All entries by this author

Russia, if you’re listening

Jul 27th, 2016 9:53 am | By

The New York Times reports, aghast –

DORAL, Fla. — Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that he hoped Russia had hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, essentially encouraging a foreign power’s cyberspying of a secretary of state’s correspondence.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said, staring directly into the cameras. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Mr. Trump’s call was an extraordinary moment at a time when Russia is being accused of meddling in the U.S. presidential election. His comments came amid questions about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, which researchers have concluded was likely the work of two

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John Nimmo

Jul 27th, 2016 9:34 am | By

An internet threat-maker faces jail for making threats. Again.

John Nimmo, 28, from South Shields, sent two emails to [Labour MP] Luciana Berger where he told her to “watch your back Jewish scum”. The second message to the 35-year-old MP for Wavertree, who is running to become mayor of Liverpool, also included a picture of a large knife.

Nimmo was previously jailed in 2014 for eight weeks for sending abusive messages on Twitter to feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez and MP Stella Creasy.

Just banter. Just his opinion. Free speech. If women don’t like it they should shut up get offline.

Along with Isabella Sorley, Nimmo previously pleaded guilty at Westminster magistrates court in 2014 to abusing Criado-Perez and

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People shocked, shocked to learn there was slavery in DC

Jul 26th, 2016 6:45 pm | By

Some people saw fit to get huffy about Michelle Obama’s saying that slaves built the White House. Jeezus, folks, where have you been? You do realize Washington was in the South, right? You know there were slave markets in DC? You know the White House wasn’t built from a kit? Why wouldn’t slaves have built it?

There is little dispute among historians that slaves had a role in the building of the White House. According to the White House Historical Association’s website, planners had initially intended to import workers from Europe but had trouble recruiting any, so they “turned to African-American — enslaved and free — to provide the bulk of labor that built the White House,

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Guest post: The influence of Revenge of the Nerds

Jul 26th, 2016 6:25 pm | By

Originally a comment by Freemage on Where it gets complicated.

In addition to Cressida’s point, there’s also the difference, highlighted in Ophelia’s original post, even, between ‘having a fantasy’, ‘acting out a fantasy’ and ‘depicting that fantasy for others to consume’ (and then, on that last one, depicting a fantasy for money, which usually means it’s probably not your fantasy to begin with). Each step in that chain is a different beast, entirely, and conflating it all as one big happy ball of sex positivity is a deliberate attempt by porn producers to add legitimacy to their activities.

Having a fantasy is fine. Acting out that fantasy, in a safe fashion with a trusted and consenting partner, is fine.… Read the rest


Jul 26th, 2016 4:33 pm | By

You cannot be serious.

The British Council has said it will investigate comments allegedly made by one of its senior employees on Facebook that criticise Prince George for living “on public money”.

Angela Gibbins, head of global estates at the charity, was reported to have commented on a picture of the young prince, which someone had captioned: “I know he’s only two years old, but Prince George already looks like a f****** d***head.”

A spokeswoman said: “This comment was made on a private social media account. It has absolutely no connection to the British Council and does not represent the views of the British Council.

“That said, we expect the highest standards of our staff and we will

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Simply an administrative matter

Jul 26th, 2016 4:26 pm | By

You can just never hate women enough, can you. The dosage always has to be increased. El Salvador’s law banning all abortions without exception no matter what has been found to be not harsh enough.

Abortion has been illegal under all circumstances in El Salvador since 1997, with a penalty of two to eight years in prison. Now, the right-wing ARENA Party has introduced a bill that would increase that penalty to a prison sentence of 30 to 50 years—the same as aggravated homicide.

That’s some heavy-duty hatred of women there.

The bill’s major sponsor, Rep. Ricardo Andrés Velásquez Parker, explained in a television interview on July 11 that this was simply an administrative matter and “shouldn’t need

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How would it be possible to libel Andrew Wakefield?

Jul 26th, 2016 12:26 pm | By

The Irish Examiner:

A US film studio has threatened to sue an Irish autism-rights advocate if she continues to speak out against its controversial anti-vaccine documentary, Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe.

West Cork-based mother, Fiona O’Leary, who wants to block the film’s release in Ireland and Britain, said she was outraged to receive a legal letter from California-based Cinema Libre Studios over the weekend.

The letter claimed that her public comments about the 90-minute film were defamatory and that her comments about the filmmaker were libellous.

They demand that she immediately shut up, or else.

“In the event that you do not comply with this demand, we intend to file an action against you. We will ask for punitive

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Go high

Jul 26th, 2016 11:42 am | By

Irony stretched to the breaking point – a Facebook rant (sorry, I instantly forgot who posted it so can’t link) about how pathetically unelectable the Dems are, because all the people who spoke last night – Cory Booker, Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren among others – never struggled a day in their lives, so how can they possibly lure voters away from Trump?

What universe is this? Trump is the one who inherited millions. Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Warren grew up working class. Cory Booker’s parents were IBM executives, but I don’t think we should be assuming that even comfortably middle class black kids grow up with zero struggle, especially compared to rich white kids.

People seem to confuse Trump’s incredible … Read the rest


Jul 26th, 2016 7:12 am | By

The BBC reports fallout from its own reporting on the “hyena” in Malawi who cheerfully admitted that he’s HIV-positive.

An HIV-positive Malawian man, who says he is paid to have sex with children as part of initiation rites, has been arrested on the president’s orders.

Eric Aniva, a sex worker known in Malawi as a “hyena”, was the subject of a BBC feature last week.

He told the BBC that did not mention his HIV status to those who hire him.

President Peter Mutharika said the police should investigate and charge him over the cases of defilement he had seemingly confessed to.

“Defilement” is a horrible choice of word. He apparently confessed to potential infection.

“While we must promote positive

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Where it gets complicated

Jul 25th, 2016 4:19 pm | By

When choosy-choice libertarian “feminism” meets Porn Culture Today – and the result is hipster bullshit.

Can a feminist have rape fantasies?

According to feminist pornography producer Pandora Blake, who runs the fetish porn site Dreams of Spanking and frequently portrays fantasies of “non-consent”, the answer is a no-brainer. “Absolutely.”

The general consensus in the feminist porn movement is that no fantasy, no matter how anti-feminist the subject matter appears to be, is off limits. To tell a woman what she is and is not allowed to be turned on by is just about as anti-feminist as it gets.

No, it really isn’t. We know the advertisers and marketers and porn producers want you to think that, but if we think … Read the rest

Walk this way

Jul 25th, 2016 12:43 pm | By

You get off your horse, and you head into the saloon.

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Many dozens of journalists have lost their jobs

Jul 25th, 2016 12:24 pm | By

Erdoğan is zeroing in on the journalists now.

One journalist, who was on vacation, had his home raided in the early morning by the police. Others were called in to their bosses’ offices last week and fired, with little explanation. Dozens of reporters have had their press credentials revoked.

A pro-government newspaper, meanwhile, published a list of names and photographs of journalists suspected of treachery.

The witch-hunt environment that has enveloped Turkey in the wake of a failed military coup extended to the media on Monday, as the government issued warrants for the detention of dozens of journalists.

Erdoğan never has liked to see journalists just doing journalism, without any helpful guidance from him.

Many dozens of journalists have

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That boy

Jul 25th, 2016 11:21 am | By

A 28-year-old woman from Bradford dies suddenly while visiting relatives in Pakistan.

Police are investigating the death of a British woman in Pakistan after her husband claimed she was the victim of an “honour” killing for marrying a man from outside the family allegedly against her parents’ wishes.

Samia Shahid, a beauty therapist from Bradford, died on Wednesday while visiting relatives in Pandori village near Mangla Dam in northern Punjab, the Foreign Office confirmed.

Shahid’s local MP, Naz Shah, has demanded that authorities in Pakistan exhume her body and commission an independent autopsy.

Her husband was told she’d had a heart attack. Someone else told the Guardian it was asthma.

Her husband said he feared she had been killed

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Intersectionality simply means calling a woman a bigot

Jul 24th, 2016 5:09 pm | By

Glosswitch ponders the way purity politics on the left ends up meaning misogyny just doesn’t matter enough to do anything.

Misogyny may be deplored in theory, but when you look at actual women, they are never good enough to merit protection. Men are. Men always are. There’s not a man on earth who doesn’t benefit from the unpaid labour of women, but that is only natural. As Andrea Dworkin put it, “God is the right, nature is the left.” There’s always a moral reason for hating women. Ruth Smeeth worked for an evil corporation, as have I. Screw us. While men’s humanity is not in question, women only get one humanity token and we blew it.

Today’s left wing

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It won’t work, Brendan

Jul 24th, 2016 12:26 pm | By

For a minute there Brendan O’Neill almost deviates into sense.

The alt-right, those anti-PC, bedroom-bound fans of Trump and strangers to sexual intercourse, have finally lost the plot. Consider their hounding of Leslie Jones. Jones is a very funny African-American comedian and the only good thing in the otherwise flat, weird and mirth-free Ghostbusters reboot. Yet for the past 48 hours she has been subjected to vile racist abuse by alt-right tweeters and gamers and other assorted saddos for her part in what they view as the feministic crime of remaking Ghostbusters with a female cast. She has left Twitter. This might mark the moment when the alt-right went full racist, full berserk, full unhinged.

Ordinarily O’Neill doesn’t acknowledge … Read the rest

Theresa Kachindamoto

Jul 24th, 2016 11:45 am | By

That’s not all Theresa Kachindamoto is working on. She’s also working on making it possible for girls to stay in school instead of getting married.

Theresa Kachindamoto, the senior chief in the Dedza District of Central Malawi, wields power over close to 900,000 people… and she’s not afraid to use her authority to help the women and girlsin her district. In the past three years, she has annulled more than 850 child marriages, sent hundreds of young women back to school to continue their education, and made strides to abolish cleansing rituals that require girls as young as seven to go to sexual initiation camps. With more than half of Malawi’s girls married before the age of

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Ritual cleansing

Jul 24th, 2016 10:55 am | By

An “interesting” custom in Malawi:

In some remote southern regions of Malawi, it’s traditional for girls to be made to have sex with a paid sex worker known as a “hyena” once they reach puberty. The act is not seen by village elders as rape, but as a form of ritual “cleansing”. However, as Ed Butler reports, it has the potential to be the opposite of cleansing – a way of spreading disease.

Well, you know, how it’s seen by “the village elders” isn’t really the issue, since it’s not the village elders who are being fucked against their will. Note that the girls are made to “have sex with” this guy – in other words they’re raped. The … Read the rest

For Our Tomorrow and For Their Tomorrow

Jul 23rd, 2016 | By Leo Igwe

To delegates from the host country Kenya, and attendees from South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania and Burundi; thank you for the honour of inviting me to address this meeting and for giving me the opportunity to contribute to strategizing against witch hunting in the region.

In the past weeks, I have pondered on what title to give this presentation in order to capture the urgency of the situation: In the course of my search and reflection, a popular line by an English poet, John Maxwell Edmonds, caught my attention. It says:

When you go home, tell them of us and say:
For your tomorrow; these gave their today.

On a second thought, I said, look we are not … Read the rest

It should give Indiana prosecutors pause

Jul 23rd, 2016 5:22 pm | By

Yesterday, in Indiana:

The Indiana Court of Appeals on Friday overturned the 2015 feticide conviction of Purvi Patel, the Northern Indiana woman whose botched, self-induced abortion became a flash point in the national debate over abortion rights.

In a 3-0 ruling, the judges said that the state feticide statute was not intended to apply to abortions, and legal experts said that — barring a successful appeal — it should give Indiana prosecutors pause before bringing similar charges against pregnant women in the future.

In its decision, the court relied heavily on how prosecutors have applied the feticide law in the past, noting that this case was an “abrupt departure” from its typical usage: cases in which a pregnant woman

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Jul 23rd, 2016 4:49 pm | By

IS says it did it – sent the suicide bombers who killed 80 people in Kabul and wounded another 230.

The IS-linked Amaq news agency said two fighters “detonated explosive belts at a gathering of Shia” in Kabul.

The attack in Deh Mazang square targeted thousands from the Shia Hazara minority who were protesting over a new power line, saying its route bypasses provinces where many of them live.

An Afghan intelligence source told the BBC that an IS commander named Abo Ali had sent three jihadists from the Achen district of Nangarhar province to carry out the Kabul attack.

Only one of them successfully exploded his belt, so the death and injury toll could have been much higher.… Read the rest