Dec 10th, 2019 5:20 pm | By

Jennifer Rubin is pissed at William Barr.

William P. Barr’s Tuesday interview with NBC News was certainly the most dishonest, frightful and deplorable given by an attorney general in modern times. He attacked the just-released inspector general report and excoriated the FBI for a “travesty” in investigating Russian manipulation of our 2016 election. His false — deliberately false — assertions were jaw-dropping:

Barr claimed, “From day one, it generated exculpatory information and nothing that substantiated any kind of collusion.” False. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III found substantial evidence of interaction but did not pursue the noncriminal charge of “collusion.” He could not prove criminal conspiracy. Since then, at the Roger Stone trial, evidence has arisen confirming a line of communication from WikiLeaks to Stone to the campaign.

Barr impugned inspector general Michael Horowitz: “All he said was, people gave me an explanation and I didn’t find anything to contradict it … he hasn’t decided the issue of improper motive,” Barr said. “I think we have to wait until the full investigation is done.” False. In his report, Horowitz wrote, “We also sought to determine whether there was evidence that political bias or other improper considerations affected decision-making in Crossfire Hurricane, including the decision to open the investigation.” He found no “documentary or testimonial evidence” of bias in those decisions.

Barr declared, “I think there were gross abuses … and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI.” False. The nonpartisan inspector general found fault with certain actions (specifically the application to conduct surveillance on Carter Page) but obliterated conspiracy theories that the FBI was biased, that it spied on Donald Trump’s campaign, etc. (“All of the witnesses we interviewed told the OIG that the FBI did not try to recruit members of the Trump campaign as [Confidential Human Sources], did not send CHSs to collect information in Trump campaign headquarters or Trump campaign spaces, and did not ask CHSs to join the Trump campaign or otherwise attend campaign related events as part of the investigation. Using the methodology described above, we found no information indicating otherwise.”)

Barr accused the Obama administration of using “the law enforcement agencies and the intelligence agencies, both to spy on political opponents, but also to use them in a way that could affect the outcome of the election.” He claimed this was a bigger threat than Russia. False. None of this was substantiated in any fashion by the inspector general. This is akin to claiming Obama bugged Trump Tower.

I don’t understand these people. I keep trying but I just don’t. I can’t see how it’s worth it to defend Trump at all, let alone to do it by telling all these lies about people who, unlike Trump, are not evil.

Barr’s conduct is nothing short of disgraceful and continues his pattern of misstating facts and out-and-out lying about documents to protect President Trump. The House Judiciary Committee should call him up to the Hill and make him explain his remarks, this time under oath. While impeachment of Barr is likely too much to ask, a motion of censure would be entirely appropriate. The next president should conduct a thorough investigation of Barr’s antics and identify those who enabled him in violation of ethical obligations.

I would like to see Warren do that.

Can we have rights too?

Dec 10th, 2019 4:41 pm | By

The Australian reports:

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has banned a women’s group from office facilities made available to community organisations because of its “exclusionary” views on transgender issues.

The federal member for Clark allows community groups to use his taxpayer-funded photocopying facilities in Hobart. Until recently this included feminist group Women Speak Tasmania.

WST has in recent years clashed with transgender activists over law reform, with the group concerned about the sanctity and safety of female-only services and places. Mr Wilkie has now banned the group from using the facilities, telling The Weekend Australian he sees its views as “discriminatory” and “exclusionary”.

WST is furious over the ban, accusing Mr Wilkie of discriminating against the group, while allowing “radical” trans groups to continue to use his office facilities despite their attacks on women’s rights to female-only services.

“There is clearly a direct attack on women’s sex-based rights at the moment,” WST spokeswoman Isla MacGregor told The Australian.

“Australia is in the grip of a psychosis whipped up the by gender lobby that (says) ‘trans women are women and anybody who opposes that is a hate group’.

“I think that Wilkie has fallen for that ploy and it’s tragic that he has … He needs to do more homework.”

She said WST’s opposition to “male-bodied” people accessing female-only services and places was about defending women’s rights and safety, not inciting hatred towards transgender people.

If we keep saying it maybe some day they will hear.

Guest post: If acceptance is only skin-deep

Dec 10th, 2019 3:45 pm | By

Originally a comment by Artymorty on Advanced well-poisoning.

sexist & homophobic & transphobic

There it is again. That word, homophobic, as always, right at transpbobia’s side. It makes me increasingly uncomfortable to see it there. Upset even. I’ve been trying to collect my thoughts on why that is. It’s something like this:

Is this how they felt about gay rights? Is this how they felt about us? It scares me a little.

I thought society came to accept gays because they thought hard and came to truly understand in a deep sense what homosexuality is: namely, an immutable trait, not a choice, not a danger to society, etc.

But the way people are reacting to the trans agenda, and directly analogizing it to gay rights, indicates that the real lesson they learned from the gay rights movement wasn’t to listen, learn and understand, but merely to bury any doubts or discomfort deep inside and attack anyone who raises any issues or expresses any concerns.

It’s true that in the case of gay rights, it turns out most (though not all*) concerns about gay rights activism didn’t have any legitimate merit — they were merely “moral disgust in drag” (as Jane Clare Jones put it). But we figured that out by listening to people who spoke up with concerns and holding those concerns up to scrutiny — where they (mostly) failed to pass muster.

That’s a process that isn’t happening with trans activism. And it makes me feel like maybe nobody really did hold their concerns or discomfort about gays up to scrutiny but instead were merely conditioned to feel guilty for having discomfort in the first place, and that they had a moral obligation to suppress those thoughts. Here I’ve been thinking I’m living in a world where homophobia has been eradicated on the Left by the triumph of rational argument, and it’s looking more and more like it’s merely been suppressed on the Left by social pressure.

The trans rights agenda really is nothing like gay rights, and there are legitimate problems with it. I would have thought the left would gladly be pointing that out — making use of that rational thinking stuff that worked so well for gay rights, to expose the problems with trans activism, and strengthen everyone’s rights — women, gays and lesbians, and transsexuals. But all I’m seeing over and over again is a message that goes something like, “the gays taught us we’re supposed to shut up and be good allies no matter how we feel, and now we have to do the same for trans people.”

That’s not a healthy or stable basis for maintaining our rights. If those attitudes aren’t truly felt, but merely enforced by social norms, whats going to happen in a crisis where social norms are weakened? Global warming, economic or political strife? If gay and trans acceptance is only skin-deep, they will be the first things to go. Trans activism should be welcoming more debate, more critical inquiry, to strengthen everyone’s understanding of transsexuals’ rightful place in society.

*Pedophiles latched onto the gay rights movement; it’s a good thing critics had space to call the movement out for harboring them, and the movement eventually got its act together and pushed the pedophiles out. That’s a good example of how open dialogue led to a stronger, better gay rights movement.

Whose “bad faith”?

Dec 10th, 2019 11:36 am | By

NBC’s interview with Barr:

Attorney General William Barr said he still believes the FBI may have operated out of “bad faith” when it investigated whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and he contends the FBI acted improperly by continuing the investigation after Donald Trump took office.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Barr essentially dismissed the findings of the Justice Department’s inspector general that there was no evidence of political bias in the launching of the Russia probe, saying that his hand-picked prosecutor, John Durham, will have the last word on the matter.

Except that’s not how it works. The inspector general oversees the Justice Department, not the other way around. Barr’s personal prosecutor doesn’t get to have the last word.

“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press,” Barr said. “I think there were gross abuses …and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI.”

“I think that leaves open the possibility that there was bad faith.”

I think Barr is acting as Trump’s bag man rather than the Attorney General for the whole country.

Barr’s blistering criticism of the FBI’s conduct in the Russia investigation, which went well beyond the errors outlined in the inspector general report, is bound to stoke further controversy about whether the attorney general is acting in good faith, or as a political hatchet man for Trump.

I don’t see much room for “controversy.” He’s all but carrying a hatchet in each hand and one between his teeth.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz, after reviewing a million documents and interviewing 100 people, concluded that he “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open” the investigations into Trump campaign aides.

But Barr argued that Horowitz didn’t look very hard, and that the inspector general accepted the FBI’s explanations at face value.

Shall we have a controversy over whether or not Barr is a total hack?

They’re inside the house

Dec 10th, 2019 11:10 am | By

Banana Republic stuff:

Attorney General Bill Barr’s NBC News interview attacking the FBI stunned many legal and government experts on Tuesday.

After Barr criticized Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s finding that the FBI’s investigations into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian agents during the 2016 presidential election was justified, he also accused the FBI of running a “bad faith” investigation and said actions like that represent the biggest threat to the integrity of American elections.

Don Moynihan, a professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, was astonished by the attorney general’s attacks on the law enforcement agencies that he oversees.

“The Attorney General is saying that the FBI is a bigger threat to the United States than Russia,” he wrote on Twitter. “This is banana republic stuff.”

New York University Law professor Ryan Goodman, meanwhile, argued that Barr’s declaration that the FBI’s actions represented a massive danger to American democracy stand in stark contrast to his belief that President Donald Trump has the right to use the machinery of the State Department to pressure foreign governments to launch investigations into his political rivals.

I think I must have missed the meeting or convention or conference where the Republican party decided it was going to be the party of Russia and organized crime now. Obviously they made this clear to the voting public at some point, right? I mean, in words, as opposed to just doing it?

Swinson isn’t the brightest spark

Dec 10th, 2019 10:49 am | By

Julie Bindel is not impressed by Jo Swinson.

On the Today programme this morning, Jo Swinson, in her bumbling, inarticulate and irritating fashion suggested that biological sex does not exist. Yes, that’s right. A woman who has said, on many an occasion, that her female sex has given an unfair advantage to the male party leaders during the election campaign due to sexism, has effectively undermined her own argument. Because, for sexism to exist, so too must biological sex.

Indeed, and for male party leaders to have an unfair advantage over female candidates, there have to be male and female – real male and female, not subjective feelings of having a male or female essence or soul or idenniny.

The Today presenter, Justin Webb, then pointed out to Swinson that male-bodied people (also known as “men”) could do “enormous damage” to women. This is why, he pointed out, women need safe spaces to escape male violence. Swinson responded by arguing that refuges constantly carry out risk assessments, such as when a female victim of domestic violence is put in the same refuge as her violent lesbian partner.

Now, Swinson isn’t the brightest spark, but how dare she suggest that lesbians are as violent as trans-identified men?

By swallowing The New Dogma whole without so much as checking the ingredients first, that’s how.

But this is typical of Swinson, who is playing to the woke class and virtue-signalling like crazy – as she does during every interview on women’s sex-based rights, where she also uses the deeply offensive term “cis women”, as if women are a sub-category of our own sex…

It appears she is happy to sell 51 per cent of the population to the wolves in order to please men. Because that is what is happening with the extreme trans activism today. It is gaining traction because this belief system is a way to attempt to destroy women’s rights, and plenty of men are happy to see that happen.

Plenty of men but also, tragically and mystifyingly, plenty of women.

Advanced well-poisoning

Dec 10th, 2019 9:22 am | By

The Seattle Times has a piece on the campaign to bully the library into canceling the feminist event scheduled for February 1. It’s a classic of the type, in treating The Trans Community as The Oppressed Group and feminist women as the oppressors – not just the oppressors but the obvious oppressors, the eternal oppressors, the everyone knows they’re oppressors oppressors. It’s as if that whole thing where people started to realize that it wasn’t somehow written into the laws of the cosmos that women had to be second-class citizens had never happened.

All the more pathetic since it’s a woman who wrote the piece. This woman:

So…the society is sexist and homophobic and transphobic so the way to deal with that is to make sure that these feminists are not allowed to speak. How does that work exactly?

So let’s look at how she poisons the well.

Community members including transgender locals and trans allies have inundated the Seattle Public Library with calls and emails, asking the library system to cancel an upcoming event hosted by the Women’s Liberation Front— a self-described “radical feminist organization” that has publicly espoused what critics call anti-trans views.

Self-described, meaning, they’re lying, plus the scare quotes, so they’re lying LYING.

And it’s only WoLF that’s given this treatment – there’s no “trans activists have espoused what critics call misogynist views.” We’re told what we must think in that first sentence.

The group’s event, titled “Fighting the New Misogyny: A Feminist Critique of Gender Identity,” is publicized as “a critical analysis of gender identity” that will “make powerful arguments for sex-based women’s rights,” according to the event page. The event, scheduled to be held Feb. 1 in the Microsoft Auditorium at the Seattle Public Library – Central Branch, has placed the library at the center of a firestorm over how it can maintain its commitment to evolving ideas of intellectual freedom, provide access to information for the entire community, and be an inclusive space where all patrons feel safe and welcome.

Because, we are meant to think, the WoLF event will make patrons feel unsafe and unwelcome. But what about women? Does this rush to cancel and silence feminists make women feel safe and welcome?

Marcellus Turner, chief librarian for the Seattle Public Library (SPL), said in a statement that the event request from the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) was initially processed because it was labeled as a women’s-rights talk.

I don’t think that is what he said*, but in any case – it is a women’s rights talk. But Crystal Post wants us to think it isn’t, and that it was “labeled” that as a ruse.

Offensive speech and hate speech are protected under the First Amendment, unless the speech is deemed targeted harassment or to be a threat. However, when the American Library Association (ALA) considered amending its policies to explicitly allow members of hate groups to rent rooms last year, many ALA members pushed back, arguing that hate speech threatens the physical safety and validity of patrons and library staff from marginalized communities.

What are we meant to think? That’s too easy. We are, of course, meant to think that the WoLF event will be all offensive and hate speech.

The Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) prohibits discrimination because of “gender expression or identity,” defined as “having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression, whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth.”

We’re meant to think that WoLF will be promoting discrimination because of gender identity.

Library administrators are consulting other libraries, transgender staff and organizations, and with the city’s legal department to determine their next steps, Turner said.

Anything missing? Oh yes, women. Well women are the oppressor, so obviously no need to consult them. Bitches.

The Gender Justice League, a Seattle nonprofit that advocates for gender and sexuality justice, said in a statement they will speak with SPL leadership to help them consider the issue’s complexities.

“The end result of a hate group using the library as a venue to ‘critique’ the existence of a minority group creates a hostile environment and is unacceptable,” they wrote.

But it’s not a hate group.

WoLF is not listed as a hate group in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s extensive documentation of such groups in the U.S. However, WoLF has frequently been referred to by others as a hate group or trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) group, including in an online editorial for Out Magazine by Chase Strangio, the deputy director for transgender justice with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project.

Here, have some more poison for that well.

Then she does give WoLF and Meghan two whole paragraphs to say WoLF is not a hate group and that “TERF” is an offensive and dangerous label. Then it’s back to well-poisoning.

Tobi Hill-Meyer, co-executive director of the Gender Justice League, says the League characterizes WoLF as a hate group because “their stated purpose is to critique the existence of trans people and in this current climate that’s a serious threat.”

No their purpose is not to “critique” anyone’s existence. That’s a venomous canard meant to nudge people into thinking gender critics want trans people dead, which is not the case.

According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the dehumanization of transgender people and anti-trans stigma intertwines with racism, sexism, and marginalization to create higher risks of violence against trans people.

But, again, “dehumanization” is irrelevant. It’s not the goal. Saying men are not women is not dehumanizing. Refusing to let men speak for women is not dehumanizing. Refusing to let men pretend they can speak for women by claiming to be women is not dehumanizing.

There’s a lot more of the same; I’m tired of it.

*Updating to add: I was wrong, he did say that.

A nonprofit group called the Women’s Liberation Front made a booking last month for space at the Central Library to hold a private event labeled as a women’s rights talk and presentation.

Of course, it was labeled as that because that’s what it is, but anyway, Post did quote him accurately.

Guest post: You ignore the anger of women at your peril

Dec 9th, 2019 4:59 pm | By

Originally a comment by KB Player on Any Man.

Jo Swinson, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, was on Today Radio 4 BBC this morning. Sarah Ditum spoke about it on LBC.

“When the leader of the Liberal Democrats was asked, “Do you recognise biological sex exists?”

J Swinson replied: “Not on a binary – I don’t think things are as binary as is often presented. Yes most people are male or female.”

“I think it’s an answer that sounds extremely strange if you haven’t been immersed in the whole debate about sex and gender for a really long time,” said Sarah Ditum, feminist critic and columnist, “the problem for Jo Swinson is the Liberal Democrats have cultivated this policy, had lots of internal discussion but all from one perspective.

“Having put their promises about recognising self-identified gender and an x option for passports,” she continued, “they’re having to answer questions on the national platform and they haven’t actually developed the answer to these questions at all. So what she’s said is actually nonsense – sex is clearly binary.”

It’s astonishing how something as off-beat as this has now become an election issue in the UK.

It’s causing ructions in the Scottish Nationalist Party (yay!). Unfortunately it’s a couple of the nastier Nats who are the most vocally anti-trans. Joanna Cherry, MP a contender for being leader of the party and who is a bully, is now denounced as a transphobe for speaking out about the abuse and for being chary about self-identification. Most divisive of all is Stuart Campbell aka Wings Over Scotland who has very much taken against the trans issue. Wings is a revolting character who brought a lot of nastiness and abuse to social media during the independence referendum. He also has a huge following.

I won’t link to his site but I thought this was an interesting comment – that parties taking on the trans issue and not allowing discussion on it has put off women from doing the activist work that women chiefly shoulder i.e. the envelope stuffing.

“This is the SNP Women’s Pledge:

Women have the right to discuss policies which affect them, such as the proposed self identification of sex, without being abused or silenced

Women have the right to maintain their sex based protections as set out in the Equality Act 2010. These include female only spaces such as changing rooms, hospital wards, sanitary and sleeping accommodation, refuges, hostels and prisons.

Women have the right to refuse consent to males in single sex spaces or males delivering intimate services to females such as washing, dressing or counselling.

Women have the right to single sex sport to ensure fairness and safety at all levels of competition.

Women have the right to organise themselves according to their sex class across a range of cultural, leisure, educational and political activities.”

All of the points listed reflect current UK law. And I repeat again what I said earlier – you ignore the anger of women about this assault on our rights at your peril. As in any political movement, women are doing most of the drudge work, the heavy lifting behind the scenes of the independence movement. The supporters of the 2017 SNP campaign locally who did the envelope stuffing and leafletting were about 75% or so women.

I’ve already heard about several local SNP campaigns that are struggling because so many of the women have walked or been bullied away. And the youngsters who caused that don’t seem to be willing or able to fully replace the capable, hard-working and dedicated women they’ve driven away. Worse still, a great many women have now said this is the last time they’re putting all of their time and effort into a party intent on stripping them of their rights. They’ve gritted their teeth this one last time.

Women are the sex least likely to vote yes. They will be even less likely to vote yes when they realise that the only way we can hold on to our legal rights is by staying in the UK because the Scottish Government is funding and partnering with organisations which have publicly lobbied the UK Government to remove women’s legal protections.

So when the pro-indy women leave the SNP independence movement in droves because the SNP leadership will not listen to our concerns, don’t blame Stu. He tried to warn you all what was going on, but he’s been told to stay in his lane and stick to writing about independence. But as Stu is trying to tell you all, independence will not happen without the support of women and the SNP is hellbent on disenfranchising us.

It’s a simple choice the men in the independence movement face – make this the first political movement that doesn’t take the women fighting alongside them for granted. The first not to treat the women in its ranks as second class members. Don’t echo the contempt and disdain all these other movements have shown to the needs and rights of its female members. Be the kind of men an independent Scotland needs and accept us as equals and our rights just as important as those of a group of your fellow men.


Dec 9th, 2019 12:01 pm | By

Call me crazy but maybe an active volcano is not an ideal tourist destination? Possibly?


There are 5 dead and 8 missing.

The survivors were taken off the uninhabited island by boat or by helicopter. Emergency services have so far been unable to search the area because of dangerous conditions, with plumes of smoke and ash continuing to rise above the volcano on Tuesday.

Tourists had been seen walking inside the crater of White Island volcano moments before it erupted.

White Island, also called Whakaari, is the country’s most active volcano. Despite that, the privately owned island is a tourist destination with frequent day tours and scenic flights available.

Maybe that’s not actually such a brilliant idea? An active volcano?

Prime Minister Ardern paid tribute to helicopter crews who had flown to the island on Monday to bring people out despite the dangers.

“I want to acknowledge the courageous decision made by first responders and those pilots who in their immediate rescue efforts made an incredibly brave decision under extraordinarily dangerous circumstances in an attempt to get people out,” she said.

And maybe let’s not put them in danger that way any more.

There are few details about those caught in the eruption. Some who had gone to the island were passengers from the Ovation of the Seas, a cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean.

Small world thing here: I’m acquainted with that ship, because in the summer it does Seattle to Alaska cruises and it ties up at a pier at the bottom of the hill I live at the top of which. I can’t see it from here but I can hear it, and if I go outside and walk a couple of minutes to the view wall I can see it just fine, which is how I know its name.

There was a group of people inside the crater just before the blast, so those will be the 8 missing.

The island, also known as Whakaari, is privately owned and is typically visited by thousands of tourists every year, despite the fact that it has been erupting in some form since 2011.

Geological hazard monitors GeoNet pass on information about the volcano’s activity to tour operators and the police, but tourists make their own decisions about whether to visit.

Visitors are supplied with hard hats and gas masks to protect against sulphurous steam and must have suitable footwear to make the tour, according to New Zealand website Stuff.

The owners of Whakatane-based company White Island Tours are the official guardians of the island, which was declared a private scenic reserve in 1952, and they grant access through designated tour operators.

According to the New Zealand Herald, White Island Tours warned on its website that visitors “should be aware that there is always a risk of eruptive activity regardless of the alert level”, while stating it followed a “comprehensive safety plan which determines” its activities on the island “at the various levels”.

Including letting people go inside the crater?

Women’s bodies don’t belong to them

Dec 9th, 2019 11:14 am | By

Abortion rights? The Supreme Court looks the other way.

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to a Kentucky law requiring doctors to describe ultrasound images and play fetal heartbeat sound to abortion seekers.

Challengers, including an abortion clinic, argued that the law forced patients to see the images even if she didn’t want to, and that it violated doctors’ First Amendment rights.

Civil rights groups blasted the court’s decision not to take up the challenge.

“By refusing to review the 6th Circuit’s ruling, the Supreme Court has rubber-stamped extreme political interference in the doctor-patient relationship,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “This law is not only unconstitutional, but as leading medical experts and ethicists explained, deeply unethical.”

Oh well, it’s only women.

Any man

Dec 9th, 2019 10:50 am | By

They just can’t get this right. The BBC on Jo Swinson and the LibDems and “reform” of the Gender Recognition Act:

Critics of the Lib Dems plan to reform the Gender Recognition Act, including some women’s rights groups and Christian organisations, have warned that it will make it easier for someone born as a man but now identifying as a women to gain access to women-only spaces such as toilets, changing rooms, prisons and women’s refuges.

No. They have warned that it will make it easier for any man to gain access to women-only spaces such as toilets, changing rooms, prisons and women’s refuges, whether he identifies as a woman or not.

Ms Swinson was challenged on the issue during a BBC Radio 5 Live election phone-in, when she was asked by a caller to say “what a woman is”.

The Lib Dem leader said she believed people could “understand their own identity” and it was right, in terms of the law, “for them” to define it.

Can I define myself as a 1962 Chevrolet?

Gender self-identification largely existed at the moment, she said, and her party’s proposed changes would “formalise” this and “remove existing barriers that end up creating discrimination on a very vulnerable group of people”.

To wit, men who claim to be women. Jo Swinson thinks those men are more vulnerable than the women they want to share locker rooms with. Jo Swinson seems to be unable to think clearly.

“Implicit in all of this is an assumption that trans women are, in some way, more likely to be violent. It is just not borne out. I think there is a demonisation of a community going on here and I often find the media is complicit in that.”

It’s not “implicit.” Men are more likely to be violent than women, and they’re also more likely to be successful at it, especially when being violent toward women.

People are pretending not to know what they know, all for the sake of “validation.” It’s batty.

Soz, you’re problematic

Dec 9th, 2019 10:04 am | By

Let’s hear from more women in philosophy! Philosophy as a discipline is notoriously bad at hiring women, so let’s strain every nerve to fix that.

Unless we don’t like them, of course.

Return of pizzagate

Dec 9th, 2019 9:05 am | By

Guy from InfoWars busking at the impeachment inquiry.

He’s a putz

Dec 9th, 2019 8:38 am | By

Trump, addressing a Jewish audience, regales them with anti-Semitic tropes.

On Saturday, speaking before the Israeli American Council in Hollywood, Florida, President Trump engaged in the anti-Semitic trope of a Jewish obsession with wealth. Discussing Senator Elizabeth Warren’s plan for a wealth tax, he said that Jews in the audience should “be my biggest supporters because you’ll be out of business in about 15 minutes.”

Geddit? Money? Jews n money?

He doubled down on the bigoted tropes, broadcasting a harmful claim about Jewish business dealings. “A lot of you are in the real estate business because I know you very well, you’re brutal killers,” Trump said. “You’re not nice people at all, but you have to vote for me. You have no choice.” He then switched gears, engaging in the ancient, yet enduring anti-Semitic claim surrounding Jewish loyalty, which he also evoked in August.

Jewish leaders promptly condemned the “least anti-Semitic person you’ve ever seen in your entire life” for his anti-Semitism. Former head of the National Jewish Democratic Council Aaron Keyak said: “Trump’s insistence on using anti-Semitic tropes when addressing Jewish audiences is dangerous and should concern every member of the Jewish community — even Jewish Republicans.” Trump previously mentioned anti-Semitic tropes in a speech before a primarily Jewish audience in 2015, when he told the Republican Jewish Coalition that he’s “a negotiator, like you folks.”

Look, it’s shtick, okay? He’s a comedian, and he’s doing shtick. Lighten up already.

All he wanted was to shower with the women

Dec 9th, 2019 8:17 am | By

Hannah Mouncey explains how cruel and unfair it is to exclude him from women’s anything:

I cannot lie—it would have been terrific to have been able to provide the trans community with a visible symbol of the fact that progress is being made towards greater acceptance, but if society is not at that stage then so be it. That time will come, and it is only because we shine a light on these situations and use our own negative experiences to give others strength, that we will eventually make the progress we as a community wish would happen today.

I am not myself actively involved in the trans community, short of attending the Transcend Christmas party each year and speaking at events and functions that I might be invited to. But that does not mean I am any more immune to the same experiences we have all encountered across our individual journeys. I can confirm that yes, I was left out of the team for the World Championships because there was a group of players within the team, supported by the team manager, who did not want me showering or using the change rooms before or after the game. This was in turn the sole reason given to me by our coach for my non selection.

They didn’t mention the bonus? The fact that they would not be perceived as cheating? Which they would be by anyone who hasn’t surrendered to the transwomenarewomen army if Hannah were on the team?

I later had it confirmed by someone else within Handball Australia who had done some digging that: “From everything I’ve been told, you’ve basically not been picked because you’re not liked.” And the reason I’m not liked is because I told our manager, and by extension those players, exactly where he and they could go in trying to tell me where I could change and shower.

How shocking that people fail to like a huge burly man who snarls at people who prevent him from showering with the women.

Mouncey then gives a pompous sermon on right and wrong, and people who do what’s easy as opposed to what’s right, by which he means allowing a huge burly man to play on a women’s team.

You will learn who truly cares about you, as they will never take the easy option over what is right, and this allows you to focus much more time and energy on those who are a positive influence in your life. To know not to waste your energy on certain people, organisations or teams is a true blessing.

But it also gives you a greater perspective on what is right or wrong, a better sense of empathy and a much better perspective on the world. Use this to help those around you, to create and foster positive relationships and experiences.

Empathy. Huge burly “Hannah” Mouncey who wants to play on the women’s team preaching at us about empathy of all things.

Then he congratulates himself for how many people dislike him, and for writing this piece just before the tournament which will make people dislike him even more.

It is incredibly liberating to not care one bit who likes you, what people think of you and who you upset in being true to yourself. And while I’m sure I should have learned this a lot earlier, the second lesson is to know that regardless of what you do, you will never please everyone. Some of the very same people who were saying it was bullshit that I couldn’t play AFL Women’s league were some of the same voices within the team who were trying to dictate where I could shower and change. While those people then were supposedly in my corner as I fought the AFL, they were more than able to justify their own position about me to themselves because in their minds “they aren’t like those people, this is a reasonable thing to expect”.

This is going to happen over and over, and eventually you become very comfortable in saying no to people, regardless of how forceful you need to be. So many people spend their whole lives trying to please others and giving in to everything that is asked of them, and being able to develop the skills and confidence to say no is truly wonderful.

But this of course is only for the Hannah Mounceys. It’s not at all for the women who don’t want to compete against him or break their legs in a tangle with him or shower with him. They don’t get to say no, and their skills and confidence to say no are nothing but evil transphobia.

Guest post: What Hunter did was so much worse

Dec 8th, 2019 4:35 pm | By

Originally a comment by Bruce Gorton on Appearance counts.

This whole sorry saga reminds me heavily of Nhlanhla Nene.

Siyabonga Nene, Nhlanhla’s son, and his business partner Muhammad Amir Mirza had approached the Public Investment Corporation for a business loan when Nhlanhla was in charge there.

The plan was that their company, Indiafrec Trade and Invest would use the money to buy a 50% stake in S&S Refinery LDA in Mozambique.

The thing is – Nhlanhla was in fact furious with his son for the attempted use of him as a connection, and it was only after Siyabonga resigned from Indiafrec Trade and Invest that eventually the loan went through.

Siyabonga so far as anyone is aware, never saw a cent of that money – but this was enough to sink Nhlanhla’s political career, just as Nhlanhla was being praised all over the place for his role in resisting state capture when this story came out.

Nene resigned over this.

So I look at Joe Biden – and what Hunter did was so much worse. The Ukraine basically had a gun to its head in the form of Russia, keeping in good with America is an existential necessity for them, this is a big chunk of what makes Trump’s corruption where Ukraine is involved so bad. It is essentially threatening a nation with its own obliteration if it doesn’t play ball.

You’ve got a ruling class that sees nothing wrong with saying “You’ve got a nice country there Ukraine, it would be a pity if something were to happen to it.”

It throws the entire basis of US foreign policy into doubt. Is it there to protect the interests of the US on the world stage, or is there so that the president or vice president’s kid can get rich? Or so that the president can gather blackmail material against his political rivals?

And recognise Ukraine is where they got caught, we can’t know how many cases like this there are across the world. I mean I think we can be pretty clear that Trump was willing to allow genocide against the Kurds – for the sake of his business in Turkey. I don’t think the Ukraine situation is all that isolated.

This should disqualify Biden and Trump, and raise serious questions about how deep this rot goes – with it appearing at the very top of both parties. It staggers me that Americans aren’t more angry about this.

They are just good friends

Dec 8th, 2019 12:05 pm | By

Trump is terribly worried about his dear friend the Saudi king.

When a Saudi Air Force officer opened fire on his classmates at a naval base in Pensacola, Fla., on Friday, he killed three, wounded eight and exposed anew the strange dynamic between President Trump and the Saudi leadership: The president’s first instinct was to tamp down any suggestion that the Saudi government needed to be held to account.

Hours later, Mr. Trump announced on Twitter that he had received a condolence call from King Salman of Saudi Arabia, who clearly sought to ensure that the episode did not further fracture their relationship. On Saturday, leaving the White House for a trip here for a Republican fund-raiser and a speech on Israeli-American relations, Mr. Trump told reporters that “they are devastated in Saudi Arabia,” noting that “the king will be involved in taking care of families and loved ones.” He never used the word “terrorism.”

Ahh they’re devastated are they. How very sad.

What was missing was any assurance that the Saudis would aid in the investigation, help identify the suspect’s motives, or answer the many questions about the vetting process for a coveted slot at one of the country’s premier schools for training allied officers. Or, more broadly, why the United States continues to train members of the Saudi military even as that same military faces credible accusations of repeated human rights abuses in Yemen, including the dropping of munitions that maximize civilian casualties.

Oh, that.

“Had an attack been carried out by any country on his Muslim ban, his reaction would have been very different,” said Aaron David Miller, a longtime Middle East negotiator and now a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

“But when it comes to Saudi, the default position is to defend,” he said, “Driven by oil, money, weapons sales, a good deal of Saudi feting and flattery, Trump has created a virtually impenetrable zone of immunity for Saudi Arabia.”

What can he say – he loves them. The heart wants what it wants.

After Mr. Pompeo announced that he had spoken with the Saudi foreign minister, Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud, about the shooting, Martin Indyk, a former American ambassador to Israel and longtime Middle East negotiator, tweeted: “Isn’t it interesting how quick Trump and Pompeo are to broadcast Saudi government condolences for the murder of three Americans and how slow they were to criticize the Saudi government’s murder” of Mr. Khashoggi.

Look, the king showed Trump The Magic Sphere; after that what do you expect?

No testimony

Dec 8th, 2019 10:57 am | By

News from India:

An Indian woman who was set on fire on her way to testify against her alleged rapists has died of her injuries.

The 23-year-old died late on Friday after suffering cardiac arrest at a Delhi hospital. She had 90% burns.

She was attacked on Thursday as she was walking to a hearing in the rape case she filed against two men in March in Unnao, in northern Uttar Pradesh state.

Cis privilege.

H/t Holms

Appearance counts

Dec 8th, 2019 10:33 am | By

Biden continues to be a jerk.

Joe Biden vehemently defended how he handles criticisms of his son Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine Friday night, one day after he got into a heated exchange with a man who asked him about his role in his son’s work at a campaign event.

“Every time I’ve been asked about it, my response has been, ‘This is about Donald Trump, period, period, period,” the former vice president told reporters aboard his campaign bus in Iowa Friday night, when asked about his answers to questions about his son.

That’s not for him to say. He did nothing when his son accepted a lavishly compensated job that he would never have been offered if he were Hunter Nobodyinparticular, so he (Joe) doesn’t get to say we can’t talk about it. It’s very unfortunate that we have to talk about it, but we do.

When a reporter pointed out that was not how Biden responded to a question about his son from an older man on Thursday, he said the questioner “lied.”

“He said I went out of my way to get my son the job. No one has ever said that, it is not true and I never did,” Biden said. “My son speaks for himself. He’s a 47-year-old man. He didn’t do anything wrong.”

He did though. He took a highly-paid position on the board of a foreign gas company when he had no expertise or other qualifications for the job while his father was Vice President of the US. That is in fact anything wrong. It’s wrong when Trump’s loathsome children profiteer off his position as president of the US, and it’s wrong when Biden’s kid does a parallel thing.

There’s no evidence that the former vice president acted inappropriately, and Hunter Biden recently said serving on the board was “poor judgment” but that he “did nothing wrong at all.”

But the bad judgment was wrong. He did do anything wrong at all: accepting the job was wrong.

And it’s not as if this is subtle. It’s not as if there was never the slightest reason for Hunter Biden to realize it was wrong. He can’t possibly have thought he was just a natural choice for that job; he can’t possibly not have realized that it was all about his father and connections. So yes, he damn well did do anything wrong.

“Hunter Biden spoke publicly about it,” the former vice president said. “He said that in retrospect, if he had thought about how it was going to be handled by Giuliani and company, he wouldn’t have done it but that nothing he did that he did wrong. The appearance looked bad and he acknowledged that. And that’s it, that’s all I’m going to talk about.”

This is how comfortable everyone, Democrats included, has gotten with corruption. If “the appearance looked bad” then why did it “look bad”? It looked bad because it was bad: it was Joe Biden’s son profiteering off his father’s position, by accepting a job he was offered because Burisma wanted contacts high up in the US government. That is corrupt.

Biden said he’d had “one conversation” with his son about the job. “I said, ‘I hope you know what you’re doing,’ when I found out he was there. If you notice, nothing is said other than appearance that anything at all was done incorrectly by my son.”

But the appearance matters. You could say the same thing about Princess Ivanka: the appearance is bad when she keeps getting patents from China while her daddy is president, and that matters.

Democrats of the Biden type have gotten way too comfortable with this kind of thing.

Pilloried as a transphobe

Dec 8th, 2019 9:13 am | By

The Sunday Times reports:

A woman who asked for her NHS breast-screening to be carried out by a female-born clinician was pilloried as a transphobe by a hospital trust.

Clare Dimyon, 54, who was raped as a teenager and is a lesbian, wrote formal letters asking to be seen by a “natal female” when she went for a mammogram on Christmas Eve last year.

She made clear that after being violated by a man when she was “little more than a child” she did not consent to intimate procedures being carried out by people born as boys.

Hey you know what, we shouldn’t have to cite traumatic experiences to want a woman doing that job. I’ll tell you why: it hurts, and you want a person who knows how much it hurts doing it to you. Of course it should be women doing mammograms! Literal women, people-with-breasts.

The mammographer signed one letter confirming she was female and another letter was placed in Dimyon’s medical records. But two weeks ago she saw her letters highlighted by the trust as examples of “unacceptable” and “highly discriminatory” communications in guidelines to support trans patients and staff.

Her requests had been anonymised, but were not given any context. The trust failed to say that they were written before a mammogram, an intimate procedure.

An intimate procedure that involves handling and arranging the breasts on a plastic plate. No thanks, don’t want a man doing that. Have every right not to want a man doing that.

This weekend the trust defended its stance.

“It is not possible to guarantee to any patient that they will only be treated by a clinician assigned to a specific gender at birth and, as an organisation that prides itself on our commitment to diversity and inclusion, nor would we wish to do so,” it said.

Their commitment to diversity and inclusion which excludes women who don’t want men squishing their breasts between two plates. Their commitment to diversity and inclusion which is all about trans inclusion and not at all about women inclusion.

In a statement, the trust stressed the importance of patients seeing the clinician with the most relevant skills, adding:

“We have a duty to apply the same principles here as we would if a patient requested clinicians from particular backgrounds/ethnicities or any of the nine characteristics protected by law.”

In effect, the trust was arguing that for a woman to ask for an intimate examination by another biological woman was as offensive as to request a medic of a particular religion or skin colour.

Which sort of frames all women as the equivalent of racist, because we keep having this evil instinct to try to preserve some privacy around men.

Dimyon, who was made an MBE for her LGBT work, said she was shocked because it was “long-standing practice to ask for a lady doctor or lady nurse”.

She said:

“We have an examination which involves clinicians handling your breasts and placing them on a mammography table in order for those pictures to be taken. Even on the door they say ‘gentlemen stay outside’, meaning husbands and partners, I suppose, because they recognise this is an intimate examination.”

And by “placing them on a mammography table” she means doing a good deal of lifting and pushing and prodding to get them in exactly the right position. It’s very “intimate.”

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust said that it had now removed the letters from its equality and diversity guidance and was “very sorry for any offence or upset caused”.

Sigh. Don’t do that. Don’t say the generic “any offence.” We know what the offence is, they know what the offence is, so just apologize for that without any blame-shifting “any” added. Just apologize for shaming a woman for a perfectly reasonable, ordinary, commonplace request.

They’ve all lost their damn minds, I swear.