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yardwork's Journal
yardwork's Journal
January 31, 2024

State Dept issues travel advisory for Jamaica

I've always heard that Jamaica is beautiful, but their abysmal LGBTQ laws always kept me from choosing to travel there. It looks like their human rights problems are even deeper than I realized.


Event: The State Department has recently changed the Travel Advisory for Jamaica.

Reconsider travel to Jamaica due to crime and medical services. U.S. government personnel under Chief of Mission (COM) security responsibility are prohibited from traveling to many areas due to increased risk. Please read the entire Travel Advisory.

Country Summary: Violent crimes, such as home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, are common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, including at all-inclusive resorts.

Local police often do not respond effectively to serious criminal incidents. When arrests are made, cases are infrequently prosecuted to a conclusive sentence. Families of U.S. citizens killed in accidents or homicides frequently wait a year or more for final death certificates to be issued by Jamaican authorities. The homicide rate reported by the Government of Jamaica has for several years been among the highest in the Western Hemisphere. U.S. government personnel under COM security responsibility are prohibited from traveling to the areas listed below, from using public buses, and from driving outside of prescribed areas of Kingston at night.

January 21, 2024

How the internet is erasing the Oct 7 Hamas massacre

Gift article: no firewall


WaPo updated the title to:

Growing Oct. 7 ‘truther’ groups say Hamas massacre was a false flag

In city council hearings, protests and online, a growing movement with ties to Holocaust denial is effacing history in real-time

By Elizabeth Dwoskin

January 21, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. ET

When she first heard about Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, Mirela Monte was “appalled.” The South Carolina real estate agent and self-described holistic healer detests violence and is horrified by war and human suffering.

But as Monte read more in Uncensored Truths, a Telegram group with 2,958 subscribers active on foreign policy and the supposed perils of vaccination, her shock turned to anger.

According to the forum, the news reports were wrong: Secretly, Israel was behind the massacre. 
Monte now argues the Oct. 7 attack was a “false flag” staged by the Israelis — likely with help from the Americans — to justify genocide in Gaza. “Pure evil,” she said. “Israel is like a mad dog off a leash.”

The Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack is among the most well-documented in history. A crush of evidence from smartphone cameras and GoPros captured Hamas’ breach of the border — a strike Israel says left some 1,200 dead, the most deadly onslaught in the country’s history.

I am certain that these lies are being spread by the same bad actors who interfered with the 2016 U.S. election and helped cause Brexit.

It's up to all of us to sift through what we read on social media and what we're told by friends, and figure out truth vs. lies. Our democracy depends on each of us doing this.

January 5, 2024

The plagiarism accusations against Dr. Gay, explained

Gift article, no paywall:


....Though rumors had circulated earlier on anonymous academic forums, the allegations became more widely publicized last month, after Gay and two other university presidents drew public scrutiny for their congressional testimony about antisemitism on college campuses.

On Dec. 10, conservative activist Christopher Rufo and Christopher Brunet, a contributing editor at the American Conservative, wrote on Substack alleging that, as a doctoral candidate at Harvard in the 1990s, Gay had plagiarized sections of her political science dissertation. Rufo said on the social media site X that he and Brunet had been “waiting for the precise moment of maximum impact” before publishing their post, saying that “there are rumors that the plagiarism scandal could be the final nail in Gay’s coffin.”

On Dec. 11, the Washington Free Beacon reported finding “29 potential cases of plagiarism” in Gay’s dissertation and three other papers. On Dec. 12, the New York Post published a story featuring two additional instances of alleged plagiarism in one of those articles.
On Dec. 19 and Jan. 1, the Free Beacon published two anonymous complaints filed with Harvard, detailing 47 incidents of alleged plagiarism by Gay.
[Harvard resignation is a win for conservative Washington Free Beacon]

The reports published in various outlets collect nearly 50 instances in which Gay allegedly misused academic sources. They appear in eight of her works: a 1993 essay in the magazine Origins, her dissertation from 1997, a 2001 working paper, and five articles she published while a professor at Stanford and Harvard (out of a total of 11 journal publications across her career).

The alleged misuse varies in scope. In some places, it appears that Gay took verbatim wording — ranging from sentences to paragraphs — from academics she cited, but without placing that text in quotation marks. In others, she appears to have paraphrased or lightly modified the texts she drew on, without citing the source in the same sentence or paragraph. In a few cases, she did not make any mention of her source.


The article goes on to show some examples of Dr. Gay's work and the work of others, side by side.

I thought this was a helpful article in terms of explaining more about the specifics of the accusations.

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