Monday, January 22, 2018

Comic book readers are apparently not fans of progressive politics — a fact no more evident in Marvel’s decision to cancel every single one of its comics that has been nominated by the LGBTQ advocacy group, GLAAD

In December 2017, the publisher announced its decision to cancel many of its comics, citing poor sales. LGBTQ, feminist, and social justice-themed comics involving stories that revolved around Black Lives Matter, illegal immigration, and LGBTQ issues were among those to end up on the chopping block. At a New York Comic Con panel in October 2017, Marvel executives faced tough questions from retailers who complained about the company’s social justice push, with poor-selling products that took up valuable inventory space on store shelves. GLAAD’s 2018 Outstanding Comic Book category included several of the canceled comics for their contributions to “queer culture” and social justice. As has been the case with these sort of cancellations in the past, it’s not difficult to understand the why of Marvel’s decision. The publisher is, above all else, in the business of making money, and if certain comics don’t sell, it makes sense to cut them. The lineup includes “America,” featuring a teenage Latina girl named America Chavez, whose stories revolve around her life as a queer immigrant in college. The comic’s author, Gabby Rivera, is an outspoken “Latinx” writer who goes on periodic rants about “sexism,” “antiblackness,” and President Trump on social media. Another GLAAD-nominated comic to get the axe is “Black Panther: World of Wakanda,” written by feminist and “body positive” activist Roxane Gay, and black writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose other comic, “Black Panther & The Crew,” was also canceled earlier in 2017 following dismal sales. Sina Grace’s “Iceman,” which reimagines the classic character as a gay man who “comes out of the closet” later in life, was also canceled in December 2017. According to the author, the comic was a “hard sell for retailers.” ComicChron, which collects comic book sales figures, reported that “Iceman” sold around 15,000 comics when it first launched in July 2017 — a figure that decreased by almost 30% by the end of the year. None of the three titles managed to break past the top-100 rankings, selling a fraction of Marvel’s own “Star Wars” lineup, and DC’s “Batman,” “Justice League,” and “Suicide Squad” comics. Aside from DC’s “Batwoman,” which showed relatively poor sales throughout 2017, the rest of the comics that picked up nominations from GLAAD are largely published by BOOM! Studios, selling fewer than 3000 copies each month — a far cry from DC’s “Doomsday Clock,” which sold 158,000 copies in December 2017. The Marvel titles on the awards slate have been widely derided on social media for being hamfisted, sociopolitically-charged drivel.

Most people know about, but few are willing to condemn, the strict taboo in the media, of criticizing Jews as a group, using that term

Charles Bausman writes about the Jew Taboo.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

British and Canadian tourists in Jamaica have been warned not to venture from resorts in Montego Bay after a state of emergency was imposed in response to a spate of deadly shootings

Soldiers have been deployed on the streets in St. James parish after a series of killings led to a military response. Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said that the extra security measures were necessary to “restore public safety” in the St. James area. Chief of defense, Major General Rocky Meade, said that Jamaican armed forces were targeting gangs, with "particular focus on those that are responsible for murders, lotto scamming, trafficking of arms and guns, and extortion.” The British Foreign Office warned British citizens to stay in their hotels. Canadians were also urged to stay in resorts after a spike in violent crime in the St. James parish. Tourists have been warned to avoid traveling to the area, citing "an extreme risk to your personal safety and security," and to remain within the resort compounds if they are already there. The latest State Department travel advisory issued January 10, 2018 warns Americans to exercise “extreme caution” when traveling to Jamaica. It warns Americans not to travel to areas including some areas of Kingston and Montego Bay. “Violence and shootings occur regularly in some areas of Montego Bay,” it warns. "Violent crime, such as home invasions, armed robberies, and homicide, is common. Sexual assaults occur frequently, even at all-inclusive resorts. Local police lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents." This year has seen murder rates in Jamaica continuing to spiral, with at least 38 homicides committed since the start of 2018. This is up from 23 over a similar period last year. St James parish saw the highest number of killings, with 335 recorded in 2017.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Toronto police are disputing an 11-year-old Muslim girl's claim that her hijab was cut by a scissors-wielding man as she walked to school

Toronto Police spokesman Mark Pugash said that an extensive investigation was conducted and police concluded it did not happen. The sixth-grader, her mother, and her younger brother held a news conference at her school during which Khawlah Noman said that she was walking to school with her younger brother when a man came up behind her, pulled off her jacket hood, and started cutting the bottom of her hijab. She said that she turned around, screamed, and the man ran away. She also said that the man returned a short time later and continued to cut her hijab from behind before he smiled and ran away. Her mother called on police to treat it as a hate crime. The story made international headlines and drew public condemnation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "It's something that received, quite understandably, a lot of media and social media attention and I know it caused significant concern, as it should," Pugash said. Pugash declined to say whether the girl acknowledged that it didn't happen. He said that police wouldn't take a step like this unless they were absolutely confident.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Only 4% of white graduates who never attended a for-profit defaulted within 12 years of entry, compared to 67% of black dropouts who ever attended a for-profit

Debt and default among black college students is at crisis levels, and even a bachelor’s degree is no guarantee of security: black BA graduates default at five times the rate of white BA graduates (21% versus 4%), and are more likely to default than white dropouts. The overall student loan default rate among Asians since 2004 is 6.2%, among whites 12.4%, among Hispanics 20.0%, and among blacks 37.5%.