Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Does Radical Islam Threaten America?

Politicians and pundits seem to believe that we have no business stationing troops in the Middle East. After all, President Obama never said that radical Islam was a threat to America and therefore, leaders on the left and the right have concluded that radical Islam is not a threat to America.

Some suggest that we need but wait until radical Islam becomes a clear and present danger to our country. And yet, as the Muslim world undergoes an overdue reformation, anyone who thinks that this will happen without violence has clearly been smoking the wrong kind of cigarettes. And anyone who thinks that the flood of Muslim refugees in Europe will not produce existential problems for our Western European allies is naive beyond imagination. 

To take a simple example, the government of Germany, led by the center right fool named Angela Merkel, has chosen to side with Iran against America. It has been hard at work trying to help Iran to overcome the burden of American sanctions. And it has refused, despite the efforts of our great ambassador, Richard Grenell, to denounce the terrorist network called Hezbollah.

The reason: the increasingly large number of Muslim voters, voters who are trying to impose their cultural values on the German nation. It’s the democracy, stupid!

Anyway, despite the protestations of politicians and pundits, the American public still sees the value in having a military presence in the Middle East. The following story comes to us from The Hill (via Maggie’s Farm):

Conducted just after the U.S. strike that killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, the polls show that a majority of Americans support maintaining (45 percent) or increasing (29 percent) the U.S. military presence in the Middle East; fewer than a quarter (24 percent) say reduce. This is fairly stable with opinion in 2018. Support for specific long-term military bases in the region has also grown since last asked in 2014, with majorities now saying the U.S. should have bases in Iraq (55 percent, up from 41 percent in 2014) and Kuwait (57 percent, up from 47 percent in 2014). Nearly as many Americans back keeping bases in Afghanistan (48 percent, up from 43 percent in 2014), with support in each instance cutting across partisan lines.

The grounds are national security:

Asked which region is most important to the security interests of the United States, 61 percent of Americans name the Middle East, up from a plurality of 50 percent in 2018. No other region comes close, including Europe (15 percent), Asia (12 percent), Latin American (7 percent), and Africa (1 percent).

While woke politicians have their knickers in a twist over white supremacy, the American public considers the terrorist threat from radical Islam to be more significant:

Since 1998 when the Chicago Council first started asking about the threat from international terrorism, it has ranked as one of the highest threats. Sixty-nine percent of Americans called international terrorism a critical threat in 2019, making the fear second only to concern about cyberattacks. 

And the public seems to understand that stationing troops around the world serves as a deterrence. This comes on a day when the Trump administration has sent sending more troops to Saudi Arabia, to help deter a possible Iranian attack:

 Majorities of Americans say that maintaining U.S. military superiority (69 percent), participating in military alliances (74 percent), and stationing troops in allied countries (51 percent) make the United States safer. The fact that far fewer say that intervening militarily (27 percent) makes the United States more safe indicates that they see the U.S. military presence in the region as a way to prevent threats primarily through deterrence rather than through combat.

The Wall Street Journal has reported on the new American troops in Saudi Arabia:

Nearly 17 years after U.S. troops largely pulled up stakes from the kingdom, the U.S. is now back in force.

Here in a base of tents in the desert about 60 miles southeast of Riyadh, some 2,500 U.S. military personnel are launching F-15 fighter jets in soaring arcs overhead and manning Patriot missile batteries in shifts. Or they play chess and video games to pass the hours, with an NFL-themed video game splashed on a flat-screen TV inside a recreation tent.

The return of the U.S. troops—after maintaining a much smaller footprint for nearly two decades—reflects the alarm of Saudi and American leaders at the current threat posed by another regional power: Iran.

"We face a thinking enemy that is playing a real regional conflict for keeps, and they’re very good,” said Gen. John Walker, the commander of the 378th Air Expeditionary Wing at the base.

Tofu Eaters Are Harming the Planet

I know you suspected it, but it’s always good to have some scientific evidence. It turns out that all of the virtue signalling vegans are killing the planet. They don’t eat meat, fish or chicken, but the foods they do consume harm the ecosystem… even more than does meat.

The Tab has the story (via Maggie’s Farm):

So it turns out almond milk is actually really damaging the planet. It’s putting tonnes of pressure on bees causing them to die and 130 pints of water are needed to produce just one glass of wholesome almond milk.

And now you thought ok well I’ll change to oat milk and I’m still being really good to the planet because I eat tofu instead of chicken. Well turns out tofu is pretty bad too.

A new study by Dr. Graham McAuliffe has revealed tofu could be more harmful to the planet than chicken, beef and pork. Speaking at the National Farmers Union Dr. Graham McAuliffe of the Rothamsted Institute said after researching  tofu, he’d concluded it potentially causes more environmental damage because of the production to make the processed protein source.

He said: “But if you look at tofu, which is processed so there is more energy going into its production, when you correct for the fact that the protein in it is not as digestible compared to the meat-based products, you can see that it could actually have a higher global warming potential than any of the mono gastric animals.

“To get the same amount of protein, tofu is worse.”​

Tofu has also been found as damaging for the environment by the WWF 10 years ago. They found that the production of soya, which is what tofu is made out of, increases dependence on imported commodities. Aka the more tofu we use, the more gets shipped/flown over and produces more carbon emissions. A lot of the tofu we consume in the UK is produced in Japan, the US and the Netherlands. So a lot of emissions getting produced just so you can feel like an environmental hero.

There you have it. If you read down the rest of the wildly informative article, you will learn all about the damage that other politically correct foods are doing to our blessed planet.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Teaching the Classics at Oxford, Cambridge and Princeton

Two days ago I had my say about the current kerfuffle about teaching the classics at Oxford University. Apparently, the assembled dons no longer believe that undergraduates should begin their foray into the ancients by studying Homer and Vergil. The reason: female students and students who have never studied Greek or Latin are underperforming... and we can't have that. 

Now, Solveig Lucia Gold, a doctoral candidate in the classics at Cambridge University, sets it straight. She does so with admirably judicious balance. Before attending Cambridge, Gold studied at Princeton University. Thus, an American who has had experience of two different academic systems.

She begins by explaining that if you have not read Homer you will not be able to find your way through classical literature or philosophy:

Homer was the beacon of a common culture across the ancient Greek world. Even as different city-states, speaking different dialects of Greek, waged war against one another, they were united by Homer, whose stylized language and mythic tales transcended their differences. Ancient poets, tragedians, comedians, historians, philosophers, painters, sculptors—all nod to Homer, implicitly or explicitly, in their works, hoping to build on a shared tradition and knowing that just about any audience would detect and understand the references.

As for the situation at Cambridge’s arch-competitor, Gold explains the issue:

On Monday, however, the Oxford Student reported that Oxford’s Classics faculty is considering a proposal to eliminate Homer’s Iliad and Vergil’s Aeneid from “Mods,” the exams all Classics undergraduates take at the end of their second year, and move the texts instead to the second half of the course, “Greats,” where they would no longer be mandatory.

As for why they are doing this: women, in particular, are underperforming:

The proposal is motivated by a growing concern over the attainment gaps between male and female students, and between students who arrive at Oxford with previous knowledge of Latin and/or Greek (coming mostly from private schools) and those who do not. The Telegraph reports that in 2018, 46.8 percent of male final-year Classics students were awarded first-class honours, versus 12.5 percent of female students, and that last year only two students without prior knowledge of Greek and Latin were awarded a first in Mods. It is hoped that cutting Homer and Vergil will help mitigate these uncomfortable disparities in performance.

How to explain the underperformance?

Why? One theory goes that the Iliad and the Aeneid, with their male heroes waging war, appeal (in general) more to a male audience and that female students will perform better when tested on texts that speak more directly to them. In addition, students with prior exposure to Greek and Latin will have already encountered Homer and Vergil in school, which gives them a leg up in the exams. And the students with the most prior exposure tend to be boys who attended Eton, Winchester, and their ilk.

Importantly, Gold explains that the American university system, with its emphasis on broad liberal arts education, differs markedly from the British system, where students choose their majors in high school.

My point here is not to rattle off my résumé but rather to demonstrate the breadth of an American liberal arts education. By contrast, my British friends were pigeonholed into areas of expertise for A-levels by the time they were 16 and, without very much information, had to pick a course of study when applying to uni and then stick with it for three or four years. The American system is far from perfect, but it does produce students who are curious about—and semi-knowledgeable in—a range of topics. 

Fair enough. American students have some knowledge about a range of subjects. But, as Alexander Pope once wrote: ``A little learning is a dangerous thing.” The risk is that these students become dilettantes. Worse yet, even after they declare their majors American students do not have a prescribed curriculum to follow.

The obvious problem with the American system, however, is that, in the process of acquiring some knowledge about many topics, a student never becomes an expert in any one topic. Even after we declare our majors, there is no strict curriculum to follow, no required courses or texts. Most of us in Classics presumably read some Homer and/or Vergil at some point during our undergraduate careers, at least in translation, but there is no mandate that we do so. Indeed, I was taught no Vergil at Princeton aside from one lecture in the interdisciplinary Humanities Sequence (though I had read the Aeneid in Latin in high school), and precious little Homer. I attended a couple of lectures each on the Iliad and the Odyssey for the Humanities Sequence and translated choice selections of the Iliad in an intermediate Greek course. Instead, I took whatever appealed in a given semester: “Cynicism,” “Making Roman Law,” “Sex and Salvation in Early Christian Literature,” “Geometry and the Posterior Analytics,” etc. There was no rhyme or reason, and I realize now that I often tackled subjects in a nonsensical order, studying the Neoplatonist Plotinus, for example, before I’d even begun to study Plato properly.

In the British system, students are judged on the basis of an examination. This tends to be more meritocratic than the American catch-as-catch-can approach. It is used in China, strictly, and it is used in New York City to obtain entrance into the best public high schools.

Gold is not impressed by the British system:

I cannot say that I am always impressed by the classical education on offer here. Students are taught to a test—the test that will, alone, determine whether or not they receive a first. They can skip every lecture and write shoddy essays for every supervision, and it will not matter; all that matters is their performance in their final exams. As a result, their writing suffers, their original thinking suffers—and yes, perhaps, women and students without a prior classical education suffer. In America, after all, where exams constitute just a fraction of any humanities student’s final grade, the distribution looks very different: 67 percent of the students awarded summa cum laude in Classics at Princeton in the last five years have been women (in my cohort, that number was 100 percent), and women have won 16 of the 22 departmental thesis prizes awarded in the last 10 years. Oxford hasn’t asked for my advice, but as an American and a Cantabrigian, I offer it anyway: keep Homer, re-think the system.

Of course, without any uniform curriculum we do not know whether the male and female candidates at Princeton were taking the same courses or whether they had studied Homer and Vergil. And we do not know how many of the awards were handed out for textual exegesis of classical texts or for deconstructions of the patriarchal bias in the Socratic dialogues. 

Make Way for Pseudo-Carrots

Tom Samways, 36, from Cardigan, Wales, used pork mince to make the 'carrots' (pictured) in a dig at vegan alternatives

They look like carrots, don’t they. And yet, mirabile dictu, they aren’t real carrots. They are pork-carrots, simulated carrots made entirely of pork products. 

It makes a lot of sense. Burger joints are now selling vegan burgers, meatless concoctions loaded up with estrogen, the better to make us all kinder and gentler and more empathetic. 

Always remember, you are what you eat. Eat too many vegetables and you will become a vegetable. 

Now, a Welsh butcher has turned the tables, by inventing pseudo-carrots made entirely of pork. When your vegan friends see you munching on them they will think that you have had a conversion experience. At least they will until you trick them into biting down on one.

The Daily Mail has the story:

A disgruntled butcher is so fed up of vegans naming food after meat he is selling carrots made from pork. 

Tom Samways, 36, from Cardigan, Wales, used pork mince to make the 'carrots' in a dig at vegan alternatives.

His carrot recipe is finished off with an orange glaze for colour and parsley for the leaves.

And the bizarre veg has been a hit with customers - with 300 sold in just one day.

He said: 'Everyone loved them. It started out as a bit of a joke, they were just a gimmick - but they have gone down well and we'll be making more.

'The idea came from the fact that a lot of vegan food is named after meat products, like vegan sausages and vegan chicken.

'I just thought, well, let's make a meat version of vegan food.

Clinton Crony Convicted

Clinton crony Harvey Weinstein has been convicted on charges of sexual assault and rape. He faces nearly three decades in prison. 

Today, he sits in Bellevue Hospital, after complaining of chest pains. Surely, as he protests his innocence he must be seriously disturbed to see that his good friend Bill Clinton got away with acts that were as heinous as his.

Besides, Weinstein believed that contributing to the right causes would save him from prosecution. If he had any doubts he would be lounging on a beach in Rio today.

Apparently, he has been deemed the chosen scapegoat, the one who can be sacrificed to the gods of political correctness, the better to preserve the good names of the Clintons.

Emily Jashinsky reminds us that the Weinstein trial was also an indictment of Hollywood.

More importantly, the conviction starkly underscores that Me Too is also a conviction of Hollywood, as the industry of incessant moralizing spent years whispering privately about the producer out of one side of its mouth while publicly offering praise from the other.

Hollywood nitwits are constantly preaching about moral virtue. They seriously failed to police themselves:

At this year’s Golden Globes, Ricky Gervais memorably torched Hollywood for its complicity in the Weinstein case. In the wake of the industry’s self-correction campaign, its years of silence on Weinstein should not be forgotten: both because the silence enabled the mogul to harm more women, and because all that happened while Hollywood styled itself as America’s moral compass.

Nevertheless, it would be unwise to forget all those complicit in Weinstein’s reign of abuse, leaders in an industry helmed by elites who pride themselves on passing superior moral guidances down to the masses. 

She continues:

The hollow morality of our purportedly moral elites is a reality Me Too, for all its faults, laid bare in months of disturbing news cycles. It is rightfully unsettling. It rightfully mingles with other concerns the public has about our ruling class, some of which drive them to the embrace of populists, waiting with open arms.

Let us not forget, it was Harvey Weinstein himself who said in 2009, “Hollywood has the best moral compass.”

Surely, Weinstein got away with it, openly and shamelessly, because he supported the correct leftist causes:

Weinstein visited the White House nine times during the Obama administration, and was a major donor to Democratic causes. In addition to his influence in Hollywood, Weinstein’s extensive political involvement continues to raise questions about years of complicity among self-interested elites, who arguably could have protected dozens of women from misconduct by taking action sooner.

A Clinton crony has been convicted. We honestly hope that he does not end up like that other Clinton crony Jeffrey Epstein. 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Canada: Laboratory for Democratic Socialism

If America’s states are the laboratories for democracy, the places where we try out different policies to see what works, then Canada must stand today as a laboratory for democratic socialism. You know, the kind that Bernie Sanders and his legions of sans-culottes want to impose on our nation. 

Such is the conclusion I draw from David Solway’s grim assessment of the current state of Justin Trudeau’s Canada. The American media has barely uttered the least word about what is happening to our North. The only reasonable reason must be that Canada is a laboratory for the democratic socialism that media elites were loving… at least until it looked as though Bernie Sanders would become the Democratic presidential nominee.

Anyway, here are a couple of paragraphs from Solway’s article:

Canada is presently in the throes of social and political disintegration. A left-leaning electorate has once again empowered a socialist government promoting all the lunatic ideological shibboleths of the day: global warming or “climate change,” radical feminism, indigenous sovereignty, expansionary government, environmental strangulation of energy production, and the presumed efficiency of totalitarian legislation. Industry and manufacturing are abandoning the country in droves and heading south.

Canada is now reaping the whirlwind. The Red-Green Axis consisting of social justice warriors, hereditary band chiefs, renewable energy cronies, cultural Marxists, and their political and media enablers have effectively shut down the country. The economy is at a standstill, legislatures and City Halls have been barricaded, blockades dot the landscape, roads and bridges have been sabotaged, trains have been derailed (three crude-by-rail spillages in the last two months), goods are rotting in warehouses, heating supplies remain undelivered, violent protests and demonstrations continue to wreak havoc—and the hapless Prime Minister, who spent a weak swanning around Africa as the crisis unfolded, is clearly out of his depth and has no idea how to control the mayhem. No surprise here. A wock pupper politico in thrall to the Marxist project and corporate financial interests, Justin Trudeau is generally baffed out when it comes to any serious or demanding concerns involving the welfare of the people and the economic vitality of the nation. Little is to be expected of him in the current emergency apart from boilerplate clichés and vague exhalations of roseate sentiment.

A sobering thought for today.

Are You Feeling the Bern?

It takes a British intellectual to take the true measure of Bernie Sanders. Now that the Vermont senator appears destined to lead the Democratic Party into political oblivion, it is time to analyze him as a bizarre and dispiriting avatar of a failed ideological crusade. 

After all, if anything ought to be received wisdom these days it is that socialism, especially the totalitarian variety, failed miserably. The body count for Communist governments has surpassed 100 million. Communism has only succeeded in producing famine and misery. Even the Chinese Communist Party, having rid itself of its Maoist roots, has not really been Communist for the past four decades.

And yet, maniacs and fanatics like Bernie Sanders soldier on, oblivious to the lesson of history. They would rather believe that the arc of history will justify their decision to devote their lives to a losing cause than to accept that perhaps they were wrong all along.

As it happens, Sanders has put together a rag tag army of young losers, the kinds of people who do not know what socialism and Communism wrought, but who are happy to sign on for free stuff. These people have been trained to be dysfunctional insolent indolent fools, incapable of making a living, incapable of competing in the arena. They want to be taken care of, by the Nanny state, and by the Nanny in chief, Bernie Sanders.

Such is the analysis brilliantly presented by British writer, Dominic Green in The Spectator. The reason for rendering America’s young people stupid is that they will then be more vulnerable to the Sanders message. It takes a Brit to see things clearly, because Sanders is yet another incarnation of what Britain saw in the ascent and decline of former Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. 

As you know, once it was given the chance Great Britain sent Corbyn straight to the dustbin of history. One assumes that America will do the same for Bernie Sanders, but one needs to be cautious about such prognostications. I will note that Green is more optimistic than I. He sees Sanders as an embodied Father Christmas. 

Green opens on this upbeat note:

Historians of the future, if there are any, will note that though the demieducated youth of the United States shed their belief in God, they still believed in Father Christmas. Uncertain of their futures, and in no hurry to pay off their student loans, the young entrusted their faith and debt jubilee to the Santa Claus of socialism, a little man with fluffy white hair proffering gifts from a big sack of other people’s money.

In Victorian England, this traditional figure was known as Jeremy Corbyn, a vegetarian who gave every worker a lump of nationalized coal and scourged the Jews because they would not recognize him as their savior. In the United States, where people are wealthier and more generous in spirit, young Americans know their redeemer as Bernard Sanders. Every four years he descends from one of his homes in Vermont, which is not far from the North Pole, to hail spittle-flecked imprecations upon the heads of the rich and regale the children with fantastical tales of nationalization.

The problem is that America’s youth knows nothing about socialism. After all, it ended before they were born and thus they consider it to be a relic, a good idea gone bad. But one that they, as if by magic, can revive:

The subversion of humanities education by the radical left has scoured the tarnish off 20th-century history and restored the gleam of ideals to ‘actually existing socialism’. Americans born since the end of the Cold War have grown up thinking that a gulag is a Hungarian stew and a White Russian is just a cocktail, if only because their parents made them watch The Big Lebowski. Meanwhile, the Democratic party’s abandonment of American workers has done more to create a genuine proletariat than all the New Left’s xeroxing and leafleting ever did.

The Democratic Party, consumed by righteous fury at the failure of that incompetent fraud named Hillary Clinton to win the presidency, has burned all of its little gray cells. It has handed over leadership to the most furious and most irrational wing, its radical squad. All the while it was beholden to Wall Street and Silicon Valley for its funding. Marxists would say that it is suffering an internal contradiction, but today's young people have certainly not read Marx. So, the party is being led by someone like Sanders who has done nothing but betray the sources of Democratic fundraising:

The Democrats are now being unraveled by what Sanders might call the ‘contradictions of capitalism’. While the Democratic leadership was soaking Wall Street and Silicon Valley and pandering to the public sector unions, it outsourced the maintenance of its coalition to the radicals, and indulged them as they built their Potemkin villages of intersectionality. Now, as the party structure hollows out and the party leadership fails convincingly to answer Donald Trump, the radicals have the ground game and the ideology to remake the party from the bottom up. The result is a radically depraved version of the rainbow coalition, with Sanders as its Corbyn-style ‘Magic Grandpa’, a deceptively cuddly fellow traveler determined to ride their youthful exuberance into office.

Who makes up the Sanders coalition? Glad you asked:

A coalition of coalitions has mobilized for Sanders: acrimonious initials like the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) and CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), Jew-baiting proxies like Ilhan Omar and Linda Sarsour, woke warriors like IfNotNow and the Justice Dems, and bongwater conspiracists like the Chapo Trap House chaps and the campus wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

And let’s not forget, Sanders who is ostensibly Jewish, has surrounded himself with a gaggle of viciously anti-Semitic politicians and thought leaders. In this he remains faithful to the Corbyn formula for political self-deconstruction. Or, at least we can hope.

Notable bigot Linda Sarsour represented the Sanders campaign at an event that reeked of anti-Semitism:

In November, Sarsour represented Sanders’s campaign as a speaker at the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) conference, whose official program called Zionism a ‘disease’ that will ‘destroy the purity of Al-Quds [Jerusalem]’. It’s impossible, Sarsour said, to oppose ‘white supremacy in America and the idea of being in a state based on race and class’ without also opposing the existence of a Jewish state. Israel, Sarsour said, is ‘built on the idea that Jews are supreme to everyone else’ — a libel more likely to emerge from the mouths of white nationalists.

Q. E. D.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Backlash against the Transgender Lobby

In the leftist paradise called Sweden it was not enough to invite in hundreds of thousands of migrants who have raped, looted, pillaged, murdered and terrorized the population. The woke Swedes have also been embracing child sacrifice, via chemical and surgical mutilation. For those who are woke it’s called transgender rights. If you disagree you will be excoriated and cancelled, before you are drawn and quartered.

As Brown University researcher Lisa Littman has demonstrated in her work-- before it was suppressed-- transgenderism or gender dysphoria has become a social contagion. It has especially afflicted teenage girls. Thus, brainwashing teenage girls and then mutilating them is fine and dandy… because it shows us to be woke.

Here is the story, via the Guardian:

For several days this week the veteran Swedish journalist Malou von Sivers will cover the same topic in every episode of her nightly TV chat show: the extraordinary rise in diagnoses of gender dysphoria among teenage girls.

The story continues:

The immediate trigger for Von Sivers’s themed week is a report from Sweden’s Board of Health and Welfare which confirmed a 1,500% rise between 2008 and 2018 in gender dysphoria diagnoses among 13- to 17-year-olds born as girls.

But it also reflects a rapid change in public opinion. Just a year ago, there seemed few official obstacles left in the way of young people who wanted gender reassignment treatment.

In the autumn of 2018, the Social Democrat-led government, under pressure from the gay, lesbian and transgender group RFSL, proposed a new law which would reduce the minimum age for sex reassignment medical care from 18 to 15, remove all need for parental consent, and allow children as young as 12 to change their legal gender.

But now, a sufficient number of brave Swedes woke up and said: what the fuck are we doing? In radical discourse this is called a backlash. It might also be considered a sliver of enlightenment.

Then in March last year, the backlash started. Christopher Gillberg, a psychiatrist at Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy, wrote an article in the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper warning that hormone treatment and surgery on children was “a big experiment” which risked becoming one of the country’s worst medical scandals.
In April, Uppdrag Granskning, an investigative TV programme, followed up with a documentary profiling a former trans man, Sametti, who regretted her irreversible treatment.

In October, the programme turned its fire on the team at Stockholm’s Karolinska University hospital, which specialises in treating minors with gender dysphoria. The unit has been criticised for carrying out double mastectomies on children as young as 14, and accused of rushing through treatment and failing to consider adequately whether patients’ other psychiatric or developmental issues might better explain their unhappiness with their bodies. The Karolinska disputed the claim, saying it carefully assessed each case.

Did you note that: performing double mastectomies on girls as young as 14. Where are women’s rights advocates when we need them? One finds it encouraging to see someone, somewhere pushing back against the trans lobby.

At the same time, Filter magazine profiled the case of Jennifer Ring, a 32-year-old trans woman who hanged herself four years after her surgery. An expert on psychosis who was shown her medical journal by her father, Avi Ring, was quoted as saying that she had shown clear signs of psychosis at the time she first sought treatment for gender dysphoria.

Indeed, the first clinic she approached refused to treat her, citing signs of schizotypal symptoms and lack of a history of gender dysphoria. But the team at Karolinska went ahead. “Karolinska don’t stop anyone; virtually 100% get sex reassignment,” says Ring.

Researchers are noticing that most of those who opt for gender reassignment are suffering from severe psychiatric disorders. Ring had shown signs of schizophrenia. But, she was not alone:

The recent report from the Board of Health and Welfare also found that 32.4 percent of 13 to 17-year-olds with gender dysphoria registered at birth as women also had diagnoses for anxiety disorder, 28.9 percent had depression, 19.4 percent had ADHD, and 15.2 percent had autism.

Trans people often explain the higher levels of depression and anxiety by pointing to the difficult experience living in a body that clashes with their gender identity, particularly when many in society, often including parents and friends, do not accept their identity.

And also:

While Romson warns that children will have even more anxiety because of the change in the debate, Aleksa Lundberg, a trans woman and longstanding activist, is backing the call for more research.

Last October she apologised for not having been sufficiently open about the depression she had felt after her operation. “I would probably not undergo corrective surgery if I had the same choice today,” she wrote. “And I want to apologise to those who perhaps needed to hear that story earlier.”

Dumbing Down the Classics at Oxford

Apparently, the august dons of Oxford University have tuned in to today’s woke culture. They have discovered, to their chagrin, that male and female Classics students do not achieve at quite the same level. As Charlotte Allen remarks, the problem is that female students underachieve. The proposed solution: to remove study of epic poems about warfare, poems like the Iliad and the Aeneid. 

Let’s see: women are just as strong and just as fierce as men. Thus, only the most bigoted citizen would even imagine that women are not strong enough to belong to the military. But now, when faced with texts that merely dramatize warrior strength and ferocity, we discover that women are consistently underperforming. The reason: they cannot wrap their minds around warfare.

The irony is so pungent you can smell it on this side of the Atlantic.

So, the dons want to modernize the classics. Apparently they do not know an oxymoron when they see it. Another reason is that some Classics students did not learn enough Greek and Latin in their high schools. Perhaps they were admitted for reasons that had nothing to do with merit. 

This is so stupid that you would think that it was coming from the United States and its much vaunted indoctrination mills.

The Oxford Student has the story:

The Oxford Student has been notified about a proposal by the Classics faculty to remove the study of Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid from the Mods syllabus, a decision which has surprised many across the faculty.

This proposal forms part of a series of reforms aimed to modernise the first stage of the Classics degree, known as Moderations (Mods), which take place during Hilary term of second year for all students taking Classics courses across the university.

The Mods course, which is assessed by a set of ten exams at the end of Hilary, has been increasingly criticised in recent years, due to the attainment gaps found between male and female candidates, as well as between candidates who have studied Latin and/or Greek to A-Level (Course I) and those who have not (Course II).

The removal of Virgil and Homer papers, which take up two out of the ten Mods papers, have been marketed as a move that will reduce the attainment gaps and thus improve access to the subject.

Charlotte Allen concludes:

I don’t know how Oxford plans to pull off teaching classics without, um, teaching any classical literature–but maybe, so as to close those “attainment gaps” for female students, the dons can devote a few units to Helen of Troy’s body-positivity issues.

But, of course....