Notes and Comment Blog

A number of the world’s worst people

Jul 27th, 2019 10:18 am | By

Ahhhhhhhh shut up.

Arwa Mahdawi at the Guardian on The Yaniv Question:

The answer to that is clearly “no”, right? If a female beautician has only been trained to wax female genitalia and only wants to offer these services to women then that should be her prerogative. But, hang on a minute, what if the person who wants their intimate areas to be waxed is a woman with male genitalia? What happens then?

Nothing happens then, because there is no such thing. Women don’t have male genitalia. The question would be “what if the person who wants their intimate areas to be waxed is a man who says he is a woman?”

Then Mahdawi gets down to the serious business of poisoning the well.

While the Yaniv case has been going on for a while now, you may not have heard much about it, as it has largely been covered by the rightwing press. The sort of outlets that normally joke about consent and women’s rights are now outraged that women are being forced to handle male genitalia against their will. The sort of writers that are normally whipping up hate against immigrants are now outraged and concerned that at least one of the beautificians that Yaniv has filed complaints against is a poor migrant. In short there has been a hell of a lot of bad faith and transphobia involved in the reporting around the case.

To put it another way, the leftwing and mainstream press has shamefully failed to cover this story because hey it’s only women being bullied out of their jobs and into a lawsuit.

The press has looked away, but lefty feminist women on social media have not.

A number of the world’s worst people have used the story as an example of “political correctness gone mad” and as a way to stoke hatred against trans people.

The world’s worst people? Seriously??

Sometimes the brainwashing cleans everything away.

Not fully hinged

Jul 27th, 2019 9:55 am | By

I do like a headline that begins with “Scrotum waxing human rights complainant”…

The Toronto Sun on an encounter yesterday between a citizen journalist and J. Yaniv:

Groin waxing human rights complainant and transwoman Jessica Yaniv and her mother got in a heated verbal argument with a citizen journalist at a courthouse in downtown Vancouver on Friday.

“I was there to support these ladies who have the law being used against them in such a ridiculous way,” Dan Dicks told the Sun. “So I was just going to politely ask (Yaniv) a few questions.”

But Yaniv wasn’t having it.

“He called the police, he threatened to pepper spray me, he pulled the alarm in the elevator,” Dicks said of Yaniv.

Notice with what speed he jumps out of that scooter.

Yaniv also asked to be escorted by security and have Dicks removed from the courtroom, both requests were denied.

Will his scrotum ever be hairless and silky smooth? Tune in again tomorrow for more As the Wax Melts.

Subpoena the air conditioner and the book

Jul 26th, 2019 5:37 pm | By

Trump blames Obama for the air conditioning.

Trump offered the new gripe about his predecessor as he explained in the Oval Office Friday why he’ll be spending some time at his New Jersey resort in August.

The president says “it’s never a vacation” when he goes to Bedminster, New Jersey, and that he would rather be at the White House.

He says that some of his time away from the White House gives crews time to do maintenance work.

He says, for example, “The Obama administration worked out a brand new air conditioning system for the West Wing. It was so good before they did the system. Now that they did this system, it’s freezing or hot.”

How would he know what the system was like before? It’s not as if they had him over for lunch every day.

Also he’s pretending to think Obama is as crooked as he is.

“We want to find out what happened with the last Democrat president,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, for no apparent reason. “Let’s look into Obama the way they have looked at me from day one. They looked into everything that we’ve done. They could look into the book deal that President Obama made. Let’s subpoena all of his records.”

Yes, it’s an outrage, both Obamas actually know how to write. Isn’t that unAmerican?

Its well-known biased agenda against Trump

Jul 26th, 2019 5:18 pm | By

Another libel case bites the dust:

A federal judge has thrown out a Kentucky teen’s lawsuit accusing the Washington Post of falsely labeling him a racist after an encounter with a Native American man at the Lincoln Memorial.

Nicholas Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic High School, sued the newspaper for $250 million in February, alleging that it had engaged in “targeting and bullying” and modern “McCarthyism.”

The actions of Sandmann and his classmates were intensely debated after video and photographs emerged of them wearing “Make America great again” hats near a Native American man playing a drum. President Trump cheered the lawsuit, posting to Twitter: “Covington student suing WAPO. Go get them Nick. Fake News!”

Federal Judge William O. Bertelsman ruled that there may have been “erroneous” opinions published by the Post, but that they are protected by the 1st Amendment.

But but but it was all because they’re Trump-haters.

“The Post ignored basic journalist standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump … by impugning individuals perceived to be supporters,” according to the complaint.

Yes, only bias could explain any opposition to Donald “Mob Boss” Trump.

H/t Screechy Monkey

Not everybody is getting in

Jul 26th, 2019 5:01 pm | By

Jim Wright points out something very important:

“You know you hear that, uh, that Nancy Pelosi and others say walls are unchristian. They’re immoral. If that’s true, then God’s immoral because he told Nehemiah to build a wall around Jerusalem. There’s going to be a wall around Heaven Revelation 41 says. You know I got to preach the inauguration sermon for President Trump and I preached on Nehemiah when God selects a leader and I stopped and said, you see Mr. President, God’s not against walls.”

That’s Robert Jeffress, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Dallas Texas, Fox News religious expert, one of the most influential Evangelicals in the country.

Now, lest you think what I am about to say is an inaccurate representation of this religion, note that Jeffress has said this same bit over and over, from the pulpit, in speeches in front of colleges, and on Fox News in front of the nation.

Here he is on January 6th of this year on Fox News, and note in this clip he very specifically says, “there’s a wall around Heaven. Not everybody is getting in.”


This is what shapes the Conservative worldview, right here. This horrible selfish religion. Evangelicals see America the same way they see the Christian heaven: It’s not paradise if everybody gets to go. Only the special people get in, and the very best part is sitting up there with Jesus, laughing at everybody else burning FOREVER down below.

This is exactly how they see America. Exactly the same.

Only a select few are allowed in. Build a wall and keep everybody else out. So what if they are forced back to hellish conditions in their own countries? So what? That’s THEIR fault. Why should we feel guilty about that? Let ’em burn. We’re saved. In fact, if they didn’t have it so terrible, WE wouldn’t have anything to compare our own condition to. Let ’em burn.

He’s absolutely right; it’s a horrible ungenerous cruel way of looking at things, and the fact that they ascribe it to their god is tragic. Why the hell would there be a wall in heaven? Why would a god put some people in heaven and some in hell? What do perfection and eternity have to do with walls and neener-neener I get in and you don’t?

I’m with Huck Finn. I’d rather go to hell than that loathsome heaven.

Part of the nationwide legislative push by Project Blitz

Jul 26th, 2019 4:02 pm | By

FFRF on that stupid new South Dakota law:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is damning an exclusionary new South Dakota law that mandates displaying an “In God We Trust” logo in all public schools.

I guess that’s a free from religion inside joke, “damning” a theocratic law. We noreligionists don’t believe “damning” things is really a meaningful concept. Sarcasm! I like it!

“A new state law that took effect this month requires all public schools in the state’s 149 districts to paint, stencil or otherwise prominently display the national motto,” the Associated Press reports. “The South Dakota lawmakers who proposed the law said the requirement was meant to inspire patriotism in the state’s public schools.”

The law — insultingly confusing patriotism with piety — is part of the nationwide legislative push by Project Blitz, which is a stealth campaign to inject religious bills into state legislatures across the country. The campaign, FFRF avers, is an unvarnished attack on American secularism and civil liberties, imposing the theocratic vision of a powerful few on We The People.

I think the FFR is not wrong about that. Kids in public school are captive audiences; they have to be there, and the fact that they have to be there should not be an opportunity to force religion on them. Religion is not a kind of thing that should be forced on people, because it’s too heavily dependent on idiosyncratic made-up beliefs that are presented as true.

“In God We Trust” was belatedly adopted as a motto when President Eisenhower signed legislation at the behest of the Knights of Columbus and other religious entities, which undertook a national lobbying campaign during the height of 1950s zealotry.

The zealotry is back. I do not like the zealotry.

The motto mandate

Jul 26th, 2019 3:34 pm | By

For some reason the US has something called “the national motto.” Since when does a country need a “national motto”? What else does it need? A national joke, a national friendship ring, a national slogan, a national pet, a national keychain, a national ring tone? Why do we need laws imposing such things? You may think “oh it’s not an actual law, it’s just some custom-type item” but you’d be wrong, there’s an actual law.


The modern motto of the United States of America, as established in a 1956 law signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is “In God we trust“.

That is so stupid. We don’t need a “national motto” and if we did it wouldn’t be that one. Who’s “we,” kemosabe?

The change from “E Pluribus Unum” to “In God we trust” was generally considered uncontroversial at the time, given the rising influence of organized religion and pressures of the Cold War era in the 1950s. The 1956 law was one of several legislative actions Congress took to differentiate the United States from atheistic communism. Earlier, a 1954 act added the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance. Some states also adopted mottos with religious overtones during this time, for example Ohio‘s “With God, all things are possible“.

Mandatory goddism whether we like it or not.

So, for added thrills, now we get states mandating the stupid “motto” be prominently displayed in public schools. The land of the free that tries to force all of its people to believe in a made-up god. South Dakota is god-pasting the schools even as we speak.

Public school students in South Dakota will notice something different on their first day back to school — the national motto, “In God We Trust,” prominently inscribed on walls in stencil or paint.

A new state law that took effect this month requires the message to be displayed in an area where students are “most likely” to see it, such as a cafeteria or entryway.

Gov. Kristi Noem signed the requirement into law in March. It says the motto must be at least 12-by-12-inches in size and easily legible.

No escape! You can’t ignore it! The state can force it on you whether you like it or not! Now down on your knees.

Within the last couple of years, six states — Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama and Arizona — have approved similar legislation, enforcing or allowing public schools to post the U.S. motto.

Anybody who doesn’t like it, tough shit.

There is no pause button

Jul 26th, 2019 11:16 am | By

Lucy Bannerman at the Times:

Jacob has just turned 16 and for the past four years the teenager’s body has been put on pause. He has been on hormone blockers to stop puberty while he decides how far he is willing to go to become a transgender man.

He claims that taking blockers was “the worst decision I’ve ever made”.

Jacob was born a girl but felt unhappy with his gender. “I always felt so weak and pathetic and inferior to the men.” He started using the male pronoun and imagined himself growing up and “dating a woman”.

It’s not as if that feeling is entirely unknown to girls in general. There are different degrees of it, but few girls get to escape it entirely. Girls learn early that boys hit harder.

So Jacob went to the Tavistock clinic and was referred for blockers.

“It was sold to me as a miracle cure for being trans,” he claimed. He told another trans school friend about them, who started requesting blockers too.

Hormone blockers are only licensed in Britain to delay the onset of puberty for children suffering “precocious puberty” — that is, those who start developing abnormally early before the age of eight or nine.

However, their use is promoted by the transgender campaign group Mermaids as a way of giving young people “a pause button” while deciding whether to graduate to the irreversible, cross-sex hormones that will trigger the life-changing, fertility-reducing jump from one gender to another, once they reach 16.

But there is no “pause button” in life.

“They promise you that your breasts will disappear, that your voice will be deeper, that I would look and sound more like a boy. For me, that was the best thing that could have happened,” he said.

Only, Jacob found that wasn’t what happened at all. Far from becoming one of the lads, as he’d hoped, he felt even more alienated from them as their physiques changed and Jacob’s remained the same.

“At school, other people were maturing into adults. The guys I grew up with were growing hair and growing up. For someone who’s trying to fit in as a boy, that’s not what you want.”

That’s the missing pause button, see. You can’t make everyone else “pause” along with you, and the result is they leave you behind. He had been a tall kid but he became a very short teenager. His younger brother passed him and Jacob could no longer stand to be in the same room with him.

“My little brother is 18 months younger and now he has completely outgrown me. I go to school and I feel like other people are developing and I still feel like a child,” he said.

Jacob also claims he was not warned about the side-effects of the drugs.

These have included insomnia, exhaustion, fatigue, low moods, rapid weight gain which caused his skin to become covered with angry, itchy stretch marks, and a reduction in bone density. “I’d never broken a bone before [taking puberty blockers],” he says. “I’ve since broken four bones.

“I stubbed my toe, it broke. I fell over, my wrist broke. Same with my elbow.”

As he took the blockers, Jacob’s mother watched her child become even more introverted and body-conscious. “The blockers contributed more to the self-image problems that were already there,” she said.

Jacob is now staggered by the lack of discussion before he was merrily given blockers.

Mermaids, the transgender lobby group, claims that puberty blockers are safe and “completely reversible” and that not giving them to youngsters who request the can be more damaging than prescribing them.

Gendered Intelligence, another trans campaign group, claims on its website that hormone blockers give children “breathing space to ensure that they are sure about the permanent effects of cross-sex hormones, without the adverse effects of an incorrect puberty.”

Jacob is scathing about such claims. “Breathing space! It really isn’t. I’ve not had any space to breathe the last four years.

“They sell it to you as a break from feeling like a girl, and that’s fine for the first few months but as soon as everyone else around you starts developing it becomes ‘spot the transgender kid’, which is so easy because you’re stuck as a child.”

Aging out of childhood is hard. There are at least parts of it that everyone misses. It doesn’t follow that the solution is to get stuck in it by taking insufficiently tested drugs.

A spokesman for Tavistock said: “All young people considering the puberty blocker or cross-sex hormones are repeatedly made aware of the known potential impacts of these medical interventions. . .as well as the areas of impact that remain to some extent unknown.

“The information that we give patients about the blockers makes it clear that they may get tired and experience low mood.

We explain to young people that hormones give us energy and drive, not just our sex drive but our overall ‘get up and go’.

“We also emphasised to them routinely that while on the blocker they would stay early puberty whilst their peers developed. This is a routine part of the discussion.

“In the end the decision to go on blockers is a balancing act weighing up these factors against the perceived distress of undergoing puberty in the ‘wrong’ gender and developing unwanted and potential hard to change secondary sexual characteristics.”

But what if there is no such thing as “the ‘wrong’ gender”? What if that is a social fad invented by “activists” and promoted by more and more and more activists? What if there is only the body, and whichever sex that body is, and how that body decides to live in the world? What if the Tavistock is promoting and amplifying that “perceived distress of undergoing puberty in the ‘wrong’ gender” and doing massive harm in the process?

Celebrities including Kim Kardashian West and Justin Bieber

Jul 26th, 2019 10:34 am | By

Sweden is not impressed by Trump’s attempt to tell them what to do in the matter of a US citizen accused of assault in Stockholm.

“The rule of the law applies to everyone equally and is exercised by an independent judiciary,” tweeted former prime minister Carl Bildt. “That’s the way it is in the US, and that’s certainly the way it is in Sweden. Political interference in the process is distinctly off limits. Clear?”

Clear to everyone except Donnie Two Scoops. He thinks he’s the emperor of the world.

Trump said on Thursday he was very disappointed in Stefan Löfven for being unable to act. He said “Sweden has let our African American community down in the United States. Give A$AP Rocky his freedom.”

The US president also said: “We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem.”

“Our African American community,” as if President Racist had a history of being a huge fan and defender of our African American community, as opposed to a history of being sued for refusing to rent to members of that community and a history of trying to get members of that community railroaded to execution for a crime they didn’t commit.

Other Swedish politicians also rebutted Trump’s comments, pointing out that the charges against the rapper were not arbitrary and wondering by what right Trump felt entitled to make such requests. “So, what is it you do for us, Mr President?” Fredrick Federley MEP tweeted.

I too would like to know by what right Trump feels entitled to make such demands. It wasn’t a request, it was a demand, a peremptory bossy entitled demand.

Celebrities including Kim Kardashian West and Justin Bieber have rallied behind the rapper and backed a #FreeRocky campaign…

Kardashian West appealed directly to Trump to help Mayers, prompting the US president to tweet last week that he would “call the very talented Prime Minister of Sweden to see what we can do about helping A$AP Rocky”.

It’s all about pulling strings. It’s about fame and money and huge tits. It’s about a world where famous rich people get to decide who is prosecuted for assault and who isn’t. Fortunately that world is a fantasy inside the heads of people like Kim Kardashian and Ivanka Trump and her noxious Daddy, but if they had their way it would be like that in the real world. Remain vigilant.

Copious volumes of previously stored carbon dioxide

Jul 26th, 2019 10:15 am | By

The Beeb on the burning of the Arctic:

Wildfires are ravaging the Arctic, with areas of northern Siberia, northern Scandinavia, Alaska and Greenland engulfed in flames.

Lightning frequently triggers fires in the region but this year they have been worsened by summer temperatures that are higher than average because of climate change.

Plumes of smoke from the fires can be seen from space.

Climate change is making the summer temps higher and the resulting fires will make climate change worse, aka hello feedback loop.

In June, the fires released an estimated 50 megatonnes of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of Sweden’s annual carbon output, according to Cams.

Jonathan Amos offers some analysis:

The fires are releasing copious volumes of previously stored carbon dioxide and methane – carbon stocks that have in some cases been held in the ground for thousands of years.

Scientists say what we’re seeing is evidence of the kind of feedbacks we should expect in a warmer world, where increased concentrations of greenhouse gases drive more warming, which then begets the conditions that release yet more carbon into the atmosphere.

A lot of the particulate matter from these fires will eventually come to settle on ice surfaces further north, darkening them and thus accelerating melting.

It’s going to get worse and worse faster and faster.

Sweden should do what Donald Trump orders it to do

Jul 25th, 2019 5:31 pm | By

A mere three hours later –

We love OUR law enforcement officers, but we feel perfectly entitled to insult OTHER people’s law enforcement officers by telling them how to do their jobs from many thousands of miles and vast acres of stupidity away.

Also, this is Donald fucking Trump, who tried to get the Central Park Five executed by buying an ad in the New York Times, and who went on insisting they were guilty after DNA evidence exonerated them.

He is such a horrendous sack of shit.


Jul 25th, 2019 1:44 pm | By

Always seeking to do the worst thing.

The U.S. government is poised to carry out the death penalty for the first time in nearly two decades, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr has instructed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to change the federal execution protocol to include capital punishment, the Justice Department said.

Barr also asked the prisons bureau to schedule the executions of five inmates who have been found guilty of murder. According to the DOJ, the victims in each case included children and the elderly. In some of the cases, the convicted murderers also tortured and raped their victims.

“The Justice Department upholds the rule of law — and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system,” Barr said in a statement.

“We owe it to the victims and their families to kill someone.” I don’t think so. I don’t think that’s how owing works. I don’t think that’s how a government pays a debt to a set of people. I don’t think vengeance is a debt owed by government.

In the past 10 years, at least five states — New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland and New Hampshire — have abolished the death penalty, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And in March, California Gov. Gavin Newsom put an executive moratoriumon his state’s death penalty.

In two more states — Washington and Delaware — courts recently ruled that their capital punishment laws are unconstitutional.

Capital punishment has also been criticized because of the risk that the justice system may erroneously convict and punish someone who’s innocent.

“Since 1973, more than 160 people who had been wrongly convicted and sentenced to death in the U.S. have been exonerated,” according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

But with Barr as AG the Federal Government is determined to be worse than the states that abolished the death penalty, and to ignore the risk of executing people who didn’t commit the relevant crime.

45 es un titere

Jul 25th, 2019 11:44 am | By

This is a good photo. It’s reminiscent of the yelling at the kid mowing the lawn one.

Now what’s this about the seal?

Speaking on Tuesday at a student activist conference hosted by the conservative advocacy organization Turning Point USA, President Donald Trump walked onstage in front of a presidential seal that, upon closer examination, appears to have been altered to include symbols representing Russia and golf.

For one thing the eagle has two heads, which the more usual seal does not. Also it’s holding a bunch of golf clubs instead of arrows.

Additionally, instead of “e pluribus unum,” the scroll above the eagle appears to say “45 es un titere,” which appears to translate from Spanish to mean “45 is a puppet.”

No big macs? No two scoops of ice cream? No hair flying in all directions? No pointing and pinching?

He got off lightly.

Be sure always to call it please “breath play”

Jul 25th, 2019 11:01 am | By

And there’s choking. We’re told it’s “kink”; we’re told not to “shame” people for enjoying it; we’re told it’s “rough sex”; we’re told we must be vanilla. And women die.

A recently married woman turns up dead.

According to Roberts, Vicky’s death had been a terrible accident, a “sex game gone wrong”. In court, he pleaded not guilty to her murder, claiming they had been having sex on the sofa with a bathrobe cord around Vicky’s neck and she had instructed him, three times, to “pull tighter”. When she slumped to the floor, he thought she was joking and waited for her to sit up and say, “Boo!” When he realised his wife was dead, he sat in the corner and cried.

He was lying though.

Fortunately, there was ample evidence to speak for Vicky. The pathology report showed her injuries could not have been inflicted by a dressing gown cord and the force used was excessive. Roberts had snapped a hyoid bone in the front of her neck. He hadn’t called an ambulance. He hid Vicky’s body in the garage and told her family she had left him for another man.

And there’s more, but there isn’t always that level of evidence.

Just one month after the trial, another woman – Michelle Stonall – was found strangled with her dog’s lead in Sheldon Country Park, Birmingham. Her killer used the same “sex game” defence. Less than two months after that, Anna Banks, a 25-year-old classroom assistant, was strangled by her boyfriend of four months. Daniel Lancaster claimed that Banks “enjoyed being throttled during intercourse”. He was not found guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter and given a four-year sentence.

Since December last year, a group of women have attempted to gather “sex games gone wrong” defence killings under one place – the website We Can’t Consent to This. In the decade since Vicky’s murder, such killings have risen by 90%. Two thirds involve strangulation.


Because it’s a “kink.” Because it’s being normalized as “kink” and what did anyone think would happen?

Strangulation – fatal and non-fatal – “squeezing”, “neck compression” or, as some call, it “breath-play” – is highly gendered. On average, one woman in the UK is strangled to death by her partner every two weeks, according to Women’s Aid. It is a frequent feature of non-fatal domestic assault, as well as rape and robbery where women are the victims. It is striking how seldom it is seen in crimes against men.

Striking but not surprising, given the fact that men are stronger than women.

And now, a new defence has been added to the mix – consent. Fiona Mackenzie, an actuary, set up We Can’t Consent to This following the outcry over the so-called “rough sex killing” of Natalie Connolly, 26, by her millionaire partner John Broadhurst, 40. Despite the victim having 40 separate injuries, including serious internal trauma, a fractured eye socket and bleach on her face, Broadhurst received a sentence of three years, eight months for manslaughter.

“People were talking about this defence as if it was one isolated incident and I knew it wasn’t,” says Mackenzie. Although English law does not recognise consent to choking – or any physical harm – in the context of consensual sex, the Labour MP Harriet Harman has just announced her intention to have this underlined again in the forthcoming domestic violence bill. “It needs more emphasis because defence teams are increasingly offering it up, maybe because rough sex has crept into the mainstream,” says Mackenzie. “I’ve had so many women get in touch to say they have been horrified on Tinder dates by partners who have choked them during sex. If you’re dating, it’s expected of you and if you don’t go along with it, you’re boring.”

Here’s an interesting fact: that business of its being expected and being boring if you say no is a major part of the plot of the novel Big Little Lies, but it was completely excised from the tv serial based on the novel, the tv serial that was directed by a man and written by a man. Liane Moriarty, who wrote the novel, is a woman. Funny how that works.

How did strangulation become so widespread? Autoerotic asphyxia – when someone restricts oxygen to their own brain for the purposes of arousal – isn’t new: there have been documented cases since the early 17th century. But, historically, it has been “niche” and an overwhelmingly male pastime. And the serious risks it has always carried can be seen in the two high-profile examples of the deaths of the MP Stephen Milligan and the actor David Carradine.

Now, though, it is women being choked – Mackenzie hasn’t found a single case of a man killed by a woman in an alleged “sex game gone wrong”. And sex surveys, advice forums, social media feeds and women’s magazines show the way the practice has become mainstream. “If blindfolds and role play have veered into vanilla territory, there are still plenty of sex moves … like choking,” suggests Women’s Health. “Breath play, the risque new sex practice gripping millennials,” offers Flare. On, one sex educator was quoted as saying anyone stuck in a sex rut could read up on “how to choke your partner safely”.

There is no safely. It’s unbelievable and enraging that people are actually advising choking for less vanilla sex. How about just eating a jalapeño or two instead?

Gail Dines, the feminist thinker and CEO of Culture Reframed, believes strangulation has been normalised via two main routes. “For the men, it’s pornography and for the women, it’s in women’s magazines,” she says. “And both of these media genres legitimise it as a form of ‘play’.” She describes choking as a “number one standard act” on porn sites and says women look to porn to “see what men want and they see choking”.

Women’s magazines are telling women to get choked. What is this world.

H/t latsot

They love Wikileaks

Jul 25th, 2019 9:54 am | By

No election security for you! Next question?

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi on Wednesday blocked the advancement of a trio of bills aimed at strengthening election security just hours after former special counsel Robert Mueller warned of the continued threat that foreign powers interfering in US elections.

Two of those bills would require campaigns to report to federal authorities any attempts by foreign entities to interfere in US elections, and the third is aimed at protecting from hackers the personal accounts and devices of senators and some staffers.

So the Republicans want foreign entities to interfere in US elections. That’s interesting.

Hyde-Smith’s move is in line with past action from Republicans in the Senate. McConnell is refusing to buckle to the near constant drumbeat from Democrats — and some in the GOP — about the need to pass election security legislation in the wake of Mueller’s report.

The Kentucky Republican, who believes strongly that elections should be primarily controlled by state and local authorities and not managed by Washington, argues that the federal government has already responded to the problems raised from the 2016 campaign and more does not need to be done at this time.

Oh please. McConnell doesn’t believe strongly anything except Republican domination.

216 births, 216 male babies

Jul 24th, 2019 5:16 pm | By

From Hindustan Times:

At a time when the Central government has been aggressively promoting its ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme, sex ratio at birth data from 132 villages in Uttarkashi district reveal that no girl child was born in these areas in the last three months.

According to official data, 216 children were born in 132 villages of the district in the last three months. However, not a single girl was among the newborns which has left the district administration baffled.

Well not really “baffled.” Frustrated maybe, but not baffled.

Speaking to ANI, social worker Kalpana Thakur alleged that zero girl child birth clearly indicated the prevalence of female foeticide. “No girl child was born for three months in these villages. It cannot be just a coincidence. This clearly indicates female foeticide is taking place in the district. The government and the administration are not doing anything.”

One has to wonder how they think all those sons are going to have children themselves.

Problematic is an understatement

Jul 24th, 2019 12:14 pm | By

From the Guardian’s live coverage:

Representative Mike Quigley, a Democrat of Illinois, documented the many instances of Trump applauding the website after it leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.

Note that “Democratic National Committee.” You hardly ever see the UK press say “Democratic” in its reporting. I guess they can’t very well call it the Democrat National Committee since it’s an organization and that’s not its name, but when it’s simply a descriptor they adopt the deliberately obnoxious Republican usage: Schiff is a Democrat member of Congress, Warren is a Democrat candidate, and so on. It’s a solecism and it’s rude but they do it anyway. I don’t understand why.

That’s an aside though. What’s interesting is an actual value judgement from Mueller.

Quigley then turned to Mueller, who said of Trump’s repeated praise, “Problematic is an understatement … in terms of giving some hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal activity.”

They’re doing it as we sit here

Jul 24th, 2019 12:03 pm | By

Okaaay so that’s noteworthy.

And it could work! Again! We could be stuck with this malevolent ignorant sack of shit for another four years thanks to Putin!

More shouting

Jul 24th, 2019 10:38 am | By

The degradation continues:

Republicans seeking to run cover for Donald Trump are using Robert Mueller’s refusal to stray from his report as a weapon to bludgeon his credibility. The president’s allies on the House Judiciary Committee used their allotted time during Wednesday’s hearing to float wild conspiracy theories about his integrity and the Russia probe, suggesting that Mueller is biased against Trump and that his investigation was corrupt. Mueller, his hands tied by his wish not to appear politically-motivated, largely declined to fight back.

Representatives Jim Jordan, Louie Gohmert, and Matt Gaetz are among the Republicans who used Mueller’s reticence to their advantage. Jordan, sporting his signature shirtsleeves, pressed the former special counsel on a conspiracy theory about the origins of the FBI’s probe that suggested Joseph Mifsud, the professor who reportedly told George Papadopoulos that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton, was actually sent by the United States government to set up Papadopoulos and justify the probe’s launch. Trump, who has spread numerous conspiracy theories of his own about Mueller’s efforts, appeared to give Jordan a nod of approval, retweeting a video of his monologue with the caption, “Boom…Jim Jordan just blew the lid off the Hoax.”

Mueller, who told lawmakers in his opening statement that there were matters he could not and would not discuss, mostly avoided hitting back at the Ohio Republican, telling him, “I can’t get into it.” He responded similarly to Gohmert, who mostly used his time to shout accusations at the former special counsel, saying that the episodes in which Trump attempted to obstruct justice outlined in the second part of Mueller’s report were merely a justified reaction by the president to an unfair, unlawful investigation. It was not Trump who obstructed justice, Gohmert charged, but Mueller himself. Minutes later, Gaetz used his allotted time to fire off a number of conspiracy theories, including that the dossier prepared by Christopher Steele was based on Russian disinformation.

This is the swamp.

Updating to add, with thanks to Screechy Monkey:

And another one. “Year after year after year…”

That nobody has ever seen before

Jul 23rd, 2019 5:56 pm | By

Trump gave a speech today. He gave a speech to young people. He told them he has absolute power.

President Donald Trump was candid about the unlimited power he believes he has during a speech at the Turning Point USA Teen Student Action Summit on Tuesday.

After reasserting that investigations into Russia’s election meddling found “no collusion,” Trump claimed, “Then I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President.”

He’s been saying variations on that all along. This is not the first time that childish “whatever I want” has come out of his corrupted mouth. I’ve posted about it before.

In recent months, the president has ramped up his rhetoric on the topic, signaling both his misunderstanding of the executive powers outlined in the Constitution as well as his intent to abuse them. Tuesday’s remarks were just the latest example.

What I’m saying. He has no clue, and he loves to brag about his fantasy powers.

Last month, in an exclusive interview with ABC News, the president defended his right to fire Robert Mueller if he wanted to. “Article II allows me to do whatever I want,” he explained. “Article II would have allowed me to fire him.”

Just two weeks ago, when speaking to reporters, Trump reiterated that there was “no obstruction,” insisting falsely that an investigation cannot be obstructed if it turns out there was “no crime” committed.

“Also, take a look at one other thing,” he said. “It’s a thing called Article II. Nobody ever mentions Article II. It gives me all of these rights at a level that nobody has ever seen before. We don’t even talk about Article II.”

But if it’s in the Constitution how can it be at a level that nobody has ever seen before? The Constitution isn’t a new thing that nobody has ever seen before.