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Bullseye

Don't ban CRT. Expose it.

CRT rally
© Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images
At a rally against CRT being taught in schools in Leesburg, Virginia
There's a liberal way to fight illiberalism. And it's beginning to work.

The stories in the mainstream media this past week about the broadening campaign to ban critical race theory in public schools have been fascinating — and particularly in how they describe what CRT is. Here's the Atlantic's benign summary of CRT: "recent reexaminations of the role that slavery and segregation have played in American history and the attempts to redress those historical offenses." NBC News calls it the "academic study of racism's pervasive impact." NPR calls CRT: "teaching about the effects of racism." The New York Times calls it, with a straight face, "classroom discussion of race, racism" and goes on to describe it as a "framework used to look at how racism is woven into seemingly neutral laws and institutions."

How on earth could merely teaching students about the history of racism and its pervasiveness in the United States provoke such a fuss? No wonder Charles Blow is mystified. But don't worry. The MSM have a ready explanation: the GOP needs an inflammatory issue to rile their racist base, and so this entire foofaraw is really just an astro-turfed, ginned-up partisan gambit about nothing. The MSM get particular pleasure in ridiculing parents who use the term "critical race theory" as shorthand for things that just, well, make them uncomfortable — when the parents obviously have no idea what CRT really is.

When pushed to describe it themselves, elite journalists refer to the legal theories Derrick Bell came up with, in the 1970s — obscure, esoteric and nothing really to do with high-school teaching. "If your kid is learning CRT, your kid is in law/grad school," snarked one. Marc Lamont Hill even tried to pull off some strained references to Gramsci to prove his Marxian intellectual cred, and to condescend to his opponents.

This rubric achieves several things at once. It denies that there is anything really radical or new about CRT; it flatters the half-educated; it blames the controversy entirely on Republican opportunism; and it urges all fair-minded people to defend intellectual freedom and racial sensitivity against these ugly white supremacists.

What could be more convenient?

Comment: The similarities to, and lessons of anti-Semitism might be an apt comparison.


Books

The books are already burning

burning book
© Banning/Substack.co,/Amazon/KJN
Do you remember the names Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying? I wrote one of my earliest New York Times columns about the bravery they displayed as tenured professors — words that do not typically appear in the same sentence — at Evergreen State College.

It was 2017 and the professors, both evolutionary biologists, opposed the school's "Day of Absence," in which white students were asked to leave campus for the day. You can imagine what followed. For questioning a day of racial segregation wearing the garments of social justice, the pair was smeared as racist. Following serious threats, they left town for a time with their children, lost many of their friends, and, ultimately, resigned their jobs.

But they refused to shut up.

They started a podcast called DarkHorse, where they suggested in April 2020 that Covid-19 could have come from the lab in Wuhan — a position that made them a laughingstock among so-called experts more than a year before Jon Stewart talked about it on The Late Show.

Their willingness to challenge conventional wisdom and take on third-rail subjects has drawn them a large audience: Last month, DarkHorse had almost five million views on YouTube. But speaking freely has come with a price. The couple's two YouTube channels have each received several warnings and one official strike, which the company says was because of their advocacy of the drug ivermectin as a treatment for Covid-19. Three strikes from YouTube and a channel can be deleted. According to Weinstein, that would mean the loss of "more than half of our income."

How have we gotten here? How have we gotten to the point where having conversations about important scientific and medical subjects requires such a high level of personal risk? How have we accepted a reality in which Big Tech can carry out the digital equivalent of book burnings? And why is it that so few people are speaking up against the status quo?

I can't think of a person better situated to answer these questions than Abigail Shrier, the author of today's guest essay.

Comment: Asked by guest author Shrier: 'The question is how long will decent people stand by quietly and watch it happen?' Without confrontation to increase awareness, there is no stopping the slide of humanity into a 'state of being' heretofore unrecognizable and intolerable. We are late to this game. To say nothing, to do nothing is to submit - thus programming complete. Those who see it must be the alert system to those who lag behind.



Bulb

Swiss reject climate change referendum with zoomers and millennials leading the way

swizterland mountain
Swiss Reject Climate Change

Eurointelligence reports Swiss Reject Climate Change
After Switzerland dropped its negotiations with the EU, the country has now rejected a climate-protection law in a referendum. Concretely, they rejected all three parts of the law in separate votes: on CO2, on pesticides, and on drinking water.

We agree with the Swiss journalist Mathieu von Rohr that this failure is not merely important in its own right, but symptomatic for the difficulties facing Green politics in general. It is one thing for people to pretend they support the Green party, especially when it is cool to do so. It is quite another to make actual sacrifices as the Swiss were asked to do.

But what is particularly interesting about this referendum is that the strongest opposition came from young people. 60-70% of the 18-34 year old voted No in the three categories.

Each country is different, but the big yet unanswered question is whether people elsewhere would agree to make personal sacrifices for the greater good. The Swiss referendum tells us we should not take this for granted. The German elections will be the next big test.

Comment: Notice how the above article suggests that the voters in question are too selfish "to make sacrifices for the greater good" - and not making their decision based on the fact that most climate change legislation in the West is not only wrong-headed but terribly counterproductive.


Huge Shock

The referendum Failed 51-49. And it took a crushing rejection by Zoomers and millennials to do it.

Red Flag

The Strange Tale of Yeonmi Park - high-profile North Korean defector

yeonmi park
When 21-year-old North Korean defector, Yeonmi Park, made her debut on the world stage in October this year with harrowing tales of life under the repressive North Korean regime and her perilous escape to freedom, she left audiences, human rights heavyweights, and journalists in tears - some literally sobbing.

Wearing a pink, traditional Korean dress with its high waist and voluminous skirt, Park stood before the lectern at the One Young World Summit in Dublin and in between long pauses, wiping tears from her eyes and holding her hand to her mouth as she composed herself, she told of being brainwashed; of seeing executions; of starving; of the slither of light in her darkness when she watched the Hollywood blockbuster Titanic, and had her mind opened to the outside world where love was possible; of having to watch her mother being raped; of burying her father on her own at just 14; and of threatening to kill herself rather than allow Mongolian soldiers to send her back to North Korea. She talked about following the stars to freedom and then ended with her signature sign off, "When I was crossing the Gobi desert, scared of dying, I thought nobody cares, but you have listened to my story. You have cared."

You'd have to have been inhuman not to be moved. But - and you're going to hear a lot of "buts" - was the story she told of her life in North Korea accurate? The more speeches and interviews I read, watch and hear Park give, the more I become aware of serious inconsistencies in her story that suggest it wasn't. Whether this matters is up to the reader to decide, but my concern is if someone with such a high profile twists their story to fit the narrative we have come to expect from North Korean defectors, our perspective of the country could become dangerously skewed. We need to have a full and truthful picture of life in North Korea if we are to help those living under its abysmally cruel regime and those who try to flee.

Question

Iran's sole nuclear plant shuts down over unspecified 'technical fault'

Bushehr

FILE PHOTO: This is the first time Iran has reported an emergency shutdown of the Bushehr plant, which went online in 2011.
Iran's atomic energy body says the country's sole nuclear power plant has been temporarily shut down over a "technical fault."

"Following a technical fault at Bushehr power plant, and after a one-day notice to the Energy Ministry, the plant was temporarily shut down and taken off the power grid," the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said on its website overnight.

The agency added that the power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr will be reconnected to the national electricity network "within the next few days" after the issue is resolved.

Comment: Whilst there does appear to be a rise in fires and explosions at certain sites more generally, it's likely that some of these recurring incidents at Iran's facilities are the work of nefarious actors:


Mr. Potato

CNN's Don Lemon says Americans don't see black people as 'human beings,' proclaims US is racist

don lemon
© Paul Marotta/Getty Images
CNN anchor Don Lemon had some unfavorable remarks about the United States and Americans in a new interview. The left-wing cable TV host made a bizarre claim that Americans don't see black people as human beings, and declared that the U.S. needs to "realize just how racist it is."

Lemon gave an in-depth interview for the Washington Post Magazine's Sunday feature. Reporter Eric Easter asked Lemon, "You've suggested that Trump was the president we deserved and probably a necessary and revealing wake-up call. Do you still think that?"

Lemon responded, "Considering people's apathy to get involved in the political process, to pay attention to the political process, to go to the polls, their willingness to give so much attention to celebrity, I think that's what I meant by 'the president we deserve.'"

Comment:


It's amazing how it always seems to be the undeniably successful and wealthy black people claiming America is racist. If America doesn't see Don Lemon as a person, why are they watching him as a news anchor?

See also:


Take 2

The minority-led movie 'In the Heights' is failing financially, so the woke now want to ban the box office as a success criterion

In the Heights
© IMDB
In the Heights (2021) by Jon M. Chu.
Whenever the woke diversity and inclusion agenda fails a test, it's always the test's fault - never the test-taker's.

It started in 2020, when the Academy Awards put new rules into place that required future films to be diverse and inclusive in order to qualify for nomination. Now, to bolster that diversity and inclusion agenda, the woke enemies of merit in art and entertainment have set their sights on eliminating box office receipts as a measure of cinematic success.

'In the Heights', a musical with an Asian director, Latino writer and all-minority cast, made a measly $11 million at the box office in its opening weekend, instead of the $25 to $50 million some delusional fools were projecting. It's looking as if it will make considerably less in week two, but, apparently, we need to ignore its failure to sell tickets and laud its inclusivity aims.

Comment: The phrase "get woke, go broke" seems to apply here. Movies that aim to tell a good story, regardless of the color of skin of the lead actors, are inevitably going to do better than those that aim to preach and virtue signal. For the most part, audiences can tell whether what they're watching is genuine or trying to mind program them. This Times writer is really just complaining that this woke piece of garbage didn't prove popular with audiences and wants to rig the system so that it still gets a trophy.

See also:


Books

The UK publication of a history book labeled 'too white' has been delayed. 'Publish and be damned'? That principle is clearly dead

the history makers book
© Amazon
The publishing world's in danger of becoming a no-go area for freedom of expression. The delayed publication of a history text, amended after it was deemed "too white," is proof of that.

There's a veritable army of freelance censors and sensitivity entrepreneurs enlisted in the policing of culture. Poor Richard Cohen. The British author's book, titled 'The History Makers', was due out earlier this month before being serialised on BBC Radio 4.

Promoted as an "epic exploration of who writes the past", it had already been a target of cultural policing by Random House. The American publisher had previously demanded that Cohen rewrite part of his 800-page tome on the grounds that he failed to include a sufficiently large quota of black historians and academics. Yet, despite the rewrite, it decided to cancel his contract.

Comment: See also:


Palette

Backlash as Swedish National Museum slaps racism and sexism warnings on CLASSIC ART

classic art
© Wikipedia
Details from three of the paintings affixed with 'warning lables' by the Swedish National Museum.
The Swedish National Museum is under fire for attaching "warning labels" to classic pieces of art, tipping viewers off about the dangerous "nationalism," racism, and "patriarchal gender roles" apparently hidden on canvas.

From reimagining its viking warriors as "transgender" to hanging homosexual art in its churches, to declaring its own history "copied," Swedish society has apparently committed itself to a full-throttle woke makeover in recent years. The Swedish National Museum in Stockholm is no different.

Since it reopened in 2018, audiences soon noticed new, "politicized" labels on paintings. Archaeologist Leif Gren reviewed them last week in an opinion piece for Vestmanlands Lans Tidning, concluding that museum officials weren't letting visitors "think for themselves."

Comment: See also:


Eye 2

Fear is contagious and used to control you

Fear Tactics
© SEAN GLADWELL / Getty Images
Governments are using fear to control and manipulate their citizens. That has now been admitted by members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behavior (SPI-B), a subcommittee that advises the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) in the U.K. And they should know, because they advocated for it, and now say it was a regrettable mistake. As reported by The Telegraph, May 14, 2021:1
"Scientists on a committee that encouraged the use of fear to control people's behavior during the COVID pandemic have admitted its work was 'unethical' and 'totalitarian.' Members of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behavior (SPI-B) expressed regret about the tactics in a new book about the role of psychology in the Government's COVID-19 response.

SPI-B warned in March last year that ministers needed to increase 'the perceived level of personal threat' from COVID-19 because 'a substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened.'

Gavin Morgan, a psychologist on the team, said: 'Clearly, using fear as a means of control is not ethical. Using fear smacks of totalitarianism. It's not an ethical stance for any modern government. By nature I am an optimistic person, but all this has given me a more pessimistic view of people.'"