All entries by this author

They came to share their opinions

Nov 16th, 2017 6:04 pm | By

I saw this in the Sun last week.

Doctor dumped boyfriend because he criticised the smell of her vagina – and wants other women to follow suit

I saw that some typical goons had talked about it on their podcast hur hur hur. I read Jen Gunter’s blog post on it. Now it’s in the Times, as is only fair.

For 25 years she’s been listening to women tell her they’ve been told how Wrong and Gross their genitals are.

These women all shared something: They were told these things by men. While I admit this is anecdotal data, my years of listening to secret shame about healthy vaginas and vulvas seems to suggest it is largely, if

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So they think they have some kind of magic

Nov 16th, 2017 5:30 pm | By

The other day Bjarte recommended Willful Blindness by Margaret Heffernan. The library found it quickly so I’m reading it. There’s a bit on page 28 in a chapter on willful blindness in love:

“Success confers its own blindness,” says Brown. “Successful people believe they can get away with it. I talked once to a group of men who’d all become millionaires before the age of forty and who’d had affairs. They don’t even see the danger! It isn’t a love of risk. They think the wives will never know, so where’s the harm? Everything else in their lives has worked out, so they think they have some kind of magic, that their success has meant that they can have everything

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So very burdensome

Nov 16th, 2017 11:29 am | By

In annals of Things I Neglected in the Hail of All the Other Things, there is the move by Republicans and Trump to halt a rule requiring big companies to collect data on how they pay their employees. The ACLU in September:

Last night, 223 members of the House of Representatives voted against equal pay for our nation’s workers.

If asked, these members of Congress would almost certainly say that men and women should receive equal pay for equal work and that pay discrimination based on gender and race is a scourge that should be eliminated. Yet when the opportunity arose to support an equal pay initiative that is critical in achieving these goals, they voted no.

Believe what

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A good time to have meaningful dialogue

Nov 16th, 2017 10:49 am | By

Speaking of narrow authoritarian impoverished versions of “morality,” there’s this sheriff in Texas who is all worked up about…the word “fuck” on someone’s personal vehicle.

A sheriff in Texas is looking for a truck bearing a profanity-laced anti-Trump sticker and said authorities are considering charging its owner with disorderly conduct — a threat that immediately raised alarm among free speech advocates.

I wouldn’t call it “profanity-laced” – it’s too succinct for that. It says simply: Fuck Trump and fuck you for voting for him.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy E. Nehls posted a photo of the truck Wednesday on Facebook after, he said, he’d received several complaints about the display from unhappy people in the Houston-area county.

The … Read the rest

Lax in enforcing church doctrine

Nov 16th, 2017 9:29 am | By

Speaking of eccentric Catholic priests like Father Greg Boyle who care more about their oppressed and overwhelmed parishioners than they do about Vatican dogma, I’m reminded that Seattle had an archbishop like that thirty years ago…and that the Vatican sent an enforcer to suppress him.

Ever since the Vatican crackdown on Seattle Archbishop Raymond G. Hunthausen last summer [i.e. 1986], Patrick Jankanish has been coming alone to Sunday mass at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church.

“My wife was a convert {to Catholicism} before we were married nine years ago,” Jankanish told a visitor, adding that the couple has been deeply involved in the vigorous social justice program of the Jesuit parish on fashionable Capital Hill.

To the Jankanishes, Hunthausen

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Primarily because of documents

Nov 15th, 2017 4:57 pm | By

Trump shyly confesses that he doesn’t watch much tv, he’s too much of a bookworm.

Over the weekend, as Air Force One made its way to Vietnam, President Trump was questioned about Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. Wasn’t it time, Trump was asked, for the president to cut his support of Moore, given a spate of allegations about his behavior with teenage girls several decades ago?

“Well, again,” Trump replied, “I’ve been with you folks, so I haven’t gotten to see too much. And believe it or not, even when I’m in Washington and New York, I do not watch much television. I know they like to say — people that don’t know me — they like to

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To be that tender glance in the world

Nov 15th, 2017 4:11 pm | By

There’s another good bit of that interview with the Los Angeles priest who works with kids in gangs that I overlooked yesterday. It’s another place where he offers a version of religion that is understandable even to secular types – understandable and worth doing.

You know how you were saying earlier that, like, when you were a child, your prayers were petitional? You know, God help me pass my math test. And now your prayers are more meditative. You have, you know, mantras that you say. Do you ever do petitional prayer anymore?

BOYLE: I don’t.

GROSS: Is there a place for that in your…

BOYLE: Well, I mean, it’s in the liturgy. You know, we’re people – you know,

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Nov 15th, 2017 3:30 pm | By

So now Trump is in a snit because everyone isn’t running around squawking about what a brilliant job he did of making “Asia” our new best friend. He channeled his rage into giving a long speech to instruct us about how awesome he was and how deeply “Asia” now adores us thanks to his awesome amazing very very tremendous work.

This was Trump playing his own hype man. He felt like the Asia trip went well and he wasn’t getting enough credit for exactly how well it went. So, why not give a speech and force the “fake news” to cover it?

From his opening statement onward, it was clear that Trump’s lone goal with the speech was to pat

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Hey Trump cares, he really does

Nov 15th, 2017 11:53 am | By

Last night Trump tweeted his deep concern and fellow feeling toward the people of Tehama County, California Sutherland Springs, Texas over that terrible mass shooting thing they had there wherever it was.

On Tuesday night, Trump posted this message:

Oh gosh, Don, that was ten days ago.

At least he left off the part about monitoring from Japan.

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13th stepping

Nov 15th, 2017 11:37 am | By

Surprise surprise: there’s a lot of sexual predation in Alcoholics Anonymous. You don’t say! Who would ever think that a quasi-sacred secretive all-anonymous “program” to rescue alcoholics with a success rate of around 6% would foster predators?

“AA has absolutely saved my life,” says Amy Dresner, who has been in and out of AA for 20 years, and recently published a memoir about her addiction and recovery called My Fair Junkie. “I was never sexually harassed per se,” Dresner says. “What I did feel happened to me was that I was preyed upon when I was very vulnerable. When I came in and I was new, no girls pulled me aside and said ‘Hey, these are the guys

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Nov 15th, 2017 11:00 am | By

The United States is a country founded on idealism. We have principles and values and sacred beliefs here, and the holiest of them all is that the rich must always be rewarded many times more generously than everyone else. If the worker makes $10 an hour then by god the CEO had better make at least $1000. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington died on the battlefield to defend that glorious truth.

Like plucky little Whitefish Energy Holdings, for instance.

The small energy outfit from Montana that won a $300 million contract to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s tattered power grid had few employees of its own, so it did what the Puerto Rican authorities could have done: It turned to

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Curious George goes to university

Nov 15th, 2017 9:25 am | By

Sometimes academic life is a little confusing:

Vancouver Island University is at the centre of a human rights complaint alleging that female staff were not protected from a student who brought a diaper-related sexual fetish to the B.C. school.

Who brought a WHAT?

A 105-page complaint filed by the Nanaimo school’s former director, Human Rights and Respectful Workplace, Katrin Roth, said the man’s behaviour was treated as a disability when it should have been dealt with as a potential threat to female staff.

CBC is not identifying the man who was involved in the complaint. He responded to a request for comment saying he was unable to speak about the matter for legal reasons.

“I will say I

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A step up from Pat O’Brien

Nov 14th, 2017 5:30 pm | By

Now here’s a funny thing. The opening words of Fresh Air last night made my heart sink within me.

This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. My guest, Father Greg Boyle, has worked with former gang members in LA for over 30 years.

Oh no no no no, thought I. Not a Catholic priest; nope nope nope. But I gave it a minute anyway, just in case, and…was surprised. He seems

  • like a mensch and
  • not at all priesty

I’ll quote some of it but if you’re at all interested I recommend listening, to get the not-priesty quality of his voice and way of talking.

GROSS: With the help of cellphone videos and dashboard videos, Americans have seen with their

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Guest post: People like it, so what are you complaining about?

Nov 14th, 2017 5:06 pm | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on If she can walk she can marry.

However, the inferior status of women is so “baked in” into what our society considers normal or “normal enough” to make allowances for, that it takes a great deal of effort to even spot specific instances

This has been my experience. In my playwriting collective, there are a number of women, and the members of the group mostly identify as liberal. They would be horrified that anyone would suggest otherwise, or should anyone suggest they see women in a patriarchal role.

Yet there is much in the plays they write, and in how they are produced, that simply accepts the “way women are” as presented so … Read the rest


Nov 14th, 2017 4:37 pm | By

I guess it’s going to be every day now, and soon it will be several times a day. It will stop being reported, because it’s too commonplace and there’s too much of it.

At least four people were killed Tuesday morning in Northern California when a gunman shooting at random struck at multiple locations, targeting an elementary school and a woman driving her children to school, authorities said…Ten people were injured and taken to area hospitals, including at least two children…Police received “multiple 911 calls of multiple different shooting sites, including the elementary school” in Rancho Tehama Reserve…While details about what led up to the gunfire remained unclear, Johnston said authorities were told by neighbors that “there was a

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Guest post: Every cultural artifact subtly trains us

Nov 14th, 2017 4:02 pm | By

Originally a comment by Anna Y on If she can walk she can marry.

The reasoning behind your outrage at the lack of outrage on the part of some people seems somehow backwards…

The way I see it — grossly oversimplified, yes, but intentionally so, to get at the roots of this difference in opinion — is that one can only be outraged by an adult man courting an adolescent girl if one believes the feminist premise that women are people.

Marriage, in every culture I’m aware of (I’ll admit to lack of expertise, but this is a polemic, not a dissertation on the origin of the concept) is fundamentally an institution to legislate the conditions under which men … Read the rest

We see what you’re doing, but we can’t stop you

Nov 14th, 2017 12:13 pm | By

Trump plus Brexit. Putin is breaking everything.

Theresa May has accused Russia of meddling in elections and planting fake stories in the media in an extraordinary attack on its attempts to “weaponise information” in order to sow discord in the west.

The prime minister spoke out against “the scale and nature” of Russia’s actions during an address at the lord mayor’s banquet, saying it was “threatening the international order on which we all depend”.

Listing Russia’s attempts to undermine western institutions in recent years, she said: “I have a very simple message for Russia. We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed. Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies, the enduring attraction of free and

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A giant stride toward the cliff

Nov 14th, 2017 11:12 am | By

Nothing corrupt and sleazy about this, oh hell no.

The Justice Department said Monday that prosecutors were looking into whether a special counsel should be appointed to investigate political rivals President Trump has singled out for scrutiny, including Hillary Clinton.

The department, in a letter sent to the House Judiciary Committee, said the prosecutors would examine allegations that donations to the Clinton Foundation were tied to a 2010 decision by the Obama administration to allow a Russian nuclear agency to buy Uranium One, a company that owned access to uranium in the United States, and other issues.

The letter appeared to be a direct response to Mr. Trump’s statement on Nov. 3, when he said he was disappointed

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In a purple Tuk Tuk

Nov 13th, 2017 3:33 pm | By

Aw, come on, don’t be silly. The Daily News:

Ja Du recently sat down with WTSP to discuss his racial identity, telling the outlet that although he was born a white man named Adam, he feels Filipino. He now identifies as transracial.

“Whenever I’m around the music, around the food, I feel like I’m in my own skin,” he said.

“I’d watch the history channel sometimes for hours you know whenever it came to that and you know nothing else intrigues me more but things about Filipino culture.”

You mean he sat down to discuss his very common experience of finding another culture fascinating and congenial. What’s that got to do with “racial identity”? Not a lot.

Although Ja

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Thieves welcome

Nov 13th, 2017 2:54 pm | By

Interesting. Julia Ioffe at the Atlantic reports that Don Trump Junior had a correspondence with Wikileaks.

The messages show WikiLeaks, a radical transparency organization that the American intelligence community believes was chosen by the Russian government to disseminate the information it had hacked, actively soliciting Trump Jr.’s cooperation. WikiLeaks made a series of increasingly bold requests, including asking for Trump’s tax returns, urging the Trump campaign on Election Day to reject the results of the election as rigged, and requesting that the president-elect tell Australia to appoint Julian Assange ambassador to the United States.

Much of the time Don Two ignored them, but not all the time.

According to a source familiar with the congressional investigations into Russian interference

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