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'We're not who we think we are': NYT admits Americans' quality of life dropping, US plunges to 28th on new global index

US flag
© Reuters / Maranie Staab
The New York Times has expressed shock at the decline in Americans' quality of life - a slide that has been documented for over a decade in areas like education and healthcare, but which they nevertheless hinted is Trump's fault.

The US' world-leading self-image is totally unjustified, the Times acknowledged on Thursday, contrasting Washington's vaunted superpower status with its 28th-place ranking in this year's Social Progress Index (SPI), set to be released today. The index purports to measure quality of life based on metrics like health, education, safety, freedom, and environmental stewardship.

The US has slipped nine places since the 2011 launch of the index, which boasts a proprietary scientific formula that incorporates 50 "metrics of well-being" and claims to be "inspired by Nobel-winning economists." Its advisory board is chaired by a Harvard Business School professor, Michael Porter, who lamented to the Times that "It's like we're a developing country."

Comment: It doesn't take a 'Nobel-prize winner inspired mathematical formula' backed by nefarious, elitist, foundations to see that life for Americans is deteriorating - and fast:


Dollars

Quebec will hand out fines to those who refuse to wear masks

Premier Francois Legault Quebec
© Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press
Quebec Premier Francois Legault
Quebec police will begin handing out fines to anyone who isn't wearing a mask when required under public health regulations, Premier François Legault says.

The province also moved to ban karaoke in bars after one event at a Quebec City bar led to an outbreak of more than 80 cases.

The new fines will apply across the province, but Legault said authorities will target regions classified as "yellow" under the government's new colour-coded COVID-19 alert system.

Stormtrooper

Covid dystopia comes to Melbourne

Melbourne covid police
© WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images
Protective Services officers speak to a man sitting on the steps of the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne on July 31, 2020. - As greater Melbourne passed the halfway point of a lockdown initially intended to last six weeks, the state of Victoria - of which Melbourne is the capital - recorded over 600 new cases, leaving Premier Daniel Andrews to flag harsher restrictions in a bid to cut the infection rate.
It was the image that shocked Australia and soon went global. A pregnant woman, handcuffed in her own kitchen, in front of her children, as police officers seized every computer, tablet and cell phone in the house before frog-marching her off to the station.

It's the treatment that Australians are used to seeing meted out to drug traffickers, suspected terrorists and child pornography rings. But in Zoe Lee Buhler's case, her 'crime' was a Facebook post.

Zoe had tried to organise a protest against coronavirus restrictions in place in the state of Victoria. For this, she was charged with 'incitement,' and now faces a sentence of up to 15 years. She has been released on bail, and will go to court in January.

The most remarkable thing, though, is it's taken until now for some sort of protest movement to emerge. Melbourne — Victoria's capital city — has been under some form of lockdown since March. When the coronavirus first hit, the premiers governing Australia's eight states and territories descended into a kind of unspoken competition to see who could take the 'toughest action' against the virus — that is, which leader could close the most businesses, destroy the most jobs, and stifle the most liberties in the name of being seen to be 'doing something' about the virus.

Eye 1

Totalitarianism is trending: Spanish policeman filmed kneeling on teenagers NECK for wearing facemask the wrong way, locals outraged

spain police mask
© Twitter / Izquierda Mirandesa @IzqMirandesa
A Spanish police officer sparked online outrage after being filmed pressing on a fourteen-year-old boy's neck with his knee to restrain him, allegedly because the teenager was not wearing a facemask properly.

The incident was caught on camera by onlookers in the Northern town of Miranda de Ebro on Wednesday. In the footage, locals can be seen gathering around the policeman, protesting the treatment of the boy. One person is even seen trying to pull the officer away.

Authorities insist that the video was taken "out of context," alleging that the teenager attacked the officer before the camera started rolling. "[The footage] is striking but the response was adequate and proportional to what happened,"said the city's security councilman Pablo Gomez.

Comment: We've seen similarly abhorrent behaviour from the police in Australia, the UK and in France, meanwhile life in Sweden has changed little, and China is getting back to normal; why is that it's only certain countries that are continuing with these tyrannical and nonsensical lockdown measures and why have they unleashed the full force of their security apparatus against their citizens?


Newspaper

Article in MIT Technology Review blames conservative journalists for violent riots

Andy Ngo, Elijah Schaffer
© Quillette editor Andy Ngo • Blaze journalist Elijah Schaffer • Rioting unknown
The Post Millennial editor Andy Ngo • Blaze journalist Elijah Schaffer • Rioting
In a shocking display of gaslighting, a new article in MIT Technology Review attempts to make the argument that coverage of riots in independent media is to blame for spreading violence that has been seen across America. Joan Donovan's position is that right-wing protestors have been fueled by "riot porn" into taking to the streets themselves to attack, harass the "mostly peaceful protestors" who are flooding the streets of the nation.

Donovan blames media coverage of the 2,400 protests that occurred across the country in the wake of George Floyd's May 25 death, and the 220 violent riots that erupted from those protests thus far, for the unrest.

Comment: See also:


Camcorder

Portland officials pass strict ban on facial recognition systems

Facial recognition cam
© Andrey Popov via Getty Images
Portland, Oregon officials have passed what could be the strictest municipal ban on facial recognition in the country. It's not just local government units, such as the police, that can no longer use facial recognition under the city's new regulations — private businesses can't deploy the technology in public spaces either. That means places like hotels, stores and restaurants can't use facial recognition where customers will be present. According to CNET, the bill passed unanimously, and it will be enforced starting in January 2021. Businesses caught violating the law could be sued and could pay up to $1,000 a day in fines.

In the document (PDF) detailing the ordinance, the city council noted that "Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities have been subject to over surveillance and disparate and detrimental impact of the misuse of surveillance." It added that face recognition technologies "have been documented to have an unacceptable gender and racial bias" and explained that the city "needs to take precautionary actions until these technologies are certified and safe to use and civil liberties issues are resolved."

Portland's officials first revealed that they were working on the bill back in November 2019, and that if the bill passes, it will be the first to prohibit private businesses from deploying facial recognition systems. The legislation other cities approved in the past weren't as strict: San Francisco's ban, for instance, only applies to the city government.

Comment: Some surveillance, however, still applies: Portland's laws allow limited exceptions such as facial recognition technology used to unlock smartphones, uses inside Portland public schools. Biz lodged complaints while others rejoiced:
The company [Amazon] was joined by local business groups in opposing the legislation, including the Portland Business Alliance and the Technology Association of Oregon, which argued the bills were "harmfully too broad" and would be difficult to put into practice as written.

The ACLU has previously blasted Amazon's 'Rekognition' software as "primed for abuse in the hands of governments," finding in a 2018 experiment that the system incorrectly matched the faces of 28 members of Congress to images of real criminal suspects. The program misidentified non-white lawmakers disproportionately, propelling fears the software unfairly targets minorities.


See also:


Clipboard

Many Trump voters staying silent again, duping media and pollsters

Trump signs
© Gage Skidmore
Just like in 2016, many of President Trump's strongest supporters are staying quiet about their Election Day pick, likely misleading pollsters and the media about the state of the presidential race.

In the latest Rasmussen Reports survey of the silent supporters, the pollster said, "Trump voters appear to be hiding their vote again this election cycle."

The report said that 17% of likely voters who "strongly approve" of Trump "are less likely to let others know how they intend to vote in the upcoming election."

In 2016, when Trump was under attack in the media, and especially after then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said his supporters belonged in a "basket of deplorables," many also stayed quiet about supporting Trump.

That likely led some pollsters to get the race wrong and played a role in the media blowing it, too. Rasmussen Reports said it made adjustments in its formula and, in the end, got the percentage of Clinton's popular vote nearly perfect, a point it bragged on in its new analysis. The report said:
"At this time in the 2016 election cycle with Trump already being regularly bashed by the media, Republicans were similarly less forthcoming about how they intended to vote, and pollsters, with the exception of Rasmussen Reports and a couple others, completely missed Trump's surprise victory."

Comment: A sampling of comments from Trump supporters 'back then in 2015' indicating why they would vote for President Trump:
Trump Knows It's All a Joke--"Many are right; it's not about trusting Trump; it's a collective middle finger to the establishment... Trump isn't stupid, he gets it. He knows the more outrageous, the better."

Trump is a Gamble Worth Taking--"I am of the belief that he is conceited and arrogant enough to avoid failing in front of the world at all cost."

Trump is Jay Gatsby--"Is it not better to place your chips on hopes and dreams rather than certain nightmares? Those of us who buy Trump's vision, nearly to the point of blind trust, are loudly professing our disgust with the current immoral situations that taint and threaten our blueprint of the American dream."

Trump Has Consistently Championed Protectionism--"On the two primary issues as to why I'm supporting Mr. Trump he has remained stunningly consistent."

Trump Put Illegal Immigration Front and Center--"We have horrendous problem with illegal aliens, sanctuary cities & crimes."

Trump is Not Rehearsed--"What you see is what you see, all the cards are on the table."

Trump's Nature is to Make the Best Deals Possible--"While Trump may very well have his own best interests at heart it's ok: his best interest is our best interest and that best interest is our property values and our economy. When our economy tanks, his property values go DOWN! If anyone would be interested in saving our country, it would be someone whose salary is directly tied to the value of the country we call the USA!"
As Trump has embodied their expectations, 'Trumpers' then will stay true to him now. Given the plandemic, social distancing, the seclusion and mask mandates, cities across America in riot, the insane and incendiary rhetoric from the left...little wonder that Red voters are reluctant to express their choices - perhaps a smart move all things considered.


Palette

CNN shows doctored photo of Biden with his son, reportedly provided by campaign

Bidens w/wo logo
© Twitter/screenshot
Original photo (inset) of Biden and one of his sons, and the version that aired on CNN, from which the logo of the Washington football team disappeared somehow.
Showing an old family photo of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, retouched to remove the now-controversial logo of a football team from his son's hat, has raised questions about CNN's commitment to 'facts first'.

A photo of Biden holding one of his young sons had been posted online by the candidate back in June. CNN used it on Monday evening for the 'Fight for the White House: Joe Biden's Long Journey' special. Except in CNN's version, the Washington Redskins logo had disappeared from the younger Biden's beanie.

Attention

University campus so woke it segregated whites-only and POC-only cafes

woke segregation
Segregation is alive and well at the University of Michigan Dearborn, where leftists have created a cafe only for white people.

The "Non-POC Cafe" will be "holding space for students that do not identity as POC (people of color)." It was unveiled this week, and students must RSVP to enter the cafe, where presumably, they will get to hang out exclusively with people of their own race.

It does not appear to be that the intention of this segregated cafe is a lesson in what it was like before the abolishment of laws that enforced segregation.

The statement on the site launching this new, segregationist initiative, reads "The Non-POC (People Of Color) Cafe is a space for students that do not identify as persons of color to gather and to discuss their experience as students on campus and as non-POC in the world. Feel free to drop in and discuss your experiences as non-persons of color and hopefully brainstorm solutions to common issues within the non-POC community."

Comment: When 'social justice' policy makers recreate the past injustices they say they are fighting against, it's a pretty clear indication these people should be the last given any sort of power.


Cardboard Box

Lockdown fallout: US economy still suffering from high levels of unemployment and staggeringly high unemployment applications

US unemployment, US jobless claims
© Getty
New weekly claims for unemployment benefits stayed flat last week when adjusted for seasonal factors, but rose by more than 20,000 on an unadjusted basis, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

In the week ending Sept. 5, the number of seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 884,000, unchanged from the previous week's revised level of applications.

Without adjustments for seasonal factors, claims rose 857,148 in the week ending Sept. 5, a 2.4 percent increase from the previous week's 837,000 claims. Claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a program meant to cover workers excluded from traditional jobless benefits, also rose to 838,916 last week, an increase of roughly 91,000 applications from the previous week.

Taken together, the new data on jobless claims is a troubling sign for a U.S. economy still suffering from high levels of unemployment and staggeringly high unemployment applications more than five months after the onset of the coronavirus recession. Weekly jobless claims totaled just 208,000 at the same time in 2019 but have remained above 880,000 for more than 25 consecutive weeks.

Comment: