Over some KAREN in EUROPE

May 2nd, 2020 11:05 am | By
Over some KAREN in EUROPE

About that “Karen” thing…

Take Anne Frank for instance:

Was Anne Frank a “Karen”?

In since-vanished but much-screenshotted (and still search-appearing) tweets, Gazi Kodzo, someone evidently of YouTube activist fame/notoriety, pointed an emoji middle finger at… Anne Frank?

As one does.

A BECKY as well as a KAREN.

To be sure, there is plenty of room to point out that we’re better at shock-horror at genocides Over There than at genocides Right Here. That probably applies to humans in general as well as USians in particular. But it’s surprisingly easy to talk about that without calling Anne Frank either a Becky or a Karen, and by the same token it’s easy to talk about it without calling anyone a Becky or a Karen.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy goes on:

Is “Karen” — or the similar “Becky” — an anti-racist protest against white ladies who call the cops at the drop of a hat? Or is it sexism posing as progressivism?

Mostly the second, in my view, especially when it’s white men doing it, as it so very often is.

It seems to me you don’t see a whole lot of progressives jeering at a “Denzel” or “Stokely.” It seems to me you don’t see a whole lot of progressives jeering at a “Truman” or a “Barney.” It seems to me you don’t see a whole lot of progressives jeering at a “Juan” or a “José.” It seems to me it’s not a thing progressives do, because it looks…wrong. Bad, racist or racist-like, homophobic or homophobic-like, xenophobic or xenophobic-like. But somehow when it’s women the squick factor isn’t there. Why is that? Why does it feel ok and even progressive to use dismissive contemptuous personal names for a kind of woman you dislike when it doesn’t feel ok to do that for a kind of man you dislike?

Updating to add another example, this time from Pharyngula:

The Idaho playground rebellion was grotesque, and the different rules for white people are grotesque, but it’s entirely possible to say that without saying “a flock of Karens” just as it’s possible to say that without saying “a bunch of cunts.”

H/t latsot



Many have had surgeries delayed

May 2nd, 2020 10:11 am | By

Uh oh, it turns out that lockdown presents problems for trans people. Why did no one think of this?? Why did no one put a stop to the whole thing?! All these selfish privileged exclusionaryist people for whom lockdown is such a massive party, what were we thinking?

International transgender rights groups are warning [that] global coronavirus lockdown restrictions have led to trans people being denied healthcare. Many have had surgeries delayed, and some are struggling to access hormone therapy and counselling services.

But is that healthcare? Are the surgeries in question health-preserving? Is hormone “therapy” meant to make men resemble women and women resemble men really therapy?

And, even if you think they are, are they urgent? Are they more urgent than the non-emergency surgeries and therapies that many people are having to wait for? If so, how? Why?

We’re not told. We’re given the usual stories, of children who don’t like the clothes considered mandatory for their sex, one in Kenya to make doubt even more reprehensible, but we’re not given real explanations.



Why do good people ENFORCE bad ideas?

May 1st, 2020 3:03 pm | By

It’s a long thread so I’ll just quote the rest.

It was reported and got me a 12-hour ban from Twitter. I was forced to delete the tweet. Thing is, the people who espouse trans-activist rhetoric are, mostly, people interested in global betterment and social justice. They’re good people, aren’t they? I started thinking. Why do good people believe bad ideas? And from that base, why do ALL people believe bad ideas. And then, why do good people ENFORCE bad ideas? The answer, I think, is that they are not given any choice. There is no discourse, there is only what is permissible and what is not.

There is some choice here though. There is more than there was a few years ago. One isn’t quite so far out on a fragile limb when questioning the bad ideas now.

I am a critical theorist with two master’s degrees and a PhD. I have taught cultural studies at university level. Ironically, my specialism is post-structuralism and postmodern theory – from which much of the trans-gender studies orthodoxy of 2008 onwards emerged.

And that, folks, is literally how old this ideology is. Ten years, give or take. It had earlier antecedents but the slogans and argot with which we are now familiar – the language that is now protected. Ten years old.

How has it taken root so quickly and absolutely? One explanation is that its tenets are *memetic*. Memes, in Dawkins original sense, are transmittable units of culture. Idea-bites – rather than nuanced arguments. Ideology reduced down to slogans.

You see this in much recent ideological communication over social media. Unlike other discourse, memetic slogans are immutable. They are nuggets of dogma that are easy to transmit, replicate rapidly and are difficult to remove once embedded.

The speed of replication is as important as multiplication and simplicity. They spread fast and wide and are difficult to challenge once they become the foundations of discourse.

Does this sound like anything? They are viruses.

This mechanism has firmly entrenched the tenets of trans-activism into the permitted discourse of some institutions so effectively that any attempt to interrogate or examine them at all is now considered hate speech. They have quickly become “protected”.

A curious side-effect of this is that you cannot even ask why. You cannot interrogate the mechanism of transmission, you cannot examine evidence or nuance or meaning.

Indeed you cannot. I tried that back on Freethought Blogs and was told very explicitly that you cannot. You cannot even try to figure out exactly what the claims are, you can only repeat the correct words in the correct order.

And the final irony. Twitter is partially responsible for this cultural shift. Alongside other platforms, it has increased the reach of all ideas and reduced their complexity to a finite number of characters.

The world becomes a place where dogmatic idea-bites stand in for discourse and, once entrenched, become protected. They are protected not by law, but by cancelling, banning and blocking. By amassing a following and ending conversation.

This is not confined to trans-activism. Every extreme benefits from this. Any ideology that is absolute and inflexible. Anything that can be reduced to an idea-bite. “Build the wall”. “Brexit is Brexit”. “We can’t let the cure be worse than the disease”.

Make America Great Again. But her emails. Dirty cops. LIBERATE MICHIGAN!

H/t Your Name’s not Bruce?



Trolls at the top

May 1st, 2020 11:32 am | By

A Twitter troll is the PR honcho for the Trump DHHS.

The top spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services repeatedly directed crude and sexist comments toward women in now-deleted tweets, a CNN KFile review finds.

Michael Caputo, who just started at the department in April, called several women on Twitter “dogface” and made crude insinuations and sexist comments aimed at former FBI attorney Lisa Page prior to joining HHS.

He deleted them but the archive has them.

Caputo called Page a “jezebel,” and a “notorious homewrecker.” He tweeted a picture of Page writing, “sedition is nearly as fun as someone else’s husband.” Caputo said he believed “woke women of the #Resistance” supported Page “until it’s time to introduce her to their husbands.”

In December 2019, Caputo directly responded to a tweet from Page with a crude reference to oral sex, writing, “what’s that on your chin.”

In other tweets from 2020, Caputo repeatedly referred to different women as “dogface,” telling them “look at this dogface,” “you have a dogface,” and “I would never sleep with you, dog-face.” In another tweet Caputo told a woman to “go f**k yourself,” saying she was “ugly,” and calling her “honey.”

He called Alexandra Chalupa, a Democratic consultant, a crone and a “nutty hag.”

And that’s not even all he called her.



Despite Trump’s dubious claims

May 1st, 2020 11:09 am | By

The Guardian Live reports:

The executive director of the World Health Organization reiterated that the group believes coronavirus came about naturally, despite Trump’s dubious claims that he has seen evidence it was created in a Chinese government lab.

“Dubious claims” is too polite. “Stupid reckless lies” is closer, but doesn’t capture all that’s wrong with his habit of making shit up and throwing it at people who irritate him.

Just yesterday, Trump claimed he had seen evidence that coronavirus was made in a lab in China’s Wuhan region, which saw the first outbreak of the virus. Asked what evidence he had seen, Trump said, “I can’t tell you that. I’m not allowed to tell you that.”

More lies.

The president’s comments came hours after the office of the director of national intelligence said in a statement that intelligence officials “concurs with the wide scientific consensus that the Covid-19 virus was not manmade or genetically modified”.

Naturally. He thinks he has every right to lie to us, and we have zero right to object or contradict.



These are very good people

May 1st, 2020 10:47 am | By

Trump weighs in on the gun-toting “protest” yesterday.

What would Trump be saying if 200 lefty protesters carrying assault rifles had gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue, just yards from the White House, with signs saying “TYRANTS GET THE ROPE” and similar exhilarating calls to action?

Not, I’m guessing, “These are very good people, but they are angry.” I don’t think he would be saying he should give a little. I don’t think he’d be saying he should see them, talk to them, make a deal.



Sic semper tyrannis

May 1st, 2020 10:36 am | By

That “patriot” riot in Lansing yesterday…



Guest post: These y’all quaeda yokels

May 1st, 2020 9:53 am | By

Originally a comment by Papito on Men with rifles yelling at us.

You have be pretty far down the rabbit hole to understand how these militia creeps think they’re being patriotic. The fact you don’t is a good sign. The fact I do reflects poorly on my relatives.

They’re patriotic to an imaginary country. That country doesn’t exist, has never existed, but they’ve been convinced it really does, or did, somehow.

The real country around them – full of people who are not white, and sometimes governed by people who are not male – is somehow preventing their imaginary country from coming fully into being. The laws of this real, imposter country, insofar as they infringe on these mens’ feelings and desires, prove how evil the imposter country is, and how urgently it must be opposed. This thinking is fundamentally religious in nature; they are motivated in similar ways to the Islamic extremists who want to establish a new Caliphate.

These y’all quaeda yokels don’t see the coronavirus lockdown a discrete response to a single problem; their complaint is not about a single policy mistake. They see it as part of a conspiracy to deprive them of the ability to establish their imaginary country. Hence the guns: they will need lots of guns to establish their imaginary country. They are explicitly fomenting a second civil war, or second revolution, after which they will be able to establish their imaginary country.

In this foolishness they are supported by numerous American politicians, such as Trump and Rep. Steve King. Abroad, they are supported by Russia, because Putin both loves to screw America up and loves right-wing extremism. Numerous Faux News talking heads also fortify their rhetoric.

In distinction to the kind of racist policing exemplified by the murder of Tamir Rice, these people pose an actual threat to America and its citizens. Also in distinction to movements like Black Lives Matter, the militia freaks have not just sympathizers but members in law enforcement, and are duly emboldened.



His appeal to be recognised

May 1st, 2020 9:07 am | By

Stonewall UK has a disappoint.

Have the courts missed a vital opportunity to send a positive message that recognises all parents for who they are? (There’s also the separate question that asks whether it’s the job of courts to send a positive message or not.) Would it “send a positive message” to let a mother legally call herself a father and thus make her child the first in human history to be gestated and birthed by its father? Would it really send a positive message to tell a child it never had a mother?

Even if you think the answer is yes, what about the next part? What about the recognising people for who they are bit? Surely the demand here is for recognising people for who they are not. Literally speaking Freddy McConnell is a woman. Physically Freddy McConnell is a woman. That’s who Freddy McConnell is. What Stonewall is really talking about is endorsing people’s fantasies about themselves, which is radically different from recognising who they are.



One delusion of an abusive male

May 1st, 2020 8:47 am | By

Something puzzling here.

I see that tweet so I find Z Nicolazzo PhD so I find Z Nicolazzo’s page at the University of Arizona.

Dr. Z Nicolazzo is an Assistant Professor of Trans* Studies in Education at the Center for the Study of Higher Education and a member of the Trans* Studies Initiative at the University of Arizona.  She earned her Ph.D. in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Miami University (OH), and formerly worked in various functional areas in student affairs, including residence life, sexual violence prevention programming, and student activities.

What is Trans Studies? (Or Trans* Studies if you insist.) How does one be a professor of it? How is it an academic discipline? What are we even talking about here?

I wouldn’t bother, I wouldn’t have looked beyond the Twitter account, were it not for the fact that the doc expresses the all too familiar hostile contempt for women, dressed up as cutting edge progressivism because it’s expressed by a Trans* person.

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Ah yes those pesky white women, says the white man. Buncha Karens, aren’t they.

Professor Nicolazzi includes a photo on his page.

It’s the earrings, you see, along with the lipstick. Those make it totally right-on for him to express his contempt for women right out in the open.

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How the girl in the clip was treated

Apr 30th, 2020 4:10 pm | By

Maya Forstater tells us:

The Crown Prosecution Service has withdrawn an anti-bullying guidance pack for schools developed with Stonewall and Gendered Intelligence, after a 14-year-old girl brought a legal action. The pack, which has been withdrawn for review, encouraged schools to tell girls to ignore their discomfort and not object to males entering single sex spaces such as toilets and changing rooms.

I can’t think of a single thing that could possibly go wrong, can you? Similarly with bears. If you’re out hiking in the woods and you see a bear, you should approach it to make friends. Similarly with fires. If you see a house on fire you should hasten to go inside the house to enjoy the spectacle.

One of its teaching exercises features a video scenario where an adult male presenting in a feminine style enters the women’s toilets. Two young women at the sinks whisper their discomfort: “What’s he doing in here? This is the Ladies”. The next time the person uses the Gents’ where two middle-aged men shout abuse and bang on the door.

Ah yes – so, because men are abusive to the man in a skirt, girls should shut up when he decides to use their toilets instead of the men’s. That’s totally fair. The fact that he could be abusive to them is of no importance whatever.

The guidance says:

“Ask the students what happened in the clip. Thinking about how the girl in the clip was treated, can the class understand why she might have felt hesitant about going into the toilets?”

But there was no “girl,” there was an adult man. However he dresses, he doesn’t get to use the girls’ toilets. (Why is an adult using students’ toilets in the first place? That itself is not the usual arrangement.)

As the legal letter to the CPS points out it is not safe for girls to learn that they should consider an adult male using a facility intended for their bodily privacy as a ‘girl’.

Nor is it safe for them to learn that they have some kind of obligation to put themselves in danger to protect a man in a dress. I’m not saying men in dresses should be put in danger, but I damn well am saying they shouldn’t use girls as shields.



A person who carries and gives birth to a baby

Apr 30th, 2020 3:32 pm | By

Speaking of disordered personalities and trans activism – see Freddy McConnell.

A transgender man who gave birth to a child has lost his latest legal bid to be registered on the birth certificate as the father rather than the mother.

Aka a woman who trashed her body so that she could look a little bit like a man wants to make sure her child will be legally deprived of a mother.

Freddy McConnell appealed against a decision made by a High Court judge that a person who carries and gives birth to a baby is legally a mother.

Legally and factually and physically. That’s what “mother” means – the parent who gestates the baby inside her body. No mother no baby; that’s the reality.

Andrew Spearman, from Laytons law firm, said the decision had not recognised Mr McConnell’s legal gender “and, importantly, the role he takes in his son’s life as his father”.

What about the role he takes in his son’s life as his bathtub, or his teddy bear, or his beans on toast? McConnell isn’t his father, and babies don’t understand role playing. McConnell should put the kid first and ego last.



Men with rifles yelling at us

Apr 30th, 2020 3:03 pm | By

In Lansing today:

Hundreds of people protested outside the Michigan Capitol building in Lansing on Thursday, with some pushing inside while the Legislature was debating an extension of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s state of emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Protesters held signs, waved American flags and even carried firearms, while some chanted “Let us in!” and “This is the people’s house, you cannot lock us out.” Others tried to get onto the House floor but were blocked by state police and sergeants-at-arms, according to NBC affiliate WDIV of Detroit.

Some were carrying guns.

Michigan United for Liberty organized the protest, dubbed the American Patriot Rally, to call for the reopening of businesses.

Men with guns. Big angry-looking white men with guns.

Remember Tamir Rice? 12 years old? Playing with a toy gun in a park? A cop shot him dead. Tamir wasn’t white though. You gotta be white to get away with the threatening legislators with guns thing.

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Distract much?

Apr 30th, 2020 11:36 am | By

A war hero:

President Donald Trump on Thursday seized upon new developments in the Michael Flynn case to reinvigorate his pet conspiracy theories about Obama-era law enforcement and intelligence community officials conspiring to bring him down.

What about the Central Park 5? It’s ok to do it to them?

Should Trump pay any price for his role in what happened to the Central Park 5? Unlike Flynn, they really didn’t do it.

At issue are newly released documents detailing how top FBI officials handled a key January 24, 2017, interview with Flynn, who at the time had just started his brief, ill-fated tenure as Trump’s national security adviser.

FBI leadership was already aware at that time that Flynn had phone calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period. In those calls, Flynn advised Kislyak not to respond to new sanctions the Obama administration placed on Russia for interfering (on Trump’s behalf) in the just-completed presidential election. Intercepts of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak raised concerns within the bureau that Flynn had violated the Logan Act, a law that prohibits unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.

The newly unsealed documents, which were released by Flynn’s lawyer on Wednesday and are the first fruits of Attorney General William Barr’s investigation of the Flynn investigation, indicate that FBI officials debated how to question Flynn about his contacts with Russia and whether their aim was to get him to admit any wrongdoing.

In one handwritten note that Trump and his backers in Congress and on Fox News are trumpeting as a bombshell, Bill Priestap, then the FBI’s head of counterintelligence, wrote, “What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired? If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide. Or, if he initially lies, then we present him [redacted] & he admits it, document for DOJ, & let them decide how to address it.”

Trump and Don Junior and Devin Nunes say this reveals DIRTY COPS.



Urgent matters

Apr 30th, 2020 11:23 am | By

What’s on Trump’s mind today:



Who is really dirty?

Apr 30th, 2020 10:39 am | By

Trump is shitting in his own nest again.

Trump said on Thursday his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was tormented by “dirty cops” as part of the probe into whether Russia helped Trump win the White House in 2016.

The president’s comments in the Oval Office, latest in a string of remarks about Flynn, may suggest that the retired general could be in line for a presidential pardon.

That is, Trump’s barfing out this sinister bullshit in the midst of a pandemic is probably a sign that he’s planning to pardon his dirty general.

Internal FBI documents turned over by the Justice Department on Wednesday showed FBI officials debated whether and when to warn Flynn that he could face criminal charges as they prepared for a January 2017 interview with him in the Russia probe.

They decided not to warn him that lying to them could mean criminal charges, and he lied to them, and the criminal charges happened.

Does that make him innocent?



Thanks David

Apr 30th, 2020 10:01 am | By

Silence the pesky women.

Make sure to prevent those women from talking.



After he left Mayo

Apr 30th, 2020 9:29 am | By

Ahhhhh no.

Yellow undershirt sets up the question for her and Pence says “That’s a great question and I’m glad you asked me.” Yes of course she is: she gets the opportunity to tell a lie about why her arrogant pig of a husband breathed all over everyone he approached at the Mayo Clinic.

And no, it was not after he left the Mayo Clinic that he found out about their mandatory mask policy.

Look, it’s about hierarchy. Pence is the vice-dictator and the Mayo Clinic is just some medical-type place thingy that Pence was doing the great favor of visiting. It’s Pence who gets to tell the Mayo Clinic what to do, not the other way around. Respect authority!

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All those nurses are just FAKING it

Apr 30th, 2020 9:08 am | By

That’s low.

The chairwoman of the Arizona Republican Party is encouraging people planning to protest stay-at-home orders imposed amid the coronavirus pandemic to dress like health care workers.

Now why would they do that? Oh yes, of course: to fool onlookers and reporters into thinking health care workers also think we should get out there and infect each other.

Recently, several health care workers around the country have worn their scrubs and medical gear to counterprotest against people calling for states to reopen against the urgings of medical experts.

So the thing to do if you’re a reopener is dress up in pretend scrubs; fakeout!

Ward’s comments come a few days after she questioned the authenticity of a small group of health care workers in Colorado who counterprotested against people calling for the state to reopen.

“EVEN IF these ‘spontaneously’ appearing ppl at protests against govt overreach (sporting the same outfits, postures, & facial expressions) ARE involved in healthcare – when they appeared at rallies, they were actors playing parts #Propaganda #FakeOutrage,” Ward tweeted last week.

I took a brief look at her Twitter and it’s quite the spectacle.



A fair summation?

Apr 29th, 2020 4:06 pm | By
A fair summation?

Plot twist in that story Monday about the commenter at The Freethinker who said I’m a Trump supporter. The first twist was haha it turned out she was joking (Susan Montgomery is her handle) and second twist was oh oops she wasn’t joking. The fact that the column she was commenting on, the column I wrote, is intensely hostile to Trump is irrelevant because:

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Wut? That’s not my cartoon, the cartoon isn’t about me, how does that cartoon explain that my hostility to Trump is actually support of Trump?

Here’s how:

I think it’s a fair summation of Benson’s attitudes over the years as she’s sought to replace Camille Paglia as the Alt-Right’s Feminist organ-grinder monkey.

Do you have evidence to the contrary or are you sticking with the “NUH-UHH! You’re the real fascist!” that alleged freethinkers are justly famous for?

Evidence to the contrary? Well there’s the column she’s commenting on – and the fact that I said so. If I were a Trump supporter I would be supporting Trump, not writing columns about how chaotic his thinking is. And is there any evidence for her claim? Which I think is a good bit more outlandish than the claim that I am not a Trump supporter (given the several million not friendly to Trump posts I’ve bored you all with). No, there isn’t.

With exquisite politeness, she replied:

And, with your sterling reputation of honesty and integrity, why would I doubt your word?

On a completely unrelated matter, have you decided whether to advocate voting for the Green Party or for sitting out the upcoming election? After all, you’d never support Trump…

One of those “Do I know you??” moments. Why the fuck is this person being so grossly insulting when I’ve never heard of her before?

So I hied me to Google and found that she comments at Pharyngula, and that she has a blog, and that she’s a trans woman.

I asked him why he was calling me a liar.

Because I’m honest.

Anyway, I’m sure you have another Heritage Foundation do to get to, so I’ll let you get on with “not supporting Trump”.

EDIT: And I just had the worst incidence of l’esprit d’escalier by not saying “I’m a freethinker”. Ah, the road not taken…

So he’s an angry guy who likes to think of himself as a woman and really likes to let his misogyny loose on women who don’t believe men turn into women by saying so. And I remain what I say I am: not a Trump supporter, not part of the Heritage Foundation, not Alt-Right, not a Camille Paglia wannabe.