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The battle cry of the politically homeless

Anyone moderate with a brain and anything to lose has largely gone silent

 

Like millions of other Americans, I’m exhausted. But I’m not tired from #Resisting or tired from screaming at a MAGA rally. I’m tired of the toxic tribalism infecting the very foundations of our democracy, straining our relationships, and poisoning our view of our fellow humans.

I’m tired of everyone being outraged, getting worked up over the latest news cycle only to forget about it two hours later. Tired of being afraid to voice my own opinions, of knowing how saying the wrong thing at a barbecue while someone is filming on their iPhone could result in a nationwide clarion call for my head on a pike. I’m tired of rage mobs and cancelations.

2016 was the breaking point, or at least a watershed moment, when the vilification of diverse opinion exploded. Trump vs. Hillary forced everything into a binary, and suddenly bipartisanship and moderation became radical positions to take.

Now, you aren’t just voting out of habit or, God forbid, voting for your own interests. Every vote is considered a statement on your personal identity and worth. Your value, who you are, what kind of world you want, whether or not you’re a good person or an evil person…it all boils down to which lever you pull. Damn your reasons. Vote for the ‘right’ person, or else you are a fascist, or a racist, or a globalist, or a communist.

https://spectator.us/battle-cry-politically-homeless/

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Piers Morgan talks about how the Left have become unbearable.

 

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An interesting report on the dumbing down of universities in the UK. Students are taught far less, do far less work, but grade inflation means most get As anyway.

“Ideas that students readily understood ten to 15 years ago, they struggle to understand today,” Peter Dorey, professor of British politics at the University of Cardiff, told the Commons inquiry in 2009. “Many of them are semi-literate.” Dorey described seminars in which students sat listlessly, waiting to be told how to “pass our exams”. “They will brazenly admit to having read nothing,” he told the hearing.

According to their study, one in five graduates in England could not handle literacy tasks more complicated than understanding the instructions on a packet of aspirin, while the numeracy level of 28 per cent was limited to estimating the fuel left on a petrol gauge. These rates were around three times worse than the top eight countries, which spend around $19,000 per student. England spends $26,000 per student, more than any country except the US, which spends $30,000.

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/education/2019/08/great-university-con-how-british-degree-lost-its-value

Nor is this unique to the UK. The same problem exists in the US, which means it exists in Canada too. But our media are so incompetent and lazy, so unimaginative, that almost all the stories we get from them are bought from the US.

Consider these facts: A 50-plus-year nationwide study of the history of college grading finds that, in the early 1960s, an A grade was awarded in colleges nationwide 15 percent of the time. But today, an A is the most common grade given in college; the percentage of A grades has tripled, to 45 percent nationwide. Seventy-five percent of all grades awarded now are either A’s and B’s.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomlindsay/2019/03/30/the-other-college-scandal-grade-inflation-has-turned-transcripts-into-monopoly-money/#19ee8e2d4182

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So this is about a dumb, drunken Welshman who posted a couple of messages on the internet deemed to be insulting to Muslims - which they were. They were things like "Allah is a cunt" and "fuck you racist allah cunt".

He was quickly arrested and convicted of 'stirring up racial hatred' and 'stirring up religious hatred'.

Now three things about this. I'm quite certain this sort of action by authorities would have many of our local progressives creaming in their jeans with delight, and wishing we'd have the same thing here. But there's no evidence this guy ever did anything or planned anything criminal, nor was violent. Nor has he been charged as such. So this seems like not only a violation of freedom of speech but also a tremendous waste of resources on the part of police and courts.

The second thing which comes to mind is that the crime solution rate in the UK is a stunning 9%. No, you didn't read that wrong. Of all crimes reported to the police they manage to solve only 9 out of every 100. It's by far the worst crime solution rate of any western country I'm aware of.

The third thing which I'm thinking on is that while they are miserably bad at fighting crime they have a robust force of officers devoted to policing insults on the internet, and are even constantly advising people to let them know if they see anything insulting or offensive to various groups. Even if what you post isn't illegal, they'll still contact you if it offends someone. Which leads me to wonder if this is related to their inability to solve actual crimes, like the stabbings and robberies which have become so common. Just how much manpower and resources to the British police devote to 'combating hatred'?

Oh, and the fourth thing. They suck at it. Hatred is thriving in the UK. People distrust and dislike each other more than here by a long ways. Despite the best efforts of the police, with half believing Islam is a threat to the West, and expressing distrust for Muslims. That's quite a bit up from the previous polls in 2013 when it more like a quarter of Brits. Which ought to demonstrate to anyone with a working brain that this sort of zealous policing of free speech accomplishes nothing.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/jay-davison-rhiwbina-trial-court-16823829

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Yeah, my homeland is going completely nuts.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/08/16/nineteen-eighty-four-is-now-a-policing-manual/

Bizarrely, the College of Policing’s guidelines say that ‘a hate incident is any incident that a police officer or another member of the public considers to be motivated by hate’. It also says, ‘no evidence of hate is required’.

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6 minutes ago, bcsapper said:

Yeah, my homeland is going completely nuts.

https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/08/16/nineteen-eighty-four-is-now-a-policing-manual/

Bizarrely, the College of Policing’s guidelines say that ‘a hate incident is any incident that a police officer or another member of the public considers to be motivated by hate’. It also says, ‘no evidence of hate is required’.

Now that is scary.  Be afraid,  be very afraid.

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Trump isn't always wrong, like when he rails against the slackers of NATO for not pulling their weight.

Example, the Germans, which used to be a feared military power and is now something of a joke.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t excuse some of the inadequacies of the military which have come to light under von der Leyen’s leadership. Under her watch, German military exercises have been reduced to a laughing stock. In 2014, a battalion on a Nato exercise in Norway was forced to use a painted broomstick to simulate a gun because it didn’t have a real one. Nearly half the soldiers involved in the exercise could not be issued with pistols.

Things were no better this year when Germany took control of Nato’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, charged with combatting the threat from Russia. Germanypromised to have 44 Leopard 2 tanks and 14 Marder armoured infantry vehicles available for the task, yet in the event could only muster nine and three respectively. A leaked document revealed that the Luftwaffe’s Eurofighter and Tornado fighter jets, along with its transport helicopters, are only available for use for an average of four months per year — spending the rest of the time laid up for maintenance and repair.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/08/germanys-military-has-become-a-complete-joke/

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This is a column written about the great fear of 'white supremacy' and 'white extremism' which basically points out that it's mostly hype, along with school shootings, because they all make for excellent television ratings.

A 2019 Pew survey found that significant numbers of Americans report hearing friends or family members of their own racial backgrounds make comments or jokes about other groups that would be considered racist or racially insensitive. The numbers varied only slightly depending on the racial group of the respondent. Forty-four percent of blacks said they would often or sometimes hear racially insensitive remarks from friends and family. For whites, the number was 46 percent. If we were going to lump together ordinary prejudice with a predisposition toward violent extremism, we would expect there to be millions of racial terrorists in America. Thankfully, there aren’t.

One byproduct of this conflation of ordinary bigotry and mass murder is a growing campaign to censor offensive content wherever it appears. In the days after the El Paso attack, for instance, Texas Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke, a long-shot candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, called for a change in the law that would make it easier to ensure that social-media companies remove “hate speech and domestic terrorism” from their platforms. He added that “when any one community is targeted, the very idea of America is under attack. That’s why we need to all come together to not only connect the dots between the proliferation of hatred across our country and the acceleration of mass shootings, but actually do something about it.”

A problem is that accusations of “hate speech” come thick and fast on social media, whether the subject is the Middle East conflict, gender politics or immigration policy. The very fact that O’Rourke would use an apples-and-oranges phrase like “hate speech and domestic terrorism” suggests that he hasn’t really thought through the implications of a policy that would link all speech deemed hateful with the apocalyptic spectre of mass murder.

https://quillette.com/2019/08/30/why-i-dont-live-in-fear-of-white-supremacists/

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This is an excellent column in defense of freedom of speech. It's a response to those (invariably on the Left) who like to say that censorship is only when government stops you from speaking, and that free speech guarantees are only about restraining government. In point of fact, as the column points out, frees speech ought to be considered a societal value of considerable importance.

For advocates of free speech as a “spirit” or cultural value, an important distinction exists between disagreement and retaliation. Obviously everyone should feel free to criticize anyone else, even in harsh terms, because that’s necessary for robust debate. If the “spirit of free speech” were supposed to render every speaker immune from criticism, then the concept would clearly be self-defeating.

The real threat to free speech comes not from harsh words, but from social and economic punishments that go far beyond the initial disagreement. A culture of free speech says that Ken White and I can have a vigorous debate over some issue of the day, but when it’s over we can both go back to our private lives without fearing retribution. I should not have to worry that White will lobby my employer to fire me, or encourage a mob to protest outside my house, or threaten my friends and colleagues with similar treatment unless they disconnect.

Some people assume non-governmental censorship limits only a vitriolic fringe. I see no evidence of this. James Damore hardly expressed a fringe or hateful perspective when he internally criticized Google’s diversity ethos, but the company fired him anyway. Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich donated to a ballot initiative against same-sex marriage that won, but he lost his job anyway. The message from both companies was that people with contrary views—even widely-held contrary views—should get with the ideological program or lose their jobs.

https://quillette.com/2019/08/18/free-speech-matters-even-when-its-not-protected-by-the-first-amendment/

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3 minutes ago, Argus said:

This is an excellent column in defense of freedom of speech. It's a response to those (invariably on the Left) who like to say that censorship is only when government stops you from speaking, and that free speech guarantees are only about restraining government. In point of fact, as the column points out, frees speech ought to be considered a societal value of considerable importance.

For advocates of free speech as a “spirit” or cultural value, an important distinction exists between disagreement and retaliation. Obviously everyone should feel free to criticize anyone else, even in harsh terms, because that’s necessary for robust debate. If the “spirit of free speech” were supposed to render every speaker immune from criticism, then the concept would clearly be self-defeating.

The real threat to free speech comes not from harsh words, but from social and economic punishments that go far beyond the initial disagreement. A culture of free speech says that Ken White and I can have a vigorous debate over some issue of the day, but when it’s over we can both go back to our private lives without fearing retribution. I should not have to worry that White will lobby my employer to fire me, or encourage a mob to protest outside my house, or threaten my friends and colleagues with similar treatment unless they disconnect.

Some people assume non-governmental censorship limits only a vitriolic fringe. I see no evidence of this. James Damore hardly expressed a fringe or hateful perspective when he internally criticized Google’s diversity ethos, but the company fired him anyway. Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich donated to a ballot initiative against same-sex marriage that won, but he lost his job anyway. The message from both companies was that people with contrary views—even widely-held contrary views—should get with the ideological program or lose their jobs.

https://quillette.com/2019/08/18/free-speech-matters-even-when-its-not-protected-by-the-first-amendment/

Free speech swings both ways.  Just as the Welsh subject in your recent post should have every right to describe Allah however he wants, Google has every right to set whatever standards they want and apply them whenever they want.  Everybody has the absolute right to be a complete and utter pillock, and an awful lot of people exercise that right every day.

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1 hour ago, bcsapper said:

Free speech swings both ways.  Just as the Welsh subject in your recent post should have every right to describe Allah however he wants, Google has every right to set whatever standards they want and apply them whenever they want.  Everybody has the absolute right to be a complete and utter pillock, and an awful lot of people exercise that right every day.

You're ignoring the entire basis of the argument, which is that freedom of speech should be respected as a value of our society. The appropriate response from Google to an idea they disagreed with was to disagree with it, not retaliate against the person who spoke the idea and rob him of his livelihood in revenge. Google's response was not an example of free speech. It was an example of punishing free speech.

Further, it was not an example of enforcing a standard. His original piece was in an employee forum in response to a question poised by management. His piece was neither outrageous nor incorrect. But it was moved to a public forum by someone else, who then roused social media against him and caused a cowardly management team to kowtow to them by firing and denouncing him.

Edited by Argus
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4 hours ago, Argus said:

You're ignoring the entire basis of the argument, which is that freedom of speech should be respected as a value of our society. The appropriate response from Google to an idea they disagreed with was to disagree with it, not retaliate against the person who spoke the idea and rob him of his livelihood in revenge. Google's response was not an example of free speech. It was an example of punishing free speech.

Further, it was not an example of enforcing a standard. His original piece was in an employee forum in response to a question poised by management. His piece was neither outrageous nor incorrect. But it was moved to a public forum by someone else, who then roused social media against him and caused a cowardly management team to kowtow to them by firing and denouncing him.

I didn't read the article.  If I had, I probably would have disagreed with it.  Not that freedom of speech should not be respected as a value of our society, but that everyone should be free to not respect it.  Even if that means they are mindless poltroons.

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This is a piece on the modern antisemitism, mostly of the Left. It makes the point how todays antisemitism is cloaked in the noble self-image of anti-racism and inclusiveness, but is really still much the same as it ever was.

It is, of course, true that left-wing professors, activists, tech workers, artists, lawyers and doctors aren’t the kind of people who tend to own automatic weapons. Nor will these people ever come out and say something so blunt as “Kill the Jews.” No, anti-Semitism that originates on the left is a far more subtle and sophisticated enterprise. It’s typically camouflaged in language familiar to Jewish tongues and ears: the language of social justice and anti-racism, of equality and liberation.

This anti-Semitism cloaks itself in the false guise of political difference – it claims to be “criticism of Israel” or “just anti-Zionism” – and demands that it be lauded for its noble goals: fighting racism, fighting nationalism, championing the downtrodden. This is how it successfully inoculates itself from criticism. Because in this perverse equation, anyone who points out that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic, in effect if not in intent, is defending racism and nationalism. It puts me in mind of Susan Son­tag’s famous observation that communism is fascism with a human face.

And yet it remains hard for many to see it as threatening because it attempts, at least at first, only to marginalize Jews rather than murder us.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-subtle-anti-semitism-of-progressives/

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I found this a fascinating read. I got to it from a link in a study on in-group loyalty, a universal psychological trait which shows people mostly like being around others like them, and feel the most loyalty to members of their own 'tribal' group. This study is on white liberals in the US, but they're really no different than what you find here. White liberals, according to the study, are the only group who actually have more out-group loyalty, ie, are more sympathetic, caring and have more of a preference for people who are not members of their group, who are not members of their race, ethnicity or nationality.The changes among white liberals have really been phenomenal over the past dozen years, and they're actually more 'woke', moire sensitive to race and racism than t he minority groups they claim to be defending. White liberal Democrats are significantly further to the Left on issues of racism and immigration than black or Asian democrats.

Over the past decade, the baseline attitudes expressed by white liberals on racial and social justice questions have become radically more liberal. In one especially telling example of the broader trend, white liberals recently became the only demographic group in America to display a pro-outgroup bias—meaning that among all the different groups surveyed white liberals were the only one that expressed a preference for other racial and ethnic communities above their own. As woke ideology has accelerated, a growing faction of white liberals have pulled away from the average opinions held by the rest of the coalition of Democratic voters—including minority groups in the party. The revolution in moral sentiment among this one segment of American voters has led to a cascade of consequences ranging from changes in the norms and attitudes expressed in media and popular culture, to the adoption of new political rhetoric and electoral strategies of the Democratic Party. Nor has this occurred in a vacuum on the left as the initiatives set in motion by white liberals have, in turn, provoked responses and countermeasures from conservatives and Republicans.

In a recent Vox article based partly on the dissertation research I’ve been doing as a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Georgia State University, Matthew Yglesias described this ongoing transformation as “The Great Awokening.” In Yglesias’ account: “In the past five years, white liberals have moved so far to the left on questions of race and racism that they are now, on these issues, to the left of even the typical black voter. This change amounts to a ‘Great Awokening.’” There is no simple or single explanation for how this process got started. It appears to be driven by an interplay of factors: preexisting tendencies among white liberals; a series of polarizing events like the police shooting of Michael Brown and subsequent riots in Ferguson, and the migrant crisis; the rise of millenials as a political force, and the explosion of social media and “woke” clickbait journalism. The years between 2012 and 2016 were a watershed for white liberal racial consciousness. But the seismic attitudinal shifts of those years have implications that go beyond race: They are also tied to a significant decrease in support for Israel and—perhaps more surprisingly—a rise in the number of white liberals who express negative attitudes about the perceived political power of American Jews.

 

https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/284875/americas-white-saviors

Edited by Argus

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It's a great man who agrees with you. Thus I am citing this column from the Globe today. It castigates the federal government for having no real policy on technology other than to maximize jobs by keeping wages low. The focal point of technology is the intellectual property rights, and Canada has little of that. Foreign tech companies own it, and even when they employ a bunch of workers in Canada, the IP always resides with HQ and its benefits go there, not here. The government only seems to care about job numbers, though, and in aid of keeping wages low it brings in tens of thousands of temporary foreign workers from India and Pakistan. Canadian tech grads, the better ones, simply leave for the US where wages are so much higher. That leaves us as a country of branch plants, tech sweatshops, where all the profit and intellectual property rights flow up and out of the country.

It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly when Canada’s policy-makers started positioning the country as a cheap labour pool for multibillion-dollar foreign tech companies, but we know when it went mainstream: Amazon HQ2.

In September, 2017, Seattle-based Amazon launched a continentwide search for a city to host its second headquarters. From Wilmington, Del., to Winnipeg to Woonsocket, R.I., towns, cities and regions from across North America – a staggering 238 to be exact, though unsurprising given the stakes – put forward proposals outlining why they should become the e-commerce giant’s new home.

While competing U.S. cities offered tax breaks, infrastructure improvements and expedited construction approvals, Ed Clark, Canada’s official representative, openly boasted that “our competitive advantage” is “software programmers that cost 34 per cent to 38 per cent less than in U.S.,” vowing “that’s an edge the government is determined not only to maintain but to sharpen.” In the end, 20 finalists were announced, with Toronto being the lone – and ultimately unsuccessful – Canadian contender.

Two years later, this goal to actively drive down wages still lives in a dubious inventory of taxpayer-funded marketing materials that repeatedly highlight the cheap salaries of “high-quality” Canadian tech talent and the substantial tax incentives or taxpayer subsidies that await those who open tech branch plants in Canada. These misguided strategies put our tech workers in a global wage race to the bottom, competing on cost with the salaries in Poland, Ukraine and India. They are just daring our top talent to leave the country – and research shows that 66 per cent of our software engineering graduates have already left.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-canada-is-pushing-its-tech-sector-into-a-race-to-the-bottom/

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Winter is coming is the title of this piece. It focuses on a likely upcoming recession, and how ill-equipped Canada is to deal with it. We can't use interest rate cuts to help spur the economy this time because rates are still so low from the last one. And unlike last time we'll likely already have a $30billion plus deficit when this one hits if the Liberals get in. Also, despite what the Liberals claim about our debt to GDP it isn't really that low when you add in the provinces. That leaves very little room for the government to do much but run up whopping big deficits which will likely get the bond rating agencies slashing our ratings.

All of the parties except Max Bernier's PPC are running around the country offering huge, multi-billion dollar promises, and none seems concerned with the deficit except the PPC.

Winter is coming: Why Canada isn’t prepared for the next recession

The odds that the next federal government will have to manage public finances through a recession are rising by the day. So why are all the parties proposing to throw caution to the wind?

All the parties currently represented in Parliament are vowing big spending increases while expressing either a weak commitment to balanced budgets or no such commitment at all. In today’s Ottawa, “deficit” is not only not a dirty word, it’s practically become a badge of honour, couched in the progressive lingo of “investing” in Canadians.

“We know that a country can’t cut its way to prosperity,” says the 2019 Liberal Party of Canada platform. “Cuts don’t help people. Austerity doesn’t grow the economy. And putting the interests of wealthy people ahead of the middle class is not how you keep a country like Canada moving forward.”

It sounds like the 1970s all over again. How did that happen?

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-winter-is-coming-why-canada-isnt-prepared-for-the-next-recession/#comments

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India is trying to put rockets on the moon even while half its people don't have toilets. This piece, though, focuses on the state of crime and violence and vigilantism in India's streets, and the lack of justice and policing.

“Four people dragged out of homes, lynched by mob!”, ran the headline. I had heard of some of the summary justice, meted out in India to suspected rapists and child abusers, but this story was not about that. All of those strung up – so to speak – were in their seventh decade of life, including a 62 year-old grandmother, from the state of Jharkhand. The facts were explained, “a dozen angry villagers dragged them out of their houses and attacked them with sticks and sharp weapons while accusing them of practising ‘witchcraft’”.

I read the story in full. The police had no leads and nobody in the “predominantly tribal” village was prepared to identify the “perpetrators of the crime”. A shocking sequence of events and a failure of due process, it seemed. But the local police superintendent offered some consolation, lest it be thought that the killings lacked motive. “The evidence we collected from the place of the occurrence indicates that it is a case of witchcraft,” he announced. That’s alright then. Case closed.

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/10/the-terror-of-the-witches-of-modern-india/

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‘Oikophobia’: Our Western Self-Hatred

An interesting column about what the author calls "Oikophobia' the fear and contempt for one's homeland, as expressed by so many progressives, especially university graduates. This is something which was predicted by a number of bright people in the past, going all the way back to Plato. The rise of wealth land the defeat of external enemies inevitably leads to finding home-grown ones as the leisure time grows and people look to show how much better they are than the society around them by denigrating that society.

This exchange was similar to many that I have had in countries all around the Western world. They reveal a civilization that has stopped believing in itself, that hates itself, and that is therefore unwilling to defend the values of individual freedom, democracy, and scientific and scholarly skepticism that have been handed down to us since antiquity. We are all familiar with this phenomenon, and every single day brings news stories in which oikophobia is involved. To mention just a couple among literally thousands of clearly oikophobic incidents of recent times: this past July the San Francisco School Board voted to remove a mural of George Washington from one of its public schools because of its purported racism; the group leader of American volunteer teachers in Africa some years ago informed the volunteers that residing in a foreign culture had taught her that the United States deserved the 9/11 terrorist attacks because of U.S. foreign policy (I know this because I was one of the volunteers). Actions and statements of this kind have become perfectly commonplace by now, and we all know about them, but most people cannot explain why things are this way. How can it have come to such cultural self-hatred? The answer lies in an oft-repeated historical process that takes a society from naïve and self-promoting beginnings to self-contempt and decline.

https://quillette.com/2019/10/07/oikophobia-our-western-self-hatred/

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I run across these stories from the UK from time to time, which leave me scratching my head about why a criminal justice system which has a 9% crime solution rate, where knivings and robberies are rampant, puts so much time and effort into minor stuff almost everyone else would settle with a lecture.

In this case, a football players is in court - apparently for multiple days - on charges of sexual assault because he kissed a woman on the train after having a few beers. How many tens of thousands of dollars will be spent on this, I wonder.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-50056416

Edited by Argus

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4 minutes ago, Argus said:

I run across these stories from the UK from time to time, which leave me scratching my head about why a criminal justice system which has a 9% crime solution rate, where knivings and robberies are rampant, puts so much time and effort into minor stuff almost everyone else would settle with a lecture.

In this case, a football players is in court - apparently for multiple days - on charges of sexual assault because he kissed a woman on the train after having a few beers. How many tens of thousands of dollars will be spent on this, I wonder.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-50056416

That's crazy. Reading his side of the story he seems genuine...he meant no harm but in today's world everything is a no no now. What a waste of money in court. A apology should suffice?

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Another one from the UK, the current home of craziness. Police in Oxford are investigating a 'crime wave'! It seems some dastardly individual is going around putting up 'transphobic' stickers!

The stickers say things like "Women don't have penises"

“Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following a number of public offences in Oxford.

Officers are investigating a large number of offensive stickers that have been placed across Oxford city centre containing transphobic comments. It is believed they started appearing in March 2019 within the High Street, Catte Street and Parks Road area.

Investigating officer PC Rebecca Nightingale based at St Aldates police station said: “Behaviour like this is not acceptable and we take incidents of this nature very seriously.

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/10/a-transphobic-crime-wave-has-hit-oxford/amp/

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