All entries by this author

How do you FEEL

Feb 21st, 2017 5:24 pm | By

The theocrats are still trying to silence Maryam.

When I spoke at an event organised by the LSE Human Rights Society on 27 January, the restrictions imposed were absurd. Initially I was meant to debate “whether human rights is possible under Sharia/Islamic Law” but those approached refused to debate me or pulled out at the last minute. One of those approached, Omer El Hamdoon, the president of the Muslim Association of Britain, asked to do a solo talk instead, which he did in November 2016. The stark difference in the way he and I were treated at LSE speaks volumes. Despite speaking on the very same topic (making the usual response of “what can you expect when you discuss

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Slaves looked to the US as the promised land of universal freedom

Feb 21st, 2017 4:34 pm | By

Trump went to a place today, and he said words there. Some words. Very very words. The White House wrote them down for us, so that we.

He was at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

It’s amazing to see.  I went to — we did a pretty comprehensive tour, but not comprehensive enough.  So, Lonnie, I’ll be back.  I told you that.  Because I could stay here for a lot longer, believe me.  It’s really incredible.

I’m deeply proud that we now have a museum that honors the millions of African American men and women who built our national heritage, especially when it comes to faith, culture and the unbreakable American spirit.  My wife was

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Guest post: No ugly demonstration of hatred for different ideas

Feb 21st, 2017 3:03 pm | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on At a Trump rally.

I once had the same opportunity, the chance to take my son and my nieces to see a sitting president and his wife. It was in Oklahoma, on the anniversary of the bombing, when Clinton came to attend the ceremony. He took time to stop by my small regional college to speak to what turned out to be a very large crowd. As a student I was entitled to tickets for up close, but the kids (old enough for it at the time) had to remain back further with the general public (us elevated coastal elites of Oklahoma City got to see him closer).

It was a truly inspiring

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Such neediness

Feb 21st, 2017 12:23 pm | By

Joan Smith is brilliant.

[T]he 45th president of the US invited on stage a man who later revealed he has a 6ft cardboard model of his hero and talks to it every day.

Let’s just pause and think about that. This is a leader whose ego is so fragile, he wants to appear on stage with someone most of us would change seats to avoid if he sat next to us on a train. I should point out that Trump chose this particular supporter to appear beside him after he saw him being interviewed on TV before the rally. Ignoring the advice of his security officials: “He said, ‘I love Trump’ … Let him up. I’m not worried about

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At a Trump rally

Feb 21st, 2017 11:31 am | By

Joel Tooley, a pastor in Melbourne, Florida, went to Trump’s rally on Friday and was horrified by the experience. He wrote a long and detailed post about it. There’s a lot of religious language in it, but you know what? It turns out that’s a lot less grating when it comes from someone who connects religion to kindness as opposed to someone who does that other thing.

He’s not a fan of Trump’s, but he wanted to go see him anyway.

The tickets were being given away by the Trump-Pence campaign; I found it odd that the tickets indicated that this was not a government/White House event & that this was a campaign event. I have, of course, posted

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Flashy, provocative – and steeped in misogyny

Feb 21st, 2017 10:31 am | By

Helen Lewis on Yiannopoulos and the populist right:

Alas, poor Milo Yiannopoulos, we hardly knew ye. Well, actually, that’s not true. I first encountered Yiannopolous in 2012, when he tried to slut-shame a friend of mine, sex blogger Zoe Margolis, after she criticised his tech site, the Kernel.  “We write about how tech is changing the world around us,” he tweeted. “You write about how many cocks you’ve sucked this week. Back off.”

It was a typical Milo performance. Flashy, provocative – and steeped in misogyny.

Misogyny was his chief claim to fame for years.

Helen’s take on the claims about his rise and fall is the same as mine.

What changed CPAC’s mind? On 18 February, the

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That’s $250 k gone

Feb 20th, 2017 5:15 pm | By

Now Yiannopoulos has lost his book deal.

Publisher Simon & Schuster announced Monday it cancelled Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos’s book deal, the latest development in the growing backlash over resurfaced videos of the far-right provocateur criticizing age-of-consent laws.

A statement from the publishing house offered little explanation: “After careful consideration, Simon & Schuster and its Threshold Editions imprint have cancelled publication of ‘Dangerous’ by Milo Yiannopoulos.”

After careful consideration of what, one wonders. Not his notorious extended career as a Twitter bully, certainly, because that’s how he became pseudo-famous, and that’s why Simon and Schuster wanted his “book” in the first place. Not his provocations since then, for the same reason. Not the fact that he’s obviously a … Read the rest

Still standing by

Feb 20th, 2017 4:18 pm | By

More on Yiannopoulos:

Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart senior editor and right-wing provocateur, has been profiting from a feedback loop of predictable outrage for some time now, and the alt-right’s takeover of the Republican Party has helped him take his trolling to an even bigger audience.

His trolling. Not his writing, not his ideas, not his thought – his trolling. He’s not a writer or thinker, he’s just a troll. He’s just a smartass who enjoys bullying people until they squeak, because that’s what trolls do. That’s all there is to him, and that’s why he’s not any kind of poster boy for free speech. Free trolling, yes, but then free trolling isn’t the same thing as free speech.… Read the rest

A nod to the free speech issue on college campuses

Feb 20th, 2017 12:04 pm | By

Huh. It turns out that it is possible for Milo Yiannopoulos to say something that will motivate conservatives to de-platform him. Nothing to do with the public humiliation and bullying of women, of course, oh god no, that could never possibly be a reason to tell him to fuck right off.

Milo Yiannopoulos lost his keynote speaking slot at the Conservative Political Action Conference after tapes surfaced of the right wing provocateur and senior Breitbart editor advocating for sexual relationships between “younger boys and older men.”

“Due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the group which

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If it’s on Twitter it’s true

Feb 20th, 2017 11:38 am | By

Donnie from Queens is still insisting on his tv-sourced claim that Sweden is in tragic disarray because of the Foreign Hordes, even as everyone in sight tries to explain to him that Fox News isn’t the best place to get intel.

Officials in both countries expressed alarm and dismay on Monday at Mr. Trump’s remarks. Senator Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, said the president should get his information from intelligence agencies and not from television.

Right?? I told him that myself yesterday, but I doubt he manages to read all the responses to his tweets. (I’m kidding. I know damn well he doesn’t read any of them. If he did how would he find time to watch Fox News?)


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A formal process

Feb 19th, 2017 5:26 pm | By

I still say people are confused about this.

Campaigners have welcomed a decision by a private girls’ school to allow students to use boys’ names and wear boys’ clothes should they wish under a new “gender identity protocol”.

Oh golly, a girl can wear jeans and call herself Jack. Couldn’t she do that before? Perhaps the school had a very narrow uniform policy which meant she couldn’t wear jeans, and now the school has made it less narrow. Good, but that’s not “a new gender identity protocol.” It’s just wearing trousers instead of skirts.

St Paul’s girls’ school in west London, whose former pupils include the MP Harriet Harman and the actor Rachel Weisz, will now consider requests from

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It was on teevee

Feb 19th, 2017 4:43 pm | By

Trump explained on Twitter that his random remark about last night in Sweden was actually about this thing he saw on tv last night. So he’s like those people who prattle artlessly about what Joanie said as if everybody knows who Joanie is when nobody knows who Joanie is. I’ve always said his Theory of Mind was shit, and this is an excellent illustrations of that. We were supposed to understand “Sweden last night” as “that stupid thing on Fox News that Donald Trump watched last night.”


So … Read the rest

Be för Sverige

Feb 19th, 2017 3:57 pm | By


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Mandatory “respect” for religion

Feb 19th, 2017 3:36 pm | By

The National Secular Society via Spiked:

University administrations are becoming increasingly “censorious”, with 43% of universities censoring speech that might “offend” religious people, according to online magazine Spiked.

The magazine’s Free Speech University Rankings (FSUR) claims that 63.5% of UK universities “actively censor speech”.

Launching its third annual analysis of campus censorship, Spiked said: “The fight for the freedom to criticise religion, to blaspheme, was at the very heart of the historic fight for free speech. Yet it seems some universities, terrified of offending students of faith, are turning the clock back.”

It highlighted London South Bank University’s Code of Practice for Freedom of Speech, which warns students that one definition of an ‘unlawful meeting’ is one “at which

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No checks, no balances

Feb 19th, 2017 12:09 pm | By

Don’t worry, we have checks and balances.

Except that we don’t.

We have them provided various conditions apply…but otherwise, we don’t. So they’re not really checks and balances in the sense we’ve always understood, are they.

Brian Beutler at The New Republic points out this obvious problem.

Donald Trump’s Thursday press conference was so meandering and deranged that it brought the basic ebb and flow of all politics to a halt, as power brokers across Washington, including Republicans on Capitol Hill, stopped what they were doing to watch along in amazement.

Amazement at what? It’s been obvious all along how mindless and malevolent he is, hasn’t it? So amazement at what? I guess the fact that no one … Read the rest

Last Night in Sweden

Feb 19th, 2017 10:45 am | By

You have your Last Year at Marienbad, your Last Tango in Paris or Halifax, your Last Week in Kidderminster – and your Last Night in Sweden. What happened on that Last Night? We don’t know, but we know it was bad.

During a campaign-style rally on Saturday in Florida, Mr. Trump issued a sharp if discursive attack on refugee policies in Europe, ticking off a list of places that have been hit by terrorists.

“You look at what’s happening,” he told his supporters. “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?”

This is how he actually said it:


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Not the Enemy

Feb 18th, 2017 5:06 pm | By


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The first thing dictators do is shut down the press

Feb 18th, 2017 4:44 pm | By

John McCain points out that Trump’s constant spittle-flecked rages at the news media are the short road to dictatorship.

Sen. John McCain spoke out Saturday in defense of the free press after President Trump lashed out against the news media several times over the past week, at one point declaring it “the enemy of the American People!

Such talk, McCain (R-Ariz.) said on NBC News in an interview set to air Sunday, was “how dictators get started.”

“In other words, a consolidation of power,” McCain told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd from Munich. “When you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press. And I’m not saying that President Trump is

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Nothing to see here

Feb 18th, 2017 4:24 pm | By

Donnie wasn’t happy about the latest cover of TIME.

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The Donald’s prayer

Feb 18th, 2017 3:55 pm | By

Wut.… Read the rest