Notes and Comment Blog


You cannot count how many genders there are

Sep 16th, 2019 2:59 pm | By

Second and last item from This Angry Inclusive Enby Lesbian aka Taiel: a list of his opinions on all the subjects:

There is no such thing as narcissistic abuse. Your abuse was and is real; but arm-chair diagnosing your abuser is not okay. Abuse comes from abusers, not mental illness. Your personal trauma is valid but it is never okay to stigmatise and demonise the cluster-B disorders such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Call it what it was – sophisticated abuse, emotional abuse, gaslighting, physical abuse or whichever it was. But there is no form of abuse perpetuated only by NPD folks or any other neurotype.

Yes well he would be very defensive of people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, wouldn’t he.

There are more than two genders. There are more than three genders. Some people have more than one gender. You cannot count how many genders there are.

Gender is too tall for you to measure, too small for you to see, too infinite for you to count, too specific for you to generalize about, too sacred for you to profane, too profane for you to sanctify………….

Not all genders fall somewhere in between male and female. The gender binary is false, don’t force people into it.

Ok so what exactly is gender? What’s he talking about when he talks about gender? I have a feeling he couldn’t define it if you asked him.

Any and all folks on the asexual and/or aromantic spectra are inherently part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.

And they can’t get out!

The only requirement for being trans is being a gender other than what was assigned to you at birth. Dysphoria is not required. Neither is a desire for HRT, surgery or other physical change. Our lives and identities are not defined by pain.

And gender is anything and everything, so…everybody is trans, so being trans is the same as being a living human, so we can all forget about it and go back to what we were doing before. That will be nice.

Butch and femme are not exclusive to lesbians and to claim such erases their history of usage by POC.

What? What did POC use them to mean if not lesbians?

Not all lesbians are mono-homosexual. Not all lesbians are women. Any nonman seen being or known to be sexually, romantically or otherwise nonplatonically affectionate with nonmen may have had the term lesbian or a related slur applied to them regardless of actual gender or spectrum of attractions. As such, nonmen who are also non-women and attracted to other nonmen can reclaim this term and related slurs. We are not erasing mono-homosexual lesbian women, you are valid. But this is our term too.

Good luck not losing the thread in that forest of nons.

Fascists don’t deserve safety. They should feel as frightened to spread their hate speech as they make black trans women feel just walking out of their homes. TERFs and SWERFs are fascists too. There can be no tolerance for the intolerant.

So we should be killed on sight, is that the idea?

The last item of all is probably the one he loves the most.

Feminism is for everyone, not just women. Feminists can be anyone, not just women. Feminist issues affect many folk, not just women.

Yeah. Stupid greedy women, trying to keep feminism all for themselves. Bitches.



Wurr locked n loaded

Sep 16th, 2019 11:32 am | By

What kind of idiot pretending to be president goes on Twitter to say we’re “locked and loaded”?

Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!

How not to do foreign policy, how not to inform the public, how not to conduct war, how not to do diplomacy, how not to collect intelligence, how not to do government work – how not to do pretty much everything.

Laurence Tribe:

President Trump seems ready to let murderous Prince Mohammad bin Salman decide whether and when we strike Iran. So we have a Saudi Commander in Chief. Welcome to Trumplandia.

The Guardian:

As the diplomatic crisis deepened, Trump tweeted that reports he had been willing to meet with Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, before the attacks were false. “The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, ‘No Conditions.’ That is an incorrect statement (as usual!),” he tweeted on Sunday.

But political commentators were quick to point out that those comments came from Pompeo and treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin, who five days ago said on camera that Trump was willing to meet with Rouhani with “no preconditions” at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly in New York.

In other words we have complete amateurs in charge of all this and we’re doomed.

Over the weekend a senior commander from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned that the Islamic republic was ready for “full-fledged” war.

“Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000km around Iran are within the range of our missiles,” the head of the Revolutionary Guards Corps’ aerospace force, Amirali Hajizadeh, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said the kingdom was “willing and able” to respond to this “terrorist aggression.”

Somebody should remind Trump of the Saudis’ role in 9/11, and then remind him again 5 minutes later, and go on doing that until his pulse stops.



Success

Sep 16th, 2019 10:32 am | By

Trump is directing government money into his own pocket? Cool, say his people, let’s do more of that.

In light of the coverage, headlines, and initiated investigations, it stood to reason that the president and others in his orbit would exercise some caution in this area, at least for a while. But while that may have seemed like common sense, Team Trump chose a brazen course. The Washington Post reported on Thursday:

Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are scheduled to speak this week at President Trump’s hotel in Washington – lending their names to events put on by a paying customer of Trump’s private business.

The planned speeches suggest that President Trump and his Cabinet are not shying away from events that drive revenue to Trump’s company, even after multiple stories have brought new scrutiny to the blurring of lines between Trump’s business and presidency.

Pence spoke on Thursday at a gala hosted by Concerned Women for America, a prominent group in the religious right movement, while Pompeo appeared a day later at a “celebration luncheon” put on by the same organization.

At Trump’s DC hotel.

It was against this backdrop that Pompeo thought it’d be funny to tell a little joke about the circumstances. “I look around, this is such a beautiful hotel,” the cabinet secretary said. “The guy who owns it must have been successful somewhere along the way.” He added, “That was for the Washington Post.”

Hurr hurr hurr. Yes, it’s only libbruls who care about corruption and self-dealing and the emoluments clause; red-blooded manly Americans are all for it.



What is “exclusionary”?

Sep 16th, 2019 10:18 am | By

There’s this idea that the truth is “exclusionary.”

Of course, that’s true, in a sense. Right answers exclude wrong ones; truth excludes falsehood. But it’s not true in the political sense of “exclusionary,” but many people think it is true. (Thus they exclude the claim that it’s false. Bigots!)

There’s a new comet in the sky of Facebook, called This Angry Inclusionist Enby Lesbian. Lets call him Taiel for short. Taiel explains:

You cannot exclude non-binary folks from identifying with whatever labels we choose.

That strikes me as a very odd way of putting it, but it fits with the overall interpretation of “exclusion” that has become fashionable.

Here’s the thing: it’s not “exclusion” the way saying “you can’t join our club” is exclusion. It’s “exclusion” only in the sense of declining to accept self-evidently false claims as true.

Taiel is right that people – all people, not just non-binary people – can identify with whatever labels they choose, but he’s not right if he thinks that means we all have to accept and endorse those labels ourselves. You can identify as a Saturn rocket; you can’t make me agree that you’re a Saturn rocket.

Truth, reality, facts are all “exclusionary” in that way because that just is how it is.

 



Accursed

Sep 15th, 2019 5:56 pm | By

Oh god. More of that cis privilege we rejoice in:

A schoolgirl in Kenya has taken her own life after allegedly being shamed in class for having her period and staining her uniform.

The 14-year-old’s mother said her daughter hanged herself after being humiliated by a teacher, Kenyan media reported.

Kenya passed a law a couple of years ago making sanitary pads free in schools, but not all schools have implemented it.

The girl’s mother said a teacher had called her “dirty” for soiling her uniform and ordered her to leave the class in Kabiangek, west of the capital Nairobi, last Friday.

“She had nothing to use as a pad. When the blood stained her clothes, she was told to leave the classroom and stand outside,” the mother was quoted as saying in Kenyan media.

She said her daughter came home and told her mother what had happened, but then when she went to fetch water she took her own life.

She was only 14, she was new to it. It’s all too easy to feel ashamed and embarrassed when you’re new to it.

In Kenya, as in other countries, many girls cannot afford sanitary products such as pads and tampons.

A UN report in 2014 said that one in 10 girls in sub-Saharan Africa missed school during their period.

Some girls reportedly lose 20% of their education for this reason, making them more likely to drop out of school altogether, the report said.

Isn’t that just fucking great.

Why do girls and women do this every month? Because their bodies are where human beings are made. All human beings throughout history were made in the bodies of female humans. Women are the source of human beings – yet they are also shamed and called dirty because of the very processes that enable that to happen. Menstrual blood isn’t Ew Gross Stuff, it’s the life support system for a fetus if the woman gets pregnant. Humans wouldn’t exist without it but girls are tormented for having it.

It’s not fair. None of it is fair.



The trip to Womanbrain

Sep 15th, 2019 4:54 pm | By

C. S. Lewis once wrote a short story [pdf] hinting at how he viewed women. It’s a fantasy, in which an Oxford academic (which Lewis was) is visited by a former student – male of course – and, to the narrator’s annoyance, a woman the student is engaged to. Suddenly everything goes queer, and the narrator finds himself in an unfamiliar landscape.

My first idea was that something had gone wrong with my eyes. I was not in darkness, nor even in twilight, but everything seemed curiously blurred. There was a sort of daylight, but when I looked up I didn’t see anything that I could very confidently call a sky. It might, just possibly, be the sky of a very featureless, dull, grey day, but it lacked any suggestion of distance. “Nondescript” was the word I would have used to describe it. Lower down and closer to me, there were upright shapes, vaguely green in colour, but of a very dingy green. I peered at them for quite a long time before it occurred to me that they might be trees. I went nearer and examined them; and the impression they made on me is not easy to put into words. “Trees of a sort,” or, “Well, trees, if you call that a tree,” or, “An attempt at trees,” would come near it. They were the crudest, shabbiest apology for trees you could imagine. They had no real anatomy, even no real branches; they were more like lamp-posts with great, shapeless blobs of green stuck on top of them. Most children could draw better trees from memory.

The sunlight was similarly vague; so was the grass underfoot.

The full astonishment of my adventure was now beginning to descend on me. With it came fear, but, even more, a sort of disgust I doubt if it can be fully conveyed to anyone who has not had a similar experience. I felt as if I had suddenly been banished from the real, bright, concrete, and prodigally complex world into some sort of second-rate universe that had all been put together on the cheap; by an imitator. But I kept on walking toward the silvery light. Here and there in the shoddy grass there were patches of what looked, from a distance, like flowers. But each patch, when you came close to it, was as bad as the trees and the grass. You couldn’t make out what species they were supposed to be. And they had no real stems or petals; they were mere blobs. As for the colours, I could do better myself with a shilling paintbox.

He kept going.

I reached the light sooner than I expected, but when I reached it I had something else to think about. For now I met the Walking Things. I have to call them that, for “people” is just what they weren’t. They were of human size and they walked on two legs; but they were, for the most part, no more like true men than the Shoddy Trees had been like trees. They were indistinct. Though they were certainly not naked, you couldn’t make out what sort of clothes they were wearing, and though there was a pale blob at the top of each, you couldn’t say they had faces.

He struggled on, and came to a shop.

Here I had a new surprise. It was a jeweller’s, and after the vagueness and general rottenness of most things in that queer place, the sight fairly took my breath away. Everything in that window was perfect; every facet on every diamond distinct, every brooch and tiara finished down to the last perfection of intricate detail. It was good stuff too, as even I could see; there must have been hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of it. “Thank Heaven!” I gasped. “But will it keep on?” Hastily I looked at the next shop. It was keeping on. This window contained women’s frocks. I’m no judge, so I can’t say how good they were. The great thing was that they were real, clear, palpable. The shop beyond this one sold women’s shoes. And it was still keeping on. They were real shoes; the toe-pinching and very high-heeled sort which, to my mind, ruins even the prettiest foot, but at any rate real.

And then he stumbled into the presence of a gigantic woman, and is suitably repulsed. After a bit more shock-horror-repulsion he finds himself back in reality again, and offers his guess at what had happened to him.

My view is that by the operation of some unknown psychological—or pathological—law, I was, for a second or so, let into Peggy’s mind; at least to the extent of seeing her world, the world as it exists for her. At the centre of that world is a swollen image of herself, remodelled to be as like the girls in the advertisements as possible. Round this are grouped clear and distinct images of the things she really cares about. Beyond that, the whole earth and sky are a vague blur.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say Lewis didn’t think much of women.



Save only white people, please

Sep 15th, 2019 4:22 pm | By

Now there’s a heartwarming story:

The Royal National Lifeboat Institute has been forced to defend its work saving lives overseas after an article on the Mail Online sparked an angry backlash on social media.

The story highlighted how the charity – famed for its distinctive orange lifeboats manned by volunteers – spends £3.3m a year on projects in Tanzania and Bangladesh yet has been forced to cut around 100 jobs in the UK.

And that “sparked a backlash” because…it’s so wrong to save the lives of people in Tanzania and Bangladesh? They really want to go there?

People need to get inoculated against trumpbrain, immediately. Infection with trumpbrain kills your compassion stone dead and you can never get it back.

The RNLI was forced to issue a statement in which it stood by its international work that “saves (mostly kids’) lives” and said the amount spent overseas totalled just 2% of its expenditure and was public information.

Well you see it’s not the overseas part that galls. It’s the…cough…cough cough…the Tanzania/Bangladesh part. I’m sure you understand. Don’t make me say it.



Defiance

Sep 15th, 2019 12:08 pm | By

Out of control:

The nation’s top intelligence official is illegally withholding a whistleblower complaint, possibly to protect President Donald Trump or senior White House officials, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff alleged Friday.

Schiff issued a subpoena for the complaint, accusing acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire of taking extraordinary steps to withhold the complaint from Congress, even after the intel community’s inspector general characterized the complaint as credible and of “urgent concern.”

They’re not allowed to do that.

Schiff indicated that he learned the matter involved “potentially privileged communications by persons outside the Intelligence Community,” raising the specter that it is “being withheld to protect the President or other Administration officials.” In addition, Schiff slammed Maguire for consulting the Justice Department about the whistleblower complaint “even though the statute does not provide you discretion to review, appeal, reverse, or countermand in any way the [inspector general’s] independent determination, let alone to involve another entity within the Executive Branch.”

Especially when it’s Bill Barr’s wholly submissive Justice Department.

Officials in Maguire’s office acknowledged Schiff’s subpoena late Friday.

“We received the HPSCI’s subpoena this evening. We are reviewing the request and will respond appropriately,” said a senior intelligence official. “The ODNI and Acting DNI Maguire are committed to fully complying with the law and upholding whistleblower protections and have done so here.”

No they’re not and no they haven’t.



How Weinstein did it

Sep 15th, 2019 10:42 am | By

As if in preparation for the new Brett Kavanaugh allegations, last week Terry Gross interviewed Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, who broke the Harvey Weinstein story in the Times. Weinstein fought even more dirty than we knew. Men rape or assault women; women report it; men circle the wagons to punish women for reporting it; rinse and repeat.

Terry Gross: Harvey Weinstein created many obstacles to prevent women from revealing his alleged sexual misconduct and prevent reporters from investigating it. My guests, New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, were the first reporters to manage to get enough sources and documents to break the story. They tell how they did it in their new book “She Said.” It includes new information about how and why the women came forward and what they allege. The book also reveals new information about Weinstein’s legal team and what they did to protect him, discredit his accusers and create obstacles for journalists.

Kantor and Twohey found that the legal system and government agencies often work in favor of the harasser, not the victim. Weinstein is now awaiting criminal trial for alleged rape and other sexual abuse and faces several civil suits from actresses and employees. Kantor and Twohey have become experts in reporting on the issue of sexual abuse. Between the two of them, they’ve reported on allegations against Donald Trump, Louis C.K., Brett Kavanaugh and Jeffrey Epstein.

The whole unsavory rotting swampy stew we’re in.

They start with the confidentiality agreements.

GROSS: One of the obstacles you faced in reporting this story was the confidentiality agreements that Harvey Weinstein had women sign. At what point did he pressure women to sign these confidentiality agreements? There were also payoffs because it was, like, money to the woman in exchange for her signing this confidentiality agreement, this nondisclosure agreement.

JODI KANTOR: So here’s the pattern we found again and again with these suffocating nondisclosure agreements that women signed – after an allegation of harassment or assault, a woman would go to a lawyer for help, and often that woman would feel like, OK, the lawyer’s going to make this right. I’m going to get help. We’re going to be able to rectify the situation in some way. And again and again, we found that what these women were told was, well, actually, your best option is a settlement, a confidential settlement.

And what that means is that the woman gets money, and it’s essentially money for silence. It’s hush money. And in most cases, she has to agree to really restrictive conditions in terms of who she can ever tell about this again. Some of the conditions we found in some of the Weinstein settlements were so extreme, like women not being able to tell therapists or accountants about what had happened without special permission. Rowena Chiu, one of the alleged victims, never told her husband what had happened to her.

They never actually spell out how the lawyers convince the women that signing away their right to talk for a sum of money is their best option. I wish they had, but no doubt it’s in the book. My guess is that it’s because prosecution of rape and/or sexual abuse is so difficult and convictions are so vanishingly rare.

But, Kantor points out, what this means is that the abusers are protected.

And so in the moment, these settlements, these confidentiality agreements, can seem like the best available option because if you’re a woman who’s faced something like this, you get to keep your privacy, you get some recompense, financially. But when you look at them as a pattern, you see that they have protected alleged predators again and again; not just in the Weinstein case – this is something much larger.

These were used by Bill O’Reilly to silence women. These were used by Larry Nassar to silence women. Megan and I had both covered women and gender and sexual violence combined for many, many years before we came to this, and yet we never understood, until 2017, that there was this kind of secret settlement system happening all over the country that sort of pretends to be a way of dealing with sexual harassment and assault but also, in a way, kind of enables it.

Women who get such settlements are terrified of breaking them.

And so this is, like, you know, two years after this story; these settlements are extremely prevalent. They’re being signed. Women are being pressured into signing them every single day in this country. And it’s not just the restrictive clauses that we found so jaw-dropping. I think it’s the fact that there are these lawyers, some of these kind of self-proclaimed women’s advocates, like Gloria Allred for example. You know, she’s been involved in, you know, negotiating these settlements that have silenced women, including one of the victims of Harvey Weinstein in 2004.

GROSS: Yes, and that was kind of remarkable because Gloria Allred is famous for defending women who stand up and accuse their harassers, and she led one of her clients to sign an NDA. But she justified that to you. She said, this was going to be the best outcome for my client.

KANTOR: That’s the traditional argument. But what these – Gloria Allred and her firm were also involved in at least one confidential settlement involving Bill O’Reilly and also another involving Larry Nassar. And so she and her firm had a role in keeping all of these stories quiet. When you look at these settlements individually, they don’t look so bad because, truly, it can often seem like a woman’s best option, you know, given a very difficult situation. She can avoid being branded a tattletale or a traitor, can preserve her hiring prospects. She’s able to keep it really private.

But then when you look at the whole landscape of these settlements, you say, first of all, this appears to have enabled a lot of predators. And second of all, is this really the way we want our country to be dealing with the problem of sexual harassment and assault – by paying women to not talk about their own experiences? And a lot of these clauses, to be honest, they kind of defy common sense. How could you not tell your mother or your brother or a guy you meet six months later and marry that this happened to you and that you got potentially a sizable payment because of what happened?

They talk about Lisa Bloom, a prominent lawyer and putative feminist, but she ended up working for Weinstein.

TWOHEY: Right. Right. So there was, once again, you know, Lisa Bloom – this, you know, prominent feminist attorney who has publicly battled against sexual harassment and sexual assault and has been such a prominent victims advocate – in 2016, submitted a memo to Harvey Weinstein basically documenting all of the efforts that she was willing to take to help him undermine his accusers. She basically is saying, I’m going to harness all of what I’ve learned in the course of working with so many victims over the years. And I’m going to help you use that against victims.

And so she says, for example, I feel equipped to help you against the Roses of the world – and she’s speaking about Rose McGowan in this case – because I’ve represented so many of them. They start out as impressive, bold women. But the more one presses for evidence, the weaknesses and lies are revealed. She goes on to sort of spell out, in bullet points, all the different tactics that she’s willing to help Weinstein take.

One, initiating friendly contact with her through me or other good intermediary, and after establishing a relationship, work out a, quote, unquote, “win-win.” Key question, what does she want? But then (laughter), in the second one, she’s saying – she’s spelling out a plan for a counter-ops online campaign to push back and call her out as a pathological liar. A few well-placed articles now will go a long way if things blow up for us down the line. We can place an article re her becoming increasingly unglued so that when somebody Googles her, this is what pops up, and she is discredited.

And guess what, that’s exactly what happened. I remember it.

And the memo goes on and on. And so it was really one of those moments where, when we were able to obtain this – and we obtained some other confidential records – her billing records that she submitted to Harvey, in which she spelled out all of the other work that she did for him over the course of the many months in 2017, including meeting with sort of private investigators, who had been hired to dig up dirt on his accusers. Our jaws dropped when we read these records.

Well, let’s be realistic: Harvey had all the money.

Then they talk about Gwyneth Paltrow, and Weinstein’s obsession with her, and the mystery of why he was so obsessed.

Kantor: He showed up at a party at her house early. She called us from the bathroom completely panicked. In the sort of series of final confrontations about the story that took place at the New York Times, Weinstein kept hammering us. Are you talking to Gwyneth? Is Gwyneth in the story? And at that point, she was still a totally secret source. And we couldn’t figure out why he was so obsessed with something that wasn’t even part of the story. The answer only became clear over a course of weeks and months after we broke the story.

As more and more Weinstein victims came forward, they said publicly, they told us and they even told Paltrow that what Weinstein had said to them, in the course of harassing or assaulting them, was essentially, don’t you want what Gwyneth has? Meaning, he was implying to them that she had slept with him and that this was the bargain of sex to – sex for work, right? If you go along with this, you can have the Oscar, the wealth, the fame, the golden girl status.

So essentially, what we – two things happened. First of all, Paltrow was very, very upset to learn this. Not only had she never sexually succumbed to Weinstein, but she was so horrified to find out that she had been used, essentially, as a tool of predation. She spent a long time on the phone in the fall of 2017 with other Weinstein victims coming to terms with the way he had used her and with feeling like she had somehow been used as an accessory in this.

But then the other thing we finally realized is that this was probably why he had been so obsessed with whether or not we were talking to Paltrow – because as soon as other women heard Paltrow’s story and heard that she had never given in to him and that she had refused him, then they would understand so much more about the way his scheme worked and that it would all fall apart, in a sense.

Creepy enough? Apart from all the rest of it, Weinstein was basically telling all these women that Paltrow had fucked her way to success when she hadn’t. He was saying she hadn’t done good work, she had simple spread her legs in exchange for good movie roles.

This isn’t the Paltrow of jade eggs and expensive magic water, this is Paltrow the professional actor, and I feel outrage for her.

Then they talk about David Boies, Weinstein’s lawyer.

KANTOR: And I think there are a couple of tough questions for David Boies on this. OK, everybody deserves a lawyer, but David Boies is a really talented lawyer. And how does he want to use that talent and influence? And then I think another tough question for him is that you could argue that he went way beyond the role of strictly defending into a realm of manipulation and PR. Like, he would come to The Times – and he did this several times in the course of the Weinstein investigation – and say, oh, I’m not here as Harvey’s attorney. I’m here as his friend.

You know, our team, including Dean Baquet, the editor of The Times, found that very disingenuous because he had been Harvey’s attorney for 15 years at that point. And second of all, what does that mean? That shows us that he is going way beyond, you know, I’m defending this guy in a courtroom. He’s seeking to exert influence, for example, over articles in The New York Times.

As a lawyer, presumably. I don’t suppose random friends of Weinstein’s could just show up at the Times and get to talk to Kantor and Twohey, much less Dean Baquet. Sleazy, sleazy.

 

There’s a lot more.



Or the Justice Department should come to his rescue

Sep 15th, 2019 9:43 am | By

The rapey bros are circling the wagons.

Donnie TwoScoops:

Now the Radical Left Democrats and their Partner, the LameStream Media, are after Brett Kavanaugh again, talking loudly of their favorite word, impeachment. He is an innocent man who has been treated HORRIBLY. Such lies about him. They want to scare him into turning Liberal!

Naturally a rapist says another rapist is “an innocent man” – the rapist thinks he’s entitled to rape, and that women who object are lying whores who should be set on fire.

Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue. The lies being told about him are unbelievable. False Accusations without recrimination. When does it stop? They are trying to influence his opinions. Can’t let that happen!

The Justice Department should come to his rescue, meaning the corrupt and contemptible Barr should find a way to punish the women who say Kavanaugh shoved his penis in their faces, the reporters who reported on it, and probably Ilhan Omar just for good measure.

CNBC reports:

The tweets followed a report in The New York Times, published Saturday evening, which was written by the two authors of a new book about the sexual misconduct allegations that dogged Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings last year. The authors wrote that they had uncovered an instance of sexual misconduct that did not publicly emerge in those hearings.

The two authors, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, wrote that one of Kavanaugh’s classmates at Yale notified senators and the FBI that he had witnessed Kavanaugh disrobe at a party during his freshman year, after which “friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”

“Disrobe” is a prissy word to use there. He pulled his pants down. It was a vulgar act and should be described in blunt words.

Kamala Harris:

I sat through those hearings. Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people. He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice.

He must be impeached.

We have two sexual harassers (at minimum) on the Supreme Court. The women who were forced to testify about their harassment were put through hell as punishment for their compelled testimony. Great system we have going here.

 



Justice denied

Sep 14th, 2019 6:16 pm | By

Oh look, what do you know. Ronan Farrow an hour ago:

Two @nytimes reporters, @rpogrebin and @katekelly, spent months independently reporting out Deborah Ramirez’s allegation against Brett Kavanaugh and found it credible—and documented another serious claim of misconduct with an eyewitness

Raw Story:

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is facing a new allegation of sexual misconduct — that the FBI reportedly knew about, but did not investigate.

The new allegation was discovered during a 10-month investigation by New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly.

“During the winter of her freshman year, a drunken dormitory party unsettled her deeply. [Deborah Ramirez] and some classmates had been drinking heavily when, she says, a freshman named Brett Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her, prompting her to swat it away and inadvertently touch it,” the newspaper reported. “During his Senate testimony, Mr. Kavanaugh said that if the incident Ms. Ramirez described had occurred, it would have been ‘the talk of campus.’ Our reporting suggests that it was.

“We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly,” the report said.

The FBI did not investigate.



They get health care?! Take it away, quick!

Sep 14th, 2019 3:29 pm | By

Bezos is a bajillionaire, and part-time workers at Whole Foods are having losing their health insurance. Hey that’s capitalism! Bajillionaires don’t get their bajillions by spending any percentage of said bajillions on their workers if they can possibly help it. But this is great, it teaches workers not to be dependent – on either the state or the employer – but to go out there and build their own healthcare out of the trees they cut down on their homesteaded farm, as our grandparents did.

(Remember that news item the other day about Charles Koch spending millions of his precious stash to keep workers from getting better pay or benefits, so that they wouldn’t be dependent? Yeah. That.)

Amazon.com Inc.-owned Whole Foods Market is changing medical benefit eligibility requirements next year that could leave as many as 1,900 part-time workers without coverage.

Employees will have to work at least 30 hours a week to qualify for a healthcare plan beginning Jan. 1, up from the current eligibility requirement of 20 hours, the company said in an emailed statement. The change will affect just under 2% of the chain’s workforce, Whole Foods said.

If they’re in school or have another job that makes it impossible for them to work 30 hours a week at Whole Foods? Well then they can’t have health care, that’s all. They should have thought of that before they decided to be Americans.



To embrace their narcissism as if it were a sexual orientation

Sep 14th, 2019 3:12 pm | By

Jarvis Dupont at the American Spectator (kind of a National Review with jokes?) is also impressed that Sam Smith is now drum roll a person of plural.

This is of course the most amazingly positive news, and a fantastic leap forward for genderqueer progressiveness. Someone as famous as Sam [OK. Have to admit I’m still struggling here, was he on American Idol?] coming out as non-binary will inspire anyone else out there who may have heard of them and is battling under the weight of their own inflated ego, to embrace their narcissism as if it were a sexual orientation. After all if we are unable to love ourselves, how can we be expected to be able to tell everyone else what is right and what is wrong with any sense of sanctimonious certainty?

I have added my pronouns (HE/HIM) to my Twitter bio in solidarity with those whose sense of self-importance must at times be so overwhelming they find it difficult to talk about the complexities of their gender for hours at a time…but by Cthulhu, they still manage it, because they are not going to let the callous ignorance of bigotry win.

It’s all so sad because Sam Smith told us to be kind when he made his earth-shaking announcement, yet here we are making jokes about it instead. And forgetting to call him “them” as I just did. SO TERRIBLY SAD.



Belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered and self-obsessed

Sep 14th, 2019 11:08 am | By

Simon Tisdall at the Guardian starts off analyzing Trump’s current frolics as if they were a product of thought and planning.

The US president is now saying he is also open to a repeat meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, to reboot stalled nuclear disarmament talks. On another front, he has offered an olive branch to China, delaying a planned tariff increase on $250bn of Chinese goods pending renewed trade negotiations next month. Meanwhile, he says, new tariffs on European car imports could be dropped, too.

Is a genuine dove-ish shift under way? It seems improbable. Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has not merely broken with diplomatic and geopolitical convention. He has taken a wrecking ball to venerated alliances, multilateral cooperation and the postwar international rules-based order. He has cosied up to autocrats, attacked old friends and blundered into sensitive conflicts he does not fully comprehend.

That puts it too politely, not to say feebly. It’s not that Trump is trying to do the job but not entirely succeeding. It’s that Trump is not trying to do anything other than Indulge Whatever Impulse Arises. He doesn’t have a plan, he doesn’t make “shifts,” he doesn’t “not fully comprehend” – he knows absolutely nothing and his only motivation is his own mood. That’s it. There’s no more to him. It’s pointless to analyze him as if he were a grownup, however flawed – he’s not any kind of grownup at all, he’s a monster of greed and ego and sadism. There’s nothing else there. Nothing.

We have a hard time believing it, and we keep trying to translate it into more normal terms. Journalists probably have even more of an urge to do this, because of the conventions of journalism. It looks amateurish to just exclaim that he’s a reckless moron with no clue – but all the same that’s the truth of it.

The suggestion that Trump will make nice and back off as election time nears thus elicits considerable scepticism. US analysts and commentators say the president’s erratic, impulsive and egotistic personality means any shift towards conciliation may be short-lived and could quickly be reversed, Bolton or no Bolton.

That’s closer, but it’s still politely hedged.

Trump is notorious for blowing hot and cold, performing policy zigzags and suddenly changing his mind. “Regardless of who has advised Mr Trump on foreign affairs … all have proved powerless before [his] zest for chaos,” the New York Times noted last week.

There you go. That’s better. Think “monstrous blown-up tantruming toddler” and you’ve got it.

Lacking experienced diplomatic and military advisers (he has sacked most of the good ones), surrounded by an inner circle of cynical sycophants such as secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and driven by a chronic desire for re-election, Trump’s behaviour could become more, not less, confrontational during his remaining time in office, suggested Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins university.

All that plus being ravenous for constant adulation and enraged by its opposite.

“The president has proved himself to be what many critics have long accused him of being: belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered and self-obsessed,” Cohen wrote in Foreign Affairs journal. “Remarkably, however, those shortcomings have not yet translated into obvious disaster. But [that] … should not distract from a building crisis of US foreign policy.”

And it shouldn’t encourage us to forget that he could destroy everything at any moment.



Facts about the Tayloe family’s slaveholding past

Sep 14th, 2019 10:31 am | By

I don’t think you can sue people for telling a true story.

Edward Dickinson Tayloe II is is the descendant of a “First Family of Virginia,” a euphemistic way of saying white, rich, socially prominent before the American Revolution and—through the Civil War—slaveholding.

The Tayloes’ legacy as one of the largest slaveowning families in the state is well-documented. Amidst nearly 30,000 historical papers donated to the Virginia Historical Society by the family itself are plantation ledgers detailing the expansion of the Tayloes’ enslaved work force over the 19th century, an evidentiary accounting of how the exploitation of free black labor allowed the family to amass wealth, land, and political power.

Which they passed down through the generations, which is why Edward Dickinson Tayloe II is not working in a chicken processing plant today.

Facts about the Tayloe family’s slaveholding past—including the regularity with which it engaged in the heartless practice of splitting up enslaved families—appeared in a brief profile of Edward Tayloe published this March by the Charlottesville, Va., newspaper C-Ville Weekly. In response, Tayloe employed a strategy once frequently used by those of means to silence critics that’s seen a resurgence in recent years: He filed a lawsuit alleging defamation and demanding a fortune in damages.

The profile of Tayloe was a brief section in a longer article about the plaintiffs in Monument Fund v. Charlottesville, another piece of litigation in which he is involved. In March 2017, roughly one month after the Charlottesville City Council voted to take down a local Confederate monument, Tayloe and 12 other co-plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the city to prevent the marker’s removal.

That of course is the statue that summoned the neo-Nazis to descend on Charlottesville and shout “Jews will not replace us!” where reporters could hear and record them. That is Tayloe’s Glorious Cause: a statue of a general who fought to preserve the “right” to own slaves.

Along with the monument plaintiff profiles, the C-Ville Weekly piece briefly quotes Jalane Schmidt, a University of Virginia associate professor, public historian and well-known African-American activist in the Charlottesville community. After a lengthy list of cruelties the Tayloes forced upon their enslaved laborers, including using family separation as a punishment policy for their enslaved laborers, often sending “rebellious slaves” far from their loved ones as a warning to other enslaved laborers, Schmidt is quoted as saying, “For generations this family has been roiling the lives of black people, and this is what [plaintiff Tayloe] chooses to pursue.”

And that’s why he’s suing her.

So I suppose his lawyers will have to argue that generations of slavery didn’t roil the lives of the people subjected to it? That seems like a tall order.

This time the ACLU gets it right.

Schmidt’s defense is being handled by the ACLU of Virginia. Provence and C-Ville Weekly / C-Ville Holdings, LLC are represented by attorneys Mara J. Gassmann and Jay Ward Brown of Washington, D.C., firm Ballard Spahr. The newspaper, Provence, and Schmidt all declined to comment, citing the ongoing litigation. In court papers, the ACLU labels Schmidt’s remarks “political speech at the very core of the First Amendment’s protections.” The filing goes on to describe Tayloe’s defamation claim as a form of legal payback, meant to have a chilling effect on Schmidt’s free speech. “It is intended to send a clear message to others who wish to opine on matters of public concern in which Plaintiff is involved,” the ACLU writes, “disagree or critique Plaintiff Tayloe, then you, too, will face the threat of a lawsuit.”

Let’s learn more about the Tayloes.

In addition to vast landholdings in Virginia and the District of Columbia, by 1851 the family owned “at least seven plantations in Alabama” worked by more than 450 enslaved people who were “valued at $334,250”—or the equivalent of more than $11 million in 2019. Enslaved laborers were rotated amongst Tayloe properties and frequently sold off, with historian Eric Burin writing that “the Tayloe slaves were always being torn from loved ones.”

At the outset of the Civil War, Edward Dickinson Tayloe II’s great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Ogle Tayloe, was rumored to be the wealthiest man in America. A year later, the U.S. federal government paid him $1,095 as compensation for two enslaved women he was forced to emancipate under an 1862 law—making him one of the nearly 1,000 white enslavers who received the only slavery reparations this country has ever paid.

That’s right: nobody ever paid the actual slaves a dime in reparations.

There are multiple monuments to Confederates in Charlottesville — including the statues of Lee, who never visited the town, and Jackson, who passed through post-mortem, as his body was carted to its final resting place—but just one plaque to the majority of people who lived there in that era, a small text-only sign set in the ground: “SLAVE AUCTION BLOCK: On this site slaves were bought and sold.”

So tell us more about how Tayloe is the victim here.



It’s not that we’re into you

Sep 13th, 2019 4:49 pm | By

I think “Rachel” McKinnon may not quite understand the motivations here.

Transphobes are obsessed with me. They obsessively monitor everything I say and do. They lie about what I say. And they read stuff that isn’t there into what I do say.

Many feminists do take an interest in McKinnon; I do for one. I do check out his tweets sometimes – not daily or every other day, but still fairly often. But there are reasons for that, reasons that have to do not with how awesome he is or what magical powers he has, but with what a remarkably horrible person he is. We track him the way NOAA tracks hurricanes. We don’t need any Sharpie to draw additional destruction onto McKinnon; he provides it all willingly.

He’s claiming the dancing skeleton in the cemetery was because it’s Friday the 13th.

Gaslight much?



We need to be honest with students by teaching them bullshit

Sep 13th, 2019 4:02 pm | By

There’s an organization (or perhaps a person) called Gender Inclusive Schools. It has a Facebook page of the same name. I saw people passing around a post from last June:

“Biological sex” is a myth and
the term has no place in the classroom.
We need to be honest with students and teach them about the expansive and variable genders of people who exist in their communities.

People are leaving comments and Gender Inclusive Schools is hiding them all, calling them ignorant and in need of adapting their assumptions to new understandings. All this made me curious about what exactly this organization (or person) is and whether it has any clout and if so how much, and what exactly the source of its or his expertise is. I’d like to know because the organization (or person) says it advises schools on how to gender. I suspect there is no expertise and the org/person is just winging it, aka making it up.

It has a website. Here’s what you find on the home page:

Gender Inclusive Schools provides HRC’s Welcoming Schools Professional Development training on LGBTQ inclusive practices and supports for transgender students. We also offer consultation to school staff and administrators as they strive to proactively create gender inclusive school climates. We specialize in helping schools navigate sensitive conversations, especially when administration find themselves in situations that require new learning.

Based on what?

From all appearances it is in fact just one guy, and he doesn’t seem to have any real expertise at all.

About Me

DAVE EDWARDS (HE/HIM/HIS)

Dave Edwards has served as special education teacher in Chicago Public Schools, a teacher and administrator in several MN public school districts, and is currently the lead instructor in the residency-based Emotional Behavioral Disorders licensure program at the University of MN Twin Cities. He is also a 3rd year PhD student, funded by an Office of Special Education Programs Leadership Training grant.

That’s all nice I guess, but how does it qualify him to set up to tell schools what to do and how to do it?

Maybe it doesn’t matter; maybe he in fact is just one self-important guy with a website but no customers. I hope so. But even if he is I still wonder why people like him feel entitled to do this kind of managing in public schools, especially when he thinks

“Biological sex” is a myth and
the term has no place in the classroom.



McKinnon is celebrating

Sep 13th, 2019 11:59 am | By
McKinnon is celebrating

Wow.

“Rachel” McKinnon a couple of hours ago:

Capture

Sorry Twitter won’t let me embed tweets any more. The skeleton is dancing and bopping joyously around.

“Jessie the Cute Tran” is amused.

Heh :D :D

You do make me laugh Rachel.

Capture

GIF of people jumping up and down.

I hate people.



And the pronouns are…

Sep 13th, 2019 11:41 am | By

Oh good lord will people ever get a grip?

Sam Smith, who, I read, is a celebrated singer:

Today is a good day so here goes. I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM ❤ after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out…

Image

And who he am is “they/them.” Cue the trumpet fanfare!

Or to put it another way, who gives a fuck?

The “politics” of self-obsession is not a pretty sight. Embrace yourself all you like, but don’t be telling us about it!

But he does. He does tell us about it.

I’m so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I’ve been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but fuck it!

It reads like parody but apparently isn’t. He needs people to support him in saying “his” pronouns are they them? He must be as fragile as a soap bubble.

I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you.

I don’t see you at all, or care.

P.s. I am at no stage just yet to eloquently speak at length about what it means to be non binary but I can’t wait for the day that I am. So for now I just want to be VISIBLE and open. If you have questions and are wondering what this all means I’ll try my best to explain…

Ah that’s all you want, is it, to be visible. Narcissist much?

It’s catnip to narcissists, this pseudo-political fad. Catnip.



TinyShoes gave her his moral compass

Sep 13th, 2019 8:51 am | By

Not a smart shopper.

At a mid-August fundraiser in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Ivanka Trump was asked to name the personality traits she inherited most from her parents.

Without much of a pause, Trump told the crowd of roughly 120 high-end donors that her mother gave her an example of how to be a powerful, successful woman.

Uh, no. Her mother was married to Donald Trump. Not powerful, not successful.

And her father? He passed onto her his moral compass, she said, according to two event attendees.

His…………

What could he possibly have shown her? What could it be, that she mistook for a “moral compass”?

Ivanka Trump‘s comment about the traits she inherited from her father echoed a similar comment she made at the Republican National Convention in 2016, when she told the audience: “My father taught my siblings and me the importance of positive values and a strong ethical compass.”

But he didn’t though. We know that. He has no “positive values” and he sure as hell doesn’t have a strong ethical compass. All his compasses point to him. His idea of just and right is whatever is gratifying or flattering or profitable to him and painful to his enemies. Princess Ivanka is probably telling the truth that he taught her to see things the same way, but that’s not what anyone else would call “ethical.”