The audience responded with a loud chorus of boos

Jul 17th, 2020 9:22 am | By

Meeting to discuss mask policy postponed because

… because dozens of people not wearing masks filled the room.

Well at least they’re sincere.

Utah County Commissioner Tanner Ainge said Wednesday the gathering in Provo, Utah violated current health recommendations and moved to suspend the meeting until a later date. His motion to adjourn was approved with a 2-to-1 vote, with the dissent coming from a commissioner who had organized the meeting.

“This is the exact opposite of what we need to be doing,” Ainge said at the meeting. “We are supposed to be physically distancing, wearing masks.”

The audience responded with a loud chorus of boos. 

Because…why? Do they really want to make health and safety a libbrul thing and disease and peril a conservative thing?

Angry residents react when the Utah County Commission meeting was adjourned before it even started, Wednesday, July 15, 2020, in Provo, Utah. The group protesting against face masks being required in schools removed the social distancing tape on the chairs and filled the Utah County Commission room to over flowing, prompting Commissioner Tanner Ainge to call for a vote to adjourn the meeting.
Rick Egan

Apparently the rationale is that it’s about who gets to make the rules aka you’re not the boss of me aka freedom freedom freedom.

Carly Lisonbee said Ainge and others wanted to “override a parent’s decision over what they think is best for their child.”

“I think you’re forgetting we live in America,” Lisonbee said, according to the Herald. “And we the people decide. You work for we the people, not the other way around.”

So murderers get to “decide” that they can murder at will? Arsonists get to “decide” they can set people’s houses on fire at 3 a.m.? (There was once an arsonist who did exactly that roaming north Seattle when I lived in north Seattle. It was a nervous time until he was caught. A bunch of people died when he did it to a nursing home.) Men get to “decide” they can rape women?

It doesn’t work like that. Along with the infrastructure and the regular food and water and Netflix there are some rules. You can’t have the first without the second.

There is no turnstile

Jul 17th, 2020 8:39 am | By

You think one pandemic is bad

I first worried about the possibility of a double pandemic in March. Four months ago, it felt needlessly alarmist to fret about two rare events happening simultaneously. But since then, federal fecklessness and rushed reopenings have wasted the benefits of months of social distancing. About 60,000 new cases of COVID-19 are being confirmed every day, and death rates are rising. My worry from March feels less far-fetched. If America could underperform so badly against one rapidly spreading virus, how would it fare against two?

COVID-19 has made clear what happens when even powerful, wealthy countries are inadequately prepared for rare but ruinous events. Months into the pandemic, international alliances are strained, resources are diminished, and experts are demoralized. The longer this fiasco drags on, the more vulnerable America becomes to further disasters: inbound hurricaneswildfires, and many other viruses that lie in wait.

Also major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Having failed to lead the best-prepared nation in the world against one pandemic, Donald Trump has made it more vulnerable to another. He has, for example, frayed international bonds further by trying to pull the U.S. out of the World Health Organization. Whether he has the legal authority to do so is still unclear, but even if the threat is empty, “some of the effects will be immediate,” says Loyce Pace, the president of the Global Health Council. U.S. officials and experts will start disengaging from international institutions, and that might encourage other nations to follow suit.

This won’t just harm the WHO at the time when it is most needed, but will also further diminish America’s already damaged international standing. A country that has badly mishandled its own outbreak, that has bought up the world’s stock of important drugs, and that has petulantly withdrawn from global alliances is less likely to receive warnings or support if a new crisis emerges.

And then it gets worse. Ed Yong spells it all out.

He can dish it out but

Jul 16th, 2020 4:54 pm | By

Bully complains of bullying.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle has stepped down from the Labour frontbench, saying he had been the victim of a “torrent of online hate” because of a “campaign by the rightwing media”.

Russell-Moyle did not specify the details of the abuse he had suffered. His resignation came weeks after he apologised to the author JK Rowling for accusing her of “using her own sexual assault as justification for discriminating” against trans people.

And of course by “discriminating against trans people” he means saying such shocking things as:

I’m concerned about the huge explosion in young women wishing to transition and also about the increasing numbers who seem to be detransitioning (returning to their original sex), because they regret taking steps that have, in some cases, altered their bodies irrevocably, and taken away their fertility. Some say they decided to transition after realising they were same-sex attracted, and that transitioning was partly driven by homophobia, either in society or in their families.

Let’s look again at what he said about Rowling:

Rather than attacking the update or even the two main laws, the Gender Recognition Act 2005 and the Equality Act 2010, these conservative forces attacked nebulous concepts which you couldn’t argue with. They raised women and children’s safety in ways that seemed innocuous at first but were ultimately manipulated to cast trans people as predators. These issues on their own are important and worthy of discussion, but here they were being used cynically to undermine the rights of others.

We saw the spectacle of a social conservative shouting “penis” over and over again at trans women during a TV debate, as if this was enough to win the argument. Recently, of course, we saw people like JK Rowling using her own sexual assault as justification for discriminating against a group of people who were not responsible for it. Trans people are no more likely to be rapists; in fact, they are more likely to be victims of sexual assault themselves. That’s why, despite JK Rowling’s hate towards them, hundreds of trans people wrote to complain to The Sun when it trivialised her domestic abuse on a recent front page.

Not a nice man.

Guest post: A few questions

Jul 16th, 2020 3:52 pm | By

Originally a comment by Nullius in Verba on He says please read it all.

Les sigh. This is just a little of what goes through my head when I see this sort of thread/post/article/etc.

Trans women are women.

Trans men are men.

Non binary people are non binary.

For some, these terms are porous and they live between them.

Gender is not absolute.

What are women? What are men? Are you using the same senses of these words as the people you’re responding to? As law does? As science does? As literature does? As the totality of our species history does? If yes, can you show that? If not, how do you justify that, and what are the potential consequences that need to be navigated?

What does it mean to be non-binary? Does it entail that everyone who is not non-binary is binary? Is that not a binary? If non-binary means neither A nor B, what are the potential Cs? What distinguishes A from B, A from C, and B from C?

What does it mean for a term to be porous? If non-binary’s complement is binary, what would it mean to “live between” the dichotomy?

Are the proposed senses of these terms indisputable? On what grounds? Does that sort of justification apply to other terminology? How do we know when a term isn’t indisputable?

Most people’s gender “matches” with the one conferred on them by biology and society.

What does it mean for a gender to match? How do you know that this is true of most people? What does biology confer, gender-wise? What does society confer, gender-wise?

To the cis women who feel betrayed by the Guardian’s coverage of trans issues: I’m genuinely saddened to have lost you as everyone working here wants to fight misogyny, sexism and patriarchal power/bullshit.

How does misogyny relate to gender? To sex? Does this understanding of misogyny result in things previously considered misogynist no longer being considered so? What of the reverse?

How does sexism relate to gender? To sex? Does this understanding of sexism result in things previously considered sexist no longer being considered so? What of the reverse?

How does patriarchy relate to gender? To sex? Does this understanding of patriarchy result in things previously considered patriarchal no longer being considered so? What of the reverse?

Do transwomen have concerns not shared by “cis” women? Do “cis” women have concerns not shared by transwomen? If the answer to either question is no, what does this entail with respect to biology? If, instead, the answer is yes to either, what are those concerns? Do transwomen have the right to speak about those concerns that are peculiar to them? Do “cis” women have the right to speak about those concerns that are peculiar to them? Does any of the aforementioned vocabulary make discussing those concerns difficult or unclear?

Men threaten women in so many ways. Trans women (often non-white trans women) experience the blunt, murderous end of that threat all too often.

What does “all too often” mean? Why is the frequency with which “cis” women experience violence from men not mentioned? Is the omission to suggest that “cis” women suffer violence from men at an acceptable rate?

Does any of the aforementioned vocabulary make the source of violence and the nature of its threat unclear? If transmen are men, then do transmen threaten women? How do non-binary people fit into this analysis?

Again, these women need compassion.

What do you mean by compassion? Is compassion an experience of empathy? A display of sympathy? Does it entail a particular sort of social or legal practice?

There needs to be debate on how to ensure safety and agency of all women; of methods and timings of transitioning, which will vary for each person. But any debate needs to come from a place of compassion where the fact of trans women’s existence and womanhood is honoured.

What do you mean by honored? Do honoring and compassion have any entailments about what sort of positions are permissible in the debate you desire? Do they preclude certain conclusions about transition timing?

What do you mean by the fact of transwomen’s existence? Does it mean that a person labeled as trans exists? Does it mean that a person labeled as trans is all the things that the label denotes? Does this reasoning apply elsewhere? Is it possible for a label to denote logically impossible things? Is it possible for a label to denote empirically impossible things? How do we determine which labels those are? Is it possible for a label to be wrongly applied? How do we know when that happens? When a label is wrongly applied to something, does that thing exist?

I signed the letter in the wake of Suzanne Moore’s column because I thought she mis-characterised the fight for trans rights as denying women’s rights.

In your terms, to what class of people is Moore referring when she says “women’s rights”? Is Moore using the same sense of women as you? If not, how can you restate her position or argument in your terms? How can you restate your argument in her terms? Are these restatements equivalent in meaning?

This debate should continue until everyone feels safe.

Is feeling safe the most appropriate goal? Why a feeling of safety over the fact of safety? Would feeling safe make us safe?

Is a universal feeling of safety is attainable? If it is, how? If it isn’t, what level of feeling safe is acceptable?

People often approach it in bad faith. … Talk to trans people and understand the reality of their identities; their difficulties and joys.

What does it mean to understand the reality of their identities? Does this mean “understand that their identities are real”? Is this any different from accepting what they say to be true? Is it possible to approach the discussion in good faith and yet disagree on whether a transperson’s claim are true? If not, in what sense is there a discussion or debate? Is your belief potentially falsifiable or defeasible? What sort of argument, evidence, or experience would be sufficient to reduce your confidence in your belief?

I don’t have all the answers but I want to ask the right questions, to help equality and understanding, and for everyone to be empowered.

If you do not have all the answers, does that mean that some of the answers you do not know might be incompatible with a belief you currently hold? Would such an answer mean that the question isn’t right?


Jul 16th, 2020 10:45 am | By

He says please read it all

Jul 16th, 2020 10:20 am | By

A man offers to explain it all yet again, for those of us who are just to thick to take it in the first several thousand times.

But the stories, struggles and triumphs of women? Not so much. Women are boring. Women are TERFs. Women are Karens. Women are to blame for most things, if you think about it.

Oh look, he almost talked about women for a second. It went by so fast you probably missed it. Unfortunately he called us “cis women” so he wasn’t really talking about most of us after all, since most of us don’t see ourselves as a subset of women. Anyway by tweet 6 he was back to saying trans women are the only women who really matter. Men do everything best, including womaning.

7 is great, isn’t it? Yeah yeah women need safety but put trans women first you selfish bitches. And he had to help set Suzanne Moore straight because who is some stupid woman to say what women are? Leave that to the clever men like Ben here.

Talk to trans people, he says. Don’t talk to women, talk to trans people.

Brilliant job of persuading us to support the Guardian so that it can continue to employ people like him.

And rising

Jul 16th, 2020 9:19 am | By

Has the virus just sort of disappeared like a miracle yet?

Not in Florida.

Florida has once again broken its single-day record of coronavirus deaths, as the state struggles to get the virus under control.

Florida health officials announced 156 residents died of coronavirus yesterday, breaking the record of 132 deaths reported on Tuesday morning.

The new figure brings the total number of coronavirus deaths in Florida to 4,677. The state has also confirmed more than 315,000 cases.

The grim news comes as Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, refuses to issue a statewide mask mandate, despite the state’s climbing case count.


Not in Georgia, now the no-mask-mandate state.

Not in – oops – Okinawa.

The coronavirus outbreak in Japan that centres around US military personnel in Okinawa has caused some tension in Japanese-US relations over the last few days. The governor of the southern Japanese island has been urging the military to do more to get to grips with it.

Ramy Inocencio reports for CBS News that the number of infections is up again by two to at least 138. Around 35,000-40,000 personnel are restricted to bases, including families, civilians. Outside the bases, Okinawa has reported only about 150 coronavirus cases.

Our bad! Sorry! Can we interest you in a can of Goya beans?

Not in Los Angeles.

The soaring counts of confirmed infections and a mounting death toll led the mayor of Los Angeles to declare that the nation’s second-largest city is on the verge of resorting to a shutdown of all but essential businesses, reports the Associated Press.

Actually not anywhere.

The total number of cases of Covid-19 recorded in the US now stands at 3,499,398 according to the Johns Hopkins tracker. 41 states continue to see rising daily new case numbers. Only Delaware and Maine are seeing numbers fall.

Disappearance postponed again.

Gone already

Jul 16th, 2020 8:47 am | By

Trump is hiding the information.

Previously public data has already disappeared from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website after the Trump administration quietly shifted control of the information to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Since the pandemic began, the CDC regularly published data on availability of hospital beds and intensive care units across the country. But Ryan Panchadsaram, who helps run a data-tracking site called Covid Exit Strategy, said that when he tried to collect the data from the CDC on Tuesday, it had disappeared.

Just poof, gone, no warning, no explanation.

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that states were told to stop sending hospital information to the National Healthcare Safety Network site, the CDC’s system for gathering data, beginning Wednesday. Instead, all data will now be reported through HHS’ reporting portal, officials said, adding that the decision was made to streamline data reporting and to provide HHS officials with real-time data.

Public health specialists and former health officials acknowledged that the CDC’s data reporting infrastructure was limited, and said it needs to be overhauled to meet the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, they expressed concern in interviews with CNBC that the change could lead to less transparent data.

Yeah could. That’s why Trump did it: so that he can lie about the pandemic without any pesky data getting in his way.

“We don’t have this critical indicator anymore,” Panchadsaram said. “The intent of just switching the data streams towards HHS, that’s fine. But you got to keep the data that you’re sharing publicly still available and up to date.”

Panchadsaram said he and his team, which includes researchers from the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and from Resolve to Save Lives, a public health initiative led by former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, have been tracking the data since April. 

Panchadsaram thinks of the project as something of a “progress czar” as they grade different states on the overall progress they’ve made in fighting Covid-19. Available hospital beds and ICU capacity is a key indicator they use to assess state performance, he added.

Which is why Trump wants to hide it.

Slice and dice

Jul 16th, 2020 7:58 am | By

There’s a Facebook page called Topsurgery by Miles. It’s what it sounds like. Guy posts before and after photos of breast amputations.

Last year he posted a bit of inspiration:

19th century advice; equally relevant today

Image may contain: 2 people, text that says 'Be yourselp. everybody else is taken Oscar Wilde Topsurgeryby TopsurgerybyKile Kiles'

Be yourself…by getting your breasts cut off.

Mandating no mandates

Jul 16th, 2020 7:37 am | By

Georgia’s damn fool governor Brian Kemp has banned mask mandates.

Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order Wednesday night, which outright banned cities and counties in the state from issuing mask orders to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Because freedom! Freedom freedom freedom. Our ancestors came here to get away from mandates to help slow the spread of plague and we must honor that proud tradition.

The move, despite neighboring states like Alabama requiring masks in public, voided mask mandates in 15 local jurisdictions in the Peach State where they had been implemented.

Peaches won’t do you much good once you get the covid.

While outlawing mask mandates, Kemp’s executive order “strongly” encourages all residents and visitors in Georgia to “wear face coverings as practicable while outside their homes or place of residence, except when eating, drinking or exercising outdoors.”

Also Kemp “strongly” encourages drivers not to run over pedestrians but he’s not going to mandate it. Freedom freedom freedom.

Kemp’s order comes after Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottom issued an executive order requiring masks or face coverings in the city on July 8.

I don’t suppose the Mayor is at all not white is she?

Georgia has had more than 127,838 diagnosed cases of coronavirus, with at least 3,091 deaths.

Well…ok yes but…um…freedom freedom freedom?

Pretending you don’t know what a woman is

Jul 15th, 2020 4:45 pm | By

The fury at ActionAidUK is hot.

Not open to the public

Jul 15th, 2020 4:25 pm | By

Trump is sidelining the CDC. During a pandemic. He wants us not to know the facts.

The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and send all Covid-19 patient information to a central database in Washington beginning on Wednesday. The move has alarmed health experts who fear the data will be politicized or withheld from the public.

The new instructions were posted recently in a little-noticed document on the Department of Health and Human Services website. From now on, the department — not the C.D.C. — will collect daily reports about the patients that each hospital is treating, the number of available beds and ventilators, and other information vital to tracking the pandemic.

Officials say the change will streamline data gathering and assist the White House coronavirus task force in allocating scarce supplies like personal protective gear and remdesivir, the first drug shown to be effective against the virus. But the Health and Human Services database that will receive new information is not open to the public, which could affect the work of scores of researchers, modelers and health officials who rely on C.D.C. data to make projections and crucial decisions.

And it will also affect – hello? – us. We need to know, and we also need to know we can find out when the need arises.

“Historically, C.D.C. has been the place where public health data has been sent, and this raises questions about not just access for researchers but access for reporters, access for the public to try to better understand what is happening with the outbreak,” said Jen Kates, the director of global health and H.I.V. policy with the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

We don’t want it hidden. We sure as hell don’t want it in Trump’s custody.

[T]he instructions to hospitals in the department guidance are explicit and underscored: “As of July 15, 2020, hospitals should no longer report the Covid-19 information in this document to the National Healthcare Safety Network site,” the C.D.C.’s system for gathering data from more than 25,000 medical centers around the country.

This is really bad.

Public health experts have long expressed concerns that the Trump administration is politicizing science and undermining its health experts, in particular the C.D.C.; four of the agency’s former directors, spanning both Republican and Democratic administrations, said as much in an opinion piece published Tuesday in The Washington Post. The data collection shift reinforced those fears.

“Centralizing control of all data under the umbrella of an inherently political apparatus is dangerous and breeds distrust,” said Dr. Nicole Lurie, who served as assistant secretary for preparedness and response under former President Barack Obama. “It appears to cut off the ability of agencies like C.D.C. to do its basic job.”

Which seems like not a good idea at this time.

Look forward to the beans in prison spanky

Jul 15th, 2020 3:31 pm | By

So what does president Pinhead do when people say Princess Ivanka committed an ethics violation by promoting Goya products?

“You want ethics violations? HOLD MY BEER.”

Not thinking at all

Jul 15th, 2020 12:30 pm | By

What was that you were saying about contagion?

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) announced on Wednesday he has tested positive for the coronavirus and will self-isolate, Tulsa World reports.

The 47-year-old Stitt is believed to be the first governor in the U.S. to test positive. He attended President Trump’s rally in Tulsa last month, which the county’s health department director said likely contributed to a surge in cases in the region.

Oh, gee. Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Stitt led one of the most aggressive reopening plans out of any state and rarely wears a mask in public, according to AP. He has also resisted a statewide mask mandate and said Wednesday after testing positive that he’s still “not thinking about a mask mandate at all.”

Because masks are for radical-left antifa Biden-loving weaklings.

Oklahoma has reported 21,738 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and saw a record 993 new infections on Tuesday, according to its health department.

Thanks, Donnie!

New opportunities!

Jul 15th, 2020 11:50 am | By

Ivanka marketing brand-name beans came along right after Ivanka marketing Get An Exciting New Job! in the midst of a pandemic which has eliminated many jobs.

She’s so…er…white.

No such thing

Jul 15th, 2020 11:43 am | By

Sarah Phillimore tells us of someone who wrote to ActionAidUK asking them to use the word “sex” rather than “gender” in their mailings because

These words are being conflated on a regular basis and it is causing issues. Women and girls are being discriminated against and abused on the basis of their sex. Words are important and it needs to be crystal clear who is being subject to the violence so we can help those most in need.

You can write their reply in your sleep.

We agree that words are important. As ActionAid UK is an organisation focused on supporting the most marginalised women and girls in the world, it is important to us that we are clear that when we are talking about women and girls, we are including transgender women and girls in our definition of women and girls.

In other words transgender “women and girls” are the most marginalized so yes we will continue to “center” them instead of actual women and girls.

ActionAid UK defines women and girls as anyone who self-identifies as a woman or a girl. Allowing self-determination of our bodies is a basic feminist principle.

Yes self-determination of our bodies. Ours. Women’s. That’s not to say that men shouldn’t have that self-determination too, just that it’s not and can’t be and shouldn’t be an issue for feminism because feminism is for and about women. Literal women, not pretend women, not identify-as women, not feelings in the head women.

ActionAid UK understands there is no such thing as a ‘biologically female/male body’

Does ActionAidUK understand that the UK is a half-eaten doughnut that Athena dropped while she was watching “The Real Housewives of Pittsburgh”?

Sarah Phillimore comments:

ActionAidUK declares itself to be a charity ‘that works with women and girls living in poverty’. It apparently recognises the harm done to women and girls by violence. Women and girls do not ‘choose’ to become victims of violence, rape, sex trafficking, FGM or abortion from their mother’s wombs. They haven’t ‘self identified’ into this condition. It is immediately obvious to those who hurt and kill them, who deny them an education, who force them into marriage aged 12, what sex they are. For about 99% of living humans, it is immediately obvious what sex they are.

But now we’ve forgotten all that.

My days now seem to consist of an endless cycle of remote court hearings, Zoom meetings, walking the dogs and sending emails to various organisations that can be distilled to a simple scream of WHY.

WHY does recognising the vulnerabilty of people who feel unhappiness with their ‘gender identity’ have to come at the expense of reality? Why does biology have to be denied to ensure that we treat everyone with compassion and humanity? WHY is it always women and girls who have to move over and abandon their rights to claim their actual, physical identities as members of the female sex?


Many of us would like to know.

Getting story straight 101

Jul 15th, 2020 11:11 am | By

Trump and his hooligans just can’t get it together on what they’re supposed to be saying about Fauci. We hate him? We love him but he has to shut up about this whole pandemic thing? He doesn’t know what he’s talking about? He knows lots but he needs to be more tactful?

Yes, and more.

The White House on Wednesday disavowed an overt attack on the government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, from one of President Trump’s senior advisers on trade and China, Peter Navarro.

Navarro wrote an op-ed for USA Today on Tuesday in which he argued that Fauci “has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on” — another salvo in a series of pointed remarks against the immunologist.

And what has Navarro ever been right about?

Navarro, who has no medical training, ticked through a series of matters on which he disagreed with Fauci, including the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus. The National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration have said the malaria drug is unlikely to be effective.

And Navarro knows better how exactly?

Two White House officials who declined to be named insisted Navarro “went rogue” and didn’t clear his editorial with the White House communications team

Sure sure sure, we definitely believe that.

Those on the margins

Jul 15th, 2020 10:09 am | By

So a bishop and a rabbi walk into a pub issue a joint statement:


It’s a funny kind of “statement” because I can’t find it in any form except that image, only excerpts in a few news items, mostly churchy ones. I just zipped through the bishop’s tweets for the past couple of weeks in case he’d tweeted a link but nope. He seems like a very decent man, full of concern for the downtrodden, but I still have to take issue with some of the claims in this statement.

We have noted with sadness the increasing use of the term ‘transgender’ ideology and other derogatory terms about trans people.

It’s not derogatory to say there is such a thing as trans ideology. What else can we call it? There are claims about what “trans” means and how we are to behave toward people who say they are it; what can we call those claims if not ideology?

I suppose the answer would be “facts” or “the truth.” I suppose the idea is that calling it ideology implies invention as opposed to discovery.

Ok, fair enough, but then this is the core issue, isn’t it. Much of the bullying by activists and allies is around this push to convince everyone that it’s simply true that some people are “in the wrong body.” Much of the resistance is to this push.

So, the rabbi and the bishop are apparently saying we shouldn’t resist this push to accept that a set of very shaky claims is simply true new discoveries about human…sex? Gender? Essence?

But what if the claims are in fact as wrong and confused and fantasy-based as they appear to us? What if children and teenagers really are being mutilated on the strength of this new truth-or-ideology? Don’t we need to know that? Wouldn’t it in fact be a good thing if we discovered that hopla! people don’t need to mutilate themselves after all, because the idea that we can be born in “the wrong body” turns out to be an invention and not a fact?

Then they proceed to the usual – and undisputed – announcement that trans people shouldn’t be persecuted.

As faith leaders, we believe that trans people, like every other person, have every right to be cherished, and protected by society and in the gender in which they choose to live.

Watch out! They sneaked a stinger into the tail. Every person has every right to be in the gender in which they choose to live. If it’s what they choose to live in then it’s not a fact that it’s what they are, is it. It can’t be both. It can’t be a fact about them and a choice.

Anyway what does choosing to live in a gender mean? Not a lot, as we’ve explored ad infinitum here.

They think it’s time to “soften” the rhetoric, “so that trans people may indeed be seen as people.” But trans people already are seen as people. No gender-unbelievers consider them not people. No gender-unbelievers call them not people. If we’re going to soften the rhetoric, how about not claiming or hinting that gender skeptics say trans people are not people? How about seeing us “as people” too?

The world is far richer for their contribution…

Is it? I’m not seeing the enrichment.

They end by saying let’s talk about this in a new way, “one that looks to build up rather than destroy, and to honour rather than denigrate.” Build up what, though? Build up the idea that a man who says he thinks of himself as a woman is every bit as much a woman as a woman is, and probably better than she is at being a feminist because he is both a woman and trans, which=feminist squared.

Not doing that, soz.

Si es Goya

Jul 15th, 2020 9:00 am | By

I thought it was a photoshop when I looked to see why “Ivanka” is trending – but no, she really did tweet it her own royal self.

Remember, kids, she’s an OFFICIAL in the WHITE HOUSE.

She’s also someone who’s never eaten canned beans in her life.

She’s also the loyal daughter and employee of the president who calls Mexicans rapists and bad hombres.

Eyebrows are elevated:

Ivanka Trump is facing backlash after tweeting a photo of herself holding up a can of Goya beans. The tweet from the president’s daughter includes Goya’s slogan, “If it’s Goya, it has to be good,” in both English and in Spanish. She also posted the image to her Facebook and Instagram pages.

As White House officials do oh wait no they don’t. Marketing canned beans isn’t part of their job, and is in conflict with their job.

Trump’s social media post comes days after Goya CEO Robert Unanue praised Mr. Trump during an event last week at the White House. “We’re all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder,” Unanue said.

Well he’s a builder of ugly high rises, yes, but he’s also a let-dier, a killer, a destroyer, a bribe taker, a raper…and a few other things.

Oh no, the radical left New York Times. No wonder Bari Weiss quit.

But it’s ok, the White House issued a statement saying it’s all totally fine.

“Only the media and the cancel culture movement would criticize Ivanka for showing her personal support for a company that has been unfairly mocked, boycotted and ridiculed for supporting this administration — one that has consistently fought for and delivered for the Hispanic community,” White House communications aide Carolina Hurley said. “Ivanka is proud of this strong, Hispanic-owned business with deep roots in the U.S. and has every right to express her personal support.”

She’s not in a position to “show her personal support” for a commercial product, because of her job.

People who work for presidents get an ethics briefing before they start. The ethics briefing doesn’t carve out an exception for presidents’ daughters who want to show their “personal support” for a brand.

Updating to add:

Just disagreeing with today’s list

Jul 14th, 2020 5:11 pm | By

Ross Douthat on cancel culture:

All cultures cancel; the question is for what, how widely and through what means.

There is no human society where you can say or do anything you like and expect to keep your reputation and your job. Reputational cancellation hung over the heads of Edith Wharton’s heroines; professional cancellation shadowed 20th-century figures like Lenny Bruce. Today, almost all critics of cancel culture have some line they draw, some figure — usually a racist or anti-Semite — that they would cancel, too. And social conservatives who criticize cancel culture, especially, have to acknowledge that we’re partly just disagreeing with today’s list of cancellation-worthy sins.

This is what I keep saying. (It surprises me to agree with Douthat, but there you go.) It’s not a matter of Absolute Freedom but of the particulars. I think Trump should be canceled, for a start. I don’t think Twitter should have banned Meghan Murphy.

Cancellation isn’t exactly about free speech, but a liberal society should theoretically cancel less frequently than its rivals.

The canceled individual hasn’t lost any First Amendment rights, because there is no constitutional right to a particular job or reputation. At the same time, under its own self-understanding, liberalism is supposed to clear a wider space for debate than other political systems and allow a wider range of personal expression. So you would expect a liberal society to be slower to cancel, more inclined to separate the personal and the professional (or the ideological and the artistic), and quicker to offer opportunities to regain one’s reputation and start one’s professional life anew.

Then of course we also think illiberal societies should become more liberal in that way. We don’t think China should be shutting down all criticism and rebellion in Hong Kong; we don’t think Putin should have his critics thrown out of windows; we don’t think Mohammed bin Salman should have had Jamal Khashoggi chopped into pieces.

Cancel culture is most effective against people who are still rising in their fields, and it influences many people who don’t actually get canceled.

The point of cancellation is ultimately to establish norms for the majority, not to bring the stars back down to earth. So a climate of cancellation can succeed in changing the way people talk and argue and behave even if it doesn’t succeed in destroying the careers of some of the famous people that it targets. You don’t need to cancel Rowling if you can cancel the lesser-known novelist who takes her side; you don’t have to take down the famous academics who signed last week’s Harper’s Magazine letter attacking cancel culture if you can discourage people half their age from saying what they think. The goal isn’t to punish everyone, or even very many someones; it’s to shame or scare just enough people to make the rest conform.

And it works. It works like a bastard. We know this from all the many many reports by the unsilenced TERFs of countless closet TERFs who thank the unsilenced and wish they could join them but can’t if they want to keep their jobs or chances of promotion or friends. That’s cancel culture working.

H/t Sackbut among others