All entries by this author

Torn from their Congolese mothers

Apr 3rd, 2019 11:22 am | By

Another horror from the recent past:

Belgium’s prime minister, Charles Michel, is to apologise on behalf of the state for the kidnapping of mixed-race children, who were torn from their Congolese mothers at the end of the colonial period.

The “métis” children, the product of relationships between settlers and local women, were forcibly taken to Belgium and fostered by Catholic orders, among other institutions, between 1959 and 1962.

The children, born in the 1940s and 50s, did not automatically receive Belgian nationality and often remained stateless. A majority of the fathers refused to acknowledge paternity of their children.

What? What on earth even for? If most of the fathers pretended they weren’t the fathers, why steal them from their … Read the rest

Born in a very wonderful place

Apr 3rd, 2019 10:29 am | By

Boy, Trump really can’t get the whole “where you born” thing right. He can’t even remember where his own father was born. I don’t mean the room or the town or even the state, I mean the country.

Donald Trump has wrongly claimed his father was born in Germany, again, during a press conference with the Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg.

Trump made the claim while criticizing Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, whose country, the president said, “was not paying their fair share” toward the military alliance.

He does pronounce “Angela” correctly though. I was wondering about that the other day, so it’s good to know. Mind you, he makes a show of it – pausing first and then … Read the rest

Congress is entitled to all of the evidence

Apr 3rd, 2019 10:00 am | By

It’s subpoena time!

The House Judiciary Committee authorized its chairman on Wednesday to use a subpoena to try to force the Justice Department to give Congress a full copy of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report and all of the underlying evidence used to reach his conclusions.

The chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, said he would not immediately issue the subpoena. But the party-line vote won by Democrats who control the committee ratchets up pressure on Attorney General William P. Barr as he decides how much of the nearly 400-page report to share with lawmakers.

The committee also approved subpoenas for five former White House aides who Democrats said were relevant to an investigation into possible

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Faster and cheaper

Apr 3rd, 2019 9:31 am | By

Oh good, the Trump administration has thought of an excellent plan to make everything cheaper and more efficient: just turn over all the monitoring duties to local people.

The Trump administration plans to shift much of the power and responsibility for food safety inspections in hog plants to the pork industry as early as May, cutting the number of federal inspectors by about 40 percent and replacing them with plant employees.

See? Great! No federal dollars going to inspection, industry made to do the job itself. Win-win!

Under the proposed new inspection system, the responsibility for identifying diseased and contaminated pork would be shared with plant employees, whose training would be at the discretion of plant owners. There would

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Speeding up

Apr 2nd, 2019 4:54 pm | By


Canada is warming on average at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the world, a new scientific report indicates.

The federal government climate report also warns that changes are already evident in many parts of the country and are projected to intensify.

Canada’s Arctic has seen the deepest impact and will continue to warm at more than double the global rate.

The report suggests that many of the effects already seen are probably irreversible.

Hotter temperatures could mean more heat waves and a higher risk of wildfires and droughts in some parts of the country.

Oceans are expected to become more acidic and less oxygenated, which could harm marine life.

Parts of Canada’s Arctic

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Show me your papers

Apr 2nd, 2019 11:29 am | By

Trump’s America:

An employee at a South San Jose, Calif., gas station was fired after ranting against a customer who was speaking Spanish in the store and demanding the customer prove she was a U.S. citizen.

According to ABC 7, San Jose resident Grecya Moran was speaking Spanish with an employee who, she said, had greeted her initially in Spanish. The two carried on a conversation in Spanish until another employee demanded that the two speak English, the outlet reported Tuesday.

In the video, Moran can be heard telling the employee, who is white, that she is allowed to speak Spanish before the employee asks for proof that Moran is a U.S. citizen.

It’s not the job … Read the rest

Any “place” in history

Apr 2nd, 2019 9:59 am | By

Meanwhile Trump is spraying racist venom at Puerto Rico and Carmen Yulín Cruz.

Trump, who has reportedly said in private that he doesn’t want “another single dollar” going to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, again complained about funding for the island and called San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a frequent critic, “crazed and incompetent.”

“The Democrats today killed a Bill that would have provided great relief to Farmers and yet more money to Puerto Rico despite the fact that Puerto Rico has already been scheduled to receive more hurricane relief funding than any ‘place’ in history,” Trump tweeted around 11 p.m.

What’s with “place”? What are we supposed to think? That places are only for … Read the rest

Information shminformation

Apr 2nd, 2019 9:19 am | By

The Trump administration has decided it wants less information about domestic terrorism, because hey, who needs to know anything about a trivial thing like that?

Pittsburgh, Charleston, Santa Barbara – no big deal, right?

The Department of Homeland Security has disbanded a group of intelligence analysts who focused on domestic terrorism, The Daily Beast has learned. Numerous current and former DHS officials say they find the development concerning, as the threat of homegrown terrorism—including white supremacist terrorism—is growing.

In the wake of this move, officials said the number of analytic reports produced by DHS about domestic terrorism, including the threat from white supremacists, has dropped significantly. People in and close to the department said this has generated significant concern

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Assistant Professor of Philosophy in action

Apr 2nd, 2019 8:18 am | By

Rachel ratchets.

Again: nobody says trans people shouldn’t compete or denies their right to compete. The issue is people with male bodies competing against women. Funny how McKinnon consistently avoids mentioning that in these slogans and T shirt logos.

So what is the merch like?

There’s a second one, I guess for emphasis.

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From an international human rights perspective

Apr 1st, 2019 4:25 pm | By

Via quixote in a comment, Alessandra Asteriti on the very material reasons women need legal protections:

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Guest post: Feminism was a glorious light

Apr 1st, 2019 3:23 pm | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on Thanks I guess?

If there is no right way to be a woman – or to be a man – then how in the world can anyone know that they “feel like a woman”? That is the main question we are asking. We are not the ones assuming there is a “right” way to be something, and therefore the idea that one who doesn’t “feel” right needs to be the other…CAN THEY NOT EVEN SEE THE ILLOGIC? (sorry, I know the answer to that).

Who counts as a woman black? Is there some set of core experiences distinctive of womanhood blackness, some shared set of adventures and exploits that every woman black person will

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Unprecedented and extraordinarily intrusive demands

Apr 1st, 2019 10:59 am | By

Soooo this is horrifying:

A whistle-blower working inside the White House has told a House committee that senior Trump administration officials granted security clearances to at least 25 individuals whose applications had been denied by career employees, the committee’s Democratic staff said Monday.

The whistle-blower, Tricia Newbold, a manager in the White House’s Personnel Security Office, told the House Oversight and Reform Committee in a private interview last month that the 25 individuals included two current senior White House officials, in addition to contractors and other employees working for the office of the president, the staff said in a memo it released publicly.

Ms. Newbold told the committee’s staff members that the clearance applications had been denied

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Mind the gap

Apr 1st, 2019 10:00 am | By

If you look at it as a test of faith / proud defiance of reason in favor of faith, it all fits.

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Thanks I guess?

Apr 1st, 2019 9:29 am | By

Oh. Ok. Always fun to read more about bashing feminist women.

Who counts as a woman? Is there some set of core experiences distinctive of womanhood, some shared set of adventures and exploits that every woman will encounter on her journey from diapers to the grave?

That’s the wrong question. It’s a leading question, set up to bash “TERFs” for claims they don’t make. The point isn’t about adventures and exploits, and it isn’t about who “counts” as a woman – it’s not a contest or an exam, it’s just a brute material fact.

It’s … Read the rest

This is all metaphor, no really

Apr 1st, 2019 8:38 am | By

Meanwhile, ratcheting continues.

That’s the new Twitter header.

Does anyone else do that? Say something and sign it Dr. Important Person (2019)? I don’t think I’ve seen one like that before. And then using it to frame violent imagery of flames and a brick, muscled arms and threatening scowl, all of it directed at women…this ain’t social justice.

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Apr 1st, 2019 8:19 am | By

Isn’t there some norm about how appropriation is a bad thing? I could have sworn there was.

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Or it just quietly goes away

Mar 31st, 2019 11:29 am | By

Temporary fill-in substitute interim pretend White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is out there trying to convert the Mueller report into a reason to forget all about Trump’s obstruction of justice.

“The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,’” Barr wrote to lawmakers, adding that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded that Mueller’s investigative findings are “not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”

“That is not what these documents do,” Mulvaney said, referring to Mueller not reaching a verdict on obstruction.

“When you do an investigation like this, there’s typically two outcomes — either criminal indictments come down

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All 3

Mar 31st, 2019 10:58 am | By

Fox News today:

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A pint of pickled peppers

Mar 31st, 2019 6:09 am | By

Lionel Shriver is a crap writer. Witness:

For it’s more the case that the EU is a bloated bureaucracy packed with pampered timeservers inventing gratuitous regulations to justify their sinecures.

The first sentence of the second paragraph of a piece in Harper’s. That’s a crap sentence. “more the case that” – why use a clunker like that? “bloated bureaucracy packed with pampered” – have you no ear?? Then that long string of lifeless stale words. It’s just a terrible sentence, and there’s something wrong with a writer who doesn’t notice.

And that kind of thing makes a difference, because it makes the reader suspect she’s not really thinking about what she’s saying, but just rolling out a punditty reaction. … Read the rest

They haven’t done a thing for us

Mar 31st, 2019 5:47 am | By

Trump decides the way to make people stay home is to make their lives at home even worse.

US opposition politicians and aid agencies have questioned a decision by President Donald Trump to cut off aid to three Central American states.

Mr Trump ordered the suspension of aid payments to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to push their governments to stop migration into the US.

To stop it how? A Berlin Wall type of thing? Just tell them they can’t leave, end of story? We tend to see that as tyrannical and unjust, those of us in the “no you’re not supposed to bully and torment people” community.

In 2017, Guatemala received over $248m while Honduras received $175m and El

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