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If I was ever seated beside this sort of creature I admit that I would be quite uncomfortable.

On the other hand, when I see these sorts of displays I often wonder how I would have responded to the hippie look had I been my current age back then?



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1 hour ago, DEFCON said:

If I was ever seated beside this sort of creature I admit that I would be quite uncomfortable.


Might luck out and get a centre seat.....🙄


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44 minutes ago, Airband said:

Might luck out and get a centre seat.....🙄

26279757355_45fc4a41fb_z.jpg in whatever that excuse for a human being is needs HELP!!

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'THEYBIES:' New Trend Has Parents Raising 'Gender-Neutral' Kids


According to NBC News, there's a new trend in Millennial parenting: raising "they-bies," or children who aren't identified with either gender until they are old enough to "choose" their gender for themselves.

The idea is to shield children from "harmful" "gender stereotypes" that hardwire them to be either super-feminine or toxically male. They-bies are encouraged to dress how they feel, play with gender-neutral toys, and ask to be referred to with gender-neutral pronouns like, "they," "them," "their," and "it."

It's still pretty rare, NBC News claims; only around 220 families — mostly upper-class, white, and progressive — are so committed to raising their children "gender neutral" that they've joined a Facebook support group. But the ones who are committed are really committed.

Is Zyler a boy or a girl? How about Kadyn? That’s a question their parents, Nate and Julia Sharpe, say only the twins can decide. The Cambridge, Mass., couple represent a small group of parents raising 'theybies' — children being brought up without gender designation from birth," NBC News reports.

The answer is clear: Zyler and Kadyn, who are twins, each have a biological gender, but that gender is kept secret from friends and relatives, and even from the kids themselves (though potty training seems like it might require an in-depth conversation). The theory is that the less they-bies know about their gender, the less likely they are to be "pigeon-holed" into a gender binary.

Not everyone thinks raising they-bies is a good idea, after all, much of the world isn't woke enough to lack "gendering," and raising a gender-neutral child could set that child on a path to confusion and bullying.

“Once your child meets the outer world, which may be day care, or preschool, or grandparents — it's pretty much impossible to maintain a gender-free state,” one professor told NBC. “And depending on how conventional your community is, you could be setting your child up for bullying or exclusion.”

The they-bies' parents NBC spoke to say they're okay with that, because they'd prefer their child to be bullied than to be a bully, and they believe forcing a child into a gender is much more "coercive" than name-calling.

Gender-neutral parenting might be useful for teaching acceptance and counteracting gender dysphoria in transgender individuals, some scholars say, or to erase unconscious gendering that might come with typical parenting (like teaching girls emotions earlier, and teaching boys numbers faster). But most gender-neutral children end up identifying with one gender or the other, since while gender differences are almost completely absent at birth, they become ever more evident as a child grows.

Only .06% of the world's population is authentically transgender, and woke parents who might want a more "progressive" bona fide — having a trans-gender or gender-neutral child — won't get it simply by raising a child without gender roles.



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Alberta man changes gender on government IDs for cheaper car insurance


He wanted a brand new car — a Chevrolet Cruze with all the trimmings.

As a man in his early 20s, he knew his insurance costs would be high.

So he became a woman, though only on paper.

"I have taken advantage of a loophole," said the man — we're calling him David — who spoke on the condition that his identity be kept confidential because of the potential repercussions.

'Getting screwed'

David, who lives in Alberta, says he identifies as a male. But his government-issued identification tells a different story.

It started when an insurance company gave David a quote — roughly $4,500 a year, if he bought the Chevy. He had a collision and a ticket or two on his record, which helped boost the premium.

Then, he had an idea. He asked the insurer what his costs would be if he were a woman. He was told his annual bill would sink to roughly $3,400 — a $1,100 difference.

"I was pretty angry about that. And I didn't feel like getting screwed over any more," he said.

"So I asked them to change my gender on my auto policy, and she's like, we can't do that."

Young men generally pay more

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, men under 25 are generally at higher risk of collision than women of the same age, which means their premiums are often higher.

David, who was 23 at the time, says he learned he first had to change his gender on his birth certificate and driver's licence before he could have it reflected on his insurance policy, to get the cheaper rate.

After doing some research, he realized he needed a doctor's note to show the government he identifies as a woman, even though he doesn't.

"It was pretty simple," he said. "I just basically asked for it and told them that I identify as a woman, or I'd like to identify as a woman, and he wrote me the letter I wanted."

Under the rules in place at the time, Albertans needed to produce a doctor's note to switch the gender marker on their personal documents. In June, the government scrapped the doctor's note requirement for adults, allowing them to declare their marker as M, F or X, for those who don't fit into a strictly male or female binary. 

'I felt like I won'

David shipped the note and other paperwork off to the provincial government. And, a few weeks later, he received a new birth certificate in the mail indicating he was a woman.

"I was quite shocked, but I was also relieved," he said. "I felt like I beat the system. I felt like I won."

With the new birth certificate in hand, he changed his driver's licence and insurance policy.

All to save about $91 a month.

"I'm a man, 100 per cent. Legally, I'm a woman," he said.

"I did it for cheaper car insurance."

David says he's aware the methods he used to become a woman on paper are designed for Albertans who need to correct the gender marker on their identification to reflect who they really are. But he says his target was the insurance industry, not the gender diverse community.

"I didn't do it to point out how easy it is to change genders," he said. "I didn't do it to criticize or ridicule transgender or LGBT rights."

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Actually, evidence shows ‘diversity’ makes countries weaker — not stronger

Canada faces a real test in maintaining national identity when so many come from disparate backgrounds, and in avoiding problems that occur with ethnic conflict.


“ Maxime Bernier ignited his latest political firestorm when he used his Twitter account to criticize the “cult of diversity” perpetually promoted by the federal Liberals. If he had a valid point in there somewhere it was not helped by his unfair comments about “people who refuse to integrate into our society and want to live apart in their ghetto” that “don’t make our society strong.”

Most immigrants coming to Canada want to build a new life in a free and democratic society, escaping tyranny, prejudice or poor economic circumstances. Their local ethnic communities help them get adjusted to their new home. But it is nonetheless true that Canada faces a real test in maintaining national identity when so many people come from disparate backgrounds, and in avoiding problems that occur with ethnic conflict.

In principle, diverse populations can be economically rewarding. They provide more product and service choices. Immigration brings workers with a greater variety of backgrounds. Immigrants can even spur more innovation since people with different perspectives combine ideas in ways that would not happen with homogenous societies.

However, the flipside is fragmentation — when citizens identify more strongly with a social group rather than the nation as a whole, potentially leading to conflict. Conflict itself erodes trust in institutions and encourages corruption.

Canada is among the most ethnically diverse, or fragmented, countries in the world (see accompanying table). Only Sub-Saharan African countries and some Latin American countries are more so. This fragmentation impacts voting behaviour. It can also bring civil strife.

Social scientists have noted how puzzling it is that at times people vote against their own evident economic interests. Poor people might sometimes vote for less wealth redistribution, and rich people for more. One thing that helps explain this is the concept of social identity: grouping people according to income, ethnic background, religion and language. National identity is one form of it.

What researchers have found is that voters who identify more strongly with the “nation” rather than their particular sub-group, are more cognizant of the country’s overall well-being. This has been supported by recent empirical studies looking at OECD countries and Belgium.

Social-identity theory has also led researchers to examine more carefully the impact of fragmentation on economic growth, quality of government institutions, centralization of political decision-making and conflict. Harvard political economist Alberto Alesina and his colleagues have painstakingly measured ethnic, religious and linguistic diversification for roughly 200 countries in the past two decades. Overall, the most fragmented societies were found to have lower growth in per capita GDP and poorer quality public institutions: fewer years of schooling, worse infrastructure, higher fiscal deficits, lower credit liquidity and higher black-market premiums.

There is no evidence that ethnic and linguistic fragmentation leads to higher growth


According to Alesina et al.’s estimates, if Canada’s ethnic fragmentation was as low as in the U.S., we would have 0.4 percentage points more in annual growth in per capita GDP. In 40 years, this would translate into an additional US$800 billion in annual GDP.

When ethnically fragmented populations are associated with high degree of income inequality, the risk of social conflict grows. Since inequality is less severe in Canada, we avoid the conflicts of Nigeria and Bolivia.

Fragmentation also impacts governance. Ethnically fragmented populations tend to have more party proliferation, especially under proportional representation. Voters gravitate to parties to which they identify culturally or socially, not just on the basis of national issues. First-past-the-post voting in countries like Canada and the U.S. reduces party proliferation in fragmented countries. (Certainly not many people have given Bernier’s new breakaway political movement much chance of going far.)

It’s wise not to overplay these conclusions since fragmentation is highly linked with other factors as well (particularly, distance from the equator). Legal history also matters. What is critical to note, though, is that there is no evidence to support the political hypothesis that ethnic and linguistic fragmentation — a.k.a. “diversity” — leads to higher growth. Only religious fragmentation has been correlated with improved growth.

However, fragmented societies with weak national identification often result in citizens identifying more with their regions — which are typically less fragmented — rather than the greater nation. When this happens in Canada, voters prefer when provinces redistribute income rather than the federal government.

Yet even though Canada is much more ethnically fragmented than other large countries, we’ve avoided the pitfalls of low growth and poor governance structures. Our legal history in British common law and Napoleonic civil law has provided strong governing institutions since 1867. Certainly, Canada is one of the least-corrupt societies globally.

Still, early civil strife between the French and English has made citizens less attached to a national identity. Large migration flows from Eastern Europe and Asia to a relatively uninhabited Western Canada before the First World War created a different social identity there from that of Central and Eastern Canada.

So, over the years, Canadians have had difficulty in defining Canada’s national identity (beyond the right to health care as Roy Romanow put in his 2002 report). It is not surprising, then, that Canada is one of the most decentralized federations in the world. Perhaps, this has allowed us to better accommodate our fragmented society.

But with all the risks that fragmentation can bring, maintaining a national identity is not something Canadians should just give up on. It would be helpful if, in the 2019 election, parties offered us some clear and considerate thinking on reinforcing our national identity while accommodating our existing fragmentation. It would do us far more good than banal bromides and Twitter tirades.

Jack Mintz is the president’s fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.



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