Sunday, March 14, 2021

Trivial complaints from very privileged people

How come Meghan and Harry have not been told to "check your privilege"?

Joe Hildebrand

Just imagine being so absurdly overprivileged and precious that you tallied up the favourable press mentions of you versus your sister-in-law, or felt that you had no choice but to move to a Malibu mansion after a relative wondered what your baby might look like.

And now just imagine being so bereft of genuine hardship that in the red raw wake of a global pandemic where almost a million of your countrymen and women are jobless and hundreds of thousands more have had their livelihoods shredded you think it’s the perfect time to start talking about replacing a titular head of state who does little more than wave at people and look vaguely displeased from time to time.

Little wonder the republican movement is so heavily populated with millionaires. The middle class are too busy shitting themselves over whether they’ll be living in their house in 12 months’ time and the working class are scratching around the back of the couch in the hope of finding some loose change or the Labor Party.

If someone put a gun to my head and said I had to choose between monarchy and republic I’d probably go with republic, but given the infinite rolodex of far more pressing problems I’d want to be sure that it was a real gun and after the stomach-churning sookfest that was vomited upon our screens this week I’d also want to check that it was loaded.

Because that is the sorry core of the whole molten shitshow we have seen over recent days: The chasmic disconnect between the new woke progressive left that views everything through the prism of grievance and identity – be it national identity, racial identity or gender identity and the invisible forces that apparently oppress them all – and the traditional idea that real progress is about helping those who are the worst off instead of those who whinge the most.

Even just a decade or two ago it would have been impossible to imagine a scenario in which two people with the title of Duke and Duchess could be flagbearers of progressive politics because their children would not be given princehoods or they had to Google the words to God Save The Queen. And yet here we are.

So much so that a tsunami of woke activist outrage led to the resignation of Piers Morgan – who made his name as editor of the UK’s left-wing Daily Mirror – for daring to suggest that he didn’t believe Meghan Markle’s innumerable dubious claims.

Now I don’t particularly like Piers Morgan nor do I particularly dislike him. But what I do dislike is the notion that he should have been forced to apologise for saying what I suspect most British – and indeed Australian – people were thinking.

And even if they weren’t thinking it, are we now at the point where people must repent or be disappeared if they hold the wrong opinions?

Clearly yes. The West, or at least the people who dominate it, has now become a culture in which what you do is less important than what you say. A gaffe is sackable while deadly incompetence is not. Anyone in any doubt of this need only check the Linked-in profiles of Eddie McGuire and Andrew Cuomo and see which one got the arse and which one got an Emmy.

I also remember the good old days when workers blamed the bosses for oppressing them. Now a pair of aristocrats blame the servants for oppressing them and get lauded by the new left for speaking their “truth”. You honestly couldn’t make this stuff up, although in fairness only the most dystopian sociopath would want to.

Fortunately there’s a pretty simple way to expose the difference between real progressivism and rudderless narcissism. Instead of talking about inequality – which millionaires use to complain about billionaires and secondary princesses use to complain about primary princesses – we could start talking about disadvantage.

In Nigeria, a nation of more than 200 million people, a 2019 report by its own bureau of statistics found 40 per cent of the population lived below the official poverty line of approximately one US dollar a day. It is one of 54 Commonwealth countries that Harry and Meghan have abandoned their duties to.

India, the most populous Commonwealth country, topped the World Hunger List in 2015, with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation finding that almost 200 million people were “undernourished” – a polite word for starving. Australia’s own Walk Free foundation found in 2016 there were more than 18 million Indians living in slavery.

So tell me again, Duke and Duchess, about how much you have suffered. And tell me again, all you crusaders of outrage, about the conversations we really need to have.


COVID Relief Bill Discriminates, Provides Aid for Farmers Based on Race

Another example of the blatant racism that now rules the American Left

As many people know, congressional Democrats got their $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed this week. However, some of the radical policies inside the bill have gone largely underreported.

One of those policies is a provision that farmers receive certain aid only if they are a racial minority.

According to the American Farm Bureau Foundation, about $4 billion of the bill will be used to pay off up to 120 percent debts of farmers.

However, the only farmers eligible for these benefits are those who are considered “socially disadvantaged,” which the law defines as a “group whose members have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities. “

The foundation said that includes “Black, Hispanic, Native American or Asian American” farmers.

Meanwhile, farmers who do not belong to those ethnic groups are rightly speaking out against the race-based policy.

“Just because you’re a certain color you don’t have to pay back money? I don’t care if you’re purple, black, yellow, white, gray, if you borrow money, you have to pay it back,” Tennessee farmer Kelly Griggs told Fox News. “My reaction is, where did common sense go?”

Massive debt forgiveness has been a key talking point for Democrats for years, but the pandemic has given them an excuse to push it even harder.

On his website, democratic socialist Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders lists canceling student debt as one of his key issues.

“Cancel all student loan debt for the some 45 million Americans who owe about $1.6 trillion and place a cap on student loan interest rates going forward at 1.88 percent,” one of his goals reads.

Like Griggs, many Americans feel that forgiving debts for loans that someone chose to take out will greatly diminish the sense of responsibility in our country. If people can borrow money and then get out of ever paying it back, there is no accountability for those actions — at least not for the borrowers. Someone else is footing the bill when debt is “canceled.”

Yet the debt forgiveness is not even the worst part of this provision in the COVID-19 relief bill. The true ugliness is that this debt forgiveness is being doled out based on race.

If the Democrats wanted to forgive debts for all farmers, or all struggling farmers, there would still be questions, but at least it would be consistent across the board. Instead, they only want to forgive debt for minority farmers.

This promotes the idea that white farmers should be held responsible for their actions but minority farmers should not. That is a racist position, but it is one that many liberals have thrown support behind.

The subtle argument inside the liberal idea of “systemic racism” is that minorities should never be held responsible for their position in life. Rather, anything bad that ever happens to them must be a product of a racist American system.

Left-wing activist Ibram X. Kendi argues in his book “How to Be an Antiracist” that any disparity between groups of different races should automatically be attributed to racism.

“According to Kendi, any racial gap simply is racist by definition; any policy that maintains such a gap is a racist policy; and — most debatably — any intellectual explanation of its existence (sociological, cultural and so on) is also racist,” Matthew Yglesias wrote in an opinion article for The Washington Post.

For example, if you were to say that factors such as a lack of a father figure in the household could lead to black children performing worse in school than white children, that would be racist. The only thing that could lead to such an outcome is systemic racism, according to Kendi.

As you can see, this argument would lead to a diffusion of responsibility for minorities. Kendi is effectively arguing that their actions do not need to be examined, because only racism, not personal decisions, can cause them to have a worse life.

The idea of forgiving debts for only minority farmers is simply an extension of this logic. Since systemic racism has supposedly caused every disparity between minority farmers and white farmers, it would only be fair that we use government funds to fix that disparity.

This, of course, is a racist idea. The way to fix racism isn’t with further discrimination.

Republicans have criticized the policy.

“What happened to equal protection under the law?” Republican Missouri Rep. Sam Graves asked on Facebook.

“This is wrong and un-American,” he said. “I’m sure there are a lot of Americans out there that would love to have our tax dollars pay off all their debts. This is targeted to a very select few.”

Other farmers expressed similar sentiments to Fox News, including Georgia resident Benji Anderson.

“I think it should be distributed to everyone,” he said. “Because one thing we all have in common, it doesn’t matter about color or race or whatever, we’re all farmers, all working together to feed the United States.”

As Anderson said, we need to come together as Americans.

We have all been affected by this pandemic, and discriminating based on race in the relief efforts is not going to help us get through it.


Detransitioners Open up About How Transgender 'Medicine' Left Them Scarred for Life

People who formerly identified as transgender and took cross-sex hormones or underwent transgender surgery have later come to regret their transitions and the serious damage they did to their own bodies, urged on by the medical establishment. On March 12, the Detrans day of awareness, these detransitioners have come forward to tell their stories.

“I experienced transition regret. I had injected testosterone for four and a half years, I underwent a double mastectomy, only to very gradually realize over time that I had made a massive mistake and wanted to detransition,” Sinead Watson, one of the organizers of the Twitter campaign #DetransAwarenessDay, said in a YouTube video.

“The people who experience transition regret are subject to an utterly undeserved stigma. We’re very often bullied, and insulted, and silenced whenever we try to share our experiences online, and it’s because people who discuss transition regret are often accused of having our stories and our experiences weaponized to harm our trans brothers and sisters. That’s not what I want,” Watson added.

Watson clarified, “We don’t want to take health care away from trans people. We want the improvement of care for people with gender dysphoria.” She acknowledged that transition has helped many people, but she insisted that “there are also a growing number of people who went through medical transition who deeply regret it, who were harmed by it, physically and mentally, and we deserve the right to talk about our experiences, just as much as someone who doesn’t regret it has a right to talk about their experiences.”

She insisted that people who suffer from transition regret are terrified to speak out because “they will be insulted, they will be laughed at, they will be mocked… they will be told they’re hateful.”

She argued that the medical community pushes medical transition as a one-size-fits-all approach to gender dysphoria (the persistent and painful condition of identifying with the gender opposite one’s biological sex), but not everyone who suffers from gender dysphoria needs medical transition. She suggested there should be a broad array of different treatment options.

Watson partnered with Keira Bell, a 23-year-old woman who was put on experimental so-called “puberty blockers” after having been referred to a British transgender clinic at age 16. Late last year, Britain’s High Court ruled in Bell’s case that young teenagers could not consent to life-altering transgender treatments. The two detransitioners teamed up with Detrans Voices, Detrans Canada, and Post Trans, to support #DeTransAwarenessDay.

“Detrans day of awareness (12th March) was created to raise awareness and break down the stigma around detransition,” Watson, Bell, and the organizations said in a statement. “We want to let other people who have detransitioned know that they are not alone. There is a flourishing community of detransitioned people who are finding peace, healing and fulfillment as they are.”

The statement also urged the medical community to take detransitioners into account.

“Mental health care for people who have detransitioned is almost nonexistent,” Bell and Watson argued. “Alternative therapeutic treatment for gender dysphoria is not offered by the established medical community. Our unique medical needs are not well understood and medical professionals are often resistant to either provide medical care or accept that someone may need to detransition.”

Indeed, many legislative efforts treat medical care for detransitioners with disdain. Laws that seek to ban “conversion therapy” often frame any mental help for detransitioning as an oppressive effort to change someone’s gender identity against his or her will. Perversely, these laws would allow talk therapy to help someone reject his or her biological sex in favor of an opposite gender identity, but the laws would ban talk therapy for a person seeking to detransition.

Many detransitioners spoke out about their experiences.

Another woman named Arden came forward with her harrowing story. After nine years in gender clinics after transitioning female-to-male as a teen, Arden told her doctor that she wanted to detransition. “When I first went to my [Gender Identity Clinic] about my regret in early 2020, I didn’t receive support. Instead I was met with resistance, they acted dismissive and told me they thought my regret was somehow a result of my [Autism], and that I should try to ‘consolidate my male role,'” she wrote.

“I told them I had stopped Testosterone and requested Estrogen to maintain my health as I had [sex reassignment surgery] and could no longer produce hormones myself. They told me no,” Arden added. “I was made to go 8 months without hormones and suffered menopausal symptoms, low mood and low energy as a result.”

“I told them, ‘I am a woman and I regret my transition’ and they told me that I was not female anymore,” the woman recalled. “They said I could prove my ‘female identity’ by dressing femininely and wearing wigs. My gender non-conformity was used against me as some sort of ‘gotcha.'” Ultimately, Arden did receive Estrogen after eight months, but this story is horrifying.

“I was sold lie after lie by the trans community, by allies, & by medical professionals,” another detransitioner, Maggie, wrote on Twitter. “Each one told me that I could only have a fulfilling life if I transitioned. It was never, ‘do you want to,’ but ‘when are you going to?'”

These harrowing stories expose a serious medical scandal. As Jennifer Bilek has exposed, rich activists who made their fortunes in Big Pharma have pushed the medicalization of transgender identity, and the rush to transgender “treatments” for gender dysphoria has reaped big benefits for Big Pharma.

Doctors have pushed this movement despite the research showing that sex reassignment surgery carries significant risks, including potential heart conditions, increased cancer risk, and loss of bone density. Most “bottom surgery” procedures will take gender-confused males and females with healthy reproductive systems and make them sterile, replacing their organs with a simulacra of the opposite sex’s endowment. There is no evidence that transgender surgery improves the mental health outcomes of gender dysphoric people.

Some endocrinologists have warned about the negative effects of “puberty-blockers” and cross-sex hormones. “I call it a development blocker — it’s actually causing a disease,” Dr. Michael Laidlaw told PJ Media. The disease in question is hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. It occurs when the brain fails to send the right signal to the gonads to make the hormones necessary for development.

These detransitioners are not arguing against transgender identity or transgender medical “treatment,” merely insisting that they themselves made a mistake in pursuing medical transition.

However, I would argue that their harrowing stories demonstrate the lie of transgender identity. While “treatments” to affirm a gender identity opposite a person’s biological sex may appear to help that person’s mental health for a time, it is impossible to change a biological male into a biological female and vice versa. Males and females experience different hormonal chemistry from the womb onward, and that results in far more than just different sex organs. Medical transition can only ever paper over the fundamental truth of biological sex.

All people should treat those suffering from gender dysphoria with compassion, and the medical community should pursue gender dysphoria treatments other than medical transition. These detransitioners prove that encouraging transgender identity in opposition to the truth of biological sex can cause serious harm — and not just social harms like allowing biological males into women’s restrooms or males into women’s sports.

Whether or not medical transition truly is positive for some people suffering from gender dysphoria, the medical community’s rush to embrace transgenderism as the only solution to gender dysphoria is a harrowing scandal, and these brave detransitioners deserve praise for exposing it.


Scotland’s controversial Hate Crime Bill WILL backfire and silence 'woke' advocates

Leo Kearse spoke to after MSPs passed the bill through the Scottish Parliament this week. The legislation consolidates existing law and extends protection for vulnerable groups with a new offence of "stirring up hatred".

But its numerous critics, including the Scottish Police Federation, have branded it a step towards policing what “people think and feel”.

Mr Kearse, who was a criminal analyst before becoming a comedian, also slammed its wording as “anything but specific”.

He added: “Insulting behaviour, likely, stirring up, hatred - all of these terms are ill-defined in terms of their meaning and how they’d be proven in court. “(It could apply) to even the wokest comedy insults groups.

“These woke attitudes are received with rapturous applause by Guardian readers, but under Scotland’s Hate Crime Bill? Straight to gulag!

“The Law Society of Scotland also voiced reservations that the Bill would ‘threaten freedom of expression’.

“The Catholic Church is concerned that it could render the Bible illegal while the National Secular Society is concerned that it will make criticism of religion illegal."

Mr Kearse, a vocal critic of the SNP and its policies, said that there is a widely held view that the Bill will only affect comedians who “fall back on intolerance or outright bigotry as a punchline”.

But he says this is wrong, and claimed even people who stir up “hatred based on age - which is now a protected group” - could find themselves in the dock.

The 44-year-old, who grew up in southwest Scotland, continued: “Scotland has a rich history of iconoclastic, boundary-pushing comedians - Billy Connolly, Jerry Sadowitz, Frankie Boyle - who’ve gleefully redrawn the lines of comedic acceptability.

“Scotland's new Hate Crime Bill spits in the face of their heritage by criminalising comedians.

“With wokeism driving such a constant change in acceptable norms, doesn’t it make sense for public speech to be loosened rather than stifled, and isn’t there an obvious danger in wielding power over the speech and thought of others?”

He added: “When legislation is opposed by the people who would enforce it, those who would use it, religious groups and secularists, it’s possible that it might need to be reviewed.

“Surveys show that people are becoming more tolerant and open.

“Comedians aren’t spouting hate speech for the simple reason that audiences are generally nice people and wouldn’t accept hate speech.

“We don’t need to be legislated by autocratic wonks - let the audience be our jury.”

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf argued the bill is needed to fight hate crime.

The bill was adapted numerous times before the vote in response to criticism, which meant “stirring up hatred” is only considered an offence if intentional.

Welcoming the new law Mr Yousaf said: “I am delighted Holyrood has backed this powerful legislation that is fitting for the Scotland we live in.

“Parliament has sent a strong and clear message to victims, perpetrators, communities and to wider society that offences motivated by prejudice will be treated seriously and will not be tolerated.”




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