All entries by this author

To infinity and beyond

Apr 17th, 2024 10:13 am | By

Trump thought he was supposed to be able to reject as many jurors as he wanted.

Donald Trump complained Wednesday that his lawyers were not given “unlimited” chances to reject prospective jurors at his New York criminal hush money trial.

Mr Sir, if you could reject prospective jurors without limit, then there would never be a trial at all. That’s not how this works. Hope that helps.

“I thought STRIKES were supposed to be ‘unlimited’ when we were picking our jury?” Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social.

Imagine admitting you’re that stupid. Imagine making it public of your own free will.

Samantha Chorny, a criminal defense lawyer in New York City, told CNBC that if there were

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Peaceful but conspicuous

Apr 17th, 2024 8:57 am | By

Wrong.

It’s a secular school, which means it’s open to children from all religious backgrounds and none. Group public prayers go against that. Runnymede Trust should have a long hard think about the moral pressure public prayers exert on other children from Muslim backgrounds at that school.

Public prayer is a not very subtle form of proselytizing. Secular schools should not be forced to allow it.… Read the rest



The man making the threat doesn’t know

Apr 17th, 2024 6:41 am | By

Joan Smith on Humza Yousaf and misogyny and law:

Scotland’s First Minister, Humza Yousaf, let the cat out of the bag when he revealed yesterday the real intention behind the SNP’s proposal to bring in a standalone law on misogyny.

Yousaf claims that men can be victims of misogyny — and that they’re as or more likely to be targets than women. “Trans women will be protected as well, as they will often be the ones who suffer threats of rape or threats of disfigurement for example,” he said, offering no evidence for the assertion.

And also, of course, offering no reason to believe that men can be women.

Yousaf doubled down, repeating one of the most cherished illusions

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One day we’ll awake and see the truth

Apr 16th, 2024 5:40 pm | By

No YOU are.

Whittle thinks that our awareness that people can’t change sex will one day strike us as “absurd, even unhinged.”

That day will not arrive. Why not? Because people can’t change sex, and we won’t one day decide they can, just as we won’t one day decide that people can fly or live under … Read the rest



A series of skeptical questions

Apr 16th, 2024 10:34 am | By

I remember when Republicans were the Law n Order party. Seems like forever ago.

The Supreme Court’s conservative majority appeared skeptical of a charge federal prosecutors have lodged against hundreds of people who attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.

While the court’s three-justice liberal wing signaled support for the charge, the conservative majority raised a series of skeptical questions about its potential scope and whether it would criminalize other conduct, such as protests.

A decision against the government could reopen some 350 cases in which defendants have been charged with “obstructing” an official proceeding by pushing their way into the Capitol in 2021. The charge can tack up to 20 years onto a prison sentence.

I … Read the rest



Guest post: The ideas needed a little finessing

Apr 16th, 2024 10:14 am | By

Originally a comment by Artymorty on The Three Anti-imperialists.

I’ve never understood people who worship Marx like a god and treat his writings like holy text. The philosophers and thinkers of the past had good ideas and bad ones. As I see it, the general rule is, the further back you go in time, the more surprising it is to find good ideas that hold up today — and the more credit is due to those who came up with them — and the more apt you are to find bad ones that didn’t hold up so well. Because that’s how knowledge is built: over time. So it seems weird to me that anyone would revere thinkers from centuries … Read the rest



Guest post: The bar for humanism

Apr 16th, 2024 10:10 am | By

Originally a comment by Dave Ricks on Looking fixedly in the other direction.

In the James Rieger edition (1974/1982) of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein (1818), Rieger’s introduction says this about Shelley’s father William Godwin:

Of all the tracts published by the Johnson circle, none had so great or enduring an impact as Godwin’s Enquiry considering Political Justice (1793).

Godwin argued that once the mind has been cleansed of superstition, emotionalism, and respect for custom, the free and rational man will necessarily perform virtuous actions, which will be socially useful and, at the same time, personally pleasurable.

Legislatures, courts of law, monarchy, marriage, and all other forms of “positive institution” with wither away, and the wise world will enter upon

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Anyone affected

Apr 16th, 2024 10:01 am | By

Hamza Yousef says men will be protected under new misogyny laws.

Scotland’s first minister has said transgender women will be protected under any new misogyny laws. Humza Yousaf insisted that “anyone affected” by misogyny would be covered, whatever their biological sex.

That is moronic. Anyone can be “affected” by anything; it’s meaningless. Hatred of women is bad for women. There’s no “anyone” here; the word is quite specific.

Women were not included in the recent Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021 that was introduced on 1 April – a decision that Mr Yousaf said had followed discussions with a number of women’s groups.

What kind of discussions? The kind where Mr Yousaf says “You bitches don’t … Read the rest



Guest post: Deutungshoheit

Apr 16th, 2024 9:12 am | By

Originally a comment by Sonderval on And a crime in Germany?

Actually, the situation is more complicated than described in the article by Tagesspiegel.

A biology PhD student (who is the focus of a lot of TRA criticism and hate since she dared trying to give a talk about the biology of sex) said that the Nazis did not pursue trans people. TRA activists then accused her on Twitter of being a holocaust denier.

The court clearly said that she is not a holocaust denier in the normal sense or anything like that, but that if you are a trans activist focused on this topic only (and only then), your opinion that the Nazis did pursue trans people is an … Read the rest



Concerns about a culture shift

Apr 16th, 2024 8:54 am | By

Attempt to force secular school to stop being secular fails:

A Muslim student at a London school has lost a High Court challenge against its ban on prayer rituals. Michaela School in Wembley was taken to court by the girl over the policy, which she argued was discriminatory. The non-faith state secondary school previously told the High Court that allowing prayer rituals risked “undermining inclusion” among pupils.

Theocrats will of course retort that secularism undermines inclusion of theocrats, which is true enough, but secularism has the advantage of neutrality. If the school allowed prayers for one religion then it would risk “undermining inclusion” for all the other religions and for secular neutrality. That, of course, is the goal.

In

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The Three Anti-imperialists

Apr 15th, 2024 11:52 am | By

The glorious future.

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And a crime in Germany?

Apr 15th, 2024 9:44 am | By

I’m pretty sure Willoughby is lying about this.

Smithsonian Magazine did an article on the Nazis and “trans people” last September, except that it admits up front that it’s not exactly about “trans people” for the simple reason that they weren’t a thing at the time.

In the fall of 2022, a German court heard an unusual case. It was a civil lawsuit that grew out of a feud on Twitter about whether transgender people were victims of the Holocaust. Though there is no longer much debate about whether gay men and lesbians were persecuted by the Nazis, there’s been very little scholarship on trans people during this period.

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Help patients be themselves

Apr 15th, 2024 6:57 am | By

It’s in The Sun, so I don’t feel like reading it, but I gotta say, that banner would make me feel the very opposite of welcome.

If all that gender chopped salad is welcome then gender skeptics are not welcome. Just for one thing, we don’t have a colorful stripey flag. We are aflagual. … Read the rest



Where hatred of women goes

Apr 15th, 2024 6:45 am | By

Guy goes to a shopping mall to kill people.

I say “people” but of course that’s wrong. Sheer habit; sorry.

He went there to kill women. A man tried to stop him so he killed that one man too, but the rest were all women. Women are shit; women need killing.

The man who went on a stabbing rampage in a Sydney shopping centre appears to have targeted women, police say.

Appears?

What would it take for the BBC to omit that “appears to have” part?

The New South Wales police commissioner told Australia’s ABC News that it was “obvious” Mr Cauchi focused on women.

The only man killed in the attack was security guard Faraz Tahir, 30, who

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The less equal campaign

Apr 14th, 2024 2:53 pm | By

Am I wrong to say that no one wants to make trans people less equal?

I get that there are plenty of malevolent people who dislike trans people along with gay people, feminists, lefties, atheists, you name it, but are there people who want to make trans people less equal? What would that even look like?

That question is related to one I ask a lot, which is “what do we mean by ‘trans rights’?” What exactly are trans rights? Trans people should have human rights, obviously, but what are specifically trans rights, and how do we know that anyone should have them?

There’s a lot of sloppy rhetoric about equality and rights all through the trans ControVersy, and … Read the rest



Looking fixedly in the other direction

Apr 14th, 2024 12:11 pm | By

President of Humanists UK refuses to step up.

They don’t want the tsuris.… Read the rest



The most egregious insult

Apr 14th, 2024 11:49 am | By

Neale Hanvey MP on Ruth Hunt:

Ruth Hunt’s claim that she was “absolutely someone who has always been working in the middle ground, trying to build consensus” is most egregious insult imaginable.

@stonewalluk attacked anyone occupying a position beyond their pious queer theory doctrine. Any LGB person who raised so much as a ‘heretical’ whisper was targeted and demonised. The agenda they have been pushing has seen emboldened extremist positions find their way on to the floor of the House of Commons where straight women tell gay men to get back in the closet. That’s what you achieved Ruth Hunt, but it’s never going to happen. Now we stand with @AllianceLGB.

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Guest post: Belief and obedience are held in higher esteem

Apr 14th, 2024 11:20 am | By

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on Often contending with other difficulties.

You’d think they’d make sure there actually was such a thing as a “gender identity” before offering to “develop” it, “treat” it, or follow its dictates with regard to the bodies it allegedly inhabits. Why do some people claim to have such an identity, while others do not? Why are most people’s identities “aligned” with their sex, while others are not? What causes this supposed “misalignment”? How is the identity’s presence and nature determined, apart from patient self-diagnosis? How do you screen out people who don’t require your services, and/or those who will not benefit from them? Surely clinicians dealing with this phenomenon would want … Read the rest



Ultimately demeaning

Apr 14th, 2024 7:41 am | By

Dreaming the impossible dream again:

Euphoria actress Hunter Schafer has said she no longer wants to play transgender roles. The 25-year-old transgender star shot to fame playing a trans character, Jules Vaughn, in HBO’s hit teen drama.

So he’s an actor and a he, and the BBC is lying to its readers in the usual way by calling him “she.”

Anyway. Trans actor Hunter doesn’t want to play trans characters any more. Ok; there are other jobs. Have a nice life, Hunter.

But Schafer said she felt she could go further as an actress by “not making it the centrepiece to what I’m doing”. She said: “I worked so hard to get to where I am, past these really

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The escalation

Apr 13th, 2024 3:13 pm | By

In other news

This is exactly the escalation in the simmering conflict between Iran, its proxies and Israel that everyone feared: a direct attack by one nation against another.

For nearly two weeks Iran’s security establishment has been mulling its response to the 1 April airstrike on its consulate in Damascus, widely assumed to be the work of Israel, that killed several top Iranian commanders. Clearly, a decision was reached that such a major escalation – an attack that flattened a diplomatic building and therefore sovereign Iranian territory – called for an escalatory response.

Israel has several layers of air defences and it has vowed to respond to any attack on its soil and it will. The risk now

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