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[–]rwkastenBring on the dancing horses[S,M] [score hidden] stickied comment (0 children)

New thread posted:

Per user suggestion, until traffic on this sub picks up a bit, I'm going to create a single thread that may correlate to several weeks' worth of threads in the subreddit. We have this option because saidit's automoderator doesn't appear to have the "auto-post new threads" feature. There is no cutoff that will generate a new OT/LE thread, but practically-speaking, it will probably be somewhere in the 2-3 weeks/100 comments range to start (or, y'know, 4 months lol). We have flexibility at the expense of a small amount of convenience.

That said, here is the cross-link to the current OT/LE on reddit:

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

‘Radical chic’ and the left’s problem with race: White, middle-class left-wingers are still in thrall to age-old prejudices.

In the decades since Wolfe’s essay was published racism has diminished rapidly, while laws introduced to tackle it have increased apace. A lucrative cottage industry has become a booming global business. Think of the unemployment if ‘racism’ were truly eradicated, particularly in the public sector. What would become of this massive protection racket that has capitalists, technocrats and mediacrats fearful the mob will come for them if they don’t pay up, by way of fulfilling diversity quotas and taking the knee? These days everyone is on the bus, and no one has to give up their seat.

Yet the goalposts are forever shifting because with racism, unlike with the end of, say, segregation, there is no finish line. The remit of the term is redefined as often as the words to describe ethnic minorities are rewritten. In ‘Radical Chic’, Wolfe refers to the racial etiquette that plagues ‘cultivated persons’ on the left: ‘one says blacks, of course. It is the only word, currently, that implicitly shows one’s awareness of the dignity of the black race.’ This went the way of ‘coloured’ for a while, to be surpassed by BAME and then POC, to fully represent the diversity and solidarity of the ethnic demographic. But these are no longer au courant, such is the moveable feast that is racial etiquette. ‘Black’ has now struck out on its own again, bigger and bolder than before, with the distinguishing feature of an official capital B.

The meaning of racism has come a long way since solely being identified with evidential prejudice and discrimination. It has covered the waterfront: institutionalised racism, unwitting prejudice, systemic racism. It landed on white privilege, which is pretty much where we are now according to figures in the civil service and elsewhere. Everything from art galleries to rambling and knitting circles are racist, even though there are no Klansmen or water cannons preventing anyone from entering or participating. But actual evidence is not needed as proof when projection will suffice. Like Meghan Markle’s version of the truth, it is entirely subjective.

‘If you believe that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards’, Thomas Sowell has said, ‘that would have gotten you labelled a radical 50 years ago, a liberal 25 years ago, and a racist today’. A more positive development in that time is that the race debate no longer divides people along racial lines. On both sides of the divide created by identity politics, there is a crowd of diverse colours, faiths and affiliations. It’s simply that those critical of the detrimental impact of identitarianism are also diverse in their opinions and outlook. Coming out in this corner are lower-case uppity whites, Asians accused of ‘brown silence’, and Jews expecting to be subjected to anti-Semitism when, momentarily, white gentiles get a breather from being the beast of burden. Also here, black men and women – like those contenders in the Conservative leadership race – are cast as honorary honkies at best and ‘coons’ and ‘house niggers’ at worse. A white academic coined a phrase for their condition: ‘multiracial whiteness’. No, they are experiencing something black men and women have never ever intentionally subjected themselves to throughout their entire history… embarrassment. They are mortified by all that is being done in their name, and often by white people with the subtlety of the rich socialists and thick socialites Wolfe once mocked. Ralph Ellison’s words were written for a darker time, a different climate, but they strike a chord in the present with those being cast as the wrong type of black person. ‘What and how much had I lost’, he wrote, ‘by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?’.

It’s as though those on the left, so enamoured with multiculturalism and racial diversity, are equally insecure and uncertain around it. They rightly champion equality but are uncomfortable in treating ethnic groups as equals; whites are demonised and everyone else is canonised. Black is forever brilliant and beautiful; people with brown skins never do bad things. It’s a luxury, their caucasian compatriots, born on the wrong side of the tracks (for some of us – the wrong side of the Thames) don’t have. In the baby years of this century, I wrote in The Likes Of Us how the urban white working class had experienced black people as lovers, spouses, partners, neighbours, friends and carers, as well as racists, rapists, muggers and murderers. They saw in them the good, the bad and the ugly. In short, themselves.

[–]mo-ming-qi-miao 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Terry Gilliam: How I was squished by cancel culture

Terry Gilliam mimes sewing his lips shut when I ask him what happened at the Old Vic. The London theatre cancelled his production of Into the Woods in November without explanation, but amid a staff uprising over comments Gilliam had made about the #MeToo movement and on transgender rights. This is the first time he has given an interview since his “cancellation”, and he initially pretends that he will keep shtoom, before he lets rip.

“I refer to them as Neo-Calvinists,” he says of the staff who lobbied the Old Vic bosses to scrap his show. “They are totally closed-minded. [To them] there is only one truth and one way of looking at the world. Well, ‘f*** you!’ is my answer to them.”

Gilliam’s wife, Maggie Weston, a make-up artist whom he married 49 years ago, keeps telling him to avoid controversy, but that’s not his nature. “I have a head so it goes above the parapet sometimes to see what’s up there” — he peers out, pretending he has been shot — “Ow! Ow! But we’re still standing.”


What sparked the ire of Old Vic staff last year was Gilliam encouraging his Facebook followers to watch the comedian Dave Chappelle’s Netflix show, which had been criticised as transphobic. There was also his lampooning of identity politics by claiming that he was a black lesbian, and calling #MeToo a “witch-hunt”, including the claim that some of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims were “adults who made choices”.

Gilliam and Hausman say that they were never confronted by members of the Old Vic 12 — the organisation’s artistic development scheme, who were among those who raised concerns; instead all their conversations were with management. “I think it’s very sad,” Gilliam adds. “They allowed a small group of kids to dictate to them or to intimidate them. We know there’s a feeling of guilt — the [source of that] guilt just arrived back in the country.”

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[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[Christopher F. Rufo] The Dismantlers: San Diego public schools want to overthrow “heteronormativity” and promote “genderqueer,” “non-binary,” “pansexual,” and “two-spirit” identities.

I have obtained a range of publicly accessible documents from San Diego Unified that reveal the district’s new ideology. The materials follow the basic premise of queer theory: white Europeans created a false “gender binary” and used the categories of “male” and “female” to dominate racial and sexual minorities. A San Diego Unified training for facilitators of LGBTQ student groups argues that this system of “heteronormativity” forces students to conform to these norms: they are “assigned” a sex at birth, pressed into the identities of “man” and “woman,” and expected to have heterosexual relationships culminating in “marriage (and kids).” This “gender binary,” however, is arbitrary, socially constructed, and harmful. It is, in the words of the presentation, a “limited system [that] excludes and oppresses trans, nonbinary, intersex, and gender-nonconforming people.”

According to the district, the gender binary has created an unjust society that distributes “heterosexual and cisgender privilege,” the sexual analog to the concept of “white privilege.” In the presentation, administrators explain that “a heterosexual/cisgender person automatically receives” this privilege, which “benefits members of dominant groups at the expense of members of target groups” and “results in institutional power” for straight men and women. Furthermore, the district claims, this sexual privilege is connected to a broader range of privileges and oppressions via the theory of intersectionality. “Racism, classism, heterosexism, etc. do not exist independently,” the presentation reads. “Multiple forms of discrimination interrelate creating a system of oppression.”

What is the solution? To dismantle “heteronormativity” and break the “gender binary.” Following the principles of queer theory, San Diego Unified has created a program of gender-identity instruction with the explicit goal of undermining the traditional conception of sex and promoting a new set of boutique sexual identities, such as “transgender,” “genderqueer,” “non-binary,” “pansexual,” “asexual,” and “two-spirit,” that promise to disrupt the oppressive system of heteronormativity. A series of curriculum documents encourage students to study the basic tenets of queer theory and then examine photographs of gender-nonconforming role models, including a woman with a beard, a boy in a dress, a teenage girl with a “genderqueer” identity, a boy wearing a tiara, and an infant with a “gender neutral baby name.” In another document published by San Diego Unified, administrators celebrate “nonbinary identities,” arguing that there must be a “linguistic revolution to move beyond gender binaries,” including the adoption of the term “Latinx,” which “makes room for people who are trans, queer, agender, nonbinary, gender non-conforming or gender fluid.”

This ideology has already shifted the district’s sexual-education program. In a training produced jointly by San Diego Unified and Planned Parenthood, administrators walk teachers through the constellation of new identities and advise them to eliminate traditional language from their vocabulary. Men are to be called “people with a penis” and women are to be called “people with a vulva,” because, according to the district, some women can have penises and some men can have vulvas. Additionally, the district points out that teachers can assist in a child’s gender transition without notifying parents and that, under California law, minors of any age can consent to pregnancy testing, birth control, and abortion. Finally, the training program includes sample questions on sexuality that teachers might address in the classroom, including: “Is it okay to masturbate?”; “How do gay people have sex?”; “What is porn?”; and “What does semen taste like?” In a related presentation, the district also advises teachers on leading discussions on “how to use a condom” and how to engage in “safer oral sex” and “safer anal sex.”

For now, the continued spread of queer theory and gender ideology in districts such as San Diego Unified appears to be a foregone conclusion. It is remarkable to see the tenets of a once-obscure and controversial academic discipline translated into classroom orthodoxy for children. Parents, however, should begin pushing back. If the case against queer theory as an academic disciple is strong, the case against queer theory as a K-12 pedagogy is even stronger. The goal of dismantling “heteronormativity” is nonsensical and destructive to the basic building blocks of society. To divide the world into man and woman and to encourage the development of families and children is not “oppression,” but a basic process of human nature—one that should not be discarded under the false pretenses of academic postmodernism.

[–]mo-ming-qi-miao 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The Left is not like Us: Progressives do not want the same things as most Americans.

Progressives pretend to live in a utopia in which the rules of economics, physics, psychology, and science are suspended as they pursue unrealistic, tactical goals. Radical left leaders understand this dichotomy. Just as they have conceded high gas prices would force the middle class to buy electric cars, they believe the other harms they cause will facilitate achieving their ultimate objectives.

The far left readily acknowledges its preference for a centrally directed government, trillions of dollars of additional spending, higher taxes, the “green new deal,” the end of fossil fuels, restorative justice, racial and gender balancing, open borders, an LGBTQ+ obsession, and shutting down conservative voices. Now that its leaders are becoming comfortable admitting to being socialists, and even “trained Marxists,” the mask is dropping on their true ambitions.

Building on The Communist Manifesto’s call for “abolition of the family,” BLM initially sought to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.” Many local chapters of BLM call for abolition of capitalism. Oregon’s Department of Education characterizes its mission as “the restructuring and dismantling of systems and institutions that create the dichotomy of beneficiaries and the oppressed and marginalized.” An initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sees its mission as “dismantling white supremacy.” The American Medical Association calls for “disrupting and dismantling existing norms.” The main trade publication for architects complains that “racism is a metastasis that is baked into every kernel, from planning and zoning to multi- and single family housing and conversations about public and private space.”

“To love capitalism is to end up loving racism,” Ibram X. Kendi opines. Rather than be guided by the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution ,and the Federalist Papers, radical leftists are guided by “social justice,” and “redistributive justice” through which government, academia and corporations extort benefits for favored minorities from the privileged.

The left’s preoccupation with defunding police, and depriving them of both lethal and non-lethal tools, restorative justice, decarceration, eliminating cash bail, decriminalizing felonies, and refusing to prosecute lower level crimes, or seek sentencing enhancements, has caused violent crime to explode in major cities, up from five to 40 percent compared to the same period last year in Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C. The misdirect that Covid, the war in Ukraine, or tax loopholes has caused this increase is legerdemain. Criminals understand this. In Los Angeles, for example, there is a rush to obtain plea deals before the possible recall of progressive district attorney George Gascon. About 75 George Soros-linked district attorneys control the jurisdictions of 72 million Americans. With turnover exceeding 75 percent in many of these offices, experienced prosecutors are leaving, further eroding law enforcement.

[–]mo-ming-qi-miao 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Bristol festival is too 'white and middle class': Councillors claim harbour event 'represents colonialism' and celebrates 'white boating community'

The investigation into the popular Harbour Festival, which attracts 250,000 people each July, highlighted its 'whiteness' and the 'invisible barriers to members of the global majority' – a woke term used to refer to the non-white population.

It also suggested that older and disabled people, families and black and Asian residents were being put off by the 'over-consumption of alcohol and the commercial approach to food'.

The council consulted on the 50-year-old event following Black Lives Matter protests in Bristol and the toppling of the statue of slave trader Edward Colston into the harbour.

Social media users reacted with anger at the report, with one calling it 'nonsense' and another saying: 'The report asks what needs changing - Bristol city council is the only thing that needs changing.'

The Harbour Festival is an annual celebration of Bristol's maritime heritage and the importance of its docks and harbour. The event includes live music, street performances, fireworks and a variety of other live entertainment.


[–]mo-ming-qi-miao 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Federal judge agrees to expedite religious freedom lawsuit against Biden admin.

As reported by Campus Reform, President Joe Biden signed an executive order titled “Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation," which states that “children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”

Judge Roseann Ketchmark, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, decided to allow the executive order to continue, despite College of the Ozark's request to halt it, the Washington Times reports.

The college filed a lawsuit with the Alliance Defending Freedom in April challenging this executive order, claiming the executive order "forces religious schools to violate their beliefs."

“The lawsuit challenges a directive from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which forces religious schools to violate their beliefs by opening their dormitories, including dorm rooms and shared shower spaces, to members of the opposite sex,” the college's April 15 press release states.

The document adds, “The directive accomplishes this by requiring entities covered by the Fair Housing Act to not ‘discriminate’ based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”

[–]mo-ming-qi-miao 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Call drag queens ‘pantomime dames’ to fool protestors, librarians told

More than 100 librarians attended the training earlier this month in how to handle the fierce row with parents over a country-wide summer tour by Drag Queen Story Hour UK (DQSH).

The webinar on “managing controversial events” was organised by the national body Libraries Connected, formerly the Society of Chief Librarians, and only for library staff.


In the forum, held on July 20, librarians from across Britain shared “war-game” strategies for dealing with “really distressing” drag criticism and being “bombarded by complaints letters”.

One speaker suggested the protesters could be fooled. “We’ve always said pantomime dame because we don’t want protestors outside our building,” Ian Anstice, a librarian from Cheshire West & Chester, told the seminar.


Mr Anstice, who also runs the Public Libraries News website, showed attendees a picture of a man at a drag story event in the US wearing a “kill your local paedophile” T-shirt with an assault rifle logo. He said “this sort of thing has got its followers and adherents here in Britain” and is “pretty brutal”.

[–]mo-ming-qi-miao 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Sweden: Immigration minister wants to limit the number of non-Nordic immigrants in ‘sensitive neighborhoods’

Swedish Immigration Minister Anders Ygeman has suggested that Sweden follow the example of Denmark and seek to limit the concentration of people with an immigrant background in the most troubled areas of its cities.

In an interview with the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, Ygeman said it was a problem for Sweden that there are neighborhoods where most residents come from countries other than the fellow Nordic nations of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and Norway.

“I think it is bad to have areas where the majority are of non-Nordic descent,” he told DN.

“If you want to learn Swedish, you have to practice. If you live in an area where you can get by with the language of your native country, it becomes enormously more difficult to learn and develop the language,” Ygeman explained.

“If, in addition, you have a job where you can get by in the language of your native country, where will you practice Swedish? In that context, I think having that kind of goal can say something important,” he added.

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Our woke civil service is frustrating democracy: As a former senior official, I have seen how far civil servants will go to push their own agenda.

Ministers have virtually no operational control over who leads key delivery departments. In particular, they do not control how civil servants are promoted into senior positions. With rare and mostly uninspiring exceptions, a networked group of intellectually and politically identikit candidates always seems to rise through the ranks.

In the prison service, the institution I’m most familiar with, I joined ambitious young prison governors on their path through the much-vaunted Cambridge criminology masters course, which at the time amounted to little more than a finishing school for progressives seemingly more concerned with ameliorating the pain caused to prisoners by incarceration than with how to properly command a law-enforcement agency. This was the same academic-professional cartel that allowed Usman Khan, a terrorist who was known to be high risk, to be released from prison. He then went on to murder two young graduates, Saskia Jones and Jack Merritt, at Fishmongers’ Hall in London Bridge in 2019. In the same prison that had housed Khan, barely a few weeks later, a prison officer came within seconds and millimetres of being murdered by Islamist terrorists dressed in fake suicide belts. Yet the officials running our prisons, as well as those who give advice to ministers, turned a blind eye to these dangers.

Last year, around the same time as the inquest into the Fishmongers’ Hall attack revealed catastrophic naivete in the prison system and elsewhere, newspapers reported on the prison service’s launch of ‘intersectionality toolkits’ for staff. Meanwhile, the director general of prisons was photographed ‘taking the knee’ outside a Victorian prison – one which is notoriously awash with violence and drugs, and where staff often struggle to hold the line against anarchy. Seeing all this, the then justice secretary, Robert Buckland, was said to be ‘at the end of his tether’. It became clear that senior officials were far more interested in pursuing their own politics than in tackling the real problems on the ground.

This Whitehall groupthink will be a problem for the new administration when we get our next prime minister. Many senior public-sector leaders now take their instructions on policy from internal networks of activists. This is not endemic, but it is entrenched. Myriad publicly funded pressure groups, like Stonewall, are now a part of the policymaking machine. But even the current government’s efforts to divest from them will not be enough. Officials that don’t agree are still held in thrall to these groups through fear of career-cancelling allegations of anything ending in ‘phobia’.

There’s far too much going wrong in far too many parts of the civil service to tolerate business as usual. We can’t keep letting ministers’ intentions be buried using the bureaucratic black arts. Worse still, our politicised mandarin class will recognise that with only two years of Tory government likely to be left in the tank, there could be another, perhaps more palatable, regime around the corner, which will share the civil-service consensus. Those at the top now are the sons and daughters of Blairism in its pomp, while those who disagree, like myself, are like the mad aunt boarded up in the attic.

[–]mo-ming-qi-miao 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Court Documents Reveal Canada’s Travel Ban Had No Scientific Basis: In the days leading up to the mandate, transportation officials were frantically looking for a rationale for it. They came up short.

Rickard and Harrison’s attorney, Sam Presvelos, said that all government decisions related to public health demanded transparency. “Civil servants shouldn’t hide behind a shroud of secrecy,” Presvelos told me.

The whole point of the case was to lift that shroud and cast a spotlight on the unscientific basis of the mandate.

Among other things, the court documents indicate:

  • No one in the COVID Recovery unit, including Jennifer Little, the director-general, had any formal education in epidemiology, medicine or public health.

  • Little, who has an undergraduate degree in literature from the University of Toronto, testified that there were 20 people in the unit. When Presvelos asked her whether anyone in the unit had any professional experience in public health, she said there was one person, Monique St.-Laurent. According to St.-Laurent’s LinkedIn profile, she appears to be a civil servant who briefly worked for the Public Health Agency of Canada. St.-Laurent is not a doctor, Little said.

  • (Reached on the phone, St.-Laurent confirmed that she was a member of COVID Recovery. She referred all other questions to a government spokesperson.)

  • Little suggested that a senior official in the prime minister’s Cabinet or possibly the prime minister himself had ordered COVID Recovery to impose the travel mandate. (During cross-examination, Little told Presvelos repeatedly that “discussions” about the mandate had taken place at “senior” and “very senior” levels.) But she refused to say who had given her team the order to impose the travel mandate. “I’m not at liberty to disclose anything that is subject to cabinet confidence,” she said.

  • The term “cabinet confidence” is noteworthy because it refers to the prime minister’s Cabinet. Meaning that Little could not talk about who had directed the COVID Recovery unit to impose the travel mandate because someone at the very highest levels of government was apparently behind it.

  • In the days leading up to the implementation of the travel mandate, transportation officials were frantically looking for a rationale for it. They came up short.

That was made clear by an email exchange in the latter half of October 2021 between Aaron McCrorie and Dawn Lumley-Myllari. McCrorie is the associate assistant deputy minister for safety and security in Transport Canada, the department that houses COVID Recovery. Lumley-Myllari is an official in the Public Health Agency of Canada. In the email exchange, McCrorie seemed to be casting about for a credible rationale for the travel mandate. This was less than two weeks before the mandate was set to kick in.

“To the extent that updated data exist or that there is clearer evidence of the safety benefit of vaccination on the users or other stakeholders of the transportation system, it would be helpful to assist Transport Canada supporting its measures,” McCrorie wrote.

[–]mo-ming-qi-miao 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

[Rod Dreher] ALA Guide To Grooming Young Readers: American Library Association offers tips to small-town librarians on how to secretly queer the stacks

The American Library Association has some advice for small-town librarians about how to subvert community standards. Excerpts:

Do you work for a library in a small, rural, conservative community? Are you a frontline staff member there, with no managerial or administrative authority? Do you wish you could do more to make your library more inclusive to the LGBTQIA+ community, but meet with resistance?

I hope it’s not just me! I’ve been working as a frontline staff member at a small town library for nearly a decade. I have struggled with trying to affect positive change at my library in the area of inclusivity. It can be disheartening to feel you’re not supported by your library, and by extension the community that library serves. You feel like you should just give up on advocacy. But you shouldn’t.

There all small things you can do to welcome LGBT folks into your library, small steps you can take to move your library and community progressively forward. Here are a few things I’ve done, that will hopefully inspire those in similar positions and locales to keep fighting the good fight.


Sneakily fit stuff into current programs. So you’re not doing Drag Queen Storytime (yet), but you’re probably doing Regular Old Storytime, right? Try to “sneak” inclusive messages into your current programs. For instance, if you’re reading a book about a Mama bear and a Papa bear, maybe when you read it you just change it to be about 2 Papa bears! Or if you’re reading a book about a rabbit who likes to get dirty and play sports, maybe when you read it you pointedly say it’s a girl rabbit. If there are characters in a book where the gender is unidentified or irrelevant, feel free to play and change it up! Chances are kids and families won’t even notice, but for that same-sex family or gender-nonconforming child who does, it will really mean a lot to them to know their librarian has their back.


Don’t give up. This is the most important lesson I can impart upon you. For instance, when you ask “Can I do a GLBT Book Month display in June?” And your supervisor says “No.” Or “Think of the children.” Or “Customers will complain.” Or “Why? There are no gay people here our town.” You could very easily be discouraged. (And angry.) (And confused. Don’t they know every Thursday is gay night at the town pub?) But don’t stop asking. Ask next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. One year they might say yes. And the year after that they might say “Sure you can do that again.” And it might become a tradition, and every year you can put up more rainbow flags than the year before. The only way you’ll find out is if you continue to be persistent. And if you’re thinking a display is a trivial example, it’s not really: A warm and friendly display can be welcoming to the LGBT folks in your community, who probably currently feel unwelcome, and it’s a simple thing to start with. Sure, you want to eventually get to Drag Queen Storytime, but you should start with something simple!

This was a few years ago. When people started to complain, the ALA removed the byline of librarian Tess Goldwasser from the piece.

Like I said, this isn't brand new, but it's still up on the ALA site, on its diversity blog, where you can find all manner of ultra-wokeness. There is, of course, no reason to believe this kind of activism has gone away. In fact, as has been well documented, now public schools have taken up the practice of secretly encouraging kids to embrace their supposed queerness.

[–]WickedWitchOfTheWest 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Not a National Model—a National Warning: Gavin Newsom’s bravado about California is undermined by reality.

The central plank of Newsom’s education transformation has been, in essence, to leave poor kids behind. California ranked last of all states in reopening schools after the pandemic, and the poor suffered the most. A study by Harvard economists finds that in states like California, where remote instruction was more common during the pandemic, high-poverty schools spent an additional nine weeks in remote instruction compared with low-poverty schools. In contrast, states like Florida and Texas had much lower rates of remote instruction, and smaller differences in its overall use between high- and low-poverty districts.

Brookings researchers have also demonstrated how school closings and remote learning hurt poor students. They showed that national “test-score gaps between students in low-poverty and high-poverty elementary schools grew by approximately 20% in math and 15% in reading.” The gap grew fastest in California.

Instead of a national model, Newsom’s California is a national warning of what happens when the progressive education establishment captures a state.

The political ads Newsom ran in Florida reveal perhaps an even greater disconnect between his rhetoric and California’s reality. Newsom warned Floridians that freedom “is under attack in your state,” and urged Florida residents to “join the fight, or join us in California where we still believe in freedom.” Newsom’s messaging turns gaslighting into a political strategy. If California believes in freedom, it has an odd way of showing it. After years of mask mandates, school closures, and pervasive lockdowns, Californians must be wondering what limits exist on state government intrusion into their lives. Nonetheless, they can’t help but notice the newfound freedoms that criminals and street homeless have enjoyed in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, where the rule of law has eroded at the hands of activist district attorneys.

Meantime, Californians who vote with their feet are fleeing to Florida in record numbers. From 2010 to 2018, California lost an average of 1,000 people to Florida per year, according to IRS taxpayer migration data. Then, from 2018 to 2019, California lost 4,800 residents to Florida. And from 2019 to 2020—the first IRS data that cover the early pandemic months—California lost 11,500 residents to Florida.

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The Beginning of the End of 'Gender-Affirming Care'? Britain is closing the infamous Tavistock Centre. Finland and Sweden have radically revised their treatment guidelines. But American doctors are advertising surgeries to children on TikTok.

In a sign that they may be rethinking the “puberty blockers are safe and reversible” dogma, the Food and Drug Administration, also on Thursday, announced that it was slapping a new warning on puberty blockers. It turns out they may cause brain swelling and vision loss. But for now, the move among American medical associations, health officials and dozens of gender clinics is to double down on the affirmative approach, with the Biden administration recently asserting gender affirmation is “trauma-informed care.”

The American stance is at odds with a growing consensus in the West to exercise extreme caution when it comes to transitioning young people. Uber-progressive countries like Sweden and Finland have pushed back—firmly and unapologetically—against the affirmative approach of encouraging youth transition advocated by some transgender activists and gender clinicians.

Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare released new guidelines for treating young people with gender dysphoria earlier this year. The new guidelines state that the risks of these “gender-affirming” medical interventions “currently outweigh the possible benefits, and that the treatments should be offered only in exceptional cases.”

Finland’s Council for Choices in Health Care (COHERE) came to a similar conclusion a year earlier, noting: “The first-line intervention for gender variance during childhood and adolescent years is psychosocial support and, as necessary, gender-explorative therapy and treatment for comorbid psychiatric disorders.” And: “In light of available evidence, gender reassignment of minors is an experimental practice.” Gender reassignment medical interventions “must be done with a great deal of caution, and no irreversible treatment should be initiated.”

Both guidelines starkly contrast with those proffered by the Illinois-based World Professional Association of Transgender Health, an advocacy group made up of activists, academics, lawyers, and healthcare providers, which has set the standard when it comes to transgender care in the United States. WPATH will soon issue new standards that lower recommended ages for blockers, hormones and surgeries. (WPATH did not respond to a request for comment.)

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[Christopher F. Rufo] In Portland, the Sexual Revolution Starts in Kindergarten: The city’s public schools teach K-5 students to subvert the sexuality of “white colonizers” and begin exploring “the infinite gender spectrum.”

I have obtained a cache of documents from a source inside Portland Public Schools that exposes the nature of this curriculum. The lessons seek to turn the principles of academic queer theory into an identity-formation program for elementary school students. The premise is simple: privileged white heterosexuals have created an oppressive gender system in order to dominate racial and sexual minorities. As the curriculum explains, “gender is colonized,” and Western societies have used language to erase alternative sexualities. “When white European people colonized different places, they brought their own ideas about gender and sexuality,” the curriculum reads. “When the United States was colonized by white settlers, their views around gender were forced upon the people already living here. Hundreds of years later, how we think and talk about gender are still impacted by this shift.” (When reached for comment, Portland Public Schools wrote: “We make certain that our curriculum is LGBTQ+ inclusive for students who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming, gender-queer, and queer to create a safe and inclusive environment for all of our students.”)

The curriculum begins in kindergarten with an anatomy lesson featuring graphic drawings of children’s genitalia. The lesson avoids the terms “boy” and “girl” in favor of the gender-neutral variants “person with a penis” and “person with a vulva,” because, according to the curriculum, some girls can have penises and some boys can have vulvas. “Any gender and kid can have any type of body,” a related presentation reads.

In first and second grade, students are introduced to the key tenets of gender-identity theory. “Gender is something adults came up with to sort people into groups,” the curriculum states. “Many people think there are only two genders, girls and boys, but this is not true. There are many ways to be a boy, a girl, both or neither. Gender identity is about how you feel about yourself inside.” Next, students work through a lesson called “Our Names, Genders, and Pronouns.” The lesson tells them that “gender is like outer space because there are as many ways to be different genders as there are stars in the sky.” Students, the curriculum explains, can “change their name to match who they are, like their gender, culture, or just what they like better.” They can be “boys,” “girls,” “cisgender,” “transgender,” or “nonbinary,” and experiment with pronouns such as “they/them” and “ze/zir,” according to their personal preferences. “Only you can know what your gender is,” they are told.

In third through fifth grade, the district begins lessons on “LGBTQIA2S+” activism. The curriculum presents the categories of “man” and “woman” as manifestations of the “dominant culture” that has used sexual norms to oppress minorities. “The culture, systems, and assumptions that everyone is straight is called heteronormative. The culture, systems, and assumptions that everyone is cisgender is called cisnormative,” the curriculum claims. “Therefore, the culture, systems, and assumptions that everyone is straight and cis is called cisheteronormativity.” This system, according to the lesson plan, is a form of “oppression” designed to benefit “white straight cis boys” and to punish “LGBTQIA2S+” people.

The solution, according to Portland Public Schools, is to obliterate the “white colonizer” conception of sexuality, with its rigid male-female binary, and encourage students to inhabit “the infinite gender spectrum.” This means destroying the system of “cisheteronormativity” and promoting “queer” and “trans” identities. Teachers are told to eliminate the terms “girls and boys,” “ladies and gentlemen,” “mom and dad,” “Mrs. Mr., Miss,” and “boyfriend, girlfriend,” in favor of terms such as “people,” “folx,” “guardians,” “Mx.,” and “themfriend.” Students are shown photographs of “gender non-conforming” individuals and encouraged to celebrate the flags for “nonbinary,” “genderqueer,” “gender fluid,” and “Two-Spirit” identities. For some students, the subversion of the gender binary might also involve a gender transition. The curriculum provides a detailed explanation of how to “pause puberty” through “hormones and/or surgeries” and advice on adopting a “nonbinary” identity and set of pronouns.

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He Made a Joke About Land Acknowledgements. Then the Trouble Began: When Professor Stuart Reges exercised his free speech rights, the University of Washington retaliated. So we're suing the school.

Reges is an now a professor of computer science at the University of Washington’s Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. At the beginning of the Fall 2020 semester, the UW published a best practices document encouraging faculty to include an “Indigenous Land Acknowledgment Statement” on their syllabi. The statement, which has been more prevalent in left-leaning institutions in recent years, is meant to acknowledge the historic presence of indigenous people on the land where the university sits.

Professor Reges doesn’t think highly of these statements. “Land acknowledgments are performative acts of conformity that should be resisted,” he said.

So last school year, instead of reprinting the university-approved language—“The University of Washington acknowledges the Coast Salish peoples of this land, the land which touches the shared waters of all tribes and bands within the Suqaumish, Tulalip and Muckleshoot nations”—Reges constructed his own disclaimer. He wrote: “I acknowledge that by the labor theory of property the Coast Salish people can claim historical ownership of almost none of the land currently occupied by the University of Washington.” This appeared on his syllabus for a computer programming course he was teaching.

Unsurprisingly, university administrators were not pleased with Reges’s take, which questions the very presupposition of the approved statement. But rather than respect his academic freedom—after all, the land acknowledgement is supposedly only a suggestion—the school retaliated.

The university unilaterally uploaded a censored version of Reges’s syllabus without any acknowledgment whatsoever and locked him from making further changes to it. Then the school established a competing class section at the eleventh hour to siphon students away from his course. Finally, the UW launched an investigation of Reges—which began four months ago and continues to this day—over his alleged violation of policies prohibiting speech deemed “unacceptable or inappropriate,” ensuring that he languishes under the threat of further punishment or dismissal.

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The Culture War Is a Myth: If we’re not fighting to “conserve” Christianity, we may as well stay home.

Andrew Breitbart said, “Politics is downstream from culture.” And yet, strangely, he didn’t go on to become a painter or a playwright or an operatic tenor. He went into politics.

I’m sure Breitbart meant it at the time. At some level, though, he must have known the truth: culture is a function of politics. In the modern world, everything is.

Just take the most recent example. Shortly after Roe v. Wade was overturned, NPR helpfully compiled the reactions of sixty-four musicians, all of them negative. Taylor Swift said she was “absolutely terrified” by the ruling. Lukas Nelson wrote a new song about a girl who’s forced to carry the child of her own father, a self-righteous, church-going hypocrite.

“F—k the Supreme Court,” Lorde said during her set at Glastonbury Festival. Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong went a little further. “F—k America,” he told another crowd of Britishers. “I’m f—king renouncing my citizenship. (Like abortion, the F-word is now an integral part of our culture.)

It’s not just the artists, though, and it’s not just the left. These days, no frat party is complete without at least one dude in a Reagan/Bush tank top. A backwoods bonfire must have at least a dozen MAGA caps. Ten years ago, every bar in the country had sports on the TV. Now, half of them show cable news. Between Kanye’s strange foray into politics, Kim’s lobbying President Trump on prison reform, and Caitlyn Jenner’s run for governor, the Kardashians have replaced the Bushes as our most important Republican dynasty.

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Students pressured to celebrate 'pansexual' drag queen at school chapel as teacher resigns over misuse of pronouns

Students at Manhattan's Grace Church High School are required to attend chapel every other Wednesday, and on April 27, that meant attending a Pride event. The 6th annual Pride chapel featured a special guest: drag queen "Brita Filter," aka Jesse Havea. Students felt pressure to join in, dance, and celebrate, while Teacher Uyen Nguyen took the opportunity to announce their resignation over improper pronoun usage.

"There was tons of social pressure to dance along and pretend like it was normal for sure," a student who asked not to be named told The Post Millennial, "whether it be people tapping on shoulders and telling them to stand up or just a collective staring contest at whoever wasn't totally participating."

The event was led by the school, the reverend, and the students and faculty advisors for Spectrum, the school's LGBTQIA+ affinity group. The politically themed chapel, which was mandatory for all students in grades 9-12, apparently ran long.


One student reported that as the performer approached the altar, he was joined by more dancing students, some of them "twerking." Bringing drag into classrooms and schools has been touted by its proponents as a way to "queer" education.

"I wondered, is this really happening in a chapel?" he said. Another observed "tons of social pressure to dance along and pretend that this was normal for church."


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Beyond Elves and Hobbits: The Right can and must fight the culture war.

But let us assume, as Yarvin supposes, that the Left manages to reveal the Right’s powerlessness on Dobbs, forcefully maneuvering around an apparently solid Supreme Court ruling. Yarvin implicitly assumes that this is the end of the game and only to be expected. After all, we were playing on their board, using their rules, and they set the clock.

But of course, such actions by the Left would radicalize the other side. The Right’s voters have been promised for decades that if they just showed up and voted, they could get the President who would appoint the Supreme Court justices who would repeal Roe v. Wade. After numerous Presidential elections, bruising Supreme Court confirmation fights, and judicial betrayals, those voters suddenly discovered that, even after they do everything they’re told, it doesn’t matter? That the system is, to quote a recent former President, rigged?

This realization would lead many of them to reject the system entirely, which could open up many new possibilities for action. If the hobbits realize that even when they win, they lose, they will demand another regime. As a result, the specter of well-organized hobbits who no longer accept the legitimacy of the regime will strike fear into the heart of its defenders. Yarvin is correct to say we must define wins as those that make future wins easier—but he is wrong to assume that Dobbs cannot be that kind of victory.

A similar logic underlies the appeal of Trump to many of his more sophisticated supporters. Trump was too unfocused to take control of the executive branch and “drain the swamp,” but he did make the regime reveal itself and its mechanisms of power in a way that it had not previously been forced to do. This revelation radicalized a great number of both hobbits and “dark elves” to oppose it in ways they would never have before. The establishment’s coordinated reaction to this opposition has been ferocious, but there is no reason to believe that the establishment will have the last word.

Furthermore, Yarvin’s counsel is misplaced because he himself is talking to an elite audience. Happy hobbits who just want to grill aren’t reading Yarvin—or me for that matter. He is selling quietism to the wrong audience. The pseudonymous Lomez, creator of the Passage Prize for dissident creators on the Right, captures the dynamic underlying this issue of audience by describing “a totally independent status economy” as “the counter-elite we need.” I have written about the need to develop this counter-elite at length. Yarvin also overestimates the excellence and competence of our elvish rulers. “Modern millennial progressives are emotional wrecks—unprofessional and incapable of enjoying things that don’t flatter their sadistic political urges,” as one online commenter observed.

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Protesters storm first drag queen storytime for primary school children: Mothers infiltrate library event, saying: ‘We’re here to protect children’

The first drag queen “story hour” for children in a UK-wide tour of council libraries has descended into chaos after it was stormed by protesters.

Almost 70 events in 20 areas of Britain are being visited over the next two months by Drag Queen Story Hour UK, a group that hosts sessions for three to 11-year-olds.

The project is run by Sab Samuel, a 27-year-old autistic male children’s author, who performs as Aida H Dee in a sequined dress with heavy make-up.

But the first event for families at Reading Borough Council libraries erupted in a dramatic row, as Mr Samuel was given a police escort next to a riot van and demonstrators chanted “paedophile”.


It was derailed when two mothers, who had infiltrated the ticket-only class, stood up and confronted Mr Samuel. They shouted: “You’re allowing child grooming to take place, this is disgusting, do you know what autogynephilia is?”

About fucking time. As some here may know I've suggested [REDACTED] elsewhere, but this is a good start.

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There's Gonna be a War in Montana: An analysis of visible propaganda in Bozeman, Big Sky, and Three Forks

Over what? The soul of Montana of course. One-of-a-kind land. That’s nothing new. What’s new is the character of the warring factions. They aren’t who you see on TV. On one side you have global interests imputing their values, importing cheaper labor, hollowing out Montana’s attractions and selling them to an international bourgeoisie for maximum profits. On the other you have the new underclass. Not the friendly Christian country folk of times past. And not Cowboy Hat Republican Rancher Dad either. No, these are a new kind of country person. Angry, exasperated, poor, Trump-loving service-workers—the Oxy takers, the meth cookers, the eaters of Chick-Fil-A. This group is acutely aware of just who controls Bozeman and Big Sky, and believe that the same people are coming for their territory. And they’re right.

If you listen, you can hear the two groups screaming at each other in silence, waiting for their very own Gavrilo Princip to spark this thing off.


Societies with grey anocracy scores, meaning they’re somewhere in the middle of highly democratic and highly authoritarian, are susceptible to civil war. High political identitarianism—AKA nativism—is also an indicator. So this obviously raises the alarm about hot conflict in places like Montana where there is clearly grey anocracy and high nativism.

But this is a new thing. Montana has always been the site of land battles—but these warring factions are brand new. The Washington Post presents the risk as one-sided—that angry Trumpists are going to soon resort to violence because, well, that’s what they do when the modern world comes knocking. The media doesn’t notice that Trump flags are being raised in reaction to the rainbow ones, not in spite of them. The anger bubbling up from Three Forks isn’t happening because Montanans, left alone for decades, somehow developed into anachronistic bigots unready for the modern world. It’s happening because Montanans got their sh*t taken. They were intentionally shoved out, left behind. Their music, their signs, their cars, their language—they’re all born from a fresh wound.

Private equity fears nativism because nativism equals economic protectionism—no free access to markets, no distant ownership of local assets, no importation of cheap labor. Blood is thicker than water, and private equity is terrified of relationships it can’t buy. This is why it posts Live Local! on its LoMo buildings and serves frozen versions of authentic Montana cuisine. It needs to placate people just long enough to take over the land, hollow out the existing culture, and replace it with a replica that siphons the locals’ milkshake back to itself.

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Joyce Carol Oates: Yes, White Authors Face Discrimination

Oates, known for “A Garden of Earthly Delights” and “Black Water”, Tweeted out the story to her 222K followers. It’s what she added, though, that may come back to haunt her.

Editor’s Note: We’re repeating her comments below in case she deletes the Tweet.

(a friend who is a literary agent told me that he cannot even get editors to read first novels by young white male writers, no matter how good; they are just not interested. this is heartbreaking for writers who may, in fact, be brilliant, & critical of their own “privilege.”)

This shouldn’t come as a shock.

This brand of discrimination powered an expose shared by Bari Weiss earlier this year. That story detailed how Hollywood is aggressively promoting diversity to the point where white male artists fear for their creative livelihoods. Howard Koch, who has been involved in the production of more than 60 movies, including such classics as “Chinatown” and “Marathon Man,” and is the former president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, said: “I’m all for LGBT and Native Americans, blacks, females, whatever minorities that have not been served correctly in the making of content, whether it’s television or movies or whatever, but I think it’s gone too far. I know a lot of very talented people that can’t get work because they’re not black, Native American, female or LGBTQ.”

We’ve seen similar accusations from the comedy ranks.

“Terror on the Prairie” star Tyler Fischer says he’s been repeatedly discriminated against for being a straight white male. The impressionist has gone so far as to sue his former representation which he claims told him directly they can’t find work for him due to his immutable characteristics.

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Does the Associated Press expect journalists to lie? The new AP style guide on trans issues elevates gender ideology over the truth.

Reptiles, muckrakers or simply unscrupulous bastards – journalists are a reviled breed, trusted by the public about as much as politicians and estate agents. And yet, speak off the record to your average hack and you will discover that most of us care about our work, which is notoriously high stress and low pay. We tend to think of ourselves as motivated by lofty dreams – a desire to put facts in the public domain and to hold the powerful to account. But the new guidance on transgender issues from the Associated Press Stylebook fits a rainbow gag to the mouths of many in the profession – advising writers to respect preferred pronouns and to override facts about sex in favour of feelings about gender identity.

The ramifications of this shouldn’t be underestimated. For decades, the AP Stylebook has served as a go-to style manual for vast numbers of US news organisations. Ironically, the new ‘Topical Guide’ on transgenderism advises the use of ‘unbiased language’ and to ‘avoid false balance [by] giving a platform to unqualified claims or sources in the guise of balancing a story by including all views’. And yet, the stylebook is itself saturated in unbalanced, unscientific trans ideology.

For example, the AP guidance claims: ‘A person’s sex and gender are usually assigned at birth by parents or attendants and can turn out to be inaccurate.’ This kind of claim might be best referred to as ‘trans truth’ – ie, a lie.

Humans come in two sexes. Within the male and female categories, a tiny subsection has disorders or variations of sexual development. This biological fact can be seen across a billion years of evolution. Furthermore, external genitalia can be recognised in utero – meaning that sex can be accurately observed before birth. Sex is not randomly assigned by some Harry Potteresque sorting hat, nor is it a spectrum. It is just a biological reality.

The guide also condemns ‘deadnaming’, or referring to the previous name of someone who identifies as trans, because that ‘can be akin to using a slur and can cause feelings of gender dysphoria to resurface’. But it is not the job of journalists to spare the feelings of those who identify as trans, particularly when doing so obscures the truth. This is of vital importance when it comes to the reporting of crime.

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Association of American Medical Colleges Prescribes a DEI-based curriculum...

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) just released its official Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Competencies. Designed for curriculum development, the competencies function as DEI educational standards, providing a set of ideal “diversity” and “inclusion” skills for three stages of a physician’s education. For graduating medical students, the competencies include “describ[ing] the impact of various systems of oppression on health and health care (e.g., colonization, White supremacy, acculturation, assimilation).” For graduating residents, they include “promoting social justice and engag[ing] in efforts to eliminate health care disparities,” and for faculty physicians, “teach[ing] how systems of power, privilege, and oppression inform policies and practices and how to engage with systems to disrupt oppressive practices.”

Ultimately, these new competencies provide a blueprint for infusing the themes of identity politics—“intersectionality,” “white privilege,” “microaggression,” “allyship”—into medical education. In March, the National Association of Scholars acquired and published a draft version of the competencies. A number of critics spoke up, noting how the competencies would function as an obvious threat to academic freedom and, more broadly, sound medical education.

With the publication of these official competencies, the AAMC appears to be doubling-down. The official version includes only cosmetic changes to the draft. In their op-ed introducing the competencies, the president of the AAMC and the chair of the AAMC’s Council of Deans emphatically stated their support: “We believe this topic deserves just as much attention from learners and educators at every stage of their careers as the latest scientific breakthroughs”—a truly remarkable statement of priorities from the leaders of America’s foremost medical education association.


Concepts such as “intersectionality” and “allyship” connote substantive political positions; to declare that faculty and students must embrace them clearly violates academic freedom. But perhaps more significantly, these concepts are often interpreted idiosyncratically to enforce a narrow and damaging orthodoxy. At medical schools that adopt the competencies, it will undoubtedly become harder for students and faculty to voice support for a meritocracy or skepticism toward “gender-affirming care” for minors. Such views, after all, are commonly labeled “oppressive.”

In practice, the competencies are likely to elicit a wave of highly dubious medical curricula—to say nothing of medical research. The report also lists a series of examples of how to integrate the competencies into medical education, drawing from existing medical school curricula. One notable example comes from the Center for Antiracism in Practice at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine. The report provides minimal details on the exact content of the Center’s workshops, but the school itself offers a few hints. Last year, the Icahn School of Medicine created a professional development program to train administrators at other medical schools on how to implement Icahn’s own anti-racism initiative. The program frequently invokes the so-called “Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture”—the bizarre notion that attributes such as “objectivity,” “individualism,” and “a sense of urgency” constitute white supremacy culture.

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No More Masks: Covid’s biggest danger now is not the latest variant but the risk that public health officials will overreact.

Over the past two months, new Covid cases have risen by roughly 15 percent. Covid hospitalizations have risen even more. But BA.5 does not cause more severe disease than earlier variants. In fact, the percentage of Covid cases leading to bad outcomes appears to be declining.

The hospitalization increase is likely artifactual. The severity of illness among hospitalized Covid patients has been declining since autumn 2021—both intensive-care unit admission and mortality rates have been steadily falling. The likely explanation is that many Covid-positive admissions actually entered the hospital for other reasons before testing positive on routine tests for Covid. In fact, current cases and hospitalizations are still moderate when viewed over the history of the pandemic and are far lower than previous spikes. More importantly, Covid death rates have been relatively flat for the past three months.

But these facts have not kept Los Angeles County from planning to reinstate its indoor mask mandate on July 29. Multiple California universities and school districts have already reinstated mask mandates. Gwinnett County, Georgia, employees and schools have imposed new masking requirements. And it’s always possible that enterprising officials could inflict more restrictive lockdown-type measures if cases continue rising.

Yet no evidence exists that generalized mask mandates are beneficial. A pre-pandemic systemic review by the highly regarded Cochrane Library found that medical/surgical mask-wearing made little or no difference to the outcome of influenza or influenza-like illnesses compared with not wearing a mask.

A recent review of randomized controlled trials—the gold standard for scientific studies—came to a similar conclusion. Thirteen of 14 RCTs failed to find a statistically significant benefit from mask-wearing for non-Covid respiratory infections. Two RCTs of masking effectiveness concerning Covid-19 also showed little benefit: One found that surgical masks did not provide statistically significant protection to mask wearers; a second found no benefit from cloth masks and only a tiny, marginally statistically significant, reduction in viral transmission for surgical masks.

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Inside the Woke Meltdown at One Domestic Violence Organization: Women Against Abuse discouraged black domestic abuse victims from calling the police. Yes, you read that right.

It was just two months after the death of George Floyd that one of the largest domestic violence nonprofits in the United States, Women Against Abuse, brought in several diversity consultants to conduct a racial-equity audit. The goal of the audit, Women Against Abuse told staffers, was to become "a fully inclusive, multicultural, and antiracist institution."

By November 2020, the organization, which is ostensibly devoted to "serving all survivors," was offering to pay "BIPOC" employees more than their white counterparts and discouraging black abuse victims from calling the police. Its employees were also at war with each other, bickering over whether Jews are a persecuted minority group and whether there is such a thing as a non-racist white person.

Those events prompted Nicole Levitt, an attorney with the group’s legal center, to file a discrimination complaint against her employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging that it "berated, humiliated, and subjected" her to "mandatory thought reform efforts."

"Women Against Abuse used to be liberal," Levitt told the Washington Free Beacon. "Now it’s illiberal."

This story is based on Levitt’s discrimination complaint, Women Against Abuse’s response to it, and materials from the equity audit that Levitt shared with the Free Beacon. It reveals how the leading domestic violence nonprofit in Philadelphia descended into dogmatism and infighting, obsessing over identity as domestic homicides in the city reached an all-time high of 43 in 2021—more than double the previous year.

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Florida university removes some anti-racism statements, worrying faculty

The University of Central Florida removed statements condemning racism from several academic departments’ websites this week, prompting some faculty members to worry that school officials were self-censoring in an effort to maintain compliance with a new state law limiting what can be taught about race and identity.

Shelley Park, a professor of philosophy and cultural studies at UCF, said the statement in her department, posted amid the national reckoning on race in 2020, “stood behind diversity, equity and inclusivity — which didn’t used to be such a radical thing to say.”

Park said her understanding was that the provost had contacted deans and that the pages were temporarily removed, with additional guidance to come when faculty members return in August. The provost, Michael D. Johnson, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Wednesday.

“The university recently removed some departmental statements that could be seen as potentially inconsistent with our commitment to creating a welcoming environment — one where faculty objectively engage students in robust, scholarly discussions that expand their knowledge and empower them to freely express their views and form their own perspectives,” Chad Binette, a spokesman for the university, wrote in an email Wednesday.

“UCF is committed to building a culture that values respect, civil discourse, and creating a sense of belonging,” Binette said. “In an effort to more clearly communicate that commitment, we will be working with departments to ensure statements better align with our university values.”

Your whitepill for the day.

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Woke dance school drops ballet from auditions as it is ‘white’ and ‘elitist’

The Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD), which aims to be a “progressive institution”, has reviewed the “elitist” art form as part of a diversity drive that has seen the introduction of new policies relating to gender and race.

Ballet has been ditched as a requirement for school-entry auditions because of its “contentious nature”, with teaching staff explaining that the traditional mode of dance comes with the baggage of “white European ideas”.

The centuries-old art form was seen as being a barrier to inclusion because of the exclusionary financial burden of taking classes, and also because of its idealising of certain European body shapes, and division of roles along gender lines.

The changes come after the conservatoire undertook work to “decolonise the curriculum” and take advice from LGBT societies.

Information from the NSCD, based in Leeds, said: “We review content and have removed ballet from our audition day due to its potentially contentious nature.”

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GoFundMe allows page for Minneapolis gunman Andrew Sundberg after axing one for NYC bodega clerk Jose Alba

GoFundMe is allowing a small fortune to be collected for kin of the Minneapolis gunman fatally shot by cops after he fired at neighbors, while hard-working Manhattan bodega clerk Jose Alba’s fund got the ax, critics rage.

The fund-raiser for the family of dead Minnesota shooter Andrew “Tekle’’ Sundberg, 20, surpassed its goal of $20,000 within three days, hitting $20,500 by Monday afternoon.

Yet the GoFundMe page for Alba — who killed an ex-con attacker in apparent self-defense at the store — got pulled a day after his case came to light.

“#GoFundMe should be ASHAMED of themselves!” a fuming critic tweeted Monday. “#JoseAlba defended himself. #TekleSundberg was shooting into a home at a mother and two young children. SHAME ON YOU!”


The GoFundMe for Sundberg’s family says, “His life was taken too soon by the Minneapolis Police Department.” Relatives have retained noted civil-rights lawyer Ben Crump.

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DeSantis' education message is winning in battleground states, teacher union poll finds

The American Federation of Teachers circulated the poll, conducted by the Democratic firm Hart Research, as a call to arms for its members and allies to emphasize more popular proposals like spending more on schools and reducing class sizes, and de-emphasize fights that center on cultural issues.

A major set of red flags in the poll for Democrats and teacher unions was a series of questions that look like they were ripped from DeSantis’s Friday speech on “critical race theory” and teaching kids about sexuality and gender identity. While the survey didn't mention DeSantis by name, it tested education messages he popularized nationally — more so than Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican who won in a Democratic-leaning state last year on a parental-rights education platform that was far less provocative than DeSantis'.

One poll question found that voters, by a 32 percentage-point margin, said they were more likely to vote for candidates who believe public schools should focus less on teaching race and more on core subjects. By 27 points, they said schools should be banned from teaching sexual orientation and gender identity to kids in kindergarten through third grade. By 28 points, they said transgender athletes should be banned from competing in girls’ sports.

The same poll suggests DeSantis has been smart about where to draw the line. Most voters said they would be less likely to back candidates who want to prosecute teachers for instructing students on critical race theory and gender identity. The same goes for candidates who want books removed from school libraries, although DeSantis on Friday bashed some books as being too sexualized, and some Florida schools are banning books.

“DeSantis has been reasonably shrewd in choosing his culture war initiatives, avoiding toxic ideas like criminally prosecuting teachers,” Guy Molyneux, one of the pollsters who conducted the survey, said in an email to NBC News.

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New archeological evidence contradicts unmarked graves narrative

New archaeological evidence from the former Kamloops Indian Residential School raises more questions about the narrative that 215 “probable burials” of Indigenous children were discovered at the site.

The evidence was unearthed by a professional architect with expertise in aerial photography and published by former anthropology professor Hymie Rubenstein in the REAL Indian Residential Schools Newsletter. The architect reported his findings under the pseudonym Kam Res to avoid retaliation. Res’ findings have not been peer-reviewed.

Other academics who have raised questions about the Kamloops graves have been cancelled and targeted by the media. Mount Royal University professor Frances Widdowson was removed from her tenured position due to being outspoken on Indigenous issues.

Aerial photography and historical documents show that the site where the graves were alleged to have been discovered has been subject to decades of archeological digs and other excavation activity which did not turn up any human remains.

The most significant of these digs took place in 1958 when a plot of over 100,000 square feet or 30% of an apple orchard just outside of the residential school was excavated for a sewage retention pond.

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[Christopher F. Rufo] The DEI Regime: Every Fortune 100 company has now adopted “diversity, equity, and inclusion” programming.

I have surveyed the programming of every Fortune 100 company and have confirmed that all of them have now adopted so-called DEI programs. These initiatives are no longer limited to high-technology firms in the coastal enclaves; they have spread to traditionally conservative sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, insurance, and oil and gas. The result is clear: every major corporation in the United States has submitted to DEI ideology and begun to make it a permanent part of its legal and human resources bureaucracy.

No doubt some of these programs are benign. Many companies adopt DEI policies out of pressure to conform. Other companies, however, use diversity, equity, and inclusion to promote the most virulent strands of critical race theory and gender ideology. I have documented many examples: Bank of America teaching employees that the United States is a system of “white supremacy”; Walmart telling workers they are guilty of “internalized racial superiority”; Lockheed Martin forcing executives to deconstruct their “white male privilege”; and Disney promising to abolish the words “boys” and “girls” in its theme parks and inject “queerness” into its children’s programming.

Three factors drive corporate executives to adopt DEI programs. First, these initiatives serve as an insurance policy against frivolous race- and sex-discrimination lawsuits. The legal department can point to mandatory trainings and policies as evidence that the company is “doing something” to prevent discrimination. Second, executives create these programs to appease internal activist groups that want to use the corporation as a platform for left-wing race and gender activism. Third, splashy DEI initiatives, such as Wal-Mart’s $100 million “Center for Racial Equity,” form part of a reputation-laundering strategy, improving a company’s public image and preempting Black Lives Matter-style protests through fashionable philanthropy. As a bonus, corporate executives, most of whom are rich but not famous, can use the associated galas, events, and junkets to boost their social status and hobnob with celebrities and political figures.

Some conservative commentators have pointed out the internal contradiction of corporate DEI policies: they don’t reflect the values of customers and don’t serve the bottom line; the political meaning of the word “equity,” for example, is predicated on an anti-capitalist worldview. But this assessment misses the broader point that, given the current political, social, and legal incentive structure, executives are making a rational decision to adopt DEI policies, even if they are doing so in bad faith.

Conservatives’ goal should not be to point out the executives’ hypocrisy but to change their incentives in order to change their behavior. This goal is eminently feasible. In recent months, Florida governor Ron DeSantis has begun to develop a model for challenging the hegemony of the DEI bureaucracy. He has abandoned the traditionally Republican premise of corporate non-intervention and embraced a more muscular, Teddy Roosevelt-style strategy for combatting corporate malfeasance. Last year, he passed the Stop W.O.K.E. Act, which prohibits companies from promoting critical race theory-style scapegoating, stereotyping, and harassment. Next, he won a high-profile fight with Walt Disney Co., stripping the company of its special governing status and dealing a significant blow to its public reputation.

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We dismiss the culture war at our peril: Unless we win the culture war, society will never meet the needs of ordinary people.

Time and again, media commentators insist that the culture wars are a distraction from the big issues of our time, such as the cost-of-living crisis. They often argue that ordinary people do not care about cancel culture or arguments over trans rights. Many suggest that the only people who care about the culture wars are Tory mischief makers, trying to deflect attention from the economic mess that they have created.

A recent essay by Henry Mance in the Financial Times claims that battles over identity politics feel ‘contrived compared with the cost-of-living squeeze’. He also argues that ‘economic identities have come to the fore again’.

Yet history tells us that people do not understand their predicament and react to it solely in terms of economics. Hence, many on the left will often be found asking after every election defeat: ‘Why does the working class vote against its economic interests?’ What they’re really asking is, why do people vote the ‘wrong’ way?


This is because the main target of today’s woke culture warriors is the historical legacy of Western society. They are seeking to discredit the values and behaviour associated with this legacy. The aim and effect of this crusade against the past is to detach people from their traditions, communities and even their families. However, as a society becomes detached from its past, its individual members lose a sense of their place in the world. They become morally and culturally disoriented.

This disorientation and confusion actually affects people’s ability to deal with the big issues of the day, such as the cost-of-living crisis. An assertive and purposeful response to the crisis would require a self-confident public, with a sense of where it stands and what it wants. But today’s woke crusades are making that impossible. People are no longer sure where they stand or what they want. The culture war against the past is depriving people of the cultural resources they need to achieve moral clarity in the present.

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Gender activists push to bar anthropologists from identifying human remains as ‘male’ or ‘female’

As soon as ancient human remains are excavated, archaeologists begin the work of determining a number of traits about the individual, including age, race and gender.

But a new school of thought within archaeology is pushing scientists to think twice about assigning gender to ancient human remains.

It is possible to determine whether a skeleton is from a biological male or female using objective observations based on the size and shape of the bones. Criminal forensic detectives, for example, do it frequently in their line of work.

But gender activists argue scientists cannot know how an ancient individual identified themselves.

“You might know the argument that the archaeologists who find your bones one day will assign you the same gender as you had at birth, so regardless of whether you transition, you can’t escape your assigned sex,” tweeted Canadian Master’s degree candidate Emma Palladino last week.

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Facebook, Google censor Alex Jones documentary

Infowars’ Alex Jones, described by The Southern Poverty Law Center as ‘one of the most prolific and influential conspiracy theorists in contemporary America,’ has long been the subject of controversy — and a social media ban.

When Facebook removed him in 2018, they stated that he both glorified violence, ‘which violates our graphic violence policy’ and uses ‘dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.’

But what was not clear until this week is that the social networks now seem to have banned all discussion of him, however critical.

Alex Lee Moyer is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker whose films have appeared at Sundance and SWSX festivals. Her latest movie — made with independent production company Play Nice — is called Alex’s War. It is an investigation of Alex Jones, but despite it only being on only out on pre-sale, she has already found that her attempts to market the film have been blocked by the social media giants because of the controversial subject matter.

According to Play Nice, when the team first released the documentary trailer, they were blocked by Instagram from adding paid promotion of it. Even posts screenshotting a Washington Post article that mentioned Alex’s War was rejected. They were informed they were being rejected to ‘protect our community.’

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Woke BBC accused of stoking racial tensions over England women soccer’s ‘all White’ team

Reporting on the Lionesses’ record-breaking 8-0 thumping of Norway on Monday evening, BBC presenter Eilidh Barbour highlighted the racial make-up of the women’s team, all of whom currently happen to be White women, before discussing an “investigation” into why this is the case.

Barbour commented on what she described as “a historic eight-goal victory for England last night as the Lionesses secured their place in the quarter finals,” before stating, “But all starting XI players and the five substitutes that came on to the pitch were all White, and that does point to a lack of diversity in the women’s game in England.”

Some will question the significance and indeed relevance of such a statement, considering 84.8 percent of the population in England and Wales are White, according to the latest Office of National Statistics data compiled in 2019.

For context, six of the players to feature in the last fixture of the England men’s team, a heavy 4-0 defeat at home to Hungary, were Black. In the semi-final of the England women’s last major tournament, the 2019 Women’s World Cup, two of the starting XI were Black.

Political commentators took to social media to chastise the British public broadcaster for manufacturing an issue that would only stoke racial tension.

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Dog names are racist, according to scholars

Academics recently applauded a Social Psychology Quarterly study purporting to show a disparity in the time dogs were adopted based on racial associations with the animals’ names.

“White” names, according to the study, resulted in shorter adoption times compared to “Black” names.

The correlations were largely concentrated around pit bulls, “a breed that is stereotyped as dangerous and racialized as Black," according to the study.


Timothy Welbeck, director of the Center for Anti-Racism Research and an assistant professor of instruction, retweeted the story, posing the rhetorical question “WhY iS EveRyTHingG aBOuT rACE?”

He answers his own question with, “Because everything is about race...”

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Professors punished — this month — for Halloween costumes they wore in 2014

The University of South Alabama this month issued final punishments to two professors who wore “inappropriate” costumes to an on-campus Halloween party eight years ago.

In March 2021, business professors Bob Wood and Alex Sharland were placed on administrative leave after photos from a 2014 Halloween party surfaced publicly.

Wood was dressed as a Confederate general and Sharland, who is British, as a British “hanging judge” from the 17th century, with a black robe, white wig and a noose as a prop.

The university hired an independent firm to conduct the investigation, the results of which were reviewed by a group of faculty, staff and students angered by the costumes.

For Wood’s punishment, he wrote a two-page apology letter to the campus community, he will participate in a moderated forum to discuss the incident with those who were offended, and he will not be assigned to teach in-person courses for the next year, according to the university’s official statement on the matter provided to The College Fix.

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College Board no longer disclosing AP test results by ethnicity, state: Before last year, anyone could publicly view scores broken down by certain demographics. Not anymore.

The College Board used to annually publish granular breakdowns of how students scored on its Advanced Placement, or AP exams. And Jon Boeckenstedt, vice provost for enrollment management at Oregon State University, would painstakingly download each data set to translate into a more digestible format on his admissions blog.

The testing provider’s reports represented an in-depth dive into the assessments, which can earn K-12 students college credit if they receive a high enough score.

The College Board would share a state-by-state look at how high school students performed on the tests, as well as demographic data, so anyone in the public could see how students — based on their ethnicity — fared. So detailed were these summaries that one could look up, for instance, Black students’ average score on the AP Biology test for any given year.

That was up until 2021, when the College Board stopped releasing most of those data points. It still posts the number of students who tested, and how many scored in exams’ range of 1 to 5, a 5 being the highest mark. But the public could no longer sort test results by ethnicity.

Higher Ed Dive could find no evidence the College Board announced the change. It also appears to have scrubbed that type of data from its website archives.

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Emory medical school hit with civil rights complaint for race-based scholarship

A scholarship reserved for students who "self-identify as an under-represented minority" has earned the Emory University School of Medicine a federal civil rights complaint that accuses the school of racial discrimination .

Do No Harm, a watchdog group that opposes "radical, divisive, and discriminatory ideology" in the healthcare industry, filed the complaint with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, alleging that the Emory Urology Diversity and Equity Scholarship Program violates federal civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race.

The scholarship requires that "applicants must self-identify as an under-represented minority, and demonstrate commitment to a career in Urology. Applicants must be entering their fourth year of medical school at an accredited U.S. institution, and must have completed all of their required core rotations."

The scholarship specifically denotes "African American, Latinx, and/or Native American" as groups the institution considers to be "underrepresented."

The complaint accuses the university of violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which states that "no person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

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[Freddie deBoer] Questions for Pure Environmentalists

Critics of behavioral genetics, the academic subfield devoted to the exploration of how genes influence cognition and behavior, are a good example. Although I believe it’s overwhelmingly likely such influence exists, that position is perfectly subject to criticism, and since historically people have gone very wrong in interpreting that relationship good criticism is important. But online, even very well-informed critics of behavioral genetics spend almost all of their time ridiculing and loling rather than arguing. This problem is particularly acute in this domain because so many want to dismiss any consideration of how genes influence how human beings act by saying that anyone who asks elementary questions in that regard is a Nazi. Kevin Bird, a plant geneticist who has been an acid critic of linking genes and behavior, is capable of being thoughtful in that regard, but most of his expression of this attitude online is confined to sneering for the entertainment of the already convinced. I think that’s a shame.

(You also have Eric Turkheimer, a behavioral geneticist who coined the Three Laws of Behavioral Genetics and yet who has in recent years spent much of his energy sniping at every attempt to quantify the very phenomena he posited. I don’t understand the scientific utility of this effort, although I certainly do understand it from a personal and professional standpoint.)

This is all particularly frustrating for me because my concern with genes and cognition has always been very practical. My first book lays out the case that the assumption that all students are perfectly equal in potential, integrated into educational ideology in large part by John Dewey, has profound negative consequences for our education system - and hurts no one more than students who struggle in school. I have already detailed how blank-slate thinking brought us No Child Left Behind, the most disastrous educational policy in the history of our country. The entire charter school ideology, which empowers plutocrats to defund public schools and attack teachers and their unions, depends entirely on the idea that students all have exactly equal inherent ability and that any suggestion otherwise is a way to dodge accountability. This discussion is not theoretical; it has teeth, and our public schools are in the crosshairs. It’s beyond frustrating that asking elementary questions about genetics and behavior is greeted with jokes and not with arguments.

Here are questions that I think are serious and important, that I don’t think can just be laughed off, offered by a layman in good faith and driven by curiosity.

  • The nervous system and brain are produced by the same basic process of genetic transmission from parents to child as any other part of the body. We’re developing greater knowledge over time of how genetic variants influence the development of brain structures. How could it be possible that differences in the genome would result in no differences at all in the functioning of the brain and greater nervous system, which produce our cognition and behavior? Wouldn’t this amount to some sort of Cartesian dualism where the mind and the body are entirely separate, the kind of thinking that was left behind hundreds of years ago?
  • Do you believe that animal cognition and behavior are influenced by the individual animal’s genome? Does a given dog’s particular genome influence its cognition and behavior? If not, how is it that some dogs can be selectively bred to be more or less aggressive, more or less friendly? If genes can influence the cognition and behavior of animals how could it be that genes don’t influence the cognition and behavior of humans, who are after all just another species of animal?
  • Is there no such thing as an intrinsic trait of personality, cognition, or behavior? Is there no such thing as a naturally curious, intrinsically anxious, or inherently shy person? Do we have any inherent predispositions in thinking and behavior?
  • Even ardent environmentalists will generally concede that some people are predisposed toward athletic success or are born beautiful. What is fundamentally different between a genetic predisposition towards athletic talent or physical attractiveness and a genetic predisposition to being good at math or bad at chess?
  • Often, fraternal siblings have significantly different performance on academic and cognitive metrics, even if born less than a year apart and despite sharing the same parents, home, family environment, family income, access to resources, and privileges. How does a purely environmentalist perspective account for this difference? How is it that children who are very closely matched on a great many environmental and familial variables often differ profoundly in various attributes of academic ability and personality?
  • How does a purely environmentalist perspective account for child prodigies like Terry Tao, who was doing differential equations at 8 years old, or Awonder Liang, who defeated a grandmaster in chess at 9 years old? Are their parents just that much better than the average parent? If so, why do prodigies almost never have fraternal siblings who are also prodigies? Did the parents forget how to raise children to be geniuses? Why has no one been able to replicate the parenting that produces prodigies and geniuses?
  • Are long-observed familial tendencies in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other psychiatric conditions real? If yes, then that would mean that we can identify some genetic influences on behavior and cognition. Similarly, there are proposed genetic influences for developmental and cognitive disorders that impact behavior and thinking.
  • What it means that identical twins resemble each other in cognitive and personality outcomes whether raised together or apart, or that adoptive children resemble their adoptive siblings in such outcomes no more than they do a random person, is a matter of serious and sustained controversy. But that those dynamics exist is not a matter of controversy; a tremendous amount of data demonstrates that these tendencies exist summatively, whatever their origins. What are purely environmentalist explanations for this tendency? Why are adoptive siblings so often profoundly dissimilar to each other and similar to their genetic siblings despite being raised in very different environments?
  • How is it that massive changes in environment and schooling have been found, over and over again, to prompt no changes in academic outcomes? What is the purely environmentalist explanation for this?

None of those questions seems worthless to me. None of them seem out of the bounds of scientific inquiry. None of them seem offensive or bigoted. They are indeed live questions, and as such I’m open to answers that cut against the conventional narrative in behavioral genetics. I’m happy to have a debate and be proven wrong. But I’m afraid all I’m going to get is lol lol lol lmao lol.

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Germany’s Left Party calls for free meth for drug addicts: Addictive narcotics such as crystal meth would effectively be decriminalized under the radical proposal

The parliamentary group of a left-wing party in Germany has filed a motion calling for the controlled distribution of hard drugs to addicts as a means to “reduce the pressure” on the prosecution of drug users and to “initiate a fundamental rethink” into the country’s policy on drugs.

As reported by the German news outlet Junge Freiheit, hard drugs such as methamphetamine would be distributed to addicts under close “therapeutic support” to bring down criminal prosecutions; other hard drugs such as morphine, ecstasy, cocaine, LSD, and even heroin would no longer be prosecuted if users were found purchasing or possessing small quantities.

The model, the news outlet claimed, would follow the similar decriminalization of perceived softer drugs such as marijuana, which some federal states choose not to prosecute individuals for possessing in small amounts.

Drug users must be “consistently protected from criminal prosecution,” the motion read. “Police, public prosecutors, courts and last but not least, medical facilities must be relieved and be able to concentrate on important public welfare tasks,” it added.

Amphetamine abuse, colloquially referred to as crystal meth, has been on the rise across Germany in recent years, with the number of crystal meth offenses rising in 2020 by 18.9 percent to almost 12,000 cases, according to figures provided by the Federal Criminal Police Office. Experts estimate that drug use during coronavirus lockdowns has sky-rocketed since these latest published figures.

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Freedom of speech victory: German court rules Facebook deleted ‘hate speech’ content ‘without legal basis’

In a new judgment seen as a major blow to Facebook, Germany’s Hamburg Higher Regional Court ruled that Facebook deleted a post it did not approve of and blocked a user even though “there is no legal basis” for such actions. The post in question was from the Catholic publicist Johann Joseph Görres (1776-1848), who wrote:

“There is no more good-natured, but also no more credulous people than the Germans. I never had to sow discord among them. I had only to stretch out my nets and they ran in like shy game. They choked each other and thought they were doing their duty. No other people on earth more foolish. No lie can be made up grossly enough: the Germans believe it. For a slogan given to them, they persecuted their compatriots with more bitterness than their real enemies”

Facebook labeled the quote “hate speech” and a “violation of community standards” The company then deleted the post and banned the user from the platform.

Instead of accepting the ban, the user reached out to Joachim Steinhöfel, a lawyer who specializes in free speech and freedom of expression issues in Germany. The court ruled in favor of the user, ordering Meta, the parent company of Facebook, to restore the post and the user’s account.

“According to the Hamburg Higher Regional Court, Facebook is a deliberate, serial breacher of the law. The IT giant is leveling freedom of expression on its platforms, disregarding the principles of the rule of law,” Steinhöfel told German tabloid newspaper Bild.

The lawyer is now calling for more government action against the company, saying, “Where is the legislature? Why does the Network Enforcement Act still exist? Why not think about a lump sum compensation per unjustified deletion and for each day of unlawful blocking?”

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Macy Gray and the poison of cancel culture: Gray has been defamed and threatened simply for speaking the truth.

When today’s radicals were fresh-faced youths, reading their Gramsci and putting up their Malcolm X posters, I wonder if they could ever have imagined that their proudest achievement in the year 2022 would be to make a black woman shut her trap? Supposedly leftish agitators used to dream of revolting against capitalism – now they rage against revolting women who say heretical things about sex and gender. Their latest target is the great Macy Gray. She sinned. She was seen consorting with TERFs. Men, she said, cannot become women, a vile calumny in the eyes of the high priests of the gender cult. And so she had to be taken down a peg or two, this nasty woman, this uppity broad.

The moral slaying of Macy Gray has been a disturbing spectacle. She committed her heresy on Piers Morgan’s TalkTV show. ‘Just because you go change your parts doesn’t make you a woman’, she said. She did a chopping motion with her hand as she said ‘change your parts’, which was sublime. ‘You feel that?’, asked Morgan. ‘I know that for a fact’, Gray shot back. Instantly, pitchforks were sharpened. Torches were lit. A woman said what a woman is? Unacceptable. The abuse came thick and fast. Your career is over, Gray was told. You’re dead to me, the gender hysterics cried. ‘Fuck you’, armies of white men pretending to be women screamed at her online. Just as women in pre-modern times who said or did anything ‘deviant’ would be marched to the ducking stool, so was Ms Gray ducked by the mobs of Twitter and their verdict swiftly returned – witch.

Strikingly, even Gray’s offer to be polite to men who think they are women was not enough to temper the mob’s fury. She anticipated the witch-hunt. ‘Everyone’s gonna hate me’, she said to Piers Morgan before committing her speechcrime of expressing biological facts. ‘Sorry’, she said after the speechcrime. She said she is more than happy to refer to ‘transwomen’ as ‘she’ and ‘her’. But none of that sufficed. The problem was Gray’s thoughts, the contents of her soul. Outwardly she might say ‘she’ about a man who identifies as a woman, but inwardly, in her heart and mind, she would still be thinking of that man as a man. And in the eyes of the trans set and its noisy allies, that is intolerable. This is how tyrannical the gender cult has become: it demands not only linguistic compliance but full mental and emotional submission. It wants to alter not only how we speak about the world but how we see it, how we understand it.

Clearly, Ms Gray’s mind had to be cleansed, her very nerve endings corrected. That was the task the mob set itself. Using menace and threats – including the threat of wrecking her musical career – the misogynistic mind police set about fixing this uppity miscreant. And they seem to have been successful. Gray has recanted. We don’t call it ‘recanting’ anymore, because we pretend to live in fairer, more tolerant times than our ancestors did. We call it ‘learning’. Following days of sexist vilification, a chastened Gray appeared on the Today show in the US. I have ‘learned a lot’, she said. ‘Being a woman is a vibe’, she continued, no doubt to the glee of her tormentors in the trans lobby who have insisted for years that womanhood is little more than a feeling, and a feeling anyone can have, even people with penises. I’m guessing that Gray’s inner-most thoughts are the same as they were – that a man can never become a woman – but it is highly unlikely she will ever express these thoughts publicly again. Because she knows the consequences now. She knows ruination awaits those who utter this truth.

Some in the ‘unwoke’ set have been uncharitable in their response to Gray’s backtracking. She caved, they say. She’s a wimp. This is far too harsh. It is deeply unpleasant to be the target of the new Witchfinder-Generals. It is understandable that some people choose the quiet life over the prospect of being mauled and defamed by a hysterical mob every time they say perfectly normal things. Save your criticism for Gray’s persecutors, not Gray. More importantly, save your criticism for the ideologies that motored the moral slaying of Macy Gray, and whose vicious and unforgiving nature should now be apparent to everyone. That is, the ideologies of identitarianism and its close cousin, cancel culture.

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People from elite backgrounds increasingly dominate academia, data shows

To understand critical issues facing the U.S. economy — soaring inflation, worker shortages and perhaps a looming recession — researchers must understand human behavior. They need to know how everyday Americans will react when pump prices double or shelves go bare.

That’s why it’s somewhat alarming to learn that academia in general — and economics in particular — has quietly become the province of an insular elite, a group likely to have had little exposure to the travails of America’s vast middle class.

In 1970, just 1 in 5 U.S.-born PhD graduates in economics had a parent with a graduate degree. Now? Two-thirds of them do, according to a new analysis from the Peterson Institute for International Economics. The trends are similar for other fields (and for foreign-born students), but economics is off the charts.

This partly reflects population trends: Over that same period, the share of parents with graduate degrees and college-age children rose 10 percentage points, to 14 percent, our analysis of Census Bureau data shows. But compared with the typical American, a typical new economist is about five times more likely to have a parent with a graduate degree.


It shows that the elite dominate even more among the top schools that produce about half of all future economics professors. Among the top 15 programs, 78 percent of new PhDs since 2010 had a parent with a graduate degree while just 6 percent are first-generation college students.

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[Freddie deBoer] Education Doesn't Work 2.0: a comprehensive argument that education cannot close academic gaps

The brute reality is that most kids slot themselves into academic ability bands early in life and stay there throughout schooling. We have a certain natural level of performance, gravitate towards it early on, and are likely to remain in that band relative to peers until our education ends. There is some room for wiggle, and in large populations there are always outliers. But in thousands of years of education humanity has discovered no replicable and reliable means of taking kids from one educational percentile and raising them up into another. Mobility of individual students in quantitative academic metrics relative to their peers over time is far lower than popularly believed. The children identified as the smart kids early in elementary school will, with surprising regularity, maintain that position throughout schooling. Do some kids transcend (or fall from) their early positions? Sure. But the system as a whole is quite static. Most everybody stays in about the same place relative to peers over academic careers. The consequences of this are immense, as it is this relative position, not learning itself, which is rewarded economically and socially in our society.

This phenomenon is relevant to the question of genetic influence on intelligence, but this post is not about that. The evidence of such influence appears strong to me, and opposition to it seems to rely on a kind of Cartesian dualism. However, one need not believe in genetic influence on academic outcomes to recognize the phenomenon I’m describing today. Entirely separate from the debate about genetic influences on academic performance, we cannot dismiss the summative reality of limited educational plasticity and its potentially immense social repercussions. What I’m here to argue today is not about a genetic influence on academic outcomes. I’m here to argue that regardless of the reasons why, most students stay in the same relative academic performance band throughout life, defying all manner of life changes and schooling and policy interventions. We need to work to provide an accounting of this fact, and we need to do so without falling into endorsing a naïve environmentalism that is demonstrably false. And people in education and politics, particularly those who insist education will save us, need to start acknowledging this simple reality. Without communal acceptance that there is such a thing as an individual’s natural level of ability, we cannot have sensible educational policy.

Kids do learn at school. You send your kid, he can’t sing the alphabet song, a few days later he’s driving you nuts with it. Sixteen-year-olds learn to drive. We handily acquire skills that didn’t even exist ten years ago. Concerns about the Black-white academic performance gap can sometimes obscure the fact that Black children today handily outperform Black children from decades past. Everyone has been getting smarter all the time for at least a hundred years or so. So how can I deny that education works?

The issue is that these are all markers of absolute learning. People don’t know something, or don’t know how to do something, and then they take lessons, and then they know it or can do it. From algebra to gymnastics to motorcycle maintenance to guitar, you can grow in your cognitive and practical abilities. The rate that you grow will differ from that of others, and most people will admit that there are different natural limits on various learned abilities between individuals; a seasoned piano teacher will tell you that anyone can learn some tunes, but also that most people have natural limits on their learning that prevent them from being as good as the masters. So too with academics: the fact that growth in absolute learning is common does not undermine the observation that some learners will always outperform others in relative terms. Everybody can learn. The trouble is that people think that they care most about this absolute learning when what they actually care about, and what the system cares about, is relative learning - performance in a spectrum or hierarchy of ability that shows skills in comparison to those of other people.

If Harvard (or Caltech or whoever) selected an incoming freshman class, and then aliens came to earth and abducted every one of them, Harvard would just reach into their bag of valedictorians and admit the next rung of students on their list. Those students would presumably have meaningfully lower ability in absolute terms compared to their abducted peers, if Harvard’s selection process is at all effective. But they’d be the best relative to who was left. Correspondingly, would that reduced level of absolute learning mean that they wouldn’t receive the advantage that a Harvard degree confers in the labor market? Of course not. They would still be perceived as the cream of the crop relative to labor market peers. You sell your academic credentials in a market; their value is a function of their supply and their demand. We know that the college wage premium is to a large degree a simple function of the ratio between the number of jobs that require a college degree and the number of applicants who have one. The absolute learning represented by that degree is not the relevant criterion. The relevant criterion is the position of the student in the hierarchy, their relative performance.

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Think-Tanked: How Progressive Nonprofits Went Over the Waterfall

You're told that you don't need to understand gender identity to support trans people. In fact, you're told that you will never be able to understand it as a "cis" person. I'd have expected more of my colleagues to chafe at such orders. But most submitted. Most were happy to do so. Their self-image as progressives demanded just this form of submission.

When trans activists wrapped their cause in the language of civil rights, they sought to exempt themselves from scrutiny and debate. It’s hard to imagine a more effective way to shut down inquiry among self-identified progressives and progressive organizations. Anyone who resisted or even asked basic questions risked being cast in the background of this image:

Even the most apologetically stated concerns or reservations—about males in women’s prisons, women’s sports, and women’s refuges, about the effects of overwriting sex in the law—were instantly dismissed as the bigoted ravings of a privileged mob. The real conflict between sex-based rights and demands couched in an inner sense of gender identity got buried. Trans activists taunted progressives: who wants to end up on the wrong side of history?

Challenging the trans narrative requires direct confrontation — and that’s hard. At every turn, you're urged to ‘just’ be kind. You're told inclusion doesn't cost you anything. You’re told you just don’t get it. And besides, you don’t want to end up getting the Maya Forstater treatment, do you?

In this climate, I watched my organization radicalize, righteously. Ideas no one would have entertained five years ago were elevated to doctrine. The focus on ‘inclusion’ unseated real-world action. We shifted from carving out small material gains to taking on immense systems of oppression—strictly rhetorically, of course. We went from advocating for victims of domestic violence to be able to break leases and phone contracts to preaching about how domestic violence organizations could be more supportive of LGBTQIA2S+ staff, who might find the gendered nature of their work triggering. In other words: less doing, more talking. And, of course, we could no longer talk straightforwardly about sex.

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Why I'm Giving Up Tenure at UCLA: The ideological takeover of my university has ruined academic life for anyone who still believes in freedom of thought.

I’ve been a professor in the Anthropology Department at UCLA since 1996; I received tenure in 2000. My research has spanned topics ranging from nonhuman primate behavior to human personality variation. For decades, anthropology has been notorious for conflict between the scientific and political activist factions in the field, leading many departments to split in two. But UCLA’s department remained unusually peaceful, cohesive, and intellectually inclusive until the late 2000s.

Gradually, one hire at a time, practitioners of “critical” (i.e. leftist, postmodernist) anthropology, some of them lying about their beliefs during job interviews, came to comprise the department’s most influential clique. These militant faculty members recruited even more militant graduate students to work with them.

I can’t recount here even a representative sample of this faction’s penchant for mendacity and intimidation, because most of it occurred during confidential discussions, usually about hiring and promotion decisions. But I can describe their public torment and humiliation of one of my colleagues, P. Jeffrey Brantingham.

Jeff had developed simulation models of the geographic and temporal patterning of urban crime, and had created predictive software that he marketed to law enforcement agencies. In Spring 2018, the department’s Anthropology Graduate Students Association passed a resolution accusing Jeff’s research of, among other counter-revolutionary sins, “entrench[ing] and naturaliz[ing] the criminalization of Blackness in the United States” and calling for “referring” his research to UCLA’s Vice Chancellor for Research, presumably for some sort of investigation. This document contained no trace of scholarly argument, but instead resembled a religious proclamation of anathema.

As you won’t be surprised to hear, Jeff is not a racist, but a standard-issue liberal Democrat. The “referral” to the Vice-Chancellor never materialized, but the resolution and its aftermath achieved its real goal, which was to turn Jeff, who had been one of the most selfless citizens of the department, into a pariah. He taught—and still teaches—a course called “The Ecology of Crime,” which consistently drew more than 150 students and earned rave reviews. This course had a catalogue number that grouped it with sociocultural anthropology, and it fulfilled a sociocultural anthropology requirement for anthro majors.

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New Christian School Gets 2,500 Applications as Families Flee Public Ed in Droves: 'Once in 100-Years Moment'

Cornerstone has been inundated with inquiries, and not just from parents. Teachers want out of public schools too.

"By the end of the week, we had over 2,500 students pre-registered. I got over 450 emails from teachers wanting employment."

The overwhelming response mirrors what appears to be a national trend. Nearly two million students left public schools between 2020 and 2021 with large numbers now enrolled in Christian education.

Before the pandemic, many Christian schools struggled with low enrollment. Now, there are waiting lists.

One of the things that came out of COVID was parents were looking over the shoulder of their kids as they were taking online classes and realizing some of the stuff that's being taught was against their values, even if they weren't Christians," said Hamrick.

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Kansas City Institute of Art expels student for retweeting erotic art: The school is being challenged for suppressing free expression.

The images are described as "sexually explicit Japanese animated images" and FIRE is representing him. We might get to see David French have to stand up in court and defend futa hentai.

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Postmodernism, Criminality, and Madness: On the crazy French origins of today’s crazy academic ideas.

In recent years, one frequently hears the charge by critics that much of what is presented to students in American college classrooms seems “crazy.” “Words are violence”; “Gender and even sex are social constructions with little or no basis in biology”; “All moral claims are relative, and so all ideas about law and criminality are too”; “Human identities are infinite and wholly personal, and nothing anyone does in the expression of identity can legitimately be classed as pathological.” The list of bizarre ideas now commonplace in higher education is long.

It turns out that there is more to the “crazy” descriptor than just a throwaway epithet. A good deal of the warped ideas propagated in today’s universities is the product of alienated, troubled minds that gave every indication of mental illness.

About a year ago, a story appeared that brought one of the most important radical thinkers of the late twentieth century into the vision even of those who never read him in a university. A former friend of the celebrated French philosopher Michel Foucault reported that Foucault had committed serious crimes of sexual abuse against children during his time living in Tunisia during the late 1960s. The allegation was that Foucault, a homosexual who died in his mid-50s of complications from AIDS and admitted having heavily participated in risky anonymous sex in gay bathhouses, was a “paedophile rapist” who paid young Tunisian boys for sex during an extended stay in the North African country, a former French protectorate.

The interest in this story for anyone with an eye on academic politics extends beyond the obvious moral and criminal issue of a French citizen apparently getting away with awful crimes against children. Foucault’s work—a good portion of which deals with sexual identity, criminality, and mental illness—has had a vast influence on leftist academic thought and teaching. Is there a relationship between this writing and the mental health of the individual who did it? And what might such a relationship help us understand about the current academic world, which takes the ideas of people like Foucault—and others in his influential radical cohort—on identity, mental illness and madness, and criminality so seriously?

The question extends well beyond Foucault. A substantial number of the influential European thinkers who produced the literature on which much of the radical American professoriate draws for their teaching were no strangers to psychological pathology. One of the most evident and well-known examples is Louis Althusser, the Marxist philosopher who spent decades in the prestigious Parisian École normale supérieure, influencing generations of leftist students. Althusser was hospitalized numerous times during his life for mental breakdowns and was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. He murdered his wife in their rooms at the ENS during a psychotic episode in 1980. Subsequently, he spent the final decade of his life as an inmate in a psychiatric hospital, ruminating on the possibility of receiving an audience with Pope John Paul II so he could instruct the Holy Father on how to prevent the Apocalypse.

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Left-wing German minister wants to seize guns from members of conservative AfD party: Despite the conservative AfD earning millions of votes, party members may now be targeted with forced weapons confiscation

In a sign of what may await conservatives in both Europe and North America, the left-wing interior minister of the German state of Thuringia, Georg Maier, wants to withdraw gun licenses from Alternative for Germany members, which would effectively result in a mass weapon confiscation.

Maier, who belongs to the Social Democrat Party (SPD), has tasked his employees with establishing a working group on “Weapons and Extremists” to move forward on the issue. They plan to create the “AG WaffEx,” which would be located at the state administration office and help local authorities “in the processing of relevant cases.”

While the interior minister says that they will target “right-wing extremists,” this list also apparently includes legal members of the AfD who have never been convicted of any crime or shown any sign of participating in terror activity. The rule would, for example, target AfD members who legally own weapons as hunters or marksmen, according to German news outlet T-Online. The letter says that “appropriate revocation procedures should be initiated against these in principle.”

As justification for the rigorous approach, Maier uses the assessment of the Thuringian Office for the Protection of the Constitution that the state association of the AfD in Thuringia is “proven to be right-wing extremist.” In much the same way that Republicans have been labeled as Nazis or “fascists” in the United States, the AfD has to contend with claims of “right-wing extremism” primarily due to its opposition to mass immigration.

The AfD, which was once the largest opposition party in the German parliament, and which still receives millions of votes, has been targeted by the German state for years. Germany’s top court has designated the entire party a “potential” threat to democracy, which means all members are already subject to draconian surveillance that allows state authorities to read their emails and listen to their phone calls without any just cause. The fact that a democratically elected party is subject to such law enforcement constraints in Germany, a country that prides itself on being an open liberal democracy, has been lost on much of the public.

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Principal accused of trying to fire white teachers because of their race created school of 'insanity' plagued with low-quality education and 'dangerous' fighting, say students

A Washington Heights principal accused of wanting to oust white staffers reportedly created a learning environment plagued by 'utter disorganization and insanity.'

Students attending New York City's High School for Law and Public Service claim their lives have become 'miserable' under the leadership of Principal Paula Lev.

They also allege their quality of education has declined after Lev ousted 'fully experienced and qualified' staff as part of her alleged diversity crusade.

A student-created petition claims a handful of Lev's new hires 'are super under-qualified' and that their 'lack of knowledge' has affected students' ability to learn.

The petition also cited fears of attending class due to a 'dangerous' environment fueled by an 'insane number of fights, constant arguing and improper administrative action.'

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