Umm, really?

Strike Against Gender Bay Area

A Facebitch page.

I can understand a strike against gender discrimination, even one in favour of it. But how does one strike over a biological reality? Is this like striking because to get to the Moon we’ve got to use those phallic symbols of Elon Musk and the like instead of just flapping our arms and wishing?

Umm, why?

“In proclaiming ‘Zeke is not the guy you think he is’ and that ‘there is deception on levels y’all don’t understand,’ Varner is saying that I’m not really a man,” Smith continues, “and that simply living as my authentic self is a nefarious trick. In reality, by being Zeke the dude, I am being my most honest self – as is every other transgender person going about their daily lives.”


“Zeke Smith, and transgender people like him, are not deceiving anyone by being their authentic selves,” said Nick Adams, director of Glaad’s transgender media program. “It is dangerous and unacceptable to out a transgender person.”

We must not speak the truth these days or what?

Snowflakes, snowflakes again

Donald Trump has performed a remarkable series of foreign policy reversals, cooling his ties with Russia over the Syria chemical attack

The ties with Russia were entirely fabricated by the snowflakes to cover the fact that Hillary just wasn’t a good candidate. At which point anything which isn’t fluffing Putin is a policy reversal……

Err, yes love, yes

Utopian thinking: Free housing should be a universal right


Just think for a moment what the state of play might be if Britain was a place with free state housing for all.


New housing inherited by the government from the deceased, or those moving elsewhere, would be allocated to an annually defined number of people from outside communities.

Don’t these people ever look at the world around them?

We’ve actually tried this system. Multiple times in fact. Just go and look at any East European or other ex-Soviet city. Wander around the vertical slums of the panelaki, Khrushyovka. The report back to us on the government provision and allocation of housing for all.


This is a good one

The NAACP report asserts that humans have a right to safe, affordable, sustainable power. Public utilities — regulated monopolies — are charged with serving the public interest, and the report argues they should ensure access to electricity for all people.

Yep, ‘leccie is a human right now. They also argue for:

Notably, the report also calls for more clean power and distributed generation. Rooftop solar offers one tool for protecting the right to electricity.

Intermittent power production so that more people can be denied their human right more often.

Snowflakes, snowflakes

Nearly half of America’s fittest is concerned that President Donald Trump does not promote fitness, according to a new survey conducted by Great Blue Research. Of Americans who exercise two or more times per week, 48 percent expressed concern that the president does not emphasize a healthy, active lifestyle, the study reported.

Dear Lord, the things they will complain about.

No doubt impeachment is next, eh?

The snowflakes are completely losing it

First, in taking the oath of office, a president promises to “faithfully execute the laws and the constitution.” That’s Article II Section 2.

But Trump is unfaithfully executing his duties as president by accusing his predecessor, president Obama, of undertaking an illegal and impeachable act, with absolutely no evidence to support the accusation.


Third: The 1st Amendment to the Constitution bars any law “respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” But Trump’s ban on travel into the United States from six muslim countries — which he initiated, advocated for and oversees — violates that provision.


Fourth: The 1st Amendment also bars “abridging the freedom of the press.” But Trump’s labeling the press “the enemy of the people,” and choosing who he invites to news conferences based on whether they’ve given him favorable coverage, violates this provision.

Look, folks,

A fifth possible ground if the evidence is there: Article II Section 3 of the Constitution defines “treason against the United States” as “adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

Evidence is mounting that Trump and his aides colluded with Russian operatives to win the 2016 presidential election.

Presidents can be impeached for what the Constitution calls “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The question is no longer whether there are grounds to impeach Trump. The practical question is whether there’s the political will.

Someone’s got to own up to putting the psilocybin in Robert Reich’s sippy cup here. Seriously, it’s not fair to keep him this high.

There’s another one at Salon just as bad. Georgian (ie, Caucasus Georgia) diplomat tweets that Trump DC is a great hotel. This violates the emoluents clause? FFS.

Well, yes, Owen, where are you?

Props to The Guardian for publishing this:

In Venezuela 82% of people live in poverty – where are our friends now?

Where are Owen, Ken, Jeremy and the rest?

But what about the dozens of politicians and journalists – including the leader of the opposition – who until very recently lauded the “achievements” of Hugo Chávez and have now gone quiet? They always seemed to suggest that they had the wellbeing of the Venezuelan people at heart. Now that 82% of households live in poverty, they don’t seem interested at all in what’s happening in Venezuela. It is a shame, because their voices could really come in handy as the world calls on Maduro to restore democracy and respect human rights.

So Naomi Klein does get markets then

Naomi Klein has revealed she is to publish a book taking on the Trump administration, arguing that a corporate political takeover got him elected and that a rise in activism can be utilised to resist his policies.

No Is Not Enough is the most rapidly written book by the acclaimed Canadian writer and activist, a respected political thinker with a huge following since her 1999 book No Logo. She only began writing it two months ago and it will be published by in June.

Klein said that while she usually spent at least five years researching and writing her books, she felt it was important to put a book out immediately to put Trump into the context of the ideas she has spent the past two decades researching.

“An unprecedented number of people are becoming engaged in movements and politics, which is the silver lining of Trump,” said Klein.

Give’em what they want, whatever the dreck they want is.

Above all, cash in on the passing changes in taste.

Yep, she understands markets. Pity her books never betray this.

Does Nick Dearden actually read his own pieces?

Now we know what “global Britain” means. Optimists have clung to Theresa May’s phrase in the hope that Brexit might avoid falling into insularity and isolation; that a hint of liberal England might survive Brexit. But with May in Saudi Arabia, Philip Hammond trying to build empire 2.0 in India, and trade secretary Liam Fox visiting Gulf tyrants and a Philippines president busy wiping out his own citizens, we can rid ourselves of such illusions.

History repeats itself first as tragedy then as farce, said Marx. Certainly there is something ridiculous about May, Fox and foreign secretary Boris Johnson scampering around the world as if the last 150 years hadn’t happened, dreaming of a military presence east of Suez while clearly desperate for a deal with any human-rights-abusing dictator that will meet them. But it is no less frightening for that. A ruling elite tortured by its inability to rule the world, which believes such a role is its birthright, can still make dangerous decisions.

“Global Britain”, the international component of Brexit, is just such a decision. It is a strategy that the hard right has dreamed of for decades. We will be the financier and arms merchant to dictators. We will be the trading centre for financial products too dangerous for European standards. We will be the premier investment hub for the emerging super rich of the developing world, where everything can be bought for a good enough price. Britain is for sale, and we don’t much care who is buying.

All of that running around the world may or may not be a good thing. Meeting lots of dusky Johnny Foreigners and asking whether they’d like to buy our lovely Maxim guns, agreeing that they can come and trade, no worries about skin colour or national origin, in our marketplaces.

Hey, make up your own minds about the desirability or not of that.

But it’s not exactly insularity and isolation now, is it?

Last week, development secretary Priti Patel opened the London stock market and promised to use British aid to expand the City’s financial tentacles into Africa as a great “development partner”.

That’s insular isolation?

And this is where Dearden shows he’s a twat:

And what sort of society is this is likely to create? While this pomp and wealth is enjoyed by the government overseas, it presides over a society where public services are collapsing, homelessness is more visible by the day, social divisions become deep canyons. The domestic implications of “global Britain” will only pour salt into these wounds. A service economy for the corrupt super rich has no need of well paid and fulfilling employment, or a healthy and educated workforce. It needs cleaners and baristas, and call centre operatives and fast food workers. It needs them to be cheap and plentiful. Everyone else will have to survive on jingoism and blaming migrants for their problems.

The best paid jobs in Britain are in the financial services in The City, nu? It’s our biggest export sector, most productive industry…..

Odd this

Thandie Newton has said that she cannot get parts in Britain because there are no roles for black actors in period dramas like Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife.

Because every damn actor of every damn colour ever has whined about not getting enough parts….

As I’ve said, Salon’s doing porn for their crowd

I wasn’t a popular girl in high school. Awkward and artsy, I managed to escape being asked to any dances save my disastrous senior prom. But in my bathing suit, I was a tall and willowy clean slate with mile-long legs and breasts like half-oranges: not huge but cheerfully proportioned. When I put on a bathing suit, I could draw the attention of men and boys without having to talk to them. Their admiring looks were enough to get me started on my long, tedious education on the uneasy power of male-female dynamics.

The first swimsuit I bought was a white, black and silver speckled bikini.

Umm, yeah

The summer before my junior year of high school, I came out as transgender. I’d been raised a girl, but knew that I was really a boy, and it was time to transition. What I didn’t know is that the person I’d always called “Dad” was about to transition too. The same year I came out as Alexander, “Dad” came out as Mom.

Well, I guess so. But I’m terribly minded to think of Rule 34 here. Some of these pieces read like something from Penthouse letters. Certainly some of the Salon pieces do at times.

Not as in porn porn, you understand, but stories that people are willing to suspend disbelief to read for the kicks of doing so.

The kidnapped teenager forced to have sex with 2,000 men a year, this sort of thing. After all, everyone knows that sex slavery is a real thing, right? And so here’s a story that panders to that prejudice. It’s like the Mail talking about house prices.

Yes, yes, I’m far too cynical and could well not be true about this particular story. But, you know…..

But it’s art Dianne

“Disgusting. Unacceptable,” Diane Abbott, the home affairs spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, wrote on Twitter after the sign was first reported.

“Despicable, nasty behavior that has absolutely no place in our community,” tweeted another Labour lawmaker from a nearby London area, David Lammy.

It’s a celebration of Britain’s rich diversity:

A French freelance photographer apologized Wednesday for any offense caused by a mock road sign he placed in a Jewish neighborhood of London.

The red triangular warning sign, featuring a silhouetted image of a man in Orthodox Jewish clothing and hat, was seen near a synagogue in Stamford Hill.

Photographer Franck Allais told Reuters that it had not been meant as an anti-Semitic slur, but instead was part of a wider art project. Allais said he had put up about 20 others featuring several characters, such as an elderly woman with a shopping bag.

“It’s all about the characters in London who make London so rich and nice,” said Allais, whose work has appeared in British newspapers and magazines, including Newsweek.

Companies must pay their tax!

Mr, Chakrabortty:

It concerns a private sector that is not expected to provide good jobs, decent pay, its fair share of tax

One of the central issues in Britain – running through everything from Brexit to last week’s budget – is how to get businesses to earn the licence granted to them by the rest of society.

In desperation, Wilkes and Doherty texted everyone in their contacts book to help Colin – councillors, business people, charity groups. Within hours, Dawn Tolcher, an executive from local football team Tranmere Rovers, was in touch: she could apply for public funding for an apprenticeship for Colin, then put him on secondment to Neo.

And they all struck it lucky with Tolcher. Tranmere Rovers could have done what so many other companies do with the billions taxpayers spend on apprenticeship training: game the system and use it as a source of bargain-basement, publicly subsidised labour.

(Erm, isn’t that what they did?)
I wanted you to hear Colin’s story because it cheers me up. But also because it gives some idea of what can be done when businesses don’t rip off the public, bilk the tax collectors or exploit the staff – and actually pay their way as part of society.

You see the bit running through there about companies paying their tax?

Tranmere Rovers.

Seems to make a loss and pay not tax most years, except when it does something like sell off the training ground.

Didn’t Chakrabortty bother to check?

Stanton Glantz is a one, isn’t he?

There is strong and consistent evidence that exposure to secondhand smoke causes heart attacks and that smokefree workplace and public place laws cut heart attacks (and other diseases). The most recent evidence comes from a large study in Sao Paolo, Brazil, where heart attack deaths dropped by 12 percent following implementation of its smokefree law.

Even so, we still hear people challenging the science. For example, a recent article by a onetime employee of the tobacco industry-supported Cato Institute and bartender, tries to use the natural variability in results in different studies to argue against this fact.

He’s a bartender! Was! Ignore him!

And fancy that, he looks at many studies to see what the average effect is rather than concentrating only upon those that show the effect he seeks.

Damn, he’ll be doing science next, eh Stanton?

Woes, woes for the poor in Macao

Auyeung echoes that sentiment, lamenting that she does not qualify for most government assistance, and struggles to make ends meet.

During her first five years in Macau, she left the house where she worked as a maid only twice, fearing she would be sent back to her village in mainland China if she was stopped by police. When she finally emerged, it was to marry and move in with her husband.

He had purchased a small flat in an old walk-up building. He died six years ago, and Auyeung she still lives in the flat with her two sons. Although she does not need to pay rent, living costs take up her entire £1,000-a-month salary. The two sons are at medical school.


There are quite literally hundreds of millions of peasants out there who would take that deal. It may not be all that fair nor all that lovely but it’s s fuck sight better than what’s on offer in most of the world.

Only in The Guardian. Converting at PPP we get about £17,000 a year, with housing costs already paid. That’s in the top 3% of global incomes. And two sons going on to become doctors. Only in The Guardian is this poverty.

Paul Pun of Caritas Macau says the gap between rich and poor in Macau is wide: “The government is aware of the issue, but they need to have the courage to face the problem, and face the property developers.”

They’re the people making the place so bloody rich!

Err, what?

Living off-grid in India, am I the only one left who believes in globalisation?
Tishani Doshi
Life here has drawbacks – villagers poisoning our dogs being one – but it is a way of saving oneself from post-Trump inwardness and isolation

But, but….

My husband complains. He would like to see the local life, engage in philosophical conversations with fishermen, make documentaries about the syncretic religions of the area. “This is not a Sardinian village,” I tell him. “We can’t just walk into the centro and chat with the baker. There is no baker.”

The truth is, we probably could find someone like the baker. But I didn’t want to be saddled with translator duty. Even though I’ve spent most of my life in Tamil Nadu, Tamil isn’t my mother tongue; I prefer when locals think I’m a vellekari (white woman) with a terrific talent for language. I also didn’t want to get embroiled in village politics. We had already had one bad incident with the villagers – they poisoned five of our dogs because they claimed (probably correctly) the animals had been eating their chickens at night. I wasn’t about to converse with dog-killers.

The real reason I was uncomfortable about making local forays, though, was because I’m uncomfortable with inequality. “How is it going to work?” I ask. “We go over to their thatched hut for a chai, then invite them over to our villa for mocktails?” Like many Indians, I deal with disparities by constructing a kind of inner wall so as to be able to get on with life.

Living, hermetically sealed off in a compound in Tamil Nadu is the way to save oneself from inwardness and isolation?

Changing the subject, why is it that those who claim to be writers so rarely have much spark to their prose?

Take this for example. It’s about nothing very much at all but it has a certain sparkle to it. And he would describe himself as a journalist, not “a writer”.