All entries by this author

Complex psychological and social reasons

Nov 23rd, 2017 11:46 am | By

Heather Brunskell-Evans wrote a public statement to the Women’s Equality Party dated November 19th.

The Women’s Equality Party (WEP) has informed me that three Party Members have alleged that my “conduct” on the BBC Radio 4 Programme the Moral Maze on 15th November 2017 has “promoted prejudice against the transgender community”. The Party is currently giving weight to this allegation. As a Spokesperson for the Policy on Violence Against Women and Girls I have been informed I am under review by the Executive Committee.

The Committee is now examining my public statements including my blogs, social media, and on-line forums. It is also assessing whether I have complied with the Volunteer Agreement which I signed at the beginning of my

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The child is not an astronaut

Nov 23rd, 2017 10:43 am | By

From the Times (the London one): another woman no-platformed by university students for wrongthink about gender.

Heather Brunskell-Evans, a research fellow at King’s College London, who is also a spokeswoman for the Women’s Equality Party, told The Times that she believed such institutions were running scared from public debate, out of fear of offending the transgender lobby.

She had been asked by medical students from the Reproductive and Sexual Health Society at King’s to give a talk this week on the subject of pornography and the sexualisation of young women, at the college’s Guy’s Campus in south London.

But days after appearing on the Moral Maze, the Radio 4 series hosted by Michael Buerk, she was told that the

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And lo, it came to pass

Nov 23rd, 2017 9:35 am | By

Behold Nathan Rambukkana’s open letter to Lindsay Shepherd:

Dear Lindsay,

I wanted to write to apologize to you for how the meeting we had proceeded. While I was not able to do so earlier due to confidentiality concerns, including your privacy as a grad student, now that the audio of the meeting is public I can say more. While I still cannot discuss the student concerns raised about the tutorial, everything that has happened since the meeting has given me occasion to rethink not only my approach to discussing the concerns that day, but many of the things I said in our meeting as well.

First, I wanted to say that when I was made aware of the concerns,

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You’ll see what we let you see

Nov 22nd, 2017 5:25 pm | By

Killing net neutrality will be very bad.

Back in 2005, a small phone company based in North Carolina named Madison River began preventing its subscribers from making phone calls using the internet application Vonage. As Vonage was a competitor in the phone call market, Madison River’s action was obviously anticompetitive. Consumers complained, and the Federal Communications Commission, under Michael Powell, its Republican-appointed chairman, promptly fined the company and forced it to stop blocking Vonage.

That was the moment when “net neutrality” rules went from a mere academic proposal to a part of the United States legal order. On that foundation — an open internet, with no blocking — much of our current internet ecosystem was built.

On Tuesday, the

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Race-baiting from the Oval Office

Nov 22nd, 2017 12:38 pm | By

Trump this morning:

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Problematic, barmaid

Nov 22nd, 2017 12:16 pm | By

Jesus and Mo are fretting about epistemic violence too.

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A society without solidarity or compassion

Nov 22nd, 2017 11:07 am | By

The Times points out that Europe is tilting more towards National Pride than against it.

Far from the quieted theaters of Balkan conflict, nationalist passions, the clamor for redrawn frontiers and collisions of faith are rising anew, not to the crump of mortar fire and the stutter of machine guns, but in the recharting of the political landscape.

In October, Austria became the latest European nation to veer to the right, following Hungary and Poland. In Germany, the far-right Alternative for Germany secured enough votes in national elections in September to enter Parliament for the first time. In many lands there is a sense of flux, from the secessionist yearnings of Catalonia in Spain to Britain’s planned departure

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More than 20 years later

Nov 22nd, 2017 10:38 am | By

News from the Hague:

The former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladić, nicknamed the ‘butcher of Bosnia’, has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

More than 20 years after the Srebrenica massacre, Mladić was found guilty at the United Nations-backed international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague of 10 offences involving extermination, murder and persecution of civilian populations.

As he entered the courtroom, Mladić gave a broad smile and thumbs up to the cameras – a gesture that infuriated relatives of the victims. His defiance shifted into detachment as the judgment began: Mladić played with his fingers and nodded occasionally, looking initially relaxed.


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Under the banner of freedom of speech

Nov 21st, 2017 5:59 pm | By

But! Don’t worry – the Laurier Rainbow Centre wrote an emergency Facebook post to explain how transphobic it all is.

Dear Laurier Community,

In the face of recent media attention, we feel it is our responsibility to speak out against the climate of transphobia that is being fostered at Laurier. The university’s silence on these issues has allowed for a one-sided perspective to be cultivated in the media that is entirely disconnected from the experiences of trans people. We speak now as a collective of queer and trans students, asking you to engage critically with the media you read and to hold our community with care.

On Friday November 10th, an article was published in the National Post that disparaged

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Sorry not sorry

Nov 21st, 2017 5:09 pm | By

So it appears Laurier is feeling a little embarrassed, or at least a little uncomfortable. It’s apologized to Lindsay Shepherd.

The president of Wilfrid Laurier University said the school is proceeding with a third-party investigation into the dispute with graduate student Lindsay Shepherd, but said recently revealed audio recordings of her interactions with her immediate superiors made it clear an apology was in order.

Shepherd said she discreetly recorded a meeting with three Laurier faculty and staff members in which she was roundly criticized for failing to condemn the views of polarizing University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson, who has refused to use gender-neutral pronouns. She had aired a clip of a debate featuring the professor as part of

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Working with Al

Nov 21st, 2017 11:04 am | By

Janine Nichols on Facebook November 16:

I worked with Al Franken for many years at SNL and beyond and he is in NO WAY a sexual harasser. In fact, I remember an instance in which he defended me from the unwanted advances of a piece of shit host I shall not name. When I think of the drug use and general debauchery of the Not Ready For Prime Time years — and believe me, we were pretty much always laughing — Franken was a fucking choir boy compared to others I could name. I never even saw him smoke any weed, though maybe he did: He was friends with, toured with, the Grateful Dead, after all. They had weed

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Say goodbye to net neutrality

Nov 21st, 2017 10:31 am | By

Trump and his sleazy friends continue smashing everything.

The Federal Communications Commission announced on Tuesday that it planned to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for companies to charge more and block access to some websites.

The proposal, put forward by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration that prohibited high-speed internet service providers from blocking or slowing down the delivery websites, or charging extra fees for the best quality of streaming and other internet services for their subscribers.

Good for AT&T and Comcast, bad for everyone else.

The plan to repeal the 2015 net neutrality rules also reverses a hallmark

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Tragic end to banter and bons mots

Nov 21st, 2017 10:25 am | By

The world of morning tv news is a closed book to me, a locked room, a sealed vault. The idea of tv news in the morning makes me feel queasy, sort of like chocolate cake for breakfast. This is why I didn’t know Charlie Rose was a big noise in morning tv. I thought he was a mystifyingly big noise in public tv chat shows late at night. Apparently he covered both ends of the day, which just goes to show what weirdly low standards we have in the US…as if we needed more evidence of that.

Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell, and Charlie Rose built “CBS This Morning” from a dusty franchise into a lively, news-focused broadcast, primarily around the

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Oh so that’s what was going on

Nov 21st, 2017 10:05 am | By

Now it makes sense.

Megyn Kelly has spoken out about an experience she had with the TV host [Charlie Rose], whom she also considers a friend. She recalled asking Rose to emcee the first event on her book tour last year, during which she said Rose hijacked the opportunity and instead interrogated her on the sexual-harassment accusations she had made against Roger Ailes. “The exchange felt to me like a cross-examine focused on one issue,” she said on Megyn Kelly Today. “I felt defensive in the exchange with Charlie and wound up angry about how he handled my book event. Obviously now his behavior makes more sense.”

Sinister sense, but sense.

Her response to it then: “I sent

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He emerged from the shower and walked naked in front of them

Nov 20th, 2017 5:10 pm | By

Another one.

Eight women have told The Washington Post that longtime television host Charlie Rose made unwanted sexual advances toward them, including lewd phone calls, walking around naked in their presence, or groping their breasts, buttocks or genital areas.

The women were employees or aspired to work for Rose at the “Charlie Rose” show from the late 1990s to as recently as 2011. They ranged in age from 21 to 37 at the time of the alleged encounters. Rose, 75, whose show airs on PBS and Bloomberg TV, also co-hosts “CBS This Morning” and is a contributing correspondent for “60 Minutes.”

I can’t stand Charlie Rose and never watch him. It’s beyond me why he’s ever been a thing.… Read the rest

Target practice

Nov 20th, 2017 4:07 pm | By

Brian Platt at the National Post on C-16 and whether or not it makes it a Crime for people who teach in universities to show examples of more than one point of view by way of illustrating that there is often more than one point of view.

A federal bill passed last June that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity or expression had been hotly contested by critics who called it a drastic restriction on free speech rights.

Now, just five months after it became law, Bill C-16 has its first big controversy — and it shows how the legislation is being misinterpreted in practice.

Isn’t that one of the things critics warned about? I didn’t follow the discussion, but … Read the rest

Owning it

Nov 20th, 2017 12:12 pm | By

Alice Ollstein at Talking Points Memo makes the zany argument that if you destroy something, people will blame you for destroying it rather than the people who created it. Wild, huh?

As his administration has steadily chipped away at the Affordable Care Act, President Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted that the public will blame the Democratic Party for any health care fallout.

Now, as Republicans in Congress inch towards striking what could be the biggest blow yet to Obamacare—sticking a provision repealing the individual mandate into their tax bill—even some on the right are starting to sweat that the GOP will fully own the issue going forward.

“You can make an argument that Obamacare is falling of its own

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Down we go

Nov 20th, 2017 11:54 am | By

Another steep downward plunge for President Tweety.

Yeah, he should have left them in jail for not kissing his bum – or rather, because the father of one of them didn’t kiss his bum; the players themselves all thanked him.

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This is like a problematic idea that we might want to unpack

Nov 19th, 2017 5:24 pm | By

Ok there’s this: Laurier university starts independent probe after teaching assistant plays clip of gender debate.

Oh no, not clip of gender debate!! Say it isn’t so!

Lindsay Shepherd, a graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University, said she ran afoul of school authorities after she aired a clip in two tutorials of a debate on gender-neutral pronouns featuring polarizing University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson.

The excerpt from TVO’s current affairs program The Agenda shows Peterson, who has famously refused to use gender pronouns other than “he” or “she,” defending his position against a professor who argued it was necessary to use the pronouns that a person prefers to be called.

As I just mentioned the other day, I … Read the rest

A little list

Nov 19th, 2017 11:11 am | By

Harvey Weinstein knew they were coming for him. He drew up a list of people to try to silence.

The Observer has gained access to a secret hitlist of almost 100 prominent individuals targeted by Harvey Weinstein in an extraordinary attempt to discover what they knew about sexual misconduct claims against him and whether they were intending to go public.

The previously undisclosed list contains a total of 91 actors, publicists, producers, financiers and others working in the film industry, all of whom Weinstein allegedly identified as part of a strategy to prevent accusers from going public with sexual misconduct claims against him.

The names, apparently drawn up by Weinstein himself, were distributed to a team hired by the

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