Still talking

Oct 31st, 2023 3:48 am | By

Trump has a boatload of gag orders and he’s having himself a high old time ignoring them all and telling us he’s ignoring them. Crime boss does whatever he wants all the time and brags about it in public while campaigning all too successfully for a second term as president. We’re locked in a nightmare.

Not a win

Oct 30th, 2023 4:37 pm | By

The Telegraph reports:

The Welsh government is to redefine women to include transgender females under planned new laws.

The proposal was revealed on Sunday in a leaked draft of its Gender Quotas Bill which proposes that half the candidates in any list to be members of the Senedd must be women.

For the purposes of the proposed legislation this includes transgender women, the report stated.

For the purposes of the proposed legislation this includes transgender women, the report stated.

That is so so so fucking insulting. “Ok ok ok we’ll pass a bill saying half the candidates must be women. But we’ll also say men can be women so ha you lose anyway. Sorrynotsorry bitches.”

A win

Oct 30th, 2023 4:31 pm | By

First, Julie Bindel in The Spectator last November:

The most important job of any union is to support its members against bullies. So why has the Society of Authors, a sort of posh union for writers, illustrators and translators, failed to support members who are receiving death threats? In August, J.K. Rowling tweeted her sympathy for Sir Salman Rushdie after his attempted murder. Imagine how she felt when she received this response: ‘Don’t worry, you are next.’ Rowling is a member of the Society of Authors and expected the union to put pressure on the authorities by condemning the threats against her. Right? Wrong.

Not only did the Society fail to defend Rowling, but the chair of the management committee, Joanne Harris, appeared to mock her. In response, a group of members tried to use last week’s annual general meeting to remove Harris. Unsurprisingly, we were defeated; a climate of fear reigns over much of the publishing industry.

So we decided to try to take control of the Society. We proposed two resolutions. The first was on the duty of management to uphold its stated aim ‘to protect free speech’ and to look at how best to protect the fundamental right of all authors to express themselves freely. Second was the resolution that Harris stand down as chair of the management committee, ‘in light of her documented behaviour and comments, which are not compatible with the Society’s goals of protecting free expression and their policy of dignity and respect’. As soon as the resolutions were made public, supporters of Harris began to tweet slurs about her detractors, calling us transphobes. Harris retweeted a number of these slurs.

Julia Williams, one of the authors of the open letter, spoke in favour of the resolutions at the meeting, describing it as ‘the most bruising and terrifying experience of my career’. Williams, who has worked in publishing for more than 30 years, told me: ‘I have never known such a toxic and bullying culture as exists now. But being agentless and publisherless means I have nothing left to lose. So I did it for those who are so scared for their careers they cannot speak.’

Now fast-forward to today:


  1. (Julia Williams []

Social Etsy

Oct 30th, 2023 4:03 pm | By

All in fun! Just joking! Where’s your sensayuma?

Guest post: It is important to distinguish

Oct 30th, 2023 3:32 pm | By

Originally a comment by Sackbut on Not Selfridge’s.

It is important to me distinguish:

– the actions of the Israeli government;

– the state of Israel itself;

– Israelis;

– Jewish people;

– Palestinian people;

– the nation of Palestine (whatever that means currently);

– the actions of the Palestinian government;

– the actions of non-governmental groups.

I keep looking for nuance in the various protests, and in reports of these protests. I keep hoping to see protesters make clear that they are criticizing government actions and not damning the civilian populations. I keep hoping for news coverage to make this clear. But it is distressingly rare. Protests like this one are described as “pro-Palestine” rather than “pro Palestinian people” or “anti Israeli indiscriminate attacks” or similar. And the protests, regardless of what chants or slogans they invoke, seem to show up to harass Jewish people or groups, rather than Israeli government offices. Why M&S, instead of the Israeli consulate? Why banging on the windows of a library harboring Jewish students, instead of anything whatsoever associated with the Israeli government, or with the American government or military, or anything at all relevant to the actual war effort?

“Israel is a terrorist state” could be a slogan used by anti-Zionist Jews assembled at the Israeli embassy. But no, it’s just a slogan used by people who assume “Israel” and “Jews” are the same thing and bear the same responsibility.

Not Selfridge’s

Oct 30th, 2023 10:38 am | By


The Marks in Marks & Spencer was Michael Marks, a Jewish immigrant from Belarus.

Yooooo dirty rat

Oct 30th, 2023 9:58 am | By

Trump again told to shut up, again fails to comply.

A federal judge has reinstated a limited gag order on former President Donald Trump in his 2020 presidential election subversion case. It prevents him from criticising court staff, prosecutors and possible witnesses between now and his trial.

Judge Tanya Chutkan had temporarily lifted the order earlier this month so his lawyers could appeal but reinstated it on Sunday. An hour after the news emerged, Mr Trump called the judge “Trump hating”.

Laura Norder innit.

The former president is also under a gag order in a separate ongoing civil fraud trial in New York.

The judge in that case has issued two separate fines against Mr Trump for violating that order, one for $5,000 (£4,100) and one for $10,000.

Keep doubling.

Guest post: If they are that “acutely vulnerable” 

Oct 29th, 2023 6:20 pm | By

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on Protecting the public.

If they are that “acutely vulnerable” then maybe the outside world is not for them. If they really must go out of doors, they should make it brief. They should wear blinkers, lest they be upset by anything alarming coming into their peripheral vision. Looking down at the ground is also to be recommended. For longer, more dangerous journeys, they should be preceded by someone walking 10-20 yards ahead of them, ringing a bell, wearing a sign proclaiming “CAUTION: ACUTELY VULNERABLE PERSON APPROACHING!” This will give people in the vicinity time to hide from view anything that might upset or give offence.

There is no such thing as some particularly specially inordinately “acute vulnerability” that afflicts trans people and no one else.

This idea can be interpreted or rephrased a number of ways, some being more subtextual than this claim for particular sensitivity.

Only trans people’s needs and concerns are of importance.

Trans people are particularly demanding and vocal on encountering things they don’t like (like Islamists and cartoons of Muhammad), best not piss them off.

Please don’t hit us, we’ve done what you want us to.

These books are hidden away and we’ll give you a hard time and make you feel guilty about asking for them. And you should feel guilty. Bigot.

We love Big Brother trans women even more than you do. Why do you hate trans women so much?

Return of Fred

Oct 29th, 2023 4:11 pm | By

Yet more solidarity from the boys.

Checking the identities

Oct 29th, 2023 12:52 pm | By
Checking the identities

The nightmare returns:

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters stormed the airport in the Russian city of Makhachkala in the predominantly Muslim region of Daghestan, with some shouting anti-Jewish comments at passengers arriving on a flight from Tel Aviv on October 29.

Riot police arrived at the airport after the disturbances, while the Interior Ministry office in Makhachkala said reinforcements, including National Guard units, were being sent to “ensure the safety” of arriving passengers, according to the Baza Telegram channel.

Anti-Jewish protests have broken out in several cities in the region in the face of Israel’s war with Hamas, rulers of the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip.

Late on October 29, videos and photos from the scene published by Izvestia indicated that protesters had stormed onto the Makhachkala runway and attempted to gain entry to the incoming plane.

Authorities said the airport was closed for incoming and outgoing flights, while police reportedly began jamming communications in the airport area to prevent the crowd from coordinating further actions.

A local news Telegram channel reported that protesters were trying to check the identities of arriving passengers, attempting to prevent Jews from leaving the airport, including searching police vehicles.

On bended knee

Oct 29th, 2023 11:50 am | By

Yay more theocracy for us:

In the moments before he was to face a vote on becoming speaker of the House this week, Representative Mike Johnson posted a photograph on social media of the inscription carved into marble atop the chamber’s rostrum: “In God We Trust.”

That inscription of course should not be there.

His colleagues celebrated his candidacy by circulating an image of him on bended knee praying for divine guidance with other lawmakers on the House floor.

That’s just downright revolting. “I believe in a magic daddy in the sky so I’m better than you.”

And in his first speech from the chamber as speaker, Mr. Johnson cast his ascendance to the position second in line to the presidency in religious terms, saying, “I believe God has ordained and allowed each one of us to be brought here for this specific moment.”

Which being interpreted is: Daddy God put me here.

Very humble and meek.

Mr. Johnson, a mild-mannered conservative Republican from Louisiana whose elevation to the speakership on Wednesday followed weeks of chaos, is known for placing his evangelical Christianity at the center of his political life and policy positions. Now, as the most powerful Republican in Washington, he is in a position to inject it squarely into the national political discourse, where he has argued for years that it belongs.

That is, he wants to impose theocracy on us.

Mr. Johnson also played a leading role in efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and has expressed skepticism about some definitions of the separation of church and state, placing himself in a newer cohort of conservative Christianity that aligns more closely with former President Donald J. Trump and that some describe as Christian nationalism.

In remarks to a Louisiana congregation in 2016, Mr. Johnson linked school shootings to no-fault divorce laws (he is in a covenant marriage with his wife, which makes divorce more difficult), “radical feminism” and legal abortion.

School shootings are the fault of radical feminists. I’d like to see a map of that journey.

In lectures to student groups he addresses across the country, Mr. Johnson has lamented: “There’s no transcendent principles anymore. There’s no eternal judge. There’s no absolute standards of right and wrong. All this is exactly the opposite of the way we were founded as a country.”

It is a viewpoint fervently embraced by much of the hard-right Republican base, which reveres Mr. Trump and identifies with his frequent claims of being persecuted, aggrieved and looked down upon by liberal elites.

Ok again I’m going to need a map of the route from absolute standards of right and wrong to revering Donald Trump. A really large-scale detailed map with no blurry bits or Miracle Street.

Guest post: Democracy depends on deliberation

Oct 29th, 2023 11:14 am | By

Originally a comment by Mike Haubrich on More bags.

The trouble with Western democracies is that the people who stand for political office are commonly not themselves democrats. They prefer their own wills to prevail rather than those of the population-at-large. Some prize examples of elected anti-democrats spring readily to mind.

I always wondered what the purpose of a divided government was, why didn’t the founders set up a parliamentary system where the majority party holds the executive? The way it is, the executive branch can be hamstrung as it is about to be when the next U.S. government shutdown battle comes along (and Johnson will not make a deal like McCarthy did). But, when someone like Trump or Sanders comes along as a populist who promises to “fix things” and have a “people’s revolution,” we are far better off with a strong Congress that can say “hold on there. Not so fast.”

People don’t vote for who would be the best administrator as President in the U.S. They vote for who would be a Strong Leader and make the country over by will and inspiration, and that’s bad for democracy. In Minnesota, the Democrats had a weak opposition in the most recent session and passed through a cornucopia of liberal wetdreams (some of which I think are pretty good.) But the opposition had no fangs and the Democrats were able to label any opposing voices on issues as being the plaints of RW bigots, they were basically toothless. So, the trans sanctuary bills, and “anti-conversion” bills were passed with no dissent among the Democrats and the Republican objections were dismissed.

That’s what happens when demagogues rule, the groupthink takes over. If our governor had faced a legislature with at least one house on the opposition party, he would have had to listen to them. Instead, we become yes-men, and I am thankful that the governor doesn’t have the power to do as much as a president would. I may secretly give money to Republicans in the next election here, not because I like them, but because I think we need opposition in the government. Slow down, fight for the hard compromises, and make sure all of the people have some voice and not just the members of the majority party.

Democracy depends on deliberation, but power is more attractive to the voters.

The resistance to fairness

Oct 29th, 2023 10:17 am | By

That sounds like a brilliant parody:

The trans “struggle for justice” hahahahahahahaha hilarious.

Let’s have a look.

Acknowledging the formidable hurdles trans and nonbinary athletes face in their struggles for inclusion, acceptance, and freedom, this book documents and analyses their resistance across a range of social-cultural and geopolitical contexts, from community sport to high-performance competition.

It looks like a parody but apparently isn’t.

So let’s talk about this “struggle” for “inclusion, acceptance, and freedom.”

Inclusion. We’ve been over this. We’ve been over this a billion times by now. Athletic competitions have categories and qualifications. End of story. There are age categories, sometimes weight categories, amateur/professional categories, and yes sex categories. There are categories for women. Women had to fight for them. They won the fight – the fight for inclusion, in fact. If men who identify as trans are allowed to compete against women then women are excluded from their own sports all over again.

Acceptance. That’s just another way of saying “inclusion”; see above.

Freedom. No one is taking away trans people’s “freedom.” Telling men they can’t invade women’s sports is not a violation of their freedom, it’s an enforcement of women’s rights. Women matter too.

Protecting the public

Oct 29th, 2023 7:54 am | By

The list includes Mein Kampf and gender critical books…and nothing else.

Works by authors including Helen Joyce and Prof Kathleen Stock were hidden from view by a library service of the Labour-run Calderdale council, and are now barred from being promoted in displays in order to protect the public from offence.

The only other book similarly censored by the library service by being hidden was Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

So, it seems, the Calderdale library system considers gender-skeptical feminism to be on a level with genocidal Nazism.

That’s puzzling for a number of reasons. Like, for instance, the fact that gender-skeptical feminism is not genocidal or genocidal-adjacent or remotely in any way similar to or connected to genocide. Like, also, the fact that there are many cruel or destructive or murderous ideologies promoted in many books other than Mein Kampf yet they are not on Calderdale Libraries’ list of books to hide.

The Telegraph previously revealed that six books discussing the dangers of puberty blockers and gender reassignment surgery were hidden from public view by Calderdale librarians.

Now council documents shown to The Telegraph indicate that staff had not previously taken such direct measures to conceal books, except on one occasion when “a copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf was moved to our stores following complaints from some customers some years ago”.

In other words Calderdale librarians are saying gender-critical books are as evil and dangerous as Hitler’s book and that no other books in their system are that evil and dangerous.

Ms Joyce, the author of one of the six gender-critical books, told The Telegraph: “I was disgusted, but not surprised, to discover that the only previous example Calderdale Libraries could give of hiding away a ‘toxic’ book concerned Hitler’s manifesto, Mein Kampf.

“Its senior staff have apparently surrendered to the demands of trans ideologues to such an extent that when a crybully threw a strop about a top ten bestseller on the subject of women’s, children’s and gay people’s human rights, they agreed to treat that book as if it was Nazi propaganda.”

What’s the thinking?

Calderdale council officers cited best-practice advice that the books should not be promoted, advice which comes from the group Book 28, an LGBT organisation which has pushed councils to take steps to prevent LGBT people seeing “offensive” and “transphobic” gender-critical books in their libraries .

So why do Calderdale council officers and library bosses take advice from Book 28 and no one else? Why does it not take advice from, say, LGBAlliance? And feminist organizations? And free speech organizations? Why do they give the Trans Police the final and only word?

The controversy began with an internal HR grievance lodged in January 2023 about gender-critical books on display in council libraries .

Calderdale’s library agreed to remove six gender-critical books from public view.

After The Telegraph revealed that these books had been hidden, Calderdale library staff lodged a complaint against their own employer and demanded the books be reinstated on library shelves.

Calderdale council undertook a review of its policies following the outcry against censorship, while stating it had to balance these concerns against what it termed some people’s “acute vulnerability”.

Ok stop right there. That’s where you go so wrong. There is no such thing as some particularly specially inordinately “acute vulnerability” that afflicts trans people and no one else.

It’s more the other way around, really. Trans people – especially the male ones – are pulling a very elaborate and very destructive long con, and women are the people who are rendered “acutely vulnerable” as a result.

This week Ian Day, the council’s director for public service, said that while the books are likely “to cause offence to some people”, the titles do not reach “the threshold required to interfere with legal rights such as the right of freedom of expression”.

He recommended that the council decide to reinstate books, with the proviso that they are not promoted.

So just mild censorship. Thanks a lot.

The boss frowns

Oct 28th, 2023 10:38 am | By

Sorry but this is too hilarious to pass up.

Like the fact that there were five men and one woman discussing an issue about women? No, of course not that, that’s fine. Fred’s choices on the other hand…

Morning meal for canids

Oct 28th, 2023 10:12 am | By

Oh no, Inja and Fred are quarreling!

Take your time, boys. Be thorough.

More bags

Oct 28th, 2023 4:53 am | By

They killed the patient trying to save her.

An Iranian girl, 16, has died after she was allegedly beaten by morality police for not wearing a hijab.

Why is it so important for women to wear bags on their heads that it’s necessary to beat them to death for not doing it?

It’s not to protect them from anything, especially not from the sexual violence of godbothering men. It’s to make a big fuss about the “honor” of men, which is besmirched by the existence of those horrible oozing sluts known as “women.” If they’re not tightly wrapped like a supermarket cheese, they flop down in the street and spread their legs, so that explains why the “morality” police have to kill them for taking off the wrapping.

Activists have alleged Geravand was attacked because she was not wearing a hijab. 

They also demanded an independent investigation by the United Nations’ fact-finding mission on Iran, citing the theocracy’s use of pressure on victims’ families and state TV’s history of airing hundreds of coerced confessions.

Maybe the CIA should have left Iran alone…

What’s a little stoning between friends?

Oct 28th, 2023 3:03 am | By

Aw yeah, solidarity forever. Islamists and sex workers, unite and fight!

Two irreconcilable outlooks

Oct 28th, 2023 2:57 am | By

The Guardian reports there is conflict over the revamped NHS gender idenniny development service.

The opening of the hubs has been delayed by more than a year amid difficulties in recruiting staff, and tensions over how to train employees in caring for young people with gender dysphoria. Meanwhile, the waiting list of young people seeking help has grown to 5,766.

As delays to the openings continue, NHS England (NHSE) has started to divert thousands of 17-year-olds, and 16-year-olds who turn 17 before next March, towards the adult waiting list, where they are likely to receive a different, less exploratory form of treatment.

This development so concerned the mothers of two 17-year-olds that they launched a judicial review challenging the stark disparities between the child and adult services.

You can see why they’d worry. “Less exploratory” probably means more eager to offer drastic interventions because hey, once you’re 17 you’re totally immune to being deluded about being the sex your body isn’t.

To complicate matters further, an NHS consultation designed to gather views on how best to support children with gender dysphoria has identified two irreconcilable outlooks on the best approach: one group is cautious about the prescription of puberty blockers, while the second is suspicious of exploratory therapy, arguing that it could enter the realm of conversion practices.

And clearly it’s far more risky to avoid blockers and surgery than it is to embrace them, right?

Tensions have also emerged in the small team charged with developing teaching materials for staff at the new clinics. There are polarised views on how quickly patients with gender dysphoria should be assisted towards social and medical transition, and how much focus should be given to other issues present in their lives, such as trauma and homophobic bullying.

In other words same old same old same old. Some people think being trans is the best thing since pumpkin lattes and other people think it’s a warped fad that is going to ruin a lot of lives.

Meetings are said to be polite, but privately clinicians have dismissed those holding opposing views variously as “activists”, for promoting trans rights, or “conversion therapists” or “transphobes”, for questioning a child’s self-diagnosis.

So it’s like Twitter but with physical consequences.

One current member of Tavistock staff said: “What they are proposing to do is gender exploratory therapy. My view, as a clinician working in gender services, is that this is tantamount to conversion therapy for trans youth. It’s very problematic and very unethical.”

But it’s not problematic and unethical to charge ahead with diverting teenagers’ puberties. How can they be so confident of that?

Guest post: Kindness is not mandatory

Oct 27th, 2023 5:43 pm | By

Originally a comment by Holms on We know that something is being waved in our faces.

The claim that using someone’s pronouns of demand is a mere ‘kindness’ is belied by the fact that they are also claimed to be non-optional. Kindness is not mandatory, and mandates are by their nature not kind as there is the implication of enforcement, punishment, for failure to comply. It is further undermined by the revisionism we see at play with trans identities. When someone declares they have a gender identity, name, and/or pronouns at odds with their sex, it is immediately forbidden to mention even obliquely that the person ever had anything other than those even in the past. This is especially visible with famous people, as their pages on wikipedia, imdb, and others are immediately edited to match the new demand even for past events under their previous name.

Perhaps the best demonstration of this inflexibility can be seen in the very public tragedy of Elliot Page, formerly Ellen. The wiki page for Hard Candy states the protagonist’s actor as Elliot Page, despite being Ellen at the time, and despite her character being a 14 year old girl. The plot of that movie begins with that character tempting another man into meeting her via online flirting, as she suspects he is a paedophile who killed an earlier victim of his predation. In particular, she suspects he is a heterosexual paedophile – the entire interaction thus depends on her being female. Yet that of course does not stop all references to Elliot referring to her as grammatically masculine.

A footnote on that page gives us another absurdity: “Elliot Page, in his memoir Pageboy, revealed that a member of the production gave him a ride home after the wrap party, and then sexually assaulted him.” Him him him, despite the glaring incongruity: Ellen page was sexually assaulted 16 years prior to ‘coming out’ as a man. The assault was due to lust for her as a woman. Elliot’s own page contains a stream of further absurd lies.

The ‘kindness’ claim is a flimsy defence, part of a coercive effort to promote mass lying.