All entries by this author

Guest post: We have achievements we can show you youngsters

Jan 19th, 2018 12:49 pm | By

Originally a comment by Maureen Brian on Great respect but it’s time to step aside.

I’m afraid my first reaction to some of these spoutings is to ask, “Which man told you to say that?”

That isn’t always justified. In fact I don’t often say it but the thought recurs and sometimes it is needed. There are too many people about who can be catapulted straight into apoplexy by my saying, “Yes, I remember that. In the early ‘80s I was spearheading the campaign at work to get an evidence-based job evaluation scheme introduced which looked only at what work you did, what knowledge you had had to gain and left out entirely matters of sex, race, class.” The … Read the rest

What a terrible indictment of the times we live in

Jan 19th, 2018 12:14 pm | By

Oh this again,  or rather, still. Always. Never not. Woman interviews an idol of the right, woman is target of a torrent of abuse. The woman is Cathy Newman of Channel 4 (the UK one), the idol of the right is Jordan Peterson.

Ben de Pear, the editor of Channel 4 News, said Newman had been subjected to “vicious misogynistic abuse”. Having to calling in security specialists was a “terrible indictment of the times we live in”, he said.

Newman interviewed the psychologist, Jordan Peterson, about gender on Tuesday. A video of the full 30-minute interview has been watched more than 1.6m times on the Channel 4 News YouTube page and has attracted more than 36,000 comments.

I’ve watched … Read the rest

There’s always time to subordinate women further

Jan 19th, 2018 11:40 am | By

We’re apparently lurching into a government shutdown but Trump found the time to underline his support for stripping women of their right to decide what happens in their own bodies.

President Trump and Vice President Pence signaled their support as thousands of anti-abortion activists rallied on the National Mall at the annual March for Life on Friday.

“Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life,” Trump said in the White House Rose Garden, in a speech that was broadcast to the marchers gathered near the Washington Monument.

The march — which typically draws busloads of Catholic school students, a large contingent of evangelical Christians

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Guest post: If you’re cheering on a government shutdown

Jan 19th, 2018 10:12 am | By

Guest post by James Garnett.

I see a lot of people cheering on a government shutdown. You need to consider what this means. It’s not just parks closing. During a shutdown, the National Science Foundation stops payments, which can rapidly result in research coming to a halt. For time-sensitive studies, this can mean the loss of data collection that can destroy a study completely. Research projects that have been funded to the tune of millions or even billions of dollars, which have been ongoing for years, can come to an abrupt end without results. That can cripple careers.

Also, remember that we are in the middle of one of the worst and most dangerous flu outbreaks in recent years. … Read the rest

Great respect but it’s time to step aside

Jan 18th, 2018 6:29 pm | By

Thought for the day:


Not stepping aside.

Shocking and astonishing fact: young people are not always automatically right, and old people are not always automatically wrong. It’s a little more complicated than that.… Read the rest

Trump’s sacred religious family values

Jan 18th, 2018 5:16 pm | By

The hypocritical rat has done it.

The Trump administration announced on Thursday that it was expanding religious freedom protections for doctors, nurses and other health care workers who object to performing procedures like abortion and gender reassignment surgery, satisfying religious conservatives who have pushed for legal sanctuary from the federal government.

The new steps, which include the creation of an oversight entity within the Department of Health and Human Services called the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, are the latest efforts by President Trump to meet the demands of one of his most loyal constituencies. They coincide with Mr. Trump’s planned address on Friday to abortion opponents at the annual March for Life in Washington.

Eric D. Hargan,

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For they are shameful, repulsive statements

Jan 18th, 2018 11:12 am | By

Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who is forthright about his low opinion of Trump but still backs him in his actions because Republican, gave a speech yesterday about Trump’s war on journalism and thus on truth. I’m interested in truth and in journalism and in the relationship between the two.

Speaking of which, it’s ironic and semi-funny and tragic that the chief takeaway, that apparently all news sources are echoing, is that Flake compared Trump to Stalin. The Post itself says it three times before we even get to the body of the speech – in the headline, in the caption to the photo, and in the link in the right margin. Imagine my surprise to find that it’s not Read the rest

Word is he’s fuming in private

Jan 18th, 2018 10:43 am | By

Aw, now it’s Kelly that Trump is on the outs with. Poor Donny, he does have such a hard time getting along with all the children in the sandbox.

President Trump on Thursday publicly pushed back against a characterization by White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly that his views on a southern border wall had “evolved” and privately fumed about the episode.

“The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it,” the president said in a morning tweet. “Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers

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Guest post: How many women will die?

Jan 17th, 2018 4:04 pm | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on The right to refuse to do your job.

I nearly lost my mother when I was 9 because a Catholic doctor had refused her any contraceptive care – then bawled her out when she got pregnant again. I suppose he felt my mother, a married woman in her mid-30s, had no right to have sexual relations anymore because getting pregnant was dangerous.

For the record, my mother was not, and never had been, Catholic. She was a member of a religion that didn’t go around poking its nose into married people’s bedrooms, though they could be fierce if someone got pregnant outside of marriage.

My mother had five children at the time, ranging … Read the rest

We all want it over, yesterday

Jan 17th, 2018 3:15 pm | By

Barbara Kingsolver pulls no punches:

Patriarchy persists because power does not willingly cede its clout; and also, frankly, because women are widely complicit in the assumption that we’re separate and not quite equal. If we’re woke, we inspect ourselves and others for implicit racial bias, while mostly failing to recognise explicit gender bias, which still runs rampant. Religious faiths that subordinate women flourish on every continent. Nearly every American educational institution pours the lion’s share of its athletics budget into the one sport that still excludes women – American football.

Most progressives wouldn’t hesitate to attend a football game, or to praise the enlightened new pope – the one who says he’s sorry, but women still can’t lead

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Guest post: There was a certain rich man

Jan 17th, 2018 2:32 pm | By

Guest post by Raymond Dickey.

There was a certain rich man who had a doctor, and an accusation was brought to him that this doctor was making him look bad. So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of my physical, for you can no longer be my doctor.’

Then the doctor said within himself, ‘What shall I do? For my master is taking the position away from me. I cannot diagnose; I am ashamed to plug pharmaceuticals. I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of medicine, they may receive me into their party.’

So he reviewed every one of his master’s medical measurements, … Read the rest

The right to refuse to do your job

Jan 17th, 2018 2:18 pm | By

Trump has a new bit of evil to spring on us.

The Trump administration is considering a new “religious freedom” rule that would allow healthcare workers to refuse to treat LGBT patients. The move would also allow workers to deny care to a woman seeking an abortion or any other service they morally oppose.

Roger Severino, the head of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights, has actively opposed civil rights protections for minority communities. In his previous role as Director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society for the conservative Heritage Foundation, Severino spoke out against the regulations he is now tasked with upholding.

He’s head of the office of civil rights … Read the rest

What was Epictetus’s favorite snack?

Jan 17th, 2018 10:44 am | By

In other “pesky brown foreigners wanting to come here” news, it turns out you have to pass a test to be a humanist.

A Pakistani man who renounced his Muslim faith and became a humanist has had his application for asylum in the UK rejected after failing to correctly answer questions about ancient Greek philosophers.

The Home Office said Hamza bin Walayat’s failure to identify Plato and Aristotle as humanist philosophers indicated his knowledge of humanism was “rudimentary at best”.

Uh…what? Who says Plato and Aristotle even are humanist philosophers? Especially in any modern sense that an ex-Muslim would have in mind? Aristotle is a largely secular philosopher perhaps; Plato isn’t even that. They’re considered part of a broad … Read the rest

Duck’s off, sorry

Jan 17th, 2018 9:42 am | By

It looks as if Trump’s Fake News Awards aren’t today after all.

Trump will name “the most corrupt & biased of the Mainstream Media” on Wednesday, according to a Jan. 7 tweet, but he appears to have done little preparation for the event — if there even is an event.

“We’ll keep you posted on any details around that potential event and what that would look like,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Tuesday when asked about the awards.

Posted? Potential? Would look like? But the awards are supposed to be today. Has he not prepared? No shopping for medals or tiny statues? No combing through the entries? No secret ballots?

What happened to the

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A bleak global climate for press freedom

Jan 17th, 2018 8:35 am | By

I never expected to be quoting John McCain, but heyho we live in strange times.

[Trump] has threatened to continue his attempt to discredit the free press by bestowing “fake news awards” upon reporters and news outlets whose coverage he disagrees with. Whether Trump knows it or not, these efforts are being closely watched by foreign leaders who are already using his words as cover as they silence and shutter one of the key pillars of democracy.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 2017 was one of the most dangerous years to be a journalist. Last year, the organization documented 262 cases of journalists being imprisoned for their work. Reporters around the world face intimidation,

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Why is Cory Booker seething with anger?

Jan 16th, 2018 5:52 pm | By

The racism blowup isn’t going away.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Tuesday, while testifying under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee, that the president used “tough language” during a conversation on immigration policy in an Oval Office meeting last week. But Nielsen said she did not hear Trump describe some African countries and Haiti as “shithole countries,” as has been reported.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) found that impossible to believe. He preceded to express his frustration with why Nielsen — and Republican lawmakers Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) — seemed unable to recall what the president said in an Oval Office meeting.

Maybe they Repressed the Memory.

Booker also shared some of his recent

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Cory Booker’s statement

Jan 16th, 2018 5:37 pm | By

She’s not wrong.

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Fear that we might be seen as obstructive

Jan 16th, 2018 4:13 pm | By

An anonymous woman who works at the BBC on being the collective BBC Women:

The plural, BBC Women, is the collective name we have given ourselves in choosing to highlight a very simple principle: equal pay for equal work. It is a matter of the law, the Equality Act of 2010.

And the group of BBC women I am a part of now numbers more than 200, including some of the most high-profile at the corporation. We are women who support our colleague Carrie Gracie in her public and eloquent pursuit of that principle of parity. Women who may have specific pay grievances or none, but, above all, have become involved in this issue because it is the right

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A house is not a hole

Jan 16th, 2018 11:15 am | By

Oh gee, there’s even more. It turns out those two lying dogs aka two Republican senators who say Trump didn’t say “shithole countries” meant (but didn’t tell us they meant) he said “shithouse” instead.

Just when you thought the lawmakers involved in that “shithole countries” meeting at the White House on Thursday hadn’t covered themselves in enough shame, here comes a new development.

The Washington Post reported Monday night that the source of the dispute is less about the thrust of President Trump’s “shithole” comment and more about the second syllable of that vulgar word. It turns out that the statement Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) issued that sounded as though it was crafted by a dozen

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You can never be racist enough for the base

Jan 16th, 2018 10:39 am | By

The Post has a detailed account of that meeting at the White House last week. It turns out “shithole” wasn’t the sum total of all the president’s racism.

Trump talked with Durbin on the phone that morning, all cheery about the prospects for a bipartisan deal on immigration; he invited Durbin and Lindsey Graham over for a meeting to do the deal.

But when they arrived at the Oval Office, the two senators were surprised to find that Trump was far from ready to finalize the agreement. He was “fired up” and surrounded by hard-line conservatives such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who seemed confident that the president was now aligned with them, according to one person with knowledge of

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