I hate banana bread

Apr 26th, 2024 5:02 pm | By

Michael Tomasky at The New Republic on Alito and Trump and sedition:

[T]his week, [Alito] told us, in essence, that in his view democracy depends on allowing presidents to commit federal crimes, because if ex-presidents were to be prosecuted for such things, the United States would become a banana republic. That’s a Supreme Court justice saying that. And while Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and even Clarence Thomas didn’t go that far Thursday, it was obvious that the court’s conservatives are maneuvering to make sure that the insurrection trial doesn’t see the light of day before the election—in other words, that a sitting president who very clearly wanted Congress to overturn a constitutionally certified election result (about this there is zero dispute) should pay no price for those actions.

When I wrote seven years ago that we rested our hope on conservative judges who will choose our institutions over Trump, trust me, I wasn’t saying I was confident that they would. I was terrified that that day would eventually come. It came yesterday. The conservative jurists chose Trump. It will stand as one of the blackest days in Supreme Court history.

Our only hope is for Trump’s head to explode.



They should have claimed to be trans girls

Apr 26th, 2024 4:35 pm | By

Yes let’s just throw all the toilets and changing rooms open to everyone, why not.

A gang of voyeurs hid in mixed-gender changing rooms at swimming pools to secretly film more than 5,000 young women getting undressed, a court heard.

Adam Dennis, 39, and Robert Morgan, 33, boasted of “hunting” teenage victims and made catalogues of their pictures to share and trade online.

Inner London crown court heard that the gang used hidden cameras to observe women in pools in east London and Surrey between April 2013 and November 2017. A fellow voyeur, Declan Golden, fled to the United States, while Miguel Jose Sainz’s whereabouts are unknown.

Gosh, they’re all male. What a surprise.



Could be

Apr 26th, 2024 10:54 am | By

Oh puhleeze.

Same old same old same old cheat – “transgender athletes” instead of “male athletes competing against women.”

See also:

All this verbal cheating and distorting so that men can cheat by playing in women’s sports.



Guest post: Lawyers get to read some interesting stuff

Apr 26th, 2024 9:59 am | By

Originally a comment by Screechy Monkey on Because she is a woman.

Somewhat tangential, but:

What kind of idiot puts that sort of thing in writing? People at work don’t always like each other and sometimes talk smack about each other, but leaving a trail is a whole different thing.

Lawyers get to read some interesting stuff that gets produced in discovery, so I could tell you some stories. Except that I can’t.

Emails aren’t quite the gold mine that they were back in the 1990s and 2000s, when people would routinely write things that they would never dare put in an interoffice memo. A lot of that talk has moved to texts and messaging apps, as in this story.

Anyway, there’s a recent story that I have no involvement in that is a classic case of “what were these people thinking” by people who really, really, really should have known better. One part of the story is here, but I’ll try to summarize:

A couple of partners at a major Los Angeles firm — including one who headed its employment practice, i.e. a guy who spends his life advising and defending companies accused of discrimination and harassment and knows exactly how damaging stupid emails can be — for years made racist, sexist, and homophobic comments in their work emails to each other.

Of course, the immorality and stupidity isn’t confined to the two emailers. The reason this story came to light was because the two lawyers left the firm and started up a rival practice, taking many of the first firm’s attorneys (and, presumably, clients) with them. Original firm is of course pissed off at this, as they always are, and so elects to torch the departing attorneys’ reputations by releasing these emails. This does in fact succeed in sabotaging the infant splinter firm, but people began to ask the obvious questions like “wait, how long have you known about these assholes, and you only (pretended to) care when they LEFT your firm?” Original firm has since been dumped by multiple clients, and is being sued by several former employees for discrimination.



They were simply intrigued

Apr 26th, 2024 9:42 am | By

The conservative justices have, over the years, seen harbingers of tyranny in union organizingenvironmental regulationscivil-rights laws, and universal-health-care plans. When confronted with a legal theory that establishes actual tyranny, they were simply intrigued. As long as Donald Trump is the standard-bearer for the Republicans, every institution they control will contort itself in his image in an effort to protect him.

The conservative justices have, over the years, seen harbingers of tyranny in union organizingenvironmental regulationscivil-rights laws, and universal-health-care plans. When confronted with a legal theory that establishes actual tyranny, they were simply intrigued. As long as Donald Trump is the standard-bearer for the Republicans, every institution they control will contort itself in his image in an effort to protect him.

Sounds like dictatorship.

Trump’s legal argument is a path to dictatorship. That is not an exaggeration: His legal theory is that presidents are entitled to absolute immunity for official acts. Under this theory, a sitting president could violate the law with impunity, whether that is serving unlimited terms or assassinating any potential political opponents, unless the Senate impeaches and convicts the president. Yet a legislature would be strongly disinclined to impeach, much less convict, a president who could murder all of them with total immunity because he did so as an official act. The same scenario applies to the Supreme Court, which would probably not rule against a chief executive who could assassinate them and get away with it.

Also, plus, besides…come on…do they really think the men who wrote the US constitution intended to give the chief executive the right to murder people at will?

The conservative justices have, over the years, seen harbingers of tyranny in union organizingenvironmental regulationscivil-rights laws, and universal-health-care plans. When confronted with a legal theory that establishes actual tyranny, they were simply intrigued. As long as Donald Trump is the standard-bearer for the Republicans, every institution they control will contort itself in his image in an effort to protect him.

Which seems to me like burning the house down to protect it from thieves. The fact that Trump is a nominal Republican is dwarfed by the fact that he’s a moral monster and an aesthetic horror. He’s not a conservative, he’s a terrorist and a power-mad egomaniac. He’s a moral sewer. You wouldn’t think Republicans would want to marinate themselves in moral sewage.

Trump has the conservative justices arguing that you cannot prosecute a former president for trying to overthrow the country, because then they might try to overthrow the country, something Trump already attempted and is demanding immunity for doing.

And is apparently going to get for doing.

No previous president has sought to overthrow the Constitution by staying in power after losing an election. Trump is the only one, which is why these questions are being raised now. Pretending that these matters concern the powers of the presidency more broadly is merely the path the justices sympathetic to Trump have chosen to take in order to rationalize protecting the man they would prefer to be the next president. What the justices—and other Republican loyalists—are loath to acknowledge is that Trump is not being uniquely persecuted; he is uniquely criminal.

Same with “Trump derangement syndrome.” We’re not deranged; he is uniquely grotesque and horrible.



No stranger to treason

Apr 26th, 2024 9:08 am | By

Quislings everywhere.

Osborne has the gall to say Joanna Cherry brings “so much hate and toxicity” to a “debate designed to celebrate all lesbians” by which of course she means “including the male ones.”

Hate and toxicity yourself you bad webbis.



Because she is a woman

Apr 26th, 2024 8:27 am | By

What they really think of us:

The chief fire officer (CFO) and assistant chief fire officer (ACFO) of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service both sent messages suggesting they wanted to kill or harm female colleagues. In the WhatsApp messages – which have been leaked to ITV News – the senior officers also use the words “lazy cow”, “bint” and “useless” to refer to women in the service.

Several of the messages target Area Manager Jan Morris, who resigned from the service this year after reading what had been said about her. “She does the square root of fuck all,” the now ACFO Adam Matthews messaged in February last year. “I’ve got no loyalty to the lazy cow,” he added in March 2023. He then shared a cartoon GIF of someone being thrown under a bus.

It could be true that she didn’t do much, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok for male colleagues to call her sexist names amongst themselves. What kind of idiot puts that sort of thing in writing? People at work don’t always like each other and sometimes talk smack about each other, but leaving a trail is a whole different thing.

When Jan posted on LinkedIn the same month asking for help finding a company which made uniforms for female firefighters, ACFO Matthews shared the post on WhatsApp and wrote: “She is having a whinge on LinkedIn again, that’s the reason this gender shit pisses me off, constantly rammed down our throats.”

Gee, I wonder why she would have any interest in this gender shit.

Jan alleges that the men – who were both promoted shortly after sending some of the messages – wanted her to leave the service because she is a woman, despite the fact that she has an unblemished career spanning 26 years. Speaking exclusively to ITV News, she said: “I’ve lost my career. I’m stepping away from the job I’ve loved for 26 years because I’ve been made to feel so devalued and unwelcome.

“I can’t do it anymore. I can’t work with people who think it’s ok to do things like that. They don’t deserve their jobs, don’t deserve to be in those positions. This is not how I wanted to end my career in the fire and rescue service. I should be stepping out the door proud as punch not through the back door because people have forced me into it.”

These bros talk about other female colleagues in similar terms, like “fucking bint” and wanting to throw them out of windows.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service recently conducted an independent review of its culture. Responding to the publication of the report just a few weeks ago, Mr Hardiman wrote: “It did not find a toxic culture and there was no evidence of current discriminatory practices and/or behaviours.”

At the time of his statement, ITV News understands that the CFO knew about most – if not all – of the message messages.

So he straight-up lied then. That’s interesting.

We shared our findings with the chairwoman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, Dame Diana Johnson MP, who is currently conducting an inquiry into the culture of the fire and rescue sector, following investigations by ITV News into multiple fire services.

She said: “We know leadership is really important in the fire and rescue service and to see leaders writing things like that about female fire fighters is very shocking. The idea has been put forward that this is a ‘few bad apples’, but actually what this is pointing to is much more about the general culture of those in leadership positions. Reading those messages, I’m worried a great deal what the culture is like in that fire service.”

It ain’t cuddly.



The challenges of holding powerful men accountable

Apr 26th, 2024 5:56 am | By

Overturned:

Harvey Weinstein’s 2020 conviction for sexual assault and rape was overturned by New York’s highest court, reopening the landmark case that fueled the #MeToo movement and highlighting the challenges of holding powerful men accountable.

Many accusers of the former Hollywood movie mogul condemned Thursday’s decision, with the actress Ashley Judd telling reporters it was “an act of institutional betrayal.”

But maybe it wasn’t, maybe it was purely a matter of law and due process and all that.

In a bitterly divided 4-3 ruling, the state Court of Appeals said the trial judge made a critical mistake by letting women testify that Weinstein assaulted them, even though their accusations were not part of the charges he faced.

The appeals court said the trial judge compounded the error by ruling that if Weinstein took the witness stand, prosecutors could question him on a wide range of “loathsome” conduct, including bullying and fits of anger toward associates.

Weinstein is not expected to be freed immediately, as he faces a separate 16-year prison term imposed last year in California after he was convicted for the 2013 rape of an actress at a Los Angeles hotel. That conviction still stands.

If he has another term to serve why would he be freed at all?

Judge Madeline Singas dissented from Thursday’s decision, saying the majority opinion “perpetuates outdated notions of sexual violence” and makes holding defendants accountable for sexual assault “significantly more difficult.”

She also accused the majority of whitewashing the facts and continuing what she called a “disturbing trend” of overturning jury verdicts in sexual violence cases.

Let me guess. Men protecting men’s right to rape women. Am I close?



Grizelda

Apr 25th, 2024 2:45 pm | By

Good one.



Girl, 13

Apr 25th, 2024 11:40 am | By

Here we see the problem with BBC reporting:

Girl, 13, charged after Ammanford school stabbings

Ok, we think, it’s the BBC, so…is the girl really a girl?

And we can’t tell by reading the piece.

A 13-year-old girl has been charged with three counts of attempted murder after two teachers and a pupil were stabbed at a school in south-west Wales. Dyfed-Powys Police said the teenager was arrested at the scene at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire.

Two teachers and a teenage pupil were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening stab wounds. They have all since been discharged.

And thanks to all the previous lying about the sex of various men who claim to be women, we can’t be sure the BBC is telling the truth about this one. We just don’t know.



Despite protests from women’s rights campaigners

Apr 25th, 2024 11:11 am | By

Trans trans über alles, über alles in der Welt.

The German Parliament, or Bundestag, passed one of the world’s most far-reaching sex self-determination policies on April 12, despite protests from women’s rights campaigners. The Self-Determination Act (SBGG) establishes ‘gender identity’ as a protected characteristic and allows parents to change the sex marker on their children’s documents from birth.

Hello Germany? That’s not self-determination. It’s parental determination.

Supported by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s three-party coalition and promoted and supported by the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the SBGG also creates the potential for citizens to be fined up to €10,000 (approx. $10,800 USD) for revealing a person’s given name and birth sex without their permission.

So the lie is protected by the state, and exposing the lie is a crime. A serial rapist could change his name and “gender” and it would be a crime to reveal his name and maleness. What could possibly go wrong?

During the hearing on the SBGG, two trans-identified male politicians were present to advocate for and support the bill’s passage.

Tessa Ganserer and Nyke Slawik were elected to Germany’s Bundestag in September 2021 as representatives for the Green Party, taking positions that were reserved for female political representation.

Heads men win, tails women lose.



Official acts

Apr 25th, 2024 10:44 am | By

I can’t understand this at all. It seems as batshit crazy as trans ideology.

Supreme Court justices in Trump case lean toward some level of immunity

But Trump is the living breathing knockdown argument for why immunity is a really really bad idea.

Conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices signaled sympathy on Thursday to the argument that presidents have some immunity against criminal charges for certain actions taken in office as it heard arguments over Donald Trump’s claim of immunity from prosecution for trying to undo his 2020 election loss.

He claims immunity for trying to steal the election. It’s an absurdity.

D. John Sauer, the lawyer arguing for Trump, painted a dire picture of the presidency without immunity.

“Without presidential immunity from criminal prosecution, there can be no presidency as we know it. For 234 years of American history, no president was ever prosecuted for his official acts,” Sauer told the justices.

Trying to steal an election is not an official act.



Their lived experience

Apr 25th, 2024 9:58 am | By

Where would they be without the silly platitudes and the deceptive wording? At a complete loss, that’s where.

Scottish Greens shout

We must ensure that young people are supported and that their lived experience is at the heart of trans healthcare, says the Scottish Greens health spokesperson, Gillian Mackay MSP.

Why? Why must we or they or anyone make sure that anyone’s “lived experience” is at the heart of her/his/their healthcare? Healthcare isn’t a “lifestyle” choice, it’s a technology to prevent and cure illness and injury.

In a question to the Minister for Public Health, Jenni Minto, Ms Mackay said: “Many young people will be concerned about the effect of last week’s decision to pause the prescription of hormones on their healthcare journey, and our solidarity should be with them. We need to work as quickly as possible to ensure that the concerns of the clinicians are resolved so that they can provide this care with confidence.”

Slow the fuck down, Ms Mackay. What do you mean by “their healthcare journey”? It’s not healthcare to try to change people’s sex, it’s harmful quackery. You don’t need to work quickly to shove the clinicians into continuing to help young people ruin their own bodies. The “concerns of the clinicians” are a reason to stop doing that, not to find ways to keep on doing it.

“Scottish Trans have suggested that we should consider setting up our own research study. Can the Minister outline what steps the Government is taking to resolve the current situation, and how we can ensure that lived experience is at the heart of any action going forward?”

Can the Minister help us figure out how to continue to ruin young people’s lives in defiance of medical knowledge?

Ms Mackay added: “The last few weeks have been really hard for a lot of LGBTQ+ people, and trans people in particular. They are seeing their rights being treated like a political football.”

No they’re not. There’s no such thing as a “right” to force medical professionals to pretend to change one’s sex just as there’s no such thing as a right to force medical professionals to pretend to change one’s species. Medical professionals can’t perform the impossible and there is no “right” to force them to pretend or try.



Major ick

Apr 24th, 2024 5:30 pm | By

Ok here’s “Olly” of “Pop n Olly” –

I don’t like it – the minute plus 8 seconds I managed to watch – but then I’m primed not to like it. But then I’m primed not to like it for reasons, and some of the reasons are right there. He’s too fucking perky. I didn’t like excess perky when I was five, let alone older than that.

But more to the point, there’s a creepy mismatch between the perky bubbly twinkly presentation, meant for toddlers who don’t know many words yet, and the subject matter. If you’re going to do a tv series explaining “gender” and “identity” and “romantic love” and “sexual orientation” and “privilege” and “discrimination” and more to children then you need a much less dorky, cutesie, bubbly-twinkly persona to do it with. Olly seems to be talking to three-year-olds, and does it really make sense to teach three-year-olds about “identity” and “privilege” and “discrimination”?

No, it doesn’t, so why are they doing it? I suppose it’s the usual depressing reason. Get them young, teach them the doctrines, close the door behind them. Grooming, in short – grooming at least for “trans activism” and sharing the dogma of Our Lord Jesus Transalpine.

Somehow con schools into using your cringy manic way too friendly videos to indoctrinate children into the Mandated Beliefs, and make money doing it.

Send the asteroid.



You’ll notice

Apr 24th, 2024 12:01 pm | By

Without the verbal tricks and cheats and concealments it would crash and burn in seconds.

Like that. In the first tweet it’s “sex” but in the second one it’s “legal sex” – meaning, of course, fake sex, pretend sex, not sex, unreal sex. But the switch is not mentioned, it just happens, as if inevitably. It’s smoke and mirrors, aka lies, and it shows what a cheat the whole thing is.

There again. Of course trans people have human rights, and nobody says they don’t. The issue is that there is no such thing as a right to force everyone to agree you are the sex you are not. Trans people have the human rights that humans have; they don’t have special luxury rights that cancel other people’s genuine human rights.

But who decides what is forwards and what is backwards?

Finn Mackay thinks Finn Mackay does, but I dispute Mackay’s map.



Get them young

Apr 24th, 2024 10:31 am | By

In school. In SCHOOL.

IN SCHOOL.



Vulnerable populations

Apr 24th, 2024 9:44 am | By

A whistle blower steps up:

I am a 42-year-old St. Louis native, a queer woman, and politically to the left of Bernie Sanders. My worldview has deeply shaped my career. I have spent my professional life providing counseling to vulnerable populations: children in foster care, sexual minorities, the poor. 

Jamie Reed worked for several years at The Washington University School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases with teenagers and young adults who were HIV positive.

Many of them were trans or otherwise gender nonconforming, and I could relate: Through childhood and adolescence, I did a lot of gender questioning myself. I’m now married to a transman, and together we are raising my two biological children from a previous marriage and three foster children we hope to adopt. 

Makes it a bit tricky to label her a “transphobe” I should think.

All that led me to a job in 2018 as a case manager at The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, which had been established a year earlier. 

The center’s working assumption was that the earlier you treat kids with gender dysphoria, the more anguish you can prevent later on. This premise was shared by the center’s doctors and therapists. Given their expertise, I assumed that abundant evidence backed this consensus. 

Does off the charts social contagion count as abundant evidence? As it turns out, no.

I left the clinic in November of last year because I could no longer participate in what was happening there. By the time I departed, I was certain that the way the American medical system is treating these patients is the opposite of the promise we make to “do no harm.” Instead, we are permanently harming the vulnerable patients in our care.

So she is blowing the whistle.

Frequently, our patients declared they had disorders that no one believed they had. We had patients who said they had Tourette syndrome (but they didn’t); that they had tic disorders (but they didn’t); that they had multiple personalities (but they didn’t). 

The doctors privately recognized these false self-diagnoses as a manifestation of social contagion. They even acknowledged that suicide has an element of social contagion. But when I said the clusters of girls streaming into our service looked as if their gender issues might be a manifestation of social contagion, the doctors said gender identity reflected something innate.

Ok hang on. How could they know that? How could they possibly tell? When the putative condition itself is entirely in the mind? There are no physical symptoms of being trans, so how can doctors possibly be confident that thinking you are the other sex is not social and mental rather than physical?

Many encounters with patients emphasized to me how little these young people understood the profound impacts changing gender would have on their bodies and minds. But the center downplayed the negative consequences, and emphasized the need for transition. As the center’s website said, “Left untreated, gender dysphoria has any number of consequences, from self-harm to suicide. But when you take away the gender dysphoria by allowing a child to be who he or she is, we’re noticing that goes away. The studies we have show these kids often wind up functioning psychosocially as well as or better than their peers.” 

There are no reliable studies showing this. Indeed, the experiences of many of the center’s patients prove how false these assertions are. 

Well the center didn’t specify reliable studies, it just said “the studies we have.” So that’s ok then!

Reed and a colleague had concerns about a boy who didn’t really grasp what the off-label medication was going to do to him.

Bicalutamide is a medication used to treat metastatic prostate cancer, and one of its side effects is that it feminizes the bodies of men who take it, including the appearance of breasts. The center prescribed this cancer drug as a puberty blocker and feminizing agent for boys. As with most cancer drugs, bicalutamide has a long list of side effects, and this patient experienced one of them: liver toxicity. He was sent to another unit of the hospital for evaluation and immediately taken off the drug. Afterward, his mother sent an electronic message to the Transgender Center saying that we were lucky her family was not the type to sue.

They should have sued.

Read on.



Incessant testing

Apr 24th, 2024 3:45 am | By

Oppositional defiance disorder:

Prosecutor Chris Conroy captured the quintessential Donald Trump in a single sentence at the ex-president’s hush money trial on Tuesday.

“He knows what he’s not allowed to do, and he does it anyway.”

Conroy was referring to Trump’s incessant testing of a gag order protecting witnesses, court staff and the jury. But there’s rarely been a better description of the presumptive GOP nominee’s entire approach to business and politics – or the way he’s promised to behave if voters send him back to the White House.

Business, politics, and everything else. He considers himself special, and entitled to defy whatever he feels like defying. Nobody gets to disobey him, but he gets to disobey everyone.

Only six days into the trial, Trump is doing what he always does, pushing the rules and conventions of the law and accepted behavior to service his own narrative of victimization he’s placed at the core of his 2024 campaign.

It gives his life meaning.

CNN’s John Miller reported Tuesday that the Secret Service, court officers and the New York City Department of Corrections have quietly consulted on what to do if Trump ends up being jailed for contempt of court. That remedy remains a distant one for now, but any eventual step in that direction cannot be ruled out since no judge can allow a defendant to mock his authority in what is in essence a show of contempt for the rule of law.

And for everyone else – everyone who isn’t Trump. We peasants have to obey the rules; Trump alone is entitled to defy them.

It’s almost inconceivable that any other criminal defendant would get away with lacerating the judge and his court in the way that Trump has done on his Truth Social network, in interviews and in his remarks to cameras outside the court.

Which raises the annoying possibility that he’s enjoying being in the dock.



Either the gag order has teeth or

Apr 23rd, 2024 12:05 pm | By

One lawyer’s view:



What gag order???

Apr 23rd, 2024 12:03 pm | By

Trump is busy testing them even as we speak.