All entries by this author

Not a big fan

May 30th, 2019 8:50 am | By

One of Trump’s people told the Navy to hide a warship from Trump when he was in Japan, because…

…because it is named USS John S. McCain.

Not an Onion story. Repeat, not an Onion story.

President Trump on Thursday defended as “well-meaning” a White House official who directed the Navy to obscure the warship USS John S. McCain while Trump was visiting Japan, but he said he had no advance knowledge of the action.

“I don’t know what happened. I was not involved. I would not have done that,” Trump told reporters as he was leaving the White House for Colorado, where he is scheduled to address an Air Force Academy graduation ceremony.

He “would not have done that” … Read the rest

Silence them at once, please

May 29th, 2019 4:57 pm | By

There’s a petition to prevent women from talking.

We are members of the University of Edinburgh staff and student community concerned about the rise of transphobia on our campus. As a collective of PG students, we write this statement to unequivocally condemn transphobia.

The recent announcement of a transphobic ‘Women’s Sex-Based Rights’ event hosted by Edinburgh University Moray House on the 5th of June is unacceptable.

But was it in fact an announcement of a transphobic event? I’m betting it wasn’t. Let’s ask the Google.

Nope, that’s not what it’s called.

Women’s Sex-Based Rights: what does (and should) the future hold?
by The University of Edinburgh, Moray House School of Education

Nothing about transphobic. Let’s read the details.… Read the rest

A mediocre DII athlete

May 29th, 2019 4:30 pm | By

Well that’s nice.

Over Memorial Day weekend, everyone who cares about the future of women’s sport saw their worst fears become a reality.

Transgender woman CeCe Telfer, who was born and raised as Craig Telfer and competed on the Franklin Pierce University men’s track and field team during her first three years of college, won the women’s 400-meter hurdles national title at the 2019 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Telfer dominated the competition, winning in 57.53 as second place was way back in 59.21.

Let’s all give CeCe a great big hand!

Prior to joining the women’s team this season, Telfer was a mediocre DII athlete who never came close to making it to nationals

Read the rest

The information is accurate but not true

May 29th, 2019 3:52 pm | By

Again with the issue of truth versus free speech: Think Progress on Facebook’s breezy indifference to truth:

The latest instance of Facebook doubling down on its failure to avert the spread of misinformation came after an altered video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) went viral on the social media platform last week. Facebook was widely criticized for refusing to take down the video — even after admitting that it had been doctored to make her look like she was slurring her words or drunk.

What was particularly shocking is that in defending this move, Facebook told the Washington Post, “We don’t have a policy that stipulates that the information you post on Facebook must be true.”

We … Read the rest

We insist on good things, and more of them

May 29th, 2019 3:41 pm | By

This kind of thing.

SNP Students puts out a Statement (or Declaration or Affirmation or Prose Poem) on Twitter that is full of…no one can tell what.

Trans rights are human rights.

Ok, fine, but what are we talking about? What are trans rights exactly?

We believe that regardless of someone’s sexuality or gender identity they should be respected.

Ok, fine, but what are we talking about? “Respected” how? Not bullied or persecuted? Well, agreed, of course. Not disagreed with? That’s not “respect” and it’s not a “right.”

SNP Students will stand up for

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If we had had confidence

May 29th, 2019 12:10 pm | By

Mueller made a statement.

Mueller’s 10-ish minute statement came after a nearly two-year-long investigation into Russia’s attempted interference in the 2016 election and whether the President, or anyone close to him, had obstructed that probe. Mueller’s words on the charge of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign largely comported with the 400+ page report released by the special counsel’s office this spring, making clear that there was “insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.”

But it was Mueller’s words on the possibility that Trump had sought to obstruct the investigation where Mueller clearly wanted to leave his mark. He emphasized two things of real importance — both of which, with a bit of reading between the lines,

Read the rest

Omit “semi”

May 29th, 2019 11:07 am | By

To the surprise of no one, Steve Bannon says Trump is a crook. You don’t say.

The former White House adviser Steve Bannon has described the Trump Organization as a criminal entity and predicted that investigations into the president’s finances will lead to his political downfall, when he is revealed to be “not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag”.

Well the two are not mutually exclusive. He would still be a scumbag even if he were a billionaire.

The startling remarks are contained in Siege: Trump Under Fire, the author Michael Wolff’s forthcoming account of the second year of the Trump administration. The book, published on 4 June, is a sequel to Fire and Fury: Trump

Read the rest

Truth and freedom

May 29th, 2019 10:48 am | By

The Guardian reports:

Boris Johnson has been summoned to court to face accusations of misconduct in public office over claims that he lied by saying Britain gave £350m a week to the European Union.

This stems from a crowdfunded private prosecution.

Johnson lied and engaged in criminal conduct when he repeatedly claimed during the 2016 EU referendum campaign that the UK handed over the sum to Brussels, Westminster magistrates court was told last week by lawyers for a 29-year-old campaigner who has launched the prosecution bid.

The judge in the magistrates court has ruled that there’s enough to go to trial. There will be further hearings before a trial. By the time it goes to trial BoJo could be … Read the rest

Making us proud

May 28th, 2019 5:02 pm | By

Trump’s tweet about hur hur Kim Jong Un agrees with him about how dumm Joe Bidan Biden is hur hur (and he’s not worried about those little weapons) was bad enough, but he repeated it in a press conference with Abe. Yes that’s what I said, he repeated it in a press conference with Abe.

His latest comments — which came over Memorial Day weekend — departed from precedent that presidents leave domestic political tiffs at home while traveling abroad and were condemned even by members of Trump’s own party along with Biden’s fellow Democrats.

Trump’s Biden barbs were coupled with a downplaying of North Korea’s recent missile tests, which broke with concerns expressed by his national security adviser

Read the rest

Miscellany Room 2

May 28th, 2019 4:45 pm | By

Not actually new; just tweaking the date.

Time for a new one.

An item or two I want to look into further.

Okay four. We live in interesting times.… Read the rest

All caps makes it true

May 28th, 2019 4:32 pm | By

A GOOD MOVE, shouts Peter Tatchell about a move that takes a women-only pool away from women, because Peter Tatchell doesn’t think women should have any right to get away from men in public places.

Read the rest

Do it to Julia

May 28th, 2019 11:30 am | By

Huh. Jon Ronson’s squalid betrayal of Graham Linehan to the trans army yesterday wasn’t his first rodeo.

“yucking it up with transphobes”=joking with Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman. How very dare he. He must have told “@jelly_pack” to fuck off, right?

Hadley who? Never heard of her.

Another Twitter cop wasn’t going to let him get away with … Read the rest

What is a non sequitur?

May 28th, 2019 11:05 am | By

Brief philosophy.

Remember, McKinnon teaches philosophy.

What does the poster communicate? “A person of a type claimed to be a potential threat was here at this toilet and nothing bad happened.” What does McKinnon want us to think it communicates? “A person of a type claimed to be a potential threat was here at this toilet and nothing bad happened, therefore nothing bad ever will happen when any person of that type is at any toilet anywhere.” I think that makes the problem reasonably clear? You can’t get from “this one incident involving one person at one place” to “all incidents involving all similar people at all places.”

It’s the … Read the rest


May 28th, 2019 10:15 am | By

None of the literal, physical, natal women were good enough. They never are, are they.

Read the rest

A year and a half’s worth of rape threats

May 28th, 2019 9:38 am | By

Remember that story about the private Facebook group of male students at Warwick University that featured a lot of rape threats (virtual rape threats, since they were confined to the private group) against fellow students of the female persuasion? The BBC has a new documentary on it.

Early last year, Anna, then 19, was sitting on the sofa in her student house when a stream of explicit messages began popping up on her friend’s laptop.

As more came through, she asked him what they were about, and he laughed.

“He said: ‘Well, if you think that’s bad you might want to see our lads’ chat’,” Anna says. “That’s when he took me through a year and a half’s worth

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May 28th, 2019 9:06 am | By

I can’t help it, it made me laugh. I tried to scowl but I couldn’t sustain it – his solemnity, his toddler-careful word-saying, his little across-the-abdomen gesture, his use of the word “happy” – I crumbled and laughed helplessly.

Read the rest

Sargon of Oblivion

May 27th, 2019 4:27 pm | By

One bit of good news though: UKIP did very badly in the elections and Tommy Robinson and (wait for it) yes Carl Benjamin got hosed.

Ukip candidate Carl Benjamin, also known as his YouTube name Sargon of Akkad, was also hit with milkshakes (and fish) on the campaign trail.

His policies were overshadowed by controversy over rape “jokes” he directed at Labour MP Jess Phillips, for which he refused to apologise.

Mr Benjamin appeared with right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who has been condemned for his remarks on subjects including feminism, paedophilia, trans people, race and religion, and has called for journalists to be shot.

He failed to win a seat in South West England, where Ukip won just

Read the rest

Stuck in a queue to the summit

May 27th, 2019 4:16 pm | By

Eleven people have died on Everest so far this year.

Mountaineers have suggested difficult weather conditions, a lack of experience and the growing commercialization of expeditions as contributing factors to the backlog.

British climber Robin Haynes Fisher was one of those who had warned of the dangers of overcrowding.

“With a single route to the summit, delays caused by overcrowding could prove fatal so I am hopeful my decision to go for the 25th will mean fewer people. Unless of course everyone else plays the same waiting game,” he wrote in a captioned Instagram post on May 19.

He’s one of the eleven; he died on the way down.

During the week beginning May 20, crowds of climbers became

Read the rest

Lots more maternal mortality

May 27th, 2019 2:58 pm | By

What happens if the forced birth lunatics do prevail and Brett Kavanaugh & co do overturn Roe v Wade and all those state laws banning abortion become law?

None of the restrictions have gone into effect, either because of delays built into the legislation itself or legal challenges. If they do, they’ll spark an unintentional, vast experiment in public health. Already, states with the most restrictions on access to abortions are also those with the highest rates of maternal and infant mortality. The connection isn’t direct—abortion access can be a kind of proxy for access to all sorts of pre- and postnatal health care, not to mention correlating roughly with better-funded education systems, lower poverty rates, and tighter environmental regulation.

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You cannot escape the trap

May 27th, 2019 2:24 pm | By
You cannot escape the trap

A ratchet in the stupid:

If you only ask someone’s pronouns if they ‘look trans’, you are expressing transphobia – EVERYONE looks transgender.

Tomorrow’s ratchet will be something about how transphobic it is to ask anyone’s pronouns.… Read the rest