All entries by this author

Give that man a Pulitzer

Apr 4th, 2017 4:02 pm | By

Trump and his enablers are still hyperventilating about claimed “surveillance” of Trump or his enablers or his sock drawer. Now they’ve been reduced to hailing Mike Cernovich as a source.

The most recent allegation appeared on Monday, when conservative writer and avid conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich published a Medium post alleging former National Security Adviser Susan Rice authorized the “unmasking” of Trump officials’ identities—meaning she may have improperly allowed the names of US citizens to be revealed in intelligence reports. That story was further amplified by a Bloomberg View report with the same charges. The story has since been roundly described as a thin, nothing-burger—a misleading distraction at best.

That didn’t stop Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday, from taking

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The emboldened bigotry vibe

Apr 4th, 2017 1:06 pm | By

Eiynah wrote a terrific post at Nice Mangos a couple of months ago about the many ironic consequences of Donnie’s Brainless Ban.

Amidst all the false accusations of ‘Islamophobia’ even when people of muslim background would raise their voices to mildly critique something like misogyny or homophobia in their own communities….there were some people spouting legitimate anti muslim bigotry, right alongside them…

Unfortunately, that has boiled over.

The resistance to allow open discussion of Islam, caused a massive failure to address grievances with Islamic extremism.

This left the floor open for the right to swoop in and fear monger, campaign from an angle of xenophobia…it couldn’t be more obvious than in a time like this. Where muslims are being

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It’s a lucrative career

Apr 4th, 2017 11:48 am | By

I haven’t so far found a transcript of the Persons of Interest video addressed to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, so I’m doing it myself. Here’s the first minute.

Note: there are several women (six according to the Guardian article) and they take turns speaking, including individual sentences – that is, one will start a sentence and another may finish it. The delivery is frequently venomous and/or contemptuous.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, you do not speak for us. You are not our ally. You’re not interested in our lives or our freedom. You described Muslim women as being “irrational.” Docile. Having no minds of our own. You’ve called us slaves. How can you claim to stand for our liberation when you simply repeat

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The vocabulary is progressive, the content is reactionary

Apr 4th, 2017 11:19 am | By

More on Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s canceled trip to Australia.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali has hit back at a group of Australian Muslim women who accused her of being a “star” of Islamophobia and stirring up hatred.

The women took to Facebook on Monday when Hirsi Ali was due to arrive in Australia for a speaking tour that she cancelled at the last minute, citing concerns about security and the organisation of her trip.

In their video the six woman said Hirsi Ali – who was raised a Muslim but renounced her religion as an adult and became a fierce critic of radical Islamists and sharia law – was a “star of the global Islamophobia industry” and did not speak for

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The noise of them trying to breathe was loud

Apr 4th, 2017 10:42 am | By

Today in Syria:

The deadliest chemical weapons attack in years in Syria killed dozens of people in northern Idlib province on Tuesday morning, including children, and sickened scores more, according to medics, rescuers and witnesses in the rebel-held province, who said the gas had been delivered by a government airstrike.

A few hours later, according to several witnesses, another airstrike hit one of the clinics treating victims, who had been farmed out to smaller hospitals and maternity wards because the area’s largest hospital had been severely damaged by an airstrike two days earlier.

That’s a favorite trick of terrorist groups – set off bomb 1 and then when rescuers gather to help the injured, set off bomb 2.


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Always call her “controversial”

Apr 3rd, 2017 5:59 pm | By

Protesters in Australia raised the ante enough that Ayaan Hirsi Ali decided not to risk it. The Guardian joins the fun by phrasing its reporting in such a way that it bullies her too.

The controversial speaker and vocal critic of Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali has blamed the last-minute cancellation of her speaking tour of Australia and New Zealand on “a succession of organisational lapses” by the event organiser.

What a calculatedly obnoxious way to put it. People made such a fuss about her speaking that she decided not to go, and that’s what they should have led with.

The 47-year-old Somali-born activist, author and former politician has previously received death threats for her strident criticism of Islam.

It’s … Read the rest

The nice people at Fox

Apr 3rd, 2017 5:17 pm | By

So yes there’s a new lawsuit against Roger Ailes.

A lawsuit filed on Monday morning by a paid political commentator for the Fox News Channel alleges the network’s past chairman, Roger Ailes, made unwanted sexual advances while leading her to believe that a big promotion would follow.

The suit says Ailes encouraged Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky to date older, married men, repeatedly praised her looks and sought to get her to join him for drinks, even in his office, away from prying eyes that could get them “into so much trouble.”

Roginsky spurned the advances, according to the lawsuit, and as a result never received the promotion to become host of the popular early evening program The Five.

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The hell with fair pay, says Trump

Apr 3rd, 2017 4:35 pm | By

Of course he did.

On March 27, Trump revoked the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order then-President Barack Obama put in place to ensure that companies with federal contracts comply with 14 labor and civil rights laws. The Fair Pay order was put in place after a 2010 Government Accountability Office investigation showed that companies with rampant violations were being awarded millions in federal contracts.

In an attempt to keep the worst violators from receiving taxpayer dollars, the Fair Pay order included two rules that impacted women workers: paycheck transparency and a ban on forced arbitration clauses for sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination claims.

“Arbitrations are private proceedings with secret filings and private attorneys, and they

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Centre for Women’s Justice

Apr 3rd, 2017 4:20 pm | By

This looks like a good event, should you be in or near Bristol (the UK one) on April 20.

The afternoon panels:

2.00 – 3.15 – Knowledge base: understanding and perceptions – chair Finn Mackay

Professor Jackie Jones – professor of feminist legal studies, UWE, specialising in women’s rights, international human rights, human trafficking and violence against women

Geetanjali Gangoli of Bristol University Gender and Violence research group

Sarah Ditum, local freelance journalist on the importance on how the media shapes perceptions of sexual violence and the role of the state

Jacci Parry BBC documentary film maker on responsible broadcasting of legal cases around violence against women and girls

3.15 – 4.30 From the frontline: identifying the challenges women

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He’s family

Apr 3rd, 2017 12:42 pm | By

Godalmighty, Trump’s real estate developer son-in-law has been sent to Iraq to perform diplomacy. Seriously? Why? He has no relevant experience or training or education, he’s just a child of money who makes money selling real estate. What is he doing in Iraq??

Kushner, 36, who is married to the president’s elder daughter, Ivanka Trump, acted as a de facto campaign manager during much of the 2016 presidential race, and has consolidated even more power since entering the White House.

Kushner also has taken on some international outreach for the White House, and his portfolio includes China, Mexico, Canada and the Middle East. The president, in fact, has specifically tasked Kushner, an Orthodox Jew, with brokering peace in the

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Slash pesticide safety

Apr 3rd, 2017 11:37 am | By

A disconcerting first paragraph:

The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a new, more detailed plan for laying off 25 percent of its employees and scrapping 56 programs including pesticide safety, water runoff control, and environmental cooperation with Mexico and Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Oh splendid, they’re cutting back on pesticide safety. You can see where Trump would approve of that: much of the danger of pesticides is to farm workers who pick crops, and most of those are what Trump calls “bad hombres,” in other words immigrants from Mexico and points south.

In a recent interview, Sen. James M. Inhofe said he would like the department to focus on more traditional environmental concerns rather than

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Hand in hand

Apr 3rd, 2017 11:14 am | By

NL Times reports:

Police took four teenaged boys into custody late Sunday in connection with the assault of two gay men in Arnhem. The victims were holding hands walking home from a party early Sunday morning when they were confronted by a group of young men shouting slurs at them.

They were then struck by a man wielding a heavy set of bolt cutters, kocking out four of Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes’ teeth and severing his lip, and injuring the ribs of Jasper Vernes-Sewratan. The two say they usually conceal their relationship in public, but were holding hands after a fun night out.

The journalist Barbara Barend sent a tweet calling on men in the Netherlands to hold hands in public, … Read the rest

Not the way to go

Apr 3rd, 2017 10:53 am | By

Only in America.

A 20-year-old Connecticut college student whose father was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks has died after choking during a pancake-eating contest.

Police say Caitlin Nelson died at a New York City hospital on Sunday, three days after participating in the contest at Sacred Heart University. She was from Clark, New Jersey, and was majoring in social work at the Catholic school in Fairfield.

Officials say the contest was part of a fraternities and sororities event.

Can we stop doing this now? Can we just shut that whole thing down and never open it again?

Eating contests – in a world where famine and food insecurity and chronic malnutrition still afflict billions of people, what could … Read the rest

The potential legal and moral import of these words

Apr 3rd, 2017 9:40 am | By

Via Heroic Women to Inspire Game Designers via Wikipedia: Elizabeth Freeman.

Elizabeth (“Mum Bett”) Freeman was a slave in Massachusetts before US independence. She protected another slave whom her mistress was about to hit with a red-hot shovel, receiving a deep wound on her arm and another on her face. She left the arm wound visible as evidence of her mistreatment. After independence, she heard (she was illiterate) the new Massachusetts state constitution, which stated that all men are born free and equal. Consulting an Abolitionist lawyer, she sued for her freedom under the constitution, and won. Her suit effectively ended slavery in Massachusetts.

The Elizabeth Freeman Center has more:

Born into slavery in 1742, she was given to

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What secularism is

Apr 3rd, 2017 9:17 am | By

Trump has been eating up too much of my attention. From over two weeks ago: the National Secular Society named Yasmin Rehman Secularist of the Year.

The Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year 2017 has been awarded to Yasmin Rehman, the secular campaigner for women’s rights.

Yasmin has spent much of the past two years working to get the Government to recognise the dangers faced by ex-Muslims and Ahmadi Muslims from Islamic extremists. She has used her own home as a shelter for women at risk of domestic abuse.

Accepting the prize, Yasmin Rehman thanked the Society for recognising her work and said she was “incredibly humbled” to be nominated among other figures who were “personal heroines.”


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Go to the mating center and turn right

Apr 2nd, 2017 4:21 pm | By

I saw this cited as a useful source for explanation of “gender identity” and all that: Transgender Identity Formation. In it I read this claim:


We are just beginning to understand the various aspects of the biological components of who and what we are, and how they interact.

In an invited paper published in the December 2001 issue of Neuroendocrinology Letters, Dr. Gunter Dorner and his colleagues outlined two probable causes of transsexualism that fall into two general categories: 1) genetic enzyme mutations and 2) epigenetic effects which can include stressful prenatal situations and fetal exposure to endocrine disruptors i.e. the breakdown products of DDT (DDE which is estrogenic in nature).

Gender and sexual brain organization is dependent

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Millicent Garrett Fawcett

Apr 2nd, 2017 12:42 pm | By

Caroline Criado-Perez does it again: Parliament Square will add to its eleven (11) statues of men one (1) statue of a woman.

Prime Minister Theresa May announced on Sunday that Millicent Garrett Fawcett, who campaigned for the right of women to vote, will be honored with a statue to stand in the company of giants like Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela.

Mrs. Fawcett formed the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies in 1897 and died at age 82 in 1929, a year after all women in the United Kingdom were granted the right to vote.

It’s only the right to vote for half of all human beings. No biggy.

Fawcett, a political and union leader, is not

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Have you heard of Susan B. Anthony?

Apr 2nd, 2017 11:50 am | By

The White House published Trump’s remarks at the “Women’s Empowerment Panel” the White House held the other day. They are rather stupid remarks, as you’d expect. Already it seems almost quaint to expect a president to sound intelligent and informed. No no, a president sounds like any other carnival barker.

So as you know, Melania is a very highly accomplished woman and really an inspiration to so many.  And she is doing some great job.

Is she? Accomplished? At what? And what job is she doing?

And I’m so proud that the White House and our administration is filled with so many women of such incredible talent.  This week, as we conclude Women’s History Month, we honor a great woman

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48 hours to find a new place

Apr 2nd, 2017 11:25 am | By

Administrators at a Louisiana university are busy sweeping away pesky useless shit like scientific specimens to make room for athletic facilities.

The curators of the Museum of Natural History at the University of Louisiana-Monroe got grim news last week from the school’s director: The museum’s research collection had to be moved out of its current home. The reason? The space was needed for expanded track facilities.

The curators were given 48 hours to find a new place on campus to store the collection — something they weren’t able to do. Now they must get another institution to take their several million specimens. Their hard deadline is July, when the track renovations are slated to begin. And if the collection

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Trump repeatedly said “get ’em out of here”

Apr 2nd, 2017 10:44 am | By

It may yet turn out that Donald Trump is subject to the law just like everyone else.

The courts keep taking Donald Trump both seriously and literally. And the president’s word choices are proving to be a real headache.

A federal judge in Kentucky is the latest to take Trump at his word when he says something controversial. Judge David J. Hale ruled against efforts by Trump’s attorneys to throw out a lawsuit accusing him of inciting violence against protesters at a March 2016 campaign rally in Louisville.

At the rally, Trump repeatedly said “get ’em out of here” before, according to the protesters, they were shoved and punched by his supporters. Trump’s attorneys sought to have the case dismissed

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