These female barristers, eh?

A prominent barrister who admitted having sex outside a busy London train station cannot be named after she later claimed she had been the victim of a sexual assault.
The middle-aged woman, said to be one of the leading experts in her field, was arrested outside Waterloo station alongside Graeme Stening, a City lawyer, after members of the public complained about their behaviour during the evening rush hour.
Mr Stening and the complainant, who had been drinking, were arrested at around 7.15pm. They were taken to a police station and held in custody overnight before being questioned the following morning.
She accepted a caution for outraging public decency but six weeks later, said she had actually been the victim of a sexual assault and applied to have the conviction quashed.

No wonder that bloke thought it might be a good idea to compliment that Linked In photo if that’s the way the profession works.

Anohni’s statement

And then, diagnosing the Oscars as one symptom of a broader institutional failure: “It is a system of social oppression and diminished opportunities for transpeople that has been employed by capitalism in the U.S. to crush our dreams and our collective spirit.”

So just being nominated for an Oscar is oppression then.


By the way, so you don’t have to I’ve listened to the song. And some other stuff from the same bloke. And sans trans there’s nothing special, not even much good. Light tenor with way too much vibrato. Meh. Neopolitan opera lovers would be rejecting it for not enough sforza.

Rather the point of all that castrati, counter tenor, stuff is to give the male richness and power of the voice to that upper register. Not happening here.

So Sweden is to ban surrogacy

The logic, it hurts:

This week, Sweden took a firm stand against surrogacy. The governmental inquiry on surrogacy published its conclusions, which the parliament is expected to approve later this year. These include banning all surrogacy, commercial as well as altruistic, and taking steps to prevent citizens from going to clinics abroad.


In any case, the notion of “altruistic” surrogacy – apart from being a red herring, since it barely happens in reality – has a very strange ideological underpinning. As if exploitation only consisted in giving the woman money. In that case, the less she is paid, the less she is exploited.

In reality, “altruistic” surrogacy means that a woman goes through exactly the same thing as in commercial surrogacy, but gets nothing in return.

Since when did the Objectivist meaning of altruism make it over into feminism?

And there’s really something very odd indeed about this. We have a society where any woman can have any type of sex, with or without contraceptives, as she likes rightly so. We also say (less rightly to my mind but whatever) that she may keep or dispose of that possibly resultant fetus as she wishes. And now we’re to say that in fact you can’t do either of those things?

Further, how in buggery do you enforce this? Forced abortions? Forced adoptions? What?

Interesting question

The company demolishing the defunct Didcot power station in Oxfordshire, where at least one person died on Tuesday, had not previously worked on a power station.

So how many power stations are dismantled each year/decade?

Obviously there’s a first time any company does something too. We cannot possibly operate an economy on the idea that only those who have previously done something be allowed to do it again. But I do wonder: are power stations something that we dismantle, say, 10 a decade of? In which case there will be a number of firms around who have done this. Or is it less than this, meaning that it’s odds on that anyone doing it will have demolition experience, but not necessarily of power stations?

So that’s the reason, eh?

If Britain votes to leave the EU, there’s no going back. Stephen Weil explains why he’s campaigning to stop Britons from making a major mistake

Mmm, hmm,

I have cheered the rapid adoption across Europe of the elimination of the foul smell of cigarettes in Europe’s buildings and public transport.

Whether this is a good idea or not what in buggery does it have to do with stopping Germany invading France again? And might it not be possible to achieve this without our sending £8 billion a year off to Johnny Foreigner? They can’t be spending all of that on smoking inspectors can they?

Rumour has it

Australia boosts defence spending with eye on South China Sea tensions
HMAS Canberra after completion of exercises off the New South Wales Coast.
Australia will buy £100 billion worth of equipment over the next decade – a budget increase of £13 billion – to address China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea

Australian icebreaker runs aground in Antarctica

Two stories one after the other in The Telegraph. And rumour has it that they will buy some charts of the rocks and reefs with that 100 billion.

Bit weak really

Harvard University, America’s oldest and most prestigious higher education establishment, is to stop calling heads of its halls of residence “house masters” because of perceived slavery connotations.
The move comes in response to student complaints and means staff in charge of dormitories will now be referred to as faculty deans. The change will come into effect immediately, the Harvard Crimson student newspaper reported.
Michael Smith, the dean of Harvard’s arts and sciences, explained the name change in a statement that denied any connection between the previous job title and slavery.
“Titles can and should change when such a change serves our mission,” he wrote. “I want to emphasise that a decision to change does not necessarily mean that what came before was wrong. I have not been shown any direct connection between the term House Master and the institution of slavery.”

You’re wrong, we know you’re wrong, you can see you’re wrong but we’ll give in anyway for the sake of an easy life.

This is how that moron from yesterday gets to claim that Cleopatra was black African.

We are surprised, eh?

Hundreds of thousands more EU migrants may have come to Britain than disclosed in official records, experts have warned as ministers were accused of hiding the full scale of immigration.
Official figures published suggested that 257,000 migrants came to Britain last year, with a significant rise in the number of Bulgarians and Romanians.
However over the same period 630,000 EU citizens registered for a national insurance number, which would entitle them to work or claim benefits in Britain.

Wouldn’t actually want anyone to know what they were voting on, would we?

Dear God these Salon people are ignorant

In this blockbuster, Elizabeth Taylor plays Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt. It did not matter to the filmmakers that Cleopatra actually looked much more like Cicely Tyson. To cast an Egyptian pharaoh as anything but a White person would have been out of step with the racist fantasies the filmmakers desired to capitalize on. Whitewashing glorious non-Whites in history has been one of Hollywood’s favorite pastimes. As quite possibly the most acclaimed and popular movie on ancient Egypt, “Cleopatra” Whitewashed Black Egypt in the American mind probably more than any other film.

Egyptians would be pretty pissed off at being referred to as black if we’re honest about it, that’s something they use to describe the others further south. And Cleopatra wasn’t ethnically Egyptian anyway. Of Greek, Macedonian, descent.

True, not as pale white as Liz Taylor but most certainly not “black” in the meaning either of the time or today.

“The Passion of the Christ” did much more than tragically reinforce the myth that evil Jews killed Jesus—a myth that has inflamed anti-Semitic sentiment for centuries. If “Cleopatra” is the most notable cinematic Whitewashing of ancient Egyptians honored by the Oscars, then “The Passion of the Christ” is the most notable cinematic Whitewashing of Jesus honored by the Oscars. Jim Caviezel starred as Jesus Christ, satisfying the racist theological imagination that can only envision the son of God as a White man. To racist logic, just as the ancient Egyptian fashioners of human civilization must be White, God and his perfect god-son—the creators and saviors of humanity—must be White. Maybe the lightning that struck Caviezel during the filming of “The Passion of the Christ”—scourging him badly—was also meant to strike at this universal perception of Jesus as White.

Are Semites white? They’re certainly Caucasian….

This animated film produced by Walter Disney contained eight segments set to classical music. In “The Pastoral Symphony” segment, Disney presents an ancient Greco-Roman world of centaurs—heads of humans, bodies of horses—where Black female centaurs shine the hooves and groom the tails of the prettier White female centaurs. Critics immediately hailed “Fantasia” as a masterwork of animation, neglecting to mention it animated the racist ideas of Walt Disney for gullible American children.

Pretty weak really. American society really was pretty racist at that time. US Army was still fully segregated for example.

Black people had long been likened to apes in racist mythology. And so, it is hardly a stretch to say the film’s apes—who enslave the White astronauts after their long space journey—signify Black people in this movie.

Anyone noted that the Africa apes at least, chimps, bonobos, gorillas, are in fact black of face?

In the “Song of the South,” Walt Disney celebrated the docile, contented slave character of Uncle Remus, created and popularized by Joel Chandler Harris in the late 19th century. James Baskett starred as Uncle Remus and Disney cast Hattie McDaniel in her customary role as the happy Mammy.

Blimey, as best we know the Uncle Remus stories are the filtration through the slave experience of original West African stories. This is true oral history with a vengeance.

Ibram X. Kendi is an assistant professor of African American history at the University of Florida

Another place to add to our little list of universities not to get educated at.

Expansionary fiscal contraction

So what is the problem? It’s threefold. First, the IMF and OECD are still really wedded to the idea of expansionary fiscal contraction. This is the notion that the economy always works at full capacity and that the state and private sector compete for scarce resources and that as the private sector supposedly always uses them better it must make sense to cut the state as this will boost growth. The argument is, of course, wrong.

Well, yes, it is wrong. Because that’s not what expansionary fiscal contraction is at all. What that idea is is that monetary policies, at least some of them, can be sufficiently expansionary that they can overcome the effect of fiscal contraction and thus we can indeed have fiscal contraction but also economic expansion.

It’s toss all to do with always being at full capacity nor even is it about private sector, government or crowding out.

For example, early 1930s, UK govt cut spending, put the budget into surplus, during a time of severe economic down turn. They also came off the gold standard and had a large fall in the value of the £. The monetary effects of the latter overcame the contractionary effects of the first and the downturn lasted about 18 months. about the best anyone was going to do in the circumstances.

Seriously, a professor, even a 0.2 of one, should know this stuff. Candidly.

France can demand all it likes

France has demanded £1.3billion in back-tax from Google – 10 times as much as Britain got in its ‘disproportionately small’ deal.
The French have demanded the substantial sum, despite Google having a much smaller operation there.

Whether they’re going to get it is a slightly different matter, isn’t it?

So this is real poverty then, is it?

Sure, it’s not exactly what I would desire to be living upon myself but:

Kathleen Kerridge’s family food budget is £40 per week – to feed five people.

She had a heart attack, cannot really work outside the home. Her husband makes less than the amount to pay their rent.

Clearly and obviously the welfare system is picking up some of the slack there if after the utilities and everything else they’ve still got $1.80 or so a day to feed each family member. Recall that $1.90 a day (yes, at current UK prices) is absolute poverty. Except that that’s for food, rent, heating, cooking, clothing, education, health care and the pension that most won’t live to see.

She’s currently working on her fourth LGBT fantasy fiction novel, that’s her full time job. Might be the best she can do from home although I’m pretty certain that there’s better paying parts of the putting words in order market. There are writing markets out there, easy enough to find, where you will get £20 to £30 a day with not a great deal of effort.

Sorry, this can be many things but it just ain’t poverty. It’s relative poverty, sure, it’s not having very much to be certain but it just isn’t poverty. Housed, clothed, fed, and able to pursue what is really a hobby?

Societal duty has been done methinks.

So let’s track how much EU money these people get then.

Letter in The Guardian:

Only inside the European Union can the UK help fight global poverty


Michael Anderson
CEO, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
Valerie Amos
Former UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator
Owen Barder
Director of the Center for Global Development In Europe
Tanya Barron
CEO, Plan International
Mark Malloch Brown
Former UN deputy general secretary
Andrew Cahn
Chair of WWF
Rose Caldwell
Executive director, Concern Worldwide
Margaret Casely-Hayford
Chair of board of trustees of Action Aid UK
Paul Collier
Economist, University of Oxford
Brendan Gormley
Former CEO of the Disaster Emergency Committee
John Holmes
Former UN undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator
David Hulme
President of the Development Studies Association
Richard Jolly
Former assistant secretary-general of the UN
Frank Judd
Former director of Oxfam and VSO
Melissa Leach
Director, Institute of Development Studies
Simon Maxwell
Former director of the Overseas Development Institute and former president of the Development Studies Association of the UK and Ireland
Daleep Mukarji
Former CEO Christian Aid
Simon O’Connell
Executive director, Mercy Corps Europe
Ann Pettifor
Director of policy research in macroeconomics, co-founder and former Director of Jubilee 2000
Martin Tisne
Investment partner, Omidyar Network
Kevin Watkins
Director, Overseas Development Institute
Rob Williams
CEO, Warchild
Jasmine Whitbread
Former CEO of Save the Children
Professor Myles Wickstead
Visiting professor (international relations), King’s College London

So, how many of those get EU money? That is, is this just a group of little piggies squealing that the EU teat might be taken away?

Owen Barder’s new CGD Europe doesn’t seem to list donors. Mercy Corps Europe gets £3 million from the Commission and £8 million from ECHO, whatever that is.

If anyone’s got the time be interesting to see how much cash the EU splashed to get that letter.

WWF: € 600,000 minimum

Action Aid: £5 million (ECHO).

There’s an interesting number missing from this

UK householders throw away 34,000 tonnes of beef every year – the equivalent of 300m beef burgers, according to new research.

The national Love Food Hate Waste campaign has partnered with farmer and BBC Countryfile presenter, Adam Henson, to urge Britons to make the most of their meat.

Around £260m worth of raw and cooked beef items go to waste each year in UK households, according to the research by the campaign. But much of this could be avoided, it says, through simple steps such as planning meals in advance, storing food better, understanding date labels, serving the right portions and making better use of leftovers.

Which is, how much is that? Is that a lot or a little?

It would appear that beef sales are around £2.2 billion a year in the UK.

10% wastage of fresh food? Sound like much of a problem? Adding in scraps, stuff that goes off in the back of the fridge, overcooking, bone and fat and all the rest?

Can’t say it’s exactly one of those numbers that scares me really.

Do note, of course, that they are valuing said scraps at the non-scraps prices…..

And why not?

Ólafur Darri Ólafsson is 6ft 5in, has a beard like a pine forest and the gait of a grizzly bear. He’s Iceland’s biggest star – and most unlikely sex symbol. The 42-year-old actor is currently playing the stoic police chief Andri in Trapped, Iceland’s most expensive TV show ever, which is raging like a blizzard in BBC4’s primetime Saturday night slot.

“He looks like one of the looming mountains in the fjord,” says the show’s creator, Baltasar Kormákur. “I didn’t want to go with a typical leading man, although I got pressure to. Ólafur Darri was always my first choice. He has become something of a Gérard Depardieu figure in Iceland. Women here swoon over him, believe it or not.”

Alpha males are alpha males after all.

And perhaps the worse the climate in general the more a bear of a man is that alpha?