AA was a mandatory component

Dec 11th, 2019 4:06 pm | By

More on the AA Doesn’t Work story:

Wood was working as a registered nurse on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside when he was diagnosed with substance use disorder after a psychotic break in the fall of 2013.

His professional college was informed, along with his union and Vancouver Coastal Health, his employer at the time.

He was referred to a doctor specializing in addictions, who created a plan that Wood would need to follow if he wanted to return to work. AA was a mandatory component.

As an atheist, Wood suggested alternatives to the 12-step program, including secular support groups like SMART Recovery and LifeRing Secular Recovery, but his doctor rejected them, according to emails Wood provided to CBC News.

He also asked to see a new doctor but the union told him nope, it’s 12 steps or nothing.

The AA meetings didn’t help, Wood said, and he lost his job as well as his registration as a nurse when he stopped going.

Since then, he’s been fighting to get his job back while dealing with his addictions using a drug called naltrexone, which blocks the intoxicating effects of alcohol and opiates. He says he is healthy and no longer meets the criteria for substance use disorder.

Better living through chemistry, that’s what I say.

While many people say AA has been instrumental in their recovery from addiction, scientists have long questioned the overall effectiveness of the program, and say choice in treatment plans is key to recovery.

Wood’s complaint to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal was bolstered by letters of support from scientists, doctors, psychotherapists, lawyers, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, the B.C. Humanist Association, and the Centre for Inquiry Canada, an Ontario-based humanist charity.

Good.



A former paediatric and PICU nurse

Dec 11th, 2019 2:57 pm | By

Boris Johnson did what now?

Labour has accused Boris Johnson’s campaign of “lying and cheating” to try to distract attention from the prime minister’s insensitive reaction to a sick four-year-old boy forced to sleep on a hospital floor.

With just days to go until polling day, the Tories suffered one of their worst days of the campaign as Johnson refused on camera to look at a picture of the poorly child and pocketed the phone of the reporter who tried to show it to him.

But wait, there’s more.

Bots sending out identically-worded fake tweets saying the photo of the child on the floor was FAKE NEWS.

https://twitter.com/Awarddas1349/status/1204363398999412736

Isn’t it funny how Joe Tulip and Tim Curtis have the same friend and the same experience in the same words.



A win

Dec 11th, 2019 12:24 pm | By

Religious programs intended to cure or manage addiction should never be forced on anyone, because they are religious (and religion should never be forced on anyone). One small step in that direction:

Health-care professionals who work in Vancouver-area hospitals and medical clinics will no longer be required to attend 12-step programs if they want to keep their jobs after being diagnosed with addiction.

The change comes as a result of a settlement between public health authority Vancouver Coastal Health and former nurse Byron Wood, who filed a human rights complaint alleging he was discriminated against as an atheist when he was fired for quitting Alcoholics Anonymous.

The settlement doesn’t allow him to talk about all the details.

But he did say Vancouver Coastal Health employees who require addiction treatment will now have a way of “meaningfully registering their objection” to 12-step programs.

They won’t have to attend AA and similar programs “if that approach to treatment conflicts with their religious or non-religious beliefs,” Wood said.

Which is good because 12 step programs don’t even work. Medication works, and it not only works, it takes the struggle out, because that’s what it does – it squelches the cravings. With 12 steps the cravings remain and you have to fight them. That’s the religious way to do things: painfully! Suffer, damn it, that’s what god wants!

The settlement could have implications in other professions and across the country. Researchers who study addiction treatment for health-care workers say it’s common for employees to be required to participate in 12-step programs in the interest of protecting public safety.

Which is idiotic seeing as how they don’t work.

Vancouver lawyer and workplace consultant Jonathan Chapnick said mandatory AA has long been the standard approach for workplace addiction issues in Canada.

“I think it makes sense for employers to look at something like this and do their own research and make their policy better reflect the research evidence that’s out there,” he said of VCH’s change in policy.

“Twelve step does not work for everyone. And, in fact, it doesn’t work for most people.”

Around 92%, I believe.

Six of AA’s 12 steps directly refer to God or a higher power, including one that requires members turn their will and lives “over to the care of God.”

“The 12 steps are a religious peer support group, not a medical treatment. They shouldn’t be imposed on anyone,” Wood said.

Especially when they don’t.even.work.



Causing firestorms again

Dec 11th, 2019 11:35 am | By

Local tv news station – not the Sinclair one – reports on the outburst of stupid over the WoLF event at the library.

The not at all tendentious or well-poisoning headline:

Event at Seattle Public Library causes firestorm, group accused of being ‘hate group’

Aka Trans activists lose their shit because feminists meet to discuss what we mean by “gender.” The event isn’t causing any firestorm, stupid angry unreasonable people are creating a firestorm out of nothing. Group is accused of being a hate group by stupid angry unreasonable people who are stupid and unreasonable. Group is not a hate group. People protesting group are much more like a hate group than group is.

An event is causing backlash at the Seattle Public Library.

See above. The event is not causing it. People are choosing to cause it because they dislike feminists who don’t endorse every word of trans ideology.

A group called the “Women’s Liberation Front” booked the Microsoft auditorium at the library for an event that critics say is anti-transgender. It has many people calling for the library to cancel the event.

What does “anti-transgender” mean though? If it means we hate trans people as such then it’s a lie. If it means we think many of the claims of the ideology are wrong…then why aren’t we allowed to think that and even to say it?

On the library’s Facebook page there are more than a thousand comments with many people asking, how can a group that’s spreading what they consider hate speech be allowed in a city building?

Artfully put; captures the solipsism nicely. “I consider this hate speech therefore you are required to shut it down.” Nah.

The Eventbrite page for the event questions transgender activism, saying, “are the claims made by these activists actually true, or even coherent? What does it mean to say that people can be ‘born in the wrong body’?”

Well? Are they? What does it mean? We get to ask.

Trans rights activist group, the Gender Justice League said in a statement on their website, “A hate group using the library as a venue to ‘critique’ the existence of a minority group creates a hostile environment and is unacceptable.”

Is that right? How does the Gender Justice League feel about, say, the Proud Boys?

Everybody critiques the existence of some minority group or other. Some minority groups are racist; some are terrorist; some are murderous. There’s nothing wrong or “unacceptable” about critiquing the existence of minority groups and in fact the protesters are doing exactly that while telling this other minority group that it is not allowed to.

The phrase is probably meant to imply that WoLF is saying trans groups shouldn’t exist and thus that trans people shouldn’t exist, which is dishonest and manipulative.

The ACLU reminds you – if you’re upset, you can exercise your right to free speech and protest.

The WOLF event is scheduled for February 1.

If you’re upset, you can exercise your right to free speech and protest, but it would be a good plan to get your facts straight before deciding to be upset. Thinking men are not women is not the same as thinking trans people should not exist. The distinction is quite important.



He dunno if it’s true

Dec 11th, 2019 9:45 am | By

Trump breaking yet more new ground in Repulsion Farm:

Not long after Donald Trump took to the stage at a rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday night, the president launched into one of his biggest crowd-pleasers: pillorying the “deep state,” particularly by performing fan-fic-style dialogue between the “FBI lovers” Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.

It’s a routine that he’s been honing on the re-election campaign trail for months, perhaps most famously during an October campaign event in Minneapolis, where he appeared to make orgasmic, panting noises—much to the audience’s delight—while doing a mock-dialogue between the two “lovers” about how much they “love” each other and hate that “son of a bitch” Trump.

And that, in turn, is what caused Lisa Page to go public, and to file suit against the DoJ people who, contrary to regulations, gave the Page-Strzok texts to journalists at a secret meeting in the dead of night. Trump is using illegitimately-released private communications to whip up hatred against Page and Strzok, both of whose careers have already been trashed thanks to him.

And on Tuesday night, the president went a step further, claiming he’d “heard” gossip about previously unknown relationship woes between the two former FBI employees—though Trump conceded he could just be spreading pure disinformation.

“So FBI lawyer Lisa Page was so in love she didn’t know what the hell was happening,” Trump blared. “Texted the head of counterintelligence Peter Strzok, likewise so in love he couldn’t see straight! This poor guy. Did I hear he needed a restraining order after this whole thing to keep him away from Lisa? That’s what I heard. I don’t know if it’s true. The fake news will never report it, but it could be true.”

George Conway pointed out on Twitter that Strzok could sue him for defamation for that, all the more easily since he (Trump) admitted he doesn’t know if it’s true.

After pointing out the reporters gathered in the back so the audience could loudly boo them, the president continued to make the baseless claim that a restraining order was put in place. At the same time, Trump gave a contorted explanation of the alleged restraining order.

“Now that’s what I heard, I don’t know,” he added. “I mean, who could believe a thing like that? No, I heard Peter Strzok needed a restraining order to keep him away from his once lover. Lisa, I hope you miss him. Lisa, he will never be the same.”

Can we get a restraining order against Trump?

Behold the festering garbage pile of a human:

Conway on the slander case:



Seryozha returns

Dec 11th, 2019 8:54 am | By

Trump and Lavrov had a reunion.

Donald Trump held a closed-door meeting with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, at the White House on Tuesday, but the two men gave diverging accounts of what was discussed, on a day articles of impeachment were announced against the US president.

Maddow pointed out the scorching ironies of having a closed-door meeting with Lavrov of all people on the day articles of impeachment were announced. Last time Trump met privately with Lavrov was that time he blabbed top security secrets to Lavrov and Kisliyak. The secrets were so top and Trump’s blabbing them was so horrifying that the US intel people were forced to extract their best source from Russia. What does that mean? It means that source is not there any more, so we miss the crucial information about Putin the source had been providing. The source could take photos of what was on Putin’s desk; that’s how high up the source was.

The last time Lavrov visited the White House, in May 2017, Trump was reported to have disclosed highly classified information to him about US intelligence-sharing arrangements.

On this occasion, the press were barred from the meeting, and were handed a White House statement saying, that among other topics: “President Trump warned against any Russian attempts to interfere in United States elections.”

Asked about the statement at a press conference in the Russian embassy later the same afternoon, Lavrov claimed: “No we haven’t even actually discussed elections.”

And even if we believed that Trump did say that – which we don’t – would we believe Lavrov would believe he meant it? Of course not.



The dead future

Dec 11th, 2019 6:51 am | By

Life in Sydney right now:

I can’t breathe. They say something like 100 bush and grass fires are raging across the state. The city I live in feels like a scene from Blade Runner 2049 come to life in 2019. There is no other way to see it: our dead future is here.

The mornings are smoky and grey. The afternoons distinctly eerie with the sun a shrunken disc that is by turns eggishly sick, bright pink, or burning orange in the seemingly permanent haze.

Seattle was like that for a couple of weeks in August 2018. We had, literally, the worst air in the world for a few days. It was forest fires rather than bush fires, but the result was much the same. It was nightmarish even without asthma.

My eyes water. My breathing is shallow. My throat trickles with foreign matter. On my back verandah, the washing machine and wooden shelves are covered in a gritty film of ash. I see what I am breathing in. Like tea leaves left in a cup predicting bad things.

Last week, I struggled so badly for air I had to leave work early and drive back home 10 minutes away. Yes, I am mildly asthmatic. Yes, I am vulnerable to air pollution. But this was different to anything I’ve experienced before.

Same here back then. It always gets grubby here in July and August, because there is little to no rain and often no wind, but smelling smoke outside for days on end was new.

This week temperatures are soaring again. Friends say the fires will burn for weeks, maybe months. It’s likely there will be no rain till the end of January. On social media, everybody keeps taking pictures of the sky and the sun. Someone writes a note: “How long before the birds start dropping from the sky?”

Pollution levels are rising to 22 times the accepted safety levels. Driving over the Bridge, the great cloud that occupies my city reminds me of past visits to Tehran and Beijing. I associate the pollution with something totalitarian I can’t put my finger on, a form of oppression manifest in nature.

Climate change is a very totalitarian thing.



Deplorable

Dec 10th, 2019 5:20 pm | By

Jennifer Rubin is pissed at William Barr.

William P. Barr’s Tuesday interview with NBC News was certainly the most dishonest, frightful and deplorable given by an attorney general in modern times. He attacked the just-released inspector general report and excoriated the FBI for a “travesty” in investigating Russian manipulation of our 2016 election. His false — deliberately false — assertions were jaw-dropping:

Barr claimed, “From day one, it generated exculpatory information and nothing that substantiated any kind of collusion.” False. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III found substantial evidence of interaction but did not pursue the noncriminal charge of “collusion.” He could not prove criminal conspiracy. Since then, at the Roger Stone trial, evidence has arisen confirming a line of communication from WikiLeaks to Stone to the campaign.

Barr impugned inspector general Michael Horowitz: “All he said was, people gave me an explanation and I didn’t find anything to contradict it … he hasn’t decided the issue of improper motive,” Barr said. “I think we have to wait until the full investigation is done.” False. In his report, Horowitz wrote, “We also sought to determine whether there was evidence that political bias or other improper considerations affected decision-making in Crossfire Hurricane, including the decision to open the investigation.” He found no “documentary or testimonial evidence” of bias in those decisions.

Barr declared, “I think there were gross abuses … and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI.” False. The nonpartisan inspector general found fault with certain actions (specifically the application to conduct surveillance on Carter Page) but obliterated conspiracy theories that the FBI was biased, that it spied on Donald Trump’s campaign, etc. (“All of the witnesses we interviewed told the OIG that the FBI did not try to recruit members of the Trump campaign as [Confidential Human Sources], did not send CHSs to collect information in Trump campaign headquarters or Trump campaign spaces, and did not ask CHSs to join the Trump campaign or otherwise attend campaign related events as part of the investigation. Using the methodology described above, we found no information indicating otherwise.”)

Barr accused the Obama administration of using “the law enforcement agencies and the intelligence agencies, both to spy on political opponents, but also to use them in a way that could affect the outcome of the election.” He claimed this was a bigger threat than Russia. False. None of this was substantiated in any fashion by the inspector general. This is akin to claiming Obama bugged Trump Tower.

I don’t understand these people. I keep trying but I just don’t. I can’t see how it’s worth it to defend Trump at all, let alone to do it by telling all these lies about people who, unlike Trump, are not evil.

Barr’s conduct is nothing short of disgraceful and continues his pattern of misstating facts and out-and-out lying about documents to protect President Trump. The House Judiciary Committee should call him up to the Hill and make him explain his remarks, this time under oath. While impeachment of Barr is likely too much to ask, a motion of censure would be entirely appropriate. The next president should conduct a thorough investigation of Barr’s antics and identify those who enabled him in violation of ethical obligations.

I would like to see Warren do that.



Can we have rights too?

Dec 10th, 2019 4:41 pm | By

The Australian reports:

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has banned a women’s group from office facilities made available to community organisations because of its “exclusionary” views on transgender issues.

The federal member for Clark allows community groups to use his taxpayer-funded photocopying facilities in Hobart. Until recently this included feminist group Women Speak Tasmania.

WST has in recent years clashed with transgender activists over law reform, with the group concerned about the sanctity and safety of female-only services and places. Mr Wilkie has now banned the group from using the facilities, telling The Weekend Australian he sees its views as “discriminatory” and “exclusionary”.

WST is furious over the ban, accusing Mr Wilkie of discriminating against the group, while allowing “radical” trans groups to continue to use his office facilities despite their attacks on women’s rights to female-only services.

“There is clearly a direct attack on women’s sex-based rights at the moment,” WST spokeswoman Isla MacGregor told The Australian.

“Australia is in the grip of a psychosis whipped up the by gender lobby that (says) ‘trans women are women and anybody who opposes that is a hate group’.

“I think that Wilkie has fallen for that ploy and it’s tragic that he has … He needs to do more homework.”

She said WST’s opposition to “male-bodied” people accessing female-only services and places was about defending women’s rights and safety, not inciting hatred towards transgender people.

If we keep saying it maybe some day they will hear.



Guest post: If acceptance is only skin-deep

Dec 10th, 2019 3:45 pm | By

Originally a comment by Artymorty on Advanced well-poisoning.

sexist & homophobic & transphobic

There it is again. That word, homophobic, as always, right at transpbobia’s side. It makes me increasingly uncomfortable to see it there. Upset even. I’ve been trying to collect my thoughts on why that is. It’s something like this:

Is this how they felt about gay rights? Is this how they felt about us? It scares me a little.

I thought society came to accept gays because they thought hard and came to truly understand in a deep sense what homosexuality is: namely, an immutable trait, not a choice, not a danger to society, etc.

But the way people are reacting to the trans agenda, and directly analogizing it to gay rights, indicates that the real lesson they learned from the gay rights movement wasn’t to listen, learn and understand, but merely to bury any doubts or discomfort deep inside and attack anyone who raises any issues or expresses any concerns.

It’s true that in the case of gay rights, it turns out most (though not all*) concerns about gay rights activism didn’t have any legitimate merit — they were merely “moral disgust in drag” (as Jane Clare Jones put it). But we figured that out by listening to people who spoke up with concerns and holding those concerns up to scrutiny — where they (mostly) failed to pass muster.

That’s a process that isn’t happening with trans activism. And it makes me feel like maybe nobody really did hold their concerns or discomfort about gays up to scrutiny but instead were merely conditioned to feel guilty for having discomfort in the first place, and that they had a moral obligation to suppress those thoughts. Here I’ve been thinking I’m living in a world where homophobia has been eradicated on the Left by the triumph of rational argument, and it’s looking more and more like it’s merely been suppressed on the Left by social pressure.

The trans rights agenda really is nothing like gay rights, and there are legitimate problems with it. I would have thought the left would gladly be pointing that out — making use of that rational thinking stuff that worked so well for gay rights, to expose the problems with trans activism, and strengthen everyone’s rights — women, gays and lesbians, and transsexuals. But all I’m seeing over and over again is a message that goes something like, “the gays taught us we’re supposed to shut up and be good allies no matter how we feel, and now we have to do the same for trans people.”

That’s not a healthy or stable basis for maintaining our rights. If those attitudes aren’t truly felt, but merely enforced by social norms, whats going to happen in a crisis where social norms are weakened? Global warming, economic or political strife? If gay and trans acceptance is only skin-deep, they will be the first things to go. Trans activism should be welcoming more debate, more critical inquiry, to strengthen everyone’s understanding of transsexuals’ rightful place in society.

*Pedophiles latched onto the gay rights movement; it’s a good thing critics had space to call the movement out for harboring them, and the movement eventually got its act together and pushed the pedophiles out. That’s a good example of how open dialogue led to a stronger, better gay rights movement.



Whose “bad faith”?

Dec 10th, 2019 11:36 am | By

NBC’s interview with Barr:

Attorney General William Barr said he still believes the FBI may have operated out of “bad faith” when it investigated whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, and he contends the FBI acted improperly by continuing the investigation after Donald Trump took office.

In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Barr essentially dismissed the findings of the Justice Department’s inspector general that there was no evidence of political bias in the launching of the Russia probe, saying that his hand-picked prosecutor, John Durham, will have the last word on the matter.

Except that’s not how it works. The inspector general oversees the Justice Department, not the other way around. Barr’s personal prosecutor doesn’t get to have the last word.

“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press,” Barr said. “I think there were gross abuses …and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI.”

“I think that leaves open the possibility that there was bad faith.”

I think Barr is acting as Trump’s bag man rather than the Attorney General for the whole country.

Barr’s blistering criticism of the FBI’s conduct in the Russia investigation, which went well beyond the errors outlined in the inspector general report, is bound to stoke further controversy about whether the attorney general is acting in good faith, or as a political hatchet man for Trump.

I don’t see much room for “controversy.” He’s all but carrying a hatchet in each hand and one between his teeth.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz, after reviewing a million documents and interviewing 100 people, concluded that he “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open” the investigations into Trump campaign aides.

But Barr argued that Horowitz didn’t look very hard, and that the inspector general accepted the FBI’s explanations at face value.

Shall we have a controversy over whether or not Barr is a total hack?



They’re inside the house

Dec 10th, 2019 11:10 am | By

Banana Republic stuff:

Attorney General Bill Barr’s NBC News interview attacking the FBI stunned many legal and government experts on Tuesday.

After Barr criticized Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s finding that the FBI’s investigations into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian agents during the 2016 presidential election was justified, he also accused the FBI of running a “bad faith” investigation and said actions like that represent the biggest threat to the integrity of American elections.

Don Moynihan, a professor at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, was astonished by the attorney general’s attacks on the law enforcement agencies that he oversees.

“The Attorney General is saying that the FBI is a bigger threat to the United States than Russia,” he wrote on Twitter. “This is banana republic stuff.”

New York University Law professor Ryan Goodman, meanwhile, argued that Barr’s declaration that the FBI’s actions represented a massive danger to American democracy stand in stark contrast to his belief that President Donald Trump has the right to use the machinery of the State Department to pressure foreign governments to launch investigations into his political rivals.

I think I must have missed the meeting or convention or conference where the Republican party decided it was going to be the party of Russia and organized crime now. Obviously they made this clear to the voting public at some point, right? I mean, in words, as opposed to just doing it?



Swinson isn’t the brightest spark

Dec 10th, 2019 10:49 am | By

Julie Bindel is not impressed by Jo Swinson.

On the Today programme this morning, Jo Swinson, in her bumbling, inarticulate and irritating fashion suggested that biological sex does not exist. Yes, that’s right. A woman who has said, on many an occasion, that her female sex has given an unfair advantage to the male party leaders during the election campaign due to sexism, has effectively undermined her own argument. Because, for sexism to exist, so too must biological sex.

Indeed, and for male party leaders to have an unfair advantage over female candidates, there have to be male and female – real male and female, not subjective feelings of having a male or female essence or soul or idenniny.

The Today presenter, Justin Webb, then pointed out to Swinson that male-bodied people (also known as “men”) could do “enormous damage” to women. This is why, he pointed out, women need safe spaces to escape male violence. Swinson responded by arguing that refuges constantly carry out risk assessments, such as when a female victim of domestic violence is put in the same refuge as her violent lesbian partner.

Now, Swinson isn’t the brightest spark, but how dare she suggest that lesbians are as violent as trans-identified men?

By swallowing The New Dogma whole without so much as checking the ingredients first, that’s how.

But this is typical of Swinson, who is playing to the woke class and virtue-signalling like crazy – as she does during every interview on women’s sex-based rights, where she also uses the deeply offensive term “cis women”, as if women are a sub-category of our own sex…

It appears she is happy to sell 51 per cent of the population to the wolves in order to please men. Because that is what is happening with the extreme trans activism today. It is gaining traction because this belief system is a way to attempt to destroy women’s rights, and plenty of men are happy to see that happen.

Plenty of men but also, tragically and mystifyingly, plenty of women.



Advanced well-poisoning

Dec 10th, 2019 9:22 am | By

The Seattle Times has a piece on the campaign to bully the library into canceling the feminist event scheduled for February 1. It’s a classic of the type, in treating The Trans Community as The Oppressed Group and feminist women as the oppressors – not just the oppressors but the obvious oppressors, the eternal oppressors, the everyone knows they’re oppressors oppressors. It’s as if that whole thing where people started to realize that it wasn’t somehow written into the laws of the cosmos that women had to be second-class citizens had never happened.

All the more pathetic since it’s a woman who wrote the piece. This woman:

So…the society is sexist and homophobic and transphobic so the way to deal with that is to make sure that these feminists are not allowed to speak. How does that work exactly?

So let’s look at how she poisons the well.

Community members including transgender locals and trans allies have inundated the Seattle Public Library with calls and emails, asking the library system to cancel an upcoming event hosted by the Women’s Liberation Front— a self-described “radical feminist organization” that has publicly espoused what critics call anti-trans views.

Self-described, meaning, they’re lying, plus the scare quotes, so they’re lying LYING.

And it’s only WoLF that’s given this treatment – there’s no “trans activists have espoused what critics call misogynist views.” We’re told what we must think in that first sentence.

The group’s event, titled “Fighting the New Misogyny: A Feminist Critique of Gender Identity,” is publicized as “a critical analysis of gender identity” that will “make powerful arguments for sex-based women’s rights,” according to the event page. The event, scheduled to be held Feb. 1 in the Microsoft Auditorium at the Seattle Public Library – Central Branch, has placed the library at the center of a firestorm over how it can maintain its commitment to evolving ideas of intellectual freedom, provide access to information for the entire community, and be an inclusive space where all patrons feel safe and welcome.

Because, we are meant to think, the WoLF event will make patrons feel unsafe and unwelcome. But what about women? Does this rush to cancel and silence feminists make women feel safe and welcome?

Marcellus Turner, chief librarian for the Seattle Public Library (SPL), said in a statement that the event request from the Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) was initially processed because it was labeled as a women’s-rights talk.

I don’t think that is what he said*, but in any case – it is a women’s rights talk. But Crystal Post wants us to think it isn’t, and that it was “labeled” that as a ruse.

Offensive speech and hate speech are protected under the First Amendment, unless the speech is deemed targeted harassment or to be a threat. However, when the American Library Association (ALA) considered amending its policies to explicitly allow members of hate groups to rent rooms last year, many ALA members pushed back, arguing that hate speech threatens the physical safety and validity of patrons and library staff from marginalized communities.

What are we meant to think? That’s too easy. We are, of course, meant to think that the WoLF event will be all offensive and hate speech.

The Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) prohibits discrimination because of “gender expression or identity,” defined as “having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression, whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth.”

We’re meant to think that WoLF will be promoting discrimination because of gender identity.

Library administrators are consulting other libraries, transgender staff and organizations, and with the city’s legal department to determine their next steps, Turner said.

Anything missing? Oh yes, women. Well women are the oppressor, so obviously no need to consult them. Bitches.

The Gender Justice League, a Seattle nonprofit that advocates for gender and sexuality justice, said in a statement they will speak with SPL leadership to help them consider the issue’s complexities.

“The end result of a hate group using the library as a venue to ‘critique’ the existence of a minority group creates a hostile environment and is unacceptable,” they wrote.

But it’s not a hate group.

WoLF is not listed as a hate group in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s extensive documentation of such groups in the U.S. However, WoLF has frequently been referred to by others as a hate group or trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) group, including in an online editorial for Out Magazine by Chase Strangio, the deputy director for transgender justice with the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT & HIV Project.

Here, have some more poison for that well.

Then she does give WoLF and Meghan two whole paragraphs to say WoLF is not a hate group and that “TERF” is an offensive and dangerous label. Then it’s back to well-poisoning.

Tobi Hill-Meyer, co-executive director of the Gender Justice League, says the League characterizes WoLF as a hate group because “their stated purpose is to critique the existence of trans people and in this current climate that’s a serious threat.”

No their purpose is not to “critique” anyone’s existence. That’s a venomous canard meant to nudge people into thinking gender critics want trans people dead, which is not the case.

According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the dehumanization of transgender people and anti-trans stigma intertwines with racism, sexism, and marginalization to create higher risks of violence against trans people.

But, again, “dehumanization” is irrelevant. It’s not the goal. Saying men are not women is not dehumanizing. Refusing to let men speak for women is not dehumanizing. Refusing to let men pretend they can speak for women by claiming to be women is not dehumanizing.

There’s a lot more of the same; I’m tired of it.

*Updating to add: I was wrong, he did say that.

A nonprofit group called the Women’s Liberation Front made a booking last month for space at the Central Library to hold a private event labeled as a women’s rights talk and presentation.

Of course, it was labeled as that because that’s what it is, but anyway, Post did quote him accurately.



Guest post: You ignore the anger of women at your peril

Dec 9th, 2019 4:59 pm | By

Originally a comment by KB Player on Any Man.

Jo Swinson, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, was on Today Radio 4 BBC this morning. Sarah Ditum spoke about it on LBC.

“When the leader of the Liberal Democrats was asked, “Do you recognise biological sex exists?”

J Swinson replied: “Not on a binary – I don’t think things are as binary as is often presented. Yes most people are male or female.”

“I think it’s an answer that sounds extremely strange if you haven’t been immersed in the whole debate about sex and gender for a really long time,” said Sarah Ditum, feminist critic and columnist, “the problem for Jo Swinson is the Liberal Democrats have cultivated this policy, had lots of internal discussion but all from one perspective.

“Having put their promises about recognising self-identified gender and an x option for passports,” she continued, “they’re having to answer questions on the national platform and they haven’t actually developed the answer to these questions at all. So what she’s said is actually nonsense – sex is clearly binary.”

It’s astonishing how something as off-beat as this has now become an election issue in the UK.

It’s causing ructions in the Scottish Nationalist Party (yay!). Unfortunately it’s a couple of the nastier Nats who are the most vocally anti-trans. Joanna Cherry, MP a contender for being leader of the party and who is a bully, is now denounced as a transphobe for speaking out about the abuse and for being chary about self-identification. Most divisive of all is Stuart Campbell aka Wings Over Scotland who has very much taken against the trans issue. Wings is a revolting character who brought a lot of nastiness and abuse to social media during the independence referendum. He also has a huge following.

I won’t link to his site but I thought this was an interesting comment – that parties taking on the trans issue and not allowing discussion on it has put off women from doing the activist work that women chiefly shoulder i.e. the envelope stuffing.

“This is the SNP Women’s Pledge:

Women have the right to discuss policies which affect them, such as the proposed self identification of sex, without being abused or silenced

Women have the right to maintain their sex based protections as set out in the Equality Act 2010. These include female only spaces such as changing rooms, hospital wards, sanitary and sleeping accommodation, refuges, hostels and prisons.

Women have the right to refuse consent to males in single sex spaces or males delivering intimate services to females such as washing, dressing or counselling.

Women have the right to single sex sport to ensure fairness and safety at all levels of competition.

Women have the right to organise themselves according to their sex class across a range of cultural, leisure, educational and political activities.”

All of the points listed reflect current UK law. And I repeat again what I said earlier – you ignore the anger of women about this assault on our rights at your peril. As in any political movement, women are doing most of the drudge work, the heavy lifting behind the scenes of the independence movement. The supporters of the 2017 SNP campaign locally who did the envelope stuffing and leafletting were about 75% or so women.

I’ve already heard about several local SNP campaigns that are struggling because so many of the women have walked or been bullied away. And the youngsters who caused that don’t seem to be willing or able to fully replace the capable, hard-working and dedicated women they’ve driven away. Worse still, a great many women have now said this is the last time they’re putting all of their time and effort into a party intent on stripping them of their rights. They’ve gritted their teeth this one last time.

Women are the sex least likely to vote yes. They will be even less likely to vote yes when they realise that the only way we can hold on to our legal rights is by staying in the UK because the Scottish Government is funding and partnering with organisations which have publicly lobbied the UK Government to remove women’s legal protections.

So when the pro-indy women leave the SNP independence movement in droves because the SNP leadership will not listen to our concerns, don’t blame Stu. He tried to warn you all what was going on, but he’s been told to stay in his lane and stick to writing about independence. But as Stu is trying to tell you all, independence will not happen without the support of women and the SNP is hellbent on disenfranchising us.

It’s a simple choice the men in the independence movement face – make this the first political movement that doesn’t take the women fighting alongside them for granted. The first not to treat the women in its ranks as second class members. Don’t echo the contempt and disdain all these other movements have shown to the needs and rights of its female members. Be the kind of men an independent Scotland needs and accept us as equals and our rights just as important as those of a group of your fellow men.



Active

Dec 9th, 2019 12:01 pm | By

Call me crazy but maybe an active volcano is not an ideal tourist destination? Possibly?

Because

There are 5 dead and 8 missing.

The survivors were taken off the uninhabited island by boat or by helicopter. Emergency services have so far been unable to search the area because of dangerous conditions, with plumes of smoke and ash continuing to rise above the volcano on Tuesday.

Tourists had been seen walking inside the crater of White Island volcano moments before it erupted.

White Island, also called Whakaari, is the country’s most active volcano. Despite that, the privately owned island is a tourist destination with frequent day tours and scenic flights available.

Maybe that’s not actually such a brilliant idea? An active volcano?

Prime Minister Ardern paid tribute to helicopter crews who had flown to the island on Monday to bring people out despite the dangers.

“I want to acknowledge the courageous decision made by first responders and those pilots who in their immediate rescue efforts made an incredibly brave decision under extraordinarily dangerous circumstances in an attempt to get people out,” she said.

And maybe let’s not put them in danger that way any more.

There are few details about those caught in the eruption. Some who had gone to the island were passengers from the Ovation of the Seas, a cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean.

Small world thing here: I’m acquainted with that ship, because in the summer it does Seattle to Alaska cruises and it ties up at a pier at the bottom of the hill I live at the top of which. I can’t see it from here but I can hear it, and if I go outside and walk a couple of minutes to the view wall I can see it just fine, which is how I know its name.

There was a group of people inside the crater just before the blast, so those will be the 8 missing.

The island, also known as Whakaari, is privately owned and is typically visited by thousands of tourists every year, despite the fact that it has been erupting in some form since 2011.

Geological hazard monitors GeoNet pass on information about the volcano’s activity to tour operators and the police, but tourists make their own decisions about whether to visit.

Visitors are supplied with hard hats and gas masks to protect against sulphurous steam and must have suitable footwear to make the tour, according to New Zealand website Stuff.

The owners of Whakatane-based company White Island Tours are the official guardians of the island, which was declared a private scenic reserve in 1952, and they grant access through designated tour operators.

According to the New Zealand Herald, White Island Tours warned on its website that visitors “should be aware that there is always a risk of eruptive activity regardless of the alert level”, while stating it followed a “comprehensive safety plan which determines” its activities on the island “at the various levels”.

Including letting people go inside the crater?



Women’s bodies don’t belong to them

Dec 9th, 2019 11:14 am | By

Abortion rights? The Supreme Court looks the other way.

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to a Kentucky law requiring doctors to describe ultrasound images and play fetal heartbeat sound to abortion seekers.

Challengers, including an abortion clinic, argued that the law forced patients to see the images even if she didn’t want to, and that it violated doctors’ First Amendment rights.

Civil rights groups blasted the court’s decision not to take up the challenge.

“By refusing to review the 6th Circuit’s ruling, the Supreme Court has rubber-stamped extreme political interference in the doctor-patient relationship,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “This law is not only unconstitutional, but as leading medical experts and ethicists explained, deeply unethical.”

Oh well, it’s only women.



Any man

Dec 9th, 2019 10:50 am | By

They just can’t get this right. The BBC on Jo Swinson and the LibDems and “reform” of the Gender Recognition Act:

Critics of the Lib Dems plan to reform the Gender Recognition Act, including some women’s rights groups and Christian organisations, have warned that it will make it easier for someone born as a man but now identifying as a women to gain access to women-only spaces such as toilets, changing rooms, prisons and women’s refuges.

No. They have warned that it will make it easier for any man to gain access to women-only spaces such as toilets, changing rooms, prisons and women’s refuges, whether he identifies as a woman or not.

Ms Swinson was challenged on the issue during a BBC Radio 5 Live election phone-in, when she was asked by a caller to say “what a woman is”.

The Lib Dem leader said she believed people could “understand their own identity” and it was right, in terms of the law, “for them” to define it.

Can I define myself as a 1962 Chevrolet?

Gender self-identification largely existed at the moment, she said, and her party’s proposed changes would “formalise” this and “remove existing barriers that end up creating discrimination on a very vulnerable group of people”.

To wit, men who claim to be women. Jo Swinson thinks those men are more vulnerable than the women they want to share locker rooms with. Jo Swinson seems to be unable to think clearly.

“Implicit in all of this is an assumption that trans women are, in some way, more likely to be violent. It is just not borne out. I think there is a demonisation of a community going on here and I often find the media is complicit in that.”

It’s not “implicit.” Men are more likely to be violent than women, and they’re also more likely to be successful at it, especially when being violent toward women.

People are pretending not to know what they know, all for the sake of “validation.” It’s batty.



Soz, you’re problematic

Dec 9th, 2019 10:04 am | By

Let’s hear from more women in philosophy! Philosophy as a discipline is notoriously bad at hiring women, so let’s strain every nerve to fix that.

Unless we don’t like them, of course.



Return of pizzagate

Dec 9th, 2019 9:05 am | By

Guy from InfoWars busking at the impeachment inquiry.