Aug 20th, 2019 10:45 am | By

What a difference a ______ makes.

The Guardian last June:

Edinburgh LGBT+ committee resigns in row over speakers at feminist meeting

  • University network says opposition to event was censored
  • Speaker Julie Bindel left ‘shaken’ after alleged abuse

The Guardian three days ago:

Owen Jones attacked outside London pub

Guardian columnist claims attack was ‘premeditated assault’

I wonder what accounts for the differences.

Tatchell tries to set feminists straight

Aug 20th, 2019 10:20 am | By

Peter Tatchell is permanently confused.

I speak out against transphobia. Gender is more than genitals. New science suggests that trans identity is rooted in different brain structures. As feminists USED to say: Biology is NOT destiny. Now some say it IS destiny. LISTEN 1 hr 3 min @MunroeBergdorf

No, we’re not taking instruction in feminism from Peter Tatchell thank you very much. He’s not a feminist and he knows nothing about feminism.

We’re also not taking instruction in anything from Munroe Bergdorf. Feminist women really don’t need or want instruction from men who think being a woman=being like Munroe Bergdorf.

No, feminism has not shifted from saying biology is not destiny to saying it is destiny. The point of “biology is not destiny” was to say that your sex doesn’t determine your skills or talents or interests or personality or anything other than your literal physical sex. We still say that. What we don’t say is that you can flip your sex either through the Magic of Words or the technology of surgery and hormones.

It’s not complicated. The refusal to get it is the offspring of misogyny and entitlement.

The pragmatic effects of speech acts

Aug 19th, 2019 5:33 pm | By

The Institute of Art and Ideas asked philosophers to say a little on How Can Philosophy Help Us Understand Transgender Experiences? Rebecca Kukla is one of the philosophers who said a little. It’s interesting.

Much of my own research is in the philosophy of language. What does this have to do with the lives and experiences of trans folks? I am interested in thinking about the pragmatic effects of speech acts such as calling someone by a name or pronoun – one that they identify with, one they have asked to be called by, or one they have asked not to be called by. Sometimes people act as though verbal disagreements over what name or pronoun to use for someone are simple disagreements over fact, in which people are making competing assertions. In contrast, I think that addressing someone by a name or pronoun is a speech act more complex and with more morally significant effects than merely describing them accurately or inaccurately. Recognizing someone as having a gender or name places them in social space, and helps determine concrete facts about how they will be treated, what expectations will be placed on them, and what they can and cannot do.

(First, an aside – “folks” again? Really? Must we? It’s so annoying.)

Surprise ending: I agree with her. I agree that addressing someone by a name or pronoun is a speech act more complex and with more morally significant effects than merely describing them accurately or inaccurately. I think she’s quite right that using a particular name or pronoun places people in social space and helps determine concrete facts about how they will be treated, what expectations will be placed on them, and what they can and cannot do. That’s exactly why I object to making it mandatory to use fake ones. I think for instance using “she” and “her” and a woman’s name in reference to a trans woman nudges us into thinking of that trans woman as literally a woman. That may be harmless sometimes, but it’s not harmless at all times. When it’s a male rapist in prison? When it’s a man playing cricket against women or a man winning all the cycle competitions or a male wrestler winning gold medals that should have gone to women or male runners ditto? Then I don’t think it’s harmless.

Image result for laurel hubbard 2019

Yeah we should

Aug 19th, 2019 4:46 pm | By

A reckless claim for a philosopher to make:

Absolutely it means that we shouldn’t tell anyone who they are

I know I’ve pointed this out more than once before, but it’s just such an absurdity, and especially for a philosopher (or people in law enforcement, or psychologists).

Introspection is fallible. Self-knowledge is fallible. There are some kinds of knowledge that can only be gleaned from the knower in question, but it’s far from true that all knowledge is like that or that we have any obligation to pretend it is.

People can for instance claim to be the least racist person you’ve ever met. I’d be suspicious of people like that if I were you. That applies to most or all defensive claims of that type.

Also, the world is full of cheats and frauds and liars and manipulators. If we make it an absolute rule that that we shouldn’t tell anyone who they are then we’re at their mercy. Let’s not be at their mercy.

People can pretend to be passionately progressive and enlightened while actually being angry belligerent bullies. There are times when we need to tell those people who they are, lest they take over our book group or circle of friends or political movement.

I think there are things people should tell Rebecca Kukla about herself.

(That’s unkind, but she was being worse than unkind to a friend of mine just before she said that silly thing.)

Oh no, she asked the students to discuss?

Aug 19th, 2019 4:01 pm | By

Oh for god’s SAKE, people.

Professor who discussed James Baldwin in class allowed to keep her job:

Laurie Sheck, the poet and professor who was investigated by her university for quoting James Baldwin’s use of the N-word in a graduate class, has been cleared of charges of racial discrimination.

After assigning Baldwin’s 1962 essay The Creative Process to her class at the New School in New York, Sheck had asked the students to discuss how the 2016 documentary about the writer and civil rights activist, I Am Not Your Negro, altered Baldwin’s actual quote, in which he had used the racial slur. A graduate student, who, like Sheck, is white, had objected to her language.


Use. Attribution. Mention.

That’s it. End of story, end of fuss, end of student’s idiotic objection.

Imagine a teacher attempting to discuss The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn with a class.

That too, by the way, is mention as opposed to use. Twain didn’t use the word in his own voice, he put it in Huck Finn’s mouth because it’s what a Huck Finn would have said at that time in that place.

PEN America, stressing that there “is a distinction to be made between a racial slur wielded against someone and a quote used for pedagogical purposes”, warned that Sheck was protected by the principle of academic freedom.

Indeed there is, and it even has a name: it’s the use/mention distinction.

I have discussed the use of the word “cunt” many times, for reasons quite radically different from the reasons of people who call women “cunts” in anger.

That complaint should never have happened. That student needs remedial classes.

A rising star of women’s cricket

Aug 19th, 2019 12:12 pm | By

Oh Pink News do stop lying.

Star cricket player attacked for being trans after scoring four centuries

No. Criticised for competing against women, i.e. cheating.

A rising star of women’s cricket has become the target of an anti-trans campaign group.

Because it’s women’s cricket, and the “rising star” has a large male body. The rising star has an unfair advantage, which is cheating.

Maxine Blythin has wowed cricket fans in her first season for Kent Women’s Cricket, hitting four centuries and amassing a batting average of 124.

Because of the male body. Makes it look easy, doesn’t it.

Her position on the team has led to anti-trans abuse from the group Fair Play for Women, who have misgendered her and questioned the validity of her place on the team.

That’s not abuse. What Blythin is doing is abuse; saying so is not. There is no “validity” to Blythin’s place on the team, because it’s a women’s team and Blythin has a male body.

Pink News is a misogynist sewer.

Hey there were a lot of other things going on, ok?

Aug 19th, 2019 11:33 am | By

The controversy du jour is how dare the NY Times make a big deal of slavery and how dare anyone hint that slavery is any kind of blot on our record.

Newt Gingrich steps up:

GRIFF JENKINS (FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT): Newt, I want to ask you about The New York Times Magazine, I know you read it as much as you can, launching a new crusade to reframe America as defined by slavery and racism. Here’s the headline, I want to show it to you. The 1619 Project, and the quote inside says, “It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the story tell we tell ourselves about who we are.” You are a historian. Your reaction?

NEWT GINGRICH (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): Yeah, the whole project is a lie. Look, I think slavery is a terrible thing. I think putting slavery in context is important. We still have slavery in places around the world today, so we recognize this is an ongoing story. I think certainly if you are an African American, slavery is at the center of what you see as the American experience. But, for most Americans, most of the time, there were a lot of other things going on.

Yes but that’s the point, surely. For most Germans there were a lot of other things going on in 1942 and 1943, too – a lot of things – but that doesn’t change the importance of the genocide. Of course for “most” Americans, by which he means white Americans, there were other things going on, but that’s one reason slavery went on for so long. That’s always one reason atrocities continue: they are perpetrated on only some of the people, and the rest of the people proceed with their lives, ignorant or indifferent or both. White people underestimate it and its aftermath because they were and are largely immune to both.

Anyway why shouldn’t we put the consequences of slavery at the very center of the story tell we tell ourselves about who we are? It seems to me it is at the very center, along with the genocide of the people who were here before the Europeans.

With an injured tail and wings made of knives

Aug 19th, 2019 10:21 am | By

A review from the Edinburgh Festival:

This is a play of knives and fireballs. Marking the final show in Emma Frankland’s performance series None of Us is Yet a Robot, which explores the politics of gender identity and the process of transitioning, Hearty is a ferocious cry for the safety of trans women.

With an injured tail and wings made of knives, Frankland is our guide in the apocalypse. The trans artist hunts for safety in a burning world where trans bodies are policed, activism is commercialised and violence is fuelled by fear. She sharpens the knives protruding from her shoulder blades and builds herself a den to protect herself from the violence outside. This is about survival.

In other words Emma Franklin is a man who identifies as a woman. Wings made of knives sound somewhat different worn by a man as opposed to a woman. If a woman wore such a thing it would likely be seen as self-protective; when a man does it reads as aggressive. “This is about survival,” the reviewer tells us – but whose survival? Is Frankland really performing self-defense as opposed to aggression? It doesn’t sound like it.

There is a charged immediacy to this piece. As reported hate crimes against trans and non-binary people rocket, the world Frankland creates is only a sliver away from our own.

The headline on that link is not “hate crimes against trans and non-binary people rocket,” it’s
“Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes surge in England and Wales.” Quite different.

Also, what about hate crimes against women? Is Frankland concerned about that at all?

When she begs us individually: “Please don’t hurt me,” we realise how much potential threat each new face can hold when society tells you to be ashamed of your own identity.

But there are all those knives on the wings, plus Frankland has a male body. What Frankland is doing here – and what trans activism in general often does – is appropriating the physical vulnerability that goes with being female. That form of physical vulnerability doesn’t belong to Frankland. We wish it didn’t belong to us, but it does, and we’re stuck with it. Frankland is more likely to hurt us than the other way around. Look at those arms:


Anti-semites welcome in Israel

Aug 18th, 2019 5:41 pm | By

Rafael Shimunov points out some people who got to visit Israel while two American members of Congress were refused entry:

Sebastian Gorka, who wore the honorary medal of Hungarian nationalist organisation Vitezi Rend, a group with alleged historical links to Nazi Germany, visited Israel with no restriction for a conference in 2017. Andras Heisler, vice president of the World Jewish Congress, said at the time that wearing such insignia “isn’t a good message for a democratic society”.

Founder of the Proud Boys, Gavin McInnes, said during his trip to Israel that Jews in Israel have a “whiny paranoid fear of Nazis” and posted an article detailing “10 things I hate about Jews”. McInnes publicly claimed to have left the group in 2018, after the FBI reportedly categorised it “an extremist group with ties to white nationalism”.

Milo Yiannopoulos, following a stunt where he created a mock Western Wall to pray against immigrants, with “ICE” emblazoned on a Jewish kippa, was celebrated by enough Israeli youth that a movement to invite him was sparked by fans.

[Narendra] Modi, the far-right Hindu nationalist PM of India, who oversaw the Gujarat State Board where textbooks glorified Hitler, was a state-honored guest of Israel, along with Italian former fascist sympathiser Gianfranco Fini and far-right leader Matteo Salvini. Antisemitic Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has also been courted by Israeli politicians.

This propaganda would have you believe that these are friends of Jews, and that the true anti-semite is Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who found the strength and solidarity with Jews to opine that even in the midst of near total destruction of her homeland, and daily humiliation of her people, it gave her comfort to at least know that it was Jews fleeing the Holocaust who found refuge in Palestine as they fled those very same European antisemites.

Subjugation to Donald Trump is a powerful drug.

“Men also experience misogyny”

Aug 18th, 2019 4:56 pm | By

An open letter from “feminists” in support of “birth certificate reform” in Victoria (the one in Australia):

We the undersigned stand in support of the Victorian Government’s proposal to amend the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996, to allow transgender and gender non-conforming people to change the sex recorded on their birth certificates without being forced to undergo medical or surgical intervention.

In other words to amend the law so that people can insert lies into their birth certificates. I can remember when birth certificates were nothing but cold, dull, bureaucratic statement of a few facts about a person. That’s all they were: just facts: not poetic invocations of personality or inner essence.

This amendment will provide transgender and gender non-conforming people in our community with access to legal affirmation of their identities without being required to undergo coercive sterilisation as a requirement to legally change their sex and gender identity documents.

But that’s the thing, birth certificates aren’t about “affirmation of identities”; they’re about documenting a minimum of cold hard facts.

As feminists we have long fought for people to be freed from the violence that the strict policing of gender and sex promotes, and any law that fundamentally equates one’s body parts with one’s identity and possibilities in life only furthers that violence.

Oh no no no no no. That’s not feminism. That’s not what feminism has been fighting. Feminism isn’t about “the strict policing of gender and sex”; it’s about a system of male domination that casts women as the inferior and subordinate sex. Feminists have never thought that the way to end the system of male domination that casts women as the inferior, subordinate sex was to “identify as” men (while leaving other women behind to go right on being cast as inferior and subordinate). We’ve always thought that the way to end the system of male domination that casts women as the inferior, subordinate sex was to end that system. Policing gender and sex has nothing to do with it; getting rid of male domination has everything to do with it.

We recognise that it is not just cisgender women who face gendered violence and discrimination, but that the transgender and gender diverse community face disproportionate discrimination across all facets of their lives including healthcare, employment, housing, and other aspects of daily life. Trans femmes and trans women and girls in particular also experience misogyny and any attempts to claim otherwise are simply excluding one part of our feminist community.

Men don’t experience misogyny. Men can experience bullying for not being masculine enough, but that isn’t itself misogyny. Feminists are allowed to keep feminism for women and girls and we are under no obligation to “include” the part of our feminist community that is male.

The water temperatures have been breaking records

Aug 18th, 2019 4:10 pm | By

Another thing global warming does: it cooks salmon to death before they can spawn.

Alaska has been in the throes of an unprecedented heat wave this summer, and the heat stress is killing salmon in large numbers.

Scientists have observed die-offs of several varieties of Alaskan salmon, including sockeye, chum and pink salmon.

Stephanie Quinn-Davidson, director of the Yukon Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, told CNN she took a group of scientists on an expedition along Alaska’s Koyokuk River at the end of July, after locals alerted her to salmon die-offs on the stream.

She and the other scientists counted 850 dead unspawned salmon on that expedition, although they estimated the total was likely four to 10 times larger.

They didn’t find any signs of parasites or infections; most of the salmon had eggs.

The water temperatures have [been] breaking records at the same time as the air temperatures, according to Sue Mauger, the science director for the Cook Inletkeeper.

Scientists have been tracking stream temperatures around the Cook Inlet, located south of Anchorage, since 2002. They’ve never recorded a temperature above 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Until now.

On July 7, a major salmon stream on the west side of the Cook Inlet registered 81.7 degrees.

Mauger and her team did a study three years ago making moderate and pessimistic projections for what climate change would do to temps in Alaska’s streams.

“2019 exceeded the value we expected for the worst-case scenario in 2069,” she said.

So half a century early it’s worse than they thought it could be.

Farther south, overfishing is threatening the salmon, which is why the orcas are dying.

And last week the Environmental Protection Agency told staff scientists it would no longer oppose a mining project in Alaska that had the potential to devastate one of the world’s most valuable wild salmon fisheries, just after President Trump met with Alaska’s Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

That’s ok, we’ll be fine eating copper.

Matt and Cow Lady

Aug 18th, 2019 12:53 pm | By

PBS has an interesting show, via the BBC, about elephants migrating to a reserve for a few weeks. One plot line is about a 45-year-old bull and his struggle to find a female in estrus.

Cameraman Bob Poole follows, Matt, one of the largest, oldest tuskers in Kenya to see how a big bull in his prime goes about finding a mate and deals with the challenges from young bulls. Can he find a mate before the elephants begin to disperse in just 3 weeks’ time?

He can, of course, because if he hadn’t been able to, they wouldn’t have chosen him for the episode, but it’s still interesting to watch. When one cow finally does come into estrus seven young bulls follow her around before “Matt” arrives on the scene. Will he get her away from them? Will he triumph over this enterprising younger bull who has just mounted her? He will! He will charge roaring at young bull and shove him off just in time! And the winner is!

So he does mount her and there’s a surprisingly sweet post-coital interlude in which the rest of the herd (cows and calves) crowd around and “Matt” sticks around too and they all seem pleased as punch.

But the voiceover narration is odd at this point, because the male narrator goes on and on about how “Matt” will have his genes carried on in the next generation and what a good thing that is.

There’s not a word about the female’s genes, nor is she given a name.

It’s partly just the storytelling convention: the people who made the show decided to make a narrative out of “Matt” and his quest, while the cow has not been part of the story until the last minute. There’s a second (hideously sad) narrative about a herd of orphans (orphaned by poaching) whose too-young matriarch is the named central figure…as is her male calf. But this is supposed to be a nature program, even with the storytelling conventions for the mass audience. It seems both silly and uneducational to leave viewers with the impression that Matt alone is sending his genes to a new generation. Matt got his share of the job done in about ten seconds; the cow will be doing hers for 22 months and then for many years unless she is killed by poachers, which she probably will be.

The heart is for irony

Aug 18th, 2019 12:24 pm | By

A tweet:

Spotted today in Cardiff. “Get the wall” means ‘execution’.


So interesting that it’s always radical feminists, never violent men.

It was in the Shia part of town

Aug 18th, 2019 11:37 am | By

How many people were slaughtered at that wedding in Kabul?


Burials are taking place in the Afghan capital, Kabul after a bomb exploded at a wedding hall killing 63 people and wounding more than 180.

The Islamic State (IS) group said it was behind for the attack.

That tells you everything you need to know about any prospective “Islamic State,” doesn’t it. Oh, your state will be happy to murder people celebrating weddings to make a point? No thank you then, we’d like a better state than that. Much better. Infinitely better.

The groom who gave his name as Mirwais told local TV: “My family, my bride are in shock, they cannot even speak. My bride keeps fainting.

“I lost my brother, I lost my friends, I lost my relatives. I will never see happiness in my life again.”

“I can’t go to the funerals, I feel very weak … I know that this won’t be the last suffering for Afghans, the suffering will continue,” he said.

The bride’s father told local media that 14 members of his family were killed in the attack.

But it’s ok you see because they were Shia.

The explosion took place in the west of the city, mostly populated by Shia Muslims.

Sunni Muslim militants, including the Taliban and the Islamic State group, have repeatedly targeted Shia Hazara minorities in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Trumpism, Nazism, Islamism – it’s all the same shit. Wrap yourself in the flag of My Group and spew hatred of Their Group at every opportunity and job done: you’ve got hell on earth.

A new star

Aug 18th, 2019 10:47 am | By


There is a new star in the Kent women’s cricket team — its first transgender player is opening after one season.

Maxine Blythin, who is more than 6ft tall and under England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) rules can self-identify as a woman, has a batting average of 124 this season and has hit four centuries already.

Behold “Maxine”:

Blythin, centre, has hit four centuries this season

Fair Play for Women has said the policy is unfair, especially at a time when the game is improving opportunities for female players. A £20m semi-professional competition for women starts next year.

“Letting males who self-ID as women play in women’s competitions is demonstrably unfair,” the campaign group tweeted last week. “The ECB *knows* males have a performance advantage over females. This is [why] it lets women use lighter & smaller cricket balls & why boundaries are set closer.”

So Maxine not only gets to compete against women but also gets to do so using lighter and smaller cricket balls and with boundaries set closer. Win-win.

The ECB is understood to be worried about a backlash against transgender players. “Our position on transgender participation will be reviewed as part of our commitment to regularly review all governance policies,” it said.

But as far as the policy of self-identification with no medical requirement went, it was “unlikely to make any unilateral changes”, the board added.

“We are proud that this model promotes an inclusive environment for all participants in domestic and recreational cricket.”

Except for women.

A former casino operator should understand

Aug 17th, 2019 4:34 pm | By

The chair of the Federal Election Commission tells Trump to put up or shut up.

SAD: Last night, @realDonaldTrump again made unfounded claims about massive voter fraud in NH in 2016. In this letter, I ask him to back up his claims in terms a former casino operator should understand: “There comes a time when you need to lay your cards on the table or fold.”



A communal embrace

Aug 17th, 2019 4:21 pm | By

As predicted, Margie Reckard’s funeral yesterday evening was massive.

“Never had so much love in my life,” Basco said on Friday as he beheld the crowds, many who waited in triple-digit heat, to attend Reckard’s memorial service and support a man they had never met.

When Reckard was killed, she left behind Basco, her partner of 22 years, who considered her his only close family. The couple had moved to El Paso a few years earlier and didn’t have many local relatives and friends.

Powerful images of a solitary Basco crouching and weeping in front of Reckard’s makeshift memorial had spread on social media.

Social media giveth and social media taketh away.

Harrison Johnson, funeral director at Perches Funeral Homes, told NPRthat he quickly learned attendance would exceed its 250-person capacity. So he helped make arrangements to move the service to the larger La Paz Faith Memorial and Spiritual Center in El Paso.

It was there that people from across the country descended on Friday to wrap Basco in a communal embrace.

People passed through the chapel, pausing to pay their respects, then moving along to make way for those waiting behind them.

For hours, the line stretched outside for several blocks.

“Since he opened it to the public, I think it was a way of the community to mourn the whole situation,” said Salvador Perches, owner of Perches Funeral Home, which handled Reckard’s burial for free.

Meanwhile a bomb has gone off at a wedding in Kabul.

Updating to add, after a conversation in the comments.

“Don’t let them recruit”

Aug 17th, 2019 4:08 pm | By

The wokeness of it.

Hey vancouver…… tear these down when you see them. This org lost their funding for refusing to include transwomen in their shelters and education, they are now openly a hive for terf nonsense. Dont let them recruit.



She will face a campaign for her to be sacked

Aug 17th, 2019 3:37 pm | By

The Times on the trans Cultural Revolution:

More than a dozen academics, including several leading feminist professors, fear their freedom of speech is being silenced by students complaining they are transphobic.

They include Selina Todd, a professor of modern history at Oxford, and Kate Newey, professor of theatre history at Exeter. Rosa Freedman, professor of law conflict and global development, is believed to be under scrutiny at Reading University, and Kathleen Stock, professor of philosophy, has faced several formal complaints organised by students at Sussex. Some of the women, along with other academics, say questioning of transgender policies is being censored on campus.

Policies but also truth claims. It’s forbidden to say women have a right to their own spaces and it’s also forbidden to say that people can’t literally become the opposite sex.

Todd, vice-principal of St Hilda’s College, Oxford, initially faced a complaint backed by a Facebook petition about comments she had made on social media. That grievance was dismissed by the university. Now, however, she has been told by students she will face a campaign in the autumn for her to be sacked.

“It is intimidating and isolating,” Todd said. “The view of these activists is that anyone who feels themselves to be a woman should be allowed to call themselves such. Questioning that desire is seen as hate speech that could be harmful. To me that is censorship.”

It’s censorship, and it’s censorship in aid of forcing people to declare belief in absurd irrational claims. That’s a major turn of the screw. “Swear on the Judith Butler text that men are women if they say they are or be ostracized and demonized and blacklisted. Your choice; no third option exists.”

Trump tosses a match onto the gasoline

Aug 17th, 2019 10:14 am | By

On today’s social calendar: a likely clash between Proud Boys and Antifa in Portland:

Portland is preparing for a large far-right rally on Saturday that may be the largest in a series of demonstrations that have descended on the city in the Trump era.

Police in the Oregon city are fearful of an outbreak of violence at the “End Domestic Terrorism” rally, which is targeted at Portland’s antifascist groups, who in recent years have clashed with rightwing activists in running street battles.

The protest has been promoted primarily by Floridian Joe Biggs, a member of the rightwing Proud Boys organization. Biggs is a combat veteran and a former employee of the conspiracy broadcaster Alex Jones’s Infowars network. He claims that up to 1,000 people from around the country will attend Saturday’s unpermitted event on the city’s waterfront.

In promoting the rally on social media, Biggs has brandished a Trump-themed baseball bat, appeared in videos wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan “Training to Throw Communists Out of Helicopters” – a reference to the Chilean Pinochet regime’s methods for executing dissidents – and has taunted antifascists, saying “You’re not gonna feel safe when you go out in public” and “I’m gonna stomp your ass into the ground, Antifa”.

Other rightwing groups have also said they are attending, or have been mentioned by Biggs and others, including “patriot movement” groups like the Three Percenters and the Oathkeepers, who often openly carry firearms at public events, and American Guard, who the Anti-Defamation League describe as “hardcore white supremacists”.

The rally has also been heavily promoted in conservative media outlets along with its underlying message – the claim that anti-fascist groups, known as “antifa”, are domestic terrorists.

So what does Trump do? He sends a tweet from Bedminster:

Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an “ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.” Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!

In other words he aligns himself with fascist groups gathering to set off violence. Is that sinister enough yet?