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Fri, 18 Oct 2019
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Why the concept of White Privilege is wrong — Part 2

white privilege sign
Many people enjoy invoking race as an explanation for all sorts of things. It is a shared pastime for both the far-left and the far-right. The media expend vast sums of money and effort to ensure we don't escape discussions about race as something that is or should be important. This vocal minority of political extremists and news broadcasters has directed our attention away from more powerful causal explanations that underlie group outcomes. Perverse incentives for these two groups have made race a more a prominent feature of our lives.

As a consequence, white privilege has become the favoured explanation for differences in group outcomes among many educated people. But unintentional or otherwise, by attributing success to white privilege, affluent individuals who invoke this mistaken idea thwart the ambitions of those who are seeking success but who are also lacking in privilege. If we want to not only understand differences in group outcomes but also mend them, then we need a more robust and less ideological framework.

Comment: Why the concept of 'white privilege' is wrong — Part 1

Yellow Vest

Finally, a rebellion against Extinction Rebellion: Londoners take matters into their own hands

XR protests tube

The police won't deal with the extremists so... into the vacuum step ordinary working people.
The people are rising up against the elites. No, I don't mean Extinction Rebellion. I mean the Rebellion against Extinction Rebellion. Today's clashes on the Tube between the commuting working classes and the time-rich, bourgeois fearmongers of the XR cult is a wonderful illustration of the elitist nature of eco-politics and of rising public fury with the eco-agenda.

For more than a week now the XR elitists have been disrupting everyday life. They've stopped flights from taking off, preventing people from going on well-earned holidays or visiting loved ones abroad. They've clogged up roads in city centres, irritating cab drivers and people on buses. And they've stormed Smithfield meat market and Billingsgate fish market - smug middle-class vegans lecturing hard-working traders about the correct way to think and live.

But today their sneering campaigning went too far. Today they disrupted the Tube. Yes, this mass, largely electric public-transport system used by millions of people is the latest target of these arrogant disrupters of the masses' lives. And people got pissed off. Really pissed off.

Comment: This is going to start becoming a lot more common as people begin to fully grok that the whole climate deal is both real AND an attempt to scam the people. Those who are vocal "faces" of different movements that are soon to be perceived as "at fault" will be the main targets, not the string-pullers behind them.

Things just may get very ugly very fast.


'Freedom without security?' FSB chief says Telegram outright refuses to help Russia fight terrorism

© Global Look Press/Oliver Berg
Russia's FSB has no issues with most online communications providers except for Telegram, and that's only because the messaging app stubbornly refuses to help Russia fight terrorism, FSB Director Aleksandr Bortnikov said.

The rapid development of internet technology gives people almost unlimited opportunities, but also poses great risks to national security, Bortnikov told the Russian media, adding that most internet giants and security services around the world are more or less "on the same page" on this issue.

"One has to seek a compromise," and it is not enough for the internet giants to independently expose terrorist networks or people linked to them, he explained. "It is very important to hand this information over to the people that work with it on a regular basis and know what to do."


Cop acquitted for felony rape even though five videos show him having sex with a child

Acquitted cop
© Unknown
Ex-NYPD Police Officer Raul Olmeda
Flexing his mighty blue privilege granted to him by his badge, a former NYPD cop was acquitted on felony child rape and sex abuse charges this month — despite filming the interactions with the 15-year-old victim himself. Instead of going to jail for years, like he should have, this cop will likely escape any actual accountability.

The ex-NYPD Police Officer Raul Olmeda was accused of recording his sexual encounters with the 15-year-old girl on at least five occasions. He was confronted with these videos by investigators and the teen admitted to the acts. These facts were indisputable, yet Olmeda was acquitted.

Instead of facing the time in prison for the felony rape charges, Olmeda was convicted of two petty misdemeanors of official misconduct and witness tampering. The witness tampering stems from the fact that Olmeda told the girl not to testify against him in court. The official misconduct charge was brought on after this cop was caught accessing NYPD computers to see what evidence internal affairs had against him.


American footballer Megan Rapinoe hoping for settlement in gender discrimination suit against US Soccer

Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe
U.S. women's national team standout Megan Rapinoe said she's "optimistic" that she and her fellow players can reach an agreement in their gender discrimination suit against U.S. Soccer, but that they're also ready for a fight.

"I'm always open, I think the team is always open for a settlement," Rapinoe told Reuters on Tuesday, a day before a Women's Sports Foundation gala at which she and her 2019 World Cup-winning squad were set to be honored.

Comment: So is this not about increasing the pay of female footballers? A settlement is a nice chunk of cash for those included in the suit, but what about all others who won't benefit? The so-called wage gap won't go away.

"I don't think anyone really ever wants to go to trial or to take this thing to that level. But obviously if we have to, we will," said Rapinoe, who won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball at this year's World Cup.

"We're not willing to compromise on what we know is right and what we know we deserve and have already earned."


Watch as Highway Patrol trooper pushes unconscious man from car just seconds before train crash

Officer saves man
© Twitter/Utah Highway Patrol
A man who fell unconscious and got stuck on railway tracks walked away from a train crash unscathed, thanks to the quick thinking of a heroic Utah Highway Patrol trooper, who pulled him out with just seconds to spare.

The movie-like rescue by UHP Trooper Ruben Correa early on Wednesday was caught on the dashboard camera of his car, producing truly terrifying - yet awesome - material.

Footage from the scene shows Correa checking on a SUV that smashed through a barrier and got stuck on railway tracks. It took him some 30 seconds to get out of his cruiser, get to the car and pull its driver out - literally moments before it was struck by a train.


Chicago public school teachers on strike as union and mayor fail to reach deal

Chicago public teachers strike 2019
© Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune
Vice President of Chicago Teachers Union Stacy Davis Gates speaks to the media concerning negotiations between the union and the mayor on Oct. 16, 2019.
It's official — Chicago Public Schools teachers are on strike and hit picket lines early Thursday after failing to reach a new contract deal with the city following months of negotiations.

In announcing the Chicago Teachers Union's first open-ended walkout since 2012, President Jesse Sharkey said teachers and school support staff deserve "to have pay and benefits that give us dignity and respect. I don't think we are there on that yet."

Even before the formal decision to strike, the union's overtures toward a walkout prompted Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago schools chief Janice Jackson to preemptively cancel Thursday classes, though the hundreds of schools in the district will remain open for children who need a safe place to go.

Lightfoot told reporters after the official word came down Wednesday night that she was "disappointed" with CTU's decision.

"We will remain at the table," Lightfoot said. "We hope CTU will as well. I hope this work stoppage will end soon."


Dior brand genuflects to 'one China' policy, apologizes over map of China lacking Taiwan

French luxury brand Christian Dior apologized on Thursday and said it supported China's territorial sovereignty after it was criticized for using a map of China that excluded Taiwan in a presentation.

Taiwan is China's most sensitive territorial issue. Beijing considers the self-ruled island a wayward province and part of "one China".

The incident involving the map occurred during a presentation Dior was making about its boutique network at Zhejiang Gongshang University in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, posts on China's Weibo social media platform showed.

A staff member at the university's careers office told Reuters that Dior had held a recruitment event on Wednesday and there had been an issue with the maps it had shown.

Dior, which is part of luxury group LVMH (LVMH.PA), said in a post on its Weibo account that it had started to "seriously investigate" the incident.

Comment: China's repeated bouts of hysteria over Taiwan have a lot in common with Israel's. In this case, as with the recent NBA controversy, it all comes down to money: these countries want Chinese business, and China demands ideological conformity. But really, who should care what the Chinese government thinks? Or the Israeli government? Or any government? The only thing that really matters is what the people think.

The West considers Crimea to be Ukrainian, for example. The Russians don't throw a hissy fit. They know Crimea is Russian. Crimeans know Crimea is Russian. Over 95% of Crimeans voted to return to Russia, and polls show that over 85% of Crimeans would vote the same today. How many Taiwanese want to rejoin China? 10-15%. (See here, here and here.) China could benefit by toning down the snowflakery.

Arrow Down

Multiculturalism is 'great': Nearly half of immigrant descendants in Denmark think it should be illegal to criticize religion

european muslims
© Reuters / Andrew Kelly
Nearly 50 percent of descendants of non-Western immigrants in Denmark think it should be illegal to criticize religion — a sharp contrast with the numbers of ethnic Danes, a new survey shows.

The report from the Immigration and Integration Ministry found that descendants of immigrants are more interested in defending religion than recent immigrants who have been settled in the country.

While 48 percent of descendants said criticizing religion should be illegal, only 42 percent of first-generation immigrants who have been in Denmark for three years or more said the same.

For ethnic Danes, the number who want to get rid of the freedom to criticize religion was dramatically lower at only 20 percent.

Despite the conflicting views on freedom of speech regarding religion between immigrants and ethnic Danes, the survey also found that immigrants have begun to feel more Danish than they did 10 years ago. Tolerance for homosexuality has also risen, the Copenhagen Post reported.

At the same time, the number of 'new Danes' who believe women should only be allowed to marry a man approved by their family has risen.


'Lazarus phenomena': Declared dead twice by two hospitals, woman revives and dies again in Chandigarh, India

corpse on gurney
In first documented case of its kind in India, a woman was recently officially declared dead twice by two different city hospitals, and on both occasions she was alive until being declared dead.

The 45-year-old woman, who was earlier declared dead by another hospital, was brought to the Emergency of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH)-32, Chandigarh. Her carotid artery pulse was beating, her ECG showed spikes and her vital organs were intact. However, after undergoing treatment for two hours, she died.

The case was reported by the GMCH 32 doctors recently at their conference.

According to them, last month, the woman was declared dead in the Government Multispecialty Hospital (GMSH)-16. However, after a gap of 3 hours, when the body was packed and kept in the ambulance, her relatives noticed signs of her body regaining life.

"She was taken to GMCH-32 and admitted to the Emergency and given treatment. However, she died again after 2 hours. In medical terms, this is called 'Lazarus phenomena' and worldwide only 38 such cases have been reported so far," said Dr Dasari Harish, head of the forensic medicine department, GMCH-32.

Comment: A number of variants of this scenario have come to light in other news stories: