Notes and Comment Blog

Eric’s turn

Sep 13th, 2018 5:46 pm | By

These Trumps. Eric this time.

Eric Trump was talking up his father on Fox News on Wednesday morning when he was lobbed a friendly prompt from one of the network’s anchors.

During a segment that touched on Democrats’ calls for impeachment as well as the current success of the economy, “Fox & Friends” host Steve Doocy brought up the perception created by both Bob Woodward’s new book and the New York Times’s anonymous op-ed last week that the Trump administration is in chaos.

But they sure are getting a lot done, Doocy smarmed.

Trump then launched into an attack in the second person about someone who writes a “sensational nonsense book” and is rewarded with a CNN appearance, before making a remark that many interpreted as a racist dog whistle.

“It will mean you sell three extra books, you make three extra shekels,” he said. “I think people read through this. I know people read through this.”

Well that’s just normal US slang for money.

Nah it isn’t.

Although it is the word for the currency in Israel and an occasionally used slang term for money in the United States, it is also a common anti-Semitic trope on white-supremacist sites and in message boards threads about Jewish conspiracies, greed and supposed control of industries such as Hollywood, finance, media and publishing.

But surely Eric Trump doesn’t hang around on white-supremacist sites and message board threads about Jewish conspiracies, greed and supposed control of industries such as Hollywood, finance, media and publishing.

The Bad Man’s comments

Sep 13th, 2018 11:14 am | By

Trump’s self-obsessed lie about the death toll of Hurricane Maria is not going over all that well.

Seen from the office

Sep 13th, 2018 10:24 am | By

Now to cheer us up…

That’s Lake Washington. It forms the eastern border of Seattle (and continues well past it north and south – it’s about 20 miles long) while Puget Sound makes the western border. The National Weather Service office is at NOAA, which is at the northern edge of Magnuson Park, which is a huge wildish heath that used to be a naval base. This is a view accessible to the public.

There’s a lot to like about Seattle.

Big shiny new houses

Sep 13th, 2018 10:11 am | By

The Times (NY) is doing a live update on the hurricane.

The storm is forecast to crawl inland, drenching a wide area with extremely heavy rains — 20, 30 or even 40 inches of rainfall are predicted in some spots on the Carolina coast. Places as far inland as Charlotte, about 150 miles from the coast, could receive more than 10 inches of rain. Learn more about why slow-moving hurricanes are so dangerous here.

It’s kind of hard to imagine 40 inches of rain.

President Trump on Thursday falsely accused Democrats of inflating the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, rejecting a government assessment that the storm had claimed nearly 3,000 livesRead more about the president’s comments.

I’m so sick of “President” Trump abusing his office to lie about important facts.

North Carolina lawmakers are facing renewed criticism for a 2012 law that effectively ordered agencies to ignore an increasing rise in sea levels driven by climate change. The law helped allow rapid coastal development to continue.

I’m sure all the legislators who voted for that law are going to compensate the tragic fools who bought coastal property after that law was passed. Jk; of course they’re not.

The coastal region’s population and economy have boomed

Sep 13th, 2018 9:53 am | By

More on that whole North Carolina coast – climate denial – ignore the future tragedy:

The approaching storm almost certainly gained destructive power from a warming climate, but a 2012 law, and subsequent actions by the state, effectively ordered state and local agencies that develop coastal policies to ignore scientific models showing an acceleration in the rise of sea levels.

In the years since, development has continued with little regard to the long-term threat posed by rising sea levels. And the coastal region’s population and economy have boomed, growing by almost half in the last 20 years.

In other words state law has put a large number of people in harm’s way, because of pure obstinate fingers-in-ears Denial.

Business leaders had been jolted by a state commission’s 2010 report saying that sea levels could rise as much as 39 inches by the year 2100, which would devastate the coast and swamp billions of dollars’ worth of real estate.

What do you do when you’re jolted by information about future events? If you’re at least a little bit reality-based you do your best to figure out what’s the best course of action to deal with those events and then follow that course of action. If not, you just close your eyes hard and Deny.

Before the Republicans gained the upper hand, North Carolina was “a leader in really thoughtful coastal management,” said Geoffrey R. Gisler, a lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

But the commission’s 2010 report about sea level threw a scare into real estate developers, as well as some coastal residents, who worried that the state would respond with new policies that would crimp their profits or their way of life.

“A lot of folks who have interests in developing areas that are currently vulnerable, and would become more vulnerable with sea level rise, objected to the public finding out that there was this projected significant sea-level rise,” Mr. Gisler said. “And so the legislature decided to prohibit looking that far out.”

In other words, because some real estate developers wanted to make a lot of $$$ selling property on a low-lying coast, the state government lied about what is going to happen to that low-lying coast as the sea levels rise. Republican values in a nutshell.

North Carolina was not alone in turning away from the direr warnings of climate science. The administration of Gov. Rick Scott of Florida discouraged the use of terms like “climate change” and “global warming” in official communications.

President Trump has called climate change a “hoax,” and some federal agencies have played down terms like “climate change” in their reports, publications and websites. But the Trump administration’s actions go beyond just words: it is attempting to roll back dozens of environmental and climate regulations.

Michael Mann, a climate change expert at Pennsylvania State University whose work has shown the links between greenhouse gas emissions and sharply rising temperatures, said that the administration’s policies, including a recently revealed effort to relax Obama-era restrictions on energy companies’ release of methane into the atmosphere, will accelerate climate change.

Yes but that’s tomorrow. Today is all that counts.

Pass a law against heavy rainfall

Sep 12th, 2018 5:24 pm | By

Ah, North Carolina. Will you rethink at all?

In 2012, the state now in the path of Hurricane Florence reacted to a prediction by its Coastal Resources Commission that sea levels could rise by 39in over the next century by passing a law that banned policies based on such forecasts.

Policies like…saying no to new building on the beaches?

North Carolina has a long, low-lying coastline and is considered one of the US areas most vulnerable to rising sea levels.

Long, low-lying, and made even longer by the barrier islands.

But dire predictions alarmed coastal developers and their allies, who said they did not believe the rise in sea level would be as bad as the worst models predicted and said such forecasts could unnecessarily hurt property values and drive up insurance costs.

As a result, the state’s official policy, rather than adapting to the worst potential effects of climate change, has been to assume it simply won’t be that bad. Instead of forecasts, it has mandated predictions based on historical data on sea level rise.

“The science panel used one model, the most extreme in the world,” Pat McElraft, the sponsor of the 2012 bill, said at the time, according to Reuters. “They need to use some science that we can all trust when we start making laws in North Carolina that affect property values on the coast.”

So what will property values on the coast look like now, do you suppose?

The law required the coastal resources commission to put out another study in 2015, looking at expected sea level rise.

That report looked only 30 years ahead, rather than a century. It found that the rise in sea level during that time was likely to be roughly 6in to 8in, with higher increases possible in parts of the Outer Banks.

Some outside studies have offered more dire warnings. A report last year by the Union of Concerned Scientists said 13 North Carolina communities were likely to be “chronically inundated” with seawater by 2035.

And temporarily inundated by 2018.

Orrin Pilkey, a retired Duke University coastal geologist, wrote in a recent op-ed in the News & Observer that the state has still failed to take the steps that communities in Virginia and New Jersey have taken, to prepare for rising sea levels.

“Instead coastal development flourishes as more beachfront buildings, highways and bridges are built to ease access to our beautiful beaches,” he wrote. “Currently the unspoken plan is to wait until the situation is catastrophic and then respond.”

Welp, that day may have arrived.

Pattern recognition

Sep 12th, 2018 4:20 pm | By

Ah, this Mark Knight has a history with the racist cartoons thing. Imagine my surprise.

On Wednesday, the Herald Sun provided its response to critics of the cartoon by doubling down. The newspaper republished Knight’s Serena Williams image as part of a front-page montage of Knight caricatures — including of President Trump — with the headline “WELCOME TO PC WORLD” and the text: “If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very dull indeed.” The cover includes the cheeky label “Satire Free Zone.”

In early August, for a cartoon about train-station safety in the Australian state of Victoria, Knight also faced ire for how he drew faceless black figures fighting in the background. Backlash against the image included disgust from one Melbourne politician who wrote: “The racist vilification of Melburnians from the Herald Sun continues apace. Utterly shameful.”

Jeezus. Not much ambiguity there, is there.

What’s the politics of a hurricane?

Sep 12th, 2018 3:13 pm | By

If you were worrying about Hurricane Florence, about to dump 20 inches of rain on South and North Carolina, don’t: Rush Limbaugh says it’s all a ploy to big up climate change.

The right-wing radio host said during his show that hurricane forecasting has been amplified in order to convince people that climate change is causing greater natural disasters, noting how previous hurricanes are downgraded before they make landfall.

“These things have become very politicized as you know, folks. Hurricanes and hurricane forecasting is much like much else that the left has gotten its hands on, and they politicize these things. For those of you asking, ‘What’s the politics of a hurricane?’ Climate change is the politics of hurricanes. The forecast and the destruction potential doom and gloom is all to heighten the belief in climate change.”

That pesky left. How did it get its hands on hurricanes? They’re so wiggly.

He said it last year, too.

“There is a desire to advance this climate change agenda, and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it,” he said during a September 5, 2017 broadcast of The Rush Limbaugh Show.

“You can accomplish a lot just by creating fear and panic. You don’t need a hurricane to hit anywhere. All you need is to create the fear and panic accompanied by talk that climate change is causing hurricanes to become more frequent and bigger and more dangerous, and you create the panic, and it’s mission accomplished, agenda advanced.”

And when the hurricane does happen and it does leave devastation in its path…erm…it’s probably the left seeding the clouds with its big leftwing airplanes.

A different kind of destruction

Sep 12th, 2018 11:56 am | By

Designing Women was my flagship CBS show, and Evening Shade had just been lauded as the best new comedy of the season. CBS chairman Howard Stringer and president Jeff Sagansky attended many of the Designing Women tapings, reveling in the show, quoting the lines and giving us carte blanche to tackle any subject, including sexual harassment, domestic violence and pornography. They even greenlighted an entire episode satirizing Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court nomination. It was, to say the least, exhilarating. Little did I know that it would soon all be over.

By 1995, Mr. Stringer and Mr. Sagansky were gone and a new, unknown (to me) president named Les Moonves had taken over. By then, I was producing a new pilot, prophetically titled Fully Clothed Non-Dancing Women. I was immediately concerned when I heard that Mr. Moonves was rumored to be a big fan of topless bars. Then, someone delivered the news that he especially hated Designing Women and their loud-mouthed speeches. He showed up at the first table read and took a chair directly across from mine (actress Illeana Douglas, who later accused him of sexual harassment, sat next to me). Having been voted most popular in high school, I felt confident that I would be able to charm him. I was wrong. He sat and stared at me throughout the entire reading with eyes that were stunningly cold, as in, “You are so dead.” I had not experienced such a menacing look since Charles Manson tried to stare me down on a daily basis when I was a young reporter covering that trial. As soon as the pilot was completed, Moonves informed me that it would not be picked up. I was at the pinnacle of my career. I would not work again for seven years.

This is odd since her shows had been so successful. He just didn’t like them…although he kept telling her he did, while adding that he wasn’t going to do them anyway.

Then, I began to hear from female CBS employees about his mercurial, misogynist behavior, with actresses being ushered in and out of his office. His mantra, I was told, was, “Why would I wanna cast ’em if I don’t wanna fuck ’em?” And he was an angry bully who enjoyed telling people, “I will tear off the top of your head and piss on your brain!”

Soon, I would hear how he had invited a famous actress to lunch in the CBS dining room. Coming off the cancellation of her iconic detective show, the star began pitching a new one. He informed her that she was too old to be on his network. She began to cry and stood up to go. He stood up too, taking her by the shoulders and telling her, “I can’t let you leave like this.” She reacted, suddenly touched. Then he shoved his tongue down her throat. I know this happened because the star is the person who told me.

“Too old” to be on his network.

I took pride in being part of a network that always seemed to be rife with crazy, interesting, brash women, from Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda, to Maude, to Murphy Brown, to the Designing Women. Many of these female characters paved the way for women to be single, to pursue careers and equal pay and to lead rich, romantic lives with reproductive rights.

As I walked, I noticed that the portraits of all these iconic women were no longer adorning the walls. I don’t know why and I didn’t ask. I just know that the likes of them have rarely been seen on that network again. Thanks to Les Moonves, I can only guess they all became vaginal swabs in crime labs on CSI Amarillo.

For years, Moonves loaded up the network with highly profitable, male-dominated series, always careful to stir in and amply reward an occasional actress, like the fabulous Patti Heaton or the irresistible Kaley Cuoco. But mostly, he presided over a plethora of macho crime shows featuring a virtual genocide of dead naked hotties in morgue drawers, with sadistic female autopsy reports, ratcheted up each week (“Is that a missing breast implant, lieutenant?” “Yes sir, we also found playing cards in her uterus.”) On the day I officially parted company with CBS, the same day Mr. Moonves said he would only pay a tiny fraction of the penalties, my incredulous agent asked what he should tell me. Mr. Moonves replied, “Tell her to go fuck herself!”

So that’s years of feminist-flavored sitcoms that never happened along with years of misogynist drooling over female corpses.

Oh well, it’s only women.

A defiant front page

Sep 12th, 2018 10:40 am | By

Now the Herald-Sun, the Australian paper that ran the strikingly racist cartoon of Serena Williams, is doing the free speech martyr act.

The Herald Sun newspaper has republished its controversial cartoon of tennis star Serena Williams on a defiant front page in which it attacked its critics and foreshadowed a future where satire is outlawed.

“WELCOME TO PC WORLD,” read the paper’s headline, over a collection of Mark Knight cartoons, including the depiction of Williams spitting a dummy and stamping on her racquet.

The cartoons are broad, yes, but they’re not racist. That one of Williams – we’ve seen those before.

“If the self-appointed censors of Mark Knight get their way on his Serena Williams cartoon, our new politically correct life will be very dull indeed,” the paper wrote.

No, it really won’t. It’s perfectly possible to do biting satirical cartoons without racism.

Knight has rejected suggestions his depiction of Williams was racist or sexist, while others said it drew on racist tropes of African-Americans.

“I saw the world number one tennis player have a huge hissy fit and spit the dummy,” Knight said on Tuesday.

“That’s what the cartoon was about, her poor behaviour on the court.

“I drew her as an African-American woman. She’s powerfully built. She wears these outrageous costumes when she plays tennis. She’s interesting to draw. I drew her as she is, as an African-American woman.”

Er…as a generic African-American woman in the mind of one male Australian cartoonist. That is not, in fact, her face.

Australian writer Maxine Beneba Clarke said she believed the front page demonstrated a “misunderstanding” of the criticism levelled at the cartoon.

“I think it’s really interesting that the Herald Sun has not included really any other caricatures or cartoons of black people — either Aboriginal people or African-American people, black people of any descent,” said Ms Clarke, who is of Afro-Caribbean descent.

“So what you have is essentially a front page that has pictures like Donald Trump being caricatured for his hair, Tony Abbott being caricatured for his big ears, you know the Prime Minister being portrayed as a muppet, kind of this innuendo that he’s having his strings pulled … and I think it’s fundamentally different to racial caricature.”

Ms Clarke said the front page had been carefully constructed.

“What it’s trying to say is that all people are caricatured, but the criticism of the Serena Williams caricature is that it’s specifically racist, and there’s a reason why the Herald Sun isn’t able to put other cartoons that they’ve reproduced of black people on the front page.”

But what about freedom of cartooning?

Syndicated cartoonist Paul Zanetti, a friend of Knight’s for forty years, said cartooning was under threat from political correctness, and the Herald Sun front page “spelt out exactly where we are at at this point”.

“Political correctness is really all about censoring, it’s about being bullied into conforming to a view of the world,” he said.

No, it really isn’t, at least not necessarily. Take this, for instance:

Image result for nazi caricature jew

It’s obvious enough, yeah? I bet even Mark Knight would be able to see it.

Nothing of value is lost if cartoonists no longer do that kind of thing.

An incredible, unsung success

Sep 12th, 2018 10:18 am | By

NPR does a fact check on that claim.

During an Oval Office briefing on preparations for Hurricane Florence, a reporter asked President Trump if there were lessons to be learned from the widely criticized FEMA response to Hurricane Maria last year in Puerto Rico. Trump’s response? In short: nothing to see here.

“The job that FEMA and law enforcement and everybody did, working along with the Governor in Puerto Rico, I think was tremendous,” Trump said in a lengthy answer that reprised his criticisms of the island’s pre-storm electric grid, credit problems and geography (that it’s an island). “I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success.”

He further claimed that “in a certain way, the best job we did was Puerto Rico, but nobody would understand that. I mean, it’s harder to understand.”

Trump’s argument, which he tweeted again this morning, is that because Puerto Rico was hit hard by two hurricanes in a row and already faced infrastructure and other challenges, the federal response was really quite good, despite residents going many months without power, food and water relief failing to get to those who needed it and a death toll that was recently revised upward into the thousands.

Perhaps he was trying to say it could have been worse, which is a more defensible claim. It’s hard to call months with no power and inadequate food and water supplies really quite good, much less tremendous and an unsung success.

As NPR’s Adrian Florido reported last month, the death toll for Hurricane Maria was just revised from 64 to 2,975.

Puerto Rico’s governor updated the island’s official death toll for victims of Hurricane Maria on Tuesday, hours after independent researchers from George Washington University released a study estimating the hurricane caused 2,975 deaths in the six months following the storm.

Jim Wright also has thoughts on the claim:

This morning Trump said: “We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan). We are ready for the big one that is coming!”

A Pluses.

That’s what he claims.

An A+ from … who?

From the families of the 3000 Puerto Ricans who died in Hurricane Maria? Is THAT who he got an A+ from?

Also, “inaccessible?”

Inaccessible? Puerto Rico isn’t some remote island in the South Pacific, hidden by perpetual storm, inhabited by 50 foot tall apes and dinosaurs from the Lost World. It’s a heavily populated U.S. territory, one of the largest islands in the Caribbean, a few hundred miles from the mainland. A day’s transit for a cargo ship — smack in the middle of one of the most heavily trafficked shipping lanes in the world. A hour’s flight for any modern jet. It’s easier to get to Puerto Rico than it is to certain parts of Utah, or Maine, or … South Carolina.


We moved all the supplies necessary for sustained WAR, all the way from America to Iraq and Afghanistan — and seriously, you think the electrical infrastructure in Puerto Rico is bad? Try Afghanistan. Inaccessible? For the United States of America? With all of our might, all of our resources, all of our capability, inaccessible? Really?

Dragons. It’s all about the dragons.

Related image

Heckuva job

Sep 12th, 2018 9:48 am | By

Hey it costs money to lock up more and more scary Mexicans illegal immigrants, and that money has to come from somewhere. Oh I know: take it from FEMA, they don’t do anything useful.

Newly revealed documents show the Trump administration took nearly $10 million away from FEMA and other federal agencies to apparently pay for immigration detention centers. A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, the agency which FEMA is a part of, said under no circumstances was any disaster relief funding transferred from FEMA to immigration enforcement efforts.

CBS News’ Jeff Pegues reports the money in question was transferred back in August to ICE. A source at DHS tells Pegues the funds were transferred to ICE for adult detention beds, not to house children. The funds were transferred from FEMA’s operational account at FEMA headquarters.

Over the last year there have been questions about whether FEMA’s resources are stretched thin as it responds to hurricanes and that’s why that nearly $10 million is getting a lot of attention, Pegues reports. Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat from Oregon who called the transfer a “scandal,” first made the budget adjustment documents public.

Silly Democrats, always making a fuss about nothing. I’m sure it will be fine. The next big hurricane is at least 24 hours from striking South Carolina, so chill.

Merkley spoke to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Tuesday night about how he obtained the documents.

“It means that just as hurricane season is starting…the administration is working hard to find funds for additional detention camps, and of course this is all part of the child separation policy, and that’s how this information came into my hands because of my work on the issue of trying to stop the child separations,” he said.

The documents came to light as Hurricane Florence, called “the storm of a lifetime,” emptied homes and hospitals in the Carolinas. More than five million people are now under hurricane warnings with the Category 4 storm expected to make landfall on Friday or Saturday.

Florence could cost the East Coast more than $170 billion and damage nearly 759,000 homes and businesses, according to analytics firm CoreLogic. That would make Florence the costliest storm ever to hit the U.S. in terms of property loss.

Well there you go then. $10 million is a drop in the bucket, so it might as well be diverted to separating more parents from their children.

Get a job! No not that job!

Sep 11th, 2018 3:59 pm | By

Interesting. We’re supposed to despise people who are on welfare because they should get a job no matter how scarce jobs are where they live or how young and dependent their children are or how hard they’re working in school to improve their chances of finding work…but also, it turns out, we’re supposed to despise people who do have jobs if the jobs are not posh enough for our refined tastes.

Former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens made headlines this holiday weekend after a New Jersey shopper snapped photos of him bagging groceries at a Trader Joe checkout line — then provided them to the Daily Mail.

Instantly, Owens — who played the Huxtables’ affable son-in-law Elvin on the show from 1985 to 1992 and is still a working actor — found himself at the center of a complicated conversation about low-wage labor. It involved social media shaming, a backlash to the backlash, and a SAG-led campaign to celebrate the many actors who, like Owens, work less glamorous jobs to make ends meet and do what they love.

The Daily Mail took a scornful approach to reporting Owens’ employment, publishing several photos of him in “a Trader Joe’s T-shirt with stain marks on the front as he weighed a bag of potatoes.” The tabloid also reported the average hourly wage at the store ($11), and implied that Owens was washed-up as an actor, quoting the photo-taker as saying, “Wow, all those years of doing the show and you ended up as a cashier.”

So there you go. Get out there and find a job, you lazy parasite, but when you do we will make fun of you, you proletarian loser.

However, neither the Daily Mail nor Fox News, which circulated a widely-shared follow-up, made any attempt to contextualize Owens’s appearance in the Trader Joe’s line.

For instance, the outlets failed to note that more than two-thirds of all SAG-affiliated actors make less than $1,000 a year as actors. They also failed to note that Owens has worked steadily an actor throughout the decades: In addition to regular theater work, he’s been consistently active as a television guest actor every year but one since 2007.

Not only that, but the Yale alumnus has been busy teaching acting classes at Yale, Columbia, and the well-respected New York play incubator Primary Stages.

But naturally some people on Twitter made fun of him anyway, because hey, menial work, how dare he.

The overwhelming majority of people who read the Daily Mail and Fox News pieces, however, were outraged at the media outlets for sensationalizing the honest labor of a respectable man and dedicated working actor. Performers of all stripes and professional levels swiftly came to Owens’s defense.

Blind to reality

Sep 11th, 2018 3:32 pm | By

The Goldsmiths LGBTQ+ mash note to Stalin and the Gulag made it into the Telegraph:

Students at a leading London university have been condemned as blind to reality after defending the system of Soviet Gulag labour camps where thousands perished as “compassionate” places of rehabilitation.

Trans rights campaigners at Goldsmiths University described the Gulags as benign places where inmates received education, training and enjoyed the opportunity to take part in clubs, sports and theatre groups.

In fact most historians agree they were a brutal network of labour camps used by Stalin’s Soviet dictatorship to incarcerate internal opponents and so-called ‘enemies of the state’, resulting in the death of more than an estimated 1.05 million people.

But they did it with love.

Paradoxically the thread was written as an apparent justification for an earlier post by the same group which threatened to send a political opponent “to the gulag”.

The threat was made against Claire Graham, a special education needs teacher, who wrote objecting to LGBTQ Goldsmith’s threat to target feminist academics who they claimed were prejudiced against transgender individuals.

The original Twitter thread from Goldsmith LGBTQ, since removed

The rest of Goldsmith LGBTQ's Twitter thread justifying the Gulag system

The thread has now been removed so it’s useful to have the screenshots.

Goldsmiths Students’ Union has now suspended the group and withdrawn its support for its activities, saying the Gulag threat – and subsequent refusal by the group to apologise for it – clearly breached the students’ union code of conduct.

In a statement backed by Goldsmiths University the students’ union said: “We condemn the abhorrent content of the tweets and they are in complete opposition to the views and values of the Students’ Union.”

Members of Goldsmiths LGBTQ refused to comment when approached by The Daily Telegraph.

They’re busy re-educating each other.

We’ll let you know

Sep 11th, 2018 11:51 am | By

Trump either is or is not going to drop in on Ireland in November.

The White House has not yet made a final decision on whether US President Donald Trump will make a stop in Ireland in November, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has said.

The comments came after it was reported Mr Trump’s planned visit to Ireland in November had been put off.

The Government on Tuesday evening confirmed that the visit of President Trump has been “postponed” for what it called “scheduling reasons”.

The Irish Times understands that the proposed details of the trip had been changing constantly since the White House first announced President Trump’s intention to visit last month.

Not a very adult or polite way to treat other countries. “We may visit you in a few weeks, or not, we haven’t decided yet, we’ll let you know.”

When the trip was announced the Labour party said that it would “join with like-minded people to oppose this visit.” Green party leader Eamon Ryan said the government should cancel the planned visit.

Mr Ryan welcomed the news on Tuesday that the visit was off. “The visit came out of the blue and has now been cancelled in the same erratic way. We are glad he is not coming. Trump’s positions and demeanour on every issue of the day, from climate to women’s rights, from international relations to political decency, represent the opposite of Green and indeed Irish values,” he said.

“It’s hard to know why the trip has been cancelled at this stage, but we are nonetheless glad that such a costly, potentially divisive and undignified event will now not take place,” he added.

Labour Senator Aodhán O Ríordáin welcomed the news too, saying it was as a result of the campaign against the visit.

Maybe Trump is expecting all of Ireland to say with one voice “Oh no, we’re sorry, please do visit, we promise not to protest even a little tiny bit.”

He’ll have to wait a long time for that.

Sargon and Dankula on free speech

Sep 11th, 2018 11:20 am | By

Carl Benjamin aka “Sargon of Akkad,” famed misogynist bully, was on an EU parliament panel to discuss free speech at the invitation of a UKIP MEP.

A MAN who was fined after filming a pet dog giving Nazi salutes has rubbed shoulders with Nigel Farage after being invited to speak about his case at the European Parliament.

Mark Meechan met with the former UKIP leader and his successor Gerard Batten as he spoke at a conference on threats to free speech on the internet.

Meechan, of Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, raised more than £193,000 through a crowdfunding page to pay for legal fees to fund an appeal against his conviction and sentence but his application was refused.

He joined UKIP in the wake of his conviction and on Monday he sat alongside leader Batten, Scots MEP David Coburn and fellow YouTuber Carl Benjamin at a panel in Strasbourg.

There’s glory for you!

Carl Benjamin captioned the video:

Count Dankula, Gerard Batten MEP, David Coburn MEP and I hosted a panel on Article 11 (the link tax), Article 13 (the copyright directive) and free speech.

Free the speech!

Forgot to add:

We da winnahs

Sep 11th, 2018 10:47 am | By

The usual dignity and empathy and respect.

Abrupt end of attempt to queer Stalin

Sep 11th, 2018 9:49 am | By

The gulagsplaining turned out to be a step too far even for the Goldsmiths Student Union. Their statement:

Yesterday, Monday 10th September, a member of the LGBTQ+ Society with access to their Twitter account posted tweets containing offensive material. We condemn the abhorrent content of the tweets and they are in complete opposition to the views and values of the Students’ Union.

The Society have broken multiple Union policies and procedures, including failing to adhere to our code of conduct, and we have issued multiple requests for the group to delete the tweets. As such, the Society have been suspended and disaffiliated from the Students’ Union, pending investigation.

I think they should have said what the tweets were about and what made them “offensive” and “abhorrent”…and chosen a word other than “offensive” to describe them. Evasiveness seems unhelpful. But anyway it’s good to know the Goldsmiths Student Union isn’t a fan of Stalin and the gulag.

I can’t help wondering how friendly Stalin would have been to the Goldsmiths (or any other) LGBTQ+ Society. Nah I don’t really wonder, I already know. They’d have been in the gulag, not standing outside admiring it and trying to persuade others to admire it. Kids today, eh, thinking Stalinism and queer politics make a good mashup.

Unless it’s a volume of collected tweets…

Sep 10th, 2018 3:22 pm | By

Trump says he’s going to “write” a “book.” Uh huh, and I’m going to fly the 6 o’clock plane to Heathrow.

That would be laughable even if he did know how to write, because he’s a narcissist who can’t stop bragging, so any book he “wrote” on the subject would be a pack of lies and tedious as well.

During his business career, Trump wrote nearly 20 books, including “The Art of the Deal.” Most of the books had known ghostwriters.

So he didn’t write them. The ghostwriters wrote them.

On Monday, Trump called Woodward “a liar who is like a Dem operative prior to the Midterms” following an appearance by Woodward on NBC’s “Today” show.

During the interview, Woodward, an associate editor at The Washington Post, defended his reporting in light of denials of material in the book attributed to White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.

“They are not telling the truth,” Woodward said, adding: “These people, these are political statements to protect their jobs, totally understandable.”

It’s understandable, but it doesn’t do much for their reputations.


Sep 10th, 2018 2:43 pm | By

Well this would explain a lot! The genius (or one of the geniuses) in charge of the @lgbtqgold account undertakes to explain why gulags were such fine fine institutions and Stalin was so tragically misunderstood:

But it is “governed” by a former KGB agent, but don’t let that worry you.

Don’t you wish you could go live in one right now?

People who don’t consent to repeat the formula “trans women are women” must be eradicated through “re-education” in a nice cozy book-filled gulag.