Some of the actions required

Feb 11th, 2020 4:21 pm | By

#ExpelMe is trending on Twitter. What’s it about?

There’s this:

Which we can read here.

Below find our founding statement and pledges for all Labour Party members who support trans rights to sign.

Meaning, I guess, if you don’t sign, you don’t support trans rights.

The Labour Campaign for Trans Rights has been founded by transgender and non-binary Labour members in order to advance trans liberation through the Labour Party. Trans people today are disproportionately affected by the evils of homelessness, unemployment, poverty and hate crime. We live under a Conservative government which restricts our rights and puts those with transphobic views in positions of power; whilst we are attacked relentlessly by a reactionary press.

Liberation from what, though?

Obviously no one should suffer homelessness, unemployment, poverty, or hate crime. But what’s this about restricting rights? What rights exactly?

As the party which stands for socialism, the Labour Party must play an active and crucial role in the fight for transgender liberation. Although Labour is the party which has worked hardest to advance LGBT+ rights, when considering the level of oppression trans people face, our commitment to trans liberation has often been equivocal or inadequate. There are still transphobes in our ranks, and we have often failed to act as transphobia has gained ground within our party. Now that trans people face the onslaught of a Conservative majority, this must change, and it is this campaign’s goal to create a Labour Party which stands firmly on the side of trans people.

That’s just more of the same, and it clarifies nothing. Liberation from what? What is transphobia? What does “standing firmly on the side of trans people” entail?

We firstly urge all allies and sympathetic Labour members to sign our founding pledges, and to encourage your comrades, and especially your representatives in the Labour movement, to do so as well. These pledges have been written to outline some of the actions required to rid the Labour Party of transphobia and to stand up for trans people.

Ok, finally we get to specifics.

1. Accept the material reality that trans people are oppressed and discriminated against in British society, facing a rising risk of hate crime, and difficulty accessing public services, healthcare, housing and employment.

I don’t know how true any of that is, but it’s not outlandish.

2. Believe that trans liberation must be an objective of the Labour Party, and that transphobia is antithetical to our collective aims.

Before I know what “liberation” we’re talking about and what “transphobia” is? No.

3. Commit to respecting trans people as their self-declared gender, and to ensure that the Labour Party is an inclusive environment for trans people.

Ah, there we go, finally something we can grasp.

And no, I’m not going to do that. It doesn’t matter, because I’m not in the UK and so not in the Labour Party, but if I were I wouldn’t. No. I’m not going to “commit” to respecting anybody as their self-declared anything. It’s much too general and sweeping an order to obey. No.

4. Accept that trans women are women, trans men are men, and non-binary people are non-binary.

No. They’re not, they’re not, and that doesn’t mean anything.

5. Accept that there is no material conflict between trans rights and women’s rights, and that all trans women are subject to misogyny and patriarchal oppression.

No, and fuck off.

6. Listen to trans comrades on issues of transphobia and transmisogyny, allowing trans people to lead the way on our own liberation.

I might, if I hadn’t been paying close attention for the past five or so years, but I have, so no.

7. Support the work of trans members and organisers within the Labour movement, including supporting motions on a local, regional and national level which are presented for the furthering of trans liberation.

See above.

8. Oppose transphobic motions which run contrary to our own party equalities policy, and support the NEC striking down such motions on this basis.

On whose say-so? What if we think they don’t run contrary to our own party equalities policy? So that’s another No.

9. Organise and fight against transphobic organisations such as Woman’s Place UK, LGB Alliance and other trans-exclusionist hate groups.

Oh hell no. Meanwhile – how about trans comrades listen to women more? There’s an idea.

10. Support the expulsion from the Labour Party of those who express bigoted, transphobic views.

Hence #ExpelMe.

Go on then.

11.Support reform of the Gender Recognition Act to improve transgender rights, as well as supporting policies which would improve trans people’s access to necessary healthcare, housing, and employment.

What rights? Improve them how? Better access to necessary healthcare, housing, and employment would be good for everyone, trans people included – included, not especially included, or singled out for extra.

12. Organise against and oppose any further transphobic policy from our own party or any other.

Clearly “transphobic” here just means not taking orders from entitled narcissists who want to kick feminists out of Labour.

So that’s why #ExpelMe is trending.

Gangsterism is contagious

Feb 11th, 2020 11:47 am | By

The gangsters are inside the house.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has faced a bitter GOP backlash after casting the lone Republican vote for President Trump’s impeachment. There have been angry tweets and calls for the party to expel the man it once nominated to lead the country.

On Sunday, one influential conservative went so far as to say he could not be sure of Romney’s safety at a major right-wing gathering, alarming some of the Utah senator’s defenders and — in some critics’ eyes — crossing a line from outrage to threat.

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the Conservative Political Action Conference, made the controversial comments Sunday as he explained why Romney would be excluded from this year’s four-day event. Schlapp announced last month via tweet that the senator was “formally NOT invited,” as Romney took heat for breaking from staunch Republican support of the president to call for witnesses in Trump’s impeachment trial.

The word for Republican support of Trump shouldn’t be “staunch.” That makes it sound admirable, like “loyal” and “dedicated” and “courageous.” I suggest mindless or slavish or shameful.

Schlapp has denied any threatening intent in his Sunday comments, tweeting that he has “no beef [with Romney’s] family” and hopes “they have happy healthy lives away from politics.”

Which is another barely-veiled threat.

The Republican National Committee blasted the lawmaker in an email last Wednesday under the subject line “Mitt Romney turns his back on Utah,” while Donald Trump Jr. declared on Twitter: “He’s now officially a member of the resistance & should be expelled” from the GOP.

And yet, back in 2016, many in that GOP knew he was rotten to the core.

Truth matters. Right matters.

This miscarriage of justice

Feb 11th, 2020 11:08 am | By

The mafia boss issues instructions.

He says “cannot allow” as if he were a literal dictator.

Barr leaps to obey as if Trump were a literal dictator.

The president sent his message a little before 2am on Tuesday, after a rally in New Hampshire and a visit to Delaware to honour two US soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, it seemed the tweet would have its desired effect.

The Washington Post quoted a “senior justice department official” as saying: “The department finds the recommendation extreme and excessive and disproportionate to Stone’s offences. The department will clarify its position later today.”

The Post characterised the move as “a stunning rebuke of career prosecutors that will surely raise questions about political meddling in the case”.

Questions which will go unheeded as the Trump mafia tightens its hold on everything.

Trump has indicated he might pardon Stone.

Tighter and tighter.

Women tend

Feb 11th, 2020 10:34 am | By

He’s an anthropologist so he must know.

[Editing to add: Actually, after a bit of googling, I suspect he’s not an anthropologist but a guy with a BA in anthropology. Maybe he’s filling or playing or performing the role of anthropologist and therefore, according to him, he is one.]

Innnnteresting. I suppose this is a special anthropological use of the word “fill”? I suppose “filling” a role is not the same as playing a role? We’re to understand it as not-fictional, not-pretend, truthy-true?

Not exactly. He does seem to mean performance – the acting kind, not just the doing the job kind.

Ahhhh. All that’s required is consistency. That does make things simple. So we could all put on a lab coat and ask medical questions and write “Dr.” in front of our names, and we’d be filling the role of doctor, and thus we would actually be doctors.

Uh oh. Is he evading the question? I think he’s evading the question. I think he’s fleeing the interview.

And there you go. “Woman” isn’t a real, material category, it’s a set of stage directions.

Pony soldier

Feb 11th, 2020 10:15 am | By

Biden: let’s not.

Anna North at Vox elaborates:

The phrase immediately got attention, with many confused by Biden’s choice of words. As it turns out, “lying dog-faced pony soldier” is a phrase Biden has used before. He attributes it to John Wayne, though its actual provenance is somewhat unclear.

And whether it is John Wayne or not, why say it? When campaigning for the presidency? To a very young female voter? Don’t we have enough of that kind of thing already?

Biden has been criticized in the past for responding to questions — especially questions posed by women — in ways that seem condescending, as when he called moderator Lyz Lenz a “lovely person” after her question at a September LGBTQ rights forum. And the moment in New Hampshire was another reminder that while Biden’s responses may seem folksy or homespun to some, to others they’re a sign that he’s not always treating voters with the seriousness they deserve.

And whether they seem folksy or homespun to some or not, why say it? When campaigning for the presidency? To a very young female voter? Don’t we have enough of that kind of thing already?

Biden’s “Uncle Joe” persona (sometimes, less flatteringly, “Creepy Uncle Joe”) was the subject of jokes during the Obama years. But he’s not the vice president anymore, the older foil to a young commander in chief. Now, Biden is running to be the leader of the country, and young voters are less likely to brush it off when he answers their questions with strange movie references — at 77, he has to prove that he actually understands them and their concerns.

He also has to convince us that he actually will live another five years, which is a little tricky when you’re 77.

I just think it’s egomaniacal of him to be running when he’s such a bad candidate in so many ways. Haven’t we had enough of egomaniacs yet?

By a mile

Feb 10th, 2020 5:41 pm | By

Er…Don…you missed the point.

It really was those colors

Feb 10th, 2020 5:27 pm | By

We had a hell of a sunset here last night. This fella captured it (the second one).

Letting the flies in

Feb 10th, 2020 11:38 am | By

NPR tells us:

The Justice Department’s door is open if President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, wants to pass along information from Ukraine connected with Joe Biden and his family, Attorney General William Barr said Monday.

Why? Why is the door open?

“As I did say to Senator Graham, we have to be very careful with respect to any information from the Ukraine,” Barr said. “There are a lot of agendas in the Ukraine, a lot of cross currents, and we can’t take anything we receive from Ukraine at face value.”

Seeing as how it might be coming not from Ukraine but from Putin’s bag of tricks. Good call.

It is not up to him

Feb 10th, 2020 11:31 am | By

Hilarity ensued.

If it is not up to him to determine who is or who is not part of his/their/our/your LGBTQ community does that mean he can’t say TERFs are not part of it? Or no?

Detention is NOT prison, but it is

Feb 10th, 2020 11:02 am | By

The US is a major human rights violator.

Migrants, for instance, face extreme brutality here.

In the early morning of June 12, 2017, a group of eight Central American migrants decided to go on a hunger strike to protest conditions at the immigration detention center where they were being held in California.

When detainees arrive at the facility, they’re given a handbook that states explicitly, “Detention is NOT prison.” Immigration detention is where the government holds people while deciding whether to deport them, and most detainees have no criminal record. But this group said the conditions felt like those of a penitentiary.

And that would be a penitentiary that itself violates human rights.

The group complained that

The guards were discriminating against them, they lacked access to clean water, the bonds for their immigration cases were too expensive and they were receiving information only in English.

When detention officers ordered them to return to their beds for a routine population “count,” the eight men refused to move from tables in the facility’s day room until they could speak to a supervisor or an official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Surveillance footage shows what happened next.

Detention officers spent several minutes speaking to the detainees, telling them to return to their bunks. They waived a canister of pepper spray in front of them, then attempted to physically move the detainees.

The video shows the detainees trying to remain seated with their arms linked. But detention officers would later claim they were inciting a “rebellion” and “assaulting” staff.

Detention officers then sprayed pepper spray at the men at least three times and forcibly removed them from the tables.

As they visibly recoiled from the spray, some of the detainees were pushed into walls, pulled to the ground or dragged on the floor by guards.

Some were then put in hot showers, which made the effects of the pepper spray worse. (It’s not clear whether that was deliberate or a bungled attempt to wash it away.)

All eight detainees were then sent to “segregation” — ICE’s term for solitary confinement — for 10 days for “engaging in or inciting a group demonstration.”

It’s a for-profit company that runs the prison that isn’t supposed to be a prison.

As NPR reported in January, a previously confidential government inspection found that the facility was failing to meet many of the government’s own standards for solitary confinement, mental health treatment and medical care. The report also found that staff at Adelanto had retaliated against detainees.

Immigration attorneys and advocates say the conditions at Adelanto are emblematic of problems throughout an immigration detention system that has come to increasingly rely on firms like GEO to help enforce the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration policy.

Major human rights violator, at the behest of our monstrous dictator.

The fraught terrain

Feb 10th, 2020 10:35 am | By

Kenan Malik considers the “cultural appropriation” question.

“What insults my soul,” Zadie Smith has written, “is the idea… that we can and should write only about people who are fundamentally ‘like’ us: racially, sexually, genetically, nationally, politically, personally.”

Both as novelist and essayist, Smith is one of the most subtle guides to the fraught terrain of culture and identity. The problem of “cultural appropriation” – writers and artists being called out for having stepped beyond their permitted cultural boundaries to explore themes about people who are not “fundamentally ‘like’ us” – is an issue that particularly troubles her. Too often these days, on opening a book or on viewing a painting, we are as likely to ask: “Did the author or painter have the cultural right to engage with that subject?” or: “Does he or she possess the right identity?” as: “Is it any good?”

There’s maybe a third track though, to do not with a cultural right or the right identity but sufficiency of knowledge. “Write what you know” has long been a commandment of writing schools and the like (along with “show don’t tell” which is also a questionable rule), and while it’s simplistic or just wrong in many ways (it rules out all fantasy and magic realism for a start), it’s not completely wrong.

It’s far from completely right though. “Literary” fiction now is far too full of people chatting over coffee plus descriptions of clothes and living rooms and too empty of most of life. Writing only about what you know [personally, from experience] equals writing about not much.

Back to Kenan.

So it is with the latest cultural firestorm over Jeanine Cummins’s novel American Dirt, which tells the story of a mother and son, Lydia and Luca, forced to flee their home in Acapulco and join the migrant trail to America after their family is slaughtered by a drugs cartel. Cummins wants Americans to stop seeing migrants as a “faceless brown mass” and to bear witness to the “tragedy of our making on our southern border”.

The novel’s supporters have hailed it as a Great American Novel, even the new The Grapes of Wrath. Its detractors point to the fact that Cummins is non-Mexican and that this wasn’t a story that was hers to tell, which is why she gets it all wrong.

The thing is though, The Grapes of Wrath isn’t all that good. It’s powerful, and gripping, and of interest historically, but as a piece of writing it’s not great. I’ve never felt particularly confident about Steinbeck’s imagination of his Dust Bowl farmers.

But was it wrong for him to write it? Was he taking up space that could have been filled by a novel written by an actual Dust Bowl farmer? If so, were there any such novels written by Dust Bowl farmers? I have a feeling they were all too busy trying to survive to write a novel about their efforts to survive. Wasn’t it possibly a good thing that a novelist who had the time and resources to write a novel about those efforts did so?

Kenan says Cummins’s novel is pretty bad as a novel, but that’s not really the issue.

Most of the anger about the novel has been generated, though, not by how Cummins writes but by who she is. Not Mexican. Not migrant. White.

Cummins herself sets up her critics’ argument in an author’s note: “I worried that as a non-migrant and non-Mexican I had no business writing a book set almost entirely in Mexico, set almost entirely among migrants.” She “wished someone slightly browner than me would write it”.

But in the meantime is it actually wrong for her to write it?

What both sides seem to have forgotten is what fiction is for. Fiction, as Smith observed in the inaugural Philip Roth lecture in 2016, “is a way of asking… what if I was different than I am?” Today, though, she notes elsewhere: “The old – and never especially helpful – adage write what you know has morphed into something more like a threat: stay in your lane.” To do so, Smith insists, is to deny the very possibility of fiction.

There you go. Zadie Smith and I are of one mind on this subject. “Write what you know” is hideously parochial at best, and “stay in your lane” is even more so.

… the context of the debate is a literary and artistic culture that increasingly does insist that people should stay in their lanes. “Where did the new orthodoxy arise that writers must only set stories within their own country of origin or nationality?” the writer Aminatta Forna has asked. In trying to constrain the imagination by identity, she points out, it’s not the privileged but those on the margins who most lose out. The “white male writer” is called simply “writer”; all other others have to be “hyphenated”, writing, in Nesrine Malik’s words, “as a”: as a woman, as a Muslim, as an immigrant.

Certainly, puncture the absurd hype around American Dirt as a novel that reveals the truth about the treatment of immigrants. Certainly, celebrate the Mexican and Latinx writers, from Luis Alberto Urrea to Valeria Luiselli (whose poetic, haunting Lost Children Archive has just been published in paperback), who have long explored the stories of migration with subtlety and power.

But let us not create gated cultures in which only those of the right identity have permission to use their imaginations. For, as novelist Kamila Shamsie tweeted (in response to another controversy over cultural appropriation): “ ‘You – other – are unimaginable’ is a far more problematic attitude than ‘You are imaginable’.” She might have added, “even if imagined badly”.

One exchange of views:

But was “woke people police boundaries” a fair précis of Kenan’s point? Hardly.

He slammed the phone down

Feb 9th, 2020 5:57 pm | By

Aw, sad, Trump and Johnson aren’t besties any more.

Donald Trump’s previously close relationship with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks close to collapse, following new revelations that the president slammed down the phone on him.

Trump’s behaviour during last week’s call was described by officials as “apoplectic,” and Johnson has now reportedly shelved plans for an imminent visit to Washington.

So I guess there’s a downside to having an unstable bad-tempered moronic self-dealing hack as president?

[R]elations broke down following a series of high-profile threats from Trump and a series of pointed interventions against Trump by Johnson and senior members of his government.

What, because of a few threats? Losers.

Why did Trump get mad?

The call, which one source described to the Financial Times as “very difficult,” came after Johnson defied Trump and allowed Chinese telecoms company Huawei the rights to develop the UK’s 5G network.

Trump’s fury was triggered by Johnson backing Huawei despite multiple threats by Trump and his allies that the United States would withdraw security co-operation with the UK if the deal went ahead.

Hm. Trump’s fury was triggered by a failure to do his bidding. That sounds like him.

Don’t forget the Masons and the Jews

Feb 9th, 2020 4:26 pm | By

That’s remarkable.

Under attack

Feb 9th, 2020 12:01 pm | By

How cozy.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that he spoke to Attorney General Bill Barr on Sunday and that the Department of Justice has “created a process” to receive and verify information that Rudy Giuliani gathered about the Bidens in Ukraine.

He did, yes.

“Rudy,” he says, chummily, as if we’re all playing nicely in the sandbox together.

GRAHAM: “We’re going to make sure Hunter Biden’s conflict of interest is explored because this is legitimate. How could Joe Biden really fight corruption when his son’s sitting on the Burisma board?

MARGARET BRENNAN: “Can you clarify, you said you talked to Attorney General Barr this morning. Has the Department of Justice been ordered to investigate the Bidens?”

GRAHAM: “No, the Department of Justice is receiving information coming out of the Ukraine from Rudy. He told me that they’ve created a process that Rudy could give information, and they would see if it’s verified. Rudy Giuliani is a well-known man. He’s a crime fighter. He’s loyal to the president. He’s a good lawyer.”

The fact that he’s “loyal to the president” is not a recommendation! Loyalty to the pretend-president is why this country is falling off a cliff right now.

With implications which need to be properly interrogated

Feb 9th, 2020 11:31 am | By

Starbucks in the UK is selling a new “cookie”:

Starbucks have come up with this particular tooth-rotter in the name of something they present sweetly. Purchase a “mermaids cookie” and a full 50p will be given by Starbucks to the charity Mermaids. So sweet. So innocent. Or sickening. Depending what you know.

Also on what you wonder. I wonder if Starbucks has ever given 50p per cookie to a feminist group.

Personally I view Mermaids as one of the most sinister charitable organisations in the UK. Starbucks simply says that the group supports “young transgender and gender diverse people and their families”. The undrinkable coffee chain claims that all those 50 pences will pay to support a helpline for such people. In fact everything that Mermaids pushes is deeply controversial and with implications which need to be properly interrogated.

Like wtf “gender diverse” is supposed to mean, for a start, and why people who are it need a helpline.

People do not question the new orthodoxy. If someone says that certain children should be given puberty blockers so that they can transition into approximations of the opposite sex who are we to question it?

So it is fitting that this week the news emerged of a 13-year-old girl applying for a judicial review against Oxfordshire County Council. The cause is the council’s ‘Trans Inclusion Toolkit for Schools 2019’ which Oxfordshire County Council has given to more than 300 schools in the area.

Its advice says – among other things – that girls like the girl known only as ‘Miss A’ should share changing rooms, lavatories and even residential dormitories on school trips with any boy who identifies as a girl.

And it’s not so much “should” as “should/will be required to.” The idea is not that it should be optional. Pretend the boy in the next bunk is a girl or stay home.

The fact that multinationals like Starbucks can so easily jump on board with the agenda that Mermaids is pushing is just the latest demonstration of how fast this new orthodoxy is being accepted.

Accepted and pushed on everyone else. Accepted and protected via the demonization of all dissenters. Accepted and cheered, accepted and glorified, accepted and treated as sacred.

Meanwhile parents and others who object to this agenda are wrongly portrayed as backwards and bigoted: people who are trying either to make people murder trans people or make trans people kill themselves. Thus with the language of catastrophism is an actual catastrophe mainstreamed into society.

I disagree with Douglas Murray on most things, but not on this one.

The crowning moment

Feb 9th, 2020 9:08 am | By

The BBC’s New York correspondent asks if US politics is permanently down the crapper.

(My answer without reading further would be hell yes.)

Trump’s victory rally in the East Room of the White House the morning after his acquittal, where Republican jurors stood to applaud, may well come to be seen as a definitive moment – when the party of Reagan truly became the party of Trump.

But the party of Reagan was nothing to brag of. (Neither was the party of Clinton; it just wasn’t as bad as t’other one.) Reagan was elected because he was once a Hollywood B-actor. Not a good reason. He lacked Trump’s venom so in that way he was miles ahead, but the cheery lack of relevant knowledge and mental capacity was very trump.

Striking, too, was how the Attorney General, William Barr, got up from his seat at the event to clap and salute Trump’s legal team, suggesting the wall that should exist between prosecutors at the Justice Department and political operatives at the White House has been flattened.

Ick. I missed that.

So the East Room revelry felt like the crowning moment in the fifth wave of Republican radicalisation. After Goldwaterism in the mid-Sixties, Reaganism in the Eighties, Gingrichism in the Nineties and the Tea Party in Noughties, this was the triumph of Trumpism. His first tweet after his acquittal drove home this point – an animation of election placards reading Trump 2020, Trump 2024, Trump 2028, etc, etc, an age of Trump stretching endlessly into the future.

In other words he’s promising a totalitarian future ruled by him (when burgers made from the fresh brains of infants have made him immortal). No escape.

For me, though, the moment that encapsulated the era came when Trump awarded the presidential medal of freedom to the conservative radio host, Rush Limbaugh. The right-wing talk show host is a high priest of polarisation. Few conservatives have done more to pave the way for Donald Trump. With that primetime ceremonial, the president revealed the chronic state of America’s disunion.

The problem with Limbaugh isn’t just “polarisation,” it’s more the venom and hatred and contempt: the trumpism.

Nick Bryant ends with a question: ” Is the United States beyond the point of repair?” We know it’s not really a question though.

A woman or someone else

Feb 8th, 2020 5:58 pm | By

Also this.

Woman or non-binary.

Women aren’t allowed to have anything for ourselves any more.

They thought it might look bad

Feb 8th, 2020 5:30 pm | By

Gee, how impressive: a few Republican senators tried to talk Trump out of firing Sondland. Not Vindman, mind you, oh no no, just Sondland.

A handful of Republican senators attempted to stop President Donald Trump from firing the US Ambassador to the European Union, who was a key impeachment witness, the New York Times reported Saturday.

People briefed on the discussion told the Times that the Republican senators were concerned it would look bad for Trump to fire Gordon Sondland, and told White House officials that Sondland should be allowed to leave on his own terms.

Look bad? Pffff, how silly, he’s the president, he can do whatever he wants. He says so himself.

An adviser to Trump said the firings of the major impeachment witnesses was meant to send a message that siding against the President will not be tolerated.

We know that.

We also know that that’s not a legitimate message to send, and that the Republicans are criminally allowing this criminal pretend-president to commit crime after crime and get away with it. The firings of the major impeachment witnesses were meant to send the same message any gang murder is meant to send: leave us alone to do whatever we want or we will kill you and everyone you know in the most painful and degrading way we can think of.

Sondland’s ties to the White House and Trump had deteriorated since his impeachment testimony. Sondland once had Trump effectively on speed-dial, or the presidential equivalent of it, but since his appearance before Congress he hadn’t spoken with Trump, according to a person familiar with the situation. He was also pulled from overseeing the Ukraine portfolio, which wasn’t directly related to his position as EU ambassador.

My sympathy dial is at zero. He bought the ambassador post, he had no qualifications for it, he never should have been allowed anywhere near it, and he helped Trump and Giuliani extort Ukraine. He’s just another Trump stooge.

We’re at the mercy of a criminal for at least the next 11 months.

We’re a hamburger republic.

There shall be one style

Feb 8th, 2020 4:35 pm | By

Who knew they wanted to ruin the built environment too?

We should have known, I suppose, given Trump’s notorious bad taste. Mr Tacky Versailles is just the type to think we must have just the one style of architecture and it should be that old marbley dignified kind like banks and public toilets.

In 1962, future Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan outlined the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture, which prioritized contextual, human-centered buildings and argued that “an official style must be avoided.”

I wonder if he did that in reaction to the Stalinist horrors that loom over Pennsylvania Avenue.

These directives have informed policy at the U.S. General Services Administration for over 50 years—however that could soon change.

Because Evil Don has a better idea.

According to a report by Architectural Record, an executive order drafted by President Trump’s White House—titled Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again—would reverse that standard. The reported document states that “the classical architectural style shall be the preferred and default style” for any new or upgraded federal buildings nationwide.

It’s the white people style of architecture, god damn it, and it should be everywhere forever amen.

The draft argues that the capital’s early buildings were built in the classical architectural style because it symbolized the nation’s “self-governing ideals.” It criticizes contemporary architecture, citing that, among others, San Francisco’s Federal Building by Morphosis—a feat of sustainable architecture—fails to express “national values.

Oh yes? What national values are those? Corruption, nepotism, self-enrichment via government funding, theft, election fraud, extortion, blackmail, rape, sadism, bullying, lying, revenge firings, ignorance, incompetence, vulgarity, rudeness, self-dealing…my god it’s a long list. Those are the national values are they? Because if they’re not, what makes Donald Trump think he can tell us anything about national values?

Under the order, brutalism, deconstructivism, and anything characterized as “modern,” will not be tolerated, as these styles have “little aesthetic appeal.”

What does Donald Trump know about aesthetic appeal?

Image result for trump's living room

That’s his living room.

Next target

Feb 8th, 2020 11:32 am | By

This is insane.

According to an exclusive report from Fox News, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is threatening to take action against Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson over his handling of the whistleblower’s complaint, giving him until February 14 to comply with congressional requests for documents.

“I will be referring this matter for investigation by the Department of Justice if you once again refuse to comply,” Nunes wrote in a letter.

It’s my understanding that we have laws governing this – laws that protect whistleblowers so that they won’t be too afraid to blow the whistle. Nunes appears to be breaking laws.