Notes and Comment Blog


“We welcome genuine dialogue”

Sep 5th, 2019 5:54 pm | By

The Institute of Arts and Ideas have now published a Retraction Statement by philosophers Robin Dembroff, Rebecca Kukla and Susan Stryker, explaining why they didn’t want to be part of a debate with philosophers they consider not just wrong but worse than wrong on the questions around trans gender identity. That’s ok, but some of the content of what they say is not.

We welcome genuine dialogue and mutually respectful exploration of the complex and contentious social realities that characterize contemporary transgender issues. We devote a large part of our working lives to these issues, and we have much at stake in them, personally and politically. We object, however, to any “debate” that questions transgender people’s fundamental legitimacy as people who are entitled to the same respect as any other person.

Does that describe the other participants in the discussion, Holly Lawford-Smith, Kathleen Stock, and Julie Bindel? Do those three question “transgender people’s fundamental legitimacy as people who are entitled to the same respect as any other person”? No. Of course not. But it makes them sound evil, so I guess that’s a good-enough reason for saying it?

We reject as a starting place presuppositions held by some voices included in the IAI forum that transgender people are by definition mentally ill or delusional, and that respecting transgender people irreparably conflicts with the interests of cisgender women.

More subtle, but still dishonest. They don’t presuppose that transgender people are by definition mentally ill or delusional, they argue that it’s not the case that people can change their sex. That doesn’t translate to: trans people are delusional.

These presuppositions are uniformed, and fly in the face of evidence as well as years of feminist thought and activism. They preemptively delegitimate transgender people as speaking subjects.

The presuppositions aren’t what Dembroff, Kukla and Stryker say they are, and if they were they wouldn’t necessarily “preemptively delegitimate transgender people as speaking subjects.” That’s just a kind of rabble-rousing meant to make The Enemy look bad. We’re supposed to think they’re bad people who want to harm the helpless transgender people, like mean bullies in the playground.

We consider the right to occupy spaces in which our basic safety is not at risk to be a right that should not be up for debate.

But what about women’s safety?

We refuse on principle to engage in any discussion that treats such positions as up for abstract intellectual debate, in the same way that we would refuse to participate in a conversation that debated whether the Holocaust actually happened, or whether corrective rape should be used to cure lesbianism, or whether or not the white race is superior to all others.

Dirty dirty pool. Gender-skeptical feminists are not comparable to Holocaust deniers or advocates of corrective rape or white supremacists. Filthy pool. They should be embarrassed.

There are limits to civil and intellectual discourse beyond which speech acts are simply acts of violence.

We believe that the discourse of some invited participants in the original IAI forum goes beyond those limits. We refuse on principle to “co-platform” with those who seek, under the guise of “debate” with us, to persuade an audience that it should partner with them in advocating harm to us.

Filthy pool. They should be embarrassed and ashamed.



But sir the real hurricane is over here and we need to warn people

Sep 5th, 2019 5:29 pm | By

The National Weather Service wishes Trump would stop distracting people from paying attention to accurate information about the actual hurricane.

The nation’s meteorologists saw the extended presidential eruption as an unhelpful diversion from a serious threat. The National Hurricane Center’s latest estimate on Thursday afternoon showed Dorian approaching the coast of South Carolina and then hovering over or near the North Carolina coast Thursday night or Friday.

“There is a potentially life-threatening hurricane headed for the Carolinas, and any distraction from making people aware of the potential consequences is not doing anyone a favor,” said Dan Sobien, president of the National Weather Service Employees Organization. “This is a distraction from what the official government message should be right now.”

Sobien said the union representing the National Weather Service has fielded numerous calls over the past 24 hours from managers from the weather service, private-sector businesses and union members asking how the National Weather Service can stop the president from continuing to repeat confusing information — or worse, undermining the fact-based reports from the Miami-based hurricane forecasters. They issue regularly scheduled hurricane reports at least four times a day.

“What is most important is that people listen to and trust the National Weather Service,” Sobien said. “I would hate it if someone from the coast of North Carolina might have gotten a mixed message.”

Especially if it’s because of the throbbing vanity of the world’s worst person.



More than 100 evacuees died

Sep 5th, 2019 4:41 pm | By

And another thing. The AP reports:

Trump had raised eyebrows and drawn an emphatic fact check from the National Weather Service on Sunday when he tweeted that Alabama, along with the Carolinas and Georgia, “will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”

You know, in ordinary times presidents talk to us about approaching hurricanes in order to give relevant useful advice. They can advise people to leave or to hunker down or to relax because the hurricane has faded out. What presidents say has an impact on what people do. Something I’d forgotten until I watched a NOVA on hurricanes last night is that in 2005 people in Houston died trying to evacuate, because the traffic locked up and they were stuck in the heat.

Hurricane Katrina had devastated the U.S. only a few weeks earlier. And with Hurricane Rita – documented as the strongest Gulf storm on record – on track to bash East Texas, Houstonians heeded the call to evacuate. That’s the moment residents remember best a decade later.

In the Houston area, the muddled flight from the city killed almost as many people as Rita did. an estimated 2.5 million people hit the road ahead of the storm’s arrival, creating some of the most insane gridlock in U.S. history. More than 100 evacuees died in the exodus. Drivers waited in traffic for 20-plus hours, and heat stroke impaired or killed dozens. Fights broke out on the highway. A bus carrying nursing home evacuees caught fire, and 24 died.

Evacuations themselves are dangerous, which makes sense as soon as you think about it. Trump really shouldn’t be out there squawking random bullshit about hurricane danger that doesn’t exist, and he shouldn’t be pitching a fit now about being corrected on the subject. He should act as if our health and safety were the issue, not his enormous prickly ego.



Argue with the avocado

Sep 5th, 2019 4:18 pm | By

Trump is still relitigating the Alabama thing.

Two hours ago:

Just as I said, Alabama was originally projected to be hit. The Fake News denies it!

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Also two hours ago:

I was with you all the way Alabama. The Fake News Media was not!

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Trump was warming up his arm for when they needed him to throw paper towels. UNLIKE THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA.



Identity is social

Sep 5th, 2019 12:57 pm | By

At Psychology Today, Michael Moscolo explains that identity isn’t something we can determine all by ourselves. He starts with Yaniv’s ball-waxing caper.

Yaniv’s actions should not be taken to be representative of transgender individuals. Nonetheless, Yaniv’s actions illustrate the deep conceptual problems that arise when we think of gender a form of “self-identification.” I want to show that regardless of one’s views on transgender issues, it is an error to think that gender identity—or any other identity for that matter—[i]s something that can be completely determined by one’s self.

These actions underscore the problem of using self-identification as the sole criterion on which to establish a person’s gender identity.  Although Yaniv identifies her gender as a woman, Yaniv’s biological sex is male.

In an individualist society, we prize the values of freedom, autonomy, equality and self-determination. We believe that people should be free to pursue their own agendas, to become whomever they wish to become, provided that they do not hurt others along the way.

Well, yes and no. Yaniv isn’t the only kind of “no”; Trump is another clear example. Trump “identifies as” all kinds of things that he emphatically is not, and he became president of the US partly by doing that, as well as partly by stealing, cheating, pussy-grabbing, racism-spouting, and other deplorable actions. I don’t think people should be free to do that. I think Some Restrictions May (and should) Apply.

From this view, it is easy to see how we might want to sanction the idea that gender—one’s experience of self as man or woman, masculine or feminine, as non-binary, or even non-sexed—as something that a person defines for oneself.  But this is neither true of transgender identities nor of any other type of psychological or social identity.

I do not and cannot create my identity by myself.  Identities are created in interactions that occur between people using public as well as personal criteria. Like it or not, I cannot establish an identity by myself; it must be negotiated with and validated in my relations with others. This does not mean that I have no role in establishing my identity—it simply means that I cannot and do not do so by myself.

You can have a fantasy by yourself. You can have a fantasy about yourself by yourself. That’s possible, and it makes conceptual sense. But the minute you start trying to impose your fantasy about yourself on other people, the Some Restrictions start to Apply. You can’t force us to believe your personal fantasies. It won’t work and it isn’t right. It isn’t possible and it isn’t a reasonable demand. Here’s the good news: the same applies to you. You don’t have to believe my fantasies about myself, either.

Mascolo chooses politics as his not very useful example – you can say you’re a Democrat but then if you vote and talk Republican, etc. It’s not very useful because it’s already purely external and social as well as voluntary. Better examples are race, nationality, and the like, or skilled occupations that can’t be just picked up in a moment.

The point here is not that one’s personal experience is irrelevant to one’s identity—it is indeed foundational. The point is that it is simply not sufficient. We need more than what someone says in order to establish and verify an identity.  We need to be able to point to public and shareable expressions of the person’s experience in order to verify the person’s identity. A person can claim an identity as a Democrat, but without voting for Democrats, espousing Democratic principles and acting on those principles, a person’s self-identification has no warrant.

Or, more usefully, a person can claim an identity as an immigrant or a lawyer, but without actually being either of those things what are we even talking about?



You might be overgeneralizing

Sep 5th, 2019 12:30 pm | By
You might be overgeneralizing

McKinnon does want death to “TERFs.”

Capture

Capture

H/t Your Name’s not Bruce?



Guest post: In the world we actually live in

Sep 5th, 2019 11:49 am | By

Originally a comment by iknklast on No, please, Geoff, tell us more.

I’m not sure what the problem is understanding this. (1) It is a stock photo. (2) It has the standard set up of a photo with both men and women, where the man dominates the photo and women are subordinate. (3) There are different possible ways of reading the photo. These seem to be agreed on.

The problem isn’t whether the photographer intended a sexist message. It isn’t with whether everyone in the world sees this particular photo with a sexist message. It isn’t even with the fact that in many ways, this is probably a reasonably realistic portrayal of one small moment in time.

The problem is the fact that pictures, movies, stage plays, works of art, literature, textbooks, news articles, etc, are overwhelmingly (1) dominated by males, with (2) females in subordinate positions. It is a build up of message after message after message, and it normalizes that view of things to the extent that people can argue (perhaps in good faith) like Skeletor and Nullius above that there is no overt sexism seen in the picture. For most people, this one single image looks like a small hill to die on, even if they accept the picture as being a dominant male and subordinate female. Well, things like that can happen at least sometimes in a perfect world, right? The male talking? Him sitting in comfort? The women backgrounded and in listening mode? It doesn’t have to be a problem.

But…it is merely one point in a wash of similar images that surround us nearly non-stop, messages that our brain takes in without recognizing them, normalizing conditions that privilege men over women and give our brain instructions that this is how the world works. In a world where women and men enjoyed true equality, and gained equal respect for hard won skills, this picture would not be a problem, and Skeletor and Nullius would be right.

In the world we actually live in, however, this stuff needs to be pointed out, dealt with, and discussed honestly, not by treating the picture as a stand alone, non-threatening object. Because it doesn’t exist alone, it exists in context with millions of other pictures that we want to deal with individually because it is easier than trying to deal with the problem at the root.



Pay to the order of

Sep 5th, 2019 11:45 am | By

The wall is paid for!

Image

A billion won’t cover it though – I guess that’s just an installment? Needs to be eleventy billion at least.



Are you waiting until she’s actually killed?

Sep 5th, 2019 10:59 am | By

Angelique Chrisafis at the Guardian tells us Macron went to the national domestic violence hotline to listen in on calls and got to hear a cop refuse to help a woman in danger.

Wearing headphones, the president sat silently listening in to calls being taken by an experienced hotline operator.

A distressed 57-year-old woman called in saying her violent husband had threatened to kill her after years of escalating abuse at home and that she had to leave. She was at the local police station. She said she had filed a police complaint but, fearing her husband would murder her, she had asked the police to accompany her home to safely retrieve her possessions before leaving. But the police refused.

“You’re in the police station? You’re in danger. Your husband is at home. The police can accompany you,” the operator assured the caller.

The woman said that the police were refusing to do so. Macron looked visibly angered and shook his head, but remained silent.

“They have to help a person in danger,” the operator insisted and asked to speak to the police officer.

In a call that lasted 15 minutes, the operator attempted in vain to persuade the gendarme to help, but the officer insisted it wasn’t his place to intervene. Unaware that the president was listening in, the officer said – wrongly – that he would need a judicial order to accompany the woman.

Macron silently shook his head and wrote a note on a piece of paper, handing it to the operator.

“It’s the gendarme’s job to protect her when there is a clear risk,” with or without any extra judicial permission, the note said.

The hotline operator continued to press the officer, at one point saying: “This woman is under threat of death, are you waiting until she’s actually killed?”

But the officer refused to act.

Macron was pissed. He asked the operator if that happens often and she said oh yes.

Let’s hope he does something about it.



Alabama was going to

Sep 5th, 2019 10:51 am | By

Trump has realized his mistake, admitted error, and promised to stop doing stupid shit like that.

I kid, I kid.

Alabama was going to be hit or grazed, and then Hurricane Dorian took a different path (up along the East Coast). The Fake News knows this very well. That’s why they’re the Fake News!

That’s this morning. Before that he was dealing with the serious issues like an actual president.

Bad “actress” Debra The Mess Messing is in hot water. She wants to create a “Blacklist” of Trump supporters, & is being accused of McCarthyism. Is also being accused of being a Racist because of the terrible things she said about blacks and mental illness. If Roseanne Barr……..said what she did, even being on a much higher rated show, she would have been thrown off television. Will Fake News NBC allow a McCarthy style Racist to continue? ABC fired Roseanne. Watch the double standard!

Did you see what he did there? The verbal genius of it? The Shakespeare-level wit and subtlety? “The Mess Messing” – daaaaaaaamn that’s good.

Meanwhile there’s a hurricane and stuff but whatever, that’s for the bureaucrats and the Deep State to pay attention to.



How high?

Sep 5th, 2019 10:06 am | By

R. McKinnon, Assistant Professor of Philosophy linking to the Pink News article on woman-hating vandalism at Vancouver Rape Relief:

There’s a high likelihood that they’re doing it themselves to drum up more anti-trans hate and fear.

Hours later he was tweeting about hate mail he got from Breitbart readers.



Sharpie times

Sep 5th, 2019 9:43 am | By

MSNBC says there are memes:



To help prove his point

Sep 4th, 2019 4:43 pm | By

When in doubt, forge something.

Trump tried to demonstrate that he was right about the hurricane’s heading for Alabama by showing us a weather map on which he had drawn a line into Alabama. “It’s right there! The line! I put it there myself, so you can see I was right!” He actually did that.

After facing ridicule for suggesting over the weekend that Hurricane Dorian might strike Alabama, Donald Trump showed reporters a map on Wednesday that he personally altered to help prove his point.

“Look! Look, you fools, I altered it myself! That proves it!”

During a briefing on the storm’s threat to the U.S. East Coast, the president held up an Aug. 29 map from the National Weather Service showing initial projections of Dorian’s track into Florida. But the map had been changed — by the president — with a black line that extended the storm’s path beyond Florida and into southern Alabama, according to people familiar with the matter.

It’s a line. Once the line is there, the line is the truth.

Trump speaks to the media about Hurricane Dorian in the White House in Washington on Sept. 4.

Tom Brenner/Bloomberg

It’s…it’s a very good line, sir. Not too wobbly at all. Why, it reaches almost to Mississippi, which just goes to show. Sir.

Trump said later on Wednesday that he didn’t know the six-day-old map he showed reporters in the Oval Office had been altered. He said Alabama was going to be hit by the storm in the “original forecast.”

Except he did the altering in front of people. That’s how Bloomberg and everyone else knows he did it with his own tiny hand.

Trump has his very own special Sharpie, so that he can draw thick black lines on anything he wants to with his own royal presidential FatPen.

“I called up the folks at Sharpie and I said, ‘Do me a favor, can you make the pen in black? Can you make it look rich?'” – Donald Trump, 2018

Big boy special throbbing Sharrrrpeeeeee.



Dorian was stronger than it would have been

Sep 4th, 2019 3:54 pm | By

What just happened to the Bahamas? There will be more of it.

While the science has yet to come in on the specifics of just how much worse climate change made Dorian, we already know enough to say that warming worsened the damage. Because it’s not a coincidence that Dorian was one of the strongest landfalling storms ever recorded in the Atlantic, with the strongest sustained peak winds east of Florida, and the strongest ever to hit the Bahamas. This comes less than a year after Florida withstood the first landfalling category 5 hurricane in decades, on 5 October – the latest ever in the season for a storm that strong.

On a basic physics level, we know that warm waters fuel hurricanes, and Dorian was strengthened by waters well above average temperatures. The fact that climate change has heated up our oceans means Dorian was stronger than it would have been had we not spent the past 150 years dumping carbon pollution into the atmosphere. Sea surface temperatures were more than 1C warmer in the region where Dorian formed and strengthened than they were before we started burning fossil fuels.

And the air is warmer too, and warmer air holds more moisture, which turns to torrents of rain in monster storms.

And we know that as climate change has melted glaciers and ice around the world, that water has gone into the oceans. The extra water, along with the expansion of water as it’s warmed, means that sea levels have been raised. That means when a storm like Dorian makes landfall, there’s more water for its storm surge, already bolstered by stronger winds, to push further inland.

All that extra water makes hurricanes even more deadly, since it’s generally not the wind but the water that kills people. So although Dorian’s 220mph gusts were incredibly dangerous (and sped up thanks to climate change), it was the 20-plus feet of storm surge and torrential rains that were the most destructive elements.

And neither one is something you actually want battering a small island.

Also hurricanes are getting worse more quickly and then staying put longer – worst of both worlds.

Had Dorian been moving at a regular pace of a few miles an hour, the devastation in the Bahamas would have been much less severe. But because it sat in place, basically stationary, the damage has been catastrophic. Again, Dorian is far from unique in moving slowly, as a study last year found a 10% decrease in speed for storms like this globally, while a similar study found a 17% decrease along the east coast of the US. While neither of these studies directly tie that slowdown to climate change, the theory that climate change is changing the jet stream in ways that would lead to stalling storms (a phenomenon one of us has researched) is growing increasingly convincing.

When all these factors combine in one storm, as it has for Dorian, it is truly a nightmare scenario – and a preview of the climate crisis to come. The only question is whether we have the foresight to address it.

Some of us do, but the ones in power, nope.



Wrong dream, pal

Sep 4th, 2019 3:09 pm | By

No, Morgane Oger is not Martin Luther King, and the “rights” he is talking about are not comparable to the rights King was talking about, and the civil rights struggle is not Oger’s struggle to steal for his own purposes.

Opposing civil rights legislation or decisions is, in fact, dissenting from a society’s ethical and moral frameworks.

That’s not you, Morgane. That crowd is not a crowd of men who say they are women. There is no “right” for men to be accepted as women. That’s not how the word “rights” is understood. That’s not the dream King had that day.



Know her name

Sep 4th, 2019 11:54 am | By

Her name is Chanel Miller.

She was known as Emily Doe when her victim impact statement, read out in the sexual assault trial of Brock Turner, went viral.

Now, she has revealed her identity as 27-year-old Chanel Miller as she prepares to have her memoir published.

The case sparked controversy when Turner, then a Stanford University student, was sentenced to six months in jail. He served three.

Ms Miller’s book, Know My Name, is being released later this month.

Yes but swimmer. He’s a swimmer. That matters more than some mere woman.

In 2016, a jury would find Turner – then 20 – guilty of three charges: sexually assaulting an intoxicated victim, sexually assaulting an unconscious victim[,] and attempting to rape her. He was sentenced to six months and three years’ probation. Prosecutors had sought a six-year sentence.

While writing Know My Name, published on 24 September by Viking, she found out further details of her own case, through court documents and witness statements she had not had access to during the trial.

The case happened before the #MeToo movement, but Ms Miller – who started writing her book in 2017 – added to her memoir and expanded its scope as the spotlight was shone on sexual violence.

I have to say, I don’t know why #MeToo is treated as some sort of Official Landmark of when we started taking sexual violence against women seriously. I was taking it seriously long before #MeToo, and so were millions of other women. I had plenty to say about Brock Turner at the time.



Enter the circle here

Sep 4th, 2019 11:32 am | By

The dogmatic certainty argument for god:

being

Jesus and Mo on Patreon



Go ahead, violate the Geneva Convention

Sep 4th, 2019 10:32 am | By

The ACLU gets the whole thing completely wrong and backward, starting with the headline.

A New York Jail Forced a Trans Woman Into a Men’s Facility

As opposed to what, ACLU? As opposed to forcing women to deal with a man in their facility.

Jena Faith’s experience in the Steuben County Jail was a living nightmare.

The military veteran spent four weeks in the jail awaiting trial last spring. She was initially housed in the jail’s women’s facility without incident, but things changed when officials suddenly transferred her to the men’s facility, despite the fact that she is a woman.

But he’s not a woman, so there is no “fact” that he’s a woman. He’s a man who wants to be or identifies as or presents as or thinks of himself as a woman.

And how confident can we be that his being housed in the jail’s women’s facility was really “without incident,” given the ACLU’s appalling blindness to the needs of women? How confident can we be that even assuming it was without overt or violent incident, all the women locked up with this man were perfectly at ease with the situation?

During the weeks that Jena spent as a woman in a men’s jail, she was routinely targeted with physical and verbal harassment from other incarcerated people and guards. On her first day in the men’s facility, a fellow incarcerated person started touching her body and blowing kisses at her, making her feel scared and uncomfortable.

If that’s true it’s bad. Jails should prevent physical and verbal harassment by guards or inmates or both. It doesn’t follow however that the women in the jail should pay the price for men’s physical and verbal harassment.

On August 22, the New York Civil Liberties Union, along with the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and the law firm BakerHostetler, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jena. It argues that what happened to her is a violation of numerous state laws designed to protect the rights, dignity, and humanity of trans people.

What about the rights, dignity, and humanity of women? Why does Jena’s fantasy identity trump all those women’s actual literal physical sex, which makes them a target of men? Why does the ACLU think that the way to protect a man who says he’s a woman from violent men is to force women to protect him? What if it turns out that he’s a danger to them? How can the ACLU possibly be so sure that will never be the case?

While Jena’s experience was harrowing, it’s not unique. Across the state, trans people are often held in jail and prison facilities that are not consistent with their gender, even though state law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and courts have held that it’s discriminatory to refuse to treat a person consistently with their gender identity.

How many trans men are there who clamor to be housed with the men? Any? Any at all?

If you were a trans man would you clamor to be housed with the men? I sure as hell wouldn’t. Why? Because I’d expect to be toast if I were so housed. (That shouldn’t be the case. Jails shouldn’t be dangerous for the inmates. The solution however is not to make women the shields.)

In part because they are housed incorrectly, trans people are exposed to overwhelming levels of abuse and harassment while behind bars, and they are far more likely than cisgender people to be targeted for the worst types of violence and mistreatment.

Trans people? Or trans women only? I suspect it’s the latter, and I suspect the ACLU does this trick knowingly.

Meanwhile have a bit of Geneva Convention:

Geneva Convention III
Article 25, fourth paragraph, and Article 29, second paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provide that in any camps in which men and women prisoners are accommodated together, separate dormitories and conveniences shall be provided for women.
Geneva Convention III
Article 97, fourth paragraph, and Article 108, second paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provide that women prisoners of war undergoing disciplinary punishment or convicted of an offence shall be confined in separate quarters from men and shall be under the immediate supervision of women.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 76, fourth paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides that women accused of an offence “shall be confined in separate quarters and shall be under the direct supervision of women”.

Maybe in his head Jena Faith genuinely thinks he’s a woman, but whether he does or not, women still have the right to be safe from him.



Happy annivs Poland!

Sep 4th, 2019 9:58 am | By

Trump congratulated Poland for having been made a slaughterhouse by the Nazis.

Trump was asked Sunday about the trip to Poland he canceled to monitor Hurricane Dorian. Asked if he had a message for that country, which was commemorating the anniversary of the start of World War II, Trump decided to … congratulate it?

Q: Mr. President, do you have a message for Poland on the 80th anniversary of the Second World War?

TRUMP: I do have a great message for Poland. And we have Mike Pence, our Vice President, is just about landing right now. And he is representing me. I look forward to being there soon.

But I just want to congratulate Poland. It’s a great country with great people. We also have many Polish people in our country; it could be 8 million. We love our Polish friends. And I will be there soon.

For those not versed in World War II history, Sunday was the anniversary of the day Nazi Germany invaded Poland, which led France and Britain to declare war two days later (i.e. 80 years ago Tuesday). Poland would wind up losing nearly one-fifth of its population in the war, according to estimates.

Well, ok, sure, but now it gets to have Trump visit it, sometime, maybe, if he doesn’t have emergency golf to play. So congratulations are totally due!

Plus it has a choice between far right and even more far right, so obviously Trump is gonna high five that.

PiS has governed Poland since 2015, when, after eight years in opposition, it became the first party to win an absolute majority in a Polish election since the fall of communism in 1989. Over its four years in power, the party has moved the country in an increasingly illiberal direction, championing a socially conservative vision of Poland, accompanied by anti-immigrant and homophobic rhetoric and efforts to control the judiciary. The European Commission, the European Union’s executive branch, has criticized reforms pushed by PiS to strengthen its influence over the two highest courts in the country, calling them threats to the rule of law in Poland and by extension to the EU’s core principles.

Image result for congrats



No, please, Geoff, tell us more

Sep 3rd, 2019 5:29 pm | By

Sorry to fuss about details but honestly. A woman writes a piece for Inside Higher Education about the desuetude of the faculty lounge, and the tweet promoting it looks like:

A professor laments the widespread disappearance of the faculty lounge (opinion)

Bonnie J. Morris laments the widespread disappearance of a traditional campus oasis.

Come on. Academics are supposed to be hip to semiotics, aren’t they? Which should include people who work at Inside Higher Ed? That picture could be worse only if the women were crouched on the floor covering their heads.

First of all the guy is in the middle, facing outward, so our eyes are drawn to him as if on a string. Then he’s holding his arms out and has an ankle propped on the other knee – he’s taking up space, he’s relaxed, he’s the master of ceremonies. Third, he’s talking. Fourth, he’s the only one talking. Fifth, he’s flanked by two women, both facing him and listening submissively while he kicks back and tells them what’s what. Sixth, they’re not doing anything – they’re in suspended animation, watching him perform. Seventh he’s much older than they are.

No doubt there’s more; feel free to add.

It wouldn’t be so annoying if it weren’t a woman who wrote the piece, but it is, so it is.