Take your pins off

Feb 10th, 2021 4:42 pm | By

Pretty harrowing to listen to.

Ok then

Feb 10th, 2021 4:02 pm | By

Very progressive.


The crime is a felony offense

Feb 10th, 2021 3:12 pm | By

Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has opened a criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s attempt to interfere with Georgia’s election, the New York Times reported on Wednesday. While the former president faces potential criminal liability in several states, including New York, now that he has left office, the Georgia probe may pose the most immediate threat. All available evidence suggests that prosecutors are considering charges that amount to election fraud—a felony offense under Georgia law, and the very crime that Trump claimed he sought to stop.

The focus is on that call to Raffensperger.

As election law expert Rick Hasen noted at the time, there is no question that Trump was asking Raffensperger to manufacture enough votes to overturn the Georgia election on the basis of paranoid delusions. The former president’s call was thus not only corrupt, but very likely criminal. Under Georgia law, it is illegal to falsify any records used in connection with an election, or to place any false entries in such records. And any person who “solicits, requests, commands, importunes, or otherwise attempts to cause the other person” to falsify voting records is guilty of “criminal solicitation to commit election fraud in the first degree.” The crime is a felony offense, punishable by up to three years in prison (and no less than one year). An individual is culpable even if they failed to induce fraud.

Trump importuned. He importuned as hard as he could, complete with threats. Cleverly he did it over the phone, so that it could be recorded.

Willis noted in the retention request that the investigation includes potential violations of Georgia laws “prohibiting the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration.” This lengthy list of possible offenses indicates that the district attorney is focusing on the most obvious charge, solicitation of election fraud, but also looking at a broad range of criminal laws in building her case against Trump. In her letter to state officials, Willis described the Trump investigation as a “high priority” and said the case will go before a grand jury as early as March, with subpoenas to follow shortly thereafter.

This is good, and not just because I want to see Trump brought down with a crash, but because nobody should be able to do that with impunity, not even a vulgarian from Queens with a tiny tiny tiny vocabulary.

Will literally no one else represent you?

Feb 10th, 2021 12:08 pm | By

Also new.

They are responsible

Feb 10th, 2021 12:04 pm | By

New item.

Hands on

Feb 10th, 2021 11:51 am | By

The most dangerous jobs during the pandemic:

A new study from the University of California, San Francisco suggests that line cooks have the highest risk of mortality during the Covid pandemic — even more than healthcare workers.

For the study, which hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet, researchers analyzed California death certificates for working-age people 18 to 65, during the first seven months of the pandemic. Then they looked at how the number of deaths increased in that time frame compared to pre-pandemic times.

Line cooks had a 60% increase in mortality associated with the pandemic.

The top five occupations that had higher than a 50% mortality rate increase during the pandemic include cooks, line workers in warehouses, agricultural workers, bakers and construction laborers.

You’ll notice these are all grunt jobs, labor jobs, mostly badly paid jobs (I think construction pays better than the others). They aren’t jobs you can do on your laptop at home.

The risk also varied by race and ethnicity. The study found that “excess mortality,” which is the gap between the expected number of deaths in past years and 2020, increased 36% for Latino Californians, 28% for Black Californians and 18% for Asian Californians. Among White working-age Californians, the mortality rate increased by 6% during the pandemic.

Privilege of the most literal kind.

A thousand and one days

Feb 10th, 2021 10:54 am | By

Free at last!

The prominent Saudi dissident and women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul has been released from prison after 1,001 days in custody.

Following a concerted campaign by her relatives and global rights groups, Hathloul was granted probation by a judge in Riyadh and released to her family on Wednesday afternoon. Her sister Lina published a photo of a smiling Loujain on Twitter early evening Riyadh time – the first image of the most celebrated political prisoner in the Kingdom since she was detained almost three years ago. “Loujain is at home !!!!!!”, the accompanying message said.

It is understood that the terms of Hathloul’s probation prevent her from discussing her ordeal in prison. She is banned from leaving Saudi Arabia, and has a suspended sentence looming if she breaks the terms of her release.

So, not free, but out of prison, which is a lot better than being in.

Hathloul launched hunger strikes to protest against her imprisonment and joined other female activists in telling Saudi judges that she was tortured and sexually assaulted by masked men during interrogations. The women say they were caned, electrocuted and waterboarded. Some say they were forcibly groped and threatened with rape. Hathloul’s parents said they noticed bruising when they visited her in prison. …

Hathloul became a cause célèbre for leading Democrats in the US during her imprisonment and her case had been championed by Joe Biden during his presidential election campaign. The release of the activist is thought to at least in part be connected to Biden’s election win.

Unlike his predecessor Donald Trump, who fully embraced Prince Mohammed and showed no interest in the Kingdom’s human rights controversies, Biden has been noticeably cooler towards Riyadh and has vowed to reassess the US-Saudi partnership and stand up for human rights and democratic principles.

Hathloul is only one of many, of course.

Lucy Rae, a spokeswoman for Grant Liberty, which campaigns for the rights of prisoners in Saudi Arabia, said: “Loujain al-Hathloul leaves prison a hero – brutalised by the regime, but not broken. Her courage is an inspiration to us all. But she is not alone – the international community must not make the mistake of assuming that her release signals the end of the oppression of women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia.

“The international community must not relent. It’s not just Loujain – there are many other women in prison today because they fought for human rights in Saudi Arabia. They must be freed, unconditionally. Nothing else will do.”

Showing us the glowing orb is no substitute.

Preserve the documents

Feb 10th, 2021 10:11 am | By

The long arm of the law is getting longer and longer

Prosecutors in Fulton county, Georgia, are investigating Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the southern state’s 2020 presidential election results, according to a letter, in the second criminal investigation faced by the former president.

In Georgia! How dare they! Georgia was supposed to be solidly in the white supremacist yay-trump column. That’s the whole point of suppressing the black vote.

The Fulton county district attorney, Fani Willis, has sent a letter asking state government officials to preserve documents, including those related to the then president’s call to the Republican secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, pressuring him to “find” more votes.

“This matter is of high priority, and I am confident that as fellow law enforcement officers sworn to uphold the constitutions of the United States and Georgia, our acquisition of information and evidence of potential crimes via interviews, documents, videos and electronic records will be cooperative,” said the letter dated 10 February.

“This letter is notification that all records potentially related to the administration of the 2020 general election must be preserved, with particular care being given to set aside and preserve those that may be evidence of attempts to influence the actions of persons who were administering that election.“

Tick tock


Feb 9th, 2021 5:38 pm | By

Trans man knows what it’s like.

I am a 48-year-old transgender man. I was thrilled when the medical community told me six years ago that I could change from a woman to a man. I was informed about all the wonderful things that would happen due to medical transition, but all the negatives were glossed over. Since then, I have suffered tremendously, including seven surgeries, a pulmonary embolism, an induced stress heart attack, sepsis, a 17-month recurring infection, 16 rounds of antibiotics, three weeks of daily IV antibiotics, arm reconstructive surgery, lung, heart and bladder damage, insomnia, hallucinations, PTSD, $1 million in medical expenses, and loss of home, car, career and marriage. All this, and yet I cannot sue the surgeon responsible—in part because there is no structured, tested or widely accepted baseline for transgender health care.

Does that sound worth it? For something so nebulous and uncertain as transitioning to the “right” body? What kind of “right” body puts you through all that?

Read that again: There is no structured, tested, or widely accepted baseline for transgender health care. Not for 42-year-olds, and not for the many minors embarking on medical transition in record numbers. It is not transphobic or discriminatory to discuss this—we as a society need to fully understand what we are encouraging our children to do to their bodies.

Or maybe we just need to stop encouraging. Allowing, maybe, but encouraging, how about never.

Throughout transition, I second-guessed my decisions, but each counseling session and doctor’s appointment amounted to one more push convincing me I could be cured of being born in the wrong body. The truth was that I didn’t fit in as a dominant, aggressive, assertive lesbian. The dream of finally fitting in dangled like a carrot: The idea that I could fit in catapulted me to a time much like adolescence, with its drive for acceptance, inclusive peers and the fantasy of being normal.

“Normal” is overrated.

During my post-operation 17 months of sheer survival, I discovered that transgender health care is experimental and that large swaths of the medical industry encourage minors to transition due, at least in part, to fat profit margins. I was gobsmacked. Each day I researched more and became increasingly appalled. As I jumped from ER to ER desperately seeking help, I realized that nobody knew what to do. Each physician told me to return to the original surgeon.

It’s lobotomies all over again, I tell you. It’s bleeding people for every illness. It’s sacrificing an animal to appease the god who sent the fever.

H/t Sackbut

They talked about many things

Feb 9th, 2021 4:44 pm | By

Trump is mad that his lawyers are so sucky. Well, Mister Sir, that’s what happens when you’re such a horror that nobody wants to defend you – you can’t get the pick of the crop.

A Trump advisor told the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman that Trump attorney Bruce Castor’s confusing, meandering performance was a “deliberative strategy.” designed to lower the emotion in the room, though, I’d counter, a master strategist wouldn’t need to put out a background statement explaining their strategy.

No that too is to get everyone to calm down.

Other reviews also not great.

“The president’s lawyer just rambled on and on,” said senator John Cornyn, a Republican of Texas. “I’ve seen a lot of lawyers and a lot of arguments, and that was not one of the finest I’ve seen.”

Senator Ted Cruz, a Trump loyalist, told the Washington Post: “I don’t think the lawyers did the most effective job.”

Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana was none too impressed with Donald Trump’s defense team. Cassidy told HuffPost’s Igor Bobic: “They talked about many things but they didn’t talk about the issue at hand.”


Not only prosecutors but also survivors

Feb 9th, 2021 4:28 pm | By

Meanwhile today the impeachment trial has started.

Democrats are aware that the trial outcome is a foregone conclusion – another Trump acquittal, barring sensational new evidence – and that the stakes are lower because he has already left office. But sometimes symbolism is the point. The impeachment trial is a test of accountability, stability and rule of law before a global audience.

Like a criminal lawyer, Democrats are seeking to appeal to not only the head but also the heart. They are not only prosecutors but also survivors of the rampage, a point brought home with visceral force by Jamie Raskin in a closing argument that had the chamber silent and spellbound on Wednesday.

“And then there was a sound I will never forget,” he recalled. “The sound of pounding on the door like a battering ram. The most haunting sound I ever heard and I will never forget it.”

Raskin’s 25-year-old son, Tommy, a Harvard law student who struggled with depression, took his own life on New Year’s Eve. A day after Tommy was buried on 5 January, the congressman had brought his daughter and a son-in-law to the Capitol for the ratification of Biden’s victory.

He had assured them it would be safe but, after the mob stormed the building, they were hiding under a desk in a barricaded congressional office sending what they thought were final text messages to loved ones. More than an hour later, they were rescued by Capitol police.

Raskin, fighting back tears, said of his 24-year-old daughter: “I told her how sorry I was and I promised her that it would not be like this again the next time she came back to the Capitol with me. And you know what she said? She said, ‘Dad, I don’t want to come back to the Capitol.’”

At that Raskin broke down for a moment, putting fingers to his eyes before regaining his composure. “Of all the terrible, brutal things I saw and I heard on that day and since then, that one hit me the hardest. That and watching someone use an American flag pole, the flag still on it, to spear and pummel one of our police officers – ruthlessly, mercilessly tortured by a pole with a flag on it that he was defending with his very life.”

It sounds maudlin, but it’s the truth.

Out jumps the tiger

Feb 9th, 2021 11:51 am | By

It gets worse. (This is interesting because he’s not Owen Jones or Adrian Harrop, but…it seems he might as well be.)

Might as well be.

Why does this woman keep talking?

Feb 9th, 2021 11:38 am | By

Yes of course these issues should be discussed – but obviously not by you, because you’re much too informed and concerned about them.

Thank god he’s not at all prejudiced against anyone himself.

Women can never, ever jump through enough hoops

Feb 9th, 2021 10:32 am | By

Never enough.

Always jam tomorrow.

They had a brilliant Q and A

Feb 9th, 2021 9:55 am | By

Julie comments on the sudden stab in the back:

It’s disgusting.

Readings regrets

Feb 9th, 2021 9:49 am | By

16 hours ago:

Two hours later:

Bam, that’s Julie Bindel thrown under the bus to make way for a man who identifies as a woman.

Imagine a bookstore doing this to, say, Isabel Wilkerson or Ta-Nehisi Coates to make way for a white person who identifies as black.

It wouldn’t happen. It wouldn’t happen, and the white person would be excoriated and chastised.

Why is it ok to do it to feminist women?

“The politics of woundedness”

Feb 8th, 2021 6:12 pm | By

Her book is like that, too. A review from LSE:

In Me, Not YouAlison Phipps builds on Black feminist scholarship to investigate how mainstream feminist movements against sexual violence express a ‘political whiteness’ that can reinforce marginalisation and oppression and limits the capacity to collectively achieve structural change and dismantle violent systems. This short and accessible book challenges us to think deeply about how the politics of woundedness, outrage and carcerality are embedded within the feminist movement and our own organising, writes Lili Schwoerer, and serves as another encouragement to explore and engage with alternative imaginaries.

So what should we have then, feminist movements for sexual violence?

Also, if we’re talking about marginalization and oppression, and claiming that feminist movements against sexual violence can reinforce them, I can bring up an interesting fact, which is that sexual violence can reinforce marginalization and oppression too. A lot. Really: a lot. Sexual violence in the workplace is a good way to force women to leave it. Being forced out of a job by sexual violence is very marginalizing and oppressive. What about that? Has Alison Phipps given that any thought? Is it not hip enough for her? Is it not the cool kids enough? Raped women aren’t very good at rapping, is that it?

This short, accessibly written book pivots around the #MeToo movement, which, according to Phipps, provided a powerful opportunity to highlight the widespread nature of sexual violence, while also replicating and exposing some of the longstanding violences of mainstream feminism. The feminism that Phipps critiques here is Anglo-American, public feminism: the kind of feminism which is most hegemonic, and most visible, in corporations, NGOS and institutions, including universities. The book’s six short chapters draw together historical and conceptual analysis with empirical observations on the ways in which the tendencies to co-opt the work of women of colour and to centre white woundedness shape these kinds of feminist organising, and the political landscape more generally.

She really means this shit, doesn’t she. She means it so much it seems to be her only idea.

The rape victim may not say “his” penis

Feb 8th, 2021 5:09 pm | By

Shahdin Farsai wrote an opinion piece for Canadian Lawyer Magazine in October, titled British Columbia’s practice directions on preferred gender pronouns in court are problematic. Yesterday the magazine removed the article.

The article is archived.

On December 16, 2020, both the BC Supreme and Provincial courts issued practice directions to lawyers that require parties and/or lawyers to state their preferred gender pronouns at the beginning of all court proceedings, which are “to be used” by all participants appearing before the courts including judges.

My antennas naturally went up as a lawyer. I see these practice directions as problematic for three central reasons. They are potentially compelled speech in court, a breach of privacy rights, and damage the perception of judicial impartiality.

… Outside of court, we have legislation to protect gender identity or expression in the BC Human Rights Code, but inside court all parties are protected by absolute privilege or immunity. This doctrine shields the legal process from itself becoming the source of further litigation. No one can dictate the words spoken or written by court participants including judges during judicial proceedings. The doctrine is essential to the administration of justice because it permits parties to give evidence in whatever words they choose and lawyers to protect and present their client´s case unfettered.

We saw this play out when the judge compelled Maria Maclachlan to refer to the man who assaulted her with female pronouns, which obviously impeded her ability to give evidence in her own words, and indeed to tell the truth about what happened.

The doctrine of absolute immunity goes hand in hand with lawyers’ professional duty to zealously protect their client’s rights. Advocates must not be under any obligation to refer to another party by their preferred pronouns, especially if doing so would go against the legal position and the instructions that they receive from their clients. This point was made in a recent case before the BC Supreme Court. The court heard the case of a mother attempting to prevent her 17-year-old daughter from having surgery to remove her breasts. The daughter wanted to transition to the male gender, and provincial authorities supported her wish. The mother still regarded her daughter as a female. The question of her gender transition was the very issue before the court. Yet when the mother and her counsel referred to the daughter as “her”, the judge challenged the mother´s right to do so. According to the transcript, the judge said, “there has been a request that counsel refer to [the youth] as he or him … are you refusing to do that?”

The woman who gave birth to the girl was being compelled to refer to her as he and him.

But as I mentioned the piece was removed. Conversation ensued.

No skin off his…nose, is it.

H/t GW

If you can’t win, cheat

Feb 8th, 2021 4:36 pm | By

Voting rights are being attacked again. Ari Berman at Mother Jones:

Georgia Republicans have already introduced an avalanche of new laws that would radically limit voting options in the state. On Monday—the first day of Black History Month—Republicans in the state Senate introduced nine bills to restrict access to the ballot, including eliminating automatic voter registration, no-excuse absentee voting, and mail ballot drop boxes, as well as prohibiting third-party groups from sending mail ballot applications, and banning people who move to Georgia after the general election from voting in runoff elections. Many of the bills were sponsored by Republicans who backed Texas’ unsuccessful attempt to persuade the Supreme Court to throw out election results from Georgia and other states carried by Biden. These bills come on the heels of another bill that would require voters to submit physical copies of photo identification twice to vote by mail, once when they request a mail-in ballot and again when they return it.

We’ve been through all this. It’s voter suppression, and it’s wrong. The Voting Rights Act made it illegal, but then the Supreme Court said “never mind” in 2013.

“I will not let them end this [legislative] session without changing some of these laws,” Alice O’Lenick, the GOP chair of the board of elections in Gwinnett County in suburban Atlanta, which Biden carried by 18 points, said last month. “They don’t have to change all of them, but they’ve got to change the major parts of them so that we at least have a shot at winning.”

A shot at winning by suppressing the vote, that is. That’s not a shot “we” are supposed to have.

And to make it harder for Democrats to get elected.

One of the most disgusting

Feb 8th, 2021 9:44 am | By

See also