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World sees US as significantly greater "threat to democracy" than Russia & China - poll

us flag
© Reuters / Hannah McKay
Out of the 53,000 people polled across 53 countries, more respondents (44%) considered US influence on their country to be a "threat to democracy" than those who didn't (26%). Meanwhile, only 38% considered Chinese influence a threat to democracy.

Fear of Russian influence was the lowest of the three, with only 28% considering Russia to be a threat to their democracy.

Asian countries were high among those that feared US influence, with Pakistan fearing Washington the most. Japanese respondents also consider the US to be a greater concern than China - while Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Greece, Israel, Australia, Ukraine, and Switzerland were also among the top half.

Bizarro Earth

US birth rate falls across the board, lowest in more than a century

Mother and baby breastfeeding
© STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images
The U.S. birth rate fell 4% last year, the largest single-year decrease in nearly 50 years, according to a government report being released Wednesday.

The rate dropped for moms of every major race and ethnicity, and in nearly age group, falling to the lowest point since federal health officials started tracking it more than a century ago.

Births have been declining in younger women for years, as many postponed motherhood and had smaller families.

Birth rates for women in their late 30s and in their 40s have been inching up. But not last year.


Comment: This is a rather telling data point.


Comment: A graph from Time magazine shows that the fearmongering and lockdowns likely contributed significantly to the already plunging birthrate: No sex please, we're locked down: Plunging global birth rate shows long-term effects of Covid on society will be DEVASTATING

time birthrate
© Time
Further, the ongoing decline in birthrates throughout the Western world reflects, in part, the overall impoverishment and instability the great majority of its young people have been suffering through for years now:


Bullseye

Opponents of 'critical race theory' win Texas school board election

Carroll school district
© Google Maps
Elections over critical race theory in the Carroll school district turned so divisive, the Department of Justice was called.
A Texas school board has scored an overwhelming election victory to stop "critical race theory" and a new "cultural competence action plan" from being forced into classes.

The elections in Southlake on Saturday were so divisive that backers of the new anti-racism measures called on the Department of Justice to intervene — and even pop star Demi Lovato ripped opponents of the plan.

"It is horrifying to see how some of the parents ... are literally FIGHTING to uphold white supremacy and are resisting the anti-racism work that is so needed," she tweeted in January, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram noted.


Comment: Lovato isn't too bright. White supremacy as CRT conceives of it is a fiction. Anti-racism as CRT conceives of it is racist.


Opponents, however, told a series of heated meetings for the Carroll school district that the plan created "diversity police" — and was effectively "reverse racism" pushing a "left-wing agenda," the Dallas Morning News previously reported.

They even went to court and won a temporary restraining order to stop implementation, the paper noted.

Voters also sent a resounding message against the plan at the weekend election — with the two school board positions as well as mayor and city council seats going to opponents of the "cultural competence," with each getting almost 70 percent of the vote.

Light Sabers

Myanmar's anti-junta unity government forming army to 'protect its supporters'

Myanmar teargas
© Anadolu/Getty Images
Police use teargas to try to disperse protesters in Mandalay.
Myanmar's National Unity Government, set up by opponents of army rule, said on Wednesday it had formed a "people's defence force" to protect its supporters from military attacks and violence instigated by the junta.

In a statement, it said the move was a precursor to establishing a Federal Union Army and that it had the responsibility to "make effective reforms in the security sector in order to terminate the 70 year long civil war."

Comment: See also:


Cow Skull

'Jonestown 2.0, racism edition': Radical anti-Semites crowdfund $65,000 for doomed city in Colorado mountains

blm black power fist
© Bigstock
A band of "anticolonial" and racist activists have "liberated" land high in the Colorado mountains to build a utopian city for minorities. Commenters are expecting a rerun of the Jonestown cult, but with more anti-Semitism.

Openly communist, overtly anti-white, and proudly anti-Semitic, the 'Black Hammer' organization isn't afraid of a fight. The group's Twitter account fires off hourly invectives against the "cave beast" white race it sees as "colonizers," and against the Jewish people it accuses of funding the "pig departments and prison systems that mass incarcerate and kill us everyday." Bizarrely, the group has taken a fix on Anne Frank, calling the Holocaust victim a "bleach demon," whose death - to them - overshadowed the suffering of colonized people worldwide.


Black Hammer members have taken part in rallies and protests across the country, but the scant media reports on their activities don't mention the racism and the apparently pathological fixation on Jews. Instead, they praise the "activist group" for holding vigils for coronavirus victims and handing out masks, food and clothing to their fellow people of color.

But while they've been pushing Farrakhan-style racism on Twitter and getting stuck into charity work on the streets, Black Hammer's members have been stockpiling cash. A GoFundMe campaign organized by the group has pulled in nearly $65,000 since last July. The group wants $500,000 to build a city of their own, with free healthcare, free rent, and no cops. White people and Jews are presumably not welcome.

On Monday, the group announced that it had "successfully liberated 200 Acres of Land to build our City," adding that their real-life Wakanda would be "FOR COLONIZED PEOPLE ONLY." Presumably, "liberated" in this instance means "bought."

Blue Pill

Vengeance and Sacrifice: Whiteness as Scapegoat in Critical Race Theory and Critical Whiteness Studies

Goats cabras
© David Wall / globallookpress.com
The usual criticisms of critical race theory (CRT) have become patent and cliché by now. CRT essentializes race and those within races, figuring all white people as racist and all black people oppressed. It treats people not as individuals with individual motives and goals but strictly as members of their racial group. It denies individual agency to the very people it aims to liberate. It implies that racial group membership determines the beliefs and behaviors of those within said groups, curtailing an appreciation of their full humanity. It ascribes all outcomes to racial group membership, thereby denying merit to those in the "dominant" category (whites), while denying responsibility to those in the "subordinated" categories (blacks, indigenous, and people of color, or BIPOC). It makes contemporary white people guilty for the sins of long-dead white people who benefited from slavery. By incessantly harping on race, it exacerbates if it doesn't create racial strife. CRT is divisive and threatens the social order by provoking perpetual enmity between the races. So, the story goes.

The same kinds of criticisms may be leveled at critical whiteness studies (CWS).

Such analyses are by now legion. Rather than engaging in this kind of critical commentary, in this article, I aim to understand how CRT and its offshoot, CWS, function in the social field. Just how does the "abolition of whiteness"1 — arguably the ultimate goal of CRT and CWS — operate? How might we understand CRT's and CWS's treatment of whiteness and the intention to abolish it?

Pistol

When will activists and the media get honest about police shootings?

Bryant
© Unknown
Ma'Khia Bryant image
Minutes before Derek Chauvin was convicted on all three counts of murder and manslaughter, Ma'Khia Bryant, a black teenage girl in Columbus, Ohio, was shot dead by police. Almost immediately, enraged protestors gathered outside police headquarters. "Say Her Name!" they chanted. The New York Times reported that the girl's grieving mother, Paula Bryant, had told WBNS that her daughter was "a very loving, peaceful little girl."

In an attempt to correct a tendentious version of events immediately promoted by civil rights attorney Ben Crump (and uncritically repeated by the Times) in which the young victim was described as unarmed, the Columbus police department took the unusual step of releasing the officer's body-worn camera video the same day. During a briefing at which the footage was exhibited for the press, police played the video twice, the second time in slow motion — because events on the ground escalated with such rapidity that it's the only way to follow what happened: (Fast forward to 5:10)


The police officer gets out of his squad car and approaches a group of people milling about in the driveway in front of a suburban home. Amid much yelling and cross-talk, Bryant suddenly lunges at a girl, knocking her to the ground, before turning on another dressed in pink and charging at her with a knife in her fist. The officer's repeated shouts of "Get down!" are ignored and he shoots Bryant four times as she swings the blade at her intended victim. Only 10 seconds elapse between the moment the officer first asks "What's goin' on?" as he approaches the scene and the fourth shot. The shooting required split-second decision-making to save the girl in pink from being stabbed.

Comment: Juxtaposition of circumstances, reaction time, level of threat and accuracy of perception factor into an instantaneous reaction to unfolding events by any law enforcement officer at any moment. Such was this case.


Chart Pie

Fauci tells CNN we're 'at least halfway through' the Covid-19 pandemic

FauciBlitzer
© Twitter/CNN SitRoom/screenshot
WH Advisor Anthony Fauci and CNN's Wolf Blitzer
White House health expert Anthony Fauci may have quite some time remaining to rule as "master" of all things Covid-19 as he told CNN that Americans are "at least halfway through" the pandemic.

"We've really got to not declare victory prematurely," Fauci told CNN host Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday. "So we're in the late innings, but it's not over. That's the thing we've got to get people to appreciate."

Pressed by Blitzer to be more specific, in baseball terms, how soon the pandemic will end for Americans, Fauci said, "the bottom of the sixth." That would mean the battle is more than 60% completed - unless the game can somehow be extended into extra innings.

Fire

Ukrainian Neo-Nazis parade through Odessa on seventh anniversary of post-Maidan massacre in which dozens were burned alive

nationalist march
© Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko.
A nationalist march in Ukraine.
As Odessa mourned the victims of the 2014 massacre in the Black Sea city, on Saturday, groups of Ukrainian ultra-nationalists marched through its streets, carrying the banners of right-wing groups and chanting extremist slogans.

On May 2, 2014, 48 people were killed and more than 250 injured during clashes between members of the notorious 'Right Sector,' which has its roots in Western Ukraine, and opponents of the Kiev Maidan, which had taken place a few months earlier.

The majority of the victims were burned alive or suffocated from smoke inhalation at the local House of Trade Unions, where they'd tried to hide from the nationalists. The Right Sector is suspected of having set the building on fire deliberately. However, seven years since the tragedy, Ukrainian investigators still haven't identified the culprits.

Attention

German Interior Minister warns politically motivated crimes are 'on the rise' in Germany; far-right offenses hit record numbers in 20 years

German policemen
© Reuters / Annegret Hilse
Germany has seen its highest number of politically motivated crimes in a decade in 2020, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said, calling it a "very worrying" trend and adding that more than a half of them were far-right offenses.

The number of politically motivated crimes in Germany in 2020 has risen by more than 8.5% in comparison to the previous year, Seehofer told a press conference, citing fresh data provided by the Federal Criminal Police (BKA). The number of such crimes in 2020 was the highest over the last decade, according to the statistics.

Although all politically motivated crimes still constitute just over 1% of all offenses committed in Germany, the minister still called the numbers "very worrying" and said that this upward trend is "solidifying" and that the officials see a "clear tendency towards brutality."

Comment: There's more to the story: