June 15, 2021

Nothing to see here, just the CDC holding an emergency meeting over higher-than-expected reports of heart inflammation in young people receiving the Covid vaccine.

What are you? Some kind of anti-vaxxer?!?!?!?

It should be noted that this "emergency meeting" on a potentially fatal heart condition among the young being caused by a vaccine that is being administered by the thousands every day is set for... Friday.

How serious an issue is this?

You can usually tell by the lengths to which the Vax-Everybody-Right-Now-Reeeeeeeeee! mainstream media is trying to downplay it.

Overall, 226 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis after vaccination in people younger than age 30 have been confirmed... Further investigation is needed, however, to confirm whether the vaccination was the cause of the heart problem.

Fair enough: Correlation doesn't prove causation and 226 cases out of many millions of doses ("under age 30" is a broad range) isn't statistically a lot.

Wait, "younger than age 30?" Isn't this about teenagers and younger?

Yes, yes it is, and they later reveal this.

Teenagers and people in their early 20s accounted for more than half of the myocarditis cases reported to the CDC's safety monitoring systems following Covid-19 vaccination, despite representing a fraction of people who have received the shots.

"We clearly have an imbalance there," Shimabukuro said.

Do we now.

How imbalanced?

Alex Berenson took a look at the VAERS data (Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System). Keep in mind that VAERS is purely a reporting system and not the end word on anything; however, it has been used for decades as an early-warning system of sorts. (It has only recently been criticized because it was interfering with the preferred narrative).

While care should be taken in putting too much faith in the raw numbers, you can certainly compare results within the system itself – that is, VAERS reports for one age bracket vs. another. Same system, same vaccine, just different demographics.

The results?

Let's focus on this one:

Heart Inflamation Covid 1

There are several things to note here.

First, in the upper age ranges, the incidents of this heart inflammation, or myocarditis/pericarditis, are within or even below what you'd expect to see in the population, or the number of people who would come down with it anyway. This establishes that VAERS isn't systematically over-counting incidents of heart inflammation.

Second, there is very little data for the lowest age range given the vaccine was only recently approved for that demographic.

So far, so good, the VAERS is not reporting anything out of the ordinary for older age groups, with the numbers well within (and in one instance below) what would be expected in that population absent getting the vaccine, and there is just too little data to draw any conclusion regarding the youngest age group.

That leaves the younger people for whom we have sufficient data, and that's where it gets um, "troubling."

Heart Inflamation Covid 5

Reported incidents of myocarditis/pericarditis among the younger age groups for which there is sufficient data are multiples of what would be expected.

Further, note that the while these younger age groups represent only 8.8% of all those who have been vaccinated, they account for over half of all incidents of myocarditis/pericarditis.

Heart Inflamation Covid 4 (1)

Perhaps even more troubling is just how consistently the elevated incidents of myocarditis/pericarditis grows relative to what would be expected for a given age group as you move down in age. I plugged the numbers into a spreadsheet and did a quick calculation: There is a clear correlation between age and the higher-than-expected incidents of heart inflammation, the younger the age, the worse it gets. There is no variation. The younger you go, the greater the ratio gets.

Heart Inflamation Covid 10

If that holds upon closer examination, what does that portend for the babies they want to vaccinate this September?

I found the PDF Berenson was using and discovered this slide towards the end.

Note the difference in "rate per million" between the first and second doses.

Heart Inflamation Covid 2

You'd think they could have skipped the BBQs and last weekend and looked into this...


Their summary, thus far:

Heart Inflamation Covid 6

Initial safety findings from Pfizer-BioNTechCOVID-19 vaccination of 12-15-year-olds from v-safe and VAERS surveillance are consistent with results from pre-authorization clinical trials.

In other words, they expected some collateral damage, that "collateral" being your kids.

In fairness, they are balancing risks, and argue that the risk of the vaccine is less than the risk of contracting Covid.  The lingering question is, is that true?

Analysis of VAERS preliminary reports of myocarditis/pericarditis is in progress, including follow-up to obtain medical records, complete reviews, apply CDC working case definition, and adjudicate cases.

They're on the case! Well, later this week anyway.

Preliminary findings suggest: Median age of reported patients is younger and median time to symptom onset is shorter among those who developed symptoms after dose 2 vs. dose 1

Yep! Might want to look at that one closely.

Predominance of male patients in younger age groups, especially after dose 2‒Observed reports > expected cases after dose 2 (16–24 years of age)

It's worse for boys and young men. Potentially much worse.

Limited outcome data suggest most patients (at least 81%) had full recovery of symptoms

"Most" patients. So stop getting so excited. Take the jab or your kids don't get an education!

As I write this, the CDC has not changed its recommendation.

CDC continues to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 12 years of age and older given the greater risk of other serious complications related to COVID-19, such as hospitalization, multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), or death.

The fact is, they don't know that, they can't know that. It's too early to know that. This feels like it has less to do with science, and more to do with institutional inertia.

Naturally, Big Tech has their back:

Only the anointed priests of high media may speak the forbidden words.

Interestingly, the "if-it-will-save-just-one-life" media has suddenly decided that a few losses here and there are sort of "meh."

The vast majority of the cases were sent home following a visit to a hospital as of the end of May. It's unclear how many patients were admitted to the hospital, or, for example, were discharged following a visit to the emergency room. Fifteen patients remain hospitalized, with three in intensive care units. Two of the patients in the ICU had other health problems.

This isn't even long-term data, because we have none, this is short-term data. Very short term.

All medications have risks, and the trick is to balance those risks against the benefits.

We have been told about the benefits ad nauseam, but their approach to the risks has been largely along the lines of "shut up, anti-vaxxer."

There is not a single pharmaceutical product advertisement that does not include, by law, a lengthy recitation of possible side effects, often comical. This one is for Cymbalta, a popular anti-depressant.

CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY if you experience bizarre behavior; confusion; excessive sweating; dark urine; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; fever or chills; hallucinations; loss of coordination; new or worsening agitation, anxiety, panic attacks, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, restlessness, or inability to sit still; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin."

Contrast this to the CDC's own marketing efforts among which is a "Community-Based Organizations COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit" that includes material that can be used to promote adoption of the vaccine.

For our purposes let's focus on their "fact sheet" for preteens and teens:

Heart Inflamation Covid 7

The full PDF can be found here.

This is what they have to say about safety:

Heart Inflamation Covid 8

"Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for my child?"

It's the most important question a parent has. Their answer, an unequivocal "Yes!"

The whole document is like this.

Heart Inflamation Covid 9

Okay, then. I guess that settles that. Shut up and take the jab.

There are some very minor side effects, of course, but nothing to worry about really. In fact, side effects are good!

What are the side effects?

Your child may have some side effects, which are normal signs that their body is building protection. These side effects may affect your child's ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Some people have no side effects. Side effects from the second shot may be more intense than after the first shot.

See? No big deal.

Heart Inflamation Covid 0

We are being instructed to believe that a brand new vaccine developed in record time using cutting edge mRNA technology and still under Emergency Use Authorization (and therefore literally "unapproved") is PERFECTLY SAFE.

Unlike, say, Advil.

NSAIDs, except aspirin, increase the risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. These can be fatal.

The CDC is advertising these vaccines in a manner that would have a private company prosecuted.

Pharmaceutical companies are required to disclose long lists of possible side effects, no matter now rare. And yes, even in the limited trials performed, Covid vaccines have been found to have side effects.

Somehow, that didn't make it into the CDC's "Community-based Toolkit."

This is not about being anti-science or anti-vaxxer (I got the vaccine myself after weighing the pros and cons) or being a conspiracy theorist, or any of the other slurs the powers that be want to throw at you. This is about being an informed citizen entitled to know all the facts.

This is about being treated like an adult and not a child, like a citizen and not a subject.

But they don't seem very interested in that.

I mean, you love your children?

Don't you?

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June 15, 2021 at 10:09 AM in Covid-19/Coronavirus, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

June 07, 2021

Montgomery County public school students taught that the campaign slogan, "Make America Great Again," and the statement "We're just one human family," are signs of "covert hateful white supremacy."

MCPS CRT Summer Cover (1)

With just under one million residents, Montgomery County is the most populated county in the state of Maryland and lies just to the north of Washington DC. It is considered part of the DC metropolitan area, and a national leader in unhappy upper middle-class progressives desperate to find meaning in their sad, empty lives.

At least, that's the only explanation I can come up with, short of mass psychosis, to explain things like this:

This information comes from a request by Judicial Watch under Maryland's Public Information Act and was accompanied by a CYA letter.  I mean, "cover" letter. Cover letter is what I meant.

Records regarding Montgomery County Public School's Thomas Pyle Middle School's social justice class include a cover letter, noting that the class in question was a one-week "Summer Boost" class called "Reading and Taking Action for Social Justice" offered from July 13-17, 2020, and that "no grades were given and no actual work due."

Nothing to see here, MCPS wants you to know. Why, they didn't even bother grading it or having the kids turn in "actual work."

It may be self-serving but at least it's also not true.

The program was littered with slides like this.

MCPS CRT Summer 3

Plus, nearly every slide ended with this action item.

Students, write your response!

Maybe the "actual work" wasn't "due," in the sense that the kids could just ignore it, maybe play Minecraft instead, if they chose.

I'm sure the taxpayers are delighted to hear their money is being spent wisely.

On to the pyramid.

MCPS CRT Summer 1

There are lot of entries on this pyramid (so much resentment to sow, so little time), but permit me to pull out a few favorites.

Keep in mind, these are all signs of "covert hateful white supremacy."

There is of course the campaign slogan of an American President who received the second most votes of any candidate in history.

MCPS CRT Summer 9

Totally appropriate for a public institution supported by tax dollars to smear an opposition political candidate and his 75-million supporters under the guise of "education."

And then there's this.

MCPS CRT Summer 8

It is hateful white supremacy to have a curriculum centered on the central source of the culture and history of the country you are in.

Note they say "centric." That does not preclude teaching other history, which they do, and have been doing for as long as I've been alive.

But hey, I'm sure they are not so racist as to teach Chinese-centric history in China or Sudanese-centric history in Sudan.

Let's move on to the "shut up" portion of our discussion session!

MCPS CRT Summer 4

MCPS CRT Summer 6

Denying being a racist is a sign of racism.

So you are either a racist, or you are a racist.


And then we have possibly my favorite: Redefining NOT being a racist to being a racist.

MCPS CRT Summer 5

MCPS CRT Summer 7

"But we're just one human family."

Viewing people as individuals and not as a member of a race is... racist. 

Where do you even start a conversation with someone who believes this? I mean, after you suggest they seek professional counseling.

As nutty as the pyramid is, it's arguably not the worst thing in this lesson plan. While there is much to choose from, I'd pick this one out purely for its unvarnished hatred and resentment.

MCPS CRT Summer 10

Let's take a loot at a few.

I Have The Privilege Of Attending Segregated Schools Of Affluence.

This is odd, almost suggesting that a segregated school is desirable. Is that the point?

As for the affluence, the Washington DC area is an extremely wealthy area, including large numbers of accomplished, well-to-do black people.

I assure you, they are not sending their kids to crappy schools as is suggested here.

I Have The Privilege Of Learning About My Race In School.

That's interesting. I never learned about my race in school either.

Of course, they are conflating race with heritage or culture again. If we're learning European history, we're learning about the white "race?"

It's unhinged, and betrays a deeply racist world view.

I Have The Privilege Of Playing The Colorblind Card, Wiping The Slate Clean Of Centuries Of Racism.

"Wiping the slate clean."

These CRT grifters don't want reconciliation. They don't want to move forward.

They want revenge for things that happened to people who aren't them, and they want the people who had nothing to do with it to pay the price.


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June 7, 2021 at 12:38 PM in Current Affairs, Racism | Permalink | Comments (2)

May 20, 2021

"I have two moms" is not a military strategy: A tale of three military recruitment ads.

Military Recruitment Cover

Bring it on cisgender patriarchies, America is going to woke you into dust!

What we have here is a tale of three military recruitment ads, one from China, one from Russia, and one from America.

Before we get to the video, let's break it down a bit first for proper context.

You'll note that the Chinese and Russian videos are pretty light on exposition. While I don't speak either language, based on the imagery, I'd say the bang-bang to yack-yack ratio is very different compared to the American recruitment ad.

For example, the Chinese soldier gets all of 3 seconds worth of backstory. He shows up for a medical exam, and it's off to basic training.

Military Ad China 7

The Russian soldier gets a full 9 seconds of backstory. (The Russians must be getting soft.) We do learn from the video that he enjoyed soccer, had some buddies, and a girlfriend all of which will be shortly stripped away.

Military Ad Russia 10

That's pretty much the last time you'll see him smile.

In contrast, our American soldier's story "begins in California with a little girl raised by two moms."

Military Ad America 11

Not surprisingly, when your backstory begins when you are a small child, it's probably going to eat up some run time, in this case, nearly a minute and a half of a two-minute video.  Think less "military recruitment ad" and more, "Lifetime movie."

China's military ad displays the steely resolve expected of its soldiers.

Military Ad China 6

The Russian ad leaves no doubt that this man will kill you without hesitation if ordered to.

Military Ad Russia 4

Likewise, the American ad strikes fear in the way only a friendly and approachable animated cartoon character really can.

Military Ad America 7

I should warn you, she occasionally squints her eyes in a clearly menacing manner.

 Military Ad America 8

She looks like someone who wouldn't think twice about disrespecting your pronouns.

But only if it was absolutely necessary.

The Chinese ad depicts total battlefield domination.

Military Ad China 2

The Russian ad has their soldiers descending from the skies at will.

Military Ad Russia 8

The American ad depicts their soldier performing ballet as a child.

Military Ad America 9

Watch that plié, it's deadly.

And, playing the violin.

Military Ad America 10

Hey, she probably knows a dozen ways to kill you with that bow, several of them possibly involving an attempt to play the Prokofiev and Shostakovich Concerti.

I should point out here that that is how most of this video goes. It's basically her life story, including her mother's medical history, sorority life, a wedding... you know, basic military stuff only without all the weapons, and tanks, and violence. (Ick.)

Back to the Chinese.

Military Ad China 3

Phallic much?

Military Ad Russia 3

And seriously, what's with this Russian guy? Does he ever blink?  I swear, he'd kill me just for the practice.

Meanwhile, our intrepid American soldier mans a Patriot missile defense battery which emits puffs of smoke not unlike what happens when the coyote misses catching the roadrunner.

Military Ad America 2

Ha ha, that coyote never catches a break.

Hopefully the Patriot missiles do, because the Chinese have A LOT of those not-at-all defensive pointy missile things at their disposal.

Military Ad China 8

I should point out the Chinese military also displays large amounts of toxic masculinity.

Military Ad China 1

The Russians display ridiculous amounts of toxic masculinity. I started feeling non-binary in comparison.

Military Ad Russia 11

The American ad had no toxic masculinity. In fact, it had no masculinity, period.

Military Ad America 5

"I also marched for equality. I like to think I've been defending freedom from an early age."

I also played Grand Theft Auto and like to think that I've been running a powerful crime syndicate from an early age.

Look, her story is a nice one. I'm delighted that she and I live in a country that afforded her and her moms the freedom to live in peace as they please the way they please.

But there are forces, like the ones depicted in the Chinese and Russian military recruitment ads below that might again come along to try to put an end to those freedoms by force.

And you're going to want soldiers, a lot of them, who are capable of unspeakable acts of violence when needed on your side when that moment arrives.

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May 20, 2021 at 08:50 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

May 16, 2021

"White women are the most dangerous upholders of white supremacy in Silicon Valley," writes white woman who really hated her boss because she was mean, and told her what to do, and was mean, and did I already say she was mean because she really was...


I don't know about you, but whenever I have had a problem with my boss my first instinct is to sit down and write a 4000-word polemic suggesting everyone who shares her skin color and gender are "dangerous" while simultaneously detailing my own emotional troubles being sure to never once suggest that maybe the problem was with me and not an entire industry.

I think I read that on LinkedIn or something.

Which brings us to former Webflow executive, Britt Caldwell.

Clearly she needs therapy.

I decided to take therapy seriously for the first time since my father passed in 2009.

Okay, more therapy.

Anyone can publish anything on Medium, it's a writer's platform, so there was no one around to tell her, no, we're not going to run this.

I don't necessarily recommend you read the entire 4000-word essay, but it is a tour de force of narcissistic victimhood and so much more revealing than I think she had intended.

And honestly, if that was all this was about I'd ignore it and wish her well in working through her problems.

But people pay attention to this kind of thing. They use it. They cite it. Caldwell just claimed in a very public way that "white women" are "dangerous upholders of white supremacy," because she didn't get along with her boss, and we no longer have the luxury of dismissing these kinds of things as harmless.

She starts:

After two years at Webflow, I am saying goodbye to more than just a job I once loved. I'm risking the most important possession I've acquired. The very thing that I've sacrificed family, friends, and good health to attain. The thing I've held on a pedestal for 15 years — my career — to speak my truth.

Anyone else get the feeling that there's a lot more going on here with Caldwell? This sounds a bit like regret over the choices she herself made.

When any non-cishet/white/man is in power (not the least of which are white women)...

Caldwell earlier wrote that, "white women are considered checkmarks on tech's list of DEI requirements," and here she is considering "non-cishet/white/man" as checkmarks on her own personal list of grievances.

"Cishet," which I had to think about for a moment, "white," "man," none meant to be flattering. Your sexuality, race, and gender, immutable characteristics you were born with and can't control, are intended to be insults.

Kind of like what someone who is prejudiced, sexist, and racist, would do.

...and exudes traits of toxic masculinity, their behavior is more conspicuous, subjecting them to more damaging discourse and tarnishing of their reputation than her superiors would receive. This not only makes white men more covertly dangerous,... Yet white women continue to senselessly defend their toxic behavior.

So, she's saying white women are man-adjacent?

It's all so complicated.

White women often ascend the ranks in supremely toxic work environments, adopting and also benefiting from the same white supremacy that steps on the necks of their sisters and daughters along the way.

Colorful! Deranged, but colorful.

Keep in mind she's a white woman. This is not healthy.

The more they exhibit authoritarianism, the higher they progress.

"Authoritarianism."  She does know these are people in positions of authority, right?  That's kind of part of the boss job description.

And because they climbed the highest mountain and sparkled in a sea of others who might cry at work, they feel uber accomplished and outstanding.

Are you starting to feel some resentment? I'm starting to feel some resentment here.

Many go on to intentionally inflict the same, or worse, traumas they endured because they believe they are stronger because of it.

Because maybe they are? The notion of coming out stronger after enduring hardship is hardly novel.

We've seen it time and time again, in every industry, from the people we admire most. From my former favorite chef, April Bloomfield, to treasured feminist J.K. Rowling, but we'll get to her later.

And she does, later writing that Rowling held "deeply harmful transphobic views" and linked to this tweet from Rowling as proof.

She lumps that, a statement that is at worst benign, and in any case was considered true five minutes ago, with Bloomfield who was accused of sexual harassment.

There is no sense of proportion with people like this, no ability to distinguish real harm from imagined, self-imposed phantom harms.

Much of the piece is made up of a list of grievances Caldwell had against her former boss, starting with the headaches she'd get after one-on-one meetings with her and then progressing.

I started experiencing intense migraines a day or so after my weekly 1–1s with my current boss. Who doesn't get headaches? I stare at a computer screen all day and barely get up to pee, let alone drink water...

Eventually nausea surfaced during our 1–1s and profound fatigue followed into the evenings. Who isn't nauseous and tired? We're in a pandemic. I couldn't connect the dots.

So many dots to connect.

I remembered the most recent director's offsite where she told me, the only woman besides herself invited, that I needed to stop giving feedback. That I need to understand that "because I said so" is enough context for me to get my work done.

I wasn't there, but if your boss is telling you to shut up in front of your colleagues, the problem could very well be you. And yet this never occurs to her. Not for one moment. She has thoughts! She needs to speak her truth!

No one cares!

When I looked at my male peers in disbelief, their heads were down in their laps.

Again, I was not there, but this sounds like they were embarrassed for her, no matter their gender.

She spends a few paragraphs discussing how she felt she was complicit in this, being a white woman and all.

Our abusers don't just look like us — they are us. Recognizing it makes us question our own identity....

A whole bunch of that, and then this.

My white-woman-girl-boss...

Wow. Just, wow.

...and I got scarily similar results to the same bull%$#@ personality test and instead of wanting to vomit,...

I need a new word that means "wow" but more.

...I smirked on the inside momentarily. Does this mean what I think it means? I must be destined for VP-dom too.

No, it doesn't, and I think that's part of the problem.

And then the pieces of the puzzle started fitting together.

First dots connecting, and now puzzle pieces fitting!

This is starting to sound like a children's activity book.

Sadly, at no point were "pictures colored" or "words unjumbled."

When she was applying for the job and I was interviewing her and she dodged every question and turned it around on me.

It's Silicon Valley. The employees get to interview their future bosses. This is exactly what I would expect of a future boss. Exactly.

When she made the entire marketing team take personality tests her first month at the company and wouldn't share the results.

Not that unusual. It's her prerogative. She's the boss, not you.

When she scolded me for allowing my direct reports to have their cameras off in meetings and be idle on Slack, while she operated on stealth mode.

I know you know she's your boss because you explained that in the beginning. She can leave her camera off if she wants to.

And insisting your employees have their cameras turned on during video conferences? Save for brief moments, say they need to move to another room, why wouldn't you insist on this? I would, and have.

Again, she's the boss, not you. I'm definitely starting to think that's the real problem she has.

When she said "I've got news for you, sister. This is how it is at startups" whenever she disagreed with me (as if I was new to this).

Her boss sounds like Pol Pot and Hitler all rolled into one. She's one unkind word away from committing genocide. Emotional genocide. The worst kind when you think about it but not for too long.

When she told me to try having an optimistic attitude in a group meeting after I asked how the sudden change in strategy would affect the roadmap.

Regardless of what kind of boss she was, there is one thing we can be sure of reading this.

She thought Caldwell was a terrible employee.

That doesn't necessarily mean she was, or is in every circumstance, or with everyone, but from the very beginning, from that first interview, these two were toxic for each other, that much is clear.

Making the leap from that to "white women are the most dangerous upholders of white supremacy," is Grand Canyonesque in scope.

It gets better. After she said she was leaving, she believed her treatment got worse.

Imagine that?

There was some back-and-forth regarding the boss wanting her to stay a bit or go, pretty standard by my experience. But there were also these additional complaints.

When she failed to communicate that I had been awarded a performance increase and I found out by checking my bank account.

She's upset she got a performance increase because a pat on the head didn't come with it.

I've had this exact same thing happen to me, exact, and I was extremely okay with it because the far more common complaint in the corporate world is the opposite, the pat on the head, or "employee award" in lieu of cash.

When she asked me to stay on Zoom in front of the group instead of scheduling a 1–1 to rob me of the chance to prepare.

She's referring to staying on the job. Okay, poor manners perhaps, but I'm not seeing the white supremacy here.

When she threatened to fire me if I didn't have her back, work hard, not take time off, and keep a positive attitude for the remainder of my transition period.

And? I'm not saying that's great behavior, I wouldn't do it quite like that, but everyone has their own style and this is not unusual, no matter your race or gender.

When she immediately changed her tone with me, ignoring me, and withholding necessary information for me to smoothly transition my work and my team.

You quit your job and she "changed her tone?!?!"


And "withholding necessary information?"

You're leaving the firm. She's just protecting their IP. Of course she's withholding information.

When she didn't acknowledge my two years' worth of contributions or do her part in "presenting a united front" when I posted my departure plans on Slack.

As her boss might say, "look sister, this ain't a quilting club."

Actually, there are quilting clubs that are rougher than this.

...and finally when she formally initiated stripping me of all possible authority and my firing.

You said you were leaving, and she thought you were an awful employee. So...

There were some accusations that were not totally unhinged. Refusing bonuses to black employees, perhaps not accommodating disabled employees, which is certainly possible, but when you take that into account with everything else she said it does not exactly help her credibility on those charges.  And those felt like afterthoughts. The vast body of complaints were all about Caldwell not getting the proper respect from a boss who clearly didn't respect her.

There is certainly the very real possibility that her boss was a jerk. Okay, so she was a jerk, and you didn't get along with her. Where in the world does this white supremacy nonsense come from?

It's near-impossible to influence changes in behavior from white women in power.

Oh, right. It just is.

Once white women are in positions of power, their networks solidify their tenure. What starts as one human inflicting harm one-to-one soon becomes few-to-many as they grow teams and promote their own kind.

"Their own kind." 

Eventually, and rapidly, an indestructible black widow's web is spun that traps people and cements processes. By the time anyone notices, the damage has extended beyond what the eye can see. While men are inescapably the biggest perpetrators and creators of white supremacy, once a white woman benefits and profits from the system, she becomes its fiercest advocate.

All this, because she had a mean boss.

There's more. She details various emotional struggles, including having had an abortion and being psychologically abused by family members and so on, but I think you get the idea.

This essay should have met one of two possible fates:

  1. As a personal therapeutic exercise, perhaps shared with a trusted friend or a professional, but otherwise kept private.
  2. An anonymous Glass Door review.

But it should never have been published in a public forum.

This has nothing to do with white supremacy, white women in Silicon Valley, and no broad conclusions regarding either should be drawn from it.

The experience she had is the exact same experience pretty much every employee working for every intersectionality throughout all of time has had at one time or another.

There is one thing about this that could have broader implications.

If you follow the Twitter conversations about this piece going on here, you will find a lot of women bashing women bosses. It is the dirty little secret of the corporate (and government) world: Many women don't like working for other women.

I've heard this. You've probably heard this. Talking about it out loud might be potentially productive, because it seems like something that is resolvable.

But when you racialize it, when you try to shoehorn it into a woke narrative, it becomes counterproductive and destructive.

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May 16, 2021 at 09:32 AM in Current Affairs, Racism | Permalink | Comments (0)

May 12, 2021

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) that has been used for decades by public health experts is suddenly totally useless we are told. Weird.

VAERS  Politifact Cover (2)

Something odd caught my eye in the "What's Happening" sidebar on Twitter last week:


The systems are open to anyone, and are intended to provide an "early warning for any previously unknown effects" of COVID-19 vaccines, according to PolitiFact and Full Fact. Adverse effects and deaths reported on these systems are not necessarily caused by COVID-19 vaccines and may be unrelated coincidences, according to the CDC.

Okay, interesting, by why the sudden interest in such arcane matters all of a sudden? Why is this news now?

As it turns out, information in the wrong hands can be dangerous. Who's hands are "wrong?"

Those would be yours.

The thread related to the Twitter piece consisted of our various self-appointed Overseers of Truth being quite concerned that you are being exposed to some very inconvenient data.

They claim that the Covid vaccine is killing people is "mostly false."


I don't think that's as comforting as they had intended it to be.

The "anti-vaccine group" that is being fact checked is called, "Learn the Risk," and is a non-profit based in the United States. It's more than anti-vaccine, though, it appears to be generally anti-big pharma.

The Facebook post being fact-checked can be found here (an archived file) and a portion is screen captured below:


It goes on like that for a while, simply re-posting data straight from the VAERS system.

That's the entirety of the post, just a recitation of federal data.

Here is what Poltificact had to say about it:

Learn the Risk, an anti-vaccine group, recently published a post on Facebook with a list of people who died after receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

"AGE 25. MALE. Vaccinated 12/22/2020. Found unresponsive and subsequently expired at home on 1/11/2021. Moderna vaccine," reads the first of almost 30 entries featured in the Feb. 9 post.

These entries are copied from the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, a national vaccine safety surveillance program set up by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration that records health issues that arise after vaccinations in the U.S.

So far, so nothing.

This was the next section, emphasis mine.

The implication: That the reports show that COVID-19 vaccines contributed to the deaths of dozens of people, as young as 24.

"The implication."

Whose implication?

All "Learn the Risk" did was copy and paste government data, and it's the data making the implication. They didn't even editorialize on it that I can find, not in the post linked to by Politifact in support of its FaCT chECk.

"Learn the Risk" didn't claim the data "proves" anything (the word Politifact used in its tweet) or "shows" anything, (the word Politifact used in its headline for the story) they just laid it out there. Their only crime was to alert you to data that the feds have been routinely collecting since 1990.

According to the VAERS website,

VAERS is not designed to determine if a vaccine caused a health problem, but is especially useful for detecting unusual or unexpected patterns of adverse event reporting that might indicate a possible safety problem with a vaccine.

"Especially useful."

That is so 2019. 

Re-posting government data specifically designed to indicate a possible safety problem with a vaccine, by an organization set up to question possible safety problems with vaccines is... wait for it...

"False news and misinformation!"

The post was flagged as part of Facebook's efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.

And so naturally it got tagged with this.


Politifact then goes on pointing out the various limitations of VAERS (really, we get it, it's not verified and not proof of causality) and even attempts to add a dollop of ridicule just for good measure.

To illustrate the shortcomings of the database, one physician reported that a vaccine had turned him into the Incredible Hulk, the comic-book character. Both the CDC and the physician confirmed to PolitiFact that his report was initially accepted and entered into the system as an adverse event.

Ha ha! The Incredible Hulk! He's not real. This VAERS system that has been used by public health authorities for decades to flag potential problems is a complete joke!

Please stop paying attention to it.

Politifact's final summary:

A Facebook post from an anti-vaccine group shows a list of people who died after receiving COVID-19 vaccines, implying that the vaccine caused or contributed to those deaths.

Let me play "the definition game" that professional fact checkers find so endearing when it comports with their preferred narrative.

Here is one of the definitions for "implication."

A possible significance.

Keep that in mind.

The claim relies on reports from a federal tracking system of adverse events occurring after vaccinations. The agencies that maintain that system warn that the reports should not be used to draw conclusions about whether a vaccine causes a particular adverse event. To establish causation, experts look beyond isolated data points to studies of large groups of people to see if a negative symptom is more prominent in vaccinated people than in non-vaccinated ones.

To pause for a moment:

"Learn the Risk" is suggesting "a possible significance" using federal data specifically designed to be "especially useful for detecting... possible safety problem with a vaccine."

On to Politifact's big finish!

The COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective in tens of thousands of people.

True. But for thousands of others, it is possible that it has not according to government data.


We rate this statement Mostly False. ​

Even though "this statement," absent whatever ideological baggage you might want to bring to the subject, is objectively "mostly true."

I like context, and would have added it myself to the Facebook post, but that's me. Regardless, what "Learn the Risk" said is not only factually true, insofar as it goes, but it highlights something very real:

This system, which again has decades of use behind it, is recording orders of magnitude more adverse events than any vaccine in history. That is just true, and seems to have "detected" an "unusual or unexpected pattern" which is what VAERS was designed to do.

It could mean a lot of things, many perfectly benign, but could also include the possibility that the Covid vaccine, using new technology, developed in an unprecedentedly short period of time, and being administered under an Emergency Use Authorization, might have greater risks associated with it than others.

That sounds like something worth looking into. We have a right to know the benefits AND the risks so we can make more informed decisions. What are our media betters doing rather than providing us information so that we may make more informed decisions?

Parroting the corporate line, using the same arguments and the same language, in lock-step conformity. Pretty much every single one of them.

Don't forget the obligatory straw-men attacks on anyone who suggests that we should treat people like adults. I watched this segment. Carlson was very careful with his words. He thought it was newsworthy and people had a right to know.

I'm not "anti-vax" but I'm also not an "anti-fact." I actually got the Covid vaccine, having weighed the risks and rewards and making a decision that made sense for me and my family. Every citizen should be afforded that opportunity. 

So why are the authorities and their media enablers so fearful of information? Why are they so manic about forcing everyone to shut up and take the vaccine? It doesn't exactly inspire confidence. They would get much better compliance if they were just honest rather than giving people cause to question them.

I'm sorry, more cause to question them.

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May 12, 2021 at 10:06 AM in Covid-19/Coronavirus, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (2)

May 07, 2021

Yet another study confirms what we already knew: Lockdowns don't work. Let's take a look at how this fiction was maintained in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary.


Out: Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives.

In: Stay Home. Die.

Last November, long after it was obvious that they were wrong, our "fact" checker overlords were still defending the autocrats and their unconstitutional home imprisonment orders.

As many states enter a new wave of more stringent measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, users on social media have been sharing posts that question the purpose of so called "lockdowns".

"So called."

Before we get to the kicker, it's important you fully appreciate the disdain with which they hold anyone who questions authority.

Which is interesting considering that's kind of their job.

An example of a lockdown-sceptic post circulating on social media (here) features the screenshot of an entry in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary on the word "lockdown", which includes a definition that reads: "the confinement of prisoners to their cells for all or most of the day as a temporary security measure". The image has an overlaid text that reads: "Never forget where the word LOCKDOWN comes from… A loving government isn't trying to save you from COVID…it is using COVID to justify MARTIAL LAW"

They then go on to patiently explain to the mouth breathers why they are wrong.

While this definition is indeed included in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary entry here , the screenshot fails to show two further definitions. According to Merriam Webster, the term also stands for a "temporary condition" imposed by authorities, for example, during the outbreak of an epidemic disease, "in which people are require to stay in their homes and refrain from limit activities outside the home involving public contact (such as dining out or attending large gatherings)".

Well, then, I guess that settles that. It appears that the word "lockdown" has always been understood to mean a "temporary condition" to deal with an "outbreak of an epidemic disease." Nothing to see here, move along.

Unless, of course, you're not a child and find that to be oddly... convenient.

Here is a screen shot of Merriam-Websters' current definition of "lockdown."

Lockdowns Don't Work 1

Sure enough, the fact checkers got it right. I guess there's nothing to see here after all...

Wait a second.

I am suspicious by nature, and thought I'd do a little basic fact checking myself. I mean, I'm no professional Reuters fact checker or anything but I do have an Internet connection and a browser so...

This is the definition of "lockdown" as of May 20 of last year.

Lockdowns Don't Work 2

That's it. That's the entire definition. Nothing about epidemics or large gatherings or dining out.

The new definition was added some time between May 20 and May 24, 2020. Reuters' professional fact checkers used a definition that had been fabricated to support the prevailing authoritarian assertion that the lockdowns were no big deal and discredit anyone who suggested otherwise.

That's not fact checking. It's either rank incompetence, or a deliberate attempt to silence political opponents.

It should therefore come as no surprise that Reuters then affirmed the prevailing orthodoxy.

Some posts falsely claim that these measures "don't save lives".

Some statements age like a fine wine kept in a dark climate-controlled cellar.

Some age like a chicken salad sandwich left in a hot Buick in the Arizona sun.

Not only is the Reuters proclamation of falsehood wrong, it was wrong at the time they made the statement. They reference all the usual suspects, everyone with a vested interest in maintaining the lockdowns, the WHO, the IMF and the like, and they mention and then largely dismiss, a handful of counterarguments.

But we knew a year ago that something wasn't right, and anyone who actually believes in data and "science" could credibly argue back then that lockdowns were counterproductive.

The first evidence came from numbers coming out of New York which found far more virus transmission among those sheltering in place vs. those going to work.

I and others have been writing about this since.

This is 20/20 sight. This is Sunday morning quarterbacking. We knew there was a problem with the lockdowns.

During the course of last year, about three dozen additional studies from around the world came out saying various versions of the same thing. Lockdowns were a bad idea.

The consequences of the suppression or dismissal of this data has been deadly.

The latest study is just another in a long line making it clear that universal lockdowns have been an abysmal failure. A failure of science, a failure of leadership, and a failure of morality.

At the moment, restrictions are for the most part slowly being eased across the country.

Too bad it's a year late.

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May 7, 2021 at 11:22 AM in Covid-19/Coronavirus, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3)

April 25, 2021

"Scientists Create Early Embryos That Are Part Human, Part Monkey," and I see slightly fewer than 1,000,000 ways this could go badly.

I for one, welcome our new monkey overlords.

I'm not saying that this will result in a race of monkey-slaves doing the bidding of their AI overlords thereby heralding the extinction of the human race, I'm just saying...

Okay, I'm saying that.

Regardless, I am going to nominate this as the week's most unintentionally comical line:

But some ethicists worry about how such research could go wrong.

But need not worry, they have no intention of turning the earth into a dystopian hell where humans are hunted down like animals.

Belmonte acknowledges the ethical concerns. But he stresses that his team has no intention of trying to create animals with the part-human, part-monkey embryos, or even to try to grow human organs in such a closely related species.

They have only good intentions and as everyone knows the road to hell is paved with...

Uh, oh.

"I don't see this type of research being ethically problematic," said Insoo Hyun, a bioethicist at Case Western Reserve University and Harvard University. "It's aimed at lofty humanitarian goals."

Interestingly, given that the Chinese Communist Party is currently accused of harvesting organs from Muslim slaves for transplant, this could actually be a step up for them, ethically speaking.

And yes, this is starting to sound like the opening act of every single disaster movie ever.

But, I'm probably overreacting.

"My first question is: Why?" said Kirstin Matthews, a fellow for science and technology at Rice University's Baker Institute. "I think the public is going to be concerned, and I am as well, that we're just kind of pushing forward with science without having a proper conversation about what we should or should not do."

Okay, okay, so we have the impassioned moral case for caution being made by the concerned outsider scientist.

Monkey Slave 1

I'm thinking Catherine Zeta-Jones.

And then there's the scientist blind to the moral hazards of his work, ignoring the warnings, obsessed as he is with the purely clinical aspects of his work and speaking in the antiseptic terms of the amoral.

"This is one of the major problems in medicine — organ transplantation," said Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, Calif., and a co-author of the Cell study. "The demand for that is much higher than the supply."

Monkey Slave 2

I'm picking up a Robert Duvall vibe here but we need someone younger.

Dwayne Johnson it is.

What am I talking about? In 20 years, this will be what the cast looks like.


The science itself is fascinating. Thousands of people do die each year because of a lack of available organs for transplant, and earlier efforts to create these "chimeras" using sheep and pig embryos (human bacon! try to unremember that!) have failed.

...So Belmonte teamed up with scientists in China and elsewhere to try something different. The researchers injected 25 cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells from humans — commonly called iPS cells — into embryos from macaque monkeys, which are much more closely genetically related to humans than are sheep and pigs.

After one day, the researchers reported, they were able to detect human cells growing in 132 of the embryos and were able study the embryos for up to 19 days. That enabled the scientists to learn more about how animal cells and human cells communicate, an important step toward eventually helping researchers find new ways to grow organs for transplantation in other animals, Belmonte said.

See, no ethical dilemmas here, move along.

"Our goal is not to generate any new organism, any monster," Belmonte said.

It never is.


Believe it or not, it hasn't gotten weird yet.

But this type of scientific work and the possibilities it opens up raises serious questions for some ethicists. The biggest concern, they said, is that someone could try to take this work further and attempt to make a baby out of an embryo made this way. Specifically, the critics worry that human cells could become part of the developing brain of such an embryo — and of the brain of the resulting animal.

"Should it be regulated as human because it has a significant proportion of human cells in it? Or should it be regulated just as an animal? Or something else?" Rice University's Matthews said. "At what point are you taking something and using it for organs when it actually is starting to think and have logic?"

Let's dial it up just a bit more.

"Nobody really wants monkeys walking around with human eggs and human sperm inside them," said Hank Greely, a Stanford University bioethicist who co-wrote an article in the same issue of the journal that critiques the line of research while noting that this particular study was ethically done. "Because if a monkey with human sperm meets a monkey with human eggs, nobody wants a human embryo inside a monkey's uterus."

Oh, yuck!


Greely said he hopes the work will spur a more general debate about how far scientists should be allowed to go with this kind of research.

"I don't think we're on the edge of beyond the Planet of the Apes. I think rogue scientists are few and far between. But they're not zero," Greely said. "So I do think it's an appropriate time for us to start thinking about, 'Should we ever let these go beyond a petri dish?'"

It's telling that it does not even occur to him that the petri dish can be problematic. At what point are we dealing with an embryo that is arguably human? What would be the criteria? Is it even possible to create a criteria?

For several years, the National Institutes of Health has been weighing the idea of lifting a ban on funding for this kind of research but has been waiting for new guidelines, which are expected to come out next month, from the International Society for Stem Cell Research.

An article announcing this from 2016:

"Part-human, part-animal embryos."


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April 25, 2021 at 04:15 PM in Science | Permalink | Comments (3)

April 21, 2021

Professor says the problem with academia today is "too many conservatives." But here's the real punch line: He makes a point, just not the one he intended.

Everyone had quite a bit of fun with this earlier in the week.

That's ridiculous, right?

Why, everyone knows academia skews left. Way left.

Campus Reform contacted Siddique about this claim. When presented with a study published by the National Association of Scholars showing that college professors donate to Democrats ninety-five times more than to Republicans, Siddique insisted this was not relevant.

Not relevant?  I know what you want to do. You want to type up a witty retort, quite possibly in all caps so as to be more persuasive, but hold on to that thought for a moment.

Campus Reform has reported on hundreds of business school professors who endorsed President Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election.

Joe Biden?  Why that's clear evidence THAT THEY ARE JUST A BUNCH OF...

Put down the Mountain Dew and step away from the keyboard for a moment.

Nicole Neily, President of Speech First, criticized Siddique for his factually "incorrect" premise, citing a study showing that university administrators, on average, lean more left than their professors.

"Factually" incorrect is the worst kind of incorrect, because, you know, facts.

And it wasn't just Nicole Neily jumping on the Fact Express to truth and justice, it was Samual Abrams, too, whoever he is.

"Dr. Siddique's factual premise is incorrect; Sarah Lawrence professor Samuel Abrams the ideological composition of university administrators several years ago, and found that they actually lean farther left than even university professors," Neily told Campus Reform.


They can lean all they want, leaning is easy. Leaning is free.

You know what's not free?  Acting.  Acting can cost you.  Money, standing, privilege.

So, instead, they lean, and if they lean hard enough, maybe no one will notice they aren't doing anything, at least nothing that affects them directly.

Siddique noticed, and said something.  Sure, he has a cartoonish view of conservatism, and completely missed the larger point, but he's just falling into the same trap as the rest of us too often do.

There is a difference between preaching and acting, between virtue signalling and living with real-life consequences.

Let's put it this way, John Kerry travels in a private jet the better to lecture the rest of us about the sacrifices we must all make for the sake of the environment. Nancy Pelosi and Lori Lightfoot go to salons so they may be more presentable when they explain to the rest of us why it doesn't much matter whether we are presentable or not, and university administrators sing from the woke hymnal as much as necessary, but have no intention of putting any of it into practice in a manner that would interfere with their own wealth and comfort.

More to the point, it has nothing to do with ideology, principle or fundamental belief systems. Those things may be important to us, but they are just useful distractions to those in power.

Here's Siddique's original tweet.

The problem with academia today is that it has too many conservatives. They run the university. They sit in admin & on university boards enforcing manufactured austerity, combating unionization, & casualizing most of the professoriate.

Let's take a look at these one by one, from Siddique's point of view:

"Enforcing manufactured austerity."

Harvard has an endowment a little shy of $40 billion, Yale around $30 billion, Stanford and Princeton around $25 billion.

Even Siddique's own University of Massachusetts has an endowment a little short of $1 billion and an annual budget of $3.4 billion.

Why all the money? Why is Harvard "hoarding" nearly $40 billion? Think of all the social justice work they could do, if they really meant it. Instead, they talk about it, preening away, and "speaking out" against injustice.

Anything to keep the rubes busy.

"Combating unionization."

They typically fight it tooth and nail, where they can, particularly the richest and most woke of the private universities whose resistance to the unionization of their grad students has earned its own Wikipedia entry.

Oh, they totally believe in unions.  Elsewhere.

"Casualizing the professoriate."

Yes, "casualize" is a real thing.

If a business casualizes its employees or casualizes their labour, it replaces employees with permanent contracts and full rights with employees with temporary contracts and few rights.

It's tough to unionize contract workers.

This is a big issue in higher academic circles.

In the past, critics like myself and others were urged not to fret about the adjunctification, or "casualization," of academic labor. Again and again, jowly college presidents, rear admirals of learned societies bearing epaulets, line managers at elite doctoral mills, and assorted free-market types in bow ties, assured us that the institution of tenure was doing just swell. When it came to the growing ranks of nontenured, they spoke of "redundancies," "strategic redeployment of resources," and riffed about the need to be "nimble" in response to "shifting market demand." In many ways, these thought leaders were the brainy forebears of our current epistemological moment — a moment in which citizens are implored to ignore relevant data and their own engagement with empirical reality. Everything is perfect.

That things were nowhere near perfect in our vocation was as clear 10 years ago as is the desolate street outside your window today.

But as long as they contributed to Joe Biden, it's all good, right?

Back to Siddique for a moment.

Those who think that the ideological character of the university can be discerned by the political leanings of its faculty betray a fundamental misunderstanding of how institutions work. You have to look at management, not labor.

He has a point, but even that doesn't fully apply here. The faculty is in on it, too, at least the upper echelons, which they will do anything to preserve. Quoting Salazar again.

It cannot be denied that the apathy of tenured professors to the plight of their nontenured colleagues is a failure of common decency and professional solidarity (about which, more anon). But it pales in comparison to the dereliction of duty of our administrative overseers. It is they who made more or less all of the decisions just mentioned. Once those decisions were put into play, all that remained was for the present Covid-19 crisis to accelerate our free fall to the bottom.

When your self-interest conflicts with your ideals guess which wins out?

Siddique appears sincere in his beliefs, and when interviewed by Campus Reform above was invariably polite and seemed open to some intellectual give and take.

But both he and Campus Reform missed the real story. When all is said and done, when you drill down to the motivations of those with control, this has nothing to do with liberal vs. conservative values, or "right" vs. "left." It never does.

It's about power, seizing it, and more importantly, keeping it.

The top two people at Harvard are white men.

Harvard president

Same thing at Yale.

Yale president

Why don't they resign and make room for a BIPOC? They're perfectly happy denying your kid admission, particularly if he or she is Asian, in favor of furthering "diversity," so why don't they live what they preach?

Harvard has no Hispanic deans. None. Why not move out a couple more white guys? They've got plenty to spare! Why are the two Asian deans from a single country, India? How does that reflect the student body?

College administrators can pave their grassy country estates with BLM signs, they can support the Biden campaign and adopt 47 pronouns for describing their students, but it's all for the singular purpose of preserving their own wealth, comfort, and power.

That's what we're not supposed to notice while we scramble about screaming "hypocrisy!" and fighting ideological battles that they consider not timeless values but merely mechanisms, tools to be used for their own benefit. 

They know it's hypocrisy.

The don't care.

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April 21, 2021 at 06:24 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

April 16, 2021

Cherry blossoms bloomed a few days earlier than expected meaning we're all supposed to panic or something.

Cherry Blossom Panic Cover 2

Never let a crisis go to waste?

How about never let a completely benign and utterly common event go to waste!

I regret to inform you that it's true, the cherry blossoms bloomed a few days earlier this year than originally expected.

Maybe you should start getting your affairs in order.

Also, turn over control of your life to the government. That will also be necessary I'm afraid.

Assuming you don't want to die!

However, as beautiful as it was, the early bloom is a grim reminder of the threats that the iconic Tidal Basin faces from a changing climate. Already, the basin floods and inundates the famous trees' roots daily, and this will only worsen as the planet warms. Estimates show that within 50 years, high tide will rise an additional 6 inches, which is entirely unsustainable.

Excuse me for a moment, I need to run around hysterically for a while.

Okay, I feel better now.

One thing though, kind of interesting I guess if you are some kind of data nerd, that the writer did not consider particularly relevant to the matter.

The cherry blossoms have bloomed earlier than this year 4 out of the last 11 years, and on or about the same time for another 2, suggesting that this year was, as "grim reminders of the threats that the iconic Tidal Basin faces from a changing climate" go, kinda average.

Cherry Blossom Doom 1 (1)

I'm pretty sure we weren't supposed to notice that.

It doesn't matter, we have a scientific consensus, and as everyone knows, once you have scientific consensus it can never be challenged.

That's just what science is all about.


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April 16, 2021 at 02:13 PM in Current Affairs, Global Warming with CONSENSUS WATCH | Permalink | Comments (2)

April 10, 2021

Newly arrived "Kondo Karens" try to shut down decades-old local car club in East Austin noting such things as "toxic masculinity."


I could not confirm at press time whether or not a manager had been seen yet.

Full disclosure, I am a car guy. I've shown cars at car shows (purely amateur "fun field" stuff) and genuinely enjoy the myriad cultures and subcultures that comprise the love of automobiles and that routinely brings people of all races and backgrounds together.

Which I guess is why it must be destroyed.

Some variation of this assembly has taken place nearly every Sunday afternoon since the early nineties. But now many residents of The Weaver, a newly built luxury apartment building across the street—whose website promises renters access to a "community that is rich in history and tradition"—have decided it's time for the weekly event to come to an unceremonious end.

A twitter commenter noted that,

"In legal-speak it's called "coming to the nuisance."

He noted the people who come to the nuisance usually lose, although I don't believe that's true in the long run. They'll win the court battles but eventually will lose the economic war.

It's what happened when the Washington DC metro area began pushing out into the outer counties with real vigor back in the '90s. People wanted to "get out in the country," none of whom apparently had ever actually lived in the country, the sum total of their knowledge regarding rural life coming from Hallmark Christmas cards and coming-of-age Family Channel cable fare.

Much to the surprise of the newcomers, nature smells, and complaints began rolling in about the smell of manure and the like from the abutting farms.

And something had to be done about it!

There wasn't much they could really do, of course, farms are gonna farm, but while the legal and even political battles were won by the farmers, they eventually lost the war as developers bought all the land, the farmers left, cash in pocket, and now large swaths of these outer counties have become suburban seas of builder-grade condos and McMansion developments for socially insecure status seekers.

Which brings us back to Austin.

Some of the building's residents defend the car club gatherings and note they predate The Weaver residents' arrival in the neighborhood, but many others have grown tired of the loud music, annoyed by the traffic, and turned off by the smell of skidding tires.

In promoting the condo complex, The Weaver condo notes,

"...the thrill of thriving in vibrant East Austin style."

It would appear the thrill of East Austin's "vibrant style" diminishes in appeal the closer you get to it. The obvious solution is, don't get close to it if you don't like it.

Or, I guess you could demand the existing neighborhood conform to your expectations of a watered down, sanitized, and quieter "vibrancy" probably involving Pinot Grigio and Teslas humming along in electrified silence.

One particularly vocal tenant, a non-Hispanic white woman with short blond hair who appeared to be in her fifties and refused to give her name, claimed that smoke from the tires was killing nearby trees...

Tire smoke is a well-known herbicide. It's amazing the whole east side of Austin hasn't already been deforested by burnouts.

Forget Agent Orange, we should have sent battalions of East Side care enthusiasts to Viet Nam, do some burnouts, clear out those jungles in no time.

...and that traffic from the gathering would make it impossible for an ambulance to reach her in the event of a medical emergency (though two other roads to the apartment building remain accessible at all times).

She SO wants to call a manager.

Another Weaver resident voiced more generalized criticism, calling the event a "display of toxic masculinity."

East Austin: A Superfund site of toxic masculinity.

And if we're going to describe a love of automobiles and occasional burnouts (they gather for a few hours one day a week) "toxic masculinity," then I'd describe whatever this is as "toxic femininity."

The Weaver Chicano Park 6

"Socially distanced social hour!"

I think all the testosterone just drained from my body. Maybe I need to revisit my pronouns...

The next day, it was clear that patience remained in short supply. Watching from her upper-floor apartment, one of The Weaver's most vocal critics of the car clubs, the blond woman who worried about emergency responders being able to reach her, decided she'd had enough. She bounded downstairs and into the street in high heels, holding her iPhone to film the offending vehicles and threatening to call the police on another group of men standing beside an old-school Ford sedan who looked unamused.

"Cultural tolerance," and "diversity makes us stronger," are concepts widely celebrated by the upper classes.

In the abstract.

He [a car enthusiast] wondered why instead of calling the police and creating unnecessary tension the blond woman and other angry residents hadn't walked across the street and introduced themselves first, opening up dialogue. "If you come with good energy, you'll find out that we're just here to chill and enjoy the cars and the scenery," he said. "Don't be scared."

That would require they actually live that tolerance, genuinely open their minds to a different culture, learn about it, understand it, perhaps even come to appreciate it.

"It's just a few hours out of the week."

Too much for the Kondo Karens. I mean, it's one thing to have "them" come around and care for their grounds, remove their garbage, walk their dogs, serve them their lattes, but look, there are boundaries. They certainly don't want to have to live with them.

To my surprise, this makes me want to visit Austin now, if only to rent a Mustang or a Camaro, or some other appropriate symbol of toxic masculinity, and do a few social justice burnouts in front of The Weaver.

Incidentally, if you'd like to read a full-out profane and passionate rampage about this, check out this series of rage tweets. I follow him, a real car guy who rarely goes off the hook like this, and it is glorious. But really, profane.


There was a rally not long ago in support of the car clubs and the mayor even stopped by so maybe there's still some hope.

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April 10, 2021 at 08:44 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4)