With a pint

Jul 4th, 2020 5:18 pm | By

Nigel Farage has apparently violated the quarantine rules.

Nigel Farage appears to have broken the UK’s quarantine rules after posting a photo in a pub at midday today – less than two weeks after returning from the US.

And by the way who let him into the US? Trump slapped a spite quarantine on the UK ages ago.

There are calls for an investigation after the Brexit Party leader shared a photo with a pint as the coronavirus lockdown in England eased and pubs reopened for the first time. He wrote: “12 o’clock, first customer in. Love it.”

MSNBC footage shows Mr Farage at a Donald Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at 1.02am (UK time) on 21 June.

Commercial flights from Tulsa to England take at least 10 hours, so if Mr Farage stayed for the US president’s address, which ended at 3am UK time, he would have been able to arrive back in the UK at lunchtime the same day at the very earliest.

With this timeline, he should be quarantining until Sunday under the UK’s 14-day rule.

Ed Davey MP, the acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, says he has written to Kent Police asking them to investigate whether the 56-year-old has broken quarantine rules.

Maybe he had an Asshole’s Exemption.

Also, at the time of Mr Farage’s trip, the US had barred entry to arrivals from Britain, with the exception of US citizens, their family members and “individuals who meet specified exceptions”.

Bennie G Thompson, chairman of the House of Representatives’ committee on homeland security, said the decision to allow the visit raised “numerous troubling questions” at the time of travel restrictions from the UK.

Yeah well rules are for people who aren’t Trump or friends-of-Trump.

Parliament Square erupted

Jul 4th, 2020 3:49 pm | By

That is, a boy successfully fought his school so that he could use the girls’ toilet.

It doesn’t sound quite so progressive that way does it.

That’s why it’s necessary to keep putting it that way.

(Notice no mention of how the girls at that school feel about the boy’s successful fight to join them in their toilet.)

Igniting and doubling down

Jul 4th, 2020 3:22 pm | By

Newsweek reports:

After a month of tweets, back and forths and intense scrutiny over her views on transgender issues, J.K. Rowling has ignited the debate once more by thanking Harry Potter fan site founder Emerson Spartz, of MuggleNet, for supporting her.

Well she didn’t “ignite the debate.” She thanked someone. No one was required to shout the house down in response. None of this stupid hounding of Rowling is necessary or inevitable. It’s people choosing to make a huge fuss over the trivial subject of people’s personal feelings about their “identities.” It’s not the most intelligent or useful choice I’ve ever seen.

“After hours of stomach churning & frantic pacing, I decided that, as founder of MuggleNet, I have to say something. I can’t believe I have to say this, but @jk_rowling is NOT transphobic,” posted Spartz.

“Thank you, Emerson,” posted Rowling a few hours ago, “for being who I always thought you were.” At the time of writing, the tweet had already garnered close to 1,000 comments.

It’s Twitter, and it’s Rowling. It could be a million comments, it still wouldn’t mean much of anything.

Rowling later published a 3,600 word essay discussing her thoughts about trans issues on her personal website, in which the Harry Potter creator doubled down on her views and revealed that she’d suffered violence and domestic abuse.

That is, she went on thinking what she thought and explained why with facts and arguments. We’re allowed to do that.

The statues war

Jul 4th, 2020 12:06 pm | By

He’s not into any of that namby-pamby weenie-peenie Bring Us Together shit, he’s into saying THOSE DIRTY OTHER PEOPLE ARE ENEMIES and we gotta crush them like bugs.

Standing beneath Mount Rushmore on the eve of American independence day, Donald Trump staged a defiant celebration of what critics say is white identity politics and warned the nation’s history is under siege from “far-left fascism”.

Having it both ways, isn’t it. Fascism is by definition far-right, not any kind of left.

The US president defended the symbolism of statues and monuments before a packed crowd at an event that revelled in political incorrectness calculated to enflame the country’s current divisions and enrage liberal critics. There were few face masks and even fewer people of color on stage or in the stands.

It didn’t revel in political incorrectness, it reveled in open racism and authoritarianism.

“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children,” Trump said. “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

That is naked white supremacism right there. We’re not campaigning to “wipe out” our history, on the contrary, we’re campaigning to broaden and correct it. Yes, “correct”: correct the biases that ignored women, minimized slavery and the expropriation of Native Americans, paid more attention to the owners than to the workers, and the like. We’re campaigning for a much larger, fuller history, and against a version of history that emphasizes “heroes” on horseback.

It’s not “defaming our heroes” to note which one were slaveowners, which ones fought on the side of the slave states, which ones committed genocide against Native Americans, which ones fought in aid of an imperialist foreign policy.

It’s not “erasing our values” to campaign for more attention to racism and sexism in our past – on the contrary, it’s expanding and improving them.

Statues of people like Andrew Jackson and Jefferson Davis are not “our most sacred memorials.” Not even close.

In an effort to fight back, he announced a surprise executive order establishing “The National Garden of American Heroes”, a vast outdoor park featuring statues of “the greatest Americans to ever live” – a selection sure to provoke debate and controversy.

No, let’s not do that.

Gonna happen, happen sometime

Jul 4th, 2020 11:35 am | By

Trump says everything’s fabulous.

Donald Trump barely mentioned the Covid-19 pandemic sweeping the US in his incendiary speech at Mount Rushmore on Friday night. But in an appearance at the White House to wish Americans a happy fourth of July, the president referenced the virus, albeit to tell people how great a job he is doing. Predictably, he also recycled his old tactic of blaming the virus on China.

Chinadiddit therefore it’s fine that Trump has done everything he can to make it far far worse than it had to be.

“We were doing better than any country had done in history … and then we got hit with this terrible plague from China and now we’re getting closer to fighting our way out of it,” said the president as numbers show Covid-19 cases are rising in 37 states across the US, and falling significantly in only one, Vermont.

That’s not getting closer to “fighting” our way out of it. That’s getting closer to being submerged and defeated by it.

Despite evidence to the contrary, the president then suggested America was on its way to beating the virus. “Our country is coming back, our jobs numbers are spectacular, a lot of things are happening that people don’t quite see yet,” he said. “We’re on our way to a tremendous victory. It’s going to happen and it’s going to happen big. Our country will be greater than ever before.”

We’re not though.

But our toys

Jul 4th, 2020 11:15 am | By

The people who write speeches for Trump to mouth should take more care to make them credible. The “Racism is Awesome” speech yesterday for instance:

“There is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance,” the president told an audience of several thousand, gathered at the base of Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota.

“If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished. Not going to happen to us,” he said.

See what I mean? There’s the written speech, and then suddenly there’s Trump. It’s jolting.

“Make no mistake, this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution. In so doing, they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence, and hunger and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery, and progress.”

Translated into Trump:

These people hate our great country. They want to tear it down. We’re number one!

The gap between the two is too wide. Trump of course can’t amend his version, so the speech writers need to amend theirs.

Trump has made the removal of statues the subject of much of his ire during the protests, and has threatened anyone who vandalizes one with 10 years in prison.

It’s typical of his crude and impoverished mind. What matters? Not a large and complicated issue like racism, but a collection of physical objects. Not how we treat each other, but what kind of heavy stone statues we display. Not politics or social justice, but oversized toys.

Heritage, legacies, monuments

Jul 4th, 2020 7:43 am | By

Trump gave his Naziesque rant.

Trump focused most of his address before a crowd of several thousand in South Dakota on what he described as a grave threat to the nation from liberals and angry mobs — a “left-wing cultural revolution” that aims to rewrite U.S. history and erase its heritage amid the racial justice protests that have roiled cities for weeks.

Yes how dare we object to the murder of George Floyd and the long long history of white-on-black violence. White supremacy is our heritage!

Praising presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, the men carved into the cliffs behind him, Trump declared that their legacies are under assault from protesters who have defaced and torn down statues.

He knows nothing whatever about any of them. If you asked him what their “legacies” are he wouldn’t be able to tell you.

“The radical ideology attacking our country advances under the banner of social justice. But in truth, it would demolish both justice and society,” Trump said. “It would transform justice into an instrument of division and vengeance and turn our free society into a place of repression, domination and exclusion. They want to silence us, but we will not be silenced.”

“Our free society,” he says, while shouting that people who damage statues will get a minimum of ten years in prison.

Trump asserted that “children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe the men and women who built it were not heroes but villains.”

“This radical view of American history is a web of lies,” he added.

So it’s a lie that Washington and Jefferson owned slaves?

Though the Mount Rushmore trip was billed as an official White House event, the president made an overt appeal to his partisan supporters in attacking liberals. 

Which is not allowed. It violates the Hatch Act. [Which is sleazy and gross.]

Yet Trump’s efforts to rejuvenate his struggling reelection campaign with events in front of large crowds outside Washington was set back for a second time after Kimberly Guilfoyle, a Trump campaign fundraiser who is dating his son Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, ahead of the president’s arrival in South Dakota.

I hope Junior gets it. I also hope Senior gets it. And Princess Ivanka and Prince Jared.


Jul 3rd, 2020 4:39 pm | By

This is How It’s Done.

The simplest question – what are your thoughts on the minimum wage? – and he doesn’t remotely answer it, he says he’ll say stuff about it in two weeks and then he repeats his usual string of beads. Positive statement – putting people to work – record numbers – greatest economy histry of our country – China virus – bans on China – lotta things right – great job. He’s the kid who didn’t do the homework, not once in awhile, but always.

A nod to transgender and nonbinary customers

Jul 3rd, 2020 3:59 pm | By

I missed this last October…Always Removes Female Symbol From Sanitary Pads:

In a nod to transgender and nonbinary customers, Procter & Gamble said this week that it was removing the Venus symbol, which has historically been associated with womanhood and the female sex, from the wrappers of Always brand sanitary pads.

Because now we have to pretend that anyone can menstruate, including men.

Steph deNormand, a patient advocate for transgender health at Fenway Health, who uses the pronoun “they,” told NBC that seeing “female-coded” imagery while purchasing menstrual products could create a sense of distress for some customers. “Trans and nonbinary folks are constantly misgendered, and a gesture like this can broaden out the experiences and open up spaces for those who need the products,” they said.

I can think of some more relevant gestures.

Be that as it may, the reality is both that women and girls menstruate and that the fact that women and girls menstruate is one reason they are despised and dominated, and it’s one reason they are persecuted and in fact excluded in the most literal sense. That is far more real, more material, more significant, than a few people’s manufactured angst about being “misgendered” when buying sanitary pads.

The redesign was also sharply criticized on social media by some for kowtowing to a tiny population and giving in to the demands of “crazy liberals.” The skepticism was also reflected in cynical headlines about the announcement.

That just trivializes it. I’m a crazy liberal myself, but I’m also an angry feminist, and I despise this fashion for erasing women.

The redesign was just the latest in a series of actions by companies to be more inclusive of customers who are transgender, genderqueer or nonbinary. In June, the ride-sharing company Lyft began allowing customers to share their pronouns.

Wut??? What can that mean? How could Lyft ever have stopped customers “sharing their pronouns”? Also why would anyone even bother since only the first and second person pronouns will be used anyway, and they’re already gender-neutral. “Hi, my pronouns are she/her.” “Why are you telling me this?”

Whatever. As long as it’s still women who clean the toilets who cares, right?

No social distancing is planned

Jul 3rd, 2020 12:01 pm | By

Big day out.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump head to Mount Rushmore National Memorial on Friday to celebrate an early Fourth of July at a gathering of an estimated 7,500 people during a global pandemic.

No social distancing is planned for the event despite the record-high new coronavirus cases in the United States. And the event takes place amid environmental concerns over the use of fireworks in the dry land and as the country engages in a reckoning over its own monuments and racist history.

In other words it’s a huge poke in the eye to reasonable people, in multiple ways. Score!

The dark history of Mount Rushmore’s sculpture itself takes center stage with Trump’s visit. The President, who has stoked racial animus since he first entered the political arena, has moved to defend racist monuments in the face of nationwide protests over the treatment of Black Americans. Friday’s event, however, was planned before the nationwide unrest.

Of course; Trump has been both racist and stupid all along.

The Black Hills are a deeply sacred place of spiritual and cultural significance to the native peoples of the area, nearly 60 tribes. The 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty established the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, according to the National Archives, but the lands were systematically taken by the US government after gold was discovered in the area in the 1870s.

That is, the ink was barely dry on the treaty before the US government treated it like so much toilet paper.

Generations of Indigenous Lakota people have been opposed to Mount Rushmore since its construction, said Nick Tilsen, a citizen of Oglala Lakota nation and founder, CEO and president of the NDN Collective, a nonprofit organization supporting Indigenous people.

It’s an ugly piece of crap that doesn’t belong on a cliff face. (For the record, I hate that giant Jesus in Rio de Janeiro, too.)

“Indigenous people and my ancestors fought and died, and gave their lives to protect the sacred land, and to blow up a mountain and put the faces of four White men who were colonizers who committed genocide against Indigenous people — the fact that we don’t, as Americans, think of that as an absolute outrage is ridiculous,” he told CNN in an interview Wednesday.

I can’t disagree.

Friday’s festivities also come with an environmental risk. There were July Fourth fireworks at Mount Rushmore for several years, but they were discontinued in 2009 over environmental concerns, including increased risk of fires.

Pine beetle infestations in nearby forests were the cause of concern when the fireworks were discontinued. These infestations can kill trees, which increases their flammability risk and, in turn, poses a potential wildfire hazard. Fireworks increased the risk that a fire would ignite.

“We’re getting them at the great monument. We’re getting them. I got fireworks. For 20 years or something it hasn’t been allowed for environmental reasons. You believe that one? It’s all stone. So I’m trying to say where’s the environmental reason? Anyway, I got it approved, so I’m going to go there on July 3rd, and they’re going to have the big fireworks,” Trump said during a May appearance on the Dan Bongino podcast.

Did he succeed in saying where’s the environmental reason? Because if so surely someone could have answered. “Sir it’s not all stone, sir, it’s adjacent to forests, sir, the forests are very dry, sir, they could go up like matchsticks sir.”

Bill Gabbert, former fire management officer for Mount Rushmore and six other national parks in the region, warned against fireworks given abnormally dry conditions in the region in an interview with the Rapid City Journal.

“Shooting fireworks over a ponderosa pine forest, or any flammable vegetation, is ill-advised and should not be done. Period,” Gabbert told the publication.

So they’re doing it anyway.

What is allowed and what is not

Jul 3rd, 2020 11:22 am | By

Who is the top person here?

Jul 3rd, 2020 11:02 am | By

It’s old news now but I’m still kind of fascinated by it – Trump’s hostility to democratic allies and comfort with authoritarian rivals and enemies. He’s repelled by the one and drawn to the other.

Those who have witnessed the president’s phone calls and meetings with foreign leaders said he had a weakness for monarchs and leaders with absolute power, because that is how he would ideally like to govern. He could be contemptuous of democratic allies, on the other hand, if they had done poorly in elections or opinion polls, and generally viewed them as supplicants asking for personal favours. “Catch Trump at the wrong moment, when he has a fresh grievance (ie most days) and he can be pretty charmless,” a former European official said.

It’s not ideological, it seems, it’s more instinctive and personal than that. He likes bullies and dislikes non-bullies.

“It’s not that it’s like a fascination with Putin and Russia per se. It’s the image of the person itself, and what they stand for,” the former aide said. “He wants to be seen as somebody who can completely have his own way. And he wants to be seen in the company of people who he sees that reflected in. People with ultimate authority, swagger.”

“It was the same with MBS [Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman],” the former official added. “And he’s super deferential to the Queen – unbelievably deferential and obsequious to the Queen.”

In other words it’s terribly terribly simple. Horrible, and simple.

Make masks butch again

Jul 3rd, 2020 9:38 am | By

Masks and “masculinity” – you’d think that was about as random as masks and mustard or masks and Mars, but no, apparently masks are a threat to the Rule of Testicle-havers.

When HIV emerged in the United States, a key part of the public health response was to urge consistent condom use. Although the advice made obvious sense, in some pockets of the population, people resisted it. Researchers began to dig into the social factors that motivated this resistance. They found that among men who were having sex with women, “masculine ideology” was associated with rejection of condom use.

Ah so that’s the culprit! Have we come up with an effective vaccination for it yet?

At the time the research was being conducted, three factors were cited as the pillars of this ideology: status, toughness and anti-femininity.

And you can’t really do the “anti-femininity” thing without at least a tinge of misogyny. To put it another way, why be “anti-femininity” at all unless you think there’s something bad and tainted and disgusting about being female? And if you think there’s something bad and tainted and disgusting about being female, well…that’s misogyny.

In other words it’s a kind of loop we’re stuck in. We all learn as toddlers that boys are stronger than girls; we learn it at a minimum as part of the rules of engagement. At a primitive level, stronger=better. This means that being seen as, or called, girl-like is a profound threat to male people. Boom: misogyny is born.

So here we are. Male people who are never taught, or who refuse to learn, that female people are not in fact inferior by virtue of having less muscle mass become people who refuse to wear masks because ew girly.

Today, the concept has been expanded a bit to encompass other features. The American Psychological Association has defined this ideology as a “particular constellation of standards” that demands that men ascribe to “adventure, risk, and violence.” Certainly, choosing not to wear the simplest of protective gear during a pandemic is both a risk and an adventure.

But the risk is greater for other people, so that shouldn’t count in the masculinity score, but it does anyway.

Perhaps not surprisingly, where this conceptualization of manliness prevails, the dominant avatars who embody it are white men with epic swagger. As one researcher described it, this “celluloid masculinity” muscling around on screens, perhaps most famously in the form of characters played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, represents a “dominant Western exemplar of manhood.” These characters, you see, despite the copious body armor and weaponry they tote around in their films, would never, ever don simple barrier protection devices because viruses can sense fear.

Well, body armor suggests combat, heroics, noise, smoke. Masks suggest hospitals. No Enemy Soldier ever quailed at the sight of a dude in a little cloth mask. Maybe we could issue men olive green masks with images of grenades and assault rifles on them?

Of a different generation

Jul 2nd, 2020 6:16 pm | By

Speaking of moral density…a license facility in Texas had to close because of a case of the virus.

Since reopening on 3 June, the facility had spaced seats inside to meet social distancing guidelines, cleaned surfaces regularly and only served those who booked appointments online. All workers wore masks, and anybody allowed in was required to wear a face covering. But despite the precautions, a Covid-19 case had been reported there.

One of the people turned away was Laurie Smith, 50. She is an administrative employee at a local church, where she is also a member, and calls mandatory mask requirements a sign of “sad” government manipulation. “My college-age kids are able to follow the recommendations without questioning it, but my husband and I are of a different generation, and we value our liberty to be able to make our own choices. So we question it more than they do,” she said.

No, see, that’s not it. We all value our liberty to make our own choices, ffs. We don’t go to BurgerKing and say “You choose for me.” We all like to make our own choices, we all like our freedom, nobody likes wearing a mask. The issue is that wearing or not wearing a mask is not a purely personal choice, and that’s why we don’t get to treat it as if it is. The choice affects others, and in a non-trivial way. What speed we drive our cars is also not a purely personal choice, and for the same reason. If we’re all alone on a driving range we can go as fast as we like, and if we’re not we can’t, because the choice does not just affect us. It’s a pretty simple idea, I think.

The science of wearing masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus seems to be largely settled, but the politics around it is still raging, especially in conservative strongholds like Texas. Stores, churches, small businesses, government offices and other institutions across the state are grappling with how to enforce public health rules without alienating those who disagree.

You know, often “conservative” means people who pay a lot of attention to how we treat each other. It’s not at all obvious to me that it has to mean refusing to wear a mask during a pandemic. It’s a pretty warped brand of conservatism that thinks it does.

“We don’t live in a communist country! This is supposed to be America,” said Tee Allen Parker, who has banned wearing of masks at her bar.

But communism isn’t about wearing masks. Also? Capitalism isn’t about refusing to wear masks to slow a pandemic.

Just a thought.

Guest post: The whole of Anglo-Saxondom was pervaded by racism

Jul 2nd, 2020 5:34 pm | By

Originally a comment by Tim Harris on Slavery gets all but erased.

The Nazis did learn a great deal from the USA. But, really, the whole of Anglo-Saxondom was pervaded by racism. Thatcher & Reagan were supporting the apartheid regime in South Africa not so long ago, the treatment of native people in Australia continues to be abysmal, and it does not seem to be all that much better in North America, particularly when an oil pipeline is at stake. This is not to mention the Belgians in the Congo and the Germans in Namibia, and earlier the Spaniards and the Poruguese. The Rio Tinto mining corporation, with the connivance of the Australian government, blew up a few months ago a cave on an Aboriginal sacred site that had been occupied on and off for 40,000 years to the fury naturally of native people, and also of archaeologists, and offered wholly cynical apologies for the ‘distress’ they might have caused after the justified outcry. Great swathes of documents (those that were not illegally destroyed) concerning the Mau-Mau uprising in Kenya and the British response have fairly recently been discovered, hidden away illegally for years and years. And the British government has recently refused to abide by a virtually unanimous UN decision against its occupation of the Chagos archipelago, a part of Mauritius, from which it deported all the inhabitants to Britain. There is a good article in the Guardian (Google: Philippe Sands, Guardian – ‘At last, the Chagossians have a real chance of going back home’) by Philippe Sands, the author of two truly remarkable and harrowing books concerning the Holocaust, ‘East West Street: on the Origins of Genocide & Crimes against Humanity’ and ‘The Ratline: Love, Lies & Justice on the Trail of a Nazi Fugitive’. Sands is Jewish (and many of his family perished in the Holocaust), and is professor of law at University College London and a barrister at Matrix Chambers. He is counsel for Mauritius on Chagos, and has been involved in many human important rights cases, including that of Pinochet and his torture regime.

On a more personal note, I was asked some years ago to play two small parts (one being Mark Twain) in a good community theatre production of the musical ‘Big River’, which is a version of ‘Huckleberry Finn’. During one of the rehearsals in which a group of recaptured slaves were being marched across the rear of the stage, singing a genuine song from the times of slavery about the desire for freedom, a Jamaican actor had a complete breakdown and ran from the stage shivering and crying. I was in tears, and afterwards, speaking to the very good African-American actor and singer who took the part of Jim, I remarked on how painful the musical was, and he said gravely, ‘Yes, it takes you to places you don’t want to go.’ The production was a good one, because it genuinely brought out the horrors of slavery, as the Broadway or other professional productions you may find on YouTube definitely do not: they play down the horrors and the importance of Jim, making it all about Huck, and sentimentalise things, and so do not do justice at all to what is there in the libretto and music. Our director did a remarkable job, as did all the actors.

Finally, I note that such as Sam Harris and Jerry Coyne are now questioning whether the figures for the deaths of American black people at the hands of the police are really as bad as they are claimed to be – the only implication of which, so far as I can see, is that they suppose that if the figures aren’t quite right, the Black Lives Matter movement is unjustified.

Don’t hit us, we hate her too!

Jul 2nd, 2020 5:13 pm | By


MuggleNet and The Leaky Cauldron, two of the largest and most well-established “Harry Potter” fan communities online, released a joint statement on Thursday in support of transgender individuals and rejecting the transphobic comments made by series author J.K. Rowling on Twitter and her website in June.

Because it would never do to just let her have her opinion. Must denounce! Must denounce the witch!

“Although it is difficult to speak out against someone whose work we have so long admired, it would be wrong not to use our platforms to counteract the harm she has caused,” the statement reads. “Our stance is firm: Transgender women are women. Transgender men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary. Intersex people exist and should not be forced to live in the binary. We stand with Harry Potter fans in these communities, and while we don’t condone the mistreatment JKR has received for airing her opinions about transgender people, we must reject her beliefs.”

No, it wouldn’t be wrong not to use their platforms to throw mud at the woman whose work is central to their existence. No, transgender women are not women. No, transgender men are not men. (Notice which came first. Always the way. It’s always the trans women who use up the most oxygen. Funny how being trans doesn’t change that, isn’t it.) “Non-binary” doesn’t mean anything. “Forced to live in the binary” doesn’t mean anything. No, there is no necessity for these twerps to reject Rowling’s beliefs in a self-important “statement” and thus do their bit to add to the bullying of her. No necessity at all.

Additionally, the sites announced that they would refer to the author as #JKR in the future, allowing fans to easily mute the hashtag to prevent posts about the author from appearing on their social media feeds.

Yeah. Organize your lives around her work, but erase her.

MuggleNet and The Leaky Cauldron’s statement was written with consultation from GLAAD and the Trevor Project.

So they don’t even know what they think about her views, they have to bring in the experts to throw the right amount and quality of mud at her.

Freedoms and liberties

Jul 2nd, 2020 1:33 pm | By

Herman Caine is in the hospital with COVID-19; I wonder if South Dakota governor Kristi Noem is having any second thoughts. I wonder rhetorically; in reality I figure she’s being obstinately stupid to the end.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Monday that attendees at a July 3 event at Mount Rushmore where President Trump is set to speak will not be required to practice social distancing.

This at a time when infections are rocketing up in this country.

“We will have a large event on July 3. We told those folks that have concerns that they can stay home, but those who want to come and join us, we’ll be giving out free face masks, if they choose to wear one. But we won’t be social distancing.”

In other words, “We will be doing everything we can to make the situation worse. We will actively prevent people from taking measures to try to prevent infection. We will use this political event to cause more disease and death. That is our intention. We are proud of it.”

“We’re asking them to come — be ready to celebrate, to enjoy the freedoms and the liberties that we have in this country,” Noem added.

The freedoms and liberties to spread a fatal disease.

People are fed up…

Jul 2nd, 2020 1:14 pm | By

Herman Cain 22 hours ago:

Right on!!!

The Guardian two hours ago:

Herman Cain, the former 2012 Republican presidential candidate, has tested positive for Covid-19. His team announced the results on Thursday.

Cain, something of a minor figure in the pantheon of Donald Trump’s campaign surrogates, attended the rally for Trump’s reelection campaign in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Health officials warned that attendees at that rally could contract coronavirus. It’s not clear when Cain contracted it.


No masks, no distancing…

Silence the experts

Jul 2nd, 2020 12:40 pm | By

Meanwhile, in between COVID parties, we should also prevent medical experts from keeping us informed, because if we’re not informed, we won’t realize how badly Trump is fucking up.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) on Thursday called for the White House to dissolve its coronavirus task force so that health officials like Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx are prevented from contradicting many of President Trump’s “stated goals and actions” when it comes to the economy.  

Maricopa County, part of which Biggs represents, has seen record-breaking spikes in coronavirus cases recently, with more than 52,000 total cases and 817 deaths — the highest in the state.

Therefore, let’s cover it up.

What Biggs said:

“As our economy is restored, it is imperative that President Trump is not undermined in his mission to return our economy to greatness. Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx continue to contradict many of President Trump’s stated goals and actions for returning to normalcy as we know more about the COVID-19 outbreak.

This is causing panic that compromises our economic recovery. We can protect our most vulnerable from the COVID-19 outbreak while still protecting lives and livelihoods of the rest of the population. It’s time for the COVID-19 task force to be disbanded so that President Trump’s message is not mitigated or distorted.”

Notice he doesn’t explain how “we can protect our most vulnerable from the COVID-19 outbreak while still protecting lives and livelihoods of the rest of the population.” I’m guessing that’s because he doesn’t know how, and that that’s because it’s not true: we can’t.

Tuscaloosa news

Jul 2nd, 2020 11:15 am | By

Kids do the darndest things.

Students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have been attending parties in the city and surrounding area as part of a disturbing contest to see who can catch the virus first, a city council member told ABC News on Wednesday.

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry said students have been organizing “COVID parties” as a game to intentionally infect each other with the contagion that has killed more than 127,000 people in the United States. She said she recently learned of the behavior and informed the city council of the parties occurring in the city.

What an interesting game. Kind of like Chicken but not as glamorous.

She said the organizers of the parties are purposely inviting guests who have COVID-19.

They pool their money, see, and whoever gets the fatal disease first gets the money. It’s not clear if the money is enough to cover their medical bills, or if the students check everyone’s health insurance before they can play.

Tuscaloosa Fire Chief Randy Smith told the City Council on Tuesday that he has confirmed the students’ careless behavior.

Wrong word. “Careless” is the wrong word. They’re being careful, careful to spread the virus. The behavior is murderous rather than careless.

In a briefing to the City Council, Smith expressed concern that in recent weeks there have been parties held throughout the city and surrounding Tuscaloosa County, “where students, or kids, would come in with known positive,” according to a video recording of the meeting obtained by ABC affiliate station WBMA in Birmingham.

“We thought that was kind of a rumor at first,” Smith told the council members. “We did some research. Not only do the doctors’ offices confirm it but the state confirmed they also had the same information.”

And what is the state doing about it? Not clear. Maybe nothing.

Updating to add: Screechy points out that this is not what you’d call documented, and sounds like bullshit. Fair enough. Add whatever number of question marks you think appropriate.