316 Comments

#JusticeForLexer

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If you attended the party in San Francisco and relapsed into alcoholism due to Jesse literally pouring alcohol down your throat, you may be eligible for compensation. To find out more please reach out to close personal friend of the pod Chase Strangio at the ACLU.

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Feb 19, 2023Liked by Jessica the 80s baby

I don't think we should underestimate the possibility that a certain % of the NYtimes letter signers have children who are trans (Cynthia Nixon, Gabrielle Union) or have friends/family with trans children - (probably anyone who lives in New York - so that's my Alison Roman theory).

If they are a parent of a trans kid (or a good friend to said parent) who is supportive of the kid and medicalization - I imagine they will do anything to support the narrative. Contemplating the idea that you have set your kid on a path that might ultimately be more harmful than good is too hard to imagine.

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founding

As long as B&R keep holding events that would require me to "get dressed" and "go somewhere" I feel victimized as a member of the pajamas community.

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Holding events is also literal violence against people with severe social anxiety, not to mention agoraphobes. To atone for this insensitivity, every time there's an in-person event BARpod staff need to deliver drinks and snacks to at least three oppressed members of the anxious or pajama-clad community.

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As a member of the gym shorts dress shirt zoom meeting community I co-sign this letter.

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I roll with a dress shirt, glasses (so I don’t have to do eye makeup) and hello kitty yoga pants but yeah, I co-sign this letter as well.

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And how dare Jesse invoke the Windy City after his continued failure to do an event in my city thus committing erasure of my lived experience as a Chicagoan.

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I foresee these events coming to an end after Jesse inevitably takes the fall off a chair, and after which the B&R pajama parties can begin.

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Ok, now I finally have to ask: Who are ye, Lexer - man (?) of mystery?

The Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University?

Yet another furry?

Or even everyone's favourite lunatic, Ben Dreyfuss, cheating on TFC?

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I suspect that Lexer is a cousin of ChatGPT.

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"yet *another* furry" lol

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This situation with open letter to the NYT has left me feeling depressed. Because I’m a big media junkie and Twitter addict, I started to see some of those writers as peers. This letter has been eye-opening in a way that leaves me feeling confused and alienated by my beliefs. For the life of me I cannot understand how these otherwise intelligent and inquisitive people can be so against journalism that investigates the effectiveness and repercussions of very invasive, life-long medical interventions for children.

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It's quite amazing how all of this has become a purity test. You're either pro trans or anti-trans. There is no thought to being a middle ground here. There's so many people who's content I previously enjoyed, yet, them aligning themselves to a side makes it difficult to keep supporting them.

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Because of the panopticon effect - they're afraid of the backlash and how it would affect their social standing if they didn't sign it. Recall what Freddie said about how Twitter is basically just the unpopular kids re-enacting high school except this time they're the popular ones.

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Part of it also, is financial. Especially with Youtube Content creators. There was one I followed, still follow now, AngieSpeaks who was part of that Breadtube thing. Once she started exploring topics she was interested in that members of her base hated, she got backlash. What usually happens is the Content Creator issues an apology and promise to do better; she did not. So she lost people but was willing because she did not want to compromise her artistic integrity. Whereas many of these really big creators, well, they are relying on the financials there, and so, if they lose people, it's less money. One idea though.

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I am not at all surprised to learn that Ed Yong signed that NYT open letter. Despite his Pulitzer Prize and reputation as a great science writer, the Long COVID articles I’ve read from him strike me as written by a patient advocate rather than by a journalist grappling with complex issues in an objective manner.

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Is anyone mainstream covering Long COVID non-credulously but rigorously? The activist capture among prominent health journalists is so obvious and the Twitter peanut gallery of COVID hawks might actually be more vicious, if that's even possible, than the one on gender issues (lotta overlap between the two, surely) that it makes be wary to trust anyone too much, honestly, which is a shame.

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My relatives in the medical field seem to think that long covid is pretty much just post-viral fatigue, which has been known to doctors for a long time and can be caused by a variety of viruses from Epstein-Barr virus to the flu. It's just that the scale of the pandemic caused large numbers of people to end up with post-viral fatigue at the same time so now there's more interest in the subject than ever before and more avenues for patient activism because of social media. This is distinct from the people who have long term lung damage caused by severe covid infection, which is terrible but not unexpected.

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Feb 19, 2023·edited Feb 19, 2023

I'd check out the things Zeynep Tufekci has written. I'm not an expert but experience has shown she's not afraid of the peanut gallery of COVID hawks, and she takes longterm illnesses from respiratory viruses in general seriously, but the self-reported studies that lump in symptoms after one month with symptoms after two years don't cut it for her. She's a big proponent for better quality data so that we can actually make headway when it comes to chronic illness.

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Yes the problem with most of the long covid studies is that they're based on self-reported symptoms and the majority of the symptoms are so nonspecific that it's almost impossible to definitively link them to covid. That's not to say that they're NOT linked to covid but that it's not really reasonable to draw that conclusion from the data we have. I remember there was a study of users in a long covid slack group that found that the only self-reported long covid symptom that was actually correlated with having had a confirmed case of covid (via PCR test) was long term loss of taste and/or smell. It's hard to study a condition that has so many nonspecific symptoms, especially when everyone who has those symptoms has gone through a multi-year period of stress, isolation, and other negative factors that can cause similar symptoms for a million different reasons, all of which have different treatments.

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Yes and many of those studies are run by Long COVID activists. Who have every incentive to make Long COVID seem more common and more severe than it is. Oh and many of those activists were previously activists for adrenal fatigue (which isn't real) or chronic Lyme disease (almost certainly isn't real though post treatment sequelae are). I feel bad for people with Long COVID, especially the post viral fatigue type and having that type of activist latch onto their illness.

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I've met multiple people who *don't* self-describe as having "long covid" but who say they never fully recovered their sense of smell. I also know at least three people who experienced significant sequelae from CoViD. Two of them first caught the virus in mid-2020, had difficult recoveries, and still experience episodes of palpitations/unusually elevated pulse. Two have a persistent cough, and one has long-term lung problems.

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I am very inclined to believe those people. Much more so than the activist types described by myrna loy's lazy twin above. I just think there's this strange mix of internet activism, grievance politics, and "spoonie" culture that's muddling the conversation about long covid to the point that half the world thinks it's not real at all and the other half is suddenly using it as an identity. So like, the same annoying shit that happens with literally everything these days I guess!

Oh and for the record my sense of smell has never been the same either. It came back after ~4 months but I now have an incredibly acute sensitivity to some kind of additive that's commonly used in processed foods. Sweet chili sauce, gummy candy and a few other sweet/fruity foods now smell strongly of hot plastic to me (like when you microwave a plastic container) and certain other foods like microwave popcorn with artificial butter smell so gross and chemical I don't think I can ever eat them again. It's freaky and I'd love to know what happened!!

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I didn't articulate this well, but my point is that there are plenty of people with post-CoViD problems, and they aren't necessarily the same people making a big deal about "long covid." It doesn't help that researchers and medical people haven't really come up with a definition for Long CoViD. I believe that the post-viral ME-type syndrome you were describing is a real thing (I actually remember reading about a similar syndrome happening after the 1918 influenza pandemic), caused by a dysregulated inflammatory response. Just like with ME in general, people who aren't actually experiencing the syndrome will identify in to the group, make a lot of noise about themselves, and generally distract from any efforts to actually find out what kind of post-viral syndrome exists.

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Natalie Shure hás covered it. A bunch of activists wrote an open letter demanding that she apologize for her coverage of long COVID and for stating that some cases of long COVID are probably functional neurological disorders (similar to conversion disorders). She's also written about how Havana syndrome is also probably a functional neurological disorder.

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I agree with you about Ed Yong. There is always a danger that a journalist who is spending a lot of time with people will become sympathetic and lose their objectivity. Often times journalists also take the position that acknowledging someone's suffering from a disease requires also accepting their explanation for the mechanism for the disease and that their preferred treatments for the disease are valid. This is particularly tempting when those people are in the same socioeconomic class as the journalist.

I also think a lot of journalists fell for the idea that portraying Long COVID as very common and usually severe would scare people into obeying the various public health orders and eventually they started believing that COVID was a mass disabling event.

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Of course I was following the “letter” story closely but I still learned more things from this episode. Couldn’t help agreeing that if this had happened in 2020-21, Emily Bazelon would have been forced out. I also see this as a product of Trump derangement: allowing wrongthink to be expressed is to be “complicit” in “genocide” or “fascism” or whatever. Journalists were exhorted to fight the power or risk being “complicit.” No wonder few journalists actually believe in journalism anymore--they’ve already decided they must be on the “right side of history.” Of course, in this instance, things will play out differently....

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The party sounded like the event of the year and I have serious FOMO. Please tell me you'll host one in Terf Island at some point? We have a Brixton too, in fact it has some very nice bars you could hire and because we're Brits you'd have no trouble reaching the bar minimum.

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Random question: is there a resident of Terf Island whose love of aquatic sports is so great she’s known as the Surfin’ Terf?

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Well, she’s American, but I believe you are looking for Bethany Hamilton.

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I've never heard of Bethany before, but after a quick google, she is my new favorite athlete:

"Pro surfer Bethany Hamilton says she does not intend to participate in upcoming World Surf League events after the organization announced a change in policies that will allow trans women to compete in women's events."

https://www.today.com/news/sports/bethany-hamilton-boycott-world-surf-league-rcna69848

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Also, a shark bit her arm off!

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And she continued to surf! Amazing!

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Yes! The only reason I knew who she was originally was because she was in a book about sharks that my kid had! So when I spotted her in a terfy headline, I recognized the name.

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That would be fun, especially if we could get JK, Bindel and the League of Powerful Lesbians to come along too.

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A Pan-European barpod live event + drinks in London would be wonderful, I'd fly over.

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Given that the Californians struggled to use up a bar tab, I’m looking forward to introducing Jesse to /proper/ drinking.

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That’s certainly one way to ensure there’s no money left behind the bar. 🇬🇧

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Re: Gabrielle Union signing the transgender open letter.

Two years ago, her then 13-year old stepson began to publicly identify as her stepdaughter. While the son dresses as a female, I do not believe he's had any medicinal or surgical interventions.

Since Union and her husband (NBA star Dwyane Wade) are both celebrities, their very public support for their son has been a major topic, especially in black online spaces.

As you can imagine, with youth gender ideology being such a flashpoint among whites, the heat is turned up even more in the black community, as it tends to be more conservative on LGBT issues in general.

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Isn't Wade's ex opposed to their kid's transition?

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I had read the same, that there were disputes and he was on the pro trans orthodoxy line and she wasn't. strange.

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Wade filed a petition to have the kid change his name. Mom filed an objection. Not sure how it turned out.

Wade and the ex-wife had a verrrrrry long and messy divorce/custody battle, so it's fair to question the motivation of both sides.

There could be a fine line between " "I care about the well-being of my child" AND "I'll do or say anything to poke my ex in the eye".

Pure conjecture alert:. Wade's ex-wife is a normie (high school sweethearts). It's possible that she perceives woke Hollywood Harlot Gabrielle Union as having an undue influence on her son.

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Ohhh I thought union WAS the ex. That makes a lot more sense.

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Orrrrr. It might be that he truly might not think her kid is trans. Or she might not want a trans kid.

Still. I cannot imagine how she feels about Gabrielle Union. It was shit behavior on both their parts. So it is possible she would never do anything that Gabrielle Union likes

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She does appear to be quite religious (runs a Christian foundation) and in court proceedings stemming from their divorce, I believe, was found to be manipulative of her children and largely absent. Has had trouble retaining council, as well, it would seem.

https://people.com/sports/who-is-siohvaughn-funches-dwyane-wade-ex-wife/

Wade has had sole custody since the divorce. Zaya seems genuinely happy from the photos I've seen and has done activist work about unrealistic beauty standards for trans people.

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-news/dwyane-wade-trans-daughter-name-change-1234623869/

https://people.com/parents/zaya-wade-hateful-comments-about-her-femininity-after-coming-out-as-transgender/

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I believe that she (her name is Zaya) transitioned when she was twelve, though Wade said she had been aware of the issue from a very young age and they had been discussing her gender for some time as a family.

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As someone who was bullied mercilessly as a child, I absolutely support firing the bullies at the NYT. Unfortunately, the reporters who were bullied by their colleagues aren’t going to retaliate in that way, which means this childish, loathsome behavior will continue.

A regular person would be fired for posting negative things about their workplace. The activists at the NYT should suffer the same consequences for their actions.

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Listening now and Cracking up at Jesse having no idea that Sarasota is actually a gorgeous vacation/retirement/baseball spring training destination on the gulf coast of Florida.

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It is funny to hear them talk about red states. They sometimes sound like they are talking about another planet.

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…and the golf courses! Incredibly beautiful scenery, shockingly affordable, and really really nice people. You can’t beat it.

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Golf courses are a huge turn-off to me. There are far better uses for land, including leaving it wild and undeveloped.

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Undeveloped land is beautiful but if you fly across the country much you know we aren’t short of that. Plus, how would we play golf? ;)

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I realize you're being somewhat facetious, but fragmentation of animal habitats is a huge issue, and gold courses contribute to that.

Also, the amount of water they need is absurd, especially in the age of climate change.

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This is all I could think about when Jesse was threatening to call Katie's "bluff," really threatening her with a good time.

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In the Hogwarts Legacy, casting 'Primo Subcribo!' gets you a free subscription to blocked and reported. Unfortunately it DOES immediately transform you into a transphobe.

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I’m so interested in this NYT meltdown & the rapid onset Rowling derangement that has grasped so many people. It’s like everyone is competing to be the biggest whackadoo online. Sometimes I find stories about intra-media disputes a bit dull, but not this one! I want more podcasts to cover this so I can keep absorbing the drama 🔥

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In non-gender news, one of the most infuriating bits of misinfo/conspiracies/libs being smug assholes I have seen recently is the Oxford protests over 15 minute cities.

The reason its so frustrating is that I really like the idea of 15 minute cities and the general concept is as benign as the smug libs say it is, but the details of the plan the Oxford City Council are way, way more coercive than the original concept (they include fines for driving between neighborhoods more than “allowed”) and 100% play into “great reset” conspiracism, which liberal critics often ignore in favor of mocking the rubes.

My general impression is that Oxford shat the bed and the rest of us who would like to reduce car dependence will need to find a new buzzword and face even more opposition because a local UK gov decided street calming measures and density bonuses weren’t immediate enough and decided to go right to fines.

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I'm generally extremely pro-urbanism, but us liberals in the urbanist online circles are liable to overdose on our own agitprop (who would have guessed lol) and end up with outlandishly paternalistic ideas about how we can simply tax and regulate the eeevuuul cars out of existence and big surprise, these ideas are totally offputting to normies who, being normal, don't particularly want their cars and car-related travel to be taxed out the wazoo.

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It doesn’t help that the loudest urbanist types tend to be young and/or childless, and often never-drivers, which means they have little idea about how much utility a car provides. Especially in saved time, which is much less of a concern if you aren’t dealing with kids and have hard pickup times. I was one of those young people, so I’m sympathetic in a lot of ways, but you see in these punitive schemes that they view this in moral terms that aren’t comprehensible to normal people.

I don’t think the Oxford plan is on the radar of anyone except us crazy people online, but it did seem particularly controlling and weird. Someone who is driving out of their zone 200 days a year probably has a good (to them) reason for it. Fines aren’t going to make that reason go away.

It’s also unhelpful that a lot of the same people are adamantly opposed to doing anything about street encampments and other urban nuisances, so you have on the one hand a very intrusive kind of social surveillance and control for people doing basic normie stuff, and on the other, absolutely no action for people who completely refuse all social cooperation.

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It's a classic motte and bailey argument, with the motte being the general concept of reorganizing cities around work and home, and the bailey being some of the actual proposals, which include punitive measure for travelling outside your neighborhood "excessively".

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It's so frustrating that councils in the UK are really fucking this up. ULEZ in London led to some awful PR and now people are protesting its implementation in other UK cities such as Manchester. I don't have anything against 'congestion charging', I think it's a pretty good idea and a good nudge towards getting people to think about the vehicles they buy - but once you start suggesting tracking people's movements even relatively hinged people start to question motivations.

Councils and the Government really need to revise their attitudes to e-scooters and e-bikes.

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My problem with fines as a solution is that it is by definition regressive and too prone to corruption. The people most likely to suffer from these policies will be the working poor. I like the idea of more accessible cities but the US (and I suppose the UK too with "council housing") has seen the consequences of this sort of social engineering with our housing projects.

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What is the link to UK council housing?

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Feb 20, 2023·edited Feb 20, 2023

Council housing & projects were well meaning policies to provide housing, as I understand it, to the poor by eliminating old neighborhoods and relocating the poor to the projects or estates. The unintended consequences of which was to concentrate poverty and crime while destroying community ties.

In the US at least, this drove out local grocery stores and the like and created nutrition deserts.

The connection IMO is the well meaning policy that has staggering unintended consequences.

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The population of Oxford brought it on themselves, they elected a bunch of councillors who's sole focus is to reflect the NIMBY concerns of their voters, the said councillors then got led along by the nose by council officials whom don't even live in Oxford.

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Do you have any links? I’m not surprised to hear Oxford is full of progressive urban initiatives, but I thought there were already quite a few traffic calming/pro-pedestrian measures. (Though the rail station parking fees are outrageous.)

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I think going straight to “you are only allowed to cross these boundaries x number of times in your car” is not usually a good rule and requires more local buy-in that Oxford evidently has.

In other words, I think this rule is neither necessary nor a good idea and was rolled out badly.

Put on road diets so going to the ring road is a better experience than crossing boundaries. Eliminate single-family zoning and make everything mixed use so fewer trips require cars. But don’t let people drive but then fine them if they drive too much.

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Having read your Slate link, how much of Oxford do the proposals cover? Are Cumnor or Blackbird Leyes included, in which case there will need to be some work building up services in those areas.

Another flashpoint I see here is ye olde Town vs Gown. Who lives close enough to the centre to be a short, comfortable stroll to the indie cinema, the covered market, the cultural life? Yes, the students in their colleges. And who will be stuck in the suburbs? Yep, people with jobs.

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I disagree that driving between random areas 101 times a year (the proposal is 100 free passes) is bad behavior. I believe road rules should be consistent and what is legal one day shouldn’t get you fined the next--that’s way too arbitrary and hard to get used to.

Maybe we need to close some streets but they should be closed, not open 100 times a year and relying on users to remember when they’ve used that up.

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It absolutely is: https://slate.com/business/2023/02/15-minute-city-oxford-conspiracy-theory-cars-lockdown-explained.html.

This is what bugs me about the discourse: people who don’t look into the specifics of this case. Like you, who somehow interpreted me talking about this specific fine being a bad idea as me being against fines in general (I think they should be frequent and proportionate to the risk of the behavior).

And it is a terrible rule, and will mostly piss off everyone who miscounted and got a surprise fine. People should be able to easily tell that they are obeying, like if there is a sign saying no cars or local residents only.

(In general, I think road rules should be safety oriented and rely on making obeying the most obvious things to do--low speed roads should be narrow and curvy and you should want to consider alternatives when you know the drive is going to suck.)

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This may be pretty obvious, but it just became clear to me today:

TRA fanatics share all the DNA with the BLM-Woke-Racial Justice fools and tools:

BLM profits off of dead bodies.

TRA's just LOVE them dead Trans persons.

BOTH "movements" distort every element of why and how these dead bodies came to be dead.

And both distort in every way actual numbers.

Both movements are, literally killing and / or, at least severely harming those people they claim to support:

BLM: Constant distortion of the reality of Policing in America IS leading young Black Men to get into situations where confrontation with Police will be inevitable.

BLM has set back Civil Rights in America by at least 40 years.

The slow-down of policing (as a direct result of the BLM movement and rioting - yeah, sure, it was all Proud Boys, derp) and the insane de-fund the police movement means more Black youth wind up shooting each other on the streets.

TRA: Constant distortion of the reality of life for Trans people here, and everywhere.

The embrace of medicalization of youth is leading to miserable futures for the youth they claim to want to help.

Both organizations are doing great jobs of fracturing The Left., the Gay coalition (whatever is left of it) and, Republicans are eating it up. (I hate most Republicans on principle, but can't blame them for exploiting this.)

Both organizations seem to exist mainly to divert attention / focus from areas of life / society where a mass movement could actually do real good. Both suck the life out of rational and obvious solutions to the problems their claimed constituencies have to confront.

BLM, as an organization, has been revealed to be a SCAM (I'm still waiting for the mainstream publication to examine the credible charges that at least one of the "leaders" of BLM used a significant portion of the donations to buy 1 (or is it 2? 3?) mansions in LA. Oh, yeah, I must be forgetting the part where the leadership claims these mansion will be used as "retreats" for more victims. Or something. Someday...)

Which leads me to ask: What is the financial scam side of the TRA "movement"? I guess just (massively?) increased donations would be good enough to establish that this DNA element is also shared. What happens to all those donations, exactly? I'll bet some of the TRA leaders are hauling in some BIG pay checks. No? Really?

(Yeah, I'm mad and ranting, but show me where I'm wrong. I did attend 3 or 4 George Floyd marches in NYC in 2020. By the end, I was sickened by the constant exploitation of the names / images and stories of the 5 or 6 "celebrity" Black bodies they love dragging through the streets. NO SOLUTIONS of any type were ever discussed or published at any of these marches. Just the constant drone "Say their Name", Defund the Police, etc., etc. Most of those names were clearly NOT victims of WHITE SUPREMACY!™. They were people, some with sad lives, who wound up in bad situations and were, sadly, as responsible for their deaths as any police action. BLM has single-handedly created a new thing in popular culture: the Black Celebrity Death!™ (i.e., Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, the list goes on, and yes, even Saint George Floyd (and yes, obviously what was done to George Floyd was a crime. He didn't deserve what happened. I wish he were alive today. Obviously. But the only people I see celebrating that murder / manslaughter is BLM.)

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Every single one of those black people who re dead hous be alive today. In regards to George Floyd, I do wonder. Did Chaivin kill him or did the fentanyl kill him? Or if Chaivin hadn't had his knee on his chest the fantanyl would have killed him anyway? I heard he had lethal amounts of fentanyl in his system. But if he used a lot, a lethal amount would have not hurt him.

I am not sure we can know the truth for a while since this country would still implode if it were implied that George Floyd died any other way than murdered by Chauvin

I think the trans issue is the same. Questioning anything is the equivalent of murder. The questions may turn out to have no merit but so what?

In regards to B.M. I think what is most dangerous is that it has plugged into the national mindset that black people are in danger from the police every time they go putside. But for going black men the number one killer is...other young black men. How exactly are young black men supposed to stay safe if the information they receive is incorrect? And what is the point of putting unrealistic fears on young black men and their families and friends?

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It's the same exact playbook. You either support the narrative or you are a bigot. The lack of middle ground increases my skepticism radar.

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It started with a scam: Trayvon Martin. Yes, any death of a 17 year old is a sad tragedy, but he was straddling a man, beating the shit out of him.

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