All entries by this author

Don’t lie in the headline

May 7th, 2024 1:07 pm | By

The Guardian is even worse. Headline:

Leeds Green party councillor says sorry for comments about Gaza conflict

But he didn’t. That’s not what he said. Don’t rewrite what he said and then tell us he said it. He didn’t say it. Don’t tell us he did. That borders on the L word, the one that’s libelous if you get it wrong.

It’s probably an editor who perpetrated that title, because Eleni Courea, who wrote the piece, did not get it wrong.

Green party councillor at the centre of an antisemitism row has apologised “for the upset caused” by his remarks but hit back at “Islamophobic” attacks against him.

Scare quotes on both his taking it back moves. One … Read the rest

“His remarks”

May 7th, 2024 12:51 pm | By

The BBC reports on the bogus “apology”:

A Green Party councillor has apologised after he was criticised for calling his local election victory a “win for the people of Gaza”.

Mothin Ali, 42, made the comments after being elected on Friday for the Gipton and Harehills ward, in Leeds.

His remarks prompted calls from the Jewish community in the city for him to be suspended.

Dang. That’s shocking even for the Beeb. He didn’t apologize. It’s common knowledge that the grudging “I’m sorry you took it that way” does not count as an apology.

And “the comments” were not limited to calling his local election victory a “win for the people of Gaza”. There was more to it … Read the rest

Well excuuuuuuse meeeeee

May 7th, 2024 12:39 pm | By

Ohhhhhh no you don’t.

Via the Green Party, Mothin Ali’s notpology:

I am sorry for any upset my comments caused about the Gaza conflict. That was not my intention. Like many across the world I have been deeply impacted by the dreadful conflict currently underway in Gaza. The International Court of Justice said this conflict meets the case for plausible genocide.

That is the definition of a notpology, that “I’m tho thorry you were offennnnnnnded” switch.

Being elected to represent the wonderful community of Gipton and Harehills was one of the proudest moments of my life. The inaccurate reporting and misrepresentation of my acceptance speech has led to me being subject to a lot of hate and hostility. I

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Rights violations

May 7th, 2024 6:09 am | By

The real right to life:

The race to save the planet is being impeded by a global economy that is contingent on the exploitation of people and nature, according to the UN’s outgoing leading environment and human rights expert.

David Boyd, who served as UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment from 2018 to April 2024, told the Guardian that states failing to take meaningful climate action and regulating polluting industries could soon face a slew of lawsuits.

The right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment was finally recognised as a fundamental human right by the United Nations in 2021-22. Some countries, notably the US, the world’s worst historic polluter, argue that UN resolutions are

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We await the powerful billboards

May 7th, 2024 5:58 am | By

Get your party clothes on! It’s Trans History Week – not to be confused with Trans Pride Week, Trans Celebration Week, Trans Rage Week, Trans Grumpy Week, Trans Electric Magenta Hair Week, to name a few.

Powerful ‘Always Been Here’ billboards appear across the UK to mark inaugural Trans+ History Week

I do love a powerful billboard.

A series of powerful billboards in major cities across the UK will make trans history visible to the public and mark the inaugural Trans+ History Week.

Ya ok that’s the same thing. Move on now?

The first-ever Trans+ History Week, which is a QueerAF launchpad project, will take place from Monday 6 May to Sunday 12 May and will be a period

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Guest post: The point is to make everyone else’s kids pray

May 6th, 2024 6:00 pm | By

Originally a comment by Screechy Monkey on Man who can’t read claims favorite book.

I think there’s a lot of Christians who know that Trump is an absolute phony Christian, and are fine with that, because all they really want is for non-Christians to “bend the knee” and profess belief publicly whether it’s sincere or not. Saving souls is secondary at best, if it’s relevant at all.

It’s why there’s such a keen interest in forcing prayer in public schools. The point isn’t to make their own kids pray — they are presumably already doing that at home and in church. It’s to make everyone else’s kids pray, as a gesture of submission to Christianity’s dominance. You want to … Read the rest

Toys out of the pram again

May 6th, 2024 5:42 pm | By

Trump keeps putting his foot over the line and watching the grownups react.

Former US President Donald Trump has been held in contempt of court for violating a gag order for the 10th time in his hush-money trial in New York. Justice Juan Merchan issued his most serious warning yet to Mr Trump, saying further violations could mean jail. “At the end of the day, I have a job to do and that job is to protect the dignity of the judicial system,” the judge said.

But at the end of the same day he has Trump to deal with, and there’s no winning in that scenario. Trump defies the judge and wins; Trump is thrown in jail and … Read the rest

Who is great?

May 6th, 2024 10:53 am | By

What did he mean by it?

The Green Party is investigating a councillor who shouted “Allahu Akbar” after being elected and said on the day of the Oct 7 terror attacks that Palestinians had the right to “fight back”.

Mothin Ali won the Gipton and Harehills ward in Leeds with more than 3,000 votes at Thursday’s local elections and said it was a “win for the people of Gaza”.

But the job is to be a councillor for the people of Leeds. Not Gaza, Leeds. Not Jerusalem, not Canterbury, not Mecca, not Rome, not Ayodhya, but Leeds.

The 42-year-old, a father of three who works as an accountant and runs a gardening blog, has previously described a Jewish

Read the rest

Man who can’t read claims favorite book

May 6th, 2024 9:41 am | By

Piety interlude:

“All Americans need a Bible in their home, and I have many. It’s my favorite book,” Trump declared in March, in a video posted on Truth Social. “I’m proud to endorse and encourage you to get this Bible. We must make America pray again.”

In the video, Trump, who has a long history of endorsing and selling things, is clutching the God Bless the USA Bible – a “patriotic” take on the holy text that Trump is now hawking for $59.99.

“I want to have a lot of people have it,” Trump continued. “You have to have it for your heart and for your soul.”

Well of course he wants to “have a lot of people have … Read the rest

Growing concerns

May 6th, 2024 8:10 am | By

So, kicking and screaming, the UK manages to return to the arrangement that allowed women to engage in public life instead of being tethered to home by the size of their bladders.

New restaurants, offices and hospitals in England will be required to have separate male and female toilets, in a move ministers say will combat growing concerns about “privacy and dignity” in gender-neutral facilities.

The law will mean newly built non-residential buildings require separate facilities, and cannot solely have “universal” lavatories.

The need for women’s toilets had been understood since the late 19th century, until the bright sparks of the 21st decided that women are trash.

However, the policy has been criticised as being transphobic since it was first

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Zip it Eely

May 5th, 2024 5:34 pm | By

Today Elon Musk gave JK Rowling advice on what to write.

The sex/gender issue aside, it’s such an odd thing to say and do. No, of course you may not “suggest” what kind of thing we should “post content” about i.e. discuss. Of course you may not tell us what to talk about. You can ban us from Twitter, but you don’t get to manage us as if we were ballet dancers and you were Balanchine. Get out of here with that crap.

So now of course the “trans allies” are gloating.… Read the rest

Is this a Poe?

May 5th, 2024 2:43 pm | By

I feel as if it’s 1996 and we’re living the Sokal Hoax all over again.

The NY Times reports, apparently without shrieks of laughter, on a conference on – wait for it – queer food.

When Sasha DuBose uses the word “queer” to talk about food, it’s a verb, not an adjective. To Ms. DuBose, queering food is “taking how we define food and how we engage with it and twisting it, making it more fun.”

But food people already do that. It’s called coming up with new recipes.

Besides which, there is no one way that people “engage with” food. There are a vast, unmanageable number of ways people engage with food. Oddly enough, humans are very interested … Read the rest

Charges related to her clothing choices

May 5th, 2024 10:44 am | By

The BBC reported four days ago on the jailing of Manahel al-Otaibi.

Two human rights groups have condemned an 11-year prison sentence handed to a Saudi fitness instructor and women’s rights activist by a terrorism court.

Manahel al-Otaibi, 29, was convicted of charges related to her clothing choices and expression of her views online, Amnesty International and ALQST said. These included calls for an end to the guardianship system and videos of her shopping without an abaya, they added.

And that’s “terrorism.”

ALQST said she was initially accused of violating the Anti-Cyber Crime Law, including “opposing the laws relating to women, such as the male guardianship system and the hijab law”; “participating in several hashtags opposing these laws”;

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Terrorist jeans and t shirts

May 5th, 2024 10:20 am | By

Catherine Bennett at the Guardian asks some inconvenient questions about Saudi Arabia and its role as host of the Women’s Tennis Association finals.

She cites Manahel al-Otaibi, a 29-year-old fitness instructor and women’s rights activist.

[T]here could hardly have been a more convenient time for human rights organisations to report, as they did last week, that al-Otaibi whose circumstances were for months unknown, is serving 11 years in prison for the “terrorist” offences of wearing “indecent clothes” (ie, not an abaya) and supporting women’s rights. Her sister, Fouz al-Otaibi, fled the country in 2022 to avoid similar persecution. Fouz tweeted last week: “Why have my rights become terrorism, and why is the world silent?”

11 years in prison. … Read the rest

Inching forward

May 5th, 2024 7:54 am | By

How much “evolution of understanding” does it take?

Gillian Keegan has said she will no longer use the phrase “trans women are women”, explaining that her understanding of the issue has “evolved”.

Why did it need to “evolve”? Does she not know what a woman is? Despite being one herself?

In 2020, in response to a question from an LGBT+ forum in her Chichester constituency, the Education Secretary made the statement that “trans women are women”, adding that trans people should have equal access to “safe spaces”.

Safe spaces in the sense of women’s safe spaces? Trans people including the male ones? Male people should not have access to women’s safe spaces.

But. Good that she’s become better informed, … Read the rest

Guest post: A cherry, but no cake

May 5th, 2024 6:22 am | By

Originally a comment by tigger_the_wing on Hormones do not negate.

If hormone levels are going to be used as a way of dividing people into sporting classes, then current levels aren’t accurate enough; lifetime levels must be taken into account.

Oh, look! We already do that! Men, and women who have ever been doped with steroids like testosterone, have already been barred from women’s sport! See? We don’t need to ask intrusive questions about someone’s self-described ‘gender’! We can simply continue to exclude men and take blood and urine samples to ensure fairness!

I find it astonishing that people are tying themselves in knots to avoid admitting that humans come in two sexes, which need to be separate in … Read the rest

From lads mag hack to “culture writer”

May 4th, 2024 5:00 pm | By

Putz says what now?

On Tuesday the Garrick Club will hold a historic vote to decide whether to start accepting women as members. Some prominent figures, however, have already made their feelings clear. Stephen Fry, Sting and Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler have co-signed a letter, announcing that they “won’t feel able to continue as Garrick members” if women aren’t admitted. And the BBC’s John Simpson has publicly declared that he too would “find it impossible to stay”.

This is of course supremely noble of them. I have only one question.

After their many years as members, have they really only just discovered that the Garrick excludes women?

I suppose they must have. After all, if they’re so horrified by

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Not immediately obvious

May 4th, 2024 10:07 am | By

A post on the Cambridge University Press blog is so bad it appears to have been written by two children, but in fact the named authors are academics. It honestly strains belief.

First paragraph:

Kathleen Stock identifies as a philosopher of (expert on) sex and gender identity partly on the grounds that she has spent years (let us take her word for it) thinking, researching, and building careful and comprehensive arguments about these issues.

“expert on” is not a synonym for “philosopher of.” The two are not the same thing.

“let us take her word for it” is sheer childish sneering.

She also says, ‘it’s not hate speech to say males can’t be women’. But this claim is

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The wide-ranging conspiracy

May 4th, 2024 9:27 am | By

That’s what they’re calling it now? “Extreme body modification”? The Beeb:

The ringleader of an extreme body modification website wanted to be “the architect of his own body” after his marriage broke down, a court has heard.

Marius Gustavson and others carried out multiple mutilations on his “eunuch-maker” site.

Excuse me? How do you go about mutilating people on a website?

Through his “eunuch maker” site, Marius Gustavson and other “like-minded individuals” carried out multiple mutilations, “the scale of which is without precedent”, prosecutor Caroline Carberry KC previously told the Old Bailey.

The 46-year-old Norwegian required hospital treatment after having his penis and leg removed during body modification procedures.

Well he would, wouldn’t he.

He appeared for sentence alongside

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Don’t tell us about yourself

May 4th, 2024 6:50 am | By

Thought for the day: self-obsession is not progressive.

Someone should tell Professor Sue Fletcher-Watson. Urgently. By the way her pronouns are she/her, she says so herself.

But she says so much more than that, and all of it is About Her.

I’m a bisexual scientist. It’s only fairly recently that I’ve said that out loud, and I thought I’d say a bit about why that is and why I’m writing this blog.

So first, when I was starting out, there just weren’t opportunities like this.  Pride yes, but Pride IN STEM?  Definitely not.  I think I completely disregarded the idea that any aspect of my personal identity might be relevant to my science or my academic career.

You were right! You were right then, … Read the rest