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Sat, 29 Jan 2022
The World for People who Think

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Irony alert: University puts TRIGGER WARNING on Orwell's 1984

1984 george orwell
© Ivan Radic / Flickr
George Orwell's iconic novel 1984, written in 1949 about the horrors of censorship and the threat of authoritarianism, is being censored by a university. The University of Northampton in Orwell's own England has issued a trigger warning on the book, with staff claiming that the book contains "explicit material" and that some student may find the work to be "offensive and unsettling."

The Daily Mail uncovered this via a Freedom of Information request, and 1984 is one of several books that have been slapped with a trigger warning for students at the university who are studying what's called Identity Under Construction. This course of study comes with a warning to students that it "addresses challenging issues related to violence, gender, sexuality, class, race, abuses, sexual abuse, political ideas and offensive language," The Mail reports.

Other books deemed to be triggering include Samuel Beckett's groundbreaking and brilliant play Endgame, V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd and Jeanette Winterson's Sexing theCherry. Sally Rooney's Normal People has also been flagged, and Mark Haddon's 2003 novel The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time has been labeled as including the "death of an animal, ableism and disability and offensive language."

Comment: Censoring a book that is warning of the dangers of censorship - you kind of get the impression these people aren't playing with a full deck of cards. The entire point of reading a book like 1984 is to get 'triggered': it should be challenging; it should make you uncomfortable; it should make you think. Any education that doesn't challenge a student's preconceived notions isn't an education at all. It's babysitting.

See also:

Heart - Black

TWO military personnel commit suicide on UK's Salisbury Plain military base within hours of each other, follows wave of suicides in recent years


Gunner Jaysley-Louise Beck was tragically found dead at the base in Larkhill, Wiltshire, on December 15
The heartbroken family of a 19-year-old soldier who died suddenly at a military base within hours of another soldier on the Salisbury Plain have paid tribute to her.

Gunner Jaysley-Louise Beck was tragically found dead at the base in Larkhill, Wiltshire, on December 15.

Comment: So these deaths occurred nearly a month ago and are only just now being reported.

She died on the same day as Lance Corporal Michael Joseph Miah, 28, from the Household Cavalry, who was found dead in his garage at Bulford.

The army has launched a probe into the deaths, which come after at least five confirmed suicides at Salisbury Plain since 2018.

Comment: Of note, the Bulford military base is a short drive away from the UK's highly secretive Porton Down military laboratory.

See also: And check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Perfidious Albion: If Russia is a Rogue State, What is the UK?


Report on sexual abuse in German diocese faults retired pope

Pope Benedict XVI
A long-awaited report on sexual abuse in Germany's Munich diocese on Thursday faulted retired Pope Benedict XVI's handling of four cases when he was archbishop in the 1970s and 1980s. The law firm that drew up the report said Benedict strongly denies any wrongdoing.

The findings were sure to reignite criticism of Benedict's record more than a decade after the first, and until Thursday only, known case involving him was made public.

The archdiocese commissioned the report from law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl nearly two years ago, with a mandate to look into abuse between 1945 and 2019 and whether church officials handled allegations correctly. The law firm examined church files and spoke to witnesses.

Comment: See also:


University language guide says 'grandfather,' 'housekeeping,' 'spirit animal' are 'problematic' words

Students University of Washington
© Karen Ducey/Getty Images
Students at the University of Washington are on campus for the last day of in-person classes on March 6, 2020 in Seattle, Washington.
A University of Washington language guide is calling everyday words used by Americans "problematic."

The University of Washington Information Technology department released an "inclusive language guide" that lists a number of "problematic words" that are "racist," "sexist," "ageist," or "homophobic."

According to the guide, words such as "grandfather," "housekeeping," "minority," "ninja," and "lame" are considered "problematic words."

For example, the language guide states that the word "lame" is considered problematic because it's "ableist."

"This word is offensive, even when it's used in slang for uncool because it's using a disability in a negative way to imply that the opposite, which would be not lame, to be superior," the guide states.

The guide also states that the term "minority" implies a 'less than' attitude toward a certain community.

"When 'minority' is used to refer to other races or abilities, used as a generalized term for 'the other' and implies a 'less than' attitude toward the community or communities being discussed," the guide states.


Memory holed: Woke BBC quietly censoring classic comedy programmes

censored speech
© Getty Images / Sorapop
Britain's publicly funded broadcaster, the BBC, has been quietly censoring radio rebroadcasts of classic comedy shows, memory-holing jokes deemed too politically incorrect for modern audiences.

A number of skits from classic comedy shows have been memory-holed entirely by the BBC, with the UK's national broadcaster quietly editing re-broadcasts of old programming to remove supposedly offensive elements of the shows.

The broadcaster has previously come under fire for censoring classic televisions shows, being called "cowardly and gutless" as a result.

According to a report by The Times,however, the state-broadcaster has also been stripping out segments deemed racist, misogynistic, or otherwise unacceptable in the modern age from re-aired versions of old radio versions of shows.

Shows such as Dad's Army, Steptoe and Son and I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again have been hit by censorship according to the publication, with some sketches being stripped from rebroadcasted programmes entirely.

Cardboard Box

Unmask America

masks garbage
Enough is enough. It is time to stop wearing masks, or at the very least to eliminate mask mandates in all settings.

This is especially urgent for children in schools and universities, who suffer the effects of masks for long hours each day despite being at exceedingly low risk for death or serious illness from covid.

We have a responsibility, once and for all, to reject the ludicrous, ever-shifting narratives underpinning masks as effective impediments to the spread of covid infections.
Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus

— former US Surgeon General Jerome Adams in February 2020.
The story changed from "masks don't work," to "masks may work," to "masks work and you must wear one." Now the narrative switches yet again: "cloth masks don't work, so you should wear a surgical or 'well-fitted' mask," or even wear two!

Comment: See also:


Consider the possibility that this is already the dystopia you fear

1984 orwell
Consider the possibility that the Orwellian dystopia you fear is already here and has been in place for many years, you just haven't noticed because you're still allowed to watch Netflix or buy a gun or say whatever you want to say within a small impotent online echo chamber.

Consider the possibility that the powerful are already getting everything they want from you, right now, exactly as things are, and that any suspicious action you see them taking isn't them constructing a cage for you but them tightening the bolts on a cage that was quietly built around you some time ago.

Consider the possibility that while they've been training you to watch out for communism and microchips and overt totalitarianism, they've been covertly transforming us all into mindless gears in a machine constructed to serve their interests which challenges them in no way, shape or form.

Consider the possibility that tyrants have evolved an understanding that you can exert a lot more control over a population with mass-scale psychological manipulation than you can with overt force, and that they have been developing the science of that mass-scale psychological manipulation for over a century.


Energy crisis bursts multi-billion green shares bubble

energy crisis
The energy crisis has burst a multibillion-pound bubble in green stocks as gas prices surge and the world confronts the true cost of net zero.

Shares in renewable energy companies have tumbled to their lowest level in 16 months, almost completely unwinding gains made during a stampede into companies aiding the shift away from fossil fuels.

It comes as new figures revealed that private equity snapped up oil and gas firms worth almost £12bn last year, a huge increase from £232m in 2020 as the sector ploughs investment into renewable energy.

A basket of global clean energy shares, which includes renewable giants Iberdrola, Vestas and Orsted, has tumbled 45pc since the record peak a year ago, wiping tens of billions of pounds off their "excessive" value.

Rising material costs, frothy valuations and escalating interest rates have dampened investor enthusiasm after a flood of money into the sector.

Comment: See also:

Cardboard Box

Fertilizer crisis threatens significant food shortages and price hikes in Europe

corn kernals
© Reuters
As Europe's farmers prepare to spread fertilizers on fields after winter, sky-high nutrient prices are leaving them little choice but to use less and try to pass on the cost down the food chain.

For growers of staples like corn and wheat, it's the first time they've really been exposed to a fertilizer crisis fueled by an energy crunch, export curbs and trade sanctions. It now costs much more to buy chemicals needed for winter crops coming out of dormancy, and the extra expense could prompt smaller spring plantings that make up roughly a third of European grain.

Europe has been hardest hit by fertilizer-plant cutbacks on soaring costs of gas used to run them -- and nutrient prices there remain at a record even as the pressure eased in North America. Europe could face a deficit of about 9% of its annual nitrogen-fertilizer needs in the first half, VTB Capital estimates. Food may get even pricier if harvests suffer or crop prices rise.

Comment: Notably, one of the few countries that foresaw this happening (and actually wanted to do something about it) was China, and so back in June 2021 it gave its farmers $3.1 billion in subsidies to help cope with soaring commodity prices.

That said, the food supply has already taken a battering, with a decade of mounting crop failures, disease outbreaks, farmers driven out of business by big business refusing to pay a fair price for goods, endless red tape, and now 21+ months of lockdown, it's likely that any additional stressors will push it over the edge. And, indeed, there are a number of signs that the supply chain is already breaking down. Also check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: Is The Government Hyping Shortages? And is 'Vaccination Shedding' Really a Thing?

Bad Guys

New Zealand supermarkets warn of potential purchase limits to prevent panic buying - cite possible omicron shutdown

box stores new zealand supply chain
© Photo / Michael Craig
PAK'nSAVE, New World and Four Square stores come under Foodstuffs.
A major supermarket chain is warning that shoppers could soon see purchase limits on some stock to ration goods and prevent panic buying.

But they say supermarkets have learned from past outbreaks and are prepared for Omicron, and provided people don't stockpile, there should be ample supply for shoppers.

One Auckland shopper said they didn't receive any nappies in their click and collect order on Thursday and decided to visit New World Birkenhead.

"I popped in store and they legit had like 2-3 packs of nappies, all in newborn size," the shopper said."