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Kazuo Ishiguro is right: Cancel culture kills creativity

author Kazuo Ishiguro
© Getty
The Nobel-winning author says young writers are self-censoring out of fear of the online 'lynch mob'.

Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro has warned that young authors are self-censoring due to a 'climate of fear'.

Speaking to the BBC ahead of the release of his new book, Klara and the Sun, he said authors worry that an 'anonymous lynch mob will turn up online and make their lives a misery'. 'I very much fear for the younger generation of writers', he added.

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Bandaid

China's anal Covid swabs causing 'great psychological pain'

Covid-19 testing center in Shanghai
© Getty
People stand in line at a Covid-19 testing center in Shanghai, China.
Tokyo has asked Beijing to stop taking anal swab tests for Covid-19 on Japanese citizens as the procedure causes psychological pain, a government spokesman says.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said the government has not received a response that Beijing would change the testing procedure, so Japan would continue to ask China to alter the way of testing.

"Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused a great psychological pain," Kato told a news conference.

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Network

Gab CEO responds after hackers target social media site

gab screenshot
© Screenshot/Gab
A screenshot shows the social media platform Gab on Jan. 10, 2020.
Gab's CEO on Feb. 28 said his account was among those compromised in a hack of the social media website.

"The same people behind this attack targeted law enforcement officers and their family members last summer. The feds are treating them as a criminal hacker organization. We are working with our partners in law enforcement on this issue," Andrew Torba, founder and CEO of Gab, wrote.

He said his account and one linked to former President Donald Trump, which isn't directly used by Trump, were compromised just before Trump took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida.

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Family

What "normal" are we returning to? The depression nobody dares acknowledge

inequality
Perhaps we need an honest national dialog about declining expectations, rising inequality, social depression and the failure of the status quo.

Even as the chirpy happy-talk of a return to normal floods the airwaves, what nobody dares acknowledge is that "normal" for a rising number of Americans is the social depression of downward mobility and social defeat.

Downward mobility is not a new trend -- it's simply accelerating. As this RAND Corporation report documents, (Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018) $50 trillion in earnings has been transferred to the Financial Aristocracy from the bottom 90% of American households over the past 45 years.

Time magazine's article on the report is remarkably direct: The Top 1% of Americans Have Taken $50 Trillion From the Bottom 90% -- And That's Made the U.S. Less Secure.

Dominoes

Nancy Pelosi calls sexual harassment claims against Cuomo 'credible'

cuomo and pelosi
© EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS; Photo by SETH WENIG/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said the sexual harassment allegations against New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo are "credible."

The California representative joined a chorus of Democrats calling for a truly independent probe into the accusations of misconduct lodged against Cuomo by two of his former staffers.

"The women who have come forward with serious and credible charges against Governor Cuomo deserve to be heard and to be treated with dignity," Pelosi said in a statement.

"The independent investigation must have due process and respect for everyone involved."

The statement came as Cuomo, 63, agreed to let state Attorney General Letitia James appoint an outside investigator into the growing scandal.

Comment: Cuomo has offered up a half-hearted apology for his insensitive jokes towards females that he has worked with. Not that he really is sorry for anything, other than for getting caught being a creepy politician which seems to be a requirement for the job. Unsurprisingly, his apology backfired on him. Instead of just saying, "I shouldn't have done that," Cuomo said that "some of the things" he said "have been misinterpreted as unwanted flirtation." We can always rely on politicians to blame others for their "incorrect interpretation" than to take any real ownership for their behavior. It remains to be seen if anything substantial will come from the investigation, which has just been greenlit by the NY AG.


Doberman

Beijing accused of using Covid pandemic to control journalists - foreign media group report

health workers
© Reuters / Tyrone Siu TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
The Foreign Correspondents' Club of China (FCCC) has accused Beijing of using Covid-19 as "yet another way to control journalists," curbing visas and surveilling reporters. China says it's protecting its citizens from the virus.

The FCCC, which is the professional association of Beijing-based journalists reporting on China, has argued that 2020 had seen a "rapid decline in media freedom," implemented under the cover of measures that were used to combat the spread of coronavirus.

In its annual report released on Monday the press group claimed these restrictions were placed on journalists to prevent them from providing an accurate picture of ongoing events in the country, as well as in other areas that are politically sensitive for Beijing, such as Tibet.
As China's propaganda machine struggled to regain control of the narrative around this public health disaster, foreign press outlets were repeatedly obstructed.

Bullseye

Normally, Hollywood would have used Golden Globes to slam Syrian airstrikes & keeping kids in cages. But not with Biden in charge

golden globes
© IMDB
After four years of star meltdowns over Donald Trump, Hollywood's A-list turned a blind eye to America's egregious misdeeds at the US television awards on Sunday night. Wonder what the difference was this year?

Hollywood once again proved itself to be the moral authority of our time when a bevy of stars took to the stage on Sunday night at the 78th annual Golden Globes Awards to rail against President Joe Biden's unconstitutional, murderous airstrikes in Syria, his caging of illegal immigrant kids, and his failure to fight for a $15 minimum wage, Medicare-for-All and a $2,000 stimulus check during this calamitous coronavirus lockdown.

Just kidding.

With the bad orange man gone from the White House, it was back to Hollywood business as usual at the painfully lackluster, socially distanced Golden Globes, where there was a lot of performative virtue signaling about diversity, but no actual political courage on display.

Eye 1

Czechs send 30,000 police, soldiers to enforce lockdown travel restrictions

Czech Republic lockdown
© Vaclav Pancer/CTK via AP
Police officers check cars on a road between the towns, Ceske Budejovice and Cesky Krumlov, near Kosov, Czech Republic, Monday, March 1, 2021. Limits for free movement of people are set in place in the Czech Republic. Travelling to other counties unless they go to work or have to take care about relatives is prohibited.
Police and military forces in the Czech Republic set up 500 checkpoints across the country as one of the European Union's hardest-hit nations marked the first anniversary of its coronavirus outbreak on Monday by significantly limiting free movement.

Some 30,000 officers were involved in an unprecedented operation to enforce a tight new restriction that bans people from traveling to other counties unless they go to work or have to take care of relatives.

It's part of a series of measures that took effect Monday as the Central European nation seeks to slow down the spread of a highly contagious virus variant first found in Britain.

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Bullseye

Iraqi militia says it reserves right to attack US objects in country after airstrike in Syria

iraqi soldiers
© AP Photo / Nasser Nasser
The US claims its jets raided the facility belonging to Iraqi militants, purportedly responsible for the February rocket attacks against American objects in Iraq, which claimed one life and left several US citizens injured. Washington insists that the attacks were sponsored by Iran.

One of the Iraqi militant groups, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, has said it reserves the right to attack the US installations in the country as a response to Washington's bombing of the group's positions in Syria, Nasr al-Shammari, deputy secretary-general of al-Nujaba, told Al-Mayadin TV channel.

Al-Shammari noted that his group al-Nujaba had had an agreement with the Iraqi government not to target American facilities, but stressed it was no longer the case.

"All previous agreements [with the government] have been annulled and the resistance now reserves the right to set its own goals. The resistance, despite considering the US embassy in Baghdad as a den of spies, had agreed not to target it. From now on, it holds the right to attack US targets in this country," al-Shammari said.

The militant group representative also demanded that Baghdad reveal the names of those who supposedly passed the information to the US, which helped Washington to carry out its raid in Syria. Al-Shammari warned that otherwise if that information were not provided, the group would take matters into its own hands and punish those it believes to be responsible.

Bullseye

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speech at CPAC: 'Fauci is wrong a lot'

Kristi Noem
© Joe Raedle/Getty Images
South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem speaks at the CPAC 2021 gathering in Orlando, Florida
Contrast South Dakota's response to COVID-19 pandemic to New York's

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem says her state did a good job dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and said the nation's lead immunologist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, "is wrong a lot."

"In South Dakota, I provided all of the information that we had to our people, and then I trusted them to make the best decisions for themselves [on how to prevent the spread of the virus] for their families and in turn their communities," she said.

"We never focused on case numbers. Instead, we kept our eye on hospital capacity. Dr. Fauci told me that I would have 10,000 COVID patients in the hospital on our worst day. On our worst day, we had a little over 600. I don't know if you agree but, Fauci is wrong a lot," Noem said.


Comment: Noem has consistently been against lockdowns, against government overreach, and against tyranny. This is a politician worthy of respect and support.