iron death grip over the intelligentsia, particularly over who got to be in it. No way in HELL would this government have permitted a student to enroll in the social pedagogy track of Petrograd University unless she was thoroughly vetted, and those at the levers of power found her ideologically reliable. And someone of Ayn Rand’s background would have to bend over backwards to prove her reliability and ideological orthodoxy. This, more than anything else, tells me that Rand had an accommodation with the new regime, the regime which she would later claim was so odious to her.

Same thing with that Pola Negri profile Ayn Rand had published while still living in Soviet Russia.

The government absolutely controlled all publications. Everything was subject to thorough censorship. And, the regime totally controlled whose blatherings got to be published, particularly when it came to new authors who weren’t already known. Again, no way in hell would this regime allow the publication of anything by some young whipper-snapper from a bourgeois background unless its ideological police was certain the author would be a reliable, loyal propagandist. These restrictions would apply even to something as insignificant as a puff piece on Pola Negri. The fact that Ayn Rand’s profile of Negri got published once again demonstrates she was far more comfortably integrated into the Bolshevik regime than she would later let on.

I should mention as a side note that the only source for almost everything we know about Ayn Rand’s life before her immigration to the United States is Ayn Rand herself. Or, at least, the English-language sources are limited to Rand’s own claims and reminiscences. So how much weight to give these claims depends on how far you trust Ayn Rand to be truthful about herself and her antecedents. For instance, the fact that she wrote and published an article about Pola Negri while still in the USSR is easily verified. Her claim that she wrote a play at the age of eight, and her first novel at the age of ten? Not so much.

Was she really a St. Petersburg native? (That I believe. Her whole obnoxious, condescending, superior, more-intellectual-than-thou schtick was classically St. Peterburgian. Yes, I’m partly joking, and as a Moscow native, I just couldn’t resist; but, as the Russian saying goes, there is a bit of a joke in every joke.)

Was her father really a wealthy entrepreneur who had all his property confiscated by the Bolsheviks? English-language sources (based on Rand’s claims) all say so. But Russian-language sources reveal that Rand’s father was actually a drugstore manager — a salaried employee — but that he himself did not own any drugstores. He worked for a pharmacy owned by his brother-in-law. According to Russian-language sources, the Rozenbaum family was well-to-do and lived very comfortably, but it wasn’t nearly as rich as Ayn Rand would later claim, her father wasn’t an entrepreneur, and he owed what prosperity he had to corporate nepotism. The Rozenbaums — again, according to Russian sources — lived in a spacious (by standards of the time) apartment above the drug store in which Ayn Rand’s father worked. Another apartment in the building was occupied by Ayn Rand’s uncle-by-marriage, who also owned the drug store, so it’s a safe bet the uncle also owned the apartment in which Ayn Rand’s family lived. Dad had a good gig, but it seems dubious he had much in the way of property for the Bolsheviks to confiscate. As to the uncle’s fate, he disappeared from history after the Revolution, which I take to mean he took everything he could carry away and wisely skedaddled.

So I guess the most essential brutal truth about Ayn Rand was that she was willing to bend the truth, and sometimes probably to outright lie, to promote herself. And she possibly has done far worse, though this is admittedly speculation on my part based on some circumstantial stuff.

The brutal truth about Ayn Rand is that she became a teacher of evil. She wrote from an early age, so we have a pretty good idea of where she stood on various issues in her early twenties, no less than in her sixties. Her personality shows no evolution — a telling sign of the vacuity of her “philosophies”. From an early age, she admired serial killers, rapists and others who showed brutality to “the weak”, and despised the softer side of humanity, such as empathy, generosity or familial bonds. I would submit that the only reason she didn’t become a Nazi is that her Jewish background disqualified her. But apart from that, she was a fascist through and through.

As a writer, she was only successful because she wrote right-wing porn. Her writing is wordy, stiff and pompous. Her dialogue is wooden, her characters two-dimensional, and her stories boring. She also engaged in name-dropping. Her knowledge of Western philosophers was superficial, and she did not understand them, whether she criticized or purported to embrace their views. She was a moralist — not a philosopher. A moralist, and an immoral one at that.

She also clearly didn’t understand how the world works, or else she substituted her own wishful thinking for reality. She didn’t understand, for instance, the process of technological innovation. In her works, a tiny group of entrepreneurs know how to do all the things, which of course begs the question why they even have employees. But most of the world does not understand their inventions, or how to make their products. John Galt has invented a magic alloy, and he is literally the only one who knows how to make it. When he flounces, his entire industry craters, because literally no one else in the world knows how to make this magic alloy or understands the scientific writings he left behind.

This is, of course, horse****. The magic of science is done by teams of people, and depends heavily on the transfer, sharing and accumulation of knowledge. In the real world, the departure of an executive never leads to a company immediately collapsing. Apple continued to make iPhones even after Steve Jobs left; hell, even after he died. The idea that a handful of brilliant billionaires literally keep the civilization going is insane. And deeply, deeply stupid.

So these billionaires leave civilization and secret themselves in some very secluded locale. No one can find them, because, of course, now that they are gone, no one knows how to fly planes, read maps, analyze legal documents, monitor radio signals and so forth. Somehow these titans of industry are entirely self-sufficient in their “gulch” and never need to import anything from the outside. Perhaps therein Galt invented some magic farming and manufacturing methods which allowed these people to produce all the food, tools and goods they needed without getting their hands dirty, and still left them enough time to pontificate. In the absence of the hoi-polloi, who built their houses? Who cleaned them? Who cooked their food? Who babysat their children? Who treated their cancers? Who weaved their cloth and made their schmattehs? Probably they invented a magic solution to all of humanity’s needs, but humanity is not worthy of the knowledge.

The notion of Galt’s Gulch is laughable, except for how truly depressing it is to see so many supposedly smart people take it seriously.

The brutal truth about Ayn Rand was that she was an angry, obnoxious little snit, who invented an absolutely bizarre vision of how a civilized society should function and who appealed to the worst in people by extolling qualities that have been considered vices across history.




Thursday, January 20, 2022

'Racist' Teddy Roosevelt statue is removed from outside NYC's Natural History Museum

It's true that TR did share the disrepect for blacks that was typical of his era but that is a very minor aspect of what he said and did. He was a great patriot

A towering statue of President Theodore Roosevelt has been removed, under cover of darkness, from outside New York City's American Museum of Natural History - after more than eight decades on the museum's steps.

The 'Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt,' commissioned in 1925 and unveiled to the public in 1940, depicts Roosevelt on a horse, with a Native American man and an African man on foot at his side. It has been criticized by some as a symbol of colonialism and racism.

It was removed under cover of darkness in an operation involving a crane and tarpaulin around 1am on Wednesday.

The New York City Public Design Commission voted last June to remove it, the museum said on its website. Its new home will be the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota, where it will remain on long-term loan.

In early December, two weeks after the removal was announced, the museum covered the statue under tarp and scaffolding.

The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library, which is set to open in Medora, North Dakota in 2026, announced their agreement with the City of New York for a long-term loan two weeks ago. No information on how long the loan is intended to last for has been provided by the museum.

The Roosevelt statue was commissioned by the Board of Trustees of the New York State Roosevelt Memorial in 1929 and welcomed guests at the front of the American Museum of Natural History since 1940.

The statue has long been criticized, however, for its depiction of Roosevelt on horseback alongside a black man and Native American, which critics have said signifies a racial hierarchy in which Roosevelt stands higher than the other two.


'We Muslims in America undeniably have an increasing anti-Semitism problem'

A Duke University professor has called on his fellow Muslims to confront the 'increasing anti-Semitism problem' within their community in wake of the Texas synagogue terror attack.

Abdullah T. Antepli, a professor of the Practice of Interfaith Relations at the Duke Divinity School, took to Twitter Sunday saying members of his faith have a 'moral call for action for the soul of Islam and Muslim' to address the hatred towards Jews.

He also took aim at Rep. Ilhan Omar for over past anti-Semitic commentary, including a comment she made in 2019 suggesting that Israel’s allies in American politics were 'all about the Benjamins'. That was a reference to cash which was widely interpreted as an anti-Semitic trope, and which Omar later apologized for.

'We North American Muslims need to have the morally required tough conversations about those“…polite Zionists are our enemies…”“…The Benjamins!!!...” voices and realities within our communities,' Antepli wrote.

'We MUST! Without ands and buts, without any further denial, dismissal and or trivializing of the issues… we need to honestly discuss the increasing anti-Semitism within various Muslim communities.'

Antepli's comments come just hours after an FBI Hostage Rescue Team on Saturday night stormed Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas - near Fort Worth - ending a 10-hour standoff with police by accused gunman Malik Faisal Akram, who disrupted a Sabbath service and took the rabbi and three other people hostage.

Akram, 44, of Blackburn, England - who was reportedly armed with 'backpacks of explosives' - had demanded the release of convicted Pakistani terrorist Aafia Siddiqu - known as Lady Al Qaeda - who police say was referred to as his sister.

The four hostages were all released unharmed. After the incident, the Jewish community and President Joe Biden renewed calls to fight anti-Semitism.

The FBI has sparked fury after claiming that they had yet to find evidence that the attack was anti-Semitic.

'Houston! We have a problem,' Antepli tweeted. 'Not going anywhere….quite the contrary getting worse.'

He argued that North American Muslims need to hold honest discussion about anti-Semitism without any 'further denial, dismissal and or trivializing of the issues'.

The professor alleged the community has failed to address Jew-hatred 'honestly, morally and accurately'.

'I am really sick and tired of the over all defensiveness and tribal nature of our reaction to this alarming internal problem,' he wrote.

'We are better than this! We can no longer pretend the problems of anti-Semitism within us does not exist. There are more urgent moral calls than “Let’s not bring shame to our already vulnerable communities..”'

The professor also called out American leaders - specifically Omar - who he suggests further the anti-Semitism problem.

'The Benjamins,' he wrote, quoting a February 2019 tweet from Omar, a Minnesota Democrat, that caused outrage among her party and other leaders.

'Anti-Semitism must be called out, confronted and condemned whenever it is encountered, without exception,' House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her team wrote at the time.

'We are and will always be strong supporters of Israel in Congress because we understand that our support is based on shared values and strategic interests. Legitimate criticism of Israel's policies is protected by the values of free speech and democratic debate that the United States and Israel share. But Congresswoman Omar's use of anti-Semitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel's supporters is deeply offensive. We condemn these remarks and we call upon Congresswoman Omar to immediately apologize for these hurtful comments.'

Omar apologized for for using old anti-Semitic tropes about Jews and money in her tweets but stuck to her guns in blasting the problems of lobbyists and their financial influence in politics.

'Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,' Omar said in a statement in 2019.

'My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole,' she added. 'We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.'

'At the same time, I reaffirm the problematic role lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry. It's gone on too long and we must be willing to address it,' Omar added. She tweeted out her statement with the words: 'Listening and learning, but standing strong.'

Sunday, responding to the Texas hostage situation, Omar tweeted: 'Thank God for the freeing of the hostages. Blessings to the members of Beth-Israel synagogue and the entire community.'

She was just one of several lawmakers issuing their support for the synagogue and members of the Jewish faith.


The seductions of government

People have been conditioned to think in terms of entitlement because governments keep throwing 'free' things at them.
While we know these government giveaways are all paid for by someone, many recipients don't care about that. In their mind, they want benefits now without reaching into their own pockets.

Whenever an individual or group of people are so dependent on others for their dopamine hit, they are easily manipulated into compliance. When they complain, any threat to remove their access to that benefit prompts a change in behaviour.
That's where we are at now.

If you don't comply with government demands then you will lose the ability to use services, attend public houses or restaurants or funerals.

Once that principle has been established and accepted, then the coercion can be applied across all manner of circumstances.

In Germany, there are media reports that only triple jabbed people are now allowed to go to restaurants. In Queensland, only double jabbed people can attend the pubs and clubs. In the Northern Territory, the unjabbed are confined to their own homes.

Incredibly, most people accept these arbitrary decrees as if it is in their interest.

They aren't but in a society where government dishes out all the goodies, most will comply lest they lose the largesse of the gift giver.

That is the real danger of big government. In the worlds of former US President Gerald Ford; A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

Email from Cory Bernardi


Health fascism has become a Hollywood dystopian sci-fi

Some of you might recall the 2013 film Elysium starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. It is about a ravaged Earth in the future where the poor and medically deprived live, while the wealthy elites and medically protected live on a luxurious space station called Elysium that orbits around it. Max (Damon) is exposed to radiation and given only five days to live. The rest of the movie involves him trying to make it up to Elysium and get his much-needed healthcare.

Hmm, sound familiar? It should. The stuff of shocking dystopian novels and films is now fully upon us. Consider this – a good friend in WA just told me: ‘My dad is scheduled for surgery for cancer in a few weeks. The surgery has now rung my parents and said that he cannot have the surgery unless he has a first dose of the vaccine. Wow. They would just leave him to die of cancer instead.’

Wow indeed. Talk about heartless bastards and health fascists. The fundamental rule of medicine for millennia has always been, ‘First, do no harm.’ Refusing to treat patients because they are making informed health choices is wrong. Making them the subject of unjust discrimination is the height of cruelty and inhumanity.

Our various human rights’ charters make this quite clear. For example, Article 25:1 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights says this: ‘Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.’

And the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights says a similar thing: ‘The States Parties to the present Covenant recognise the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health’ (Article 12:1).

Yet countless individuals are now being denied medical treatment, and are being treated as second-class citizens when it comes to health care. Numerous states and nations are moving this way. Consider this headline from two months ago: ‘Singapore withdraws free health care for Covid patients who are ‘unvaccinated by choice’.

Thankfully, some are resisting these sorts of moves: ‘Australia’s peak doctors body has criticised an ‘unethical’ proposal to charge unvaccinated people for their medical care that is being considered by the New South Wales government.’

This denial of health care is morally repulsive. A few months ago, an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal by law professor John Coggon (also a member of the Bristol Population Health Science Institute, and an honorary member of the UK Faculty of Public Health) appeared.

He asked, ‘Should treatments for Covid be denied to people who have refused to be vaccinated?’ He offers five compelling reasons why we should never head down this path, and then concludes:

‘For any or all of the above reasons, it is not ethically justifiable to institute a policy of medical treatment prioritisation that discriminates between people on the basis of their willingness or otherwise to be vaccinated. Looking to moral judgment of patients would alter basic principles underpinning NHS care, and would wrong those whom it denied access to treatment. It would arbitrarily single out one irresponsible choice. And it would compound social inequities while missing its moral target and placing unfair burdens on healthcare practitioners. It should not feature in resource allocation decisions.’

The man I mentioned above had paid taxes all his life, and he is entitled to get the health care he needs and that he helped to subsidise. But sadly there are far too many stories like this that we learn of every day. It seems in the name of ‘keeping us safe’ and ‘not killing grandma,’ our policies are now such that not everyone will be kept safe, and we will deliberately kill (or let die) grandma and grandpa – and anyone else who does not comply.

Our governments – drunk on power and control – are fully involved in the creation of a two-tiered society where grossly immoral and unjust discrimination takes place at the most crucial of levels: in the access to basic goods and service, to travel, to education, and even to healthcare.

Our leaders are effectively saying, ‘You get the jab or else. Do as we demand or you can just die.’ Never mind the legitimate concerns so many have about the efficacy and safety of Covid vaccines. Never mind the human rights declarations that speak of the vital need for there to be no compulsion in medicine, and the need for full voluntary informed consent.

If hospitals and emergency rooms are not turning away those making irresponsible choices – such as drug addicts and heavy drinkers – it should not be turning away those who in my view are making very responsible choices about things like vaccination.

We now have a new class of lepers and untouchables who are being denied the basics of life – even healthcare. All because they believe in the fundamental human right to decide for themselves what healthcare they will receive. For refusing to have a questionable substance jabbed into their bodies (not just once, or twice, but perhaps in perpetuity), they are now being denied life-saving medical treatment – even for cancer.

In the case of Elysium, we had the evil Delacourt (Foster) forcibly preventing mere earthlings from getting access to healthcare. In Australia’s dystopia, we have McGowan in WA and other premiers doing much the same. We once simply read these books and watched these films for entertainment, knowing they were just works of fiction and science fiction. Little did we know that they in fact would soon become accurate depictions of government policy in Australia and the West.
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