All entries by this author

The shame spreads

Jun 28th, 2016 11:26 am | By

The Polish Embassy UK yesterday:

We are shocked and deeply concerned by the recent incidents of xenophobic abuse directed against the Polish community and other UK residents of migrant heritage. The Polish Embassy is in contact with relevant institutions, and local police are already investigating the two most widely reported cases in Hammersmith, London, and Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

At the same time, we would like to thank for all the messages of support and solidarity with the Polish community expressed by the British public.

We call on all Polish nationals who fall victim of xenophobic abuse and on all witnesses to report such incidents to local authorities.

Witold Sobków, the Polish Ambassador

Solidarity with our Polish friends.

 … Read the rest

A place to share

Jun 28th, 2016 10:31 am | By

Via Facebook:

This is my local tapas bar in Lewisham. Its windows were smashed at the weekend. I wonder why this has never occurred before but happens now? Shocking.

Spanish and Turkish restaurants in Lewisham had their windows smashed over the weekend. Very widespread reports coming in now.

 … Read the rest

If you want to send a message, use the Royal Mail

Jun 28th, 2016 10:01 am | By

If you want to see David Tennant reading some of those tweets at Donald Trump (though sadly not the Cheeto-faced shitgibbon one), here’s Samantha Bee’s scathing take on Brexit:

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Quite extraordinary that he would be asking foreign nationals for money

Jun 28th, 2016 9:23 am | By

Natalie McGarry MP replies to a request for money from a son of Donald Trump.

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A sample

Jun 28th, 2016 8:26 am | By

It’s this kind of thing. A tram in Manchester.

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A glorified opinion survey

Jun 27th, 2016 4:28 pm | By

David Allen Green points out that the Brexit vote doesn’t automatically mean the UK will leave the EU. A referendum does not invoke Article 50. David Cameron did not invoke Article 50 on Friday. Green thinks that means it may never be invoked at all.

The referendum on EU membership was advisory not mandatory. It was deliberately drafted by Parliament not to have any legal consequences. (The last UK-wide referendum, on the AV voting system, did have such a binding provision, but this time Parliament chose not to include one).

As such, the result of the poll has no more legal standing than the result of a consultation exercise. It was a glorified opinion survey, and that is what Parliament

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The v-word

Jun 27th, 2016 2:28 pm | By

And now there’s this:

In the photo: two smiling bright and shiny young people pointing to someone wearing a Tshirt with the slogan


When was Jo Cox murdered? Ten days ago.… Read the rest

Guest post: Do a good turn daily

Jun 27th, 2016 11:58 am | By

Guest post by Eliana Bookbinder.

At around 6 pm on Sunday June 26th, I was told that a hawk was down along the Moore Trail between Camp Marriott and Camp PMI, two of the camps on the Goshen Scout Reservation. I was off duty, but as head of the Marriott Ecology Area, I went to check on it and saw that it was not a hawk, but rather a juvenile bald eagle, hopping around on the ground covered in flies. The adult eagles were nowhere to be seen.

After about twenty minutes of texting and calls, Matt Anderson, the Director of Camp Marriott, told me just to leave the eagle there and that doing so was not a violation the … Read the rest

Rewriting the narrative

Jun 27th, 2016 11:02 am | By

Jael Goldfine at the National Women’s Law Center blog asks why it’s being treated as so disreputable to point out victimization.

While anti-victim sentiment has a long, ugly history in the American ethos, the last several years have been characterized by a new form of hostility towards victims. The idea that we are living in a “culture of victimhood” – which glorifies victimhood, encourages hypersensitivity, attention-seeking, and complaint – has become a mainstay within conservative thought, and the viral buzz-phrase has been wielded by liberal and conservative writers alike.

Yes. I’ve been watching that, with mixed feelings and thoughts. I often do see what the critics are getting at; there can be self-indulgent or self-obsessed versions, and … Read the rest

The fight is not over

Jun 27th, 2016 10:08 am | By

CFI on the ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt:

A 2013 Texas law placed onerous and unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers, which would have forced the closing of all but a handful of the state’s clinics, cutting off abortion access to millions of women, particularly minorities and those of low income. The plaintiffs in this case argued that these restrictions impose an undue burden on women’s right to end a pregnancy. The Supreme Court today ruled against the state, preserving constitutionally protected abortion access for the women of Texas.

CFI filed an amicus brief with the Court in January, which was cosigned by dozens of prominent scientists and public intellectuals including Steven Pinker, Carol Tavris, Eugenie Scott,

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An undue burden

Jun 27th, 2016 9:32 am | By

The Supreme Court has struck down Texas’s horrific anti-abortion law.

In a dramatic ruling, the Supreme Court on Monday threw out a Texas abortion access law in a victory to supporters of abortion rights who argued it would have shuttered all but a handful of clinics in the state.

The 5-3 ruling is the most significant decision from the Supreme Court on abortion in two decades and could serve to deter other states from passing so-called “clinic shutdown” laws.

And (I assume) it will also make it possible for clinics forced to close by the law to re-open.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the majority opinion, which was joined in full by Kennedy. Breyer wrote that despite arguments that the

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Guest post: Every last one of us here today is the descendant of “immigrants”

Jun 26th, 2016 5:48 pm | By

Originally a comment by Maureen Brian on Whether nationalism is really the fever and liberalism the normal condition.

Sorry, John, but you can’t understand the present without understanding how we got here. The British Archipelago is at the edge of a vast continent which stretches from Japan to the Atlantic coast of Europe. It has a temperate climate and is endowed with a variety of natural resources.

Therefore it is a place that people might want to get to. It is also a place where it would be inevitable that the natural movements of people would have to stop, regroup and develop the technologies to move further because no-one arrived here who was able to walk on water, let … Read the rest

It’s just a matter of a few decimal points

Jun 26th, 2016 5:15 pm | By

Two months ago, John Crace at the Guardian reported on a confrontation between a select committee and the campaign director of Vote Leave.

“Can you go back to your seat please?” asked Andrew Tyrie, chair of the Treasury select committee as Dominic Cummings hovered menacingly over his shoulder.

Cummings, Vote Leave’s campaign director, had no intention of going anywhere. Going back to his seat would be a victory for the cesspit of Brussels. Instead he stood over Tyrie, pointing at his phone.

“I’ve got another meeting at four, so I’ll have to be out of here before that,” Cummings insisted, sticking it to the Man.

“I don’t think you’ve got the hang of these proceedings,” Tyrie replied evenly. “We

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“How did you vote?” said Pooh

Jun 26th, 2016 3:50 pm | By

There was this:

“How did you vote?” said Pooh.

“Leave,” said Piglet.

“I voted remain,” said Pooh.

“Are we still friends?” said Piglet.

“Yes…yes we’re still friends,” said Pooh.

“Good,” said Piglet. “Let’s go and get pissed.”

Jennie Stevenson tweaked it slightly.

“How did you vote?” said Pooh.

“Leave,” said Piglet.

“I voted remain,” said Pooh.

“Are we still friends?” said Piglet.

“Well to be honest, I’m not really sure” said Pooh, uncharacteristically thoughtfully. “It’s a complex issue and not really one that can be reduced to seven lines of text for the purposes of a rather twee meme.

“On the one hand, a belief in unity, that we’re stronger together, and that when we work as a team

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Things fall apart

Jun 26th, 2016 11:14 am | By

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn sacked Hilary Benn in the middle of the night and many Labour MPs have quit the shadow cabinet in response, while the BBC is reporting that Corbyn sabotaged the Remain campaign.

Interesting times.

The latest update from the Guardian:

Writing for the Guardian, Phil Wilson – the chair of the Labour in for Britain group – has called on Jeremy Corbyn to resign, claiming he sabotaged the party’s remain campaign.

[Corbyn] himself issued a note to all MPs on 17 September 2015 telling them that Labour would campaign to remain in the European Union. And yet he decided to go on holiday in the middle of the campaign. He did not visit the Labour

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People chanting “Make Britain white again!”

Jun 26th, 2016 10:29 am | By

There’s a public Facebook album of screengrabs of xenophobic or racist bullying.

There is much, much more.… Read the rest

The word “vermin” appears

Jun 26th, 2016 10:05 am | By

The Guardian reports on the hideous fallout of the Brexit vote:

People have been reporting incidents of racism believed to be fuelled by the result of the EU referendum, including alleged racist graffiti and cards reading “no more Polish vermin” posted through letterboxes.

Suspected racist graffiti was found on the front entrance of the Polish Social and Cultural Association (POSK) in Hammersmith, west London, early on Sunday morning.

The incident comes as Cambridgeshire police are investigating reports of racist laminated cards being distributed in Huntingdon on Friday in the hours after the leave result was announced.

According to reports from the Cambridge News, a number of cards saying “Leave the EU/No more Polish vermin” in both

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Guest post: The last time this kind of nationalism was seen

Jun 26th, 2016 9:32 am | By

Guest post by Pieter Droogendijk, originally on Facebook.

It’s a particular kind of person that calls for leaving the E.U, and congratulates the U.K. for doing so. Lots of labels have been used to describe them. Racists, bigots, isolationists, xenophobes, whatever. They may be some of those, or even most of those, but not one of them describes everyone.

But there is one label that describes them all:


Every one of them thinks Britain is better on its own. ‘Cause fuck everyone else, right? We don’t need the krauts, or the poles, or those milk-drinking clog-fuckers in the Netherlands! Fuck Brussels, and fuck the E.U. We’re the best, ’cause Great is in the name, son!

Nationalism. And it’s … Read the rest

Stealth evangelists

Jun 25th, 2016 5:42 pm | By

Oh honestly.

Neil Shubin writes:

These have been inserted in copies of Your Inner Fish in various bookstores. I seriously doubt the folks who inserted them actually bothered to read the book.

George Gallup forsooth! It so happens he was my uncle. He wasn’t a statistician, he was a psychologist. He hired people to do the statistics. If he said that silly thing then more fool he.

 … Read the rest

Some kids that are good kids

Jun 25th, 2016 4:57 pm | By

We’re told that (US) football builds character. Maybe it does for some, but for many it builds a taste for violence and a sense of entitlement, to put it politely.

Football didn’t teach a group of Pennsylvania boys not to beat wild animals to death with baseball bats.

Five high school football stars in Pennsylvania have been cited after allegedly beating numerous animals to death and posing with their bodies.

The five teens are facing fines for illegally killing wild animals and then posting a picture with their kills on Instagram, according to WNEP.

The five area football players posing with baseball bats and dead animals: a snake, raccoon, frogs, opossums, and pigeons.

Not cute. Not funny. Not … Read the rest