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Category Archives: Transhuman News

Cor Hutton: Why sexist labels are worse than political correctness gone bad – The Sunday Post

Posted: December 8, 2019 at 3:48 pm

A few weeks ago, actress Emma Watson announced she wanted to be considered self-partnered rather than admitting to be Shock! Horror! single.

She came in for some stick from some quarters but I must admit I have a bit of an issue with titles, too.

For example, why is it a guy can be Mr, pure and simple, but a woman has to announce her marital status to every online shop, postman or delivery person?

Being a bit mature (amusingly), I struggle with Miss sounding like nobody loves me and Ms suggesting failed marriage so I often resort to using one of my honorary Dr titles to beat the system.

I should point out that I am not particularly politically correct.

Obviously, I try not to offend, but arent we overthinking things a bit?

Ive been involved in debates about the use of many words used to described amputees.

For example, labelling someone disabled when they are more than able in many ways can be patronising, but then others are offended by the term able-bodied.

A parking attendant once asked me if I had a disabled car to which I replied that my car was very able, thank you, its the driver you have to worry about! Theres also confusion over what an accessible toilet is (the preferred word for disabled loos) and some amputees hate the word stump or think the word amputee defines them.

I prefer to pick the easiest way to describe myself, when needed.

Its easier to say Im an amputee rather than a person who has lost limbs or say my stumps rather than my little legs which requires more explaining.

Being an amputee with stumps doesnt define me entirely, but it has played a part in who Ive become as a person, but then so has motherhood and sepsis, among other things!

This subject of labels came up last week when I met with diabetes experts to see how my charity, Finding Your Feet, could work with them.

Its thought that 40% of all amputations are as a result of diabetes and in many cases, this could be avoided by lifestyle changes, so we are trying to help people make these changes. During our meeting, the big guns in diabetes health care corrected me when I referred to someone as a diabetic.

Apparently, the better term is someone living with diabetes. Also, its now wrong to say you can reverse type 2 diabetes but you can put it in remission.

Well, a day later, my new friend in the hospital waiting area told me he was a diabetic and I felt it my duty to explain to him that term was offensive to himself! and we laughed at the new PC rules.

He then proudly told me that actually he wasnt a diabetic any more, having reversed his illness by choosing to look after his body better.

Again, I explained that actually he wasnt cured, he was in remission.

Thankfully, he had a good sense of humour and enough self-confidence to joke about it, at least its a reminder for him to stick with the new lifestyle.

The moral is, if its not broke, dont fix it.

Im way too busy with my everyday issues and family life to get offended by a politically incorrect word, provided it wasnt said with malice.

Something that does need an overhaul, though, are the antiquated female titles that define women in the context of their relationship history.

Trust me, Im a doctor.

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Pope Francis: Amoris Laetitia is the Magisterium of the Church on divorced and remarried – Lifesite

Posted: at 3:48 pm

BANGKOK, Thailand, December 6, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) Pope Francis told Jesuits in Thailand that how the Church should behave pastorally to Catholics who are divorced and remarried is found in chapter 8 of his controversial 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia, a teaching that has been used by bishops around the world to allow Catholics living objectively in adultery to receive Holy Communion.

The pope indicated that such teaching is the Magisterium of the Church.

While meeting with a group of Southeastern Jesuits in Bangkok last month, Pope Francis invited their questions. One stated that they had divorced and remarried Catholics in their communities and asked how they are to behave pastorally with them.

I could answer you in two ways: in a casuistic way, which however is not Christian, even if it can be ecclesiastical; or according to the Magisterium of the Church as in the eighth chapter of Amoris Laetitia, that is, journey, accompany and discern to find solutions, the pontiff replied. And this has nothing to do with situation ethics, but with the great moral tradition of the Church.

Francis did not explain how something that is ecclesiastical could not be Christian, instead moving to a question about his experience of the Church in Thailand.

The word magisterium has several potential meanings, including the teaching office of a pope or a bishop in union with the pope, or the doctrine being taught. John Zmirak, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism, told LifeSiteNews that the word is typically used two ways:

One, the infallible parts that reflect the Deposit of Faith, either sacred tradition or authoritatively taught Natural Law judgments, and two, whatever some pope said that another pope hasn't contradicted yet.

Zmirak took exception to Pope Franciss use the words casuistry and Magisterium.

As usual, Pope Francis is equivocating, using language sloppily, and relying on the anti-Catholic connotations that perfectly innocent words were given by anti-Christian pamphleteers, he said.

Casuistry means nothing more or less than the application of general rules to particular cases. Its a Latinism best translated as case law. Imagine a judge denouncing case law. Thats how much sense it makes for a moral teacher to denounce casuistry, he continued.

Zmirak also criticized the pope of elevating his own baseless and un-Catholic opinions, issued in fallible documents, to the level of Magisterium.

For Francis the Marxist sympathizer, [Magisterium] appears to mean essentially Party Line, the author said. It can shift as the Party leadership does.

To understand this papacy you don't need to read Francis, but Arthur Koestlers Darkness at Noon.

Dr. John Rist, professor emeritus of the University of Toronto, told LifeSiteNews that Pope Franciss answer to the question is a typical example of Peronism.

Step one is to deny casuistry, apparently understood by [Pope] Bergoglio as some form of consequentialism/situation ethics (which he rightly dubs non-Christian), Rist stated.

The second step is to try to muddle us by using traditional words like discernment but to imply that trying to discern what to do will get you an answer which is non-consequentialist while simultaneously disregarding the norms the Church has traditionally taught, and appealing to the Magisterium, i.e. to himself, to justify this procedure, the philosopher continued.

What it all amounts to is readmitting consequentialism/situation ethics by the back door and giving it another name (i.e. discernment).

Chapter eight of Amoris Laetitia attracted a torrent of criticism after the apostolic exhortation was published on April 8, 2016 because it allows for interpretations that undermine or even contradict perennial Catholic doctrine. The Catholic Church teaches that sacramental marriages end only by death, and that anyone in such a marriage who divorces and attempts to marry again commits adultery (cf. Matt. 5:3132; 19:312; Mk. 10:212; Lk. 16:18; 1 Cor. 7:116). As adultery is a mortal sin that cuts off sanctifying grace to ones soul, Catholics in so-called irregular marriages are not considered in a fit state to receive Holy Communion. Amoris Laetitia was criticized for overturning these teachings in a footnote.

Recognizing the post-conciliar explosion in the number of Catholics who have divorced and illicitly remarried despite the doctrine, St. John Paul II taught in Familiaris Consortio that such Catholics may go to confession and receive Holy Communion as long as they live in perfect continence, or, in other words, as brother and sister:

Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance, which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples. [Familiaris Consortio, 180]

Amoris Laetitia, however, has been used to permit people who have divorced and remarried to receive the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion without a promise to live in continence (footnote 351) and even to suggest that it would be wrong for people in adulterous unions to stop committing adultery.

This suggestion, perhaps one of the most explosive innovations of Pope Franciss pontificate, was all but buried in a footnote, Footnote 329, which misrepresented Gaudium et Spes:

329. In [adulterous so-called second marriages], many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living as brothers and sisters which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 51).

Gaudium et Spes was referring not to irregular unions here, but to legitimate marriages in which spouses are abstaining from marital union for a protracted period so as not to engender children.

While the confusion and debate over Amoris Laetitia raged, four cardinals followed the normal procedures in sending Pope Francis questions or dubia regarding the theological implications of Amoris Laetitia. The pontiff has still not answered the dubia. However, on September 9, 2016, Francis wrote a private letter to the bishops of Argentina, which was leaked to the press, that their interpretation of Amoris Laetitia i.e. to permit some irregularly married Catholics, even some with no intention of living in continence, to receive the sacraments after a period of penitential preparation was the correct one.

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Pope Francis: Amoris Laetitia is the Magisterium of the Church on divorced and remarried - Lifesite

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The joy and madness of Black Friday – Boksburg Advertiser

Posted: at 3:48 pm

Black Friday has come and gone.

Or maybe not. These days Black Friday is becoming Black Weekend, or Black Week, or Black Month, because the craziness with sales started long before November 29 and ends sometime after the last champagne cork has popped in 2020.

In South Africa, maybe we need to change the name, because as soon as you add any colour to an event you run the risk of being a racist, or politically incorrect or simply insensitive towards other racists.

Let us just make sure the government never gets its hands on this shopping spree in any way because, quite frankly, they do not have the Midas touch.

And talking of Midas, let us hope somebody is keeping an eye on our gold reserve at the Reserve Bank this time of year.

Sadly, our government in all honesty (since we are now embracing the Christmas spirit) is more like the Grinch than Midas. And if you do not know who the Grinch is, well, you probably dont have children.

This is a cynical grump who goes on a mission to steal Christmas. This is exactly what the government does 365 days a year stealing our joy and putting a huge damper on our Christmas cheer.

Unlike the story of the Grinch, who has a change of heart thanks to a young girls generous holiday spirit, very similar to the story of Charles Dickenss A Christmas Carol, we dont really foresee those snoozing in Cabinet having a change of heart any time soon.

It remains about self-gain and benefit, no matter if the masses are trodden upon and are forced to become like Oliver Twist, begging for another plate of food.

It is because of the antics of our government that people turn to Black Friday for that special time of year when their undervalued money magically steals a deal.

There is general confusion as to where the name originated from. One suggestion is that Black Friday is the name given to the shopping day after Thanksgiving in America. It was originally called Black Friday because the volume of shoppers created traffic accidents and sometimes even violence.

As South Africans we love to copy America, just like Halloween, even though Amazon brought the madness to the UK back in 2010.

This definition of mayhem surrounding Black Friday is also apt for South Africa.

After all, this is supposed to be a time of joy, cheer and finding relief from all the stress, but so often Black Friday/Week/Weekend/Month turns into a time of craziness, where adults behave like children, where rot breaks out and where tensions run high to the point where people almost suffer a nervous breakdown.

Yes, the Black Friday circus sounds like a meeting between the government and unions to broker a deal, but the reality is people love this time of year because, for once, we do not feel like victims.

This is a time when the consumer is truly king, or so we fool ourselves into believing.

Also, do not be fooled into thinking Black Friday is done and dusted. We still have a long road ahead until Christmas, so the sales will keep rolling in, and they will be disguised in different sales packages.

If it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it must be duck. This also the case with continuous Black Friday deals.

PwC, in partnership with Opinium Research, recently published its research into South African consumer intentions ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (December 2).

According to this research, consumers were apparently planning on spending 36 per cent more this year compared to 2018. This amounts to an expected average per-consumer spend of R3 812 during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period.

According to the continents largest automated payments clearing house, BankservAfrica, in 2018 they processed a total of 581 189 online transactions. Local shoppers spent nearly R3-billion in 4.8 million Back Friday sale transactions.

There is therefore a lot of money floating around this time of year, when the shopping addicts scream for joy, unable to control that impulse which manifests as the desire to constantly buy superfluous goods.

Let us be honest, ordinary consumers state value and usefulness as their primary motives for shopping, but on Black Friday, or whenever the shopping frenzy starts, it is a time for a lot of people to suddenly turn into compulsive buyers.

Black Friday is so successful because it helps to improve our mood, cope with stress and improve our self-image in times of doom and gloom.

It is also the time for cybercriminals to poach, right up to Christmas. Big events like Black Friday are a perfect opportunity for such criminals to flood inboxes with special offers that dont exist, leading shoppers to fake websites where they part with their banking details to fraudsters.

And despite so many warnings that not all online offers are a good deal, and to avoid the debt trap, how many people do not overstep such boundaries? We all know we are getting into trouble when buying something completely useless or which seems too good to be true, but heck, it still feels good.

With the cost of living set to rise next year, you can bet on Black Friday/Week/Weekend/Month cashing in.

The World Cup in Japan reminded us that it feels great to be a champion, even if it is for a day, and even if we need to resort to violence to get that TV we cannot really afford.

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All dead but still alive, the comedians who keep us laughing – Slugger O’Toole

Posted: at 3:48 pm

Sometimes when I cannot sleep, I think about Dead People. Sometimes I think about Dead Footballers (George Best, David Herd, Shay Brennan.) or Dead Musicians (John Lennon, Brian Jones, Keith Moon) but the most fun is Dead Comedians.

It is a good game to play. The only rule is that I must actually remember them. So Max Miller who is in my lifetime but I dont actually remember cannot be included.

People who I remember from being on TV and. Dead.

So. Tony Hancock, Charlie Drake, Charlie Chester, Ted Ray, Arthur Askey, Jimmy Edwards, Tommy Trinder, Frankie Howerd, Larry Grayson, Benny Hill, Harry Worth.

See it is really easy, especially if you are as old as I am. But just for you young folks.

Mel Smith, Felix Dexter, Rik Mayal, Eric Morcambe, Ernie Wise, Sean Hughes, Brendan Grace..

see even the youngest of you can play.

Spike Milligan, Michael Bentine, Beryl Reid.

The thing is, these people came on TV on variety shows (Harry Secombe, Cliff Richard, Mike Yarwood, Val Doonican, Rolf Harris, Cilla Black) and they did a turn.

And the turn was always the same.

Arthur Askey came on and said Hello Playmates and sang a song about a busy busy bee . And then he was finished. My father used to say look at the way Arthur Askey shakes hands.

Charlie Drake said Hello my darlings and er that was it basically.

Tommy Trinder said you lucky peopleand I think that was all.

Jimmy Edwards had a eupho.a euphehe had a tuba.

Now it doesnt sound like much but it was better in black and white. These people were the last hurrah of music hall/variety.

They had spent the 1930s, 1940s and most of the 1950s travelling in trains on the circuit between theatres in Sunderland, Plymouth, Liverpool, Glasgow staying in B&Bs and just doing their standard seven minutes.

No need for fresh material as it would be two years before they were back in Sunderland, Plymouth, Liverpool and Glasgow.

Ken Dodd, Ronnie Corbett, Ronnie Barker, Bruce Forsyth.

I hope you are playing along at home.

Then something very odd happened. It was called The Comedians and/or The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club and we had a new set of comics who had learned their trade in the working mens clubs mostly in the north of England.

They said things like there is a new priest at Old TraffordFarther Down and Mick and Paddy go into a building site. and this Pakistani..

all very politically incorrect but we hadnt invented Political Correctness and it was as ok as mother-in-law jokes and Carry-Onsand all part of the permissive society which was in freefall.

Bernard Manning, Mike Reid, Frank Carson, Colin Crompton.

The unlucky retired or died.

The lucky got panel shows Nicholas Parsons, Ted Rogers, Leslie Crowther, Bob Monkhouse.

But then we discovered that mothers in law arent funny. And there was something called alternative comedy. It was political.and university-driven.

Oh Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Jonathan MillerId almost forgotten.

I digress.

They did funny things. A personal favourite being Alexei Sayle.

But they did things like The Young Ones and Comedy Sore and it all looked right on.

But it wasnt. They were just as much one-trick ponies as Ken Dodd who was full of plumptiousness and Frankie Howerd who said Titter Ye Not.

From Stand Up to Sit Coms to DramaRowan Atkinson from Blackadder to Maigret. Or Tony Robinson Baldrick to Archaeology. Ben Elton from mocking Thatch to writing musicals. Stephen Fry from Melchett to QI and driving around USA in a black taxi. Hugh Laurie some doctors show.

Its a well-worn path. Comedy to Drama. Comedy to Panel Show (Frank Skinner, Lee Mack, Rob Brydon, Paul Merton).

Or chat show (John Bishop, James Corden).

And they all seem to be on each others shows. Is that Hugh Dennis on Mock the Week? Is that Jack Whitehall on The One Show. Is that ALL of them and more on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown? Are they ALL taking their mothers on trips abroad for some kinda documentary? Like I said, Arthur Askey had a funny handshake.

Well, at least we got rid of all that cruel stuff that was not politically correct. I mean you never see Jim Davidson on TV talking about my mate Chalkey.

So its all good. Isnt it? Except of course Jo Brand makes a joke about acid throwing but thats ok. Frankie Boyle makes a joke about a woman in her 90s but thats ok cos shes rich and lives in Buckingham Palace. And Jimmy Carr makes a joke about traveller weddings.

See there is actually a second wave of Alternative Comedy. And the second wave is just as cruel as the so-called comedians back in the early 1970s.

Dermot Morgan, James Young, Lance Percival, William Rushton, Graham Chapman..

See there is a third wave. It is a pattern. Play student gigs, go to Edinburgh, win a bottle of posh French water and get picked up by producers who are scouting for new talent. Ease your way in.had we heard of Tom Allen three years ago? Rob Beckett? Katherine Ryan? Zoe Lyons? Josh Widdicombe?

A guest appearance on Have I Got News For You should get a couple of spots on Mock The Week or Would I lie to You? or Room 101 or Live at the Apollo or Taskmaster.

It seems that they all start off on the road. And when the heckling gets under their skin, they head for the safe zone of panel shows, straight drama, sitcom, the travelogue or writing a novel.

Jeremy Hardy, Caroline Ahearne, Freddie Starr.

But all those old-timers from the 1960s, they were The Establishment of sorts.Royal Variety Performance and all that. And Conservative. Didnt Leslie Crowther and Bob Monkhouse do warm-up acts at Tory Conferences?

Now of course, there is a new Establishment. Not necessarily lefties. Not necessarily liberals. But certainly London-centric elite. I mean those old variety/music hall types might have been to the political right of Atilla the Hun but at least they knew where Grimsby, Middlesbrough and Stoke-on-Trent were. And maybe they had more respect for the ordinary working people up there than any of the anti-Brexit funny men and funny women on BBC.

They seem oddly out of touch.

Which brings me to Nish Kumar and his bad experience on stage at a charity do at the weekend. For the Lords Taverners of all things and it is hard to think of a more upmarket charity. Personally I dont think Nish Kumar is that funny. Nor do I understand why he has been on Question Time (which I suppose is a kinda modern-day Royal Variety Performance for modern comedians). His entire act seems based on the fact that he is Asianwhich makes him as unfunny as Frank Carson.

But somehow the Lords Taverners didnt fully understand the nature of the (free) act they were getting in Nish Kumar. And clearly Nish Kumar did not appreciate that his views on BREXIT may not be appreciated by people who would mostly vote Conservative. BREXIT is an issue that has alienated modern comedy stars from a lot of the audience. When David Mitchell ponders that after BREXIT, the British population will be reduced to scavenging from wheely bins outside restaurantsit is somehow not feasible that David and his wife Victoria Coren Mitchell will really be doing that. Insulting the people in Gogglebox Land as being poor and stupid is not a good look.

Luckily in Norn Iron, we have had no comedians since James Young died. He was, of course, the man who told us to stop fighting but really he was as much part of the Establishment as Richard (Mr Pastry) Hearne and Ray Alan and Lord Charles.

If we did have comedians in Norn Iron, they would probably be part of a liberal elite who make fun of nationalists and unionists as being poor and stupid. But only of course in an inoffensive wayno comedian here would get away with doing jokes about the Queen or that Frankie Boyle joke about the chimpanzee escaping from Belfast Zoo.

Meanwhile. Victoria Wood, Norman Wisdom, Dick Emery, Reg Varney.

If you enjoyed playing along with the game Dead Comedians, I have devised a board game (also available Dead Actors, Dead Footballers, Dead Politicians) which will be an ideal Christmas gift.

Photo by Engin_Akyurt is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA

Retired man with a smartpass on public transport. Husband/Father/Grandfather. Celtic FC and Manchester United FC. Occasional SDLP member but they cant stand the sight of me. Hypocrite who despises Hypocrisy. Gets along with eveybody except LetsGetAlongerists. Wary of Conflict Resolution.

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Casper artists breathe life into Shoshoni House of Wonder with hand-drawn animations (VIDEO+PHOTOS) – Oil City News

Posted: at 3:48 pm

CASPER, Wyo. Animation refers to the state of being full of life or vigor. Shoshoni, a town located in the center of Wyoming near the Wind River Reservation, may be small, but it is getting animated.

Long-time Wyoming residents are likely to think of the old Yellowstone Drug Store and their famous malts when Shoshoni comes up in conversation.

The buildings current owner Ryan Tinnelli is a Casper artist breathing life into the historic structure, transforming the space into what he calls Tinnellis House of Wonder Cartoon Theater and Factory.

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ItwasbuiltbyC.H.KingwhowasPresident [Gerald]Fordsgrandfather, Tinnelli said. Ifeelthebuildingitselfisamagnet.

ItwastheYellowstone Drug Storefor70-plus years and there have been millions of people that rolled through those doors.

Tinnelli started giving tours after he bought the building in 2006. But hes now breathing a new form of life into the structure which was built in 1906.

He likens his task to the John Henry challenge, referencing the African American folk hero said to have competed against a steam-powered drilling machine in a race to drive railroad stakes into the ground.

Tinnelli has been working with other artists to create hand-drawn cartoons entirely from scratch. Those cartoons are shown in five theaters at the House of Wonder.

The word animation, if I recall the meaning, is to evoke life, Tinnelli says in introducing the story behind the cartoons hes creating. I purposely have designed them to where we completely do it all from scratch.

Wevedevelopedourown kind of technology for our own style of cartoon. so it is something totally different and unique. Its all the human brain to the human hand then all human voices.

That means fore-going computer generated image (CGI) animation technology in favor of a more hand-and-mind intensive process.

The newest cartoon is called Border Challenge and required over 600 hand-drawn images. Oh, and Tinnelli didnt allow himself or artist Savva Worden to do any erasing as they worked on the project.

WestartedworkingonitJanuaryofthisyear, he says. We always work later in the evenings and my purpose for that is thats when the masses kind of start to slow down and then we can soak up a little more creative energy without having so many distractions and really get down to business.

It has been almost a year in the making. We use old school pegboard animation tables. And then we sketch it all, one shot. Black ink, no erasing.

That, he says, gives the art the life that is hinted at in the term animation.

I totally believe that with that medium were capable of producing something just as entertaining as the modern 3-D modeled animation because I almost feel that it is so processed that it kind of lacks life in a sense, Tinnelli says.

I dont want to down talk anyone for using that because it is an amazing tool. But were just trying to think way outside the box and do something completely unique thats not out there yet.

Those late night drawing sessions have been taking place in Tinnellis downtown Casper art studio. He refers to Casper as the factory hub of Tinnellis House of Wonder Cartoon Theater and Factory.

Tinnelli spends a lot of time driving back and forth between Casper and Shoshoni.

Imalwaysdreamingaboutit, Tinnelli says of his art. I have visions or dreams and that is the truth. And my driving, its funny because everybody hates the drive to Shoshoni.

But to be honest with you, I enjoy it because it does allow me to have that creative time to think and brainstorm.

So what about the new cartoon Border Challenge?

HowcanIdescribethis? he begins. Its kind of a funny political animation about the wall [at the U.S.-Mexico border].

But it is more South Park-ish. The reason I say that is its kind of as politically incorrect as you can be, were not really taking one side or the other.

Between his work on the cartoons, dreaming up and designing the House of Wonder, working as a tattoo artist and all the other things he does, Tinnelli works hard.

Ive done everything from screen printing to graphic design to oild painting to mural painting and to me animation is the ultimate art form, he says. Ive been a tattoo artist at the Ink Spot for 16 years and I always said after tattooing for ten years, I would start an animation company because then I felt like I could draw anything under the sea.

I still tattoo probably 50 or 70 hours a week and then I still put in, this probably sounds insane, but it is really probably another 30-40 hours a week between animating and the House of Wonder. But people who know me know thats no joke. Im up until like 1-2 am and then Im up at like 506 in the morning. I have ADHD so bad, I tell you I could work morning to night day after day forever.

Some of that time is spent thinking about his artistic influences.

Whats funny, honestly my favorite most influential cartoon when I was young was the Smurfs, Tinnelli says. Hanna-Barbera is amazing.

Im Walt Disneys biggest fan hands down and Im not just saying that. I have that portrait of of Walt Disney when he was 21 on my arm.

Tinnelli also loves a biography of Disney.

Its the most amazing biography Ive ever read in my life, honestly, and then Im huge into history, he says. So two years ago when I was in Los Angeles, I found his actual grave. Its not very well known.

My dad always took me to old cemeteries and showed me graves of famous people you wouldnt really expect like from Jim Bridger to all sorts of people, Custers brother, just weird stuff.

Visiting Disneys grave lingers on Tinnellis mind.

Its really weird because you think about how many millions of people go to L.A. every year to go to Disneyland and spend all that money and Im thinking, Dude, Im standing above the man himself right now and this is free,' he says. And to me, it was absolutely amazing.

Tinnelli also holds other artists whove created large roadside attraction-style art installations in high regard. His love of the Tom Robbins book Another Roadside Attraction is testament to that.

I always say that Shoshoni is in the middle of nowhere, or how can I put this? he begins. Its out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Wyoming on your way to everything and that is kind of the truth.

You think about those crossroads thereyou can go to Thermopolis, you can go to Cody, you can go to Yellowstone and Jackson and the Wind Rivers and Lander, the whole nine yards.

The House of Wonder hearkens to the American tradition of attracting tourists into small communities with novel things to stop and see.

So you see yourself in the tradition of, you know, places off of highways where they have the worlds largest corn, Tinnelli said. Its like a huge roadside attraction. And in fact, its funny too, when I was really young and just started getting into art another huge influence of mine was the book Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins.

That book is amazing. All his books are amazing.

Other artists whove created similar roadside art installations inspire Tinnelli as well.

Ive also been influenced by other things like the Garden of Eden in Lucas, Kansas or Bishops Castle in Southern Colorado, he says. I dont know if you are familiar with those, but both of those artists spent over half of their lives building these art projects.

I was fortunate enough the get to have lunch with Jim Bishop. He was a Civil War veteran, so he died years ago.

What Bishop had done with his body after he died interests Tinnelli.

In fact, that guys body is in a clear lid coffin inside a cement pyramid tomb on his own art project, Tinnelli says. That you can walk in and see his body to this day and that continues to generate revenue to protect his art project is pretty awesome to me as an artist.

When you make your body your forever long art exhibit, thats amazing.

Tinnelli sometimes jokes about doing something artistic when he dies.

Im a huge paint-o-holic, anyone who knows me knows I paint everything, he says. I painted even my kitchen carpet. Everything. I always joke and say Im going to have my body dipped in more than 20 different colors of paint like a dinosaur egg doing like the buddy Christ thing standing outside my building like a statue, and then as the weather ages me then Ill turn all like crazy like a rainbow. I joke about that.

Perhaps such vision could attract musician Kanye West to the House of Wonder from his ranch near Cody.

Imwaitingforhimtocomeinandit wouldntsurpriseme, Tinnelli says.

His love for Walt Disney brings the conversation back to the House of Wonder.

I kind of see it in like a Willy Wonka kind of way, Tinnelli says. This sounds weird to say but I built my Disneyland first and then started building the animation company next so that I have a venue to show the animation.

I built five theaters to show my own work and we profit off of concessions. So, in a sense, were like the movie theater and the movie company combined.

Yes, concessions include malts, the renowned offering of the old Yellowstone Drug Store.

Im a crazy artist that bought the famous Yellowstone Drug Store and no matter how much I dont want to do malts in that building, people are not giving me a choice because they want their malts, Tinnelli says. So we do malts, hot dogs, popcorn, movie theater candy and glass bottle sodas.

Having a new cartoon to show is exciting.

Savva and I this whole year and all these drawings and all this work, and when we finally put it into motion, for us, thats like the most accomplished, satisfying feeling in the world because you have no idea if it going to be complete garbage or if it going to flow and be awesome, Tinnelli says. So to that, I cant even explain how satisfying of a feeling that is to create something that comes to life, you know what I mean?

Tinnelli also sees himself as a mentor for young artists.

You know whats funny about Savva? he askes. I look at myself more as like a scout in a sense. So I kind of seek people out and she worked at Metro [Coffee Company] for quite a few years and Ill be honest with you, she was really diligent in constantly asking me for a job for two years straight.

And so I stuck true to my word and gave her a job. Im purposely recruiting artists that are students and Im recruiting artists from Natrona County High School and from Casper College. Thats my goal because artists that are students are striving hard to make it so theyre really willing to put forth what it takes.

Tinnelli says he tries to challenge such artists to become who they are capable of becoming.

Okay, like Savva, shes of the younger generation, Tinnelli says. I drive her crazy because she wants to do everything on her computer and I challenge her daily. She has to draw out of her head and out of her own mind and now shes really starting to excel.

Getting to show the new cartoon in the House of Wonder is special as well.

Theres something about that building most definitely that makes people very curious, Tinnelli says. Its kind of like the Winchester Mansion. As long as I constantly paint and build on it, then C.H. King is happy, you know?

My goal is just to continue to make it more and more ornate so its really an exciting place to come visit. I did the whole thing in all mirrors, even the ceilings, the walls so it creates like this infinite kind of optical illusion.

Tinnelli also describes the House of Wonder style as a cross between like psychedelic art, antique metal and its got a kind of Victorian elegance to it.

The building was declared a National Landmark in 1992, he adds.

There is some truth to that every person thats ever walked through the doors of that place has something to say about it being haunted, Tinnelli says. Everyone says that. I guess to me, that leaves a little bit of intrigue. Theres kind of a cool, weird chill in the air about it.

But Tinnelli would rather talk about cartoons. Hes already got another project underway.

ThisnewoneweredoingWalkingBlind is more like kind of a psychological thriller, he says. Its continuing to evolve and it keeps getting better the more were doing it.

Unlike Border Wall that cartoon will be in full color.

But sound will be done in a similar way.

We record our sound with the human voice, Tinnelli says. We have like a Blue Yeto microphone and I purposely have it in the middle of the recording studio so my sound actors have to stand up and act it out and step up to the mic.

I purposely do that so that thyre way more animated and you are kind of like telling a story.

Even more is likely to follow, including possibly a special cartoon festival around the summer solstice next year.

As far as like creative ideas, Ive got creative ideas from now to the end of time, Tinnelli says.

He wants people to know that Casper has an active artistic community.

Ive been a professional artist here for many years, Tinnelli says. Youve got Tom Loepp, youve got Zak Pullen, theres, you know, Shawn Rivett, you got all sorts of people of my generation that have been getting this ball rolling, but I guess I would just like it to be known what were doing in downtown Casper.

So if there are artists that are looking to do something, like hit me up, you know?

For Tinnelli, that means finding ways to continue to breath life into things.

Anything you can imagine you can create through animation which is why I think its like magic, he says. It really is like magic.

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Casper artists breathe life into Shoshoni House of Wonder with hand-drawn animations (VIDEO+PHOTOS) - Oil City News

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Aspen’s Most-Anticipated Arts Events, Winter 2019-20 – Aspen Times

Posted: at 3:48 pm

Anybody who hangs around in Aspen long enough will grow weary of tourism boosters talking incessantly about how exceptional this place is. All the superlatives and all that my life is better than your vacation bull is tiresome and indecent.

But then you look at the arts and culture lineup for the winter ahead and, yeah, you realize how spoiled we are here how, yes, exceptional it is to have access to this caliber of exhibitions and performance and events in a remote mountain town so isolated from the cosmopolitan centers where youd expect, say, a Kusama Infinity Room and a Trevor Noah show. For most winter destinations, the skiing is enough.

Looking ahead at 2019-20 on the culture beat in Aspen, there are tentpole events you can count on, like splashy art openings over Presidents Day weekend for the jet-set and huge New Years Eve concerts at Belly Up, those few days over X Games when Aspen is the center of youth culture and pop music. There are series that have gotten hotter in recent years and have the town abuzz, like the Aspen Laugh Fest and the JAS Caf.

And there are always some new wrinkles, like Aspen Films Academy Screenings this year moving from its Christmas-to-New Years slot to early January, changing the long-established rhythm of entertainment during Aspens freakiest week.

As always, there will be surprises to come, like last years late addition of an on-mountain springtime music festival with String Cheese Incident and Umphreys McGee headlining.

So keep your edges sharp and mark your calendars. This is the Aspen Times Weeklys Most Anticipated list for 2019-20.

Andrew Travers

Yayoi Kusamas Where the Lights in My Heart Go

Aspen Art Museum, Dec. 20 through May 10

Youve probably seen your friends Instagram posts from inside Kusamas Infinity Room installations around the world, for which people wait for hours in line and on which museums and galleries have had to implement strict time limits for visitors. Kusama, a 90-year-old titan of contemporary art and recent viral fame, brings this mirrored room to the rooftop sculpture garden at the Aspen Art Museum in time for Christmas and everybody in Aspen is going to want to step inside.

AND DONT FORGET: Oscar Murillos Social Altitude at Aspen Art Museum (through May 17) bayer & bauhaus: how design shaped aspen at Aspen Historical Society (through April) Anderson Ranch Arts Center Holiday Open House (Dec. 17) Mickalene Thomas at Baldwin Gallery (opening late December) Emma Senfts Dappling at Anderson Ranch Arts Center (Feb. 3-28) Lisa Yuskavages Wilderness at Aspen Art Museum (Feb. 16-May 31) Our Planet: Exploring Our Changing Environment at Anderson Ranch (March 9-April 8).

Christopher McDougall

Aspen Winter Words at Paepcke Auditorium, Tuesday, Feb. 18

Few books in recent years have been as ubiquitous on Aspen bookshelves as McDougalls 2009 narrative nonfiction blockbuster Born to Run. It sparked the barefoot running craze and shined a fascinating light on Mexicos Tarahumara tribe. McDougalls latest, Running with Sherman, is about a donkey jogging partner and animal-human partnerships.

AND DONT FORGET: Wild Game memoirist Adrienne Brodeur at Wheeler Opera House (Dec. 6) Three Women author Lisa Taddeo at Winter Words (Jan. 7) Poets Jericho Brown and Ada Limon at Aspen Winter Words (Jan. 28) Naomi McDougall Jones The Wrong Kind of Women (published Feb. 4) Shutter Island author Dennis Lehane at Winter Words (March 10) Dopesick author Beth Macy at Aspen Winter Words (March 31).

David Finckel and Wu Han

Harris Concert Hall, Thursday, Feb. 20

If our summers are overstuffed with classical offerings, winter is starvation season. But the Aspen Music Festivals three-part winter series dependably brings summertime favorites back to satiate year-round local listeners. This beloved husband-and-wife pair has long been synonymous with Aspens music scene, giving rapturously received recitals and running influential chamber music workshops at the festival. Theyll perform cello sonatas by Bach, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Chopin.

AND DONT FORGET: Aspen Choral Societys Messiah (Dec. 13 & 14) A Celtic Family Christmas at Wheeler Opera House (Dec. 19) William Hagen and Albert Cano Smit at Harris Concert Hall (Feb. 6) Joyce Yang at Harris Concert Hall (Feb. 13).

Trevor Noah

Aspen Laugh Festival at the Wheeler Opera House, Saturday, Feb. 22, 7 & 9:30 p.m.

The Wheeler has raised expectations sky-high for Laugh Fest, as its booked the biggest names in comedy for several years in a row. But, man, landing the Daily Show host and stand-up comic for two shows in the middle of presidential primary season? This is already the most talked-about event of the season.

AND DONT FORGET: Best of SNL with Alex Moffat and Mikey Day at Wheeler Opera House (Dec. 27) David Spade at Belly Up (Jan. 2) Fortune Feimster at Wheeler Opera House (Jan. 11) Brian Regan at Belly Up (Feb. 10) Second City at Aspen Laugh Festival (Feb. 19) Norm Macdonald at Aspen Laugh Festival (Feb. 20) Taylor Tomlinson at Aspen Laugh Festival (Feb. 21) Paula Poundstone at Wheeler Opera House (March 12) Piff the Magic Dragon at Wheeler Opera House (March 13).


Beautiful Decay by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

Aspen District Theatre, Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, Feb. 29, 7:30 p.m.

This piece by Nicolo Fonte, staged for three performances last summer, was the first evening-length contemporary ballet ever produced by Aspen Santa Fe. A touching meditation on mortality, featuring a multi-generational cast, if you missed the first round of shows you must see it this winter.

AND DONT FORGET: The Nutcracker by Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (Dec. 21 & 22) Shimmer by Acrobats of Cirque-Tacular at Wheeler Opera House (Dec. 26) Cirque Zuma Zuma at Wheeler Opera House (Feb. 16) Diavolo at Aspen District Theatre (March 27).

Just Mercy

Aspen Film Academy Screenings, Jan. 7

Director Destin Daniel Cretton brings the work and life of death row activist attorney Bryan Stevenson to the screen, with Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx starring. You may remember Cretton from his presentation at Aspen Shortsfest last spring and you may have caught one of Stevensons many talks at the Aspen Institute over the years. So youve got to see this during Aspen Films annual festival of Oscar hopefuls.

AND DONT FORGET: Pain and Glory, presented by Aspen Film at Isis Theatre (Dec. 4) Warren Millers Timeless at Wheeler Opera House (Dec. 4 & 5) Heavy Water at Wheeler Opera House (Dec. 15) Polar Express at Wheeler Opera House, Dec. 20 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at Isis Theatre (Dec. 20) X Games film series, Diamond Club at Buttermilk (Jan. 23-26) The Longest Wave at Wheeler Opera House (March 20) Aspen Films Aspen Shortsfest at Wheeler Opera House (March 31-April 5).


Rae Sremmurd

X Games & Belly Up, Jan. 24 & 25

If you have ears, youve heard Black Beatles a lot in the last three years. And if youre a hip-hop head, you probably know the album SR3MM. The duos fourth full-length album, SremmLife 4, is rumored for a winter release. So expect Rae Sremmurd to make their big X Games show and ESPN tie-ins a key part of their album launch with all eyes on Aspen, these concerts and these new tracks.

AND DONT FORGET: Gregory Alan Isakov at Belly Up (Dec. 6) Robert Glasper at Belly Up (Dec. 9) The Wood Brothers at Belly Up (Dec. 11) Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at Belly Up (Dec. 13) Modest Mouse at Belly Up (Dec. 14) The Head and the Heart at Belly Up (Dec. 16) Thievery Corporation at Belly Up (Dec. 18 & 19) Big Gigantic at Belly Up (Dec. 22) Cedric Gervais at Belly Up (Dec. 23) ABBA Mania at Wheeler Opera House (Dec. 25) Zhu at Belly Up (Dec. 26) Third Eye Blind at Belly Up (Dec. 27 & 28) Bob Moses and Nora En Pure at Belly Up (Dec. 29) Flume at Belly Up (Dec. 30-31) Yonder Mountain String Band at Wheeler Opera House (Dec. 31) Dillon Francis at Belly Up (Jan. 4) Pat Green at Belly Up (Jan. 10) Alphonso Horne & the Gotham City Kings at JAS Caf (Jan. 10 & 11) Illenium (Belly Up Jan 22 & X Games Jan. 25) Alesso (Belly Up Jan. 24 & X Games Jan. 25) Bazzi at Belly Up & X Games (Jan. 26) Railroad Earth at Belly Up (Jan. 28 & 29) The Doo Wop Project at Wheeler Opera House (Feb. 8) Lupe Fiasco at Belly Up (Feb. 9) Martin Sexton at Belly Up (Feb. 11) Curtis Stigers at JAS Caf (Feb. 13 & 14) North Mississippi Allstars at Belly Up (Feb. 19) Duchess at JAS Caf (Feb. 20 & 21) Donavon Frankenreiter at Belly Up (Feb. 21) O.A.R. at Belly Up (Feb. 27) Lyle Lovett at Belly Up (March 3) Guster at Wheeler Opera House (March 4) Poncho Sanchez at JAS Caf (March 7) Keller Williams at Belly Up (March 8) Spafford at Belly Up (March 13) Carolyn Leonhart at JAS Caf (March 13 & 14) Classic Albums Live: Abbey Road at Wheeler Opera House (March 25) Grace Potter at Belly Up (March 26 & 27) Killer Queen at Wheeler Opera House (March 27) Jamison Ross at JAS Caf at the Collective (March 27 & 28) Steel Betty at Wheeler Opera House (March 29).

Crystal Palace Review

Wheeler Opera House, Jan. 31 & Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m.

Mead Metcalf and the Crystal Palace players made a nostalgia-fueled, still-funny and politically incorrect return to Aspen last winter at the Wheeler and it appears this may be turning into an annual tradition. Metcalfs old dinner theater was reduced to rubble this fall, but the Palace lives on in this most local of locals nights at the Wheeler.

AND DONT FORGET: The Doyle and Debbie Show at Thunder River Theatre (Dec. 5-21) A Very Electric Christmas at Wheeler Opera House (Dec. 8) Theatre Aspen Holiday Cabaret (Dec. 15-19) Ken Ludwigs Twas the Night Before Christmas at Wheeler Opera House (Dec. 22) Adam Trents Holiday Magic at Wheeler Opera House (Dec. 28) The Great Dubois at Wheeler Opera House (Jan. 10) A View From the Bridge at Thunder River Theatre (Feb. 20-March 7) Million Dollar Quartet at Wheeler Opera House (March 6) Wild Creatures at Wheeler Opera House (March 7) Peter Rabbit Tales at Wheeler Opera House (March 19) Justin Willmans Magic for Humans at Wheeler Opera House (March 21).

Aspen's Most-Anticipated Arts Events, Winter 2019-20 - Aspen Times

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Ho Ching chimes in on PSLE results-slip debate, says unpaid fees can be resolved ‘creatively’ without withholding original slips – TODAYonline

Posted: at 3:48 pm

Ho Ching chimes in on PSLE results-slip debate, says unpaid fees can be resolved 'creatively' without withholding original slips  TODAYonline

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Ho Ching chimes in on PSLE results-slip debate, says unpaid fees can be resolved 'creatively' without withholding original slips - TODAYonline

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The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime – National Review

Posted: at 3:48 pm

A suspect is handcuffed and detained by policemen (Jean Pierre Aime Harerimama/Reuters)In defense of a term

Thomas Abts book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at high risk of engaging in violence by offering carrots (were here to help you) and sticks (well stop you if you dont let us help), and locking up known violent offenders.

Lest you think this book is not about black crime, Abt states quite explicitly that race matters when it comes to urban violence. He points out that homicide-victimization rates for black men were 3.9 times the national average and that 52 percent of all known homicide victims were black (2017 data). He might have added that the perpetrators of these crimes were overwhelmingly African Americans. In 2018, where the homicide victim was black, the suspected killer also was 88 percent of the time. And this is not an exceptional situation. From 1976 to 2005, 94 percent of black victims were killed by other African Americans. In fact, as I will demonstrate, high rates of black-on-black killing have been the norm for well over a century. But this is not an issue Abt wants to address.

To the contrary, Abt abjures the phrase black on black. He calls it deeply misleading and says it perpetuates deeply harmful stereotypes about African Americans. So Abt has written an entire book addressing the problem, but he and everyone else must refrain from calling it what it is: a black-on-black phenomenon. Why?

Abt offers three reasons. First, violent crime is commonly intraracial, i.e., whites kill whites, Hispanics kill Hispanics, and so on. But, Abt says, we dont talk about white-on-white violence. Well, thats simply not true. Many analysts, myself included, discuss white violence, especially where it had a major impact on crime in the United States. This was the case with southern whites especially from the 18th through the 20th centuries, a situation studied extensively by crime historians and criminologists.

The reason we focus more on black-on-black violence nowadays is not racism but rather its significance to the crime problem in the United States. Presumably this is why Abt has written an entire book on the subject. Black violent crime was a major factor in the post-1960s crime tsunami and persisted even after the wave began to ebb in the 1990s. From 2000 to 2015, the mean African-American homicide-victimization rate, adjusted for age, was 20.1 per 100,000. Thats more than three times the Hispanic rate of 6.4 (despite disadvantages comparable to those of blacks) and over seven times the average white rate, 2.7. Moreover, as already noted, from 1976 to 2005, 94 percent of the killers of black murder victims were other African Americans. In short, this is about exceptionally high as well as overwhelmingly intraracial black violent crime. White-on-white homicide is equally intraracial, but, as Abt knows, the rates are not astronomically high.

Though Abt considers it a malign narrative, stressing that a major component of todays violent-crime problem is black-on-black underscores the tragic irony of African-American victimhood. It is, in addition, an argument for support from African-American leaders and the general black population for more-focused law-enforcement efforts in low-income neighborhoods of color the very policies that Abt advocates.

Abts second objection is that the expression black on black carries an implicit assumption that urban violence is the result of chronic lawless behavior enabled by community tolerance for criminality. Abt says this assumption is wrong because African Americans are worried about and strongly disapprove of violence in their communities. That is correct, but there is also a deep strain of mistrust of police in poor black neighborhoods, and this, along with fear of reprisals by black criminals, leads to a refusal to cooperate with the authorities. Such noncooperation only worsens the black-crime problem by providing impunity for the most violent.

Here are two vivid examples. Though several dozen people were present when rap star Busta Rhymess unarmed security guard was shot to death in 2006, not one would talk to detectives. And when rapper Lil Kim lied to police about her friends involvement in another shooting earning her a year in jail for perjury she became a hero in black communities.

Actually, Abt fully recognizes the problem. The stop snitching ethos, he says, perpetuates itself by preventing criminals who victimize communities from being brought to justice. But if rates of black violent-crime are excessive (which they are), if these high rates have persisted over a long term (which they have), and if the stop-snitching ethos aggravates the problem (which it does), then the statement that Abt decries is at least partially correct. Urban violence is deplored by the black community, but at the same time it is enabled by a culture of noncooperation.

Now to Abts deeply harmful stereotypes claim. Here he relies on Khalil Gibran Muhammads 2011 book The Condemnation of Blackness, on the use of black crime statistics in the late 19th to early 20th centuries to support a racial-inferiority narrative. The Progressive era, wrote Muhammad, was the founding moment for the emergence of an enduring statistical discourse of black dysfunctionality. Based on this narrative, adds Abt, crime by European immigrants was explained away while crime among African Americans remained racialized as a matter of community or family values.

But immigrant crime around the turn of the 20th century was scarcely ignored or excused and certainly was not explained away. The prejudice against immigrants from southern Italy, for example, is notorious. In one of the most horrific incidents in American history, eleven Italian prisoners were dragged from a New Orleans jail and lynched in 1891, following the acquittal of nine of them for the murder of the citys police chief. The New York Times and Theodore Roosevelt expressed approval of the outrage, and one of the organizers of the mob, who later became the governor of Louisiana, wrote that Sicilian Americans were just a little worse than the Negro, being if anything filthier in [their] habits, lawless, and treacherous.

In reality, racist ideology was common in this period and was used against Native Americans and Chinese as well as Italian immigrants, indeed against any social group with high crime rates or other antisocial behaviors. The word race was broadly applied to ethnic and even religious groups (such as Jews), whereas the modern concept of culture was in its infancy and not widely accepted. Contrary to Abt, notions of racial inferiority were widespread and certainly were not reserved solely for blacks.

In any event, the argument is a straw man. Any narrative built on a supposition of the inherent (i.e., biological) inferiority of people of color has been thoroughly discredited since the civil-rights movement of the 1960s, while the statistics on black crime during the period discussed by Muhammad remain valid. Though Abt seems unaware of it, black-on-black violent crime was excessive in the late 19th century and, despite ups and downs, has been high relative to other social groups throughout the 20th century and up to the present day.

Writing in 1899, none other than W. E. B. Du Bois, a great champion of African-American equality, was one of the first to note the vast problem of Negro crime, a problem that since 1880 . . . has been steadily growing. Du Bois was prescient. Rates of black violent crime continued to grow even before the Great Migration and the ghettos that developed in the North in the 1920s.

Despite the lynchings and other mistreatment by whites in the late 19th century, black homicide was overwhelmingly carried out by other African Americans. In Savannah, Ga., for example, from 1896 to 1903, researchers found 91 homicides in which the race of both the offender and the victim were known. Sixty-eight of the victims (75 percent of all those killed) were black, and 61 African Americans, or 90 percent of the alleged perpetrators, were arrested for these murders.

In the North, where the black population was small prior to the migration, the pattern of black-on-black killing was the norm. In Philadelphia, from 1839 to 1901, two-thirds of the homicide indictments of African Americans were for killing other persons of color.

In the 20th century, the number of black victims escalated while the killers remained overwhelmingly African American. In Memphis from 1920 to 1925, where African Americans were 38 percent of the population, black-on-black killings were two-thirds of all murders in the city (in which race was known).

An examination of coroners files uncovered 500 homicide victims in Birmingham, Ala., between 1937 and 1944. The citys population was roughly 40 percent black, but 85 percent of both the killers (418) and the killed (427) were African American.

In the 1940s, when the black migration resumed after a hiatus during the Great Depression, more northern cities began to reflect the increased black violence. In Cleveland, which was 16 percent black in the 40s, African Americans were the victims in 71 percent of the felonious homicide cases from 1947 to 1953. Whites were accused in six of the cases; blacks, in 320.

In the contemporary period, from 1976 to 2014, it is estimated that 198,288 African Americans died nationwide at the hands of black killers. Thats 5,218 deaths per year on average, roughly 19 times the annual number of deaths of African Americans in confrontations with police.

This brings us to Abts third argument, which accuses black-on-black proponents of diverting attention from law-enforcement abuses. The forbidden phrase, he asserts, is weaponized to absolve broader society of responsibility not just for urban violence but also for police violence. This is another straw man. There is no reason we cant acknowledge the black-on-black-crime problem and address police abuse. Abt himself takes a similar position without uttering the b-on-b words. Referring to urban black offenders, he says, We can catch more killers and support the other strategies discussed in this book at the same time. These strategies include improving the fairness of law-enforcement policies in order to increase the legitimacy of police in black communities.

When he says that broader society is responsible for black violence, Abt means that white racism is to blame.

Racial disparities in crime and punishment are real, but they have been produced in large part by a sustained campaign of persecution by whites against disempowered minorities, particularly African Americans. Officially, that effort has ended; overt racial discrimination has been prohibited by law for decades. Nevertheless, the brutal legacy of that campaign racism, segregation, concentrated poverty, and violence remains.

There are problems with this white-racism theory. First, one would expect higher levels of black crime when the racial oppression was at its maximum, and lower levels when it was less so. But that hasnt been the case. Black homicide rates were about the same as white homicide rates during slavery. They frequently were higher in the North than in the more oppressive South throughout the 20th century. And they hit new peaks in the late 1960s, a time when whites supported the most sweeping civil-rights legislation in American history.

Second, if white abuse was responsible for black violence, why werent whites targeted more often? Why were other African Americans overwhelmingly the victims? Why was black-on-black violence elevated even after lynching and Jim Crow were no longer powerful disincentives to black-on-white crime?

Third, how do we explain levels of black violence out of all proportion to African-American disadvantage? Other groups suffer comparable adversities Hispanics, for example but have much lower rates of violence. Though the poverty rate for Hispanics is 92 percent of the rate for blacks, African Americans have three times the homicide rate. Indeed, many of the low-income black immigrants to the United States, such as the Haitians who flooded into southern Florida in the 1980s, had lower violent-crime rates than did the African-American residents. This despite the fact that they too were black and impoverished and had suffered a legacy of the most brutal slavery.

There are better explanations for black-on-black violence, including the cultural theories that Abt dismisses without any serious consideration. A compelling case can be made that African Americans, having spent centuries in the South, adopted the southern white penchant for violent responses to perceived insults and affronts, what Thomas Sowell once called the black redneck phenomenon. On this view, black criminal violence was the product of the southern-male honor culture that, among black men of lower socioeconomic status, manifested as a violent response to petty insults, sexual rivalries, etc. Since African Americans interacted socially with other persons of color much more than with whites, the victims of such honor-culture assaults were overwhelmingly black. This violence continued when African Americans migrated to the North. Indeed, it escalated in the northern cities, where there was greater freedom and less oppression.

Racism did play a role here, but not the role usually assigned. Discrimination kept large numbers of blacks from rising to the middle class, and the middle class, black or white, eschews violence. Had blacks been permitted to advance socioeconomically, their story would have been more like the Irish and Italian immigrant narrative, with a rise from violence and poverty to affluence and law-abidingness.

Ironically, though he scorns cultural explanations, Abt describes just the kind of behavior depicted in the subculture-of-violence theory:

Urban violence can occur in the course of other street crimes, especially robbery, but often it is sparked by arguments, conflicts, or beefs of some kind. These disputes often involve long-standing rivalries between groups known as gangs, cliques, sets, crews, and so on. In 2017, 64 percent of all homicides where a motive was identified were the result of disputes of some kind, and with stronger data the percentage would probably be higher. Many of these conflicts are connected to cycles of retaliatory violence that go back years, even generations. . . . For many who commit murder, its all about payback.

This could have been describing white behavior in the 19th-century South, and it is significant that blacks came out of that very milieu. But Abt is wedded to the legacy-of-white-racism theory and indifferent to any alternative explanation.

To his credit, Abt rejects the most extreme progressive thinking, which views the entire criminal-justice system as irredeemably racist and calls for its abolition. As he acknowledges, such extremism hurts, not helps, poor communities of color. Of course, this brings us right back to the realities of black-on-black crime and the dire need for effective law enforcement in African-American communities.

In fairness, Abts book is not a fully developed theory of African-American crime. It is a book of policy proposals to address the problem. The proposals, described in a nutshell at the beginning of this essay, may or may not work, but they probably are worth a try. After all, as Abt says, meaningful progress on fundamental socioeconomic conditions will take generations to achieve. People living with the reality of urban violence need relief right now.

Nor is Abt the only one looking to censor politically incorrect language. His Harvard colleague Anthony Braga and associates also warned against using the term black-on-black violence, which, while statistically correct, is a simplistic and emotionally charged definition of urban violence that can be problematic when used by political commentators, politicians and police executives. In fact, Abt seems to have drawn many of his arguments on the forbidden phrase from the Braga essay.

For decades now, criminologists, especially those espousing or at least harboring leftist views, have insisted that harmful social conditions are the primary cause of violent crime in general and black violent crime in particular. This hasnt gotten them very far as an explanation of the enormously high rates of black-on-black crime. Despite declines since the mid 1990s, relatively high rates have persisted even in the face of overall black socioeconomic progress. Maybe Abts policy proposals can succeed in reducing these rates where others have not, but his grasp of the underlying problem is flawed, and his eagerness to censor alternative views is, unfortunately, consistent with scholarly trends.

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The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime - National Review

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General election: Fake Corbyn tweets on London Bridge attack tried to ‘sow doubt’ among voters – Sky News

Posted: at 3:48 pm

As news emerged of multiple injuries in a terrorist attack on London Bridge, a tweet apparently from Jeremy Corbyn began to circulate on WhatsApp and Twitter.

The tweet shared was an image rather than a link to an original. It showed Mr Corbyn expressing sympathy for the attacker, claiming he was "appalled by the behaviour of the Metropolitan Police" because "an unarmed man [was] shot to death" without a trial, and in another describing the attacker as having been "murdered by British police in broad daylight".

The message spread quickly, driven by those criticising it. One user tweeted: "Disgraceful of Corbyn to say he was murdered by the police, this person was trying to [kill] people FFS."

"Good old Jeremy Corbyn quick to condemn," tweeted another user with almost 20,000 followers. Their message was retweeted more than 110 times.

But the tweet they were criticising was a fabrication. Mr Corbyn had actually said: "Shocking reports from London Bridge. My thoughts are with those caught up in the incident. Thank you to the police and emergency services who are responding."

The fake tweet convincingly used the actual layout of Twitter's web application to display messages which Mr Corbyn had never written. Nothing other than the content of his tweets were manipulated - the design around the message was accurate.

News organisations, including Sky News, debated whether debunking the messages would limit the spread of false information or counter-productively amplify them. At the time and in this article we have chosen not to publish these fake tweets.

But the question of who had produced these fakes - and to a convincing standard - remained. Why had they bothered? And how did they start spreading around social media when solid evidence contradicting them was literally a click away?

Sky News and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) have uncovered that this tweet along with other similar efforts were first posted to the internet on the imageboard 4chan before being spread to other social media platforms.

We have obtained a number of these fake images constructed with different grammatical constructions but similar spelling mistakes as they were being collectively workshopped by a decentralised disinformation effort.

"In the hours immediately following the attack we very quickly saw the community on 4chan come together and start sharing fake memes designed to disinform the public about the nature of the attack," said Jacob Davey, senior research manager at ISD.

The material was mostly comprised of falsified social media posts from Mr Corbyn responding to the attack. In some instances the material was not designed to disinform, but more as an in-joke for the community - Mr Corbyn complaining about Arsenal football club using racist language. But other fakes were able to impact the public discussion.

"Although this material appeared to be created by individual users there was a collaborative air around it being shared - with users correcting another when they used the wrong font in their content," Mr Davey said.

But crucially the content that was picked up and shared more broadly around the internet impacted the conversation after the attack by generating hostility towards Mr Corbyn, ISD found.

"In these instances it was the content which seemed most 'believable', and which didn't contain obvious spelling mistakes or explicit slurs which was most widely shared," Mr Davey added.

"The fact that we first observed these images shared on 4chan before spreading throughout the internet demonstrates how disinformation can quickly travel across the internet," explained Mackenzie Hart, research associate at ISD.

"4chan is a notorious source for this sort of material with individuals creating it with the intention of confusing people, and shaping discussion towards their political goals."

Specifically the images were posted on the politically incorrect discussion board (known as /pol/ due to its URL) which is a hub for for neo-Nazi and far-right online activists who focus on producing provocative material to get a rise out of others.

Speaking to Sky News back in 2017, academic researcher Dr Gianluca Stringhini explained how his team had examined the "raiding" behaviour of the /pol/ discussion board's users - in which they visited an external board in an organised fashion in order to distort the discussion.

The fake images of Mr Corbyn's tweets were designed to negatively impact the Labour leader by representing him as sympathetic to terrorists.

Mr Davey said: "It would appear that the fake Jeremy Corbyn tweets were purposely designed to create confusion and shape online discussion in the aftermath of the attack - both for the purpose of smearing Corbyn, and to generate hostility towards Muslims.

"The fake tweets feed into narratives that have been used by other groups in the run up to the election - such as Corbyn being soft on terror - to further sow doubt amongst voters."

At the same time as fake messages presenting Mr Corbyn as sympathetic to terrorists were spreading, other messages appeared suggesting the London Bridge incident was a false flag attack - a covert operation conducted by one party disguised as another who would receive the blame.

Some of these tweets were the honest opinion of authentic individuals - that is, they were not fakes in the way that the Mr Corbyn tweets were fake - however they were rapidly compiled into handsomely produced images and tagged as being representative of the Labour Party even when the accounts they came from did not appear to endorse Labour.

"The speed with which compilation images of 'false flag' claims were put together shows the hyper-polarised state of politics, with people on the hard left and hard right monitoring each others' activity to seize on content which reinforces their own narratives," explained Mr Davey.

"At this stage we have been unable to confirm whether all of these tweets are genuine or not, but the fact that these compilations were put together so quickly could also suggest that some of this content has been artificially generated with the aim of sewing political discord."

In at least three situations the ISD found individual users posting their suspicions that the attacks were false-flag operations to multiple Facebook pages which were expected to support the Labour Party and Mr Corbyn.

They had targeted some of the most popular pages on Facebook for their ideological cause and attempted to swing the discussion on these pages by promoting a conspiracy theory.

"We have seen individuals very quickly work to spam these images across multiple Facebook groups in an attempt to skew conversation across their ideological lines," said Ms Hart.

These did appear to be independent individuals, much like the users on 4chan, but even though they believed what they were saying they were exploiting the same mechanisms as people actively trying to spread fake news to try to dominate the debate.

Ms Hart said this highlighted "how distortive practices are being adopted across the board by political activists, and extremists," in their attempts to manipulate the public.

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What are we saying about ourselves? – The

Posted: at 3:48 pm

Is there anyone left who doesnt have a handicapped sticker on their vehicles? I drive a lot between several offices and it seems that every third vehicle has a handicapped tag.

Before you get your blood pressure up, it is none of my business whether or not someone needs a handicapped tag. That isnt where this article is going, but it makes a perfect illustration for what I want to address. Our behaviors say something about us individually and our group behaviors say something about us collectively.

A year ago I had a serious accident that nearly took my life and created a major interruption in my mobility for many months. I could have gotten a disability tag and it would have made my life much easier. And if I had gotten that tag, I probably could have kept it forever. After all, Im in the geriatric population and it wouldnt be hard for me to get whatever confirmation I might need to present about the difficulties of my injury, my age, and my aches and pains.

But I didnt because I refuse to see myself as a victim. I prefer to see myself as a survivor.

In my ten-year study of survivors of trauma, one of the things I found that separated healthy survivors of trauma from those who were debilitated was the unwillingness to see themselves as victims. As hard as the troubles they faced might have been, they never gave up. They clung to a philosophy of I can as opposed to I cant. Actually, for most of them, they didnt even recognize this as a philosophy. It was more of an assumption.

More than ever, we live in a culture of victimization and entitlement. The metaphor of the handicapped tag simply illustrates it. I watched a driver wait several minutes for a handicapped parking spot at a store not long ago. There was an open spot right next to it. The lady got out and spryly walked into the store.

Again, I know I dont know what all might be going on in her life. My own leg injury would be invisible to anyone looking unless I was wearing shorts and sandals. I also know handicapped spaces are larger to make room for wheel chairs, walkers, and other mobility assistance. But that didnt appear to be a problem for this lady.

My father was a child of the depression. He grew up with very limited means and worked hard to be successful, and he was. Thankfully, he now is living a restful retirement for which he worked very hard.

From my very youngest days he instilled in me the idea that I was responsible for myself. I got my first job when I was in the fifth grade and Ive never had less than two or three jobs at a time since then. Im grateful for that training.

When I left home for a life as an adult it never crossed my mind to rely on anyone but myself. I just assumed I would make ends meet and I faced each challenge over the past nearly 60 years with an assumption that I would survive.

There are times where we have to ask for help. There is no shame in that. Whether it is food stamps, government housing, or other assistance, a responsible society helps those in need to get back on their feet. One of my dear colleagues told me once that if it hadnt been for public assistance she wouldnt have made it. But as soon as she was able, like any survivor, she took responsibility for herself and her family. She is now a doctoral student and has come a very long way in life to care for herself, her family, and her loved ones.

Our behaviors have meaning on the micro scale (our individual decisions), a meso scale (our communities), and a macro scale (our nation). These behaviors say something about what we value and where our priorities lie.

If an archeologist 1,000 years from now were to dig up a bunch of vehicles from this period in history, she or he would probably conclude were a bunch of ill, unhealthy, and needy people. I think we are more than that and I dont want to be a contributor to that conclusion.

I can predict the angry email Ill get from this column. My grandmother You cant assume Have you no empathy for those who Ill probably get at least a few emails arguing that handicapped or disability are politically incorrect terms. Anyone considering that, be aware in advance that you will only be validating my point.

[Gregory K. Moffatt, Ph.D., is a college professor, published author, licensed counselor, certified professional counselor supervisor, newspaper and online columnist and public speaker. His website is]

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