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Flatulent tosspottery

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Mr. Chakrabortty:

Something strange is happening in the heart of London, something an entire generation has never witnessed. You see it by piecing together the news ignored as too small by the big media and reported only by the local journalists covering their particular boroughs. So try these snippets.

Last week, Lambeth announced that a secondary school founded in 1685 will close for good this summer, with its students farmed out elsewhere. In Camden, St Michael’s primary will not even make the end of the school year – it closes this month, the fourth in the borough to go since 2019. Days before the Easter holiday, Hackney warned that two of its primaries are likely to fold and another four may have to merge to survive. Neighbouring Islington is considering closures, while Southwark believes 16 primaries are at risk.

And it’s Tory Bastards who are denuduing London of children because capitalist housing.

Guess the thing he doesn’t even think to include? Yep. The national birth rate sank 20% or so between 2010 and 2019 – makes a hell of a difference to the number of school places required, no?

Tosser.

This is also fun:

The families going missing are those who can no longer afford to buy or rent. Parents such as Louise Ellery, who rents from the Peabody housing association, a charity set up to provide shelter for the “artisans and labouring poor”. Yet she has seen her rent go up and up, along with her other bills. On her phone, she shows me the bank statement: £1,400 a month for her two-bed flat, which many London renters might consider a bargain. But her salary as a school teaching assistant nudges just over £1,600. For the rest of the month she has to feed, heat and clothe her two kids on that wage, a little bit of benefits and the occasional helping hand from a relative.

The relatives include the father(s) of those two kids? If not why not?

We can go further than this

The 38-year-old mum-of-three insisted it is “wrong and unnecessary” to involve gender when marketing generic food items, and said there were plenty of other words that could have been used to describe the steak’s large size.

The immediate thought that springs to mind is ‘grow up and get over yourself.’

This is a woman complaining over a steak being named “Big Daddy”.

Mark has provided us with wisdom there. The further is that there seems to be, in the human species, a certain amount of whingeing that has to be done. Evolution is true and all that. Now that she’s not facing the 25% cache of each of her kids dying by 12 months, the 50% chance of each popping clogs by puberty, that insistence upon whingeing requires a target. She – the kids – aren;t going to starve, they’d be damned unlucky to be swept away by a flood, a plague, even if the bloke buggers off for a younger model they’ll still be housed, fed etc.

On any historical – or even global – standard she’s nowt to worry about. But that insistence on worrying still exists.

My general view is that this explains much of modern life. The endless whingeing over trivialities – gender, sparkly dressies for prop forwards, 5% inequal8ities in male and female pay, that – well, read The G opinion pages. There’s just so little left to worry about but there’s still that human assistance upon having something to worry about. Because worrying is a survival characteristic.

What does anyone expect Twitter to do?

Twitter has been accused of bowing to government pressure in India by blocking scores of prominent journalists, politicians and activists from its platform in recent weeks.

The Indian government issued notices to Twitter to remove people in the aftermath of an internet shutdown in Punjab during the search for a fugitive Sikh separatist leader.

Twitter agreed to block more than 120 accounts, including the Canadian politician Jagmeet Singh, the Canadian poet Rupi Kaur, several journalists and an Indian MP. Twitter also blocked the handle of the BBC’s Punjabi bureau.

They should obey the law or not? When in India they should obey Indian law or not? And what if it was a US or UK law that they weren’t obeying in the US or UK? Opinions change then or not?

Seriously, corporations should obey the law or we are still all colonialist? We don’t have to obey those silly brown people in their own country?

Twat

Parking and related car infrastructure are often overlooked but exact huge costs in capital and make goals such as increasing affordable housing, reducing greenhouse gasses, and improving urban quality of life more elusive.

Without the transport made possible by cars and parking then where’s your affordable housing going to be, moron?

Sorta depends what they learn, doesn’t it?

One of Britain’s largest charities will stop considering applications for grants so that its board members can learn about colonialism and become “truly anti-racist”.

The Tudor Trust, which has assets of nearly £300 million and awards about £20 million a year to good causes, announced this week that it was temporarily halting awarding grants to new applicants so its staff could better understand racism.

In a statement, first reported by The Times, the charity said: “Staff and trustees are still learning about racial justice, white supremacy culture and how racism exists within Tudor and the wider society in which we operate.”

But we can guess, right?

Jeebus, at least try to understand numbers

There’s a famous statistic that says 41% of trans people have attempted suicide at some point in their life. It’s from a US study of trans people, and the number is often used online by anti-trans bigots urging us to “join the 41%”. There’s quite a lot of literature on this subject now, and if you do a literature review you’ll find that the numbers are pretty consistent: globally, 32% to 50% of trans people say they’ve attempted suicide at least once. The number of people with ideation, which is when you make plans but don’t go through with them, is higher still.

That’s much, much higher than in the wider population. Sticking with the US, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 4.3% of Americans said they had had suicidal thoughts in the previous year.

So. For the population as a whole, suicidal ideation affects 4.3%. For the trans population, more than 41%.

Dear God Carrie. You could at least try.

The trans number is lifetime. The cis number is previous 12 months. Now, humans tend to live 70 to 80 years……

The times, they are hard and biting

THE WORKING WOMAN
“Susan,” 39
Location: Midsized east coast city
Occupation: Director of fundraising at a nonprofit
Income: $92,000
Expenses: $50,000

My story: I was born in the U.S., but lived internationally. I got my PhD in the humanities, but didn’t get a full tenure-track job, so I pivoted to the nonprofit world. I’m extremely lucky to have help with a down payment for my house. I feel extremely lucky in many ways, but extremely vulnerable in other ways. Because I was abroad and also did a PhD, I have very little social security that I’ll be able to draw upon.

When I started full time at the nonprofit, I felt like I was rich—I was going to buy diamonds and a pony. Instead, I can barely keep afloat. I put around $15,000 of my salary in my 401(k) pretax (I get an 8% match). I have to pay $600 a month for student debt. My mortgage is $1,815. My utilities have gone from $150 to about $210 a month, and internet is $85. I try to limit myself to $100 a week for groceries and household supplies—it’s now $125. I have three pets and they all have illnesses, which gets expensive. I spend $100 a month on medications for them, and doggie day care is my second biggest expense after my mortgage.

That last line there. I can barely keep afloat even though I’ve also just said that I’m paying more than $600 a month for doggie day care?

These tossers don’t have a clue, do they? She’s spending more a month on Rover not being bored than 700 million people out there have as a yearly income. She can barely keep afloat.

With inflation, doggie day care has gone up from $750 for a 20-day pass to $1050.

Dear God. Also, WTF is doggie day care? Don’t people have yards any more?

Maybe I should drop my 401(k), but I’m almost 40 and I don’t have much in the way of retirement. If you’d told me as a PhD student that I’d be earning this much and barely making it, I would have said, “Give me the woman’s spreadsheet, she’s gotta be doing something wrong!” I read budgeting tips and I feel like I’m doing something wrong, but I don’t go out to eat, I don’t even really go out. Am I not supposed to have pets?

It just gets better and better, doesn’t it?

Depends really, doesn’t it?

With this data, we were able to reconstruct Rotterdam’s welfare algorithm and see how it scores people. Doing so revealed that certain characteristics—being a parent, a woman, young, not fluent in Dutch, or struggling to find work—increase someone’s risk score. The algorithm classes single mothers like Imane as especially high risk. Experts who reviewed our findings expressed serious concerns that the system may have discriminated against people.

Are those patterns, indicators, of higher risk? That the results are then concentrated in certain demographics isn’t discrimination it’s reality. Or, if you prefer in economic language, the differences between taste discrimination and rational discrimination.

Do note, if AIs don’t reflect reality – however reality might have different outcomes for different demographics – then AIs are useless.

Poverty bollocks

The two charities have calculated the weekly cost of a basic existence to be £120 for a single adult and £200 for a couple, based on a basket of goods and services including food, energy, travel, mobile phone and internet use, as well as smaller items such as toothpaste and washing-up liquid.

That includes £67 a week for food and non-alcoholic drinks for a childless couple.

Average spending across all households for food and non-alcoholic drinks is £69.20.

The absolute minimum spend is 97% of median spend? Fuck off.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and the food bank network the Trussell Trust said inadequate benefits were the main driver of the explosion in destitution and food bank use in recent months,

Aren’t food banks simply that wondrous thing?

Yes, tosser

From a PR email:

‘Whatever the personal qualities of the presumptive nominee, the fact this globally significant position is still effectively a personal appointment of the president of the United States is an ongoing travesty. There will never be a just transition away from a fossil fuel economy if the mechanisms of global decision-making remain stitched up in this way.’

Nick Dearden, Director of Global Justice Now and author of Trade Secrets

The US is the major shareholder in the World Bank. Therefore they get to say. Want more say? Stump up the cash – and yes, it is cash – to buy more shares then.

So here’s where that ultraprocessed food nonsense comes from

Here:

IN THE LATE 2000s, Carlos Monteiro noticed something strange about the food that Brazilian people were eating. The nutritionist had been poring over three decades’ worth of data from surveys that asked grocery shoppers to note down every item they bought. In more recent surveys, Monteiro noticed, Brazilians were buying way less oil, sugar, and salt than they had in the past. Despite this, people were piling on the pounds. Between 1975 and 2009 the proportion of Brazilian adults who were overweight or obese more than doubled.

This contradiction troubled Monteiro. If people were buying less fat and sugar, why were they getting bigger? The answer was right there in the data. Brazilians hadn’t really cut down on fat, salt, and sugar—they were just consuming these nutrients in an entirely new form. People were swapping traditional foods—rice, beans, and vegetables—for prepackaged bread, sweets, sausages, and other snacks. The share of biscuits and soft drinks in Brazilians’ shopping baskets had tripled and quintupled, respectively, since the first household survey in 1974. The change was noticeable everywhere. When Monteiro first qualified as a doctor in 1972, he’d worried that Brazilians weren’t getting enough to eat. By the late 2000s, his country was suffering with the exact opposite problem.

The place got richer, diets were fuller, physical labour declined – because that’s what getting richer means, less physical labour.

On the back of this gross misunderstanding – folk got rich! – this whole ultraprocessed food nonsense is built.

Sigh.

Umm, what?

The US scores surprisingly badly in a new ranking system charting abuses of power by nation states, launched by a group co-chaired by former UK foreign secretary David Miliband.

The US comes close to the median of 163 countries ranked in the Index of Impunity, reflecting a poor record on discrimination, inequality and access to democracy. The country’s arms exports and record of violence are an even bigger negative factor.

The US ranks worse on impunity than Hungary and Singapore, one a poster child for democratic backsliding and the other an illiberal democracy.

The UK performs creditably at 147, only 26 rankings away from the most accountable state. Its score is brought down by its protection of offshore tax havens that facilitate tax abuse in other countries.

So, err, why is the internal inequality in the US something that is a measure of the impunity of the abuse of power by he United States?

Answer – because inequality is the Left’s new theory of everything.

One of those things

So, a common complaint, that folk walking their dogs do clean up behind them then tie the full bags to trees or branches.

Why?

It’s not something that happens here. Folk do clean up but don;t do the tree thing.

So this interests. What is it that folk think they are doing? Sure, I grasp that it’s silly and stupid. But what is it that the folk who do this think they are doing? What’s their justification?

Why tie to a tree?

Not even, well, that’s a good idea or a bad idea. But what is it that they themselves think they are achieving?

Err, yes, that pitchfork moment

Flaming brands, lions with lasers:

A nurse was given a £100 fine for littering after she fed a group of ducks.

Susan Watson, 68, a dementia nurse said she was “shocked and embarrassed” when a council worker approached her by the River Medway in Tonbridge, Kent, after she had torn up a piece of bread and scattered it among the ducks last month.

She was then spoken to by an officer from Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council (TMBC) and given a £100 fine for littering.

Ms Watson told KentOnline: “I was so shocked. I remember someone started to run after me, shouting ‘hello’. He told me I was on camera and that I had committed an environmental infringement.

It’s the tiny things that spark. The trigger is something so obviously nonsense that the entire structure comes into clear view. The fuckwits have taken over – Carthage here we come.

Well, yes, Ezra Klein is a cretin

But Olson’s biggest miss, in my view, is his assumption that groups organize around redistribution. Olson almost completely missed the post-materialist turn in the politics of affluent countries. Some groups organize to get more of the pie, but many others organize to protect the environment, or to increase safety standards, or to preserve the feel of their communities, or to express their values. And much of this is good. It’s a gift of affluence, not a disease of affluence.

Directing parts of the pie to what you consider important is redistributing the pie or not?

Sigh.

Yep, a cretin:

How do we get construction productivity rising again? I have no idea. Construction should become safer, more respectful of community concerns, and more environmentally sustainable as countries become richer and less desperate for growth.

Everything that he’s just said reduces productivity should continue but productivity must improve.

Good Grief, where to these Tossers get off?

Cheap supermarket meal deals could be as unhealthy an option as a large Big Mac and fries, a new study has found.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham found that budget meal deals, which cost around £3.50, often contain well over the 600 calories recommended for people to consume at lunchtime.

The deals, which are hugely popular at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Boots, include a main, snack and drink, and vary from sandwiches and baguettes to salads and pasta.

According to the study, one in five combinations sold at major supermarkets and high street chains exceed the calorie limit, with the average lunch containing 10 per cent more than advised.

We’ve given the anal retentives enough power to recommend whether we have 600, or 660, calories for lunch now, have we?

Lions with lasers is no longer an option. The Carthaginian solution is all that is left.

One of the key messages in this campaign was 400-600-600 guidance, which recommended that adults consume 400 calories for breakfast, and 600 each for lunch and dinner, with two 200-calorie snacks.

Back up the trucks to load up with that salt, we’re going to have to make this territory entirely uninhabitable.

Umm, yes, interesting logic here

Contrary to varying insensitive comments on social media invoking Tran’s identity as Asian Americans grieve the national tragedy, that the suspect is Asian doesn’t minimize the racial terror caused by the Monterey Park shooting. If anything, the attack further builds upon the trauma that Asian communities in the U.S. have been reeling from over the course of the pandemic these last few years, thanks to increased, anti-Asian, and fundamentally white supremacist attacks blaming our communities for covid.

Snigger

In a desperate attempt to be hip and with it, daddy-o, the Brit awards scrapped its male and female categories for best artist and replaced them with one “gender-neutral” list. Imagine the woke puzzlement, shading into apoplexy, when all five shortlisted acts were male.

The left was angry, but simply didn’t know what to say. Apart from one marvellously dim columnist who studied the result, scratched his little head and opined:

“My view is gender-neutral awards should reserve 50 per cent of nominations for women.”

I was wondering who that was and, of course, it was Owen Jones.