Complex issues are reduced to mantras

Mar 13th, 2020 2:56 pm | By

Someone else has noticed the endless repetition of slogans in place of actual thought.

It sure is interesting how many apparently “progressive” men are ready to jump on any opportunity to harass, threaten and wish violence and death upon women when they are given permission to do it.

The same is true of the word “TERF” (“Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist”). On IWD it’s all over the place, reminding women that if they dare to question the rhetoric of trans activists then they’ll be branded with that modern equivalent of the scarlet letter and leftist men given the green light to hurl misogynistic abuse at them. Even women who subscribe to gender ideology are uncomfortable with this ( I know because I used to be one), but they don’t dare criticize it for fear of also being labeled a TERF and being subjected to the same treatment. This treatment punishes the non-compliant woman and serves as a warning to the women who witness it.

It does until the non-compliant women and the women witnessing their punishment just stop giving a shit what the goons shouting “TERF” say. Once you don’t give a shit you just don’t give a shit, so their shouting does nothing but underline what mindless bullying goons they are.

What this means is that people immersed in this particular culture find themselves focused on avoiding the treatment they often participate in dishing out to others, rather than any actual political analysis. Complex social and political issues are reduced to mantras, and whether someone is “good” or “bad” is determined by their willingness to affirm the mantras.

Emphasis mine. That. The mantras are so empty and so stupid, yet the repetition of them is treated as an argument-winner.

Trans activists will shout about “trans rights” as a kind of abstract concept without actually knowing anything about the specific laws and policies that are relevant, not understanding that “rights” are legally enshrined or they’re nothing. Often they can’t even tell you what “trans rights” actually are, other than the alleged “right” of trans people to have others share and participate in their self-perception.

Or, rather, to force others to share their self-perception.



Looking to escalate their claim further

Mar 13th, 2020 2:36 pm | By

The Glasgow Times reports:

A GLASGOW couple have expressed their shock over how they were treated in a Marks & Spencer store while buying a suit for a relative’s funeral.

Both men, who we are not naming, say they were subjected to inappropriate comments while trying on a pair of trousers in a changing room situated within the Glasgow Fort store earlier this month.

Sounds a bit weird, two people trying on one pair of trousers – is that what the inappropriate comments were about? Was someone explaining that a pair of trousers has room for only two legs, not four?

One of the men wanted to try on trousers to wear to his gran’s funeral and on approaching a fitting room, he was told by a member of the public that it was for women only to “try on bras”.

Ohhhhh I see. Sly of the reporter not to mention sooner that the changing room was a women’s changing room. Sooooo what were the men doing there then? Do they both claim to be women? Do they claim to be the kind of women who wear only one leg of a pair of trousers and share the pair with another woman of that kind?

A member of the M&S team then told him: “I can’t stop you from using it,” and he proceeded to try on the item with his partner.

That is, he continued to use the women’s changing room despite the objections of women who were there using the women’s changing rooms. A tad entitled are they?

While in the changing room, they heard the member of the public say, “I wouldn’t want to get my t**s out in front of other men.”

Tits. The word is tits. Skip the asterisks; we’re not children. And I too would not want to get my tits out in front of men in a Marks & Spencers, especially not the kind of man who ignores women’s objection to his presence in a woman’s changing room.

The couple complained to a manager instore who told them that she would reiterate to staff that fitting rooms were unisex. They also complained in writing to the store and are now looking to escalate their complaint further.

Because how dare women want to get away from men when they’re trying on clothes. How dare women resist men’s intrusions. How dare women not comply and bow and smile and obey.



Die, peasant

Mar 13th, 2020 11:51 am | By

God damn that festering piece of dung

The LA Times:

Despite mounting pleas from California and other states, the Trump administration isn’t allowing states to use Medicaid more freely to respond to the coronavirus crisis by expanding medical services.

In previous emergencies, including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the H1N1 flu outbreak, both Republican and Democratic administrations loosened Medicaid rules to empower states to meet surging needs.

But not Attila the Trump.

But months into the current global disease outbreak, the White House and senior federal health officials haven’t taken the necessary steps to give states simple pathways to fully leverage the mammoth safety net program to prevent a wider epidemic.

That’s making it harder for states to quickly sign up poor patients for coverage so they can get necessary testing or treatment if they are exposed to coronavirus.

And it threatens to slow efforts by states to bring on new medical providers, set up emergency clinics or begin quarantining and caring for homeless Americans at high risk from the virus.

They hate poor people that much.

I feel murderous.



Donald Trump is shrinking before our eyes

Mar 13th, 2020 11:29 am | By

Peter Wehner at the Atlantic says Trump’s presidency is over.

Taken together, this is a massive failure in leadership that stems from a massive defect in character. Trump is such a habitual liar that he is incapable of being honest, even when being honest would serve his interests. He is so impulsive, shortsighted, and undisciplined that he is unable to plan or even think beyond the moment. He is such a divisive and polarizing figure that he long ago lost the ability to unite the nation under any circumstances and for any cause. And he is so narcissistic and unreflective that he is completely incapable of learning from his mistakes. The president’s disordered personality makes him as ill-equipped to deal with a crisis as any president has ever been. With few exceptions, what Trump has said is not just useless; it is downright injurious.

The nation is recognizing this, treating him as a bystander “as school superintendents, sports commissioners, college presidents, governors and business owners across the country take it upon themselves to shut down much of American life without clear guidance from the president,” in the words of Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times.

Donald Trump is shrinking before our eyes.

The coronavirus is quite likely to be the Trump presidency’s inflection point, when everything changed, when the bluster and ignorance and shallowness of America’s 45th president became undeniable, an empirical reality, as indisputable as the laws of science or a mathematical equation.

It has taken a good deal longer than it should have, but Americans have now seen the con man behind the curtain. The president, enraged for having been unmasked, will become more desperate, more embittered, more unhinged. He knows nothing will be the same. His administration may stagger on, but it will be only a hollow shell. The Trump presidency is over.

I think that’s probably true.



The first of many failures

Mar 13th, 2020 11:15 am | By

So, we learn that the Trump admin could have used the WHO test for the virus but decided not to.

On Saturday Jan. 11 — a month and a half before the first Covid-19 case not linked to travel was diagnosed in the United States — Chinese scientists posted the genome of the mysterious new virus, and within a week virologists in Berlin had produced the first diagnostic test for the disease.

Soon after, researchers in other nations rolled out their own tests, too, sometimes with different genetic targets. By the end of February, the World Health Organization had shipped tests to nearly 60 countries.

But we were not one of the 60.

Why the United States declined to use the WHO test, even temporarily as a bridge until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention could produce its own test, remains a perplexing question and the key to the Trump administration’s failure to provide enough tests to identify the coronavirus infections before they could be passed on, according to POLITICO interviews with dozens of viral-disease experts, former officials and some officials within the administration’s health agencies.

The slowness of the testing regimen — which, administration officials acknowledged this week, is still not producing enough tests to meet the national demand — was the first, and most sweeping, of many failures. So far there have been confirmed cases in at least 23 states, and at least 15 deaths, while the stock market plunged and an otherwise healthy economy braced for a major disruption.

And while Trump and his slaves kept on telling us it’s no big deal, hardly anybody has tested positive – without adding that that’s because we don’t have the tests.

“Please provide an explanation for why the Covid-19 diagnostic test approved by the World Health Organization was not used,” Sen. Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate health committee, who represents the hard-hit state of Washington, asked in a 3½-page letter on the testing fiasco to Pence, Health Secretary Alex Azar, CDC director Robert Redfield, and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn.

No answer so far.



Dispatches from the liar-in-chief

Mar 13th, 2020 10:39 am | By

Trump flailing and spitting poison:

No.

Hey kids, let’s make our own pandemic testing kits, that will be a fun adventure.

  1. (Howard Forman []
  2. (DeanObeidallah []


A defining moment

Mar 13th, 2020 10:19 am | By

When Trump attempted to Address the Nation:

In the most scripted of presidential settings, a prime-time televised address to the nation, President Trump decided to ad-lib — and his errors triggered a market meltdown, panicked travelers overseas and crystallized for his critics just how dangerously he has fumbled his management of the coronavirus.

He always does decide to ad-lib. I guess that’s because no words written by mere Someone Else can ever match the divine elixir of what spills out of his golden head.

Even Trump — a man practically allergic to admitting mistakes — knew he’d screwed up by declaring Wednesday night that his ban on travel from Europe would include cargo and trade, and acknowledged as much to aides in the Oval Office as soon as he’d finished speaking, according to one senior administration official and a second person, both with knowledge of the episode.

Really. That is actually surprising. Notice that the only way Trump can surprise us is by getting something right, even if it’s only admitting that he got something catastrophically wrong.

Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser who has seized control over some aspects of the government’s coronavirus response, reassured Trump that aides would correct his misstatement, four administration officials said, and they scrambled to do just that.

Jared fucking Kushner has grabbed control over some aspects of the Trump admin’s epidemic response…which is terrifying.

Trump’s 10-minute Oval Office address Wednesday night reflected not only his handling of the coronavirus crisis but, in some ways, much of his presidency. It was riddled with errors, nationalist and xenophobic in tone, limited in its empathy, and boastful of both his own decisions and the supremacy of the nation he leads.

Plus the manner of its delivery underlined yet again what an empty talentless worthless blue suit Trump is.

Trump — who believed that by giving the speech he would appear in command and that his remarks would reassure financial markets and the country — was in “an unusually foul mood” and sounded at times “apoplectic” on Thursday as he watched stocks tumble and digested widespread criticism of his speech, according to a former senior administration official briefed on his private conversations.

He believed he would “appear in command”…by sitting there like a whipped schoolboy, with his hands rigidly folded in front of him so that he wouldn’t endlessly flap them back and forth like a nervous squirrel, reading the teleprompter in a robotic monotone as if he were sounding out an unfamiliar language with a gun to his head.

Ben Rhodes, who served as a senior White House aide and helped former president Barack Obama script and manage his responses to numerous crises, predicted that Wednesday night’s address will stand as “the moment people associate with the fact that Donald Trump failed the biggest test of his presidency.”

“I think we’ll look back on this as a defining moment of the Trump presidency because it speaks to larger concerns that people already had about Trump — that he can’t tell the truth, that he doesn’t value expertise, that he doesn’t take the presidency seriously enough,” Rhodes said.

And that when he’s right up against it and trying to be reassuring he can’t even pretend successfully.

Trump’s speech contained at least two errors and a significant omission. He said the travel ban would apply to cargo; it did not. He said health insurance companies would waive patients’ co-payments for coronavirus testing and treatment; industry officials later clarified that they would waive payments for testing only. And he did not fully explain the details of his travel restrictions, leaving out the fact that U.S. citizens would be exempt.

Note the massive size of that second error – saying that insurance companies would waive patients’ co-payments for coronavirus treatment when of course they wouldn’t dream of doing any such thing. This is a discrepancy of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for patients, so yeah, it’s kind of a biggy.

The president’s remarks were devoid of much substantive information on other matters. Trump provided no update for citizens on the spread of the virus, nor on the availability and results of testing.

Public health experts have said testing citizens for the coronavirus is essential for identifying new cases and limiting its spread, but the nation has experienced a chronic shortage of test kits after weeks of missteps by the government. Trump devoted only two short sentences to the topic, and they were vague: “Testing and testing capabilities are expanding rapidly, day by day. We are moving very quickly.”

Not just vague, but also self-flattering, and in fact dishonestly self-flattering. Our testing capabilities suck, and it’s his fault for getting rid of Obama’s epidemic response team.

Stylistically, the president himself seemed ill at ease in the formal setting, offering a labored, monotone delivery from behind the Resolute Desk, twiddling his thumbs and even, in moments, struggling to read words on the teleprompter.

What I’m saying. Not like a grown-ass adult who at least cares what happens to us, but a sullen child forced to recite the tax code.

Kushner only recently became involved with the administration’s virus response, beginning to attend meetings in his capacity as a senior adviser, according to officials, but inserted himself more fully as he became increasingly convinced that more tangible action was needed.

But what does “in his capacity as a senior adviser” mean? What capacity is that? What’s “senior” about him? Certainly not expertise or depth of knowledge or intelligence or thoughtfulness or experience or age. He’s a callow young slumlord; that’s it.

Other than all that the address went well.



And another

Mar 13th, 2020 8:52 am | By

Meanwhile up north

Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, the wife of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, becoming the latest in a string of high-profile individuals to become infected with the potentially deadly pathogen.

The issue isn’t “high profile” so much as “head of state or spouse thereof.”

On Thursday, the prime minister spoke by telephone with President Trump and the two leaders discussed efforts to respond to the pandemic, with nearly 135,000 known cases globally and nearly 5,000 deaths from the virus.

That is, one of them did that and the other babbled incoherently.

In a readout of the call, the prime minister’s office said: “The two leaders discussed the steps they are taking to protect the health and safety of their citizens and to promote economic resilience in response to the COVID-19 virus.”

See above.



+

Mar 13th, 2020 8:43 am | By

A kind of divine justice

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend, has tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus, Brazilian news outlet Jornal O Dia and Fox News reported Friday.

Bolsonaro was tested Thursday after his press secretary Fabio Wajngarten, who also met with Trump, tested positive for the virus. Wajngarten’s diagnosis was confirmed by the president’s office.

So Trump has had contact with at least two people who have tested + for the virus. If nothing else we can be confident he is not happy. I want him to be not happy.

Bolsonaro and Wajngarten were part of a delegation who traveled to the U.S. over the weekend and met with multiple high-level officials. The group dined at Mar-a-Lago with Trump, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

Oh yes, about that – Princess Ivanka has an additional exposure:

Ivanka Trump and Attorney General William Barr are the latest people in President Trump’s inner circle to have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Last week, the first daughter and attorney general both met with Australian Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, who has now confirmed on Twitter that he has COVID-19.

So it turns out there’s a downside to being Princess Barbiedoll and playing at being In Government.

Meanwhile Trump’s administration continues to try to minimize the pandemic.

After news of Wajngarten’s positive test result emerged Thursday, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that Trump and Pence had “almost no interactions” with the senior aide and “do not require being tested at this time.”

That’s contrary to what the rest of us mere mortals are being told.

“Exposures from the case are being assessed, which will dictate next steps,” she added. “To reiterate CDC guidelines, there is currently no indication to test patients without symptoms, and only people with prolonged close exposure to confirmed positive cases should self-quarantine.”

Yeah right: err on the side of risky. That is not good advice. The fact that there are not enough tests (to put it mildly) does not mean we shouldn’t get tested unless we’ve been having hourly sex with the virus-haver.

These people should all self-isolate on the moon so that we can have competent adults in charge.



His overwhelming selfishness

Mar 12th, 2020 4:35 pm | By

Julian Borger spells out why Trump is – as we already know – the worst possible person to be in charge during a pandemic.

Trump in a time of coronavirus is a lethal combination. Everything about the president – his reliance on his gut instincts in place of expertise, his overwhelming selfishness, and his unfailing tendency to lash out at others when things go wrong – make him the worst person imaginable to hold the world’s most powerful job in the face of pandemic.

Also his ravenous ego, his sadistic bullying, his frivolity, his stupidity, his recklessness, his indifference to anything and anyone but himself, his conceit, his ignorance, his fucking stubbornness…it’s hard to draw up a complete list.

The president has dealt with coronavirus the same way he approached every other challenge in his administration, first trying denial – and when that failed, blaming outsiders. The disease has slid from a Democratic “hoax” to the “foreign virus”. It came as little surprise that his speech had been written by Stephen Miller, the author of the administration’s cruellest anti-immigration policies.

The lack of tests means that the country is stumbling blindfolded into the worst health crisis in decades. Despite warnings from his own experts, the president reportedly clings to the relatively low number of confirmed cases as a sign that the US might be spared the worst.

The numbers are low BECAUSE WE’RE NOT TESTING. It’s like saying the house is not on fire because you’ve closed and locked the door to the room that is engulfed in flames.



Name any group you’d speak to as you do women

Mar 12th, 2020 3:51 pm | By

More responses to Billy Bragg’s attempt to tell women what to do:

And from the other direction…

Slogan, slogan, slogan. We give arguments, they reply with slogans. It gets tiresome.

But we already have that. We already have a means to ensure that athletes compete on a level playing field. Men compete against men and women compete against women. That’s it, that’s the means.

Deeply pissed off more than heartbroken in my case, but it comes to the same thing.



Every one of you chose to risk today happening

Mar 12th, 2020 2:29 pm | By

Truth.



Careful of the blasphemy

Mar 12th, 2020 2:10 pm | By

I can only roll my eyes.

It would be blasphemous to think that Holy Communion could spread viruses, but people were free to choose whether they want to receive it, the Church of Cyprus said on Wednesday.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Holy Synod argued that receiving Holy Communion from the same spoon as hundreds of others was safe for believers.

“It would be blasphemous to think that the body and blood of the Christ could transmit any disease or virus,” it said.

Well maybe so but it isn’t the body and blood of Jesus so……………..

“Christianity’s centuries-old experience has no single incident of such transmission to display.”

As if he could possibly know that.



Nothing very unusual

Mar 12th, 2020 10:09 am | By

The news outlets are reporting it now. CNN:

Fabio Wajngarten, the press secretary for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, two sources have told CNN. Bolsonaro’s health is being monitored.

It comes just days after Wajngarten met US President Donald Trump in Florida.

Bolsonaro’s aide posted an image of himself standing with Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend.

Trump is calm.

Trump said he was aware of the aide’s diagnosis during remarks in the Oval Office on Thursday.

“We did nothing very unusual, we sat next to each other for a period of time,” he added, referring to Bolsonaro.

Well, yes, and that’s one way the virus can spread. It doesn’t require doing anything very unusual.



Just nine hours

Mar 12th, 2020 10:00 am | By

Peter Baker in the NYT:

On Wednesday night, President Trump implored the nation’s political leadership to “stop the partisanship” and come together to confront the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday morning, he woke up and immediately issued partisan attacks on Democratic congressional leaders.

You’re thinking that’s inconsistent, aren’t you. Nah. He told other people to stop the partisanship. He’s not other people.

Mr. Trump’s call for a suspension of partisanship lasted just nine hours, at least some of which he was presumably asleep. While some of Mr. Trump’s allies and advisers have urged him to stop fighting and assert more national leadership, the president made clear that it does not suit him.

He made clear that rules are for other people, not for him.

At 6:15 a.m., Mr. Trump went after Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, complaining about her resistance to his proposal to cut payroll taxes to juice the economy as it reels from fears of the coronavirus. Lawmakers on both sides have given the idea a cool reception.

In his prime-time address to the nation from the Oval Office on Wednesday night, Mr. Trump sounded a different note. “We are all in this together,” he said at the time. “We must put politics aside, stop the partisanship, and unify together as one nation and one family.”

That was an accident. He didn’t mean “we” – he meant “you” and “they.” The speechwriter fucked it up.

Mr. Trump has spent much of the past couple weeks fighting a partisan battle over his handling of the coronavirus. Democrats have sharply criticized him for making false or misleading statements about the outbreak, not taking it seriously enough, failing to act sooner and undercutting the government’s global health apparatus.

Other than that he’s doing a brilliant job.



Aw yeah, gas prices

Mar 12th, 2020 9:07 am | By

Hmmyes definitely, because gasoline is most people’s main expense, right? It takes a far bigger bite than housing, food, health insurance – everything, in fact, apart from taxes. No question.



Another vector

Mar 12th, 2020 8:57 am | By

Interesting.

So that’s twice we know of that Trump has been in the vicinity of the virus – at CPAC and at his Florida golf resort.

Which will now have to be closed for some weeks, right?

Updating to add:



We’re not clear

Mar 12th, 2020 7:47 am | By

Trump said words last night.

At 9.02pm, Trump began as presidents so often do: “My fellow Americans.” But in the next breath, he reverted to his familiar us-versus-them nationalism, referring to the coronavirus outbreak “that started in China” and is now spreading throughout the world. “This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history.” Not just a virus. A foreign virus.

The president touted his own sweeping travel restrictions on China and, far from expressing sympathy and solidarity with allies, argued the European Union “failed to take the same precautions and restrict travel from China and other hotspots. As a result, a large number of new clusters in the United States were seeded by travelers from Europe.”

Trump announced the US will be banning travelers from many European countries to the US for the next 30 days with exemptions for Americans, permanent residents and family of US citizens who have undergone screenings and, mysteriously, the UK, despite it having a higher caseload than some other European countries.

And despite the fact that people from other European countries will just nip over to Heathrow to fly here.

He went on to talk of the pathogen as if it [were] a foreign army or terrorist network. “The virus will not have a chance against us,” he said. “No nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States.”

If that were true Trump would not be president.

Many observers found the address unreassuring and downright weird. Susan Glasser, a staff writer from the New Yorker, tweeted: “The militaristic, nationalistic language of Trump’s speech tonight is striking: a ‘foreign virus,’ keeping out China and Europe.”

David Litt, who wrote speeches for Obama, posted: “As a former presidential speechwriter, my careful rhetorical analysis is that he’s gonna get us all killed.”

Trump’s second Oval Office address was over in 10 minutes. Then a man off camera said: “We’re clear.” The president unbuttoned his jacket and exclaimed with relief: “OK!”

Man off camera has now been executed.



Removing the ship’s hull mid-crossing

Mar 12th, 2020 7:38 am | By

Judd Legum of Popular Information reminds us of the backstory.

In 2018, the Trump administration ousted Rear Adm. Tim Ziemer, who served as the Senior Director of Global Health Security. Ziemer was a member of the National Security Council, where he was responsible for coordinating “responses to global health emergencies and potential pandemics.” Ziemer was lauded as “one of the most quietly effective leaders in public health.” His work on Malaria during the Obama administration helped save 6 million lives. 

“Admiral Ziemer’s departure is deeply alarming,” Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA) said in May 2018. “Expertise like his is critical in avoiding large outbreaks.” Beth Cameron, who served on the National Security Council in the Obama administration, said that Ziemer’s ouster was “a major loss for health security, biodefense, and pandemic preparedness” and noted that it “is unclear in his absence who at the White House would be in charge of a pandemic.”

Now it is clear: no one. Jared Kushner is doing “research” and Trump is saying words and flapping hands, but no one is in charge of the pandemic.

John Bolton, who was serving as Trump’s National Security Adviser at the time, did not just remove Ziemer. He decided to eliminate the position, and “the NSC’s entire global health security unit.” Bolton also forced out Tom Bossert, a highly regarded expert who was Ziemer’s counterpart at the Department of Homeland Security. “Neither the NSC nor DHS epidemic teams have been replaced,” Foreign Policy reported in January. 

Trump slashed funding for the CDC’s epidemic prevention activities, forcing the agency to end its work “in 39 out of 49 countries because money is running out” in 2018. The program, which started in 2014, was designed to “help countries prevent infectious-disease threats from becoming epidemics.” Among the countries no longer included: China.

Good move. Brilliant. Very cost-effective and safety-enhancing.

Who is in charge of the United States’ response to the coronavirus? You might assume it is the CDC. You would be wrong. 

There were several hundred Americans aboard a cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, that experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 near Japan. The Americans were evacuated and, before they were flown home, 14 tested positive for the coronavirus. The CDC advised that these infected passengers should not be flown home with the rest of the group, arguing that they could infect the others

The CDC, however, was overruled by the “State Department and a top Trump administration health official.” The decision was made even though to government “had already told passengers they would not be evacuated with anyone who was infected or who showed symptoms.” CDC officials were so distraught that they “demanded to be left out of the news release that explained that infected people were being flown back to the United States.” 

Yes but Trump’s uncle was an engineer.



How will he know which ones are predatory?

Mar 11th, 2020 5:10 pm | By

Point entirely missed.

No. That is not what people are concerned about. Of course trans rights are human rights, and of course no one is saying trans people shouldn’t have rights. The issue is special new and frankly peculiar rights, that conflict with other people’s rights at many points. Trans rights can mean the human rights that all people, including trans people, have, or it can mean new invented “rights” that no one has, such as the “right” to force people to agree with one’s personal self-identification no matter what. The first is not an issue, the second is; it does no one any favors to obfuscate this.

So basically “Yes yes women should be safe in prisons, and I’m sure they will be, and yes yes women should be able to play sports, and of course they will be.” An acknowledgement of the issue followed by a total refusal to deal with it. Thanks, bro. Not your rights disappearing, are they.

That would be more impressive if we could be sure Zoe Williams, Lisa Nandy, and Jess Phillips are not hostages – that they are not taking the line they do because they know that otherwise their lives will be made hell. We can’t be sure of that, because we know too well what happens to women who ask searching questions about these new exciting trans “rights.”