All entries by this author

Can we all step back from our public duties now?

Nov 20th, 2019 4:36 pm | By
Can we all step back from our public duties now?

The White House issues a statement:

Shifty Schiff thinks he hasn’t gotten enough camera time. So during a brief break, he’s doing a press conference.

New hoax. Same swamp.
8:12 AM · Nov 20, 2019· TheWhiteHouse

Not a hoax.

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Pawprints forever

Nov 20th, 2019 3:59 pm | By

Things from the past:

Many centuries ago, a cat walked over an Italian manuscript, leaving its paw prints on the document forever. 1445

You’re welcome.… Read the rest

There’s a reason for that

Nov 20th, 2019 3:39 pm | By

Oh, it turns out that the day Trump told Sondland “I WANT NOTHiNG I WANT NOTHiNG” was September 9, the day – here, Matt Lewis explains:

It’s important to note the timing of Trump’s “I want nothing..I want no quid pro quo” statement to Sondland: It occurred on September 9, the exact same day the House Intel Committee received the whistleblower’s complaint….

Most of the exculpatory evidence Republicans cite consists of things that happened AFTER Trump and Republicans realized the whistleblower had reported Trump’s activities.

No wonder he was in a bad mood.

Marc Ambinder adds:

Which is why the President would use that specific phrase — he knew he was being accused of precisely that.

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Targeting only women

Nov 20th, 2019 11:45 am | By

Speaking of that Times article

A feminist artist who was due to speak at Oxford Brookes University yesterday had her talk cancelled at the last minute after students accused her of holding transphobic views.
The event featuring Rachel Ara, hosted by the university’s fine art research unit, was called off after the LGBTQ+ society sent a letter to Anne-Marie Kilday, the pro-vice-chancellor, condemning her invitation.

That’s all it took. One letter, from stupid uninformed people complaining of the sharing of two tweets.

The letter to Professor Kilday was signed by a number of people, including the chairman of the university’s Labour Party Club and the president of the LGBTQ+ society.

They should have read it more carefully.

Ara, 53,

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In another court far far away

Nov 20th, 2019 11:38 am | By

Also happening today – because there’s not enough going on?? – is that Fair Cop is in court tweeting the case of Harry Miller aka Harry the Owl, whose account was suspended for evilthought.

A selection of the tweets:

Opening by Harry’s counsel. Plainly a very important case involving freedom of speech in the internet era. Won’t go through all background facts but take the court to important documents. #FairCopJR

The involvement of the police in social media discussion about this. Judge interjects – want to lay down a marker. What is said against you is that recording a hate incident is not a sanction so not interference. And said your client is robust enough to comment.

Judge – suppose

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How about Uma Thurman?

Nov 20th, 2019 11:09 am | By

This could be an apocryphal or exaggerated story, but if not…

A Hollywood executive wanted Julia Roberts to portray Harriet Tubman in the leading abolitionist’s biopic, the screenwriter of the new film “Harriet” said.

After studying Tubman’s life in college, about how she helped lead enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad, screenwriter Gregory Allen Howard was determined to adapt her story into a feature film, he said in an interview with Focus Features, the distributor of “Harriet.”

When he met with a studio president about the idea in 1994, his script garnered praise, Howard wrote in an essay in the Los Angeles Times. It also received a casting suggestion.

“Let’s get Julia Roberts to play

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Nov 20th, 2019 10:45 am | By

There is also the first page of Trump’s notes, the one where Sondland sets up the context of Trump’s I WANT NOTHiNG.

Wtf is going on over there? Was he sitting in bed transcribing the testimony himself, by hand?

He read all that to the reporters on the lawn. He read it twice, shifting into a more scratchy shouty voice for his own part of the dialogue. When he read the “HE WAS NOT iN A GOOD MOOD” part he said as an aside that [shouting] “I’M ALWAYS IN A GOOD MOOD, I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT IS.”… Read the rest

What we knew and when we knew it

Nov 20th, 2019 10:22 am | By

A highlight reel of the statement:

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Nov 20th, 2019 9:40 am | By

Trump did a quick cameo in the White House backyard. He took notes with him, in giant letters, so that he wouldn’t forget what he was supposed to say.

Now “I WANT NOTHING” is trending on Twitter.

He wrote that weird note himself. He always writes in all caps, like a true illiterate. All caps but he still dots the i.

THiS iS THE FiNAL WORD FROM THE PRES OF THE US, he wrote. Oh yes? So he’s resigning?… Read the rest

To call it a bombshell is to underestimate

Nov 20th, 2019 8:51 am | By

The Guardian pauses to take a breath and sum up:

With each line of his testimony, Sondland has blown another hole in Donald Trump’s defenses. To describe the testimony as a bombshell is perhaps to underestimate its potential for damage to Trump. To attempt to describe the shock that it is Sondland delivering this message is to come up short for words.

Since the impeachment inquiry began, Trump has ranted that there was no quid pro quo with Ukraine, no conditions placed on a White House meeting, no strings on US military aid, only a desire to fight corruption in Ukraine and to pursue the truth about 2016. It is all a witch hunt, a hoax, Trump has said.


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Everyone was in the loop

Nov 20th, 2019 8:32 am | By

Apparently Sondland’s testimony is being very damning.

He read an opening statement saying he would be confirming the quid pro quo.

He said he and Volker didn’t want to work with Giuliani but they followed the president’s orders.

They tried to talk him out of it, but no.

In response to our persistent efforts to change his views, President Trump directed us to “talk with Rudy.” We understood that “talk with Rudy” meant talk with Mr. Rudy Giuliani, the President’s personal lawyer.

Let me say again: We weren’t happy with the President’s directive to talk with Rudy. We did not want to involve Mr. Giuliani. I believed then, as I do now, that the men and

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Another trophy bagged

Nov 19th, 2019 4:02 pm | By

The Oxford Mail has the story on the abrupt last minute cancellation of Rachel Ara’s talk:

A FEMINIST artist who was due to speak at Oxford Brookes University tonight has had her talk cancelled at the last minute after accusations from students that she is transphobic.

Rachel Ara announced on Twitter this morning that her event had been cancelled after complaints from students and speculated that her art is ‘too challenging for today’s youth’.

It comes after Oxford Brookes LGBTQ+ society sent a letter to the university’s pro-vice chancellor, professor Anne-Marie Kilday, condemning the invitation to the artist to speak at the university because of her alleged transphobic views.

Ms Ara, who won the Aesthetica Art Prize 2016 for

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Ontology for fantasists

Nov 19th, 2019 3:31 pm | By

Oh good, another smug stupid slogan from another group that should know better. Lambda Legal tweets:

Qualities that make someone “a real man”:

1. Identifying as a man.
2. See above.
3. See above.
4. See above.


Can anyone play?

Qualities that make someone a real pilot:

1. Identifying as a pilot.
2. See above.
3. See above.
4. See above.

Good? Compelling? Obviously true?

Qualities that make someone a real Beluga whale:

1. Identifying as a Beluga whale.
2. See above.
3. See above.
4. See above.

Qualities that make someone a real planet:

1. Identifying as a planet.
2. See above.
3. See above.
4. See above.

Qualities that make someone a real daffodil:

1. Identifying … Read the rest

Is there also an international white people’s day?

Nov 19th, 2019 3:10 pm | By

The ACLU pronounces:

Trans men are men.

No they’re not, and we all have the civil liberty to say so.

It made an image to illustrate its four word pronouncement.

Of course there’s no one way to be a man; it doesn’t follow and it isn’t true that men who get “their” periods are women, nor does it follow nor is it true that “men” who get pregnant and give birth are men. There’s no one way to be a man, but there are ways not to be a man, such as being born with a female body.

And we all have the civil liberty to defend that truth, and to say that it is truth and that what … Read the rest

A particularly interesting case

Nov 19th, 2019 11:45 am | By

A feminist barrister has been attending Maya Forstater’s tribunal and livetweeting it; Thread Reader has stitched it together.

I’m at the Employment Tribunal this morning to watch closing submissions for the #MayaForstaterCase2019. It’s a particularly interesting case on whether a) gender critical beliefs and / or b) a belief in innate gender identity are protected philosophical beliefs.

Does there have to be a belief in innate gender identity in order for absence of belief to be protected? Possibly not, say the judge and counsel for the Respondent (employer)

Respondent kicks off with the assertion that MF’s beliefs fail on Grainger 5: that they are incompatible with human dignity.

She explains Grainger later on. Meanwhile, note the claim that it’s … Read the rest

No plans to change the panel

Nov 19th, 2019 10:58 am | By

It doesn’t appear that the Royal Institute of Philosophy is looking to fold in the face of Social Tutting. Jesse Singal:

Update on this: The head of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, Julian Baggini, says the panel isn’t going to be changed. “I would rather wait until after the event before saying more. You ask about when a final decision will be made. We have no plans to change the panel.”

And, if I’m reading the subtext correctly, no plans to have plans to change the panel.

The subsubsubtext could be, though I’m only guessing, “Those who want us to change the panel are invited to take a long walk on a short pier.”… Read the rest

The ultimate risk

Nov 19th, 2019 10:36 am | By

A pair of tweets:

Margaret Talev:

Vindman explains why a Soviet-born dad would worry about his testifying in way that could challenge/expose the president: “He deeply worried about it” bc in “his context” it was the “ultimate risk.”

Alayna Treene commenting on the above:

Each time Vindman reminds his dad — who is seated behind him — that he need not worry, his dad beams behind him

Meanwhile the White House and Trump are hard at work trying to be more like Putin.… Read the rest


Nov 19th, 2019 10:23 am | By

Now the White House Twitter account is joining Trump in witness intimidation.

The White House Twitter account has just sent a message raising doubts about the judgement of Lt Col Alexander Vindman as the NSC official testifies in the impeachment inquiry.

Tim Morrison, Alexander Vindman’s former boss, testified in his deposition that he had concerns about Vindman’s judgment.

To repeat: that’s the White House Twitter account.

The Guardian adds:

The White House tweet raising doubts about the judgement of Lt Col Alexander Vindman is particularly shocking considering the Iraq war veteran still serves on the national security council.

Meanwhile, over on Trump’s Twitter account, the president is resharing messages from Republican accounts downplaying the testimony from Vindman and 

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It takes only one tweet to get a woman shut down

Nov 19th, 2019 8:42 am | By

Last thing yesterday I did a post about some amateur Savonarola on Twitter telling a college to cancel a talk by a woman artist because he, pretend Savonarola, considered her trAnspHobic, on the very serious basis that she had retweeted a couple of tweets he disapproved of. It seemed like childish bullshit, AND YET – it worked.

Rachel A R A tweeted 7 hours ago (so about 7:30 a.m. UK time)

Sorry folks .. but my talk at Oxford has been cancelled tonight. Some twitter user @terfsoutofart (I assume some disenfranchised man) has galvanised students to complain about me. I guess making art about feminist issues is a bit too challenging for today’s youth! #waronwomen

One asshole, one stupid … Read the rest

Tipoffs welcome

Nov 18th, 2019 5:30 pm | By

Another sniffy censor: TERFS OUT OF ART. They want to get feminists with unapproved opinions out of art, you see.

✊ Trans rights are human rights 👟 Working to kick transphobia out of art 📨 Tipoffs welcome 📣 RT / amplify us so we can get the job done 🏳️‍🌈 TERFs blocked

I’m blocked, so I guess I must be a TERF.

Here’s their “work” for today:

TERF artist Rachel Ara will speak at #OxfordBrookes university tomorrow.

Giving transphobes a uni platform is unacceptable. We encourage students & staff to picket & raise complaints with @obuarts at … – campus must be safe for everyone.

This account shows us two tweets that Rachel Ara retweeted, and for … Read the rest