Not a choice

May 24th, 2023 11:29 am | By

Two months ago but still relevant.

It’s not something you can choose. That’s your whole problem right there: it’s not a choice. You can’t choose to be born, you can’t choose to be human (or not), you can’t choose to be a mammal (or not), you can’t choose to be immortal, you can’t choose to be a contemporary of Euripides. You can’t choose to be a woman.

There’s a lot in life that we just never get a choice about, and what sex we are is one item on that massive list.

Everybody, literally everybody, used to know this. The baby talk in that tweet is astounding to me.

No YOU’RE toxic

May 24th, 2023 8:16 am | By

Here’s the Channel 4 hit job on Falkner:

Starting at 3:29 they tell us where the “bloke in lipstick” remark came from. Emma Laslett is the guy who inspired news outlets to claim that the quiz show Brain of Britain had had its first all-women panel, when in fact it wasn’t an all-women panel, because it had Emma Laslett on it. Channel 4 solemnly listens while the guy tells us how terrible terrible terrible it all is.

Well. He is a bloke. He did not make that panel an all-woman panel. He does fit this pattern of men taking things meant for women while publicly trashing women who resist.

He’s also very very very unmistakably male.

The vicious clash

May 24th, 2023 7:52 am | By

The Telegraph take:

[Falkner] has made it her mission to attempt to find consensus in the vicious clash between women, same sex attracted people and the transgender community since she began chairing the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2020, but has quickly been forced to fight fires internally instead.

Senior leaders at the taxpayer-funded body say they were left “blindsided” when a dossier, titled “Governance Concerns” from an unknown number of complainants, began circulating in February.

It contained dozens of generic allegations of ‘bullying”, “harassment” and “discrimination” and claimed that “unacceptable behaviour from the chairwoman is becoming normalised”, without providing many examples.

Trans activism in a nutshell innit – endless howling about disskriminashun by which is meant knowing that men are not women.

The complaints coincide with Baroness Falkner’s most recent intervention in the trans debate, following lengthy discussions with board members, to recommend that the Government consider protecting “biological sex” rather than just “sex” in the 2010 Equality Act to “bring legal clarity” to areas such as sports, which Kemi Badenoch, the equalities minister, will now take forward. This infuriated transgender activists.

Why? Because “transgender activists” are determined to put purported “trans rights” way ahead of women’s rights – determined, in fact, to allow them to demolish women’s rights. It’s like handing the union over to the bosses.

On Tuesday night, Channel 4 News claimed it had spoken to 20 current and former staff members with complaints about the EHRC’s direction, including allegations that they were “on calls where staff were crying”, that they feel they “are effectively puppets on strings… to deliver a Tory agenda”.

Oh no, staff were crying! Not at all manipulatively! Real, scalding, salty tears!

Among those who have criticised the EHRC recently are Victor Madrigal-Borloz, the UN’s independent expert on gender identity, who said he was “shocked to hear” about its recommendation to clarify the meaning of biological sex in equality law and this would be “discriminatory” as, he said, “a trans woman who does have a Gender Recognition Certificate is a woman under the current case law”.

Therefore women have no rights a man is bound to respect. Thanks, Victor Madrigal-Borloz.

Ian Acheson, who was the chief operating officer of the EHRC from 2012 to 2015, said: “I spent an enormous amount of my time looking inwards to the organisation trying to deal with multiple factional disputes by a politicised workforce, more than delivering the core mission of a fairer Britain.

“I am saddened but not surprised that Baroness Falkner finds herself in this position because there will still be significant numbers of staff within the organisation who remain ideologically opposed to both the government of the day and that anything other than unconditional acceptance of people’s declaration of their gender identity is acceptable, along with the implications for the safety and dignity of women and girls.”

That is, numbers of staff who remain ideologically opposed to the government of the day and adamant that anything other than unconditional acceptance of people’s declaration of their gender identity is unacceptable.

The tantrum continues

May 24th, 2023 7:19 am | By

The BBC on the campaign to shun Falkner:

The head of Britain’s equality watchdog is being investigated after bullying and discrimination allegations were made by staff. The claims against Baroness Falkner, and other members of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) board, were seen by Channel 4 News.

Baroness Falkner said she will present a “detailed rebuttal” to the investigators working on the case. Some campaigners say the EHRC is not protecting transgender rights.

But of course what “transgender rights” are is carefully never spelled out, because that would make it too obvious how they cancel women’s rights.

…Baroness Falkner advised the UK government that it was worth considering redefining sex as “biological sex” in the Equality Act, in an area that she described as “polarised and contentious”. A clarification to the Equality Act could make it easier to exclude transgender people from single-sex spaces.

That is, a clarification to the Equality Act could make it easier to exclude men from women’s spaces. Well guess what: men should be excluded from women’s spaces. If men are not excluded from women’s spaces then there are no women’s spaces any more.

Earlier this month, 30 LGBTQ+ charities led by Stonewall wrote to the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, saying the EHRC was a “failed institution” and “set on a course that would lead directly to a rolling back of trans people’s rights in Great Britain”.

But Stonewall thinks “trans rights” get to cancel women’s rights. Women think we should continue to have rights.

Guest post: Let the men solve their own violence problem

May 23rd, 2023 4:58 pm | By

Originally a comment by maddog on More compash, but not for you.

The Liberal Democrat leader insisted discussions around single-sex spaces were not new and that more compassion towards trans people was needed in society.

I don’t necessarily disagree with the sentiment, but he’s making a huge unstated assumption there: everyone in these discussions simply assumes that it’s only the (actual, biological) women who need to have “more compassion” — in the usual, patriarchal, and sexist-steteotypical way of giving up and ceding to the desires of the men. T advocates like Sir Ed Davey are talking (down) to entirely the wrong party. Their exhortations to show “more compassion” to trans-identified males ought to be directed to the other men.

The entire supposed “justification” for allowing trans-identified men into women’s spaces is that other men will commit violence against insufficiently masculine trans-identified men. That is 100% gold-plated male-on-male violence. That is a problem for the males to solve among themselves. It is not women’s job to solve it for them. Let the men solve their own violence problem. If men had more compassion for men who do not perform typical norms of masculinity, then the “justification” for trans-identified men to invade women’s toilets and locker rooms vanishes. If a (trans-identified) man fears going into the men’s room because other men might attack him, let him carry the burden of figuring out how to do so safely. Let him ask a male friend to go with him. Let him advocate for men to be more compassionate toward one another, including gender-nonconforming men. Take responsibility for yourselves, men. It’s not women’s problem.

Puzzled frown

May 23rd, 2023 4:47 pm | By

Oh good grief.

Pretending not to understand why we refuse to answer to the label “cis woman.”

“…so it’s how we differentiate a difference between a trans woman and a cis woman…”

Yes we know that, but there is no need for such a differentiation, because trans women are not women. It’s only women who are women. Men are not women. That’s how we differentiate them: the words “women” and “men”. The word “cis” is completely extraneous, and it has meaning only if you accept the ridiculous new belief system that claims men become women with the power of thought.

It’s really not that hard to understand.

Weeks of abuse

May 23rd, 2023 4:00 pm | By

Joan Smith on the abusive targeting of Kishwer Falkner:

For years we’ve been told there’s no conflict between women’s rights and the demands of trans activists. If that were really the case, no one could possibly object to putting the word “biological” in front of “sex” in equality legislation, could they?

Nothing could be further from the truth, as the head of the UK’s equal rights watchdog, Kishwer, Baroness Falkner, has discovered. She has endured weeks of abuse since the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) wrote to the Government, proposing consideration of a technical amendment to the Equality Act 2010 to make it clear that sex means biological sex. 

Sigh. It’s like getting in a rage if someone says a toaster is not an airplane, or a papaya is not Mars.

Falkner has been called a ‘“Nazi”, a particularly vicious slur given that her husband is German. She’s been attacked by a slew of Labour MPs, who’ve made the baseless accusation that she’s trying to take “rights and protections” away from trans people. Now it’s emerged that a group of employees at the EHRC has compiled a dossier of complaints against her, including “transphobia” and harassment. Falkner is said to be “heartbroken” about the allegations, which her supporters describe as a witch-hunt, but she’s standing her ground. 

Lots of us have some idea what that’s like, in far less consequential roles. I’m just a scribbler, but I’m well familiar with having people you thought were colleagues hold you up as a target for all the rotten tomatoes they can find.

What’s happening is a nasty, personal campaign against any woman who advocates strengthening the legal protections women already have. Even the Labour Party, with its shameful record of appeasing trans extremists, has said it supports the EHRC’s proposed review of the Equality Act. When the stakes are so high, we need politicians across the board to hold their nerve.

On the upside, there’s nothing like watching people behave like complete assholes to stiffen the sinews and summon up the blood.

But he is

May 23rd, 2023 12:26 pm | By

A man is indignant that a woman knows a man is a man.

Trans women are blokes. If they weren’t they would just be called “women.” The meaning of “trans woman” is man who claims to be woman.

Bloke in necklace says if your job is to protect people from discrimination and you’re peddling that kind of discrimination then you’re not fit for the job and shouldn’t be doing it any more.

But it’s not “discrimination” in the sense he means to say that men are men. It’s not unfair or based on prejudice or unkind or phobic. Knowing the difference between women and men is not evil. Women, especially, have a very fundamental need to know which is which, for their own safety. It’s not the job of the guy in the stripey shirt to tell us we can’t, and that if we do we should be kicked out of our jobs.

40 complaints

May 23rd, 2023 12:11 pm | By

Oh here we go

The head of Britain’s equality watchdog is being investigated by a senior lawyer over complaints made by colleagues.

A king’s counsel (KC) has been called in by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to carry out an independent investigation into dozens of allegations made against its chair, Kishwer Falkner.

The Guardian understands that 40 complaints have been made by 12 current or former staff members at the EHRC. The nature of the allegations has not been revealed by the watchdog…

The Daily Mail, which first revealed the investigation into Lady Falkner, quoted sources saying that she denied the allegations. They claimed that they were “ideologically motivated” because she is “the woman breaking woke”.

They suggested she is the victim of a witch-hunt because of the position the watchdog has taken on trans rights under her leadership.

Last year, the EHRC wrote to the Scottish government asking it to pause plans to simplify the legal requirements for gender recognition via self-identification. It also published guidance saying that transgender people can be legitimately excluded from single-sex services if the reasons are “justifiable and proportionate”.

That is, men who claim to be trans can be legitimately excluded from women’s services if the reasons are reasons. How dare she.

Last month, in response to a request for advice from the equalities minister, Kemi Badenoch, Falkner wrote back in support of changing the Equality Act 2010, so that the protected characteristic of sex meant biological sex.

The EHRC’s interventions on the subject have angered LGBT+ groups as well as some of its own staff. In January, Vice News reported that seven senior officials including a board member had recently quit the EHRC over its alleged “transphobic direction”, having previously reported other resignations over the issue.

They want the EHRC to continue in a womanphobic direction instead.

More compash, but not for you

May 23rd, 2023 9:40 am | By

No skin off his dick is it.

A woman can “quite clearly” have a penis, Sir Ed Davey has said as he suggested the debate around transgender issues had already been settled.

The Liberal Democrat leader insisted discussions around single-sex spaces were not new and that more compassion towards trans people was needed in society.

During a phone-in with LBC’s Nick Ferrari, Sir Ed was asked a question by a caller named Mary from Cambridge who said she was speaking “on behalf of 51 per cent of the population”.

She told him: “I’m a tactical voter and I would like to support the Lib Dems. But can you answer the question ‘what is a woman?’, please?”

Sir Ed said: “The truth is, Mary, the vast majority of people whose biological sex is a woman at birth, they feel they’re women. They feel their gender [is] the same at birth. But there’s this very small number of people who don’t feel like that, and the law has recognised them for over 20 years now.”

It’s not about “feel.” What if I “feel” I am Sir Ed Davey? Men can “feel” they are women all they like, but they can’t take our stuff.

Arguing there was a need to “take the heat out of” the gender discourse, he added: “There is a small number of people who actually they’ve got… They have a tough time, they’re harassed, discriminated against. And I think we need to manage this and think about it and debate it with a bit more maturity and a bit more compassion.”

I wonder if Sir Ed is at all aware that women too are harassed and discriminated against. Maybe he “feels” they are not.

Alsalem v Madrigal-Borloz

May 23rd, 2023 9:20 am | By

So now I have to remind myself who Reem Alsalem is. I’ve posted about her before.

First time was December 1 last year, when the Guardian reported that Nicola Sturgeon rejected Alsaleem’s concerns about “reform” of Scotland’s gender law.

Second time was 17 days later when the BBC reported

Last month, a UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, warned the Scottish bill could endanger women.

Reem Alsalem said it “would potentially open the door for violent males who identify as men to abuse the process of acquiring a gender certificate and the rights that are associated with it”.

This was disputed by a separate independent UN expert on gender identity, who said the legislation would bring Scotland in line with international human right standards.

The “expert on gender identity” was of course the notorious Victor Madrigal-Borloz. BBC again:

SNP MP and lawyer Joanna Cherry challenged claims the legislation would bring Scotland into line with international human rights standards.

Ms Cherry, who has been critical of the Scottish government’s plans, argued self-identification was not required to comply with international human rights standards.

Responding to Mr Madrigal-Borloz, she tweeted: “This ‘legal opinion’ contains no analysis of the potential conflict between the proposed system of self-identification and the Equality Act and, in particular, of how self-ID could undermine the sex based rights of women & same sex attracted people.”

The struggle continues.

Reem Alsalem speaks up

May 23rd, 2023 8:51 am | By

A press release from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the UN:

GENEVA (22 May 2023) – Threats and intimidation against women expressing their opinions on sex and sexual orientation is deeply concerning, said Reem Alsalem, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls in a statement today. In the context of disagreements between some women’s rights activists and transgender in a number of countries in the Global North. Alsalem warned that violence against women and intimidation against people for expressing differing views.

There are some glitches in the wording there, but we get the gist. Women get to talk about women’s rights, and trans activists need to stop bullying us for doing so.

“Discrimination based on sex and sexual orientation is prohibited in international and regional human rights law.

I am concerned by the shrinking space in several countries in the Global North for women and feminist organisations and their allies to gather and/or express themselves peacefully in demanding respect for their needs based on their sex and/or sexual orientation.

Law enforcement has a crucial role in protecting lawful gatherings of women and ensuring women’s safety and rights to freedom of assembly and speech without intimidation, coercion, or being effectively silenced. It is clear that where law enforcement has failed to provide the necessary safeguards, we have witnessed incidents of verbal and physical abuse, harassment, and intimidation, with the purpose of sabotaging and derailing such events as well as silencing the women who wish to speak at them.

I am disturbed by the frequent tactic of smear campaigns against women, girls and their allies on the basis of their beliefs on non-discrimination based on sex and same-sex relations. Branding them as “Nazis,” “genocidaires” or “extremists” is a means of attack and intimidation with the purpose of deterring women from speaking and expressing their views. Such actions are deeply troubling, as they are intended to instill fear in them, shame them into silence, and incite violence and hatred against them. Such acts severely affect the dignified participation of women and girls in society.” 

Yes they do.

I am also concerned by the way in which provisions that criminalise hate speech based on a number of grounds, including gender expression or gender identity, have been interpreted in some countries. Women and girls have a right to discuss any subject free of intimidation and threats of violence. This includes issues that are important to them, particularly if they relate to parts of their innate identity, and on which discrimination is prohibited. Holding and expressing views about the scope of rights in society based on sex and gender identity should not be delegitimised, trivialised, or dismissed.

According to international human rights law, any restriction on freedom of expression should be carried out strictly in accordance with the human rights standards of legality, necessity, proportionality and to serve a legitimate aim. Those disagreeing with the views of women and girls expressing concerns related to gender identity and sex also have a right to express their opinion. However, in doing so they must not threaten the safety and integrity of those they are protesting against and disagreeing with.Sweeping restrictions on the ability of women and men to raise concerns regarding the scope of rights based on gender identity and sex are in violation of the fundamentals of freedom of thought and freedom of belief and expression and amounts to unjustified or blanket censorship.

Of particular concern are the various forms of reprisals against women, including censorship, legal harassment, employment loss, loss of income, removal from social media platforms, speaking engagements, and the refusal to publish research conclusions and articles. In some cases, women politicians are sanctioned by their political parties, including through the threat of dismissal or actual dismissal.”

Ok but what does she know?

Reem Alsalem is the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences


Our shared drivel

May 23rd, 2023 7:05 am | By

Let’s read the LGBT Foundation’s guide to watizzawoman.

There are as many ways of being a woman as there are women in the world.

There is so much that unites all women: our shared joys, our unique experiences, and the challenges we face in a patriarchal world. These are often increased and impacted by our other identities such as race, sexuality, and disabilities. We are all multifaceted people who go beyond a simple sentence summarising womanhood. A rigid, simplistic definition both limits and reduces our womanhood.

No it doesn’t, the same way it doesn’t reduce our humanity to say we are humans. A definition is just a definition; it’s not a biography or a public relations statement or an advertisement or a memoir. Of course “adult human female” doesn’t say all there is to say about particular women: it’s not intended to. Purple prose doesn’t change that.

A woman is someone who identifies as a woman.

No, that’s wrong. A woman who is brain-dead and can’t identify as anything is still a woman. What sex you are is an impersonal fact, not a mental state.

Cis women and trans women are women – it’s as simple as that.

No, it isn’t. The simple bit is “a woman is an adult human female.” Insisting that men who have fantasies of being women are in fact women is the complicated bit, and it’s wrong.

To help you understand

May 23rd, 2023 6:52 am | By

Speaking of “pranks”…

Guide to blah blah a woman blah blah – illustrated with this stunning photo of a man in a wig. Hahahahahahahahahahaha brilliant prank joke or what?

Causing a public nightmare

May 23rd, 2023 6:31 am | By

One day you’re a star, the next day you’re busted.

A TikTok creator who filmed himself “walking into random houses”, asking young women if they “want to die” and stealing a dog in the park has been arrested by London police on “suspicion of causing a public nuisance”.

Bacari Ogarro, 18, who goes by the name “Mizzy” on social media, sparked widespread outrage last week after a video of him and two accomplices entering a home in Islington, north London, went viral.

Along with the video where he harasses and threatens women, and the one where he harasses and threatens women on the Tube, and the one where he grabs a woman’s dog and runs away, and the one where he tears up a book in a library.

“An 18-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of causing a public nuisance and is currently in police custody,” London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Monday, adding he was arrested that evening.

“The arrest follows an investigation into social media footage which featured a number of incidents, including apparently unsolicited approaches made towards members of the public in the street or on transport, and entering addresses without the apparent permission of the owners.”

Detective Chief Superintendent James Conway of the Central East Command Unit, responsible for policing in Hackney and Tower Hamlets, said he did “not underestimate the widespread upset, distress and concern that these videos caused”.

“Some people have referred to these as ‘prank’ videos, but I hope that this significant development demonstrates just how seriously we have been taking this investigation since this footage began circulating online,” he said.

Good, I’m glad we’re on the same page. These aren’t “pranks.”

Similar videos showed Ogarro and his friends, wearing black balaclavas, approaching people on the street and asking them threateningly if they “want to die”, in some cases chasing or surrounding them.

Another video showed Ogarro entering a random car and pretending “this is my Uber”, sparking a heated confrontation with the driver.

TikTok, Instagram and YouTube have all since banned Ogarro’s accounts.

On Monday, a friend posted a video of Ogarro turning himself in at the police station. “Free Mizzy, bro,” the friend says, asking the live-streamer, “Last statement?”

“We outside — share the message,” Ogarro says.

It came after the Metropolitan Police confirmed it was “taking the matter very seriously” and was trying to locate Ogarro, following statements from several politicians condemning the videos.

They’d been too busy enforcing gender ideology to get around to it.

A career giving beautiful advice

May 22nd, 2023 4:01 pm | By

I said life is too short to go on with that Rolling Stone love letter to Jeffrey Marsh, but I’ve changed my mind – life is too short but the love letter is too stupid to leave unmocked.

It’s a flowery message given by a person who built a career by giving beautiful advice. But every moment hasn’t been joyful. Marsh is nonbinary, loves wearing bright lipstick, and is open about their support for the LGBTQ+ community, all things that have made them an ongoing target for death threats and right-wing campaigns. 

Car crash with multiple victims. A flowery message? That’s not actually a compliment. Flowery writing=over the top, too much, undisciplined. What is “beautiful advice” when it’s at home? “every moment hasn’t been joyful” is the wrong way to say what’s intended. The correct way to say it is “not every moment has been joyful.” “every moment hasn’t been joyful”=every single moment has been non-joyful. Yet again I wonder where the hell all the competent editors have gone. Being non-binary does not make people “an ongoing target for death threats and right-wing campaigns,” and neither does loving to wear lipstick, and neither does being “open about their support for the LGBTQ+ community.” They may make people disliked or avoided or disputed, but they don’t by themselves inspire routine death threats. Again: editor needed. Yes, it’s still true that lesbians and gay men aren’t universally popular or accepted, but that does not mean they’re all subject to death threats. Accuracy is desirable in journalism.

But their years of being a vocal advocate for self-love mean that now, even when there’s pushback, Marsh is staying focused on their mission: helping as many people as possible. 

But he doesn’t “help people.” He videos himself performing a role in a melodrama. That’s not the same as helping people. There is zero reason to think that a self-admiring creep talking platitudes on social media is “helping” anyone.

You’ve been a constant target for right-wing attacks, accused of being a groomer, and sent death threats. Is that hate something that frustrates you? 

It used to. Right now, it galvanizes me. It helps me to concentrate on my mission. I help people hate themselves less and I forward LGBTQ acceptance. Those are the two things that I’m about and part of that job is inspiring in other people the things that they need to heal.

Why should we believe he helps people hate themselves less? How does he know he does? Does he ask followup questions?

This might sound odd, but in some ways, the hateful obsession helps me. Because it’s a representation of the obsessively hateful voice that a lot of people have inside their heads. A lot of people have a voice in their head saying ‘That was terrible. They’re gonna hate you.’ Every single video [I post] has mean comments, accusations, everything, right? And I post again the next day and then the next day, and then the next day. That to me is metaphorical for the internal process of living our lives, no matter what a mean voice in our head is saying.

Oh dear. Chronic unfalsifiability. No doubt lots of people do have voices in their heads that say “You suck,” but it doesn’t follow and it isn’t true that no one sucks. Some people do suck – that is, some people do say stupid shit as opposed to glorious helpful rescuey aphorisms. Jeffrey Marsh is one such someone. Also, of course, the stuff he says strikes a lot of people as predatory. The fact that they laughed when you sat down at the piano does not necessarily mean you’re Glenn Gould.

Life is still too short but it was worth it.

You’re suspended, Karen

May 22nd, 2023 12:06 pm | By

Are they kidding???????

Uber has suspended its head of diversity, equity and inclusion after Black and Hispanic employees complained about the workplace events she moderated exploring the experience of white American women under the title “Don’t Call Me Karen”.

That’s about as stark as it gets. It’s ok to single women out for abuse, as if women were the dominant privileged default sex.

Lee’s suspension, which was first reported by the New York Times, follows mounting internal discontent over two “Don’t Call Me Karen” sessions that she convened on Zoom for up to 500 employees. The events, one in April and the second last week, were billed as “diving into the spectrum of the American white woman’s experience from some of our female colleagues, particularly how they navigate around the ‘Karen’ persona”.

Not permitted. The “white” part completely erases the “women” part (see also: “cis”), such that women who have the bad taste to be white are more powerful and oppressive and domineering than any other kind of person, including white men. (What’s the male equivalent of “Karen”? There isn’t one. Funny how that works.)

The sessions were held as part of a “Moving Forward” series of discussions on race and minority experiences organized by the company in the wake of the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. The focus on the discomfort of white women specifically over the term “Karen” was denounced by several employees as being insensitive towards people of color.

In internal Slack channels for Black and Hispanic Uber employees seen by the Times, workers said they had felt lectured at. “It was more of a lecture – I felt like I was being scolded for the entirety of that meeting,” one Black woman wrote.

Now ask the Karens what they feel like.

Another said that she didn’t understand the premise of the session: “I think when people are called Karens it’s implied that this is someone that has little empathy to others or is bothered by minorities others that don’t look like them. Like, why can’t bad behavior not be called out?”

Point completely missed. It’s not “people” who are called Karens, it’s women. It’s not bad behavior that’s being called out, it’s bad behavior by women, as if women had a monopoly on it. It’s misogynist, in just the way it would be racist for me to “call out” Juans and Kanyes for bad behavior.

Momentary reprieve

May 22nd, 2023 11:43 am | By

One small step in the effort to avoid draining the Colorado River completely dry:

A deal has been struck by Joe Biden’s administration for California, Arizona and Nevada to take less water from the drought-stricken Colorado River, in a bid to prevent the river dwindling further and imperiling the water supplies for millions of people and vast swaths of agricultural land in the US west.

The agreement, announced on Monday, will involve the three states, water districts, Native American tribes and farm operators cutting about 13% of the total water use in the lower Colorado basin, a historic reduction that will probably trigger significant water restrictions on the region’s residents and farmland.

The agreement averts, for now, the prospect of the Biden administration imposing unilateral water cuts upon the seven states – California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming – that rely upon the river, a prospect that has loomed since last summer when the waterway’s two main reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, hit perilously low levels.

And that’s good, but, of course, it’s not as if it’s going to fill the river back up to where it was.

Experts welcomed the deal but cautioned that a longer-term solution was still badly needed.

Harnessing the might of the Colorado river, which rises in the Rocky Mountains and flows all the way to Mexico, has enabled cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas to flourish…

…and drain the Colorado dry. It turns out that building huge cities in a desert was not such a good idea.

Is everyone male?

May 22nd, 2023 11:29 am | By

I thought the Guardian was talking about specialty pronouns in German but it turns out to be more interesting than that.

Berlin’s recently appointed conservative mayor has said he will refuse to use gender-neutral language in office, insisting he wanted to use a language “that everyone understands”.

Surprise twist.

This is arguably more complicated than it would be in English because the German language genders words into male, female, and neutral.

Not “words”; the reporter means “nouns.” Nouns have genders in all the European languages I know anything about, while English doesn’t. That fact does indeed make things more complicated.

According to traditional language rules, a male citizen is a Bürger, a female a Bürgerin. But when male and female citizens are referred to collectively or plurally, the generic masculine automatically applies and they are termed Bürger.

In French (and perhaps all the rest of the languages) you can’t ever use the female plural “elles” if there is even just one “il” in the crowd. A billion “elles” and one “il” – “ils” it is. (At least that’s the “rule.” I suspect it’s not obeyed quite that rigorously.)

So yes, I think a move to gender-neutral language of that kind would be a good thing. English too please.

Content creation as a career path

May 22nd, 2023 10:36 am | By

Horrible sadist Bacari Ogarro pretends his sadistic actions are “pranks.”

TikTok user who went viral when he entered a stranger’s house uninvited has defended his videos after they were described as “abhorrent” and “criminal” by politicians.

Bacari Ogarro, known as Mizzy on social media, posted the video of himself entering the London home as a “prank” two weeks ago. It was met with shock and anger, with many online calling for him to be arrested.

The self-described content creator has now said the negative reaction to his videos is partly down to him being Black.

Nope. It’s because he grabbed a woman’s dog and ran away with it laughing madly. It’s because he physically and verbally harassed women. It’s because he bounced into a public library, grabbed a book, and started tearing it up while taunting the library staff. He’s a sadistic bully, end of story.

Mizzy confirmed he has previously been arrested after sharing a number of videos that seemed to show him harassing Jewish people.

In one, he appears to put his hands on the victim’s shoulders and attempts to leapfrog over him. He claimed this was a TikTok trend “where you leapfrog over someone when the beat drops” and he has done this “to many different types of people”.

Well, if he did it to strangers without their consent, that’s assault.

Mizzy, from Hackney in London, said he began to consider content creation more seriously as a career path in Year 8 or 9, after having been “kicked out of school three times”.

He started to realise that every time he “upped the ante and did wilder videos” he would garner more online engagement – so that is what he continued to do.

“Controversy, even though it’s not good, is the best way to blow up on social media,” he said. “I always know outrage is going to happen. I know exactly what I’m doing and the consequences of my actions.” He added, “I tell people not to reciprocate what I’ve done.”

The videos aren’t “wilder”; they’re sadistic. He appears to be a psychopath.

He continued: “I don’t fake my pranks, but I always make sure to sort out the situation after if I feel like I went too overboard, but none of my pranks have malicious intentions behind them and most of the people in the pranks acknowledge that after I speak to them.”

I don’t believe that for a second. Dude needs a compassion transplant.