All entries by this author


Aug 14th, 2016 10:55 am | By

Someone I don’t know commented on a Facebook thread about a New Yorker article that asks if God is transgender. The comment expresses a very familiar, conventional, and convenient religious idea, but it’s one that makes no sense, and is the source of endless horrors. It’s an idea that should be disputed more often than it is.

Is there no end to the arrogance of humanity? We are constantly making God on our own terms instead of His, which is really nothing more than deciding that we know best and really ought to be God.

There’s so much wrong with that claim. I could go on about it for hours. The most obvious item is that if we can’t use … Read the rest

Toxic brews of hatred

Aug 14th, 2016 9:38 am | By

Nicholas Kristof points out the undeniable: Trump is moving the national culture – or mood or discourse or limit on what’s acceptable. There are a lot of things you can call it, but whatever it is, Trump is having an effect on it, and not in a good way.

This community of Forest Grove, near the farm where I grew up in western Oregon, has historically been a charming, friendly and welcoming community. But in the middle of a physics class at the high school one day this spring, a group of white students suddenly began jeering at their Latino classmates and chanting: “Build a wall! Build a wall!”

The same white students had earlier chanted “Trump! Trump! Trump!”

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The recently liberate Manbij

Aug 13th, 2016 4:21 pm | By

The people of Manbij in Syria have been liberated from IS.

Ecstatic Syrian civilians have been shaving off their beards, burning their burqas, smoking and dancing in the streets after being freed from Isis.

The jubilant celebrations were seen in the Syrian city of Manbij on Friday, where militants have been driven out after months of fighting by US-backed rebel groups.

Families ran through rubble-strewn streets, past the ruins of buildings destroyed in air strikes, carrying their babies and belongings.

Men jubilantly had their beards cut off as women ripped off their veils and set them on fire in an act of rebellion after years living under Isis’ brutal interpretation of Sharia law.

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The personality cult surrounding the demagogue

Aug 13th, 2016 4:09 pm | By

From Ian Kershaw’s The Hitler Myth:

Even after the triumph of the 1930 election, many intelligent and informed observers of the German political scene felt that the Nazi party was bound sooner or later to collapse and break up into its component parts. Its social base was diffuse – that of an out and out protest party; it had no clear political programme to offer, only a contradictory amalgam of social revolutionary rhetoric and reactionary impulses; and not least it was heavily dependent on the personality cult surrounding the demagogue Hitler – seen as the mouthpiece of petty-bourgeois resentments, but ultimately a dilettante who, despite temporary success in the conditions of severe economic and political crisis, was bound in

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The ultimate bullet point

Aug 13th, 2016 3:39 pm | By

Trump’s campaign whatever Katie Pierson announced on CNN that “We weren’t even in Afghanistan at this time, Barack Obama went into Afghanistan, creating another problem…” The host stared in consternation, and as soon as he could asked her if she meant to say that, and she looked a bit worried but said yes anyway.

A sharp-eyed commenter pointed out that she’s wearing a necklace of bullets.

Um.… Read the rest

His latest project

Aug 13th, 2016 2:37 pm | By

Aaaaaaaaand again:

There are some…lively responses to that tweet.

Punished Venonat ‏@hamsandcastle 18 hours ago
@JDrutman @nytimes Elon Musk gave her gills

Lauren ‏@lkroner 23 hours ago
@nytimes Oh thank goodness. For a moment there I thought Ledecky was going to get credit for her accomplishments not relative to a man.

David Roy ‏@david_roy 16 hours ago
@nytimes This is garbage. She just put on one of the very best performances in Olympics history, and you are angling a rando tech guy.

summer of harbaugh ‏@stefanielaine 15 hours ago
@david_roy @nytimes “Hmmm, a woman is historically great……let’s do a piece on the man responsible for her greatness”

KELLY ‏@MsFopra 17 hours ago Franklin, TN
@nytimes FFS Could you

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The flag

Aug 13th, 2016 12:06 pm | By

The NY Times:

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — About an hour before Donald J. Trump was set to address a large crowd here on Thursday, Brandon Partin, a Trump supporter, draped a Confederate flag over the front rail just to the right of the stage.

The campaign people and the cops got it taken down, but…that’s Trump’s electorate.

Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Yay, slavery. Cue the patriotic music.… Read the rest

Daddy and hubby in court

Aug 13th, 2016 11:48 am | By

Samia Shahid’s father and first husband have been arrested and appeared in court.

Her first husband, Choudhry Shakeel, has been arrested on suspicion of her murder while her father Mohammad has been held as an accessory to murder.

Both appeared in court in Pakistan and have been remanded for four days.

Her father. Her father (allegedly) helped the husband she was forced to marry to murder her. I can never get used to that.

Shaimaa Khalil, a BBC Pakistan Correspondent, reported from Jhelum:

The police car which brought them to the court was surrounded by journalists. I got as close as I could to them to see if they would comment but they did not.

The media were

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The sow’s ear has still not become a silk purse

Aug 13th, 2016 11:06 am | By

Two NY Times reporters look behind the curtain at Trump Campaign World. It’s not a mellow scene.

Back in June family and friends sat him down and told him he had to get a grip.

He would have to stick to a teleprompter and end his freestyle digressions and insults, like his repeated attacks on a Hispanic federal judge. Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman, and Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey argued that Mr. Trump had an effective message, if only he would deliver it.

What “effective message”?

Also, of course, “effective” isn’t the same thing as good or useful or productive or workable.

At any rate, he said ok, but it didn’t happen. He got worse … Read the rest

Michael Phelps and some rando

Aug 13th, 2016 8:15 am | By

They just can’t get it right, can they.

The San Jose Mercury News, this time. Headline:

Michael Phelps shares historic night with African American

Um. In other words, Simone Manuel won a gold medal in the 100m freestyle final, shared with Canadian Penny Oleksiak. (They touched the wall at the same instant.)

The headline was widely criticised on social media for omitting Manuel’s name completely – and yet at the same time including both parts of Phelps’s name.

Mercury News sportswriter Tim Kawakami wrote on Twitter: “Sorry to my tremendous co-workers, but I’ve never been as upset at a headline in my own publication as I was with that one.”

The Mercury News tweeted an apology shortly afterwards.

We … Read the rest

Past the point where Trump’s tendency to fascism can be ignored

Aug 12th, 2016 5:06 pm | By

More from Jim Wright on Facebook.

Yesterday, Miami, Florida. Trump interview. Subject: US Navy Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba:

Reporter: “Would you try to get the military commissions, the trial court there, to try U.S. citizens?”

To be clear, the reporter is asking the man who wants to be president of the United States, the man who claims he’s READ THE CONSTITUTION, if he as president would try United States citizens — UNITED STATES CITIZENS, civilians — in a military court.

Repeat, Trump was being asked if he would consider trying US civilians in a military court. That’s what he’s being asked. There is no ambiguity. The question is clear and specific: Should military courts have authority over US citizens?

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As a sign of respect

Aug 12th, 2016 4:12 pm | By

The spirit of international hatred:

Egyptian judo fighter Islam El Shehaby was loudly booed at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after his first-round loss to Israel’s fifth-ranked Or Sasson, when El Shehaby refused to shake Sasson’s hand, in a major breach of judo etiquette.

Sasson defeated El Shehaby with two throws for an automatic victory, with about a minute and a half remaining in the bout. Afterwards, El Shehaby lay flat on his back for a moment before standing to take his place before Sasson, in front of the referee.

When Sasson extended his hand, El Shehaby backed away, shaking his head. The referee then called El Shehaby back to the mat and obliged to him bow; El Shehaby

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Baby foot-binding

Aug 12th, 2016 3:32 pm | By

Let Clothes Be Clothes on Facebook:

We’re FOR choice, but not for this – why? Children’s feet are not meant to wear heels, wedges or platforms! All on sale in the F&F school range.

Heels can cause PERMANENT damage to feet, ligaments and posture… so it’s not prudish to say “I’m not ok with this.” When parents see big brands selling this it’s easy to normalise, it’s easy to think “it must be ok…”

Play shoes, occassionwear – becoming more acceptable – but school shoes? No. Tesco F&F could you imagine a boy wearing these? Yet acceptable for girls… please help END this – share if you agree, and help us raise awareness on this issue.

Well, little … Read the rest

What the feminist zealots really do want

Aug 12th, 2016 10:58 am | By

A British Tory MP with Trump-envy, perhaps – Philip Davies gave a talk at a men’s rights conference to explain what spoiled bitches women are.

Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley, delivered a 45-minute speech at the International Conference on Men’s Issues, organised by the Justice for Men and Boys party (J4MB).

Davies, who sits on the Commons justice committee, told the conference at the ExCel centre in London that Britain’s justice system was skewed in favour of women and discriminated against men.

He sounds nice.

Davies, a pro-Brexit campaigner who backed Andrea Leadsom for the Tory leadership, appeared alongside anti-feminist bloggers who have likened the activist Malala Yousafzai to Osama bin Laden and called single mothers “bona

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Yes but she was so annoying

Aug 12th, 2016 9:55 am | By

A nasty item out of Brighton:

A senior lecturer convicted of beating a former student he was in a relationship with was allowed to continue teaching, despite the protests of his traumatised victim.

Dr Lee Salter, a media and communications lecturer at the University of Sussex, remains employed by the institution after being found guilty of assaulting Allison Smith, a 24-year-old student he met during an induction day at the university.

He was convicted on July 13th.

Ms Smith had been punched in the face, knocked out and stamped on, and said she had salt poured into her eyes and ears.

Pedagogy at its finest.

Dr Salter was charged on 20 June and, despite repeated complaints made to the

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Hajj Controversy and the Imperative of a Secular Nigeria

Aug 11th, 2016 | By Leo Igwe

The reactions that have trailed the decision by the Buhari government to subsidize this year’s Hajj, despite the fact that the Nigerian economy is in recession, underscores the necessity of separating church (mosque) and state. Last year, President Buhari announced the discontinuation of state sponsorship of both Muslim and Christian pilgrimages as a cost cutting measure. He made it clear that stopping state funding of pilgrimages would save some money that could be devoted to development programs.

But Buhari has refused to make good this pledge and his government has continued to subsidize pilgrimages and engage in these wasteful schemes. Now instead of seeing how state subsidization of pilgrimages, whether Christian or Muslim, is impoverishing the country and further destroying … Read the rest

The decision-makers were not people who got abuse

Aug 11th, 2016 5:42 pm | By

BuzzFeed has a long piece about how thoroughly for what a long time Twitter has failed to do anything about Twitter harassment.

[H]arassment on Twitter is rampant — so much so that it has become a primary destination for trolls and hate groups. So much so that its CEO declared, “We suck at dealing with abuse and trolls on the platform and we’ve sucked at it for years.” So much so that numeroushigh-profileusershavequittheservice, citing it as an unsafe space. Today, Twitter is a well-known hunting ground for women and people of color, who are targeted by neo-Nazis, racists, misogynists, and trolls, often just for showing up. Just this summer,

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A metaphor too many

Aug 11th, 2016 1:46 pm | By

Well Snopes messed this one up.

GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump delivered a campaign speech in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in which he called President Obama the “founder of ISIS.”

He made the statement after reiterating the claim that he, Trump, had opposed the war in Iraq, calling it a “terrible mistake” and saying it had destabilized and “unleashed fury” in the Middle East:

And then Obama came in, and normally you want to clean up. He made a bigger mess out of it. He made such a mess. And then you had Hillary with Libya, so sad. In fact, in many respects, you know they honor President Obama. ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS.

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You think God is going to buy that?

Aug 11th, 2016 1:42 pm | By

From Right Wing Watch:

Last night, My Faith Votes, the Religious Right effort overseen by Ben Carson that seeks to mobilize millions of Christians to vote in 2016, hosted another teleforum, this one featuring Religious Right activist and pseudo-historian David Barton, who told participants that they will answer to God if they fail to vote for Donald Trump.

Barton ran a pro-Ted Cruz super PAC during the Republican primary, but quicklyshifted his support to Trump once it was clear that he would be the GOP nominee, even going so far as to declare that Trump is obviously “God’s guy” in this election. As such, it came as no surprise to hear Barton tell caller after caller

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“The vast majority of cis-women do not act feminine”

Aug 11th, 2016 11:32 am | By

I’m hoping this post is off-the-charts atypical. It’s from a transgender dating site, TransSingle. The post is titled Why Get A Transgender Girlfriend.

The modern cis dating market is almost a Mad-Max Thunder Dome dystopia. Anyone who has been in the cis dating market for some time finds to his dismay that cis-women in the modern dating market have more issues than Time magazine. It is a ruthless winner-takes-all-situation. Cis-women are hyper judgmental beings, and men have been reduced to being circus performers who have to constantly entertain the cis-women non-stop or face rejection.

Wow. Talk about Assumed Male.

It starts with the cis dating market, as if the subject is dating from all points of view, but then … Read the rest