Notes and Comment Blog


Guest post: Breaking things

Mar 11th, 2019 8:51 am | By

Originally a comment by latsot on Overt rather than clandestine.

Breaking things can be useful, if by breaking them you are able to reassemble them in a new way that improves them

In theory, yes. In practice it hardly ever happens, with even the best will in the world.

It certainly doesn’t happen much in the software business even though we have whole swathes of theory about how to do it in software design and development practice, much of it very good.

It works like this:

1. The boss says “build me a system, don’t worry about the budget, we can sort that out later, just bring me a design”.

2. The boss sees the design, her eyes pop out on stalks at how expensive it looks and she crosses out a bunch of modules saying “combine those into one, get rid of that, make this happen by magic instead of code” etc.

3. We redo the (worse) design according to the same best practice and start building it. Then the budget changes, half the devs get moved to other projects and we are forced to cobble some hideous thing together in the same time with less money. The boss, of course, has already sold the spec to the stakeholders so if we can’t actually achieve it given the new circumstances, it’s our jobs on the line.

4. The boss realises there’s quite a lot of time and budget set aside for testing and just crosses it out saying we’ll have to test each module as we produce it and hope it all works when we put it together at the end, which it never, ever does.

So we build a shitty bit of software that doesn’t work properly or – usually – even do what anyone wanted in the first place. It is also completely unmaintainable; it is so poorly built by necessity that nobody really knows how it works and making even the smallest change is likely to break the whole thing and we probably won’t even notice until months or years down the line.

So a year later the boss finally realises she’s spending more on maintenance than she would if we just rebuilt the whole thing from scratch along the lines of our original design. She promises us untold budget to rebuild and… well, you can see where this is going, can’t you? We always end up trying to break the shitty system and put it back together in a better way, even though this is certain to be way more expensive and take much more time than rebuilding it from scratch.

This is what happens (always) in the relatively simple and well-understood world of software, which usually has at least some design principles lurking around somewhere. It is only through the dedication of developers (to solve ridiculous problems, not dedication to the firm) that any software ever works at all.

I can’t imagine how breaking things for the better can work in such things as political or legal systems, which have grown organically according to hugely divergent and regularly changing requirements, motivations and principles, sometimes across vast spans of time. Humans really don’t know how to do that. Or rather, we do, but the overheads are always unacceptably expensive so we always end up fudging it and making the outcome objectively worse and more difficult to tinker with in the future.

To be clear, I am in full agreement with your point. I’m almost always on the side of breaking things. Sometimes for the sake of it, usually with the aim of making it better. But when something isn’t built well in the first place, options are limited. The type of breaking Trump is doing is such that it will be virtually impossible to put the old system back together again, let alone build a better one, even if anyone had an idea about what a better system would be.

If I sound pessimistic it might be because Brexit is supposed to be happening in a little over a fortnight and we don’t seem to have decided anything yet. Now that is an example of breaking something to make it ‘better’ without understanding what ‘better’ means, what ‘breaking’ even means or how to go from one to the other.



Observance

Mar 10th, 2019 6:20 pm | By

Pliny’s T shirt for International Women’s Day:



Next time go to Yellowstone

Mar 10th, 2019 5:45 pm | By

If you’re looking for an adventure, I wouldn’t advise looking for it in Saudi Arabia, at least not if you’re a woman. (Or a dissident man.)

At first, Saudi Arabia was an adventure for Bethany Vierra.

An American from Washington State, she taught at a women’s university, started a company, married a Saudi businessman and gave birth to a curly-haired daughter, Zaina.

And couldn’t go anywhere without his permission, right? And had to wear an abaya any time she left home, right? Not all that adventurey.

But since the marriage went sour and she sought a divorce, she has been trapped. Because of the kingdom’s so-called guardianship laws, which give men great power over women, she is unable to use her bank account, leave the country, travel with her daughter or seek legal help, according to her cousin, Nicole Carroll.

One wonders if she did any Googling before she went to Saudi Arabia.

Ms. Vierra, 31, is now divorced, but her ex-husband let her residency expire, meaning she has lost access to her bank account and cannot get authorization to leave the country, Ms. Carroll said. Their 4-year-old daughter cannot travel without her father’s permission, meaning that even if Ms. Vierra finds a way to leave the kingdom, her child may have to stay behind.

Crappiest adventure ever.

A State Department official declined to comment on Ms. Vierra’s case, citing privacy rules. But the consular information page for Saudi Arabia on the State Department’s website notes that even non-Saudi women need a male guardian’s permission to leave the country and that the United States government “cannot obtain exit visas for the departure of minor children without their father/guardian’s permission.”

It also says that when foreigners divorce Saudis, “Saudi courts rarely grant permission for the foreign parent to leave the country with the children born during the marriage, even if he or she has been granted physical custody.”

So that’s her life wrecked.

Let’s hear some more about how women have cis privilege.



It’s her right to express herself

Mar 10th, 2019 12:20 pm | By

People say (and apparently think) the most ridiculous things about “rights.”

Case in point:

There’s no such thing as a “right” to express oneself by carrying banners or wearing T shirts that say “KILL THE ___”.

There may be a legal right in some jurisdictions to do that, but it’s thin ice. But more to the point, legal rights aren’t the only kind, and it’s pretty clear the tweeter was talking about the broader kind of right, the moral right – and the tweeter is full of shit. No there isn’t a moral right to advocate murder. Advocating murder isn’t a form of self-expression, it’s a call for murder.

Isn’t it interesting that preceding struggles of the oppressed haven’t generally called for murder? The Civil Rights movement was divided on the issue of non-violence, but the factions opposed to absolute and total non-violence weren’t advocating murder, they were advocating self-defense. I think there was some “Kill the Bosses” rhetoric in some labor struggles in the IWW days, but I can’t swear to it. It’s not normal, it’s not “self expression,” it’s not a “right,” and it’s not ok.

Also I wonder why she uses “her” in reference to the wearer of the shirt. Because of the hair? But plenty of men have hair that long. The sun glasses? Unclear. The face? I can’t tell, myself. Oh maybe it’s the T shirt. I’m used to T shirts that are just T shirts, generic, either sex can wear them. I don’t wear the Special for Laydeez Only ones with low necks and shorter, tilted sleeves, so I forget that they’re a thing.

At any rate – nah. A “social justice” movement that advocates for killing feminist women has nothing to do with social justice.



The vast distance the mind must travel

Mar 10th, 2019 11:43 am | By

Jonathan Chait looks at the question of why our minds boggle so stubbornly when we’re presented with the truth about Trump’s captivity to Russia.

The cause of this incredulity, I have come to suspect, lies in the vast distance the mind must travel between the normal patterns of American politics and the fantastical crimes being alleged. The Russia scandal seems to hint at a reality of fiction or paranoia, a baroque conspiracy in which the leader of the free world has been compromised by a mafiocracy with an economy smaller than South Korea’s.

The flaw lies in the assumption about what constitutes “normal.” In this case, the baseline should not be previous American elections, but other foreign elections in which Russia has intervened.

It’s that so-often useful concept/reply “It depends what you’re comparing it to.”

I suspect that we Americans, even the relatively unillusioned of us, have a hard time comparing even the shitshow of 2016 with “other foreign elections in which Russia has intervened.” We unconsciously think – in spite of everything – we’re better than that. Why? Other than the automatic narcissism of me mine ours? I don’t know. Generations of post-WW2 dominance, maybe, or unusual levels of credulity maybe, or both maybe; I don’t know. Anyway, what’s the pattern?

Moscow has cultivated right-wing parties overseas through a combination of covert payments to their leaders (often disguised as legitimate business transactions), illegal campaign donations, and propaganda support through traditional and social media. Russian election corruption scandals pop up in Europe all the time. Russia secretly and illegally funded Ukraine’s “Party of Regions”; France’s National Front party got a secret 2014 election loan from a Russian bank; the Brexit vote benefited from a huge donation from a British businessman who has secretly met with Russian officials dangling lucrative business deals. Just last month, Italian journalists discovered the leader of a right-wing party had negotiated a lucrative secret transaction with a Russian firm.

The fact that the same person who managed the campaign for the pro-Russian candidate in Ukraine next turned up (after a brief disappearance) to run the campaign of the pro-Russian candidate in the United States is merely one of an overwhelmingly long list of clues placing Trump in the pattern.

We’re not special.



Overt rather than clandestine

Mar 10th, 2019 11:22 am | By

Adan Gopnik observes that Trump’s protection is that he does it all in plain sight. (Well not all, but a lot. He does so much in plain sight.)

Any one of a dozen things that Trump has done overtly would have resulted, if done clandestinely by another President, in near-universal cries for impeachment, if not for immediate resignation. Just for a start, his firing of the director of the F.B.I. and then confessing to both a journalist and the Russian foreign minister that he did it to end an investigation into his own campaign’s contacts with Russians follows the exact form of one of the impeachable offenses—obstruction of justice—that was applied against Richard Nixon. The “smoking gun” tape smoked because it showed that Nixon had tried to stop the F.B.I. from investigating the Watergate break-in on phony “national security” grounds.

Trump just does it right in front of us – in an interview for a network news program! His boast to the Russian foreign minister wasn’t meant to be right in front of us, but nobody’s perfect.

Pragmatism is not a way of negating principle but, rather, the realist’s way of pursuing principle. The arguments against impeachment today are primarily pragmatic, the arguments for it primarily principled, but the principled course could, before long, turn into the only practical course. Impeachment may be too good for Trump. It may yet prove just the thing for the country.

In other words it’s not really all that pragmatic to let flagrant criminality and corruption proceed unhindered.



PLU

Mar 10th, 2019 10:34 am | By
PLU

Jeezus, Beeb, work on your headlines.

Capture

Oh well in that case maybe we care.

They must have thought again (or someone yelled at them), because if you click on the headline you get the story with a less narcissistic version…but the first one still appears in Top Stories.

Capture

Go back to headline school.



Kill the rebellious women

Mar 9th, 2019 3:53 pm | By

More of the same.

The country is Argentina.



Reproductive rights

Mar 9th, 2019 12:19 pm | By

Speaking of women

Congressional Democrats introduced legislation on Thursday that would classify reproductive rights as human rights and require the U.S. State Department to include access to reproductive health care in its annual human rights report, a practice that ended when President Trump took office.

The “Reproductive Rights Are Human Rights Act” was introduced by Democratic caucus vice chair Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and announced at a press conference Thursday along with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and U.S. Senate co-sponsors Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). The bill is similar to a bill by the same name introduced by Clark last year in response to the State Department’s sudden decision to drop the sections on reproductive rights from the 2017 human rights report it released last spring.

Now why would they do that? To please Trump’s “base,” no doubt.

Amanda Klasing, acting co-director of the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch, said the State Department’s annual human rights report has critical government uses. “A lot of people think that it just sits on the website and it’s something that foreign service officers have to do once a year, but actually it’s a really important tool for Congress because it helps in appropriations matters about foreign assistance,” she said in an interview with Rewire.News. “It’s important for immigration judges and for immigration lawyers trying to determine whether asylum claims are founded.”

The report’s use by immigration judges is critical for Stephanie Schmid, U.S. foreign policy council at the Center for Reproductive Rights, who used an example from Central America to demonstrate the harm of excluding reproductive rights from the report. “Any woman that would be coming to the U.S. border right now … fleeing some condition like in El Salvador where you can be jailed for having a miscarriage, and trying to make a refugee or asylum claim at the border, wouldn’t be safe,” she told Rewire.News. “Potentially an immigration judge [could say] ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, the 2017 human rights reports don’t say anything about women being jailed in El Salvador for miscarriages.’ They don’t say anything about the high rate of sexual and gender based violence by gangs and in other situations. So what we do is invalidate and erase the experience and stories of women all over the world.”

The bill won’t pass the Senate, and if it did Trump would veto it, but it’s important to get it out there all the same.



Man brags of woman-hating at IWD parade

Mar 9th, 2019 12:10 pm | By

Big strong determined? Clearly not nearly enough so or that stupid “TRANSPHOBIA KILLS” banner wouldn’t be hogging the limelight on International WOMEN’S Day.

“TERF graves are gender neutral bathrooms! [i.e.toilets]”

Not big, not strong, not determined, and sure as hell not feminist.



Feminism is not just for women any more

Mar 9th, 2019 11:01 am | By

I saw this

so I looked at the source, authors Lyric Thompson and Rachel Clement. There are some odd things.

The degree to which Sweden’s practice lives up to its policy has been critiqued. On rights, it has been criticized for a binary focus on women rather than gender. The policy largely ignores the rights and needs of LGBTQ individuals, with the exception of LGBTQ sexual reproductive health and rights being noted in the health component of the agenda. Positioning LGBTQ people as a key population in health interventions, rather than as part of their broad rights-based agenda is overly limiting and a missed opportunity for a feminist approach.

That looks like the all too familiar move from “intersectional” to “stop talking about women.” It’s not at all clear why a feminist policy should be expected to “center” or otherwise not-ignore “the rights and needs of LGBTQ individuals.” Lesbians are of course women so already not ignored, but why does feminism have to include G? Why can’t feminism be feminism? They don’t really explain.

As an intersectional movement, certainly one of the most readily apparent [areas where improvement is needed] is the tendency of governments to use the word feminist when they mean “women and girls.” This reinforces the binary and undermines work to overcome white, ethnocentric and western-centric, cis feminism’s historical (and current) sins.

Uh. What? Feminism does mean “women and girls” – that’s the whole point. How does it “reinforce the binary” more than the absence of feminism does? Remember the absence of feminism? Look at some old sitcoms if you need help. That was some reinforced binary right there. As for “cis” feminism and its “sins”…I’ll leave my choice of swears to your imagination.

That’s a starting point for debate, but hardly responsive to our interests in anchoring our definition in a focus not just on women, but on power relations and gender equality more broadly, and utilizing an explicitly rightsbased and intersectional understanding of feminism.

They’re trying to come up with a definition of feminist foreign policy by anchoring it “in a focus not just on women” – in other words feminism can’t be “just” about women any more, it has to be more expansive than that. Women are the giving, sharing, self-abnegating sex, therefore they don’t get to have even feminism to themselves.

Finally, we acknowledge that Sweden’s “rights, resources and representation” framework is, both as a first and as the most ambitious example to date, often regarded as definitional. We consider the framework useful, although not necessarily radical—reducing a policy to these three, vague components says nothing that is explicitly feminist and does not assert the commitment to intersectionality that we seek. It is, nonetheless, important to include, and a useful framework to build upon. As such, we offer the following draft definition for discussion: “Feminist Foreign Policy is the policy of a state that defines its interactions with other states and movements in a manner that prioritizes gender equality and enshrines the human rights of women and other traditionally marginalized groups, allocates significant resources to achieve that vision, and seeks through its implementation to disrupt patriarchal and male-dominated power structures across all of its levers of influence (aid, trade, defense and diplomacy), informed by the voices of feminist activists, groups and movements.”

Emphases theirs.

So, Feminist Foreign Policy is the policy of a state…that prioritizes gender equality and enshrines the human rights of women and other traditionally marginalized groups.

Emphasis mine.

The human rights of women and everyone else too, except men who can tick every privilege box there is along with any future privilege boxes. Feminism is, thus, not feminism any more, because in its woken splendor it has moved beyond anything so greedy and selfish as a focus on women’s rights. Good bye feminism! It was nice knowing you.

This means foreign policy that is not only by women or for women, but goes further, taking a nonbinary, gendered lens that recognizes and seeks to correct for historical, patriarchal, and often racist, and/or neocolonialist imbalances of power as they play out on the world stage. Further, our vision of feminist foreign policy is not limited to a single lever of international relations—”feminist diplomacy” or “feminist international assistance” or the like, nor, certainly, is any single assistance program or initiative a feminist foreign policy. Rather, for us feminist foreign policy is a complete, consistent and coherent approach to a body of work encompassing all auspices of foreign policy and international relations. If done right, the approach will include aid, trade and defense, in addition to diplomacy, using all the tools in the foreign policy tool box to advance a more equitable world. And most importantly, it will be informed by and amplifying the voices of the rights-holders it seeks to celebrate and support. This is good news for people of all genders: feminism is an agenda everyone can promote, an agenda that seeks equity for all, not the dominance of one over another.

They might as well be Fox News or the prime minister of Australia.



Ban that woman

Mar 9th, 2019 10:04 am | By

And there’s the “never let this woman speak anywhere ever again because we say so” thing.

Transgender advocacy groups and supporters have demanded that Leeds Lit Festival ban Dame Jenni Murray from speaking amid accusations of transphobia.

An open letter, signed by TransLeeds, Non-binary Leeds, Yorkshire Mesmac and 13 other groups, says Dame Jenni is ‘an active transphobe’ and that ‘there is no debate as to whether trans women are women’.

Oh but there is debate, it’s just that the narcissistic wing of trans activism wants to wipe it off the map. Saying “there is no debate” is an attempt to enforce the absence of debate by demanding that all dissenters be forcibly prevented from dissenting where anyone can hear them.

Dame Jenni, who was born in Barnsley, is due to appear at The Leeds Library on Saturday to talk about her book A History of the World in 21 Women.

Leeds Lit Festival and The Leeds Library have said they are standing by their position.

See here is one compelling reason to think, and to continue to say, that trans women are not literally women: it’s because of this lust to silence a well-known woman talking about women. There are anti-feminist women, of course, but even they mostly don’t try to prevent women from talking at literary festivals in libraries about their books about women. That bit of specialness is pretty much confined to trans “women”…which makes it ever more difficult to ignore their raging hostility to women.

The open letter to The Leeds Library and Leeds Lit Festival reads: “Jenni Murray is clearly hostile towards the trans community, but especially towards transgender women.

“This isn’t feminism. It is misogyny. This is not free speech or radical discussion. Far from it.

“It is hate speech against a vulnerable minority that in the last year alone has been the subject of a hateful campaign by the British media, both nationally and locally here in Leeds.”

No. Saying that men who “identify as” women are not [literally/in every sense] women is not misogyny. You can call it anti-trans if you want to, but it’s nothing to do with misogyny. Saying a dog is not a cat is not canephobia. It’s not misogyny at all, and calling it that is appropriation of a word that names what keeps women down.

It’s also not hate speech, and the flag-waving about “a vulnerable minority” is, again, appropriation of women’s oppression to dress up narcissistic entitlement as “political.”

The event has happened (or not) by now, but so far I can’t find anything about how it went. I hope it went well, with no raging misogynists in lipstick standing in the way.



No women allowed

Mar 9th, 2019 9:10 am | By

Some photos from yesterday’s International Women’s Day rally in Melbourne:

Image may contain: 2 people, outdoor

Poster held by a guy with shaved head and beard; very appropriate at a feminist event. About like white people at a racial justice event holding posters saying SHUT UP AND PICK SOME COTTON.

Someone in front of Real Jobs guy has a poster saying, I surmise, “SOME WOMEN HAVE PENISES GET OVER IT”.

Image may contain: 1 person, text and outdoor

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and outdoor



Women were singing and clapping

Mar 8th, 2019 5:48 pm | By

News from Pakistan:

Afzal Kohistani had warned for years his life was in danger after he brought public attention to the apparent killing of women seen clapping and singing in a video of men dancing.

Mr Kohistani was shot dead on Wednesday in the city of Abbottabad, in north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. He first emerged into the public eye in 2012 by calling for justice in a case involving his family in remote Kohistan district.

Two of his younger brothers were seen dancing in a wedding video that also showed four women singing and clapping. The four women, along with a fifth, were later killed for “breaching the honour” of their family, it is alleged.

Such “honour killings” occur regularly in Pakistan, especially in rural areas, and Mr Kohistani’s decision to expose the alleged murders sparked a blood feud, with three of his other brothers later killed.

Nothing like a pile of corpses to establish one’s “honour.”



Splashes from the cesspit

Mar 8th, 2019 4:02 pm | By

Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka “Tommy Robinson” takes his right-wing provocations to a new level by harassing journalist Mike Stuchbery in the middle of the night:

For the last few months, I have written about the methods used by “Tommy Robinson” to intimidate and harass those who dare to criticise him. I do this because he’s the most visible figure in a surging UK far right, feted by politicians and media figures alike.

Tonight he paid me a visit. Twice.

Stuchbery had tweeted that Yaxley-Lennon was about to be served papers for defamation.

The first we knew of it was a loud, frantic rapping on my door at around quarter to 11. The shouted voice that accompanied it was unmistakable.

“MIIIIIKE! I JUST WANT TO CHAT!”

There is no “just wanting to chat” when you’re banging on a stranger’s door late at night.

Notifications started pouring in, because Yaxley-Lennon was livestreaming his ambush on Facebook.

The banging went on and on as Stuchbery and his wife waited for the cops. They arrived and got Yaxley-Lennon to leave.

Until it started again at 5am. The thumping began anew, manic this time, loud and booming. The house rattled.

This time the defamatory statements began almost straight away – he seemed almost incoherent now, perhaps even intoxicated. His voice was breaking. He urged others to seek me out, to come find me, before, in an utterly surreal fashion, he announced he was off to the gym, and would be back afterwards.

He just wanted to chat.



Center someone else, anyone else

Mar 8th, 2019 2:10 pm | By

Amnesty centers trans rights on International Women’s Day.

Trans rights are women’s rights are human rights. It’s that simple.

Image may contain: text that says 'TRANS RIGHTS ARE WOMEN'S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INTERNATIO'

No. Women’s rights are women’s rights. We get to have our own rights, and we get to keep the emphasis there just like any other subordinated group. Imagine a poster that shouted

TRANS RIGHTS

ARE

BLACK RIGHTS

ARE

HUMAN RIGHTS

Wouldn’t that seem like the usual clueless white people changing the subject problem? Wouldn’t it seem like an obnoxious intrusion into someone else’s struggle in order to talk about a different struggle that is more fashionable right now?

Women’s rights are women’s rights. Trans people have other concerns, and they don’t always overlap with women’s concerns, to put it mildly. Women don’t have to share their rights any more than anyone else. Yes, we know we’re supposed to be Universal Mommy and share everything with everyone, but we say fuck that, we’ll have rights instead. Amnesty doesn’t get to decide we can’t.



So this debate deserves more time

Mar 8th, 2019 11:31 am | By

Arkansas State Senator Stephanie Flowers spoke up.

Flowers, A democrat from Pine Bluff and the lone black face on the state’s eight-member committee, wanted more time to debate the merits of [the] “stand your ground law,” which argues that civilians have the rights to use their firearms when they feel threatened, because it disproportionately targets people of color.

“It doesn’t take much to look on the local news every night and see how many black kids, black boys, black men are being killed with these ‘stand your ground’ defenses that these people raise, then they get off,” she said. “So I take issue with that. I’m the only person here of color, OK? I am a mother, too. And I have a son. And I care as much for my son as y’all care for y’alls. But, my son doesn’t walk the same path as yours do, so this debate deserves more time.”

She added: “For a long time since I’ve been back here in Arkansas, I have feared for my son’s life.”

She also pointed to gun rights enthusiasts who openly carry guns in front of the Arkansas courthouse and how uncomfortable that makes her feel because she doesn’t know if any of these people are crazy. She called them bullies.

“In front of my doggone office,” she said; in front of the courthouse and in front of her office. Random people walking up and down with guns; no thank you very much. It’s scary enough seeing them on cops.

The bill failed.



Their vital role

Mar 8th, 2019 11:13 am | By

Whoever wrote Trump’s prezzidenshul statement on International Women’s Day did a crap job of it.

On International Women’s Day, we honor women worldwide for their vital role in shaping and strengthening our communities, families, governments, and businesses. We celebrate their vision, leadership, and courage, and we reaffirm our commitment to promoting equal opportunity for women everywhere.

Their vital role, the precious darlings; it’s so kind of the to assist us, the real people, by playing their vital role in shaping and strengthening that which we (the real people) have made. Would one of them like to step forward so that I can pat her head or perhaps grab her by the pussy?



Not before this court

Mar 8th, 2019 9:57 am | By

A particularly absurd Trump lie:

President Trump on Friday seized on a portion of a federal judge’s remarks during the sentencing of his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, in a financial crimes case to again criticize the Russia investigation and falsely declare a finding of “no collusion.”

Except the judge didn’t.

What Judge Ellis actually said Thursday was that Mr. Manafort was “not before this court for anything having to do with collusion with the Russian government to influence this election.”

Which is not the same thing at all. That’s like saying “the judge said there’s no such thing as murder” when the judge actually said that “Mr. Trump is not before this court for anything having to do with murder.” Saying a particular person is not before a particular court for anything to do with a particular crime is not the same thing as saying there is none of that particular crime, or even that Mr. Trump is not suspected of that particular crime. Particular trial is particular.

There was “no collusion” because Mr. Manafort was not charged with or convicted of any crimes of collusion, a word that has no legal definition but has become a term of art for the special counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

But has also become Trump’s all-purpose word for everything he absolutely never did and is totally innocent of – it’s meaningless trump-jargon.

Mr. Manafort’s attorneys used the same false talking point as the president on Thursday, saying in a brief statement after the hearing, “There is absolutely no evidence that Paul Manafort was involved in any collusion with any government official or Russia.”

False talking point=meaningless trump-jargon.



Who cares what she wants?

Mar 8th, 2019 8:55 am | By

He tried and tried and tried to talk her into continuing the pregnancy, apparently unperturbed by the fact that he was trying to persuade her to endure ever-increasing discomfort and disability for months and then anguish for several hours to have a baby she didn’t want to have.

In an unprecedented move, an Alabama judge is allowing a man to sue a clinic because his ex-girlfriend terminated her pregnancy without his consent. The incident took place in February 2017, when he was 19 and she was 16, The Independent reports. (The age of consent in Alabama is 16.) At the time she terminated the pregnancy, she was six weeks along, making the embryo about the size of a sweet pea. Now, for the first time in United States history, a probate court has recognized an aborted fetus as a person with rights.

In court documents filed on March 6 by Ryan Magers, he claims that he begged his ex-girlfriend to carry the pregnancy to term and give birth. She refused and opted to terminate the pregnancy by taking the so-called “abortion pill,” which is actually two pills, containing mifepristone and misoprostol. The wrongful death lawsuit names both the Alabama Women’s Center and the pharmaceutical company that made the medication.

Because everybody on the planet has the right to veto a woman’s decision to stop being pregnant, apparently.

“I’m here for the men who actually want to have their baby,” Mager explained to ABC 31. “I just tried to plead with her and plead with her and just talk to her about it and see what I could do, but in the end, there was nothing I could do to change her mind.”

So he’s getting his revenge by attempting to create a new right for men to veto women’s abortions.

The case has alarmed reproductive rights groups, who are concerned the “personhood” movement might spread. On Twitter, Ilyse Hogue, the president of Naral Pro-Choice America, called the case “very scary” because it “asserts woman’s rights third in line,” behind the man who impregnates her and the dead fetus. Salon writer Amanda Marcotte agreed, saying any man who “vetoes” an abortion is “not fit to be a father or a partner. Any such man is by definition, an abuser.”

Or we could just give up and agree that women aren’t really people at all but merely devices for the creation of people (males) and more devices for the creation of people (males).

H/t Holms