Here for the ratio

Sep 9th, 2020 8:24 am | By

But the new one is getting piled on too.

Don’t “vilify” this huge threatening man or he will make you pay him $10,000 for the vilifitude.

Brilliant way of putting it; I wish I’d thought of it.

Women?? Hahaha don’t be silly; of course not. Women are the dominant privileged group, they don’t need protection.

Wait…isn’t that vilification?



So don’t vilify people Canberrans!

Sep 9th, 2020 8:05 am | By

It gets more and more sinister.

ACT is Australian Capital Territory, so that’s the Twitter account of the Australian Capital Territory Human Rights Commission – which is disturbing. Apparently it’s against the law to “vilify” people in the ACT, but the ACTHRC doesn’t bother to tell us what “vilify” means. It’s hard to believe that liking Facebook posts amounts to “vilification” under Australian law but who the fuck knows at this point. But don’t worry, folks, just don’t “vilify” anyone and you’ll be fine. (Am I “vilifying” the ACTHRC by writing this post? Probably. Fortunately I don’t live in their jurisdiction.)

Their tweet gloating over the $10,000 that Beth Rep was told to give that former Army captain got ratioed, so this new tweet is apparently a response to the ratio. How dare you disagree with our gloating, laws against vilification of trans people are there for a reason! Of course liking Facebook comments is vilification!

And it applies to other groups too! See?

No tweet for “on the basis of sex” though. I guess vilification of women is fine. Don’t bother giving them a call for a confidential chat about boring dreary probably transphobic women.



Not going anywhere

Sep 8th, 2020 5:35 pm | By

Kolesnikova tore up her passport rather than let her kidnappers force her to leave Belarus.

“She was pushed into the back seat (of the car), she yelled that she wasn’t going anywhere,” Ms Kolesnikova’s colleague Anton Rodnenkov told a news conference in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, on Tuesday.

Mr Rodnenkov said he and another colleague had been kidnapped on Monday, driven between buildings, and interrogated with hoods over their heads and their hands tied.

They accepted an offer to leave Belarus with Ms Kolesnikova but when the car reached the border she refused to cross. The two men told journalists they did not know where she was now.

She’s a brave woman.



When she ‘liked’ offensive comments

Sep 8th, 2020 5:10 pm | By

Oh no, another huge bruiser of a man victimized by a woman who Liked comments on Facebook. That will be ten thousand dollars madam, pay the cashier.

A dispute over a post on Canberra radio newsreader Beth Rep’s Facebook page was meant to end with an apology to transgender activist Bridget Clinch.

Instead, the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal yesterday found Ms Rep breached discrimination laws when she ‘liked’ offensive comments on the post, and ordered she pay Ms Clinch $10,000 in compensation.

Ms Clinch — an Australian Army captain who medically transitioned from life as a male to female in 2010 — first came into contact with Ms Rep after the newsreader made online comments about her after International Women’s Day in March 2018.

Here is the former Army captain:

Transgender activist in a protest t-shirt.
Facebook

After Ms Clinch complained to the ACT Human Rights Commission about the comments, Ms Rep posted about it on social media, and was subsequently banned from Twitter.

Mediation led to Ms Rep posting an apology on her Facebook page in mid-2018 and paying Ms Clinch $700, but the post attracted 304 comments, many of which were offensive, and some of which were ‘liked’ by Ms Rep.

So the dainty fragile vulnerable ex-captain sued Beth Rep.

Ms Rep, who works for local radio station 2CC, wrote the posts and liked the comments on her personal Facebook page.

The tribunal heard Ms Rep, who works for 2CC, had described herself as a radical feminist who believed in resisting what she called aggressive trans activism.

She told the tribunal that while she was supportive of gender non-conformity, she was concerned about the impact of trans activism on women’s spaces, services and opportunities.

Also, whether the tribunal grasped this or not, gender non-conformity is the opposite of trans, not a synonym for it.

Ms Rep said the online exchange in March 2018 had become heated after a number of provocative and anti-feminist comments were posted.

She argued she did not invite the comments nor coordinate them, and was not an active participant, other than hitting the ‘like’ button.

The comments ranged from “Bridget Clinch is a male bully” to “I hate Bridget and I don’t even know who he is” and the use of the hashtag #istandwithbeth.

It’s possible that I left one or more critical comment. I’m Facebook friends with Beth (or was, she seems to have left it now, understandably) and have commented on her posts and even Liked them.

In addition to paying compensation, the tribunal told Ms Rep to delete “all posts, statements, information, suggestions or implications” on the matter and refrain from the same or similar posts in future.

No wonder I can’t find her on Facebook now.

The bully won. They usually do.



Her requests were burdensome

Sep 8th, 2020 4:36 pm | By

Trump is getting the Justice Department to defend him in that E. Jean Carrol defamation suit.

Not long after the ruling, Trump was given deadlines to produce his DNA. Carroll is a former Elle columnist who alleged that Trump sexually assaulted her in the 1990s in the dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman department store. Carroll has claimed that the “Donna Karan coat-dress” she was wearing at the time of the alleged rape has been hanging on the back of her closet door and remained “unworn and unlaundered since that evening.” Carroll and her lawyers have requested a DNA swab so that Trump’s DNA can be compared to sample of unidentified male DNA found on the dress. In February, Trump responded to demands that he provide a DNA sample in Carroll’s defamation lawsuit by claiming that her requests were “burdensome.”

This from a guy who spends most of his time watching Fox, tweeting, and playing golf. Burdensome shmurdensome.

Law&Crime reached out to Carroll’s lawyer Roberta Kaplan for comment. She said that timing of the DOJ’s intervention was telling.

“Almost exactly one month ago today, a New York state court rejected Donald Trump’s argument that he is immune from a private lawsuit concerning defamatory statements he made about a sexual assault he committed in the 1990s. As a result of that decision, Trump was soon going to be required to produce documents, provide a DNA sample, and sit for a deposition,” Kaplan said. “Realizing that there was no valid basis to appeal that decision in the New York courts, on the very day that he would have been required to appeal, Trump instead enlisted the U.S. Department of Justice to replace his private lawyers and argue that when he lied about sexually assaulting our client, explaining that she ‘wasn’t his type,’  he was acting in his official capacity as President of the United States.”

I don’t think we ever asked him to do that, did we? Kaplan said the argument is shocking.

“It offends me as a lawyer, and offends me even more as a citizen. Trump’s effort to wield the power of the U.S. government to evade responsibility for his private misconduct is without precedent, and shows even more starkly how far he is willing to go to prevent the truth from coming out,” she said.

As far as it takes.



Vroom vroom

Sep 8th, 2020 4:06 pm | By

About that Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

According to a new study, which tracked anonymized cellphone data from the rally, over 250,000 coronavirus cases have now been tied to the 10-day event, one of the largest to be held since the start of the pandemic. It drew motorcycle enthusiasts from around the country, many of whom were seen without face coverings inside crowded bars, restaurants, and other indoor establishments. 

The explosion in cases, the study from the Germany-based IZA Institute of Labor Economics finds, is expected to reach $12 billion in public health costs.

Gee. You could build a lot of good public housing with $12 billion.

“The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally represents a situation where many of the ‘worst-case scenarios’ for super-spreading occurred simultaneously,” the researchers wrote, “the event was prolonged, included individuals packed closely together, involved a large out-of-town population, and had low compliance with recommended infection countermeasures such as the use of masks.”

…“Screw COVID. I went to Sturgis,” read one t-shirt from the rally, where overwhelming support for President Trump was the norm.   

It’s not COVID who got screwed.



Let’s burn stuff to celebrate!

Sep 8th, 2020 2:00 pm | By

This in the Atlantic is from last November:

At least one human life has already been lost as a direct result of the widespread obsession with turning the sex of one’s unborn child into an explosive (often literally) spectacle. In October, an Iowa woman was killed when her family inadvertently built a pipe bomb as part of their gender-reveal party—a gathering at which expectant parents dramatically and colorfully announce the sex of their baby.

The methods for doing so seem to have started out as benign, if stereotypical—cutting into a cake to reveal either blue or pink frosting, say. But in the past couple of years, some kind of communal madness has taken hold, and many of these feats of gender performance have gotten more elaborate, more public, and more dangerous—putting lives and entire ecosystems at risk. Last year, a father-to-be started a 47,000-acre wildfire in Arizona when he shot a rifle at an explosive target full of blue powder (It’s a boy!), causing $8.2 million of damage, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

Causing $8.2 million in damage and god only knows how many animals their lives, not to mention the general damage to the environment. But hey, I guess it seemed well worth it to those self-absorbed idiots who started the El Dorado fire last weekend. It’s now burned more than 10,000 acres.



This one particular bit of coast

Sep 8th, 2020 1:41 pm | By

Aw, Mister Nice Guy.

Speaking in Jupiter, Florida, Trump announced he was signing an order to expand a moratorium on offshore drilling to include Florida’s Atlantic coast, Georgia and South Carolina.

Well that’s eccentric. Normally he’s in there yelling “Drill drill drill!” and tearing up laws protecting pesky things like shorelines.

The Trump administration has generally been enthusiastic about oil and gas drilling, but some Florida officials had expressed fear that the state’s tourism industry would be negatively impacted if the moratorium was allowed to expire.

Oh well that explains it then. Mar-a-Lago and Doral.

Trump’s announcement seems to be an attempt to curry favor with voters in a key swing state that could determine the winner of the presidential election.

See above. No further motivation required.



All about the x

Sep 8th, 2020 1:14 pm | By

Oh does it really.

Why why why why WHY does the word “women” need to be “more inclusive”? Should we start spelling “Black” in some funny new way to be more “inclusive”? The suggestion would be seen, rightly, as incredibly insulting. Should we start talking about wxrkers instead of workers? In order to be more inclusive by including plutocrats and bosses and exploiters of every stripe?

What on earth is progressive about changing the spelling of the word for a subordinated group in order to be “inclusive” of people who are not in that subordinated group? Looks like the opposite of progressive to me.

The word “womxn” sheds absolutely NO light on the prejudice, discrimination, and institutional barriers women have faced; on the contrary, it obscures them in favor of talking about the very people who are NOT women – i.e. men.

Nobody knows how to left any more.



Tsuris

Sep 8th, 2020 12:34 pm | By

Hello! Sorry for unusually long silence, there was a power failure here, starting at 3:41 yesterday afternoon and ending a few minutes ago at noon 23. There were about 19 (only slight exaggeration) City Light trucks lined up along the block earlier when I went out to look.

Also, because that wasn’t enough, the California smoke has arrived. UGH. All sympathy to the people of California living with this for the past few weeks.



A positive trend

Sep 7th, 2020 2:23 pm | By

Genius.

The mayor of Tuscaloosa is letting bars near the University of Alabama reopen on Tuesday, even though the school just reported more than 800 new cases.

800 new cases – hooray, that means it’s time to open up the bars! So that we can try for 8 thousand new cases!

In a press release, Mayor Walt Maddox citied a “positive trend” in results, saying an overall decline in community positivity rates “provides an opportunity for a limited reopening of bars which have sacrificed a great deal to protect our healthcare system and economy.” At the same time, the university reported 846 new cases over the last week—the largest increase in a single week since classes began.

Which Maddox is defining as a decline. Isn’t epidemiology fun!

Even some students were outraged with the decision. One who identifies himself as a freshman at the university tweeted that the mayor was making a “huge mistake” and that the decision made him feel less safe on campus.

Despite being alcoholics. Why is there such an entrenched idea that university students are all chronic drunks? Some university students are actually there to learn things.

Anyway – bars are open, kids, get out there and spread that covid.



Not simply a case of heavy-handed policing

Sep 7th, 2020 1:36 pm | By

Navalny’s condition is slightly improved.

On Monday, the Charité hospital in Berlin said in a statement that Mr Navalny was being weaned off mechanical ventilation.

“He is responding to verbal stimuli. It remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning,” it said.

I think we can assume they won’t be beneficial.

Meanwhile Anna Nemtsova says today’s attack is classic KGB.

Men in civilian clothes with masks covering their faces grabbed the woman inspiring a revolution in Belarus on Monday. They pushed Maria Kolesnikova into a minivan at about 10am local time (3am ET)—the opposition leader hasn’t been seen since.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus’ brutal leader for the past 26 years, has been cracking down on protests and threatening to arrest members of the opposition Coordination Council for an alleged “attempt to seize power,” but this is not simply a case of heavy-handed policing. It was a classic abduction, a technique of repression favored by the likes of the KGB and its Russian successor the FSB for generations.

The Belarusian KGB has been known for making people “disappear” since the early years of Lukashenko’s rule; for more than a quarter of a century, he has chosen to repress his opponents. His willingness to abuse power is the main reason so many Belarusians want to see him forced out of office and put on trial.

It’s quite a good reason, too. Making people “disappear” is…you know, murder, or if you do enough of it, genocide. Doing it to terrorize opposition is political murder/genocide. It’s not what you want in a government.

Two other members of the 600-strong Coordination Council also went missing on Monday. Frantic opposition staff and their lawyers have been touring the prisons and police stations in a desperate search for their kidnapped colleagues.

This is bad.



Hey let’s make some smoke!

Sep 7th, 2020 11:36 am | By

People can be so stupid. Voluntarily stupid, stupid because not paying attention and not giving a shit, as opposed to unable to help it.

Like setting off a pyrotechnic device in Southern California while fires rage all over the state and the Santa Ana blows.

A smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used during a gender reveal party sparked the El Dorado Fire burning near Yucaipa, which has charred more than 7,000 acres, officials said Sunday.

And doing it at a “gender reveal party” for fucks sake.

According to the Cal Fire San Bernardino Unit, the El Dorado Fire was caused by “a smoke generating pyrotechnic device” used during the party in El Dorado Ranch Park. The fire spread from the park to Yucaipa Ridge, which separates Mountain Home Village and Forest Falls from Yucaipa.

“Cal Fire reminds the public that with the dry conditions and critical fire weather, it doesn’t take much to start a wildfire”, the agency said in a press release. “Those responsible for starting fires due to negligence or illegal activity can be held financially and criminally responsible.”

People shouldn’t need reminding.

A lot of people had to be evacuated.

More than 600 personnel were battling flames, along with 60 engines, three fixed-wing aircraft and six helicopters, according to the San Bernardino National Forest.

That’s a lot of expensive flame-battling for the sake of creating smoke during wildfire season. Jesus, people.

I hope the kid decides to be enby at age 5 and never deviates from that decision.



Dispatches concerning human variation

Sep 7th, 2020 6:24 am | By

Nicholas Wade wrote a book on race, published in 2014 to scathing reviews. One of the reviews was in American Scientist. (I didn’t notice at first that it’s written by someone I know slightly: Greg Laden.)

In his new book, A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History, science writer Nicholas Wade claims that race is real—that Darwinian natural selection has resulted in a number of biologically separate human populations characterized by distinct, genetically determined social behaviors. He asserts that many of these differences have emerged over the last 10,000 years and that they explain much of human history. He writes that recent science has “established that human evolution has been recent, copious, and regional” and uses this framework to account for regional variations in economic power and cultural pursuits.

As soon as it appeared, Wade’s book touched off a firestorm of controversy—as he surely knew it would. It’s the latest in a series of dispatches concerning human variation, whose authors in recent decades have starkly divided into two camps, one centered in anthropology and the other in psychology, political science, and economics. Wade is in the latter camp. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, a widely read text by psychologist Richard Herrnstein and political scientist Charles Murray in 1994, proclaimed intractable human differences in ability between races; the authors based their views on disputed work published by Canadian psychologist J. Philippe Rushton in the 1980s and early 1990s. Meanwhile, anthropologists had developed a divergent concept of human variation, reaching the collective conclusion that the human species is not compartmentalized in races or subspecies (interchangeable terms in zoology). In 1998 the American Anthropological Association adopted its Statement on Race asserting that the best available research shows race to be a social construct that is biologically invalid.

Early reviews of Wade’s book show a familiar division: Anthropologists mostly take a critical view, whereas psychologists and economists generally like the book. Agustín Fuentes, a zoologist and anthropologist, and Jonathan Marks, a geneticist trained in anthropology, are among the more negative; Bell Curve coauthor Murray and famed geneticist James Watson, a supporter of the biological race concept, land on the positive side. The favorable reviews almost invariably echo one of Wade’s key themes: Disbelief in the existence of race results from biased science driven by a left-leaning political agenda. Wade suggests that “any researcher who even discusses issues politically offensive to the left runs the risk of antagonizing the professional colleagues who must approve his requests for government funds and review his articles. . . The result is that researchers at present routinely ignore the biology of race.”

So is Wade right? Are there human races? Is the variation seen between different cultures and locations best explained by genetic differences between human populations? And have anthropologists been turning a blind eye to the evidence in front of them?

There is no shortage of scientific information, and it gives a clear answer: no.

He then gives a quick sketch of the scientific information, and sums up:

Without boundaries or predictive value, race isn’t a valid biological concept. Human races may have existed in the past—just as there are subspecies of a number of different mammals, including chimpanzees—and they could exist in the future. Nonetheless, to this point the history of Homo sapiens has not led to a known emergence of distinct races. We evolved recently, spread quickly, and in many regions interacted readily. Race is a powerful and important social construct, and in that way it is very real, but it is not a biological useful concept for understanding human diversity.

And guess who else weighed in.

Our letter to the New York Times criticizing Nicholas Wade’s book on race

That’s Jerry Coyne criticizing Wade’s book on race.

Sunday’s New York Times Book Review (already up) features a letter signed by 139 population geneticists, including myself. It is, in essence, a group of scientists objecting en masse to Nicholas Wade’s shoddy treatment of race and evolution in his new book A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human History. 

The book was about the genetics of ethnic and cultural differences, and while it made a valid point that ethnic groups do show small but significant genetic differences across the globe, there was no evidence for Wade’s main thesis: that differences in behavior among groups, and in the disparate societies they construct, are based on genetic differences. While that might in principle be true, we simply have no evidence for that conclusion, and it was irresponsible of Wade to suggest that such evidence existed.

I was asked to review Wade’s book for a major magazine, but after reading it became so dispirited that I simply didn’t have the stomach to eviscerate it (pardon the pun). But Allen Orr did a good job in the New York Review of Books; and it was telling that even the Times’s own review, by David Dobbs, was pretty critical. (The Times Book Review is infamous for going easy on books by the paper’s own writers, and Wade has written for the paper for donkey’s years.)

I find that interesting in light of the discussion (especially Coel’s part of it) on A biocultural mélange.



In plain sight

Sep 7th, 2020 5:51 am | By

Breaking news:

Unidentified masked men snatched the leading Belarusian opposition figure, Maria Kolesnikova, from the street in the centre of the capital, Minsk, on Monday and drove her away in a minivan, witnesses told local media.

Kolesnikova was one of the campaign partners of the opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who claimed victory against the long-ruling president, Alexander Lukashenko, in disputed elections on 9 August.

Kolesnikova was reportedly seized soon after 10am local time while walking close to Minsk’s national art museum. Three other members of the opposition coordination council have also vanished, in what appears to be a targeted attempt by the authorities to wipe out the protest movement.

After, it appears, rigging the election.

Lukashenko’s victory – in a poll widely seen as rigged – has sparked mass protests. On Sunday, more than 100,000 people marched on the president’s residence, calling on him to quit. Riot police wearing balaclavas arrested 633 people. Gangs of pro-government thugs beat up protesters on their way home.

This is very bad.



Pretty soon you’re talking about real money

Sep 6th, 2020 6:16 pm | By

The NY Times reports on how Trump pays for all those lawyer hours:

He has drawn on campaign donations as a piggy bank for his legal expenses to a degree far greater than any of his predecessors.

Probably because his predecessors weren’t so eager to break the law.

In New York, Trump dispatched a team of lawyers to seek damages of more than $1 million from a former campaign worker after she claimed she had been the target of sexual discrimination and harassment by another aide. The lawyers have been paid $1.5 million by the Trump campaign for work on the case and others related to the president.

Couldn’t he have just paid someone to torture her to death while he watched? Would have been cheaper.

The RNC has paid at least $2.5 million in legal bills over Trump’s relatives’ meddling with Russia and Ukraine.

In California, Trump sued to block a law that would have forced him to release his taxes if he wanted to run for reelection. The Trump campaign and the RNC have paid the law firm handling this case, among others, $1.8 million.

It is also hard to differentiate between legal clashes the president has initiated and those in which he is the target of opponents. But an examination of spending by his various campaign arms documents how the intermingling of his presidency, business interests, campaigns, defense against the Russia investigation, impeachment and eagerness to penalize rivals have led to millions of dollars in donor money going to help bankroll litigation.

It’s expensive to be a crook.

The filings do not address the value of work for which he has not been charged, like Rudy Giuliani’s unpaid position as his personal lawyer. Nor do they account for the legal support Trump, as president, receives from the Justice Department, which has helped defend him on issues that blur the line between his public and private roles, like the constitutional prohibition on a president receiving benefits from other governments and efforts to obtain his tax returns and financial records.

He’s a very expensive toy.



Oh no, not malicious lies!

Sep 6th, 2020 5:53 pm | By

Well that will certainly change everyone’s mind!

Yes indeed, Sarah Sanders who told countless lies to us at the behest of the chronic liar who lied and cheated his way into the presidency – she is just the person to convince us her lies about Trump are the truth.



Gimme that

Sep 6th, 2020 11:53 am | By

Trump had other business that fateful day in Paris:

Trump pointed out a Benjamin Franklin bust, a Franklin portrait and a set of figurines of Greek mythical characters, and insisted the pieces come back with him to Washington. McCourt, the ambassador, was startled, but didn’t object, according to people briefed on the incident. Trump later quipped that the envoy would get the art back “in six years,” when his potential second term in office would be winding down.

The White House claims that Trump brought the pieces back so that they could be displayed for the American people. The problem is that the pieces are being displayed in the Oval Office, which is not open to the public.

Interestingly, the art that Trump loved so much that he just had to take it, were replicas, so a fake president stole fake art and then lied about displaying it in public,

He didn’t really “steal” it, since it’s government property whether in the embassy or in Trump’s second best toilet, but if the story is true he did rudely help himself to it for no apparent reason. Seems typical.



Humiliating and intimidating language

Sep 6th, 2020 11:16 am | By

More on the efforts to silence Claire Chandler:

Addressing the Senate on Thursday evening, Liberal senator Claire Chandler said a complaint had been filed against her under Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Act in relation to an opinion piece on free speech published in a Tasmanian newspaper earlier this year and an email related to the piece.

In the opinion piece, Senator Chandler said women’s sports, women’s toilets and women’s changing rooms were designed for people of the female sex and should remain that way.

So we’re now in a world where legal bodies can punish women for “discrimination” for saying women are women and men are not women.

“Being summoned by a quasi-judicial body to appear and explain why I say that males shouldn’t be in female change rooms or in female sporting competitions is an indictment on the state of free speech in this country.”

It doesn’t say much for the state of people’s thinking, either.

“It is yet another example of the assault on truth and the assault on the very meaning of the word women by activists who are determined to remove every sex-based right that women around the world have and allow anyone who identifies as a woman into women’s sports and women’s spaces,” she said.

And to take jobs and promotions reserved for women, and claim to have fulfilled rules that require a fair proportion of women in particular jobs and political parties and the like. Men who say they identify as women can take everything reserved for women, and then punish women who object.

But Equality Tasmania spokesperson Charlie Burton said with free speech came a responsibility to exercise that right in a way that does not harm others.

Meaning what? Does it harm people to refuse to say their fantasies are true? If the answer is yes, does that have to be balanced against the fact that it harms everyone else to be required to endorse other people’s fantasies? Especially when those fantasies involve usurping and appropriating the ontology of other people?

Charlie Burton goes on:

“Tasmania’s law against humiliating and intimidating language has been upheld by state Parliament twice which indicates it has widespread community support.”

Yes but how is it humiliating and intimidating to say that men are not women? How does it work to say that a woman is intimidating and humiliating men by not agreeing that they are women? News flash: men as a group have more power than women as a group, so punishing women for saying men are not women looks like a very bizarre warping of ordinary understanding of how power and intimidation work.

Dr Burton invited Senator Chandler to meet young transgender Tasmanians and their families to help her understand their lives and the impact of discrimination.

“We want Senator Chandler to hear what life is really like for Tasmania’s trans and gender-diverse young people and their families, including their desire to be accepted just like everyone else, and how negative stereotypes and misinformation can cause deep harm,” Dr Burton said.

I think Dr Burton should meet female Tasmanians and hear what life is really like for Tasmania’s women, including their desire to be treated fairly just like men, and how negative stereotypes and misinformation can cause deep harm.



Super spreader event

Sep 6th, 2020 10:30 am | By

A motorcycle rally is worth dying for, right? And worth killing people for?

More than two weeks after nearly half a million bikers flocked to South Dakota, the tally of coronavirus infections traced back to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has surpassed 260, an estimate that is growing steadily as more states report cases and at least one death.

A Minnesota man in his 60s who went to the rally was later hospitalized for COVID-19 and died earlier this week, said Kris Ehresmann, head of infectious disease for the Minnesota Department of Health.

Minnesota has counted more than 45 cases tied to the rally, and that only includes people who got tested and then notified state health departments about their possible exposure at Sturgis.

Which means it’s only a small fraction. How many people willing to ignore the warnings thoroughly enough to go to the rally are going to get tested afterwards? Not that many, I would think.

The event attracted national media attention and became a flashpoint in pandemic politics.

South Dakota’s Republican governor, Kristi Noem – a strong ally of President Trump — encouraged people to attend the rally, despite warnings it could seed outbreaks in her state and across the country.

Noem has resisted pandemic precautions like requiring people to wear masks while in public or limiting large gatherings. In the last few weeks, South and North Dakota have emerged as coronavirus hot spots with the highest rates of new cases per capita in the country.

So that’s nice. The governor at the very least encouraged people to add to the burden on hospitals and medical staff.