Crisp and to the point

Sep 20th, 2020 5:14 pm | By
Image may contain: food, text that says 'MASK REQUIRED FOR SERVICE Do not pout. ാം not whine. Do not argue. Do not harass the employees. Do not spout conspiracy theories or regurgitate misinformation you got from your dumb uncle on Facebook. This isn't political; is basic health and safety. Do not choose to be the reason the rest of the world is laughing at us. "I forgot in my car." Well, go get it then. "This is Unconstitutional." No, it's not. "This is hoax." You're an idiot. EKROAST Chicken'


Heinous, twisted

Sep 20th, 2020 5:06 pm | By

Despicable.

At a rally in Minnesota, President Trump described an MSNBC anchor hit by a rubber bullet while covering protests after the death of George Floyd in May as “a beautiful sight,” comments quickly condemned by journalists including CNN’s Jake Tapper.

In a statement, an MSNBC spokesperson said “freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy. When the president mocks a journalist for the injury he sustained while putting himself in harm’s way to inform the public, he endangers thousands of other journalists and undermines our freedoms.”

Of course Trump wants to endanger journalists and undermine our freedoms, so saying that isn’t going to make him feel bad.

Velshi’s MSNBC colleagues Lawrence O’Donnell and Stephanie Ruhle both took to Twitter to condemn the president’s words. “The President of the United States is CHEERING & LYING about our friend & colleague Ali Velshi,” Ruhle said, “calling his injuries incurred while dong his job a beautiful sight.”

You know what would be a beautiful sight? Trump dragged away in handcuffs, screaming bloody murder.

Even Piers Morgan.



Respect ALL the idenninies

Sep 20th, 2020 12:06 pm | By

Another landmark ruling:

A U.K. employment tribunal has ruled that non-binary and gender fluid people are protected under the Equality Act.

Protected from what?

The Equality Act protects people from discrimination on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. But a landmark ruling today now confirms that protection to non-binary and gender fluid people does fall under the gender reassignment category, after years of ambiguity.

Protection from what though? Discrimination, it says, but what would discrimination against non-binary people look like? What exactly are we talking about?

The case was brought by a non-binary engineer working in Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) plant. Ms Taylor said she was harassed and directly discriminated against on the ground of gender reassignment.

But what’s a non-binary engineer?

Ms Taylor, who is non-binary, also told the tribunal about suffering difficulties with the use of toilet facilities and managerial support.

Did non-binary Ms Taylor want to use a different toilet facility every day? Every trip? Every other month? And what managerial support did shehe require?

Jaguar Land Rover said there was no gender reassignment so ???

However, today a tribunal upheld Ms Taylor’s claims of harassment, direct discrimination, victimisation and constructive dismissal.

Further adding it was “clear… that gender is a spectrum” and that it is “beyond any doubt” that claimant’s identity fell within the definition.

Clear??? It’s about as clear as the holy ghost.

The hearing heard how during the Equality Bill parliamentary debates in 2009 the Solicitor-General referred to a gender as a “spectrum” and that gender reassignment “concerns a personal journey and moving a gender identity away from birth sex.”

In other words navel-gazers gonna navel-gaze. Whatever, but why does everyone else have to agree with and prop up the navel-gazing? Why are we told it’s “clear” and that we have to worship at its feet?

The landmark judgment means that many other gender identities, beyond transgender, may also fall within the definition of gender reassignment in the Equality Act.

Many many many many many. They’re well up into the billions now. They can all sue, they can all punish us for not genuflecting. Good times on the way.

Robin Moira White, of Old Square Chambers, who represented Ms Taylor, says:

“This is an important judgment, albeit at first instance, recognising for the first time the rights of a small number of individuals with complex gender identities. Once again, the courts have shown themselves willing to stand up for the rights of individuals in a manner which demands respect and admiration. I pay tribute to my brave client.” 

But what rights? What follows from all this? Is the idea that people with “complex gender identities” can never be fired because hey why risk it when they are Protected? Or what? What are we required to do now? What is expected of us? What does any of this mindless pretentious gibberish mean?

“I see no reason why this ruling should not extend to other complex gender identities such as agender and genderqueer.”

Sure, why not. Nobody knows what any of it means so what the hell.

Dr S Chelvan, a Barrister at No5 Barristers’ Chambers and specialist in LGBTQ law, tells me this marks a ‘coming of age’ for U.K. LGBTQ law:

“Recognition of gender-fluid and non-binary identities within the gender reassignment protected characteristic in the Equality Act marks the coming of age of LGBT+ law. What makes us human is our differences. What makes us a free society, is our ability to celebrate and protect our right to be different, across the human spectrum.”

But what does that mean? What is “the human spectrum”? What does “Recognition of gender-fluid and non-binary identities” mean?

Usually law people are very careful about precision in language. Usually.

I would think this was a parody but it’s in Forbes.



The night prowler

Sep 20th, 2020 10:37 am | By

Been wondering why Trump talked to Woodward at all? I sort of wondered, before other things replaced it.

Trump was piqued that he did not take part in Woodward’s previous book, Fear, which reached damning conclusions about his administration, so was determined to give his version of events for Rage.

Because he’s too dim and too narcissistic – both! – to realize that his version would only damn him further.

As Woodward recalls of this “surreal time” starting last December, Trump initiated seven phone calls, sometimes at 10pm, sometimes at weekends. The author had to keep a tape recorder to hand at all times.

10 pm. Who the hell calls people – non-intimates – at 10 pm?

Stupid question. Trump. It’s a wonder he didn’t call at 2 a.m.

Apparently he wanders around the White House at night because he’s got nothing to do.

“I call him the night prowler. I think it’s true. He doesn’t drink. He has this kind of savage energy and it comes through in some of the recordings I’ve released. It comes through in his rallies. So for me, it’s a window into his mind. It’s much like, as somebody said, the Nixon tapes where you see what he’s actually thinking and doing.”

As one journalist observed on MSNBC: “Trump is the first candidate for president to launch an October surprise against himself. It’s as if Nixon sent the Nixon tapes to Woodward in an envelope by FedEx.”

The other defining issue of the year [along with the pandemic] has been an uprising against racial injustice following the police killing of George Floyd, an African American man, in Minneapolis in May. In one interview, Woodward confronted Trump about the need both men have to step into someone else’s shoes.

That is, to try to imagine what it would be like to be someone else, with different life circumstances.

“I said, ‘Look, I am somebody who comes from white privilege.’ My father was a lawyer and a judge in Illinois, and I reminded Trump he came from this white privilege also, and I just asked do you understand the anger and pain that particularly Black people feel in this country? He just mocks me and he says, ‘No, you really drank the Kool-Aid, didn’t you? Just listen to you, wow. No, I don’t feel that at all.’”

No, you callous shit, it’s not that we drank any Kool-Aid, it’s that you are too deficient in intelligence and empathy even to grasp that you are where you are because of where you started from.

“It’s about the awareness of what’s going on in the country that he governs. The Black Lives Matter movement was a slap in the face for all of us, particularly white privilege. It was all around us, it was obvious, there was articulation of it. There was support for it by white people.

“It’s a revolution of sorts and you connect directly to the civil rights movement and the awareness of what was going on and he didn’t understand it. He said, ‘Law and order, Bob, law and order, that’s what we’re going to do.’ Well, OK, there’s a problem there and it needs to be addressed very seriously, but law and order’s not enough.”

Oh no, you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid, you’re Woke, you’re virtue signalling, you’re antifa, yadda yadda yadda yadda.

Associate editor of the Washington Post, where he has worked for 49 years, Woodward is a shoe leather reporter of the old school for whom the border between fact and opinion is sacrosanct – the antithesis of journalists who flood social media with “hot takes”. So it is all the more surprising and striking that, in the book’s final sentence, he reaches an unequivocal conclusion: “Trump is the wrong man for the job.”

He explains by phone: “You have to tell the truth and you can’t dodge that if that’s what you believe the truth to be. As a reporter, one plus one equals two: you can say that. And this is factual. It’s overwhelming. It’s incontrovertible and, as people are saying, it’s bulletproof. So I left it in.”

I think that’s right, but I can also see ways to poke holes in it. It depends on what you think the job is, and how you define “wrong.” What if the job is to consolidate Republicans’ grip on power for years into the future? What if the job is to undermine the US to help Putin consolidate his power? What if the job is to make the rich richer and everyone else much poorer? Or to make American White again? Or to destroy environmental and safety regulations and crush the few remaining unions? Or to reduce the population? Or to make racists feel at home?

It all depends on where you’re standing.



Collective targeted abuse

Sep 20th, 2020 9:25 am | By

Catherine Bennett analogizes misogynist abuse of Rowling to the abuse of Salman Rushdie when the fatwa was issued:

Anyone who was around for the Rushdie fatwa may have been reminded of remarks by some eminent UK figures to the effect that, since he had caused actual book burnings and whatnot, he really should have known better. You often got the impression that a British-born target would have elicited more sympathy. “I would not shed a tear,” said the historian Lord Dacre, “if some British Muslims, deploring his manners, should waylay him in a dark street and seek to improve them.”

He wasn’t One of Us, and neither is Rowling.

In the case of Troubled Blood, not much changed after readers failed to spot any vilification of cross-dressers or of trans people. My colleague Nick Cohen’s reading is supported by early reader reviews on Amazon: “ignore the sensationalist headlines”, one writes, “this isn’t ‘that’ novel”.

But let’s abuse her anyway.

Maybe Rowling wasn’t trolling everyone via Strike, after all? Yes, but she is still JK Rowling, infuriatingly uncancelled by the latest Twitter charge sheet – and, maybe most galling of all, powerful and female. That’s enough, since nothing has been done to combat increasingly extreme and pervasive levels of misogynistic hate speech on social media, to guarantee an offending woman’s exposure to collective, targeted, sexualised abuse.

For the sake of standing up for those most downtrodden, fragile, vulnerable, at risk people of all…men. Women who refuse to agree that men are women if they say they are must face maximum level abuse; it’s only fair.

If you compare the online correction of male as opposed to female sympathisers with Rowling, what’s fuelling much of this new literary criticism is, as James Kirkup noted in the Times, dismally obvious: “It’s about people who hate women.” (Naturally, nobody immediately told Mr Kirkup to choke…) There were objections, but if the Rowling death hashtag was not rooted in misogyny, what explains the relentless rape speak, and the absence of similarly dehumanising insults when Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid in Harry Potter) volunteered his support for the author? That is, if it’s not the great misogyny facilitator, Twitter itself.

…The less easily her book could be represented as a suitable candidate for Goebbels treatment, the more last week’s indulgently curated insults added to the evidence marshalled by Laura Bates, and consistently indicated in earlier research, that the misogyny of the manosphere has permeated mainstream culture. In 2018, Amnesty identified Twitter as “a toxic place for its female users”. Now, regardless of earnest pledges to improve, the reach of its orchestrated abuse must be the envy of the most rabid subreddit.

So long as misogyny stays off the list of hate crimes, and endemic male violence against women remains a negligible political concern, it evidently suits both certain campaigners and this social media platform to keep up their contributions to the spread of professional, private and street-located hate.

We thought misogyny was going to fade away. We did not think it was going to come roaring back.



Leeds

Sep 20th, 2020 8:08 am | By

From what I can tell so far, a few gender critical women put on a small, socially distanced political discussion in Leeds today. Result: they got arrested.

Yeah, women, eh – what could they have to protest about? Silly bitches.



The most beautiful thing

Sep 19th, 2020 4:33 pm | By

Trump’s sniggering glee that a journalist reporting on a protest was injured by police is really sticking in my craw. I’m sick of having a psychopath as president, and not only as president but going out and encouraging other people to laugh and cheer at police violence against journalists.

“I remember this guy Velshi,” Trump said. “He got hit in the knee with a canister of tear gas and he went down. He was down. ‘My knee, my knee.’ Nobody cared, these guys didn’t care, they moved him aside.”

I wonder if that’s what Princess Ivanka means when she says she loves him for being real.

“And they just walked right through. It was the most beautiful thing,” Trump said. “No, because after we take all that crap for weeks and weeks, and you finally see men get up there and go right through them, wasn’t it really a beautiful sight? It’s called law and order.”

No it isn’t, for at least two reasons. One, Velshi wasn’t breaking any law or fomenting any disorder. Two, the law isn’t supposed to just start shooting people for no reason, even with rubber bullets.

In a statement, an MSNBC spokesperson said, “Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy. When the President mocks a journalist for the injury he sustained while putting himself in harm’s way to inform the public, he endangers thousands of other journalists and undermines our freedoms.”

During his live broadcast in May, Velshi and his crew could be seen covering a protest during broad daylight when police began firing tear gas at them.

“There has been no provocation, there was nothing that happened whatsoever,” Velshi said. “The police pulled into this intersection, unprovoked, right into the middle of the crowd, split the crowd, started firing in both directions. They now have fired at us.”

Velshi and his crew quickly moved back, but several minutes later Velshi was struck by a rubber bullet and grasped his knee in visible pain.

And Trump finds that “beautiful” and hilarious, and eggs the crowd on to laugh and rejoice.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh falsely asserted in a statement to CNN on Saturday that Trump was “calling the restoration of peace ‘a beautiful thing,'” despite the President’s clear remarks about Velshi having been captured on video.

Murtaugh’s statement concluded by attacking the media.

I want the grownups back.



A beautiful thing?

Sep 19th, 2020 11:52 am | By

A new level of disgusting.

Ali Velshi isn’t sure about the beauty.



His words

Sep 19th, 2020 11:14 am | By

He’s already said he’s not going to abide by it.



This case is different

Sep 19th, 2020 10:58 am | By

Now wait just a second here.

On Friday night, Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, declared: “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

There was an outcry, accusing McConnell of hypocrisy. When the conservative Antonin Scalia died in February 2016, also an election year, McConnell refused to act on Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to fill the opening. The seat remained vacant until after Trump’s victory.

McConnell argues this case is different because in 2016 the president was Democratic and the Senate majority was Republican but now the same party controls both. His opposite number, Chuck Schumer, and the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, instantly rejected the view.

What are we talking about? “This case is different” in what sense? On the merits, or on the basis of “we can crush you”? On law and precedent and fairness, or on because we can? Obviously the power balance is very different, but the case is not.

Obama wrote in a Medium post: “Four and a half years ago, when Republicans refused to hold a hearing or an up-or-down vote on Merrick Garland, they invented the principle that the Senate shouldn’t fill an open seat on the supreme court before a new president was sworn in.

“A basic principle of the law – and of everyday fairness – is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment. The rule of law, the legitimacy of our courts, the fundamental workings of our democracy all depend on that basic principle. As votes are already being cast in this election, Republican senators are now called to apply that standard.”

But Republicans have made it all too clear that they don’t care about rule of law, the legitimacy of our courts, the fundamental workings of our democracy. They care about returning women to the prison of unwanted pregnancy, pulverizing the Voting Rights Act, gutting environmental regulations, making the rich ever richer.



How not to social media

Sep 19th, 2020 10:41 am | By

“Well you see constable I was filming a video for Snapchat…”

A woman fell out of a moving car on the M25 while leaning out of the window to film a video for Snapchat.

She’s all right so we get to laugh at her.

She’s another Fellini, a Truffaut, a Scorsese. I can’t wait to see the full movie.



When the witch hunters ask

Sep 19th, 2020 9:04 am | By



The entirety of your community

Sep 19th, 2020 8:59 am | By

More transphobia spotted!

Trans advocate Jayce Carver said she believes Igor Dzaic should bow out of the Ward 7 byelection after his “transphobic” tweet came to light.

“Imagine thinking that to be a woman all you have to do is say you are and get a few surgeries, even though you’re a man,” read one of Dzaic’s tweets. “You must not value real women at all.”

Carver said Dzaic apologized for some of his social media posts, which she said is “kind of too little too late.”

How much do you value real women though, Jayce Carver?

“When you are a politician, you’re supposed to represent the entirety of your community,” said Carver. “Trans-identified people — although we are a small part of the community — we are part of the community.”

Wait, what does that mean?

When you’re a politician, you are supposed to represent everyone in your district or riding or state or whatever it may be, in the sense of working for everyone, doing your best for everyone, using your office to help everyone where necessary, and the like. That doesn’t mean you’re supposed to “represent” everyone in the sense of being like everyone (which is impossible), or approving of everyone, or agreeing with everyone, or being uncritical of the views of everyone.

It seems it was Chase Strangio who inspired him.

Well we can’t have that.

Meanwhile, on the campaign trail some candidates have spoken publicly about Dzaic’s tweets.

“Many of these posts were uninformed & misleading, and the hurtful language this candidate used in his writing has caused residents of our community great pain,” said candidate Farah El-Hajj in a statement.

There’s the “pain” trope again. Why is it dogma that trans people – mostly trans women i.e. men – are peculiarly subject to pain? Why is it dogma that men who say they are women are vastly more subject to pain than women are? It’s a weird inside-out form of bullying, but bullying it is.

Candidate Howard Weeks is also calling for Dzaic to step away from the byelection race.

“I want to state in no uncertain terms that that spewing this kind of garbage is totally unacceptable and due to the fact that his actions may reflect badly on the other candidates and the race itself I’m calling for him to remove himself as soon as possible,” he said in a statement.

If it had been casual Twitter misogyny, would El-Hajj and Weeks have responded with such vehemence and catastrophizing?

I don’t think so.



Playing the pain card

Sep 19th, 2020 8:14 am | By

Even when pointing out that Rowling’s new novel isn’t all about a trans woman, it’s imperative to put the boot in anyway. After several paragraphs of plot summary to make clear that the minor character who puts on lady-coat and a wig isn’t trans and isn’t the main suspect, the final paragraph gets to the boot.

Perhaps some will still consider this depiction transphobic, given Rowling’s rightly widely criticised views on trans people.

How different that sentence would have been without the “rightly.” Miles less ugly and clumsy, for a start – “Rowling’s rightly widely criticised views” – that is a mess. But substantively – who says “rightly”? I say “wrongly” so now what do we do? It’s not just a simple fact that the criticism of what Rowling said was all “rightly” done. And then there’s something missing: it wasn’t just a matter of criticizing her views, it was a torrent of abuse, much of it misogynist and violent and disgusting. Can we “rightly” criticize that? And then there’s the sloppiness of “views on trans people” without any specifics, which obscures the fact that Rowling didn’t simply shout abuse of trans people, or anything like it.

It is, at best, an utterly tone-deaf decision to include an evil man who cross-dresses after months of pain among trans people and their allies.

There it is again, the emotional blackmail. What pain? It looked to me more like people having a blast abusing a woman. Or if we are going to talk about people’s pain, what about the pain of women who are called names and told to stfu about their own concerns and accused of phobias and labeled Karens and bullied off social media? What about that pain?



Oaths

Sep 18th, 2020 4:48 pm | By

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh fuck.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Champion Of Gender Equality, Dies At 87

Fuck fuck fuck



In tune with the Zeitgeist

Sep 18th, 2020 4:10 pm | By

Not all that funny.

I have to say that I find this pretty amusing. After Princeton’s President (like officials of many other colleges) wrote a letter flagellating himself and his University for systemic racism, the U.S. Department of Education has begun investigating Princeton for violating Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The charge is taking federal money for years while purporting to abide by federal nondiscrimination and equal-opportunity standards. If Princeton is indeed rife with “systemic racism” that it hasn’t addressed, then surely they have violated that agreement.

I saw items about it earlier today, and had the same ambivalent reaction.

I get why it’s a little funny, I suppose. I definitely get that it can be cringe-inducing to see presidents of ivy league universities and the like accuse their universities of systemic racism, but at the same time…should we really just assume that there is no such systemic racism? If the “we” in question means white people? Do we just know, for certain, that we recognize it when we see it and instantly leap to stamp it out, leaving the world cleaner and better?

I don’t think we do know that, and I don’t think we should assume it. We should probably also avoid narcissistic displays of self-accusation, but I don’t know that that’s what the Princeton president was doing. (I grew up in Princeton by the way. It’s very very white, and very impressed with itself, and very snooty – at least it was then. That’s Princeton the town, but most people I know who went to the university confirm that the two take their style from each other.)

The thing is, the white majority went along for decade after decade not giving a single thought to systemic racism, or any other kind, and taking the racism around them (us) for granted. The Civil Rights movement started a change in that, but is it finished? Of course it’s not. Trump has dragged us sharply backwards in some ways, with enthusiastic help from Stephen Miller and Don Junior and other assorted shits. The problem isn’t solved or over, so how likely is it that crusty old elite institutions like Princeton have shed all trace of racism? By the way it was much favored by the few [editing to add: pre-Civil War] southern boys who went north for further education – Yale and Harvard were seen as way too Yankee, while Princeton was more relaxed and forgiving…of white boys.

It’s true that I wouldn’t have any idea how to come up with concrete evidence that Princeton is systemically racist – not unless I got some social science training at least – but I don’t think that means I have to assume there absolutely is none. I think the jeering about this is a bit trumpish.

This is amusing because I don’t believe that Princeton is systemically racist, though there may be private instances of racism. And yet the University had to admit deep-seated racism to keep in tune with the Zeitgeist. By so doing, it got itself investigated. It’ll be interesting to see how Princeton plays this one, maintaining that it has a climate of systemic racism but yet doesn’t violate federal statues.

But maybe it’s not quite that simple. Maybe they’re not just “keeping in tune with the Zeitgeist.” Maybe they really do think racism isn’t over yet and therefore they shouldn’t take it for granted that there’s no trace of it at Princeton. Is that out of the question? I’m not seeing it.



Shifted more copies

Sep 18th, 2020 3:30 pm | By

Heh.

Heh heh.

Heh heh heh heh.

Troubled Blood, the new book from Robert Galbraith aka J K Rowling, has shifted more copies in a day than Lethal White sold in its first week, according to publisher Little, Brown.

Oops.



Don’t ask Mister Narcissist

Sep 18th, 2020 2:41 pm | By

Aaron Rupar on Trump’s Hymn to White Resentment:

The solution, Trump claimed, is to “restore patriotic education to our schools.” He said he’ll create a new “1776 Commission” to “encourage our educators to teach our children about the miracle of American history and make plans to honor the 250th anniversary of our founding.”

“Our heroes will never be forgotten. Our youth will be taught to love America with all of their heart and all of their soul,” he added.

Hitler's Youth: How The Third Reich Used Children To Wage War - HistoryExtra

What this will end up meaning in practice isn’t clear, and isn’t really important. For Trump, what matters is to signal to racial reactionaries that he’s on their side.

In case they hadn’t already figured that out.

This legacy of racism has tangible consequences. Black Americans have lower life expectancies and make less than whites, even adjusted for education. (And adjusting for education is important, because in this area as well Blacks fare worse than whites.

See also: police violence, rates of incarceration, length of sentences, and the like.

But instead of even paying lip service to structural racism, Trump has consistently denied that such a thing exists. In a July interview with CBS, for instance, Trump responded to a straightforward question about why he thinks Black people continue to be killed by police by lashing out — at the questioner.

“And so are white people. So are white people,” Trump said. “What a terrible question to ask.”

But it’s not a terrible question to ask, Mister Narcissist, because racism is real and does make a difference, or a million differences.



Something missing?

Sep 18th, 2020 2:25 pm | By

Um…



Bad people bad bad bad

Sep 18th, 2020 2:04 pm | By

Mister Stupid say that man is bad man, he doesn’t say anteefuh is bad people who do bad things, he must be bad man.