All entries by this author

She said people should be embraced for who they are authentically

Mar 29th, 2017 6:07 pm | By

The New York Times talked to Rachel Dolezal earlier this month.

In a New York Times report chronicling reactions to the discovery of Ms. Dolezal’s deception, blacks and liberals accused her of an offensive impersonation, part of a long history in which whites appropriated black heritage when it suited them.

Almost 1,500 Times readers responded in comments on that article:

So, if a white person claims to be black to get into Harvard (just like the 1980s movie Soul Man), h/she should be left alone and allowed to continue enjoying the fruits of the deception? — Lanier Y. Chapman, New York

Portraying oneself as black when they’re not is not a crime. However, if one isn’t truthful about one’s

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Anti-Bullet Charms and Destructive Power of Superstition in Africa

Mar 29th, 2017 | By Leo Igwe

The recent case of a traditional priest in Ghana who was fatally wounded in the process of testing his supposed anti-bullet charms has once again illustrated the dangers of superstitious beliefs in Africa. This incident has amply shown the imperative of skeptical thinking and scientific outlook in the region, and the fact that a dearth of critical temper could damage and shorten the lives of people. Nana Tolofasito, the traditional priest, claimed to have spiritual powers and went ahead to test these powers. He asked somebody to shoot him with a gun in order to demonstrate the efficacy of his anti-bullet medicine. He sustained serious injuries from the gunshot because his so-called medicine could not protect him. Fortunately, the bullet … Read the rest



Boys are the norm, girls the variation

Mar 29th, 2017 3:55 pm | By

Barry Duke at the Freethinker tells us that Haredi Jews in Bnei Brak in Israel have been spared the horror of seeing a female cartoon character on billboards.

Here’s the safe, innocent, not-smutty billboard:

Here’s the filthy lascivious lewd one:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaah! Yellow hair, eyelashes, googly eyes, a small nose! A female! FILTH!!!

According to this report, the original poster for Smurfs: The Lost Village, shows four of the tiny blue humanoids – but one one, a blonde Smurfette, was cropped from the ads in the district by the PR company Mirka’im – Hutzot Zahav.

The company distributing the movie, Forum Film, said that the PR company decided not to hang the original posters in Bnei Brak in order not

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Thanks for typing

Mar 29th, 2017 12:03 pm | By

Ah the typing wife. I remember those.

Bruce Holsinger is a novelist and English professor at the University of Virginia.

Holsinger and some colleagues were recently discussing how often the wives of male academics do significant work for which they are rarely given proper credit.

This reminded Holsinger of all the times he has read male authors thanking their wives for typing up manuscripts in the acknowledgments of their books. Curious to see how widespread the practice was, Holsinger did a quick search on Google Books and found dozens of “eye-opening” examples that he started sharing on Twitter with the hashtag #ThanksForTyping.

“The response was immediate and overwhelming,” Holsinger said. “It’s turned into a lively and mind-bending exchange.”

The … Read the rest



Guest post: People like being angry at things

Mar 29th, 2017 11:39 am | By

Originally a comment by Claire on They’ve done it.

As an expat Brit, I was in two minds whether to vote in the referendum. After all, it seemed a bit cheeky to insist on a voice on it when I’d no intention of returning to the UK. But the rhetoric changed my mind. I quickly became very concerned that the Brexit campaign were willing to lie brazenly and hand-wave any demands for details on how any number of important structural changes would be managed. So I got registered and voted, for my nephews and nieces too young to vote, for my other family members who’s lives and job prospects depended on us remaining in the EU. It was not … Read the rest



Donnie is watching

Mar 29th, 2017 10:31 am | By

Spicey is shocked, shocked, that people think there was anything wrong with the way he talked to April Ryan yesterday. Or, more likely, he’s pretending to be shocked. They want to normalize asshole behavior so that Trump won’t look so glaringly abnormal and psychopathic.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded to accusations of sexism and racism after he repeatedly told senior journalist April Ryan to stop shaking her head during Tuesday’s press briefing.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized Spicer’s actions Tuesday, labeling the incident an example of the kind of sexism that women encounter every day. But Spicer said that Ryan was a tough reporter and he was “astonished” at the accusation. He insisted that he

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They’ve done it

Mar 29th, 2017 7:01 am | By

They’ve delivered the letter.

Theresa May has signed the letter that will formally begin the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Giving official notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be delivered to European Council president Donald Tusk later.

In a statement in the Commons, the prime minister will then tell MPs this marks “the moment for the country to come together”.

And pretend it wasn’t a huge mistake.… Read the rest



Stop shaking your head

Mar 28th, 2017 11:43 am | By

Trump administration PR:

White House press secretary Sean Spicer got into a heated exchange with American Urban Radio Networks White House correspondent April Ryan during Tuesday’s press briefing, telling the reporter to “stop shaking your head” and to “report the facts.”

Well hey! At least he didn’t ask her to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus for him.

She asked him what the admin was doing to repair its image, and he had a meltdown.

“If the president puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russian connection,” he continued.

“I appreciate your agenda here,” he added. “Hold on. At some point, report the facts!”

Spicer said Republicans and Democrats alike have claimed 

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Something that just happens

Mar 28th, 2017 11:23 am | By

Apparently groping schoolgirls is a big thing on Tokyo subway trains.

Tamaka Ogawa was about 10 years old when she was sexually assaulted for the first time. It was a public holiday and she was on the subway. A man standing behind her pulled down the band of her culottes and underwear, touched her bare bottom, then pressed himself against her. She recalls feeling shocked and physically sickened. When she reached home, she repeatedly washed the spot where he had pressed himself against her, although she was conscious of not spending too long in the toilet, in case her family noticed that something was wrong.

Apparently she didn’t feel able to tell her family it had happened, which is … Read the rest



Client confidences

Mar 28th, 2017 9:40 am | By

The Trump gang tried to stop Sally Yates testifying.

According to letters The Post reviewed, the Justice Department notified Yates earlier this month that the administration considers a great deal of her possible testimony to be barred from discussion in a congressional hearing because the topics are covered by the presidential communication privilege.

Yates and other former intelligence officials had been asked to testify before the House Intelligence Committee this week, a hearing that was abruptly canceled by the panel’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

Who worked on Trump’s transition team. That Devin Nunes.

Yates and another witness at the planned hearing, former CIA director John Brennan, had made clear to government officials by Thursday that their testimony to

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Not a gaffe

Mar 27th, 2017 5:12 pm | By

Photos like this?

They’re not “gaffes.” They’re “suck it up, buttercup.”

Jill Filipovic comments:

For liberals, the photo seemed like an inadvertent insight into the current Republican psyche: Powerful men plotting to leave vulnerable women up a creek, so ensconced in their misogynistic world they don’t even notice the bad optics (not to mention the irony of the “pro-life” party making it harder for women to afford to have babies). Political analysts treated the photo as a gaffe, the kind of rookie mistake we’re used to seeing from the Trump White House.

Ah no. They’re … Read the rest



Nonstop meetings

Mar 27th, 2017 4:00 pm | By

But at least he’s working hard!

Or is he.

The alert from Fox News went out at 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

“PRESIDENT TRUMP SPENDING WEEKEND WORKING AT THE WHITE HOUSE,” the chyron announced, under an image of the White House presumably captured just minutes before.

The timing of the tweet alert was curious: After all, the weekend was nearly over.

Also…how is that news? Presidents are expected to put in a lot of hours.

But also also, of course, it’s not even true. How he really spent the weekend: furtively playing golf and watching golf on tv while his minions told the press he was in “meetings.” Yeah meetings with a golf ball.

According to pool reports, the president spent

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Unnecessary, job-killing rules against wage theft and hazardous conditions

Mar 27th, 2017 3:45 pm | By

Of course he did.

President Donald Trump on Monday signed new legislation repealing a regulation protecting workers from wage theft. The new law undercuts the Obama-era policy that encouraged businesses to follow workplace safety guidelines and pay their workers fairly by terminating federal contracts with companies that accrued too many violations. The new Trump-era legislation, however, undoes those employee protections, as Republicans in Congress said the Obama rules were restrictive and job-killing. Trump referenced the bill in a Monday tweet: “Today I’m signing 4 bills under the Congressional Review Act that cancels regulations & eliminates unnecessary, job-killing rules,” he wrote. “#MAGA”

Yeah, because what worker doesn’t want a dangerous job working for a boss who steals her wages?… Read the rest



Another pocket of infection

Mar 27th, 2017 12:04 pm | By

Hmm.

Senate investigators plan to question Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a close adviser, as part of their broad inquiry into ties between Trump associates and Russian officials or others linked to the Kremlin, according to administration and congressional officials.

The White House Counsel’s Office was informed this month that the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, wanted to question Mr. Kushner about meetings he arranged with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, according to the government officials. The meetings, which took place during the transition, included a previously unreported sit-down with the head of Russia’s state-owned development bank.

Ah. Previously unreported, eh. The head of Russia’s state-owned development bank, eh.… Read the rest



Guest post: Topics in Everyday Bullshit

Mar 27th, 2017 11:51 am | By

Guest post by Natasha Chart.

“How liberal feminism became all about the D, and therefore not any kind of feminism.”

“Why narcissists aren’t oppressed, and why you should dislike them harder if you have any sense.”

“The left never stopped hating women, they’re just trying to get into your votes.”

“Perverts and abusers feel no shame: learn to spot and reject their open-air mendacity.”

“Women are male, biology is fiction, and other stupid things I got told on social media.”

“How the sex industry bought mainstream feminism while liberal men cheered.”

“Rich men buy poor men by giving them women: you shouldn’t stand for it.”

“The Lexus and the Knowledge Tree: How feminism got replaced by pastiche and no … Read the rest



The midnight ride of Devin Nunes

Mar 27th, 2017 10:51 am | By

More skulduggery:

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee was on his way to an event in Washington late Tuesday when the evening’s plans abruptly changed. After taking a brief phone call, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) swapped cars and slipped away from his staff, congressional officials said. He appears to have used that unaccounted-for stretch of time to review classified intelligence files brought to his attention by sources he has said he will not name.

The next morning, Nunes stepped up to a set of microphones in the Capitol complex to declare that he had learned that U.S. spy agencies had “incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.”

Trump promptly burst into tweets about how … Read the rest



Trump is an international embarrassment

Mar 27th, 2017 10:29 am | By

Robert Reich on Trump’s “billing” of Germany:

It turns out Trump’s meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last weekend was even worse than we thought. According to London’s Sunday Times, Trump handed Merkel a bill for more than $300 billion that Germany supposedly owed NATO — supposedly calculated by adding the amounts by which Germany has fallen short on annual payments to NATO since 2002, and adding interest.

That’s absurd. The United States has a huge stake in a strong NATO, and has no authority “collect” what’s “owed” by other nations.

Besides, German spending on global defense isn’t limited to NATO. “There is no account where debts are registered with NATO,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen

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Did he really?

Mar 27th, 2017 9:59 am | By

Seriously? He really did that?

Donald Trump reportedly gave German Chancellor Angela Merkel a bill for £300bn when the pair met recently to cover contributions he believes are owed to Nato.

The US president made the demand during private talks when the pair met in Washington DC, the Sunday Times reported.

Surely he didn’t. Surely even he can’t be that crude and stupid and inappropriate.

Nato countries pledged in 2014 to spend two per cent of their GDP on defence, something only a handful of nations – including the UK, Greece, Poland and Estonia – currently do.

The sum being demanded by the US has been backdated to 2002, the year Mrs Merkel’s predecessor, Gerhard Schröder, pledged to spend more

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I believe Democrats & fake news

Mar 26th, 2017 4:19 pm | By

The Trump people decided to take the nation’s pulse. They sent out an email Thursday with the subject line “Vindicated.”

It went like this:

Since even before Inauguration Day, Democrats, the media, and the entire opposition have tried to take down President Trump by resorting to nasty attacks and spreading fake news.

But President Trump has fought back and been vindicated time and time again – and he will KEEP FIGHTING to deliver on the promises he made to you, the American people.

Then it asked a super-serious important question:

What happens if you click on the second option, the one for bad stupid people?

They send you here:

Heads they win, tails we lose. We can give them … Read the rest



Walk along Tverskaya

Mar 26th, 2017 3:36 pm | By

Navalny has been arrested:

Russia’s main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has been arrested at an anti-corruption protest he organised in the capital, Moscow.

Thousands of people joined rallies nationwide, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev over corruption allegations.

At least 500 other protesters were detained in the capital and across the country.

Most of the marches were illegal, organised without official permission.

It’s lose-lose, isn’t it. If they ask for permission, the answer is no. If they don’t, they get locked up.

Alexei Navalny was detained as he arrived to join the rally in central Moscow. Protesters then tried to prevent a police van from taking him away.

In a tweet after his detention, he urged

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