Notes and Comment Blog

You choose

Mar 17th, 2019 8:20 am | By

But free speech, choice, choosing, freedom, liberty, choice!

From the Guardian:

McDonald’s has been accused of launching a “grotesque marketing strategy” that endangers public health by encouraging customers to eat more fast food in exchange for prizes such as fries, desserts and fizzy drinks.

Tom Watson, the shadow culture, media and sport secretary, has urged the company to ditch its Monopoly at McDonald’s promotion in light of the childhood obesity crisis in the UK, branding the competition “a danger to public health”. His demand comes as the government tries to tackle childhood obesity with a plan to reduce the amount of advertising for foods high in fat, sugar and salt seen by children. Options being examined include a ban on such adverts on television, online streaming sites and social media until after the 9pm watershed.

There’s a lot of childhood obesity in the UK (as there is in the US).

Watson has written to McDonald’s UK chief executive Paul Pomroy calling for the forthcoming Monopoly promotion to be cancelled. “The UK has an obesity crisis,” he writes. “Almost two-thirds of adults in England are overweight or obese. A quarter of children in England are overweight or obese by age five, rising to over a third by the end of primary school. Obesity and a sugar-filled diet cause a variety of serious health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes which costs the NHS 10% of its budget every year to treat.

“In this context, it is appalling that your company’s Monopoly marketing ploy encourages people to eat more unhealthy foods by offering sugar-filled desserts as rewards.”

But McDonald’s has a reply.

A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “Customer choice is at the heart of everything we do, including our popular Monopoly promotion. This year’s campaign sees customers receive prize labels on carrot bags, salads and our Big Flavour Wraps range, and we have removed the incentive to ‘go large’, providing the same number of prize labels and chances to win on a medium meal as you get on a large.”

Ahhhh yes, it’s all about choice…that is, choice shaped by relentless advertising and years of research on what flavors get people to come back for more and more and more. In other words it’s not about choice at all, it’s about getting people to buy as much of the product as possible by whatever concealed methods the corporations can come up with. They advertise for a reason, they put on contests for a reason, they use a lot of salt, sugar and fat for a reason, and the reason is the opposite of choice: the reason is they want people to buy their product.

Don’t insult us.

The losers all want what you have

Mar 17th, 2019 8:04 am | By

Oof, the crazy level has taken a big jump today.

Yes indeed. The Federal Election Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the police, the army, the Vatican, the UN, the International Criminal Court, the WTO – they should all look into this. It’s a scandal that people are free to mock and dispute Donald Trump.

I love the juxtaposition. Venom, venom, happy holiday!

But let’s be serious here.

Two days after a racist massacre and he’s telling us to be not politically correct i.e. to be racist.

But hey, happy Saint Patrick’s day!

A favorable omen?

Mar 16th, 2019 6:09 pm | By

Good lord. Trump has tweeted or retweeted (usually himself) 26 times today. So far.

Bill Kristol sees it as a favorable portent.

I gotta say, though, what’s with the bad-mannered rubes in the huge hats?

I know, we’re supposed to think “Texas Rangers – hooray – manly men – saving us from the Invasion By Brown People.” But I don’t think big hats will save anyone from anything.

Anyway. Donnie Two-scoops is in a lather.

Another one?

Mar 16th, 2019 12:39 pm | By

The SPLC has booted Morris Dees.

The center, which is based in Montgomery, gave no clear indication as to why it had let Mr. Dees go, but the president of the group, Richard Cohen, said in a statement that “a comprehensive assessment of our internal climate and workplace practices” was imminent, suggesting the dismissal was tied to conflict among the staff.

On Thursday, the same day the S.P.L.C. announced that Mr. Dees had been fired, employees sent a letter to the center’s leaders citing claims of mistreatment of staff, sexual harassment, gender discrimination and racism.

So that sounds as if the two were coordinated, with the letter being documentation of the reasons.

The letter, cited in the Los Angeles Times, said it was prompted by the departure this month of a respected African-American employee whose “worrisome parting words, hardly belies her frustration and disappointment.”

That’s unclear.

The letter starts with a sober warning: “S.P.L.C.’s integrity is on the line.” It demands that management, “create a work environment untainted by instances, allegations, and fears of sexual harassment, assault, and racial and gender discrimination.”

That on the other hand is quite clear.

It remains to be seen exactly why Mr. Dees was fired after such a long career. One thing is clear: It will be hard for the group to continue carrying out its mission of identifying and rooting out extremists while its own staff is up in arms over allegations of injustice.

It will, yes.

H/t Dave Ricks

Makes them all look good

Mar 16th, 2019 11:42 am | By

Ah. Smart move.

Makes us look good! Especially when we announce that’s what we’re doing! Appearances are EVERYTHING.

When organisations that help vulnerable women are targeted

Mar 16th, 2019 11:39 am | By

Have a useful backgrounder on the efforts of male trans activists to dominate and subdue Vancouver Rape Relief:

In 1995 Kimberly Nixon, a transwoman, filed a human rights complaint after applying to be a counsellor and being rejected on the grounds that Nixon was not born a woman and had not experienced oppression from birth. Vancouver Rape Relief offered a formal written apology, and suggested that Nixon could support the shelter by joining a fundraising committee. The shelter also offered $500 in acknowledgement of Nixon’s hurt feelings and requested mediation in order [to] make amends. Nixon rejected this offer and escalated the complaint to the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, which was heard in 2000. Two years later the tribunal released the decision that they found in favour of Nixon and awarded $7,500 in compensation. However Vancouver Rape Relief sought a judicial review as they argued that discrimination was not present. The British Columbia Supreme Court set aside the decision of The Human Rights Tribunal, finding that the Tribunal had made an error as the shelter has the right to freedom of association as a women-only space, irrespective of gender identity. Nixon appealed to the British Columbia Court of Appeal who unanimously upheld the Supreme Court’s decision in 2007. Nixon appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada who dismissed the request. Arguments built by the shelter in this case have since been used by Aboriginal groups in Canada to maintain their freedom of association.

It’s a tricky thing. There’s been pushing and pulling about it in the US for years over the issue of campus groups that exclude white people. How do you say “no whites invited to this particular group” without giving aid and comfort to whites who want to do the same thing with the terms flipped? It’s tricky (but the answer is not to do what Kimberly Nixon did).

Even supporting the shelter can get you ousted in some activist circles, as anti-poverty campaigner Yuly Chan found out last year when she was removed from an urban renewal panel at a Vancouver Crossroads conference after retweeting Vancouver Rape Relief and expressing support for working class women.

In May 2018 Trans Rights Activists targeted The Licorice Parlour, a sweet shop in Vancouver who had put up a poster advertising the Vancouver Rape Relief annual community fundraiser. The shop’s social media platforms were flooded with fake 1* reviews accusing the shop and the owner, Mary Jean, of transphobia. Mary Jean took to Facebook to assert her support of the shelter and disclose her own experience of sexual assault. She received many messages of support but the accusations of transphobia and fake reviews continued for some time.

And yet…are there any parallel stories about gay men? Do they get bullied the same way? If they do they seem oddly quiet about it.

It has not escaped the notice of many onlookers that the continual targets of this harassment appear to be women, often lesbians. When organisations that help vulnerable women are targeted then it is the women most in need who lose out. Male violence continues to be the biggest threat to trans people, and feminists seek to end male violence in all its forms. In the midst of these political disagreements it is women, not violent men, who are bearing the brunt of Trans Rights Activists’ animosity.

Well, you see, violent men are kind of scary.

A small group of people that have very, very serious problems

Mar 15th, 2019 5:48 pm | By

It’s ok though, Trump says white nationalism is a minor thing.

Asked by a reporter on Friday if he sees an increase globally in the threat of white nationalism, the US president responded: “I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. I guess, if you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s a case. I don’t know enough about it yet.”

He says it’s terrible though. Yes yes. Terrible. Terrible thing. He says it two times, not just one.

There has been a documented rise in anti-Muslim hate groups in the US in the last three years, and the FBI has reported a steady increase in reports of hate crimes. Just last year, a shooter with far-right views killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

But that’s not because they take inspiration from Trump and Bannon and Miller and Gorka; no no no no no. It’s for other reasons entirely. Trump’s use of the presidency to bray racism at us day in and day out has had no effect of any kind.

Trump made the remarks about white supremacy at the Oval Office while announcing his decision to overrule Congress in his effort to protect his declaration of a national emergency and secure funds for a US-Mexico border wall.

Announcing his veto, the president said, “People hate the word invasion, but that’s what it is.”

That’s our boy – he sticks with the racist white nationalist bullshit about the wall and the “invasion” no matter how many mass shootings are going on in the background.

The most vulnerable people

Mar 15th, 2019 11:44 am | By

Anthony Watson wrote an open letter:


My name is Anthony Watson – an entrepreneur, a member of the Board of Directors of GLAAD(1), a Patron of Diversity Role Models(2), and a white, cis, gay man.

(“Entrepreneur”=rich dude.)

I am writing this letter alongside many other gay men of different privileges. Just as lesbians have shown their support through #LWithTheT we now stand in public solidarity with our trans siblings.

As gay men we have watched in horror at the cruelty inflicted upon the trans community. We are outraged. The most vulnerable people in our society are marginalised, scared and endangered. Trans communities, and in particular trans children, are under attack on a daily basis.

What? “The most vulnerable people in our society” – ? Who says? According to what metric? Are trans people more vulnerable than women? All of them? Really?

I don’t believe it. I think he’s making it up, and I think he’s ignoring the global and historical chronic vulnerability of women and girls to do so. I don’t think his cross-dressing friends are more vulnerable than menstruating girls in India or Nigeria. Not for a second.

What do trans people want?  They want the right to live their lives in peace, to be free from violence and discrimination, and to enjoy equal protection under the law.  What they want, in short, are the same basic protections and rights we as gay men enjoy.

Actually, no. The most “militant” among them want more than that: they want to be affirmed (constantly, endlessly affirmed) as the sex that doesn’t match their bodies, especially those of them who have male bodies. They want to be so constantly and warmly affirmed as women that they are entirely happy to shove women roughly out of the way.

The rest of it is just the usual vague meaningless bafflegab that ignores the real issues in favor of stating the obvious.

Jonathan Best comments:

And because he’s not a man to do things by halves, he shoehorns in a Nazi Germany reference:

We are reminded of Martin Niemöller’s poem “First they came for the for the…”

In case any of his readers haven’t got the point yet, he pushes it home with a chilling warning:

Transphobic people aren’t just coming for trans rights; they’re coming for all of us.

So who are these dangerous, vindictive transphobic people — and, more importantly, how the hell can we stop them?

I know who they are.

They’re the women who have been abused or raped by men and are now terrified of being in close proximity to a male-bodied person.

They’re the young lesbians who don’t understand why they’re made to feel shame for excluding male-bodied people from their dating pool.

They’re the feminists who want to be able to describe their oppression as they choose to describe it, without having their terminology and their politics checked by woke men.

They’re the women who just want to call themselves women — and not bleeders, menstruators, cis, non-trans or any other term selected by others.

Or, for that matter, Nazis.

Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act

Mar 15th, 2019 11:03 am | By

Rachel Maddow pointed out last night that some advertising for guns in the US frames it as a matter of combat, and that there is no such thing as “combat” in civilian life.

Her source for the images may have been Mother Jones, which showed us some in 2012:

She went on to point out that normally consumer products that cause death and injury tend to lead to lawsuits, except for this one industry that is protected by law.

Background from the Giffords Law Center:

Civil liability plays an important role in injury prevention. In circumstances where legislators have been unwilling to enact regulations to improve safety, dangerous products and careless industry practices are normally held in check by the possibility of civil litigation that enables injured individuals to recover monetarily. This principle does not apply to the gun industry, however, because it has obtained unprecedented immunity from this longstanding system of accountability.

Immunity statutes grant legal protection to gun manufacturers and dealers, shielding them from liability for a wide range of conduct. Similar immunity laws have been adopted in some form by the federal government and 34 states.

A series of lawsuits in the 1990s held certain members of the firearms industry liable for particularly reckless practices. As a result, the industry began to push legislation in statehouses that limited this avenue of relief. Then, in 2005, after intense lobbying from the gun industry, Congress enacted and President Bush signed a law that gives gun manufacturers and sellers unprecedented nationwide immunity from lawsuits.

In 2005, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA)1, a federal statute which provides broad immunity to gun manufacturers and dealers in federal and state court. Generally speaking, the PLCAA prohibits “qualified civil liability actions,” which are defined as civil or administrative proceedings which “result from the criminal or lawful misuse” of firearms or ammunition.2

Yesterday the Connecticut Supreme Court issued a ruling:

The Connecticut Supreme Court Thursday narrowly reversed a ruling by a lower court judge dismissing a lawsuit by the families of victims of the Sandy Hook shooting against Remington Arms Company, allowing the case to proceed.

In a 4-3 decision the court remanded the landmark gun case back to Bridgeport Superior Court and possibly created a path that other mass shooting victims can follow to get around the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, known as PLCAA, which has protected the manufacturers of the AR-15 assault rifle from lawsuits.

The ruling paves the way for the families to subpoena internal documents on how the gun companies have marketed the AR-15, which has become the weapon of choice for mass shooters. The gun manufacturers have closely guarded information on how they market the assault weapons.

In short: gun companies market their guns as being just the thing for mass shootings, and there is a law protecting them alone among manufacturers from lawsuits. That’s fucked up, as a couple of mosques in Christchurch are the latest reminder.

Congratulations Sophie and Julia

Mar 15th, 2019 10:29 am | By

Morgane Oger in action:

You couldn’t make it up. Two teenage girls raise $5000 for Vancouver Rape Relief and a guy who “identifies as” a woman has to swoop in to tell them they should donate to places that allow men into women’s shelters instead.

No, it isn’t. Excluding trans women from a women’s group is fundamentally the same as excluding straight people from a lesbian and gay activist group or excluding NRA members from an anti-violence group or excluding Trump fans from a liberal group. Groups are allowed to organize around commonalities and thus to exclude people who don’t share the commonality in question.

Source notes

Mar 15th, 2019 10:03 am | By

Remembering Srebrenica on the massacre in Christchurch:

Remembering Srebrenica is able to confirm that the terrorist who butchered innocent Muslim worshippers in the Christchurch Mosque attack was listening to a Serbian song glorifying Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadžić who was convicted for the 1995 genocide of Muslims on European soil in Srebrenica in Bosnia.

Whilst driving en route to committing this atrocity, the perpetrator was live-streaming. In the background is the Serbian song that glorified Radovan Karadžić with the lyrics “Wolves are on the move from Krajina. Karadžić lead your Serbs, let them see they fear no one” being played.

And in turn the Serbs were inspired by stories of the Battle of Kosovo in 1389, and no doubt the participants in that battle were inspired by ditties from the 5th century which drew on lore from a previous battle which drew on Homer who drew on Sources Unknown. Fight Fight Fight.

It is distressing to see that the nationalist words which fuelled hatred against Muslims that led to the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia have resurfaced. Hearing of the glorification of genocidal Serbian extremists during the attack on two mosques in New Zealand has particularly shaken survivors of the genocide and ethnic cleansing who had to flee to safety in Britain and elsewhere in the world. This barbaric act of violence which deliberately targeted ordinary Muslims, who had simply come together to pray in peace, was designed to compromise feelings of safety of Muslims anywhere in the West.

That, and more. I’ve seen references to Dylan Roof as another inspiration, which of course he is.

Warmest and best but oh so fleeting

Mar 15th, 2019 9:33 am | By

Trump 5 hours ago, 7:30 in the morning in DC:

Trump one hour later:

Trump an hour after that:

His mind is never off himself for long.

They have been in the trenches for too long

Mar 15th, 2019 9:02 am | By

Meanwhile the more humdrum forms of oppression and silencing continue.

Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter has no right to public funds or grants say trans activists, arguing that’s because the shelter won’t provide services to trans women.

The shelter is up for a community service grant, which they have received in the past.

But trans activist Morgane Oger says the shelter shouldn’t qualify for city grants because it denies services to trans women.

Morgane Oger, a man who Identifies As a woman, is working hard to get funding taken away from a women’s shelter because it doesn’t provide services to men who Identify As women. I think it’s pretty safe to say Morgan Oger hates women.

“If Vancouver rape relief were to be looking for federal funding, they would be denied on the basis of their actions,” Oger adds. “An organization that discriminates against people on the basis of fundamentally protective rights should always be denied public taxpayers funding. Whether it’s in the form of charity receipts or indirect funding.”

So I guess that means – according to Oger – that women can’t have anything that’s for women only? And that if they try he will do his best to get it taken away from them?

Oger says a small group of speakers will attend Wednesday’s council meeting to voice their concerns and ask staff to reconsider giving VRR a community services grant.

“I do understand that they have fought since day one for women’s rights and sometimes people that have been in the trenches, they have been in the trenches for too long,” says Oger.

Wow. Yeah, those old hags have been there too long, shut them down to make way for hot young men who Identify As women.

And it worked; Oger got his way:

Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter says it would sooner turn down important funding from the City of Vancouver than change its policies, which currently exclude trans people from many of its services.

City hall heard a number of heated presentations Wednesday night, during which trans people spoke against the organization receiving renewed funding from the city. Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung made a proposal, which passed on Thursday, that will compel the anti-violence support group to open up all of its services to include trans people or not get funding from the city.

“Trans people” – so women can’t have women’s shelters any more, at least in Vancouver, because they have to be for women and trans people now. So if a man wants access to a woman who is trying to escape him, all he has to do is go to the women’s shelter where she has taken refuge and say he identifies as a woman. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

Kirby-Yung made the proposal — which came in the form of an amendment to an existing motion on grants — because she wants trans people to feel welcome and included.

“I am personally concerned that they’re limiting their services to focus on women who are born biologically women at birth, and not wanting to provide a full suite of services to trans women or other people who identify as women,” she said.

So I wonder why Kirby-Yung thinks it’s more important for trans women and “other people who identify as women” to feel welcome and included than it is for women to feel and be safe. I wonder why Kirby-Yung thinks it’s so urgent for men who identify as women to have cuddly happy feels than it is for actual women to escape violent men.

Updating to add the tweet that alerted me to the story this morning:

The murders were live-streamed

Mar 15th, 2019 8:20 am | By

That’s not a statement we want to see, but it’s the reality.

The BBC reports:

The video, which shows a first-person view of the killings, has been widely circulated.

  • About 10 to 20 minutes before the attack in New Zealand, someone posted on the /pol/section of 8chan, an anarchist alt-right message board. The post included links to the suspect’s Facebook page, where he stated he would be live-streaming and published a rambling and hate-filled manifesto
  • Before opening fire, the suspect urged viewers to subscribe to PewDiePie’s YouTube channel.

We interrupt this murder to bring you a commercial message.

  • The attacks were live-streamed on Facebook and shared widely on other social media platforms, such as YouTube and Twitter

The revolution will be televised, only it’s the wrong kind of revolution.

Some basics:

Forty-nine people have been killed and at least 20 wounded in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the incident as a terrorist attack and one of New Zealand’s “darkest days”. It is the nation’s deadliest attack.

A gunman identifying himself as an Australian live-streamed the rampage at Al Noor mosque to Facebook. He had espoused racist, anti-immigrant views.

Police say a man in his late 20s has been arrested and charged with murder.

The gunman live-streaming the attack from a head-mounted camera said he was a 28-year-old Australian called Brenton Tarrant. The footage showed him firing indiscriminately at men, women and children from close range inside the Al Noor mosque.

Everything is terrible and will get worse.

He totally predicted it

Mar 14th, 2019 5:15 pm | By

First, this, starting at 1:02 if you don’t want to listen to him explaining Brexit for the first minute. He says he predicted Brexit, people laughed, but he was right. He was at Turnberry and he predicted it.


He predicted it the day after it happened.

What a genius.

(Also he said Obama predicted the opposite, and he Trump was right.

Obama made no prediction.)

If only they had asked Trump’s advice

Mar 14th, 2019 4:48 pm | By

God I hate it when Trump thinks he knows better. (I know, he always thinks that, about everyone and everything, but I hate it when he mouths off about it.) He knows all about how Britain should leave the EU, and if only everyone had done what he said, everything would be fabulous now.

“I’m surprised at how badly it’s all gone from the standpoint of a negotiation,” he said.

Trump, who holds himself up as a master deal-maker, said he had given Prime Minister Theresa May his ideas on how she could negotiate a successful deal for leaving the 28-member group of nations. But “she didn’t listen to that and that’s fine. I mean she’s got to do what she’s got to do,” he said at the White House as he welcomed Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar for an early St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

Well, she’s got to do what she’s got to do in the sense that she’s got to ignore any instructions on any subject from Donald Trump.

Trump predicted later Thursday that the situation eventually would work itself out. The president said he and Varadkar discussed the issue during their Oval Office meeting. Varadkar opposes Britain’s EU exit and expressed concern about how such a move would affect Northern Ireland.

“We talked about Brexit, something that’s turning out to be a little more complex than they thought it would be,” Trump said at an annual Capitol Hill luncheon for the Irish hosted by the House speaker. “But it’ll all work out. Everything does. One way or the other, it’s going to work out.”

This is what I mean. No one should ever take advice of any kind from the fool who uttered that stack of bullshit. Brexit isn’t “turning out” to be more complex than they thought it would be; anyone who knows anything knew all along it would be complex. He, Donald Trump, thought it would be not-complex, because he’s an idiot, but people who know anything didn’t. Theory of Mind fail # 7 billion. And then that bland assurance that it’ll all work out and that everything does…how can someone be that stupid and remember to breathe?

Their kaupapa is not “inclusive” enough

Mar 14th, 2019 11:23 am | By

Another lesbian group kicked out of another Pride:

It’s Pride Month in Wellington and as a part of that Out Wellington Inc. hosts a fair called Out in the Park.

We had our place at the fair confirmed in early February so we’ve been planning on attending for some time. We were excited to go along and show that it’s okay to be a lesbian and proud, but instead we’ve been banned because our kaupapa is not “inclusive” enough.

Kaupapa is Maori for statement of principles. Not inclusive enough how? Let’s see if we can figure it out.

We agree with these core principles laid out by the Women’s Liberation Front:

Maybe that’s it? Maybe “female humans” is considered insufficiently inclusive? But if so…then…then women have to be banned from everything, right? It will be just men and trans women from now on, because only they are inclusive enough?

But maybe it’s not that. Maybe it’s this:

We want an end to all laws and institutions which perpetuate men’s aggression towards and dominance over women.

We encourage non-compliance with sex-role stereotypes. Heteronormativity is built on and maintained through sex-role stereotypes. Nobody should be harassed, threatened or abused for not complying to sex-role stereotypes.

Maybe that’s it? Maybe it’s considered not-inclusive of trans people to encourage non-compliance with sex-role stereotypes? But if so…then…then we can’t encourage non-compliance with sex-role stereotypes any more, which means we can’t have feminism any more.

Or maybe it’s this:

The LRAA is opposed to pornography and the sex industry because it is violence against women and girls. Members of the LRAA do not participate in anyones sexual exploitation.

Not inclusive of pimps and johns? Is that where we are now?

Back to the post:

Festival directors Drew Hadwen and Karen Harris emailed us seemingly out of the blue rescinding our stall and invoice. They said that because they “welcome all people, groups and organisations who want to join with us to celebrate the amazing diversity and creativity in our LGBTIQ+ community”  they can not have our lesbian feminist stall or “presence” at Out Wellington Inc. organised events.

Problem. Hadwen and Harris explain that because they welcome all people, groups and organisations therefore they have to banish The Lesbian Rights Alliance Aotearoa. That’s a contradiction, for a start, but it’s also bizarre given the L in LGBTIQ+. The LGBTIQ+ Pride fair welcomes all people, groups and organisations except the L part of LGBTIQ+?


Our group was honest and transparent in our application. We applied with our names, as The Lesbian Rights Alliance Aotearoa and said we are “a new and growing lesbian group and we are starting to expand our events and social activities in Wellington.”

Our application was accepted and our attendance at the event was publicly announced on the Out in the Park Facebook page.

Our kaupapa has been publicly available online since 6 June 2018.

The Police, Corrections and Young Nats will all have stalls at the event.

Interesting. The cops are inclusive enough, the department of corrections is inclusive enough, the Young Nats are inclusive enough…

The New Zealand Young Nationals, more commonly called the Young Nats, is the youth wing of the New Zealand National Party, a centre-right political party in New Zealand, and a member of the International Young Democrat Union.

All those inclusive as fuck, but those pesky lesbian feminists…ewwwww no get them out.

All the toughs

Mar 14th, 2019 10:40 am | By

Trump has been threatening us again.

No matter what the White House says, President Trump has repeatedly and not-subtly suggested his supporters could be violent — sometimes in an approving manner. And there’s a common thread running through much of it: Again and again, Trump has suggested they could rise up if they feel either they or Trump have been wronged by the political process.

Aka by the fact that most of us hate him and want him gone.

In an interview with Trump-friendly Breitbart News this week, Trump talked about how “tough” the left was getting, relative to his supporters. His quote meanders a little bit, but stick with it and focus on the text in bold:

It’s so terrible what’s happening. You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny. I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. Okay? I can tell you, I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad. But the left plays it cuter and tougher.

Don’t worry, I don’t think we need bold to see that as Trump threatening us.


Mar 14th, 2019 10:23 am | By

The essence of Trump.

He sees all thinking as “overthinking” because thought is so profoundly alien to him. He doesn’t know how to think. He reacts, he blurts, he exclaims, he feels angry or conceited, he watches Fox. That’s it, that’s his mental life.

He wants the issues to be “very simple” because very simple is all he can understand, and that is because he is lazy as well as stupid, so he’s never made any effort to improve the unpromising intellectual capacity he started with.

And the “should not be thought of any other way” is so classically trump-bully mode. “Think of it the way I tell you to think of it!” shouted the slumlord from Queens.

Selectively outraged

Mar 14th, 2019 10:04 am | By

From a State Department briefing on March 12:

MR PALLADINO: Let’s start with this: We are outraged to hear reports that the Iranian regime sentenced Iranian human rights defender and women’s rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. This sentence is beyond barbaric. Her alleged crime was advocating for Iranian women’s rights and for defending other Iranian women who were arrested by the regime for peacefully protesting the mandatory hijab law. Nasrin was sentenced in absentia without a fair trial by the notorious revolutionary court, which is led by Judge Moghiseh, an accused human rights violator.

In addition, just this week, the regime cynically announced that as they enter the fifth decade of the Iranian Revolution, they would appoint Ebrahim Raisi, a man involved in mass summary executions of prisoners of conscience, as the head of the regime’s judiciary. The Iranian regime makes a mockery of the entire legal system in Iran, placing innocent people at the mercy of accused human rights violators. We condemn Nasrin’s sentence in the strongest possible terms and call on all of our partners and allies to speak out and demand the release of this courageous human rights defender and all those arbitrarily detained immediately. The Iranian people deserve a government that respects their legitimate demands and the human rights of all in Iran, not one that subjects them to prosecution in a justice system led by accused human rights violators.

There were several questions on various subjects and then:

QUESTION: Can I ask you, on a separate topic, your statement at the beginning on Iran and the sentencing of a women’s rights activist: Why didn’t you issue a similar statement when Saudi Arabia arrested women rights activists there, including a State Department International Women of Courage Award winner, Samar Badawi?

MR PALLADINO: We’ve – I mean, this particular case really was barbaric. Many others have spoken out on this as well. Thirty-eight – this is a – basically, a lawyer representing women clients that’s been sentenced to 38 years and 148 lashes. That kind of barbarism is something that must be called out.

In regards to other countries, Secretary Pompeo – we’ve spoken about – we speak about human rights, frankly, when we engage – when we travel the world engaging partners, allies. We do this regularly. It’s something that we stand for. It’s something that we’ll continue to do.

QUESTION: But why not do it from the podium in a similar fashion?

MR PALLADINO: I’m not sure what specific case you’re referring to. We choose different ways to communicate our – to promote the value – human rights values. It’s something we’re going to continue to be outspoken about and we raise this regularly with all partners.

In other words, Saudi Who?