When Nancy Kelley was all “Lesbians are akin to sexual racists”

May 24th, 2022 10:51 am | By

I’m glad to see I’m not the only one whose hair caught fire on reading that “it is similar to South Africa attempting to racially integrate society” tweet. Far from the only one. Much conflagration ensued.

Many furious replies agree.

Cotton ceiling tweet

May 24th, 2022 9:11 am | By

The tribunal had a very interesting discussion today on the cotton ceiling and whether or not it’s coercive to call lesbians “exclusionary” for not wanting to have sex with men who claim to be women (aka “trans women” in the jargon). Ben Cooper questions CM (Cathryn McGahey QC) for a long time; it feels like shoveling very heavy wet snow.

One tweet and the rest as dialogue, with some punctuation and other tweaks for clarity which the tweeter doesn’t have time to include.

BC: go to page 767, just follow through the substance of the claimant’s response, she is explaining the basis of her tweet. CM: yes BC: she then provides part of the material you had at the time that identifies ‘overcoming the cotton ceiling’.

CM: overcoming the reluctance of lesbians to have sex with trans individuals. BC: AB goes on to explain cotton ceiling. CM: I always understood that. BC: reading out AB’s explanation that requiring lesbians to have sex with a man (trans) or shaming them is coercive 11454.

BC: let’s break it down. If there is a basis to describe what’s going on as coercive then the tweets are reasonable. CM: it’s important to understand what happens or happened at the workshop. There is nothing in the material put out by PP Toronto that advocates coercion.

BC: that is your conclusion about the material. Let’s take it in stages. Do you agree with me that coercion does not involve physical action? That coercion can be emotional, social etc. CM: Yes. I’m not giving my opinion on the content of the workshop. Absent any detailed information, there are many possibilities, and coercion is one of them but not a necessary conclusion. BC: shaming can be a form of coercion. CM: that’s fact specific, it may be. I’ve seen nothing to suggest that shaming is part of the workshop.

It’s enough to make you scream. A “workshop” about “the cotton ceiling” i.e. lesbian underpants i.e. lesbians not having sex with men who identify as women. That’s a grotesque thing to have a “workshop” about in the first place, and of course it’s coercive. Calling it “the cotton ceiling” is calling it an unfair arbitrary anti-equality injustice for lesbians not to have sex with men who identify as women. Lesbians don’t have to have sex with anyone they don’t want to have sex with. Yes of course it’s coercive to have “workshops” about how to convince lesbians to stop deciding for themselves which people they want to have sex with.

BC: lets explore that. In the bottom right – this is part of the material the claimant provided, it explains ‘cotton ceiling’, refers to underwear. Ultimately, transwomen are accept[ed] in many ways but not sexually. Can you accept that the meaning of ‘cotton ceiling’ is referring to getting into lesbians’ knickers? CM: yes, that is clear. BC: connection to glass ceiling implies discrimination. CM: yes, lesbians don’t want to have sex with transwomen. Discussion glass ceiling workshops. It’s wrong to say that because there is fear the workshop is advocating coercion. BC: the difference is that no reasonable person holds the view that women shouldn’t rise up the corporate ladder. CM: yes. But some men are prejudiced against women. BC: The difference is – it is not a matter of prejudice for lesbians to be same sex attracted. CM: do not understand the question. What are you getting at? BC: In relation to the glass ceiling. AH: complaining about BC question refrain from characterising earlier answers. EJ: you are trying to put a view about cotton ceiling and glass ceiling. And witness not understanding. Do you want a break to work on it. BC: No. I may simply not be able to express it. No one disputes that women should be able to rise up the corporate ladder and break the glass ceiling. But lesbians are defined by being attracted to other women. Hence, the cotton ceiling. CM: I now see your point. BC: you can see why lesbians are deeply offended by lesbians being told their same sex attraction is discriminatory.

You’d think, but no. Huh? Discriminatory?

CM: I don’t see how the workshop is discriminatory? BC: Overcoming the cotton ceiling is coercive. CM: I don’t see that the workshop is necessarily coercive. We have no information about the contents of that workshop. AB’s opinion that it must be coercive is not substantiated.

[shouting] The very existence of the workshop is coercive! The way a workshop titled “Why do women think they get to say no to sex with me?” would be coercive.

Skipping a couple of repetitions of the pattern “You see it now?” “No, what mean?” to include yet more repetitions of the pattern.

BC: inherent in the workshop is that sexual barriers that transwomen want to overcome are rooted in transmisogny and transphobia. AB’s claim – it is inherently coercive to label lesbians as transphobic for failing to have sex with transwomen.

CM: I don’t see the coercion. It is appalling to coerce or shame anyone into sex. I don’t see that in the workshop. BC: this workshop on its face is labelling lesbians as transphobic and trying to coerce them.

CM: back to South Africa rugby world cup. CM: the point I am making is no evidence of coercion. BC: the workshop is sexually and socially coercive. CM: I’m not saying that is acceptable for the workshop to say that to any individual lesbian. But we don’t know what the workshop is about. I have no knowledge and no personal interest. I was looking from a professional standards point. AB did not have a basis for this tweet, cannot substantiate and there may be a problem here. Not trying to express a view on the merits of the workshop.

BC: still believe workshop is inherently coercive. CM: No, it is similar to South Africa attempting to racially integrate society. Morning break.

NO! No no no no no no no. It is not like that. That’s the whole point. Pushing lesbians to fuck men who call themselves women is not like South Africa’s attempting racial integration of society.

I could never be a lawyer, I’d be having a tantrum five minutes in.

Into bits

May 24th, 2022 7:34 am | By


A bench inspired by the final series of a Ricky Gervais TV show about loss has been broken into bits by vandals.

The After Life bench in Nottingham’s Arboretum was one of 25 donated to councils by streaming service Netflix and suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

Nottingham City Council said the vandalism over the weekend was “unacceptable and heart-breaking”.

The authority said the bench was donated to the park in January via the Ricky Gervais show Afterlife. Ms Wynter added: “It’s been a symbol of hope and support to many people off the back of the series, which shone a light on loss, bereavement and mental health.”

Never mind all that, he mocks the idea that men can be women.

The back story of the benches:

In After Life, the main character Tony, played by Gervais, is often seen sitting on a bench in the churchyard where his wife is buried.

A woman played by Penelope Wilton, whose husband is also buried in the cemetery, often sits beside him.

The bench is the setting of their conversations across all three series, as Tony deals with his grief.

A suitable target for vandalism then.

Feu des ordures

May 24th, 2022 7:15 am | By

Ricky Gervais has thrown a stone into the festering pond.

Oh but

Cis baron trans woman

May 23rd, 2022 3:55 pm | By

Heads he wins tails she loses. More on that hereditary baron trans woman guy, this time from Sam Leith at the Spectator:

Matilda Simon has applied to contest the next by-election for hereditary peers, in the hope of taking her hereditary seat as Baron Simon of Wythenshawe.

Waltzing Baron Matilda.

Matilda began life as Matthew Simon – becoming on the death of her (then his) father the second Baron Simon of Wythenshawe. But she has since transitioned and become Matilda Simon. And the Lord Chancellor last week approved her claim to the peerage and therefore gave her permission to stand the next time a seat becomes vacant among the hereditaries in the Lords. (That hereditary peers now have to stand for election is the peculiar result of the half-grasped nettle of Lords Reform.)

It’s hilarious in a way. On the one hand – get with the times, people, a man is a woman if he says he is. On the other hand Please sir can I have my claim to the peerage approved? A hyper-progressive reactionary or a hyper-reactionary progressive? Only his sister knows for sure.

If Matilda Simon is a woman, she doesn’t qualify to inherit a male peerage. Indeed, if she’s a progressively minded person you might wonder why she’s so keen to take advantage not only of a hereditary membership of the upper house, but of the still more reactionary custom of male primogeniture. In so doing, be it noted, she leapfrogs her elder sibling Margaret – who as a natal woman is unable to inherit the title.

Firstborn Margaret can’t have the title because she’s a woman, but Matthew can even though he’s a woman, albeit the fake kind. Anyway, whatever you do, don’t misgender him.

The very principle of hereditary peerage – to enshrine power through an immutable accident of birth — is directly at odds with the identitarian notion that you can be who you damn well please, and it’s nobody’s business but yours.

The trick is to do them in sequence. Do one, then wait a few minutes, then do the opposite. It sounds odd but it works.

The Self filter on belief

May 23rd, 2022 11:04 am | By

There’s a very particular difficulty with holding Trump to account, that is probably more acute than with most crooks. Just Security explains:

To prove that Trump criminally obstructed the electoral count proceeding, prosecutors would need to convince a 12-person jury that he acted “corruptly.” According to the D.C. courts, this means that “the defendant must use unlawful means or act with an unlawful purpose, or both” to obstruct the proceeding. In addition, the “defendant must … act with consciousness of wrongdoing,” which is defined as acting “with an understanding or awareness that what the person is doing is wrong” (emphasis added).

You can see where this is going to go.

In other words, it is not enough to prove that Trump knowingly engaged in an act that was unlawful; he must have subjectively understood that the act was unlawful.

I paused to think about that, as I’m sure every reader did. Is Trump even capable of understanding such a thing? He gives every appearance of not being. It’s not even that he’s too dumb, it’s that he (apparently) genuinely sees everything in whatever light is most flattering or useful to him, because that’s how he’s wired. He translates the entire world and everything in it to “good for me” and “bad for me.” That’s it. He doesn’t (to all appearances) even understand that there are other criteria. His stupidity and his self-dealing unite to form an impregnable seal around his brain, that repels any whiff of subjective understanding that a thing he wants to do is unlawful.

It’s kind of an interesting phenomenon to observe, in a depressing way.

Several commentators who have questioned the likelihood of a Trump prosecution have highlighted the challenge of proving that Trump doesn’t sincerely believe his own prolific lies or those of his sycophants, and lamented the absence of smoking-gun evidence revealing Trump’s inner thoughts when it comes to proving that he knew what he was doing was wrong as he attempted, in various ways, to stop the electoral count proceeding.

Well, yes. Although I’m not sure it’s that he sincerely believes his own lies so much as it is that he doesn’t ask the question in the first place. It doesn’t arise. He just does what he thinks will work in the moment, and truth or untruth is somewhere out beyond Jupiter in terms of relevance.

For example, in one New York Times piece weighing the prospects for a Trump prosecution, the authors noted that Trump “would have a powerful argument about his mental state” against a claim that he pressured former Vice President Pence to violate his legal duties under the Electoral Count Act – i.e., that Trump “sincerely thought he was asking Mr. Pence to do something lawful” because of the “advice” he received from lawyer John Eastman, who concocted a baseless rationale for Pence to ignore the law. Likewise, in a second piece, the Times quoted a law professor for the proposition that “[t]he problem with Trump is defining his state of mind when it is so changeable. He believes whatever he wants to think and it doesn’t necessarily have to be grounded in reality. That’s a tough argument to a jury, to say he knew a particular thing.”

That. It looks to me as if that’s how he does it. He believes whatever he wants to think, and reality is over there somewhere, beside the point. His ego is everything, and the rest of the world is a lot of meaningless specks, like gnats over a garbage dump.

Washington Postanalysis similarly observed that while there’s ample evidence “that Trump was repeatedly warned his rhetoric [about election fraud] was untrue, it may be more difficult to prove that Trump believed those warnings.”

Or even heard them, or if he did hear them, understood them as anything but disloyal outrageous insults to his greatness.

Wait for the beard

May 23rd, 2022 9:55 am | By

Women are women. Men are not women. It’s pretty simple.

Man jumps up to explain in a very loud voice that this guy over here says he’s a woman so that’s all there is to it, sucks to be you.

Dropping every day

May 23rd, 2022 9:27 am | By

Birds are falling out of the sky in India.

Rescuers in India’s western Gujarat state are picking up dozens of exhausted and dehydrated birds dropping every day as a scorching heatwave dries out water sources in the state’s biggest city, veterinary doctors and animal rescuers say.

Doctors in an animal hospital managed by the non-profit Jivdaya Charitable Trust in Ahmedabad said they have treated thousands of birds in the last few weeks, adding that rescuers bring dozens of high flying birds such as pigeons or kites daily.

All heatwaves today bear the unmistakable and measurable fingerprint of global warming, top experts on quantifying the effects of climate change on extreme weather said on Wednesday.

Ok but let’s talk about something else. Johnny Depp? Football? Vegan clothing shops? Carnivorous record stores?

The effects are visible

May 23rd, 2022 9:11 am | By

It’s been hot in India.

While heatwaves are common in India, especially in May and June, summer began early this year with high temperatures from March, when the first heatwave arrived.

Average maximum temperatures for the month were the highest in 122 years.*

The Centre for Science and Environment, a think-tank, says that early heatwaves this year have affected around 15 states, including the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, usually known for its pleasant temperatures.

The effects are visible. Farmers say the unexpected temperature spikes have affected their wheat harvest, a development that could potentially have global consequences given supply disruptions due to the Ukraine war.

The heat has also triggered an increase in power demand, leading to outages in many states and fears of a coal shortage.

Meanwhile of course burning coal is only going to make everything hotter.

D Sivananda Pai, director of the Institute for Climate Change Studies, points to other challenges apart from climate change – such as increasing population and the resulting strain on resources.

This, in turn, leads to factors that worsen the situation, such as deforestation and increasing use of transport.

“When you have more concrete roads and buildings, heat is trapped inside without being able to rise to the surface. This warms the air further,” Mr Pai says.

And there are no global air conditioners.

*Meaning, probably, in the 122 years we’ve been able to collect global stats. H/t Sackbut

Lucky Worcester

May 23rd, 2022 8:00 am | By

Fabulous headline:

Friar Street is set to become the home of new vegan and queer space

Vegan and queer. All the fun in one place! Should we call it queegan? Veer? Vuighur?

A NEW vegan deli and non-binary clothing shop is set to open in the city centre. 

I don’t much fancy the idea of clothes and deli in the same space. Feels a bit nauseating somehow.

Flo will be opening up in Friar Street offering a safe space to the LGBTQ+ community.

Who’s Flo? Why are we suddenly talking about her instead of the deli-clothes mashup?

Owner Rie Vockins named the new store after their grandmother who was called Florence and called it a ‘phoenix from the flames’ after a difficult three years. 

Mx Vockins said: “I’m opening a vegan deli and gender-neutral clothing store. 

Any chance of a gender-neutral deli and a vegan clothing store? I think I’d prefer that.

“If you’ve had a bad day, you can come here and just pop in and say hi. It’s a safe place for everyone.”

Hm. That’s very nice and everything but it’s not going to pay the rent. It’s kind of a niche market as it is – vegan gender-neutral people who want to eat and buy clothes at the same time. If you make it into a kind of clubhouse where people can just hang out saying hi to each other, your profits might turn out to be smallish.

The store will be split into two sections. At the front, the store will offer a vegan deli bar serving artisan cheese, wine and meat and the rear will have racks of gender-neutral and sustainable clothing.  

Ok. This is very difficult, technical stuff, but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. Except maybe the “gender-neutral clothing” part – I’m not sure what that means.

We, our, everyone

May 23rd, 2022 7:06 am | By
We, our, everyone

We shouldn’t have to spell it out, Planned Parenthood defiantly yells.

Maybe not, but the fact remains that in this environment you do have to spell it out, yet you carefully never do. Including in this stupid evasive ad.

Who are the “we” in OUR bodies and OUR futures? Who are the people you’re talking about? Is there a word for them? Can you tell us what it is?

Actually your message is far from clear. It’s deliberately obscure. Yes, universal health care is a good thing; agreed. Everyone should have access to it; agreed. Abortion, however, is not something Everyone needs. It’s something women need, and for that reason, it’s something women have had to fight for. In other words, it’s political. You can’t tackle the politics of it and try to conceal the politics of it at the same time. The war on abortion rights is a war on women, but you’re intentionally hiding that fact for the sake of the childish belief that trans people’s rights require us to deny the connection between the war on abortion rights and the war on women.

Using your words

May 23rd, 2022 5:57 am | By

An interesting item from the Allison Bailey tribunal.

It’s that “most people would think ‘with force'” bit that pisses me off the most. No we wouldn’t: coercion is not a synonym for force. I wouldn’t use “coercion” for cops wrestling a perp to the ground, or for rape, or for other forms of physical violence. I use that word when it’s not a matter of physical force but of the other kinds of pushing – official kinds, verbal kinds, social media kinds, in-group kinds, messages on shirts kinds, organizational kinds, emotional kinds. Shaming people is coercive, ostracizing people is coercive, calling people terfs and radfems and transphobes is coercive. Complaining about “the cotton ceiling” is coercive.

As if lawyers don’t know this. Come on.


May 22nd, 2022 4:28 pm | By

Oh does he, does he really.

The pull-quote under “Emily” Bridges reads:

“I want to inspire people to be who they are.”

Really. How odd. How odd that he wants to do something he’s doing the opposite of in that very cover photo. If he wants to inspire people to be who they are then why not start with himself? Who he is is a man, but in that cover photo he’s pretending to be a winsome delicate young girl with seductive parted lips. (Do men ever pose like that? Passive, mouth ajar and ready?)

I wonder if there’s some way we could inspire him to be who he is (and in the process to stop ruining cycling for women).

Revenge party

May 22nd, 2022 12:05 pm | By

Republicans v Trump and Trump v Republicans.

Republican governors hatched the plan months ago. Meeting at the desert Biltmore resort in Phoenix in mid-November, they agreed to confront a new threat to their incumbents: Former president Donald Trump was ramping up support for primary challengers as part of what one former governor called “a personal vendetta tour.”

The governors want to be re-elected. Trump wants to smash everything. It turns out there are drawbacks to having an evil toddler-brain as the Top Party Guy.

The gambit is set to culminate Tuesday in Georgia, where Republican Gov. Brian Kemp is heavily favored to defeat former senator David Perdue in a closely-watched primary. Trump recruited Perdue and made him his marquee candidate in a larger crusade against GOP officeholders who opposed his fight to overturn the 2020 election, which was rooted in false claims about fraud.

Revenge first, revenge last, revenge no matter what.

A parade of Republican governors and luminaries have lined up to protect Kemp. And former vice president Mike Pence, who once served as governor of Indiana, will appear with Kemp on Monday — setting the stage for Pence’s most direct confrontation yet against Trump in the midterms.

Splits. Irreconcilable. They will never be besties again.

The clash has brought into focus an extraordinary battle over the future direction of the GOP that extends well beyond Georgia. On one side is an aggrieved former president who retains widespread loyalty in the party from voters. On the other, conservative governors who align with Trump on many issues but have grown tired of his election claims, which post-election audits have shown to be false.

And, quite possibly, tired of Trump himself. He doesn’t wear well.

Angry that Kemp refused to help him overturn the election results in a key battleground state, Trump set outto topple him. He called him “a turncoat,” a “coward” and “a complete and total disaster.” He pumped $2.64 million from his political action committee into efforts to unseat Kemp, far more than the former president has spent on any other race.

“It’s not easy to beat a sitting governor,” Trump said in a Monday interview with The Post. “I’m the one who got that guy elected. I endorsed him, and he won. He’s not good on election integrity, and he did a terrible job on election integrity. We’ll see what happens.”

Trump wouldn’t know election integrity if it bit him on the ass grabbed him by the pussy.

Of course Kemp is not a good man just because Trump hates him. He’s down with the voter suppression thing.

On the campaign trail, Kemp touts conservative policies he and the GOP-controlled state legislature enacted during his term, including an election security law that voting rights groups argued would lead to voter suppression and brought backlash from civil and business leaders in the state.

“Election security” is code for not letting Them vote.

Guest post: Complaints received

May 22nd, 2022 11:40 am | By

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? at Miscellany.

My alma mater (Western University, London Ontario, Canada) felt the need to do a bit of social media clean-up as a result of complaints received over a poster that, among other images, included one of two women in hijab about to kiss.

Western University posted the image on its Instagram account Tuesday to mark the international day against homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia. The poster was removed Wednesday after numerous complaints and a petition signed by more than 32,000 people requested the social media post to be removed.

(The International Day is officially a commemoration of the 1990 decision by WHO to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. The original decision was about homosexuals, and while bisexulaity does involve homosexual activity at least some of the time, the “Day” (instituted in 2004 as something specifically about homosexuality) now includes forced teaming, with “transphobia” having been tacked onto the commemoration since 2009. [As if there aren’t a million other days, weeks and months of the year for the “T”. Could we please have an hour or two where we are allowed to forget them?])

The result? Two “communities” in conflict.

The firestorm surrounding a Western University social media post that included two Muslim women wearing the hijab about to kiss presents an opportunity to start a dialogue around the “sensitive matter,” says a local leader with Pride London.“This is a great starting point of a conversation,” said Stephen D’Amelio, vice-president of Pride London, an organization that represents the city’s LGBTQ2-plus community. “I think this is important to embrace and educate and to learn alongside others.”

Perhaps a more polite form of “Educate yourself”?

“It should be made clear that this is not an attack on the LGBT-plus community, and the existence of queer Muslims is acknowledged,” the petition says. “This does not mean that the Muslim community should allow any or all elements of its religion to be used to propagate any notion one deems worthy.”

On Thursday, local Muslim leaders issued a statement that said their goal is “understanding and harmony.”

“We want to do our part to promote understanding and harmony among the diverse people who live on these lands and who share many common goals and values, even as we differ on many issues,” the statement said. “We unequivocally reject any hateful statement made toward any individual or group based on their religion, culture, ethnicity and/or sexual orientation.”

“I think we live in a world that is very reactionary and we are all expected to make sure we do the best we can at all times,” he said. “It’s a sensitive matter. We understand that it’s not a quick, easy answer.

“I think that is what Western and it’s faculty and students are trying to achieve.”

(I wouldn’t necessarily trust what they’re “trying to achieve” though, as this is the same Western University which, several years ago, posted signs on campus bathrooms which said “Western respects everyone’s right to choose a washroom appropriate for them. (and my favourite part) “Trust the person using this space belongs here.

Part of the University’s decision to pull the image in the face of criticism could be because we are approaching the first anniversary of the terrorist killing of four members of a London Muslim family. There’s always going to be opposition, offence and pushback against this sort of imagery from some Muslims; you can’t please everyone. The University might have decided that retaining the image would be a bad look.

The five families

May 22nd, 2022 10:46 am | By

There are a lot of billionaires in London. A Guardian reporter and a sociologist did a walking tour of their enclaves.

We walk through Pall Mall’s clubland, with its austere buildings filled with hushed libraries and comfortable chairs to doze in, and on to Belgravia, the land of embassies, and once there to Eaton Square, which has been called Red Square, owing to the number of Russian billionaires who have homes here. They included Roman Abramovich, Oleg Deripaska and Andrey Goncharenko. The first two have been sanctioned, but Goncharenko, CEO of a Gazprom subsidiary, who also owns the £120m Hanover Lodge in Regent’s Park, has not had his property impounded. Leasehold apartments in Eaton Square range from £2-£10m.

The square forms the centrepiece of the Grosvenor Estate, a large area of prime real estate owned by the Duke of Westminster. They may be on long leases, but all the wealthy occupants of houses and apartments around here are tenants of the 31-year-old duke, who is estimated to be worth more than £10bn, and was at one time said to be the richest person in the world under 30. This is where new money meets the very old – the oligarchy and the landed gentry.

New meets very old but whatever their age they’re basically the same thing.

“Have you noticed how every house has magnolias in their window box?” asks Knowles.

She’s right, they do. It’s a feature of the Grosvenor Estate, apparently, some kind of floral requirement. It’s one of the decorative touches that help normalise a strange legacy of the distant past. It’s now politically acceptable to feel a sense of outrage at Russians or billionaires from other nations, who took advantage of a corrupt state to gain their wealth. But of aristocrats whose forebears did something similar with land, only hundreds of years ago, we’re still in social awe.

This is what I’m saying. Old “aristocratic” money seems elevated in some way, so elevated that we don’t refer to it as “money,” but in reality it’s just the usual racket.

I was idly watching a PBS thing the other day about the “mystery” of what happened to “the Princes in the Tower” – the sons of one king who were said to have been murdered by the usurper king – and it struck me how Mafia-like it was. It gets glammed up by words like “king” and “duke” and “royal” and “nobility” but really it’s just ruthless greedy criminals fighting with other ruthless greedy criminals. Whoever wins gets the glam word King. It’s crime bosses all the way down.

Inspirational confidence

May 22nd, 2022 9:22 am | By

That’s the spirit! Just ignore those stupid women. What do they know about it?!

Guest post: Think about it, Noam

May 21st, 2022 4:08 pm | By

Originally a comment by James Garnett on Trying to reason with Chomsky.

Plus, Chomsky is just boring a lot of the time. The man has literally put me to sleep.

Also, too:

the fact remains that Putin doesn’t own other countries even if they are right next to Russia.

In 1991, Estonia declared independence from Russia, and shortly thereafter made the Estonian language the official language for all governmental purposes. It had formerly been Russian. When I visited eight years later, the bulk of the Russian immigrants still refused to learn or speak Estonian because even though they composed less than a quarter of the population they considered themselves to be the “owners” of the country. I will never forget asking the price of a sweater at the market in Tallinn (in my stumbling Estonian) and being angrily berated and sworn-at by the Russian-speaking woman who ran it, simply for speaking that language.

Chomsky has never had to live in that kind of environment, and cannot possibly imagine the absolutely fierce intensity of peoples trying to escape Russian influence and make stronger ties with NATO and the west. To him it is just some kind of abstract chess game.

Estonia went from being a backwards SSR to a fully modern western country and member of NATO just three years after they regained independence, and they enjoy one of the most modern constitutions in the world with equal rights for women enshrined therein. Think about that, Noam. Think about how motivated a people have to be to go from stone age to space age in three years. We Americans have had nearly 250 years to do the same, and we’re still behind the game as compared to those Estonians.

Calm your whats?

May 21st, 2022 3:27 pm | By
Calm your whats?

Chase Strangio is now playing forlorn helpless victim, wounded by the cruel baying mob.

But women have to see Strangio cheering the ACLU on as it removes women from the fight to keep abortion rights. Strangio isn’t a fragile vulnerable bystander, Strangio isn’t a girl in her last year of school, Strangio is an important person at the ACLU, who is working hard to destroy women’s rights.

Also, Strangio retweeted this.

Trying to reason with Chomsky

May 21st, 2022 11:09 am | By

Some Ukrainian academics write an open letter to Noam Chomsky that points out some recurring fallacies/patterns:

Pattern #2: Treating Ukraine as an American pawn on a geo-political chessboard

Whether willingly or unwillingly, your interviews insinuate that Ukrainians are fighting with Russians because the U.S. instigated them to do so, that Euromaidan happened because the U.S. tried to detach Ukraine from the Russian sphere of influence, etc. Such an attitude denies the agency of Ukraine and is a slap in the face to millions of Ukrainians who are risking their lives for the desire to live in a free country. Simply put, have you considered the possibility that Ukrainians would like to detach from the Russian sphere of influence due to a history of genocide, cultural oppression, and constant denial of the right to self-determination?

The history of genocide is a pretty big thing to ignore, if you ask me, especially for someone as vocal about global political issues as Chomsky is. Stalinists ignored it and tried to bully others into ignoring it (sound familiar?) but surely Chomsky doesn’t consider Stalin a comrade.

Then there’s the NATO issue. We get it: Putin doesn’t want NATO expanding right next to Russia…but the fact remains that Putin doesn’t own other countries even if they are right next to Russia.

The premise is that NATO’s eastward expansion left Putin with no other choice but to attack. But the reality is different. Eastern European states joined, and Ukraine and Georgia aspired to join NATO, in order to defend themselves from Russian imperialism. They were right in their aspirations, given that Russia did attack Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. Moreover, current requests by Finland and Sweden to join NATO came in direct response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, consistent with NATO expansion being a consequence of Russian imperialism, and not vice versa.

In addition, we disagree with the notion that sovereign nations shouldn’t be making alliances based on the will of their people because of disputed verbal promises made by James Baker and George H.W. Bush to Gorbachev.

Wait, you mean US politicians don’t get to determine Ukraine’s fate for all time? Who knew?!

Then there’s Chomsky’s whataboutery. What about the US?!!! Nothing; it’s not about the US.

Item 5 is downright shocking.

Pattern #5. Whitewashing Putin’s goals for invading Ukraine

In your interviews, you go to great lengths to rationalize Putin’s goals of “demilitarization” and “neutralization” of Ukraine. Please note that, in his TV address from February 24, 2022, marking the beginning of the war, the verbatim goal declared by Putin for this “military operation” is to “denazify” Ukraine. This concept builds on his long pseudo-historical article from July 2021, denying Ukraine’s existence and claiming that Ukrainians were not a nation. As elaborated in the ‘denazification manual’ published by the Russian official press agency RIA Novosti, a “Nazi” is simply a human being who self-identifies as Ukrainian, the establishment of a Ukrainian state thirty years ago was the “Nazification of Ukraine,” and any attempt to build such a state has to be a “Nazi” act. According to this genocide handbook, denazification implies a military defeat, purging, and population-level “re-education”. ‘Demilitarization’ and ‘neutralization’ imply the same goal – without weapons Ukraine will not be able to defend itself, and Russia will reach its long-term goal of destroying Ukraine.

We’ve seen that kind of “denazification” before.