All entries by this author

You should feel anxious!

Jan 27th, 2019 11:30 am | By

This time Michael Shermer has annoyed his fellow academics.

Last term I received 3 letters from my uni’s disability office excusing students from taking tests in class, participating in discussions, & giving a talk (they all have to do an 18-min. TED talk in my class). Disability? Anxiety. My response: Good. You should feel anxious!

That’s so Shermer, isn’t it? Smug, clueless, dismissive, and sadistic, all … Read the rest



Sauce for the goose is more sauce for the goose

Jan 27th, 2019 10:55 am | By

James Kirkup points out that Women get treated far worse than men in Labour’s transgender debate.

[I]f general run-of-the-mill Twitter is angry and stupid, gender-identity Twitter is angry and stupid on steroids. Simply liking the ‘wrong’ bit of content on Twitter can have you branded a transphobic witch and burned at the electronic stake, at least if you’re a woman. No one, or more accurately, no woman, is safe from the online inquisition’s charges of transphobia. You might think that JK Rowling was about as insulated as a person can be from online vitriol, since she’s lovely, kind, thoughtful, the creator of the world’s most popular wizard – and a billionaire. But you’d be wrong, because even JK has

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It’s about their proprietary violence

Jan 27th, 2019 9:18 am | By

The CBC points out that men who think they are owed sexual access to women are a large and threatening group. Quite a few of them are murderous.

Involuntary celibates or incels are an online brotherhood of men who say they are unsuccessful in their romantic attempts with women.

Romantic attempts? Sexual attempts, mostly. They want access a lot more than they want cozy evenings in front of the fireplace.

Incels interact in forums online, like 4chan, Reddit and a few public incel boards, and even on popular social media platforms including Facebook and YouTube. They often express extreme feelings of misogyny and hatred.

In the worst cases, their online misogyny turns to violent fantasies, where many online encourage

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Ars longa

Jan 27th, 2019 8:28 am | By

In memory of

 … Read the rest



A bit much even for Trump

Jan 26th, 2019 5:52 pm | By

Perfectly normal, not a problem, move along, don’t stand there gaping. Trump meets with off the charts lunatic right-wing activist who is married to a Supreme Court justice.

President Trump met last week with a delegation of hard-right activists led by Ginni Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, listening quietly as members of the group denounced transgender people and women serving in the military, according to three people with direct knowledge of the events.

For 60 minutes Mr. Trump sat, saying little but appearing taken aback, the three people said, as the group also accused White House aides of blocking Trump supporters from getting jobs in the administration.

It is unusual for the spouse of a sitting

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How diminished the President seemed

Jan 26th, 2019 11:05 am | By

CNN is rubbing his nose in it.

The most shocking thing about Trump’s statement announcing the end of the shutdown was how diminished the President seemed.

He appeared to acknowledge his weakness later in a tweet he posted after absorbing the unflattering TV news coverage of his climbdown.

“I wish people would read or listen to my words on the Border Wall. This was in no way a concession,” he insisted.

Hours before, aides had clapped as Trump entered the Rose Garden, often a setting reserved for grand presidential victory laps.

The man who bills himself as the ultimate winner was forced to disguise the most humbling loss of his two years in power.

Geddit? He lost. He’s … Read the rest



Under pressure

Jan 26th, 2019 10:51 am | By

Some of the European countries are putting the arm on Maduro.

Spain, Germany, France and the UK have warned Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro that he must call elections within eight days – or they will officially recognise the opposition.

Mr Maduro is under pressure after his rival Juan Guaidó declared himself “acting president” on Wednesday.

Venezuela, or rather Maduro’s people, told them to fuck off.

On Saturday, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wrote on Twitter: “Spain has a responsibility to Latin America… we do not seek to change or remove governments, we want democracy and free elections in Venezuela.”

France and Germany also issued similar statements, in what looked like a co-ordinated demand that elections be held in Venezuela.

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What’s a mere 9 percent of your salary?

Jan 25th, 2019 5:42 pm | By

Remember when Wilbur Ross said government agencies were offering unpaid workers very low interest loans? Yesterday? (Never mind the fact that people shouldn’t have to pay interest, however low, on their own god damn salaries.) Turns out they’re not what a normal person would call “low” at all, at least not Wilbur Ross’s department.

The Commerce Department’s federal credit union is charging furloughed employees almost 9 percent interest on emergency loans to cover their missing paychecks, despite Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross saying Thursday that financial institutions were offering “very, very low-interest-rate loans to bridge people over the gap.”

Who wouldn’t want to pay 9 percent interest to get their own salary? Such a deal. I hear the commissary was … Read the rest



Hot spot

Jan 25th, 2019 3:41 pm | By

The governor of Washington state has declared a state of emergency because of the measles outbreak.

There are 25 confirmed cases in Clark County, and a single known case in King County after a man in his 50s contracted measles and was hospitalized following a recent trip to Vancouver, according to a news release from Inslee’s office. As of Friday, Clark County Public Health had posted even higher numbers, with 30 confirmed and nine suspected cases.

On Jan. 18, Clark County declared its own local public health emergency after the outbreak. Twenty-six of those suffering from the disease had not been immunized and the vaccination status of four others was unverified. Researchers called nearby Portland a “hot

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Russian intelligence operatives were behind the theft

Jan 25th, 2019 10:00 am | By

Roger Stone’s turn:

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, revealed on Friday the most direct link yet between the Trump campaign’s and WikiLeaks’ parallel efforts to use Democratic Party material stolen by Russians to damage the campaign of Hillary R. Clinton.

In an indictment unsealed on Friday, the special counsel disclosed evidence that a top campaign official in 2016 dispatched Roger J. Stone, a longtime adviser to President Trump, to get information from WikiLeaks about the thousands of hacked Democratic emails. The effort began well after it was widely reported that Russian intelligence operatives were behind the theft, which was part of Moscow’s broad campaign to sabotage the 2016 president election.

The indictment makes no mention of whether

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The narrowness of the ideological viewpoint

Jan 25th, 2019 9:25 am | By

Alice Sullivan and Judith Suissa of University College London on the narrowness of the ledge we are allowed to stand on:

Academics who do not adhere to a particular line on gender and transgender issues have suffered intimidation by trans activists. The people under attack are not mavericks or extremists. They are feminists who question the trans-orthodox view that biological sex is a social construct while gendered identities are fixed and innate. They also seek to defend women’s sex-based rights. In this article, we explain what is happening and consider what steps the higher education community needs to take to ensure that academic freedom is not curtailed.

One reason why concerns about academic freedom have been crystallised by

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Cohere or else

Jan 25th, 2019 8:56 am | By

The Telegraph has further details on the “Inspector Plod understands you have tweeted a tweet” incident.

Harry Miller, 53, from Lincoln was contacted on Wednesday by a community cohesion officer following a complaint that had been made about the plant and machinery dealer’s social media posts.

Ahhh a community cohesion officer, of course. Community cohesion is apparently mandatory and enforced by the police in the UK…but then what is it, exactly? We know it’s not about men threatening women because the police couldn’t care less about that – but it is about doggerel (it’s not a limerick) that makes fun of “gender identity”? We have to cohere when it comes to gender identity but we’re free to split apart when … Read the rest



Overruled

Jan 25th, 2019 8:20 am | By

Yesterday’s late breaking news:

Jared Kushner’s application for a top-secret clearance was rejected by two career White House security specialists after an FBI background check raised concerns about potential foreign influence on him — but their supervisor overruled the recommendation and approved the clearance, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

My first reaction was “we already knew that.” Didn’t we? There was plenty of coverage of Kushner’s failure to get a clearance, and administration bobbing and weaving about why he was allowed to be at meetings that were for people with security clearances, and then an obviously bogus clearance pushed through. Wasn’t there? But I guess the details weren’t pinned down.

The official, Carl Kline, is

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He mad

Jan 24th, 2019 4:41 pm | By

Or, “Nancy” as I call her

and she doesn’t want to hear more importantly the American people hear the truth

n I think that’s a great…BLAHHTSHHH

on the…incredible country that we all love

it’s a great great harrible mark

this is where people are ayfrayd to open up and say what’s going on

very very negative pard of histree… Read the rest



Now therefore

Jan 24th, 2019 3:35 pm | By

Trump is dreaming about the declaration of emergency again. His people are preparing a draft declaration.

“The massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day is a direct threat to the safety and security of our nation and constitutes a national emergency,” a draft of a presidential proclamation reads.

“Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C 1601, et seq.), hereby declare that a national emergency exists at the southern border of the United States,” the draft adds.

“The massive amount of aliens” – whoever wrote the draft doesn’t rite so good.… Read the rest



Exemplary

Jan 24th, 2019 11:32 am | By

Trump is a role model for bad heads of state.

Viktor Orban, Hungary’s increasingly autocratic leader, said Trump represents “permission” from “the highest position in the world.”

To Jair Bolsonaro, the new president of Brazil, the U.S. president is a barrier-breaker — proof that incendiary comments about women or minorities and a history of trafficking in conspiracy theories don’t need to stand in the way of taking power.

When the Nigerian army opened fire on rock-throwing demonstrators last fall, killing as many as 40 people, it defended itself by citing Trump’s threats to do the same at the Mexican border.

When the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia criticized ruler Hun Sen for cracking down on the opposition and

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Many thousands are in want of common necessaries

Jan 24th, 2019 10:50 am | By

Since Screechy Monkey and Pliny the In Between both quoted it, here is the full passage in A Christmas Carol:

They were portly gentlemen, pleasant to behold, and now stood, with their hats off, in Scrooge’s office. They had books and papers in their hands, and bowed to him.

“Scrooge and Marley’s, I believe,” said one of the gentlemen, referring to his list. “Have I the pleasure of addressing Mr. Scrooge, or Mr. Marley?”

“Mr. Marley has been dead these seven years,” Scrooge replied. “He died seven years ago, this very night.”

“We have no doubt his liberality is well represented by his surviving partner,” said the gentleman, presenting his credentials.

It certainly was; for they had been two … Read the rest



A little bit of pain

Jan 24th, 2019 10:40 am | By

I’ll just strum the Wilbur Ross guitar for a few more minutes…

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Wilbur Ross is disappointed

Jan 24th, 2019 8:08 am | By

More on Wilbur Ross and “why don’t they just take out a loan?”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday said he doesn’t understand why federal workers are visiting food banks during the partial government shutdown, saying they should instead seek low-interest loans from banks and credit unions to supplement their lost wages.

“I know they are, and I don’t really quite understand why,” Ross said on CNBC when asked about federal workers going to food banks. Ross is a billionaire and a longtime friend of President Trump.

“The idea that it’s paycheck or zero is not a really valid idea,” he said. “There’s no reason why some institution wouldn’t be willing to lend.”

Wellllll I can think of a reason. … Read the rest



Thoughts not all that much dissected

Jan 24th, 2019 7:55 am | By
Thoughts not all that much dissected

Stupid on Twitter.

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