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The New Normal/Political Correctness Run Amok Thread


Muda69
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Here we go:

Adult Swim "retires" episodes of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Boondocks due to "cultural sensitivities"

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Very little gets past Redittors. A recent example of this happened recently when a few users shared that they were having trouble finding season six episode of Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force from 2009, “Shake Like Me.” Others noted that they couldn’t locate season three episode of The Boondocks, “The Story Of Jimmy Rebel.” But don’t worry. According to The Daily Beast, reps from Adult Swim want to assure everyone that these episodes are “permanently retired” on a nice farm with a big, grassy lawn, where they can frolic with the other episodes of television that have been deemed culturally insensitive.

The two missing episodes in question share a common thread: They both relied on anti-Black ideology for chuckles, as is the case with a lot of past comedy (sometimes for satirical purposes, sometimes due to a lack of creativity and just being good old fashion racists). In “Shake Like Me”—a title that signals John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me, Shake is bitten by a radioactive Black man and turns “stereotypically” Black, complete with darkened skin, big lips, a chain, and an afro. Aaron McGruder’s The Boondocks featured the character Uncle Ruckus, a self-hating Black man who proudly spewed gross, racist rhetoric throughout the entirety of the series. But in “The Story Of Jimmy Rebel,” he links with an equally proud racist country star who sets his overt anti-Blackness to music, which goes a smidge too far, apparently.

Both were considered perfectly acceptable when they originally aired, but now that the entertainment industry is continuing to (kind of) contend with its racist roots, they’re being quietly removed in between platform onboarding with no plans to return to the masses. “When Adult Swim transitions series to a new platform, we determine what episodes are selected through creative and cultural filters and our standards and practices policies,” an Adult Swim rep told The Daily Beast. “Oftentimes these decisions are made in collaboration with the show’s creators.”

An episode of the network’s stop animation series The Shivering Truth was also remove— sorry, “temporarily rested”—due to “current sensitivities.” In “Ogled Inklings,” a pregnant woman gives birth to a cop, who is then referred to as a “dirty pig.” It was previously available on Adult Swim’s site and, as of now, is slated to return with the series officially debuts on HBO Max.

Adult Swim joins the likes of Community, 30 Rock, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and others that wish to merely sweep their penchant for racist humor under the rug rather than examine why they found that particular well of comedy so enticing in the first place. There are definitely other ways to show support for the Black community, like hiring and commissioning Black creatives, donating regularly to community initiatives geared towards Black liberation, or, again, seriously and loudly acknowledging how this brand of humor has potentially caused some harm and sharing how you plan to improve your creative process in the future. All of that would be exponentially better than just hoping that folks forget that these episodes ever existed. 

I'll admit enjoying ATHF when it was first airing on Adult Swim, it was pretty funny.    

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  • 3 weeks later...

Cultural Revolution In King County: https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/christopher-rufo-king-county-racism-cultural-revolution/

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Christopher Rufo is still on fire fighting left-wing institutional racism and bigotry. Look at what he found in leaked documents from the King County, WA (Seattle), district attorney’s office. They are forcing employees to endure this racist claptrap. Imagine being compelled to confess your guilt as a condition of employment! Look at these examples:

Screen-Shot-2020-10-18-at-8.45.25-PM-e16More:

 

Screen-Shot-2020-10-18-at-8.45.41-PM-e16

There’s more, from two other agencies. Read Rufo’s column in the New York Post explaining more. Excerpts:

 

State-sanctioned racial segregation ended with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 but has recently returned in an unlikely place: government agencies in Seattle. According to new whistleblower documents I’ve reviewed, at least three public agencies in the region have implemented race-segregated diversity trainings.

At the King County Library System, a private consulting firm called Racial Equity Consultants recently held racially segregated “listening sessions” to root out “institutional privileges and systemic inequities.” Apparently, there is widespread “institutional racism” in the libraries, and employees who reject that premise are accused of “internalized racism.” When reached by e-mail, the firm said it wasn’t authorized to comment.

At the federal Veterans Administration Puget Sound facility, the local leadership has launched a series of racially segregated “caucuses” for “individuals who identify as white” and those who identify as “African-American or black” or as “people of color.” According to whistleblower e-mails, the organizer, Dr. Jesse Markman, convened the racially segregated sessions, calling them “an environment for sharing and discussion, which is not afforded by mixed groups.” Dr. Markman referred me to the VA’s public-affairs office, which didn’t provide comment.

More:

Finally, at the King County Prosecutor’s Office, the chief prosecutor, Dan Satterberg, and senior staff have recently required employees to sign an “equity and social justice” pledge and assigned “continued training for white employees,” who must “do the work” to “learn the true history of racism in our country.”

White employees are encouraged to participate in racially segregated “anti-racist action groups,” as well as agency-wide “cultural-competency” training that teaches them to how to adopt “a new non-oppressive and non-exploitive attitude.”

According to a leaked memo I’ve reviewed, Satterberg recently wrote a letter to staff suggesting that the “privileged, white, male cohort” in his office should “shut up and listen.” The prosecutor’s office confirmed the authenticity of the equity pledge and staff-wide memo but didn’t offer further comment.

Oh, the irony: Seattle’s white elites are instituting a policy of racial segregation in the name of social justice. In all three of these institutions, white executives have explicitly implemented these policies, arguing, in one case, that holding segregated training sessions mitigates “any potential harming of staff of color that might arise from a cross-racial conversation.”

Read it all.

 

This is how soft totalitarianism is coming to us. Along those lines, today I received an e-mail from a reader whose Chinese-born wife who grew up during the Cultural Revolution saw me on “Morning Joe” on Friday, arguing with the black Princeton professor Eddie Glaude, who denied that there is any such thing as the illiberal left, and said people like me who say there is are really racist. The reader wrote:

She pointed out immediately that [Princeton professor] Dr. [Eddie] Glaude was doing EXACTLY the same thing that Chairman Mao and the Red Guard, initially a far left left-wing group of college-aged students,  did during the early phases of the Cultural Revolution.  The technique is hauntingly familiar to her.
 
First it was done in debates and speeches on campus and the local and university newspapers.  Then it progressed to “struggle sessions” in public forums.  Eventually, at the end, it led to repeated public executions.
 
The tools in the initial phases of the Cultural Revolution are exactly the same we are seeing now, and were demonstrated perfectly by Dr. Glaude the other day.  Indeed, in early Cultural Revolution China, prominent university faculty were always the voices of choice.  Facts are pesky details to be brushed aside.  Minimize any legitimate issues with the official narrative as “tawdry little trifles.”  If your debate opponent continues down the road of facts, make sure you begin tarnishing him with one ad hominem attack after the other. In Cultural Revolution China, it would be that you didn’t pay taxes, your mother was a Nationalist whore, your family members were proven enemies of the People etc. Today, in America,  of course, you are a racist.  Everything you say comes from your privileged status.  Or better yet: you are being supported by Putin and his Russian hackers.
 
She also had some words of warning for folks like Mika Brzezinski who sit and lap this all up, act offended on cue, and see every issue through the lens of “the official narrative.”  You may think you are righteous in what you are doing.  But please note: when the time came in the worst of the Cultural Revolution, after years of percolation, it was the non-radical liberals like Mika who were taken out and shot first. 
 
She wants to urge anyone with eyes to read to go and look at the history of the early Cultural Revolution.  The issues and narrative are completely different to ours in America now, but the techniques and the groups involved are disturbingly familiar.  And she and thousands  upon thousands of Chinese immigrants to this country are struggling with the same question: WILL THE RESULT BE THE SAME?
 
She wanted me to let you know that this is EXACTLY how the Chinese Red Guard did business — and despite years of trying, the other side never could figure out a way to combat it. She lamented that this will soon spread into families here in America, and family members will begin turning on each other. Everything will be about politics — including the most sacred holidays and the most private family issues.  There will be no place or no relationship that will be truly safe.
Have you read Live Not By Lies yet? You should. This is here in some places (like King County), and you had better believe that it is spreading everywhere fast. We have to be ready.

 

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San Diego Public Schools Will Overhaul Its Grading System To Achieve 'Anti-Racism'

https://reason.com/2020/10/19/san-diego-public-schools-grades-antiracism/?itm_source=parsely-api

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San Diego's public schools want to be anti-racist, so they're…abolishing the traditional grading system?

"This is part of our honest reckoning as a school district," San Diego Unified School District Vice President Richard Barrera told a local NBC affiliate. "If we're actually going to be an anti-racist school district, we have to confront practices like this that have gone on for years and years."

District officials evidently believe that the practice of grading students based on their average score is racist, and that an active effort to dismantle racism necessitates a learning environment free of the pressure to turn in assignments on time. As evidence for the urgency of these changes, the district released data showing that minority students received more Ds and Fs than white students: Just 7 percent of whites received failing grades, as opposed to 23 percent of Native Americans, 23 percent of Hispanics, and 20 percent of black students.

Under the new system, students will not be penalized for failing to complete assignments, and teachers will give them extra opportunities to demonstrate mastery of subjects. The grades they receive upon completion of a course will no longer reflect their average test and assignment scores. "Common grading practices such as averaging a student's grade over time can disadvantage students who started the year behind grade level and can discredit the progress a student has made, experts have said," noted The San Diego Union Tribune.

The new approach—which is rather confusingly written—still includes letter grades, but these will reflect student's "mastery" of the subject rather than their completion of homework, quizzes, and tests. What constitutes mastery is left unexplained. Grades "shall not be influenced by behavior or factors that directly measure students' knowledge and skills in the content area," which sounds like a recipe for highly subjective grading. And a great deal of leniency will now be given to students who don't do the work for a course, including those who don't show up at all: Attendance can no longer be a factor in grading.

In any case, ending these kinds of grades doesn't actually eliminate the underlying inequities that produced the disparate Fs. It may actually cover those inequities up: Given that grades are a tool for evaluating students' progress, the district is essentially announcing that it will no longer gather as much evidence about the negative social phenomena it would probably like to address. Better grades do not mean students will suddenly have a better grasp of the material. They certainly won't be better prepared for college (where traditional grades are very much still a thing).

Indeed, this comes perilously close to addressing poverty by no longer tallying the number of homeless people—or, to use a timely example, President Donald Trump's frustration that increasing COVID-19 testing will make the epidemic look worse. Coronavirus cases exist even if they go undetected; similarly, minority students who are falling behind their classmates will be falling behind even if their teachers aren't giving them Fs.

Eliminating grades and standardized testing has become something of a crusade for California progressives. California's public universities, for instance, announced earlier this year that they would no longer require applicants to take either the SAT, a measure on which white students have historically outperformed others. But this elides a serious problem for minority students: Other admissions criteria—such as legacy considerations and extracurricular activities—favor privileged applicants even more dramatically than grades and tests do. The wealthiest (and usually whitest) students have better access to résumé-padding activities; yes, they can also hire tutors and take test prep courses, but there's only so much extra value to be extracted from these things.

At present, San Diego schools are only open for a handful of special-needs students. What district kids need most of all is probably a return to normalcy, as soon as possible. An experimental system that eliminates year-end letter grades seems like an especially bad idea for the current moment.

Perhaps some of our resident education professionals can speak up with their learned opinion of this plan?

 

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IHSAA physical form asks athletes' sex assigned at birth and gender identity; is challenged as 'invasive'

https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/high-school/2020/10/29/new-ihsaa-physical-form-asks-athletes-sex-assigned-birth-and-gender-identity/5985534002/

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A blank line next to the word "sex" has been replaced on the IHSAA physical form with two questions for athletes. What sex they were assigned at birth — "female, male or intersex." And how they identify their gender — "female, male or other."

The pre-participation physical form is the fifth version that has been used by the IHSAA in the past 20 years, IHSAA assistant commissioner Robert Faulkens said. The organization does not create the questions, rather it uses a template suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics, with guidance from the Indiana State Medical Association. 

But advocates in the LGBTQ+ community say the new questions, which replace the decades-old choices of "F" or "M," are invasive and biased against Indiana's transgender high school athletes. 

Those students, said a.t. furuya, shouldn't have to reveal their gender identity or their sex at birth unless they feel comfortable doing so.

"Trans kids don't owe that to people. They don't owe that to anybody," said furuya, senior youth programs manager at New York City-based GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network), which works to end discrimination, harassment, and bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in K-12 schools. "All of this feels very calculated and is not just a fluke. It feels totally like surveillance." 

"We're not physicians here," said Faulkens, who works with the IHSAA's Sports Medicine Advisory Committee. "We are educators and our goal is to make sure kids are happy, healthy and safe." 

Faulkens told IndyStar his organization has received no formal complaints about the gender questions athletes have been asked to answer. The change was made now to conform with the latest version from the Academy of Pediatrics, he said.

Each version changes, to align with social and medical issues facing high school students, Faulkens said. For the first time, for example, this version of the form asks students about mental health.

The IHSAA preparticipation physical form for the 2020-21 school year asks athletes what sex they were assigned at birth and how they identify their gender.

 

The gender questions on the American Academy of Pediatrics' template physical form match IHSAA's form word for word.

For furuya, whose pronouns are they/them, the new questions are another example of issues facing Indiana's transgender athletes. Those athletes have to prove so much to compete on a team which isn't the athlete's assigned birth sex that it is "discriminatory," furuya said. 

In 2017, the IHSAA adopted a gender policy that required transgender athletes to undergo a sex change to compete on the team of the gender they identify with. Then-IHSAA commissioner Bobby Cox told the New York Times the rules were made to prevent unfair competition.

“When you start talking about transgender athletes, a male-to-female individual, we want to ensure that that is truly a decision that is permanent,” Cox said. “It is not a decision that, ‘I just decided today that I am going to be a girl and I am going to go play on a girls’ team’ and perhaps, disadvantage those kids that are on the team and imbalance the competition."

That policy changed two years ago. Now, for a transgender youth to compete on a high school team in Indiana that matches their gender identity, IHSAA rules require they prove they have been living as the gender they identify with for at least a year.

They must prove "through testimony and/or creditable documentation from parents, friends, teachers and others, that the actions, attitudes, dress and manner of the transgender student, for at least one year, are and have been consistent with the gender identification and gender expression of the gender to which the transgender student self relates," the IHSAA policy states.

The policy also requires hormones and testosterone be taken depending on the gender.

"With respect to FTM (female to male), only, the transgender student must establish through testimony and/or creditable documentation, from an appropriate health-care professional, that the student has initiated testosterone therapy and has completed counseling, and other medical or psychological interventions related to gender transition," says IHSAA.

For male to female, the athlete must have "completed a minimum of one year of hormone treatment related to gender transition or undergone a medically confirmed gender reassignment procedure," the policy says."

Faulkens said there have been no issues with the rules and the process has been a smooth one for the transgender athletes competing in various sports throughout Indiana.

"We have kids who have made the change and who have competed (on teams) different than their birth gender," said Faulkens. "I think we've done a good job with the issues that have been raised because there have been no complaints."

To furuya, the policy seems to be a barrier for trans athletes. Not all trans people, for example, want to use hormones.

"It is not enough for us to accept you for who you are," they said. "We are just going to keep building hurdles to make it harder for you to be the person you identify as." 

Indiana's form change puts it at odds with some other states when it comes to asking athletes about gender identity on high school physical forms. Arizona and Kentucky, for example, ask only for gender, which furuya said shows a sign of acceptance. Illinois does not ask sex, gender or identity.

The number of transgender athletes in Indiana or the United States is unknown as little data has been gathered in that area. 

Nearly 2% of high school students — about 310,000 — identify as transgender, according to a 2019 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 2016 study by UCLA's Williams Institute said Indiana ranked 23rd in the nation in the number of transgender adults, with 0.56% identifying as such.

A transgender person is one with a gender identity or gender expression that differs from societal expectations based on their sex assigned at birth. But each trans person's journey is unique, according to the LGBT Sports Coalition.

Some trans individuals don't identify with any gender and don't consider gender or sexual orientation as part of their identities, the coalition says.

"Trans people can be straight, gay, bisexual, asexual, or have a different sexual identity," it says. "Some trans people use hormones, some do not. Some have surgery, many do not."

State athletic associations across the country have varying rules for transgender athletes that range from friendly to discriminatory to none at all, according to Transathlete.com, a resource for students, athletes, coaches and administrators to find information about trans inclusion in athletics. 

Indiana is one of 11 states labeled discriminatory by Transathlete.com, alongside states such as Alabama, Texas and Georgia. Idaho, also tagged as discriminating against trans athletes, allows athletes to compete on teams based only on the sex listed on an existing birth certificate, the most restrictive version of a policy.

In other states, such as Utah, South Dakota and Indiana, the athletic associations "require undue and invasive proof that consists of confidential medical information that must be provided before a school allows a student to participate," a 2020 study by Transathlete.com and GLSEN said. That might include documentation of surgery, hormone reports or other sensitive medical information.

GLSEN points to Oregon as a model system. Oregon's policy states that students may participate in athletics that align with their gender identity, regardless of the gender marker listed on their birth certificate. No surgery is required. It joins 15 other states considered "friendly" to transgender high school athletes, including Florida, California and New York.

The IHSAA rules on gender identity say that participation on a single-gender athletic team is limited to students whose birth gender matches the gender of that team. But it allows for a waiver.

 

Once the student proves the appropriate requirements, is allowed the waiver and competes on the gender team they identify with, they "may never later participate on a team of the prior gender, even if the student later transitions to the prior, or birth gender."

IndyStar made a request to talk to IHSAA's newly named commissioner, Paul Neidig, but was referred to Faulkens.

Faulkens reiterated the IHSAA's acceptance of transgender athletes and said that the organization is in no way trying to be invasive. Rather, he sees it as a private matter between the student and the school.

"If the (athlete) has done what they are supposed to do," Faulkens said, "I don't think that's anyone's business. It's nobody's business but their own." 

One of the biggest hurdles for transgender athletes, especially girls, is the belief by some that a transgender girl will be a higher-level competitor than the cisgender girls on her team. (Cis is a term for people whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth.)

"You hear, 'They are going to take all the medals away from the cisgender girls' and that is just scientifically not true," said furuya. "And it if were the case, then we would see a lot more (controversy) than the two girls in Connecticut."

Those transgender girls in Connecticut whom furuya is referring to are Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, who three years ago competed on the girls track and field teams at their high schools. 

The two dominated the girls’ state championships after joining the girls team, taking home multiple titles in various events.

Legal action was brought against the Connecticut schools by some parents of those girls' teammates in 2018. In May, the U.S. Department of Education ruled against Connecticut’s policy allowing transgender girls to compete as girls in high school sports.

The ruling said allowing them to do so violates the civil rights of athletes who have always identified as female and Title IX, the federal civil rights law that guarantees equal education opportunities for women, including in athletics.

“Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field,” Christiana Holcomb, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, told the media in 2019. “Women fought long and hard to earn the equal athletic opportunities that Title IX provides. Allowing boys to compete in girls’ sports reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women under this law. We shouldn’t force these young women to be spectators in their own sports.”

 

On the other side, Texas high school wrestler Mack Beggs, a transgender boy who was undergoing hormone therapy as he transitioned from female to male, was not allowed to compete on the boys wrestling team in 2017.

Texas' high school athletic association required Beggs to wrestle in the girls' division due to its rules that sports participation is based on the sex listed on an athlete's birth certificate.

"These are K-12 schools. Most of these athletes are not pro athletes," said furuya. "Hey, these are kids. The most important thing is feeling and belonging to a school community and, for many, that means being an athlete."

...

 

Edited by Muda69
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1 hour ago, Muda69 said:

IHSAA physical form asks athletes' sex assigned at birth and gender identity; is challenged as 'invasive'

https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/high-school/2020/10/29/new-ihsaa-physical-form-asks-athletes-sex-assigned-birth-and-gender-identity/5985534002/

 

So I guess the actual "plumbing" a person is BORN with means nothing anymore......."sex assigned at birth" is now a thing forced on a baby......

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The quote from then-Commissioner Cox says that the new inquiry and policy is to insure that  no unfair competitive advantage is gained. Obviously, keeping the playing field level is a legitimate concern of the IHSAA. I don’t know enough about the subject to have a truly informed opinion. Are there studies, sports medicine literature, etc., on the effect of gender reassignment on athletic performance? Because it seems to me that’s the issue here.

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30 minutes ago, Bobref said:

The quote from then-Commissioner Cox says that the new inquiry and policy is to insure that  no unfair competitive advantage is gained. Obviously, keeping the playing field level is a legitimate concern of the IHSAA. I don’t know enough about the subject to have a truly informed opinion. Are there studies, sports medicine literature, etc., on the effect of gender reassignment on athletic performance? Because it seems to me that’s the issue here.

It would probably be very hard to study, since there are so very few transgender athletes. I had two transgender students at PVHS in 2019, and neither were the type of people who would play HS sports. 

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46 minutes ago, DanteEstonia said:

It would probably be very hard to study, since there are so very few transgender athletes. I had two transgender students at PVHS in 2019, and neither were the type of people who would play HS sports. 

It would seem to me that there is an implicit assumption that in some cases gender reassignment can result in a competitive advantage. Just wondering if there’s any empirical evidence on the subject. I doubt the IHSAA reinvented the wheel in coming up with their policy.

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15 hours ago, DanteEstonia said:

How deep down this rabbit hole do you want to go?

AT BIRTH.  Looking between a baby's legs - what does an MD see?  That determines the sex of a child.  That's as deep as the rabbit hole should be.  What happens after that should be considered "re-assignment" and when it comes to public or professional sports that should not be hidden.  (IMHO)

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1 hour ago, swordfish said:

AT BIRTH.  Looking between a baby's legs - what does an MD see?  That determines the sex of a child.  That's as deep as the rabbit hole should be.  What happens after that should be considered "re-assignment" and when it comes to public or professional sports that should not be hidden.  (IMHO)

You may be surprised to learn that there are many cases where it’s not quite so clear cut.

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  • 1 month later...

Visa and Mastercard Submit to Politicians Trying To Put the Squeeze on Pornhub

 

https://reason.com/2020/12/10/visa-and-mastercard-submit-to-politicians-trying-to-put-the-squeeze-on-pornhub/

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Mastercard and Visa today announced that they will no longer let customers use their cards on the adult video site Pornhub. This new policy was prompted by political pressure, making it the latest government victory in a long, censorious quest.

Governments can define actual actions as "crimes" and threaten dire consequences for those actions, but the intangible contents of the human mind are forever out of their reach. So officials covet the next best thing: the power to stop individuals from sharing the products of those minds—ideas, fantasies, art—with others. In America they are constrained by the First Amendment, and so for centuries they've dreamed up ways to circumvent that restriction.

The courts have rejected most of these attempts, but one has had remarkable staying power: an exception for the nebulosity called "obscenity." This used to be a fairly hefty cudgel; most big publishers, movie producers, and so on were unwilling to be dragged into court for a principle, and most of those who were willing were too puny to put up much of a defense. That started to change in the 1980s, when cheap video equipment made it possible to churn out shoestring productions for the new and rapidly-growing home video market. The ensuing explosion of porn was so big that there was simply no way to challenge each item individually, as the law required.

The arrival of the web a decade later multiplied the number of targets exponentially. And when the Prudes on the Hill tried to bury it all with the Communications Decency Act of 1996, the only important part of the Act to survive dismemberment by the courts was a provision called Section 230, which made it even harder to control "indecent" material by making it safe for large websites to let millions of users create and upload their own.

But as Phil Kerby of the L.A. Times once said, "Censorship is the strongest drive in human nature; sex is a weak second." Puritans kept pushing for prosecutions under existing obscenity laws, but they also worked to change those laws by devising new exceptions to free expression, some of them centered around the idea that an unknown (but very large) fraction of the models and performers in sexually explicit pictures, video, and advertisements (for sexual services) were not consenting adults. Women are allegedly so naive, fragile, and asexual that virtually none of us would willingly engage in commercial sex; therefore, the story goes, virtually all sex workers (including porn performers) are slaves forced into the work. Lest people decide that 20- and 30-somethings are, in fact, capable of consenting to sex for money, the myth also claims that most sex workers are underage; a common (albeit mathematically illiterate) trope claims that the "average" age of debut in sex work is 13.

Individual sex workers and brick-and-mortar sex businesses (such as massage parlors or strip clubs) can be attacked via police violence and prosecutorial harassment, but that's not as easy when the target is a popular website hosting user-generated content. When any severed head of the sex hydra is replaced by hundreds of others, the only remaining strategy is to strike at the body by cutting off the resources it needs to survive. Early in 2013, the Obama administration hit upon the idea of "choking" disfavored industries (including tobacco, guns, and online pharmacies as well as porn) by threatening their financial services with punitive paperwork and auditing requirements; the plan was to induce the banks, credit cards, and so on to cut off the businesses, thus forcing them to close without having to go through the hard work of proving each one individually guilty of wrongdoing.

 

Two years later, Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff Tom Dart used a similar strategy by issuing veiled threats against Visa and Mastercard in order to get them to stop doing business with Backpage, a classified advertising website whose vendors included people who sell sex. And now that Backpage is no more, the new folk devil is Pornhub.

Like Backpage, Pornhub is entirely composed of user-generated material; it should therefore be fairly bulletproof, thanks to the aforementioned Section 230. But that law is under attack from politicians of both major parties, and perennial busybody Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times (a major figure in the crusade against Backpage) recently called for Mastercard and Visa to choke out Pornhub. Naturally, Kristof's suggestions lack the inherent threat which was intrinsic to Dart's. But Kristof has a bully pulpit, and he has political allies such as Josh Hawley, the junior senator from Missouri who seems intent on making his reputation on a platform of censorship, internet "regulation", and attacking tech companies by any means necessary. Given that Kristof's crusade against Backpage provided talking points for many authoritarian politicians (including the new vice-president elect), he cannot be dismissed as merely another loudmouthed pundit.

Mastercard and Visa have already caved; more companies may join them soon—and if they don't, you shouldn't be surprised if a legislative or regulatory stick soon follows.

Sorry, government shouldn't be our nannies or our censors. For anyting.

 

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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/abe-lincoln-was-a-hero-now-he-s-a-bad-guy-in-some-s-f-education-circles/ar-BB1bUNoA

Lincoln is one of dozens of historical figures who, according to a school district renaming committee, lived a life so stained with racism, oppression or human rights violations, they do not deserve to have their name on a school building.

The debate reflects a nation in turmoil, a reckoning with a racist past that lingers today, toppling confederate statues from town squares and eliminating a large number of Robert E. Lee street signs.

“Uprooting the problematic names and symbols that currently clutter buildings, streets, throughout the city is a worthy endeavor,” said Jeremiah Jeffries, chairman of the renaming committee and a first grade teacher in San Francisco. “Only good can come from the public being reflective and intentional about the power of our words, names and rhetoric within our public institutions.”

But history is not always clear. People are complicated. Heroism and bravery can be obscured by beliefs and behaviors deemed abhorrent when viewed through a modern lens.

Was Lincoln one of the greatest presidents of all time who ended the country’s great shame or a whitewashed historic character with a questionable record related to Native Americans not worthy of memorials, school names and street signs?

Critics have called the effort to rename 44 school sites, a full third of the district’s schools, amateur — citing the committee’s justifications pulled from Wikipedia or selective news sources rather than historical records or comprehensive research — and a waste of time amid a pandemic.

It has also received significant support from some communities, whose children wear school sweatshirts emblazoned with the name of former slave owners.

When the committee released the 44 school sites to be renamed, many made sense. Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe were slave owners, and Vasco Nunez Balboa was a murderous conquistador.

At least a few names on the list raised eyebrows, including El Dorado, literally translated to City of Gold, and Dianne Feinstein, who landed on the list because as mayor in the 1980s, she replaced a vandalized Confederate flag in front of City Hall.

But perhaps the most controversial on the list was Lincoln. Honest Abe. The Great Emancipator.

His inclusion exemplifies the struggle in San Francisco and across the country to balance the good and the bad, in this case, the hero and the 19th century man with many faults.

It is not an easy to sort worth from waste, said historians as well as those hurt by the legacy of those complicated figures.

“I have so many reactions in the sense of looking at his entire record and the fact of what (Lincoln) did for Africans and slavery and the Emancipation Proclamation,” said Sherry Black, who worked for more than 40 years in Native American economic and community development. “Considering the time period, it’s so difficult to understand how things were at the time. How do you make these decisions?”

To many, Abraham Lincoln was one of the country’s greatest presidents, the Great Emancipator, a beloved historic figure as well as political mentor to his successors, including Barack Obama, who used the Lincoln Bible for his inauguration.

Yet the renaming of Lincoln High School was a slam dunk for the committee, which didn’t even discuss it, according to video of the meetings. The members of the committee, appointed by the school board, deemed whether a person’s actions or beliefs met the criteria for renaming, and moved on. The committee’s spreadsheet with notes on their research listed the federal treatment of Native Americans during his administration as the reason.

“The discussion for Lincoln centered around his treatment of First Nation peoples, because that was offered first,” Jeffries said. “Once he met criteria in that way, we did not belabor the point.”

Jeffries, however, said the narrative of Lincoln’s legacy is false.

Regardless of the pop-culture myths of Lincoln and his motivations, the Civil War was not fought over slavery or the liberation of Black people.

“The history of Lincoln and Native Americans is complicated, not nearly as well known as that of the Civil War and slavery,” he said. “Lincoln, like the presidents before him and most after, did not show through policy or rhetoric that Black lives ever mattered to them outside of human capital and as casualties of wealth building.”

Others disagree.

“He saved the country from dividing and ruin,” said Harold Holzer, a Lincoln scholar and director of the Hunter College’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. “He should be honored for it.

Lincoln’s involvement with Native Americans is even trickier to unravel.

Lincoln’s administration supported the Homestead Act of 1862 and transcontinental railroad, which led to the loss of Indigenous peoples’ land. Lincoln himself largely delegated the sometimes bloody response to Native American conflicts while focusing on the Civil War, according to historians.

But Lincoln, whose grandfather was killed by a Native American, oversaw the hanging of 38 indigenous warriors after a Santee Sioux uprising in Minnesota, but only after he personally reviewed the legal cases against the 303 men sentenced to death. He saved the lives of 265 Indigenous men.

Lincoln, historians say, was focused on the Civil War and therefore did little to change policies related to Native Americans, but had planned to.

“If we get through the war and I live, this Indian system will be reformed,” he said. He never got the chance.

“He was more progressive than most people,” Holzer said. “There was pretty rampant hostility (toward Native Americans) and I think Lincoln rose above it.

“Nobody is going to pass 21st century mores if you’re looking at the 18th and 19th centuries.”

Lincoln’s legacy is complicated, Black said.

He could have sentenced all 303 warriors to death, she said, but “he recognized they weren’t treated appropriately according to the legal system.”

Black wondered: Does the good outweigh the bad? “I could come down on either side.”

For the renaming committee, that wasn’t a valid question. One decision that met the criteria was enough.

“We asked ourselves, ‘Did the name under consideration meet one or more of our criteria?’ If that name met criteria, they were put on the list,” Jeffries said.

That’s how Feinstein landed on it.

“On a local level Dianne Feinstein chose to fly a flag that is the iconography of domestic terrorism, racism, white avarice and inhumanity towards black and indigenous people at the City Hall,” Jeffries said. “She is one of the few living examples on our list, so she still has time to dedicate the rest of her life to the upliftment of Black, First Nations and other people of color. She hasn’t thus far, so her apology simply wasn’t convincing.”

At the same time, labor leader Cesar Chavez didn’t make the list, despite his feelings toward undocumented immigrants, who he called “wetbacks” and other derogatory names. He encouraged his supporters to report them to the authorities for deportation.

United Farm Worker members would form “wet lines” at the border and beat those crossing, believing they would be strike breakers, according to his biographer Miriam Pawel.

Jeffries said no one on the committee offered evidence that Chavez met the criteria. He did not say whether anyone on the committee looked for any.

“We did not discuss the life of Cesar Chavez except to say that he did not meet criteria,” he said.

The committee is expected to formally recommend renaming the 44 school sites in January, which will also include an alternative name chosen by Jeffries and the other members.

School communities have an opportunity to suggest a new name this month.

Parent Alida Fisher is looking forward to seeing the name change at her school, saying many Denman Middle School families have long wanted another moniker on the building.

Denman might have been the first (San Francisco) superintendent, but he was also “an abject racist,” Fisher said at November school board meeting.

Parent Matt Price appreciates the idea, but wishes the district would just wait until the school communities have the energy and time for such decisions.

“This move, in light of the disastrous year this has been, feels terribly disrespectful to the parents who are really struggling right now,” said Price, whose third grade son attends McCoppin Elementary, which is also on the list. “It’s a well meaning exercise and I’m certainly not opposed, but it’s very, very badly timed.”

The school board is expected to vote on the recommendations early next year.

In the meantime, Jeffries urged the public to do their own research, “particularly on Lincoln.”

“There is a lot of scholarship out there,” he said. “I encourage everyone to seek it out. Read.”

Jill Tucker is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: jtucker@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @jilltucker

 

Are you fricking kidding me?  SMH.....

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Andrew Cuomo Continues His Assault on the First Amendment

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/andrew-cuomo-continues-his-assault-on-the-first-amendment/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=right-rail&utm_content=corner&utm_term=second

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If he had his way, New York governor Andrew Cuomo would do to the Constitution what he’s already done to the elderly of his state. This week, he signed a bill banning the sale of “hate symbols” such as the Confederate flag, swastikas, and “white supremacist” imagery on state property. Of course, neither Cuomo nor the state legislature is empowered to decide what constitutes “hate symbols,” much less selectively ban them — even if New Yorkers had any interested in selling these symbols on state property, which doesn’t seem to be the case. But all of this is just virtue-signaling, as the kids say: a way to get people who still believe in liberal values to sound like they’re defending ugly things like the Confederate flag rather than a neutral principle.

 

Then again, perhaps there’s familial confusion over the issue of speech rights among the Cuomos. You may remember Chris, who earned his law degree at Fordham, informing his followers that “hate speech is excluded from protection” in the Constitution. (It isn’t.) Now Andrew Cuomo, who earned his law degree at Albany Law School, argued that his ban would “safeguard New Yorkers from the fear-installing effects of these abhorrent symbols,” as if his bailiwick or anyone’s else’s in government is to protect you from seeing things you don’t like. If it were, nursing-home residents would be throwing copies of Cuomo’s book American Crisis into a raging bonfire.

“This country faces a pervasive, growing attitude of intolerance and hate — what I have referred to in the body politic as an American cancer,” Emmy-award winning Cuomo, quoting himself, says in his approval message. This is a wholly paranoid — or crassly cynical — view of American life, but also irrelevant. There is no “hate” exception to the Constitution just as there is no coronavirus exception.

Cuomo, whose great tolerance once led him to say that conservatives weren’t welcome in New York, was recently rebuffed by the Supreme Court for targeting the free religious expression of New York’s orthodox Catholics and Jews with his COVID diktats (the governor called the Supreme Court’s decision “irrelevant.”) Cuomo is a perfect illustration of why the state should never be empowered to adjudicate the limits of free expression. It is not difficult to imagine what an aspiring authoritarian like Cuomo, who regularly smears his political opponents as hatemongers, would do with such power.

 

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Children Still Shouldn’t Be Given Puberty Blockers

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/children-still-shouldnt-be-given-puberty-blockers/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=right-rail&utm_content=corner&utm_term=first

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Earlier this month, the English High Court ruled in a landmark case that under-16s were not able to give informed consent to “experimental” and “life-changing” puberty-blocking drugs, which transgender activists and lobby groups claim are essential. (You can read more about the case and the courageous young woman who brought it before the court here.)

 

Needless to say, not everyone was happy with the decision. Zinnia Jones, a male transgender activist, tweeted that since puberty itself causes “permanent changes,” “an inability to offer informed consent or understand the long-term consequences is actually an argument for putting every single cis and trans person on puberty blockers until they acquire that ability.”

Setting aside Jones’s false equivocation of tampering with a child’s sexual development and leaving it alone, if the ability to offer informed consent is a faculty that only adults possess, then how on earth would keeping a child in a state of artificial prepubescence lend him this requisite maturity?

The mind boggles.

 

For how best to respond to such pathological nonsense, take a leaf out of Megyn Kelly’s book:

It’s time to stop being afraid. Fight this awful abusive insanity. Children must be protected from these unwell activists. https://t.co/vhTN4prfod

— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) December 13, 2020

The mind boggles indeed.

I had never heard of puberty blockers before reading this.  Sounds like a sick and sinister practice.

 

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22 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

Children Still Shouldn’t Be Given Puberty Blockers

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/children-still-shouldnt-be-given-puberty-blockers/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=right-rail&utm_content=corner&utm_term=first

The mind boggles indeed.

I had never heard of puberty blockers before reading this.  Sounds like a sick and sinister practice.

 

Expect the youth suicide rate to go up. 

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4 minutes ago, DanteEstonia said:

Expect the youth suicide rate to go up. 

It already has: https://www.dispatch.com/news/20200304/youth-suicide-is-on-rise-and-social-media-mental-health-issues-are-playing-role

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Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among 10- to 14-year-olds in the U.S., and the rates have risen in the past few years. Suicide prevention experts point to underlying mental health problems and social media use among primary contributors to the increase.

From endless scrolling on Instagram to graphic TV shows such as “13 Reasons Why,” suicide-prevention experts have several theories for what has caused a surging increase in suicide among the nation’s youth.

Suicide is the country’s second-leading cause of death among children ages 10 to 14, and the rate of youth suicide nearly tripled from 2007 to 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Youth suicides in Ohio mirror this trend. The number of suicides among Ohioans ages 10 to 24 jumped 64.4% from 2007 to 2018, from 7.3 to 12 deaths per 100,000, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

“The answer to ‘Why are youth suicide rates increasing?’ is a lot of speculation and pieces of data,” said John Ackerman, suicide-prevention coordinator for the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “It’s complex. Suicide is almost always multi-determined.”

...

 

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Cops Threaten To Arrest Mom Who Wouldn't Show ID When She Picks Her Kids Up From School

https://reason.com/2020/12/21/cops-arrest-mom-school-id-crossing/

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You may recall the saga of the South Carolina mom who granted her kids—ages 9, 10, and 11—permission to walk the mile home together, without her.

School officials refused to let them to do this, on the grounds that a nearby intersection (with walk/don't walk signals) is too dangerous. This particular mom's kids happen to cross it at other times, unaccompanied, on their way to and from extracurriculars.

Has the school never heard of crossing guards? No matter. The children were required to be picked up by an approved adult. If not, they would have to take the school bus.

The mom, Jessie Thompson, didn't understand why it was up to the school to decide what her kids did after leaving school property. She offered to sign a liability waiver. This did not move the needle and the issue came to a head this past week.

I'll let Thompson take it from here. She's a surgical neurophysiologist, which means that she monitors a patient's nervous system during surgery. In an email with the subject line, "It's Over!" she wrote:

 

Hi Lenore,

Just wanted to give you the final update.

We quit.

I pulled the kids and I'm homeschooling.

The school was making me go into the office to show my ID at dismissal.  That worked for a time, until one day I forgot my ID.

When the secretary (who has known me for three years) said to me that she couldn't let me take the kids, I responded, "Just try to keep my kids from me" and then told my kids to exit the office.

My kids stood there, not knowing whether to listen to their mother or the secretary.  I had to ask them twice to exit. That was the day I stole my kids from their school, because after all, the school has the primary authority and I, the parent, am only so lucky to be given access to the kids when the school allows.

The next day, my kids were all held in their classrooms until I showed my ID (to the same woman who has known me for three years), at which time she called each classroom individually to tell the teachers they could release the kids.

The following day, I refused to show my ID until they dismissed my kids, per the usual dismissal routine, and did not hold my kids hostage in order to play games with me.

They called the police.

I had about a 30-40 minute interaction with two police officers, almost being arrested at one point. I was successful that day, as the police instructed the office secretary to dismiss my kids and then I showed my ID before leaving with them.

The officers informed me that if I did the same thing the following day that I would be arrested.

And so for the next two weeks, the school held my kids in their classrooms, hostage, until I, their mother, showed my ID to a secretary who has a three-year history with me.

My attorney was unable to have that stop and I just couldn't take it anymore.

This lawsuit was going to cost us $10-15,000.

So my homeschool journey begins.

Wish me luck!

Thanks for your help. It was quite a ride.

Jessie

I do wish her luck. Her case has me thinking about Voltaire's observation that "those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities."

The absurdity here is not just that kids can't cross a street by themselves. It's also that the mom picking up her kids must show proof that she is the person everyone knows she is. As if the ID is more reliable than her own kids saying, "Hi mom!"

And the cruelty is that those rules allow the secretary—and cops—to torment the mom while claiming this is just for safety's sake.

Yep.  More proof that the state "owns" your children.  You, as the caring and loving parent, do not.

 

  • Kill me now 1
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12 minutes ago, Muda69 said:

Cops Threaten To Arrest Mom Who Wouldn't Show ID When She Picks Her Kids Up From School

https://reason.com/2020/12/21/cops-arrest-mom-school-id-crossing/

Yep.  More proof that the state "owns" your children.  You, as the caring and loving parent, do not.

 

No, it’s more like custody battles are a thing, and unapproved people taking kids out of school are a potential problem.

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1 hour ago, DanteEstonia said:

No, it’s more like custody battles are a thing, and unapproved people taking kids out of school are a potential problem.

Why yes Dante that was the exact situation here: 

FTA:

Quote

The next day, my kids were all held in their classrooms until I showed my ID (to the same woman who has known me for three years), at which time she called each classroom individually to tell the teachers they could release the kids.

More zero tolerance bullcrap from our government schools.  Color me shocked that you agree to it.

And you dodge the underlying issue that the parent has given approval for her children to walk home from school,  yet some government bureaucrat has deemed that "too dangerous".

 

 

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5 hours ago, DanteEstonia said:

My junior high made my mom do that almost 20 years ago; I lived 2 streets away from the school.

? Did the junior high school bureaucrat make you walk to/from school or be transported in a vehicle?

 

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