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.”



Pandumbic

Mar 11th, 2020 4:39 pm | By



Save the narrative first

Mar 11th, 2020 3:59 pm | By

Trump doesn’t want to declare an emergency because that would make it too obvious that he has his head up his ass.

President Donald Trump is reluctant to declare an expansive emergency to combat the escalating coronavirus outbreak, fearful of stoking panic with such a dramatic step, according to three people familiar with the situation. Instead, the president is expected to sign within days a more limited designation to allow the federal government to cover small business loans, paychecks for hourly workers and delay tax bills, the White House said Wednesday. An emergency declaration would go significantly beyond that move, bringing in the Federal Emergency Management Agency and freeing up funding and resources for states struggling to contain the rapidly spreading virus.

In other words it would be vastly more useful than Trump’s feeble little handwave.

Trump’s concern at this point is that going further could hamper his narrative that the coronavirus is similar to the seasonal flu, said the three people familiar with the discussions.

Yes well that’s the important thing – Trump’s narrative. Not the survival of thousands of people, but the health of Trump’s stupid ignorant wrong “narrative” aka lie.

There’s no deadline for a decision, but one of the people familiar with the talks said the task force will not give Trump its final verdict until Jared Kushner, the president’s senior adviser and son-in-law, finishes his research and comes to a conclusion himself.

Oh good, fabulous, absolutely brilliant, the health of millions depends on the “research” of a shallow ignorant real estate hustler working for his criminal daddy-in-law.



The level of certain physical attributes

Mar 11th, 2020 11:58 am | By

When it comes to pay, we are told that women athletes are worth less because men are better. When it comes to men athletes who claim to be women so that they can compete against women, we are told that men are not better at all and who ever said they were?

On International Women’s Day in 2019, all 28 players on the top-ranked U.S. women’s national soccer team filed a lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) alleging gender-based discrimination and arguing for equal pay. Now, eye-opening court documents filed Tuesday in Los Angeles reveal the grounds on which the USSF is arguing the lawsuit should be thrown out.

One of its arguments is headlined: “WNT [Women’s National Team] and MNT [Men’s National Team] Players Do Not Perform Equal Work Requiring Equal Skill, Effort, and Responsibility Under Similar Working Conditions.” The document goes on to say, “The overall soccer-playing ability required to compete at the senior men’s national team level is materially influenced by the level of certain physical attributes, such as speed and strength, required for the job.”

Unless it’s Rachel McKinnon or Miller and Yearwood or Laurel Hubbard; then the attributes vanish from view.

U.S. Soccer argues that paying its female players less than its male players is justified because of inherent physiological differences between men and women in things like skeletal structure, muscle composition, heart and lung capacity, and even “the absolute ability to process carbohydrates.”

While sports writers claim that there’s no difference at all and it’s tranphobic and sexist to say there is.

The U.S. women are ranked No. 1 in the world and have won four World Cup titles. The U.S. men’s team is ranked 22nd and has never won a World Cup. The men failed even to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. In the last World Cup, the women’s final attracted more American TV viewers than the men’s.

But still, the women are paid significantly less. They have to come up with some justification for that.



The P word

Mar 11th, 2020 10:37 am | By

It’s on.

The COVID-19 viral disease that has swept into at least 114 countries and killed more than 4,000 people is now officially a pandemic, the World Health Organization announced Wednesday.

“This is the first pandemic caused by coronavirus,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

As he announced the ratcheting up of a health emergency to its highest level, Tedros also said there is hope that COVID-19 can still be curtailed. And he urged countries to act now to stop the disease.

“WHO has been in full response mode since we were notified of the first cases,” Tedros said. “And we have called every day for countries to take urgent and aggressive action. We have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.”

Eight countries — including the U.S. — are now each reporting more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19, caused by the virus that has infected roughly 120,000 people worldwide.

Bumpy ride ahead.



Open up ALL the toilets

Mar 11th, 2020 8:40 am | By

So about that dopy Zoe Williams piece telling feminists to be more embracey

I have written nothing on trans issues for seven years. A now-familiar row had broken out in the feminist movement back then, and I assumed that feminism would soon re-orient itself away from which body parts define a woman and whether or not the word “womxn” signified an assault on our sense of selves, and towards what I thought was obviously the more fundamental question of the movement: who has it worse? Feminism, in my life’s experience of it, takes the side of the oppressed. That is our raison d’etre.

You see what I mean by “dopy.” Of course that’s not feminism’s raison d’être – why would it be? Feminism takes the side of women (see: the “fem” bit). Yes feminism tends to be on the left, yes feminism tends to be in alliance with other movements, yes feminism should be intersectional; all of that; nevertheless feminism itself is about women, not “the oppressed” in general. Isn’t it funny that other social justice movements don’t tell themselves that they’re not about their own issue but a much broader and more general one? Isn’t it funny that it’s only women who are told to be about everyone? The universal caretakers.

Something something, Williams says. Old prejudices, pent-up hatreds, something something.

But all that prejudice did not just evaporate, and the very idea of a trans person became its great release. All this pent up feeling exploded on to this one group, who – to put it mildly – could have done without it. It was, and remains, obvious which side feminism would be expected to take in this fight: the side of compassion and fellowship. We would recognise the importance of being an ally in a battle that we had been through.

Because we are all mommy. What was feminism about again?

Seven years ago, I thought this was quite an emollient argument, having gone nowhere near definitions, biology or absolutes – a call to rejoice in everything that made the women’s movement meaningful and victorious: strength in numbers, solidarity and, ultimately, love.

Say what? How does she mean “emollient”? Why is she calling a call to rejoice an “argument”? What kind of strength in numbers and solidarity is it for an oppressed class to embrace the oppressor class? Is this political discussion or Sunday school? “Love” is all very well but it doesn’t replace rights or justice.

… there is a bizarre idea ossifying that “real” feminists are being hounded out of the discursive space by trans activists. Rather, what has occurred is the systematic enclosure of the debate, so that unless you want to go to the mats about toilets, your point of view is not relevant.

You know…that’s some strikingly bad writing there. Bizarre ideas ossify while feminists are hounded and spaces are discursive – it’s a queasy mashup of abstract and earthy that does not work. And what is “systematic enclosure of the debate” when it’s at home? And how do you go to the mats about toilets – are you scrubbing them or flushing them or peeing on them or what?

She does it in the next paragraph too – it seems to be her thing: hyper-concrete metaphors that make no sense and look absurd.

The experience of trans men, for instance, has been more or less erased, because the core issues have been whittled down to such a sharp, conflicted point

Why would a sharp point be the reason something was erased? And how do you “whittle down” issues to a “sharp, conflicted point” anyway?

Again, it is tactical and convenient to portray trans inclusion as a Trojan horse that all the young idiots allow in

No – not illuminating, not relevant, not helpful.

The terrible quality of the writing makes it hard to focus on what there is of the argument. Next paragraph – “It is astonishing that the idea of the “women-only space” is being touted as a fundamental pillar of the movement” – ugh, god, how can a space be a pillar? THINK BEFORE YOU METAPHOR.

Sorry; must concentrate. Seek tiny ghost of argument waving feebly through the forest of dreck metaphors.

Women-only space was a realm protected from our Harvey Weinsteins, where we could talk about our Harvey Weinsteins; it was not a hallowed place where we communicated through our ovaries. It was where we came together in unity against people who hated us. I can’t imagine the mindset that would exclude a trans sister from that.

Sure you can. Just pause to remember that the “trans sister” is a man. Maybe if you bumble through life thinking ideas can be pillars and issues can be whittled it’s difficult to grasp the point; get someone to help you if so. The trans sister is not a real sister, because he is a man. There is a chance he is even one of “the people who hate us.”

What are we doing, trying to consecrate the public lavatory as a place so precious to the experience of womanhood that we have to be exclusive, rather than inclusive; that we have to characterise ourselves as a set of vulnerabilities, rather than strengths?

What? Public toilets are supposed to be inclusive before anything else? Then why do they have walls at all? Why not just plunk the

Image result for toilet

down in a convenient spot and leave it at that?

She winds up with a kind of pseudo-Shakespearean ode:

Solidarity is boring to talk about, but fascinating and empowering to live. Solidarity is not exclusive or pedantic; it is compassionate and fights oppression where it finds it. That is its lifeblood. That is why trans women are women, or womxn.

It’s also why eagles are rabbits and bears are salmon and wolves are squirrels. Everybody join hands and sing.



Define “rights”

Mar 11th, 2020 7:57 am | By

The latest captive:

Lots of people are finding Billy Bragg’s lack of compassion for the female community troubling. He seems to have no concern about what might happen to a woman in a female prison that confined trans women with actual women and to have an indifferent attitude to their reduced participation in sports taken over by trans women.

I’ve been unable to resist retorting.

It’s frustrating to see how thoroughly he doesn’t get it and how well he’s digested and incorporated the stupid slogans.



They didn’t try hard enough

Mar 10th, 2020 4:36 pm | By

How does that work?

A transgender actress has pulled out of a new play in protest after a cisgender actor was cast as a trans character.

Kate O’Donnell was set to appear in a new stage musical adaptation of Patrick McCabe’s novel Breakfast on Pluto.

O’Donnell was due to play the mother of the main character, Patrick/Pussy Braden, but withdrew after that role was given to Irish actor Fra Fee.

The producers said they tried to find a trans performer for the role. O’Donnell said they didn’t try hard enough.

But…O’Donnell was supposed to play a character who’s not trans, right?

O’Donnell was due to have played Ma Braden, who is not a trans character.

So…it’s ok for a man to play a woman, but it’s not ok for a man to play a man. It’s ok for a trans person to play a character who is not trans, but it’s not ok for a person who is not trans to play a trans character.

Why is that exactly?

The casting of Fee sparked an outcry among the trans community on social media, and O’Donnell said the backlash was “justified and nothing new”.

Yet there was no outcry about a trans woman playing a woman? That was fine?

According to industry advice from trans-led charity Gendered Intelligence, having a cisgender man playing a trans woman increases prejudice because “many people internalise the myth that being trans is a performance, a deception, that trans women are ‘really men’.”

Well ya know the people seeing the play don’t necessarily know that the man playing the trans woman is a man as opposed to a trans woman.

O’Donnell said: “I could not be in a show where a trans woman is once again seen as a man in a dress as this perpetuates the idea that this is what a trans woman is and leads to violence, even death.”

Leads to it how? The audience applauds politely and then rushes out into Covent Garden to assault trans people? Or what?

O’Donnell recently appeared in the musical Gypsy at Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre and is artistic director of trans arts company Trans Creative, which runs the annual Trans Vegas festival in Manchester.

Are there any trans characters in Gypsy? O’Donnell played one of the strippers (I just looked it up) – I kind of doubt they were supposed to be trans women.

I guess that’s the rule then. Trans people can play non-trans people, but non-trans people cannot play trans people. Write it down.



Detailed contact tracing

Mar 10th, 2020 4:17 pm | By

Matt Gaetz may have passed COVID-19 on to Trump, and now this:

Health minister and Conservative MP Nadine Dorries says she has tested positive for coronavirus.

Ms Dorries said in a statement she took “all the advised precautions” as soon as she was informed of her diagnosis.

She added: “Public Health England has started detailed contact tracing and the department and my parliamentary office are closely following their advice.”

I won’t say it. It wouldn’t be appropriate.



Guest post: No longer able to get out

Mar 10th, 2020 11:43 am | By

Originally a comment by Bjarte Foshaug on Uh oh, there’s a range of views here.

I strongly suspect that cognitive dissonance is a big part of the explanation as well. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the pyramid metaphor from Mistakes were made (but not by me) by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson, but anyway, imagine two people standing right next to each other on the top of a big pyramid and trying to decide which way to go down. At this stage no option may appear obviously better than any other, and neither of our two testpersons may feel all that confident about the way to proceed. Even if they eventually end up picking opposite routes, it may in fact have more to do with a temporary mood or whim than any strong disagreement in principle.

However, once You have made a choice, You have a stake in defending it. The same logic used to justify each previous step in a particular direction, as well as the need for consistency, keeps pushing You further in the same direction, and the further down the side of the pyramid You go, the harder it gets to turn back without admitting to Yourself (probably the hardest part) and the world that You’ve have been wrong all along, that Your justifications were all bogus, and that You may in fact have been a bit of an asshole. In our metaphor we see how these two people, who were initially standing side by side, end up very far apart by the time they reach the bottom.

I don’t doubt that many of the people currently riding the trans bandwagon got on it for reasons that seemed both noble and worthy at the time. Then, as the demands and the thought-policing kept getting more extreme, all those former concessions (as well as their justifications) came back to haunt them, and by now they have dug themselves in too deeply and are no longer able to get out.

I can certainly relate to this myself. As (I suspect) so many others, I got into social justice issues following the death of movement atheism/skepticism. When I started hearing from trans* activists, I initially thought what (once again, I suspect) many of us were thinking: “Well, some of the things they say don’t seem quite right to me, but maybe I just need to “shut up and listen” as well as “educate” myself like everyone keeps saying. Don’t want to be like all those guys who mansplain feminism to women and think they understand the issues better than the women who have been dealing with them their whole lives, do I. Trans people are indeed a marginalized group, and social justice is all about standing up for marginalized groups. At least we can all agree on that. Etc. etc.” The borrowed association with LGB issues probably helped their cause as well. I think they even got me to sign a couple of petitions to ban “TERFs” from specific venues (*blush*).

In a way my own cluelessness was what saved me. In my limitless naivety I assumed we were all “in it together” against the Social Injustice Warriors (SIWs) of the far right, and started following every feminist, anti-racist, LGBT activist etc. who seemed to have something interesting or worthwhile to say on twitter. It didn’t take long before I discovered that the diabolical “TERFs” I kept hearing about (who I was told were at least as bad as the MRAs sending death and rape threats to Rebecca Watson) included at least half of the feminists I was following, and I couldn’t help noticing the Trump-level dishonesty of the accusations leveled against them (including Caroline Criado-Perez who was at the same time going through the ugliest cyber-bullying I had ever seen by the MRA mob). One of the earliest red flags (and one of the most bizarre conversations I have had in my life) was when a trans activist PMed me on twitter in order to interrogate me about why I was following a certain feminist blogger. As I recall “they” assured me that although this woman never said anything explicitly transphobic, it was non the less “implied in very subtle ways” that only trans people could detect and that I was not in a position to question.

Had I been ever so slightly less clueless about the various fractions and divisions among nominally pro-social justice types, I might never have followed any of the “wrong” feminists in the first place, and then who knows were I’d be…



This presidential behavior is all too familiar

Mar 10th, 2020 11:40 am | By

Even the National Review can see this one.

So far in this crisis, Donald Trump himself has obviously failed to rise to the challenge of leadership, and it does no one any favors to pretend otherwise…

The failures of leadership at the top, however, show no sign of being corrected. In a serious public-health crisis, the public has the right to expect the government’s chief executive to lead in a number of crucial ways: by prioritizing the problem properly, by deferring to subject-matter experts when appropriate while making key decisions in informed and sensible ways, by providing honest and careful information to the country, by calming fears and setting expectations, and by addressing mistakes and setbacks.

Trump so far hasn’t passed muster on any of these metrics. He resisted making the response to the epidemic a priority for as long as he could — refusing briefings, downplaying the problem, and wasting precious time. He has failed to properly empower his subordinates and refused to trust the information they provided him — often offering up unsubstantiated claims and figures from cable television instead. He has spoken about the crisis in crude political and personal terms. He has stood in the way of public understanding of the plausible course of the epidemic, trafficking instead in dismissive clichés. He has denied his administration’s missteps, making it more difficult to address them.

Indeed – and all that is entirely typical of Trump. I wonder if the editorial board of the National Review is pausing to think about it.

This presidential behavior is all too familiar. It is how he has gotten through scandals and fiascos for more than three years in office. But those were all essentially political in nature, and most were self-created.

Oh look, they admit it. Yes, it is all too familiar, and that’s one reason he is such a disaster. Has TNR been saying that all along?

The country has been lucky in the Trump era, largely avoiding the sorts of major, unforeseen crises that make the greatest demands of the modern presidency. That luck has now run out, and this demands a new level of seriousness from the president and those around him.

Whoopee; the country hasn’t actually been incinerated while he was president. Lucky us, but sad about all the people he’s harmed, wildlife he’s destroyed, air and water he’s opened up to poisoning, and similar details.

President Trump needs to rise to this challenge. His partisan adversaries are sure he can’t. We hope he proves them wrong.

What a stupid conclusion. They’ve just admitted that he’s an incompetent hack, and then they call everyone else “partisan” for saying the same thing. We’re sure he can’t because he shows us he can’t every minute of every day! It’s not just “partisan.” I prefer the Dems because they’re slightly less ruthless to us non-billionaires than the Republicans, and go ahead and call that “partisan” if you want, but Trump is evil for countless reasons that aren’t even about policy.

But I too “hope” he won’t kill us all.



Not all that peaceful

Mar 10th, 2020 10:03 am | By

One of the London Bi Pandas wrote a blog post about last night’s heroic women-bullying escapade:

Yesterday, we held a peaceful rally protesting and picketing an event held by Labour Women’s Declaration.

It wasn’t peaceful, but leaving that aside – they held a rally to protest and picket women having a meeting. They did that, and they find it so normal that they announce it as if it were going to the shop for some Heinz tinned beans. I guess we’re not supposed to meet and talk at all.

The event’s purpose was to force the Labour Party into enforcing “sex-based rights” and “challenge extremist gender ideology and say that sex matters”. The event hosted speakers from the Anti-Trans hate groups LGB Alliance, A Woman’s Place UK and more.

Shock-horror! Lesbians and Gays, and Women!

The protest was a much needed moment of trans+ solidarity in a landscape of rising violence against trans+ and non binary people with the London Bi Pandas, B With the T, L With the T, G With T, the Muslim LGBT Network, Transmissions, Queer AF Brighton and all the LGBTQIA+ folks and allies who joined us for the evening to challenge the violent and harmful rhetoric that continues to exclude trans+ women from women’s spaces and movements.

Emphasis mine. It’s not violent harmful rhetoric, it’s reasoned analysis and discussion. Women are allowed to “exclude” men from women’s spaces and movements, because women, as an oppressed class, need spaces and movements to organize away from their oppressor class. Trans women are men, so women have the right not to include them in everything. Many trans women are quite shockingly hostile to women, which just gives us all the more reason to decline to include them in everything.

As we said, there is no feminism without trans+ women and men, and there is no liberation without trans+ and non binary people.

Not their call. Men don’t get to say what there is no feminism without. Men especially don’t get to say there is no feminism without them. How does it sound to say there is no black liberation without white people? Not too good, does it. Very rude, very domineering, very intrusive. It’s the same when trans women scream at us and threaten us to force us to include them. The more they scream the less we want them anywhere near us.

For those not there, we’d like to tell you that there was a police presence there last night, and we were not arrested despite being around police officers observing and policing that space. This is because we were not violent, and did not commit any illegal activity. We peacefully protested and picketed the gathering of several anti-trans groups who are continuing to strip us of our rights, access and opportunities while misgendering, invalidating and othering us. 

Hmm. Wait a second. Didn’t he just accuse us of violent rhetoric? Yes, he did; see the bolded passage above.

Also I don’t really think I would call this “peacefully protesting and picketing” when it’s so shouty and angry.

The shouting and anger aren’t literally violent, to be sure, but given that what they are shouting angrily at is not a meeting of corporate bosses determined to bulldoze a national monument or a tribal burial site, not a meeting of military planners who want to invade a tiny weak country to seize its oil – given that the meeting is of women discussing their rights, the angry shouting does hint at violence. Women – all women – are unpleasantly familiar with angry shouting, and aware that it doesn’t always stop with the noise. I’m not calling the shouting violent, but I am saying it’s not exactly peaceful either. The word, I suppose, is “threatening.” Loud threatening shouting doesn’t really get the label “peaceful.”

We’d like to reiterate that conflating conflict as violence does no one good. Yes, it was an event filled with conflict because we were literally there picketing it. But to state that we were violent, braying, and a mob is incorrect. 

See above. The author conflated conflict and violence himself, and they were indeed braying. That’s the nature of a demo, but they were men braying at women, so…

Ultimately, this narrative continues to make it clear: Trans+ people are not allowed to be angry about the treatment, violence, harm, trauma they face in a cisnormative society. We are only allowed to be angry in ways that are deemed palatable to women’s sensibility politics. That any anger about our treatment is deemed as aggression, and that aggression is used to invalidate our viewpoint, our gender, and our purpose. 

This is theft of a core insight of feminism: that what is seen as forthright and brave in men is redescribed as improper aggression in women. This is men defending their aggression against women in feminist terms as if they were themselves women. This is one of many reasons we refuse to “include” them in our feminism.

And once we were done making our voices heard, just before 9:00pm we stood in silence at the end of the event, with our fists raised in Trans+ solidarity.

In other words they screamed all through the event in order to disrupt it and make it difficult for the women there, and didn’t stop until it was over.



Pandas want their good name back

Mar 10th, 2020 9:27 am | By

Apparently a group called London Bi Pandas organized the smoke-bomb “protest” last night, or at least they participated in it and are now talking about it as their project.

What is this “no TERFs on our turf” supposed to mean, anyway? How is it “their turf”? Is the whole world their “turf” that we pesky women are trespassing on? How about no egomaniacal bullies on women’s “turf”? That seems closer to fair.

The “apology” for the smoke bombs impressed no one.



Give up the rallies? Are you crazy??

Mar 10th, 2020 8:08 am | By

Trump is doing a best of both worlds thing on the virus – telling us to relax and ignore all the warnings and instructions, while telling the Secret Service to keep the sickies away from him.

Stories about Trump’s coronavirus fears have spread through the White House. Last week Trump told aides he’s afraid journalists will try to purposefully contract coronavirus to give it to him on Air Force One, a person close to the administration told me. The source also said Trump has asked the Secret Service to set up a screening program and bar anyone who has a cough from the White House grounds. “He’s definitely melting down over this,” the source said.

But thus far Trump’s private concerns haven’t affected his public response. Pressure from the public health community is mounting on Trump to cancel his mass rallies, but Trump is pushing back. “He is going to resist until the very last minute,” a former West Wing official said. “He may take suggestions to stop shaking hands, but in terms of shutting stuff down, his position is: ‘No, I’m not going to do it.’”

Naturally. When it’s a question of other people’s safety versus his love of mouthing off to an audience, there’s no contest.



Remove the posters immediately

Mar 10th, 2020 7:37 am | By

Sometimes they do take my breath away. This is one of those times. The Miami Herald reports:

Immigration court staff nationwide were ordered by the Trump administration to take down all coronavirus posters from courtrooms and waiting areas.

The Executive Office for Immigration Review, which falls under the Department of Justice, told all judges and staff members in an email Monday that all coronavirus posters, which explain in English and Spanish how to prevent catching and spreading the virus, had to be removed immediately.

So that immigrants will have a better shot at catching the virus, I guess. Which is breathtaking even for them.

“This is just a reminder that immigration judges do not have the authority to post, or ask you to post, signage for their individual courtrooms or the waiting areas,” wrote Christopher A. Santoro, the country’s acting chief immigration judge in a mass email to immigration court administrators nationwide.

“Per our leadership, the CDC flyer is not authorized for posting in the immigration courts. If you see one (attached), please remove it. Thank you.”

And “authorization” is important in this context because? It’s worth ordering federal courts to take down posters with advice on how to avoid a growing epidemic because…what, exactly? Court house aesthetics are worth suffocating to death?

However on Tuesday morning— just four hours after the Miami Herald published this story—a Department of Justice spokesman contacted the Herald to say that the “the signs shouldn’t have been removed. It’s now being rectified.”

Officials declined to discuss why the email was sent in the first place, and who told the chief immigration judge to issue the directive.

I bet they did. It would be very hot-making to have to discuss the fact that the president and his tools are actively trying to spread COVID 19 among immigrants.