Monday, September 30, 2019

Sorry, I just have something in my eye.

This is amazing.


Absolute Queen Rocks Gown As He's Crowned High School Homecoming Royalty

White Station High School student Brandon Allen was crowned Homecoming Royalty. (Photo: <a href=

The White Station High School senior was crowned Homecoming Royalty on Friday night ― and accepted his title in a fabulous gold sequin gown.
Allen, who is the self-proclaimed “Queen of Extra” and identifies as gay, told HuffPost he chose to wear the gown because he truly believes he is royalty. “So I want to rock a dress and look like a queen,” he said.
The school shared a snap of Allen in his dress on Facebook, congratulating him on the win:

This is beautiful. And you want to know what makes it even more beautiful?
This high school is not in San Francisco. It's not in West Hollywood. It's not in New York or Vermont. It's in Tennessee.

And in this Memphis, Tennessee high school, not only was this young man allowed to run for homecoming queen, but the Memphis, Tennessee students voted for him. And the school not only didn't interfere, they not only supported his right to be who he is, they publicly congratulated him!

Congrats to Homecoming Royalty winner Brandon Allen! #SpartanPride #ThisisSparta
Photo Credit to Emmett Campbell @whitestationshield

Wow, the pollen count must be really high today, my eyes are getting all watery!

The post drew hundreds of comments and shares from people around the country who praised Allen’s bravery and the school’s progressive outlook on the competition.

queue reaction s GIF

Principal Carrye Holland had a measured reply for haters.

“Here’s the thing: it’s Brandon’s right to run for homecoming court under Title IX. It’s the students’ choice of who they want to support as homecoming royalty,” Holland wrote in the comments section.

“I’m exceedingly proud to be the principal of our amazing school,” she continued. “You don’t have to agree but disrespectful comments will be deleted. WSHS loves and supports everyone regardless of who they are or what they believe. Thank you for the love and light from so many of you.”

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Allen said he’d been stressing before the event, and described his win as a big relief. Of the negative Facebook posts, he said: “I don’t really care.”
“I am so happy my principal stood up for me,” Allen added. “She is such an awesome principal.

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I am absolutey not going to read the comments on this article because I know there will be things said in there that will make me feel stabby and I don NOT want to feel stabby right now. I already feel stabby most of the time and I  do not want to lose this buzz. This is beautiful. Beautiful things are still possible. I don't want to know anything else right now.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Why NCIS is the worst show on Television

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Okay, first of all, it's just bad. It's badly written, the characters are bad, the jokes are bad, it's just a bad show. But there are a lot of bad shows. What makes NCIS stand out in a crowd of bad teevee? Glad you asked.

First of all, the show supposedly takes place in modern-day America. A time and place with which we are all too familiar. But their version of modern-day America is one in which a: Everybody knows who/what N.C.I.S. is
and B: everyone respects them.

When they walk into a crime scene or knock on a witness's door and announce "N.C.I.S!" no one says "what the hell is NCIS?" And no one says "NCIS? hell, I'm not in the Navy, you guys can pound sand!" Everyone reacts to them the same way they would if they flashed their badges and said "FBI!"

Also, in their universe, not only does NCIS investigate crimes involving sailors and Marines, they are also involved in counter-terrorism and counter-espionage. And they out-rank everybody somehow. Special Agent Gibbs (Mark Harmon) can say to an admiral "you need to take this aircraft carrier back to port." and the admiral will say "Negative, sir, I have orders to rendezvous with the USS Gerald Ford in the Persian Gulf" and Gibbs will say "Not anymore, admiral. Your ship is my crime scene now!" And the admiral will just go "shit, he's got me. I guess I'll forget about my orders from the Pentagon. The guy from Summer School obviously has the final say."
Image result for mark harmon summer school

Oh, and let's talk about Special Agent Gibbs.
First of all, his name is Leroy Jethro Gibbs. And the few people who are on a first name basis with him all call him "Jethro." He could go by Leroy. He could go by Roy. He could probably go by Lee. Why Jethro? Who would choose to go by Jethro?
Now Leroy Jethro Gibbs is not a pleasant man. He is what the French might call an "asshole."
This is how he interacts with his subordinates:

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When he's not shouting at them, he's smacking them in the back of the head. He's never pleasant or friendly or anything but hostile to most of the people who work for him (more on that later), yet they all worship him. WORSHIP him! When they speak his name, it is in hushed, reverent tones "Leroy. Jethro. Gibbs." And it's not just employees kissing the boss's ass. They talk about him like this when he's not even around.

Here's an example. In one episode, Agent McGee's aunt or cousin or something played by Lily Tomlin, is a suspect in a case. McGee tries to get her to talk to him by warning her "if you don't talk to me, you're going to end up talking to Gibbs." Tomlin says something about how she's been arrested before and dealt with cops before and "I thionk I can handle your Agent Gibbs." To which McGee replies "Genghis Khan couldn't handle Gibbs!" And he's not joking.

So you'd think that Gibbs would be the worst character on the show, right?
Hahaha, not by a long shot! Let's look at some of the other characters.

First, they're's Ziva. Ziva is a former/sometimes current Mossad agent who, for some reason works for NCIS. Because that's not a waste of her talents!

Image result for ncis ziva fight gif

Now, if you call up central casting and tell them you need an actress to play an Israeli woman, who would you expect them to send over? A Chilean woman named Cote de Pablo? No? Well, that's who plays Ziva David, a Chilean woman named Cote de Pablo.

Cote de Pablo Picture

Cote de Pablo

Why? Who knows?
But that's not important. Nor is it important that for some reason, a woman who was/is an agent of the deadly elite Mossad considers being accepted as an NCIS agent to be her proudest moment. What is important is that her main purpose besides being hot is to be the butt of a running joke in which she gets mixed up with American colloquialisms. She will say something like "well, that was a wild duck chase!" and one of the other agents will say "Goose, Ziva. It's a wild GOOSE chase." And then she will say "That makes no sense, why would anyone chase a goose?" It's called comic relief, folks!

Then there's Abby Sciuto, the resident forensic science genius. What is her field of science? Everything. She's a computer whiz, she is an expert in chemistry, biology, physics, whatever she needs to be an expert in, she's an expert in. Like the Professor from Gilligan's Island.

Now Abby, or "Abbs" as she is generally addressed, is a woman in her thirties - thirty-four when Season one aired. And she is a scientist. And she works for the military in a military facility. Yet she dresses like a 13-year-old whose local mall just got a Hot Topic.

Image result for abby sciuto outfits

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So this is annoying, but she also is just an annoying character in general. She babbles. She's clearly the most intelligent character on the show, but she babbles. It's really irritating. And her relationship with Gibbs is not just unprofessional, but downright creepy.
She definitely looks to Gibbs as a father figure, seeking his approval. And when she finds him a particularly useful clue, he ksses her. On the forehead or cheek, but he kisses her! His employee! And then she sighs dreamily because she not only looks at him as a father figure, she also has a huge Electra-complex crush on him.It's gross. And I don't think that the Navy would tolerate this kind of behavior.
Oh wait. I just remembered "Tail Hook." Never mind.

So, is Abbs the most annoying character on the show?
You'd think so, but no.

That distinction goes to Dr. Donald Mallard, or "Ducky" as he is almost always referred to. (Get it? 'Cuz his name is "Mallard?")
Donald Mallard, played by David McCallum, is an old school British colonialist.  The kind who likes to drone on about his time in Afghanistan or Kenya or other far-flung outposts of the British Empire. All he's missing is a pith helmet and jodhpurs as he waxes nostalgic about his youthful adventures and dispense the wisdom of the lessons he learned from various locals and whatnot. He is just absolutely insufferable, yet every other character on the show just adores him for some unstated reason. Curiously, in the first few episodes, Gibbs seems to regard him as an irritating nuisance, but soon they're thick as thieves. Ducky is one of the few people that address Gibbs as Jethro.

So put these unbearable personalities together into one show and you've got the makings of a true Hindenburg of a show. But it gets even more problematic. Because everyone on this show Worships the Marines. I mean, they love and respect all branches of the military, but the revere the Marine Corps. The Marines can do no wrong. The hushed, solemn tones they use when they say "Semper Fi" or "Ooh. Rah." which they do more frequently than you would imagine, is nauseating.

It really is the worst show on television.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Georgia is up to no good

When we first moved to Atlanta from California back in 2005, we went to the Dept of Driver Services (what they call their DMV) to get Georgia driver's licenses. We brought in our California licences and basically just exchanged them for shiny new Georgia ones. They were good for 10 years because we paid a little extra fee. The clock re-started when we added motorcycle licenses so this was the first year we have had to renew our Georgia driver's licenses.

Now, our current licenses don't expire until December, so they are still 100% valid. I assumed that we would just take in the current ones, maybe take an eye test, pay a fee and get new ones. Was I wrong!

When we got our renewal notice in the mail, it came with a list of "New Document Requirements." In order to renew our driver's licenses - not to get new licenses, just to renew our existing ones - we were now required to present:

One Item to Show Who You Are

  • Certified US Birth Certificate
  • Valid US passport


  • Certificate of Naturalization


One Item with Your Social Security Number

  • Social Security Card
  • W-2 Form


  • Paystub with Last 4 Digits


One Item to Show Where You Live

  • Utility Bill
  • Bank Statement


  • Lease/Mortgage Statement

Why on Earth are they making this so much harder? I mean, I assume a lot of people would not be able to find their birth certificate, and a majority of Americans don't have passports. And for some reason, your current Georgia Driver's license is NOT an acceptable form of ID when renewing your Georgia Driver's license.

Maybe it's just a coincidence, but Georgia just happens to be one of the states that has instituted strict voter ID laws. (All the above documentation is also required to renew a state ID card). Is it possible that just maybe they want to  make it more difficult to get state-issued ID because that will make it harder to vote? Could it be possible that they might assume that poorer people might have more trouble coming up with all this documentation? Is it somehow possible that the Georgia GOP has managed to weaponize the driver's license bureau to depress voter turnout? Could such a thing be?

I mean, let's assume you don't have a passport because you can't afford to go traveling overseas. You don't happen to have a certified copy of your birth certificate. How do you get one? I don't really know. I have one because my parents kept one in a safety deposit box. If I needed a copy now, I guess I would have to contact some agency in San Mateo County, California? The courthouse? The Hall of Records? I don't even know. And would they issue a copy over the phone? And how much would it cost? If I'm only trying to get an ID card so I can vote, if I can't afford a car anyway, maybe this is the point where I say "screw it. It's not worth this much hassle."

There is nothing NOTHING these people won't do to hold on to power. They do not believe in democracy, they do not believe in the right of citizens to vote for their leaders. They don't believe in anything except obtaining and keeping power so that they can cut their taxes and de-regulate each other's businesses and generally try to re-make the USA along the Third-World model. And they're succeeding.

For example:

Chemours is Using the U.S. as an Unregulated Dump

for Europe’s Toxic GenX Waste
DuPont-spinoff Chemours is sending industrial waste from the Netherlands to North Carolina. The waste in question comes from the production of the toxic chemical GenX, DuPont’s replacement for the surfactant PFOA, which was long used in the production of Teflon and many other products.
Unlike the Netherlands, the U.S. has so far declined to regulate GenX waste, so disposing of the material is comparatively easy.

Thanks to 40-odd years of de-regulation, free-market bullshit, and lasseiz-faire approach to corporate governance, the US now finds itself an attractive dumping ground for Europe's toxic chemicals.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Biden is Just Weird

So everyone on Twitter was having a good laugh about the "Corn Pop" story. Although no one pointed out that Biden really isn't the good guy in the story. He sees this Corn Pop dude on the diving board without a swim cap and instead of saying "excuse me, but you need to put on a swim cap before you jump in the pool since you have pomade in your hair," he insults the guy,, calls him "Esther," and says "either you come down or I'll go up there and drag you down!" You're the dick in this story, Joe. I mean, sure, Corn Flake over-reacted if he threatened you with a straight razor, but in your own version of the story, you're the asshole. This is not a story that speaks well of you. Do you not get that?

But of course, this being a Joe Biden story, it gets weirder. When you Google "Biden lifeguard story," you get this article from the Washington Post:

What a lifeguarding job on the black side of Wilmington taught Joe Biden about race

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Biden, who declined to comment for this story, has recently apologized for giving “the impression that I was praising” segregationists. 

He gave the impression that he was praising segregationists by praising segregationists.

In speeches, he emphasizes his tenure as second-in-command to the first black president while speaking in personal terms about his efforts to connect with African Americans.

Yeaaaah. . . I don't think you necessarily get a lot of not-racist points for accepting the cushiest prestigious job available from a President who happened to be black. I would accept the vice presidency from well not Trump, probably, but almost anyone else. You get to travel around, go to a few funerals, break the occasional tie in the Senate and they pay you a nice salary and let you live n an observatory. Pretty sweet!

Image result for observatory 

Something like this, I assume.

I should probably take a moment here to say that I don't think Joe Biden is a racist. Maybe he is, I don't know him. But I have no reason to think that he would be.
Anyway, let's continue.

His effort to personally wrangle with matters of race began even before his controversial turn on the county council, back when he was a 19-year-old teenager trying to figure out what he could do to bridge the racial divide.
His solution was to become a lifeguard at a predominantly African American pool in Wilmington.

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Look, I'm sure that's what Joe told you, but come on!

No one becomes a lifeguard to "bridge the racial divide." It's a summer job. A summer job where you get to sit around in the sun all day watching girls in bikinis. And  they let you wear shorts and you get a whistle.

Image result for i always get a whistle when i wear shorts

Also, if your goal is to "bridge the racial divide" between yourself and your African-American peers, taking a job where you get to order black kids around, blow a whistle at them, and kick them out if they don't obey you seems a little. . . counterproductive?

“I was not out marching. I was not down in Selma or anywhere else,” Biden once said. “I was a suburbanite kid who got an exposure to black America in my own city.”

And really, isn't that just as good?

I guess not, considering that in the past - including the very recent past - you have claimed that you did get involved in the Civil Rights movement.

Biden falsely claims he was part of the civil rights movement

During a campaign stop at Limestone College on Wednesday afternoon, Joe Biden repeated his false claim that he participated in the civil rights movement.
“A lot of folks like me come out of the civil rights movement,” Biden said
Going all the way back to 1983, then-Sen. Biden told individuals attending the Maine Democratic Conference that he "participated in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants and movie houses" in his home state of Delaware.
During a Martin Luther King Day breakfast in 2014, Biden said he "got involved in desegregating movie theaters."
In February 2019, Biden told an audience at a book event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, that he "came out of the civil rights movement."
Later, in July, he took a step further at a San Francisco fundraiser, saying he "got involved in the civil rights movement as a kid."

So, you know, six of one, half a dozen of the other. Some kids participated in sit-ins, some sat in the high chair with a whistle, throwing black kids out of swimming pools for not obeying him. Tomato, to-MAH-to!

They loved pranking Biden. The cost to enter the pool was 10 cents, but a tiny, smack-talking teenager known as Corn Pop wanted to try a way to get his friends in free: distract the white lifeguard.
Corn Pop got Biden’s attention by talking about his mother, Smith recalled. Biden blew his whistle and demanded Corn Pop show him some respect. Meanwhile, Corn Pop’s friends jumped the fence, hopped into the water and laughed over their declared victory.

That's not a prank.
That's just a money-saving technique.
Getting into the pool for free isn't funny, it's just practical because now you can spend that 10 cents on egg creams and soda pop or whatever teens spent their money on back in Joe's day. Maybe a dime bag actually cost a dime back then,. Who knows?

Also, it's a really great way to bridge the racial divide. Blow your whistle and demand the the black kid respect your authoritah!

Image result for respect my authoritah

 Meanwhile, Corn Pop’s friends jumped the fence, hopped into the water and laughed over their declared victory.
“They were testing him,” recalled Maurice Pritchett, known as Marty, who served as a lifeguard on the shift with Biden. “He had to earn their respect.”
Honestly, I think they just wanted to go swimming and didn't want to pay or didn't have any money. Not everything a black kid in Wilmington did was necessarily aboiut Joe Biden.

Biden has said he was the only white lifeguard there at the time, but his friends from the pool recall that there were a handful of other white lifeguards on staff.

That's our Joe! Why let the facts get in the way of a good semi-coherent story?

Biden took a special liking to Smith, a reform school student who was around six years his junior. Smith had a temper and a stutter and found it difficult to control either. But he said Biden had a solution.
“I used to get bullied for having a stutter,” he recalled Biden telling him. “Look into the mirror and practice talking. That’s how I got rid of mine.”

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He had difficulty talking and your advice to him was to . . . practice talking? Seriously?
Hey, Joe. I have difficulty playing the piano. Do you think maybe I should practice playing the piano? Because I never would have thought of that myself. I needed the Sage of Scranton to figure that out for me.

Biden’s next move was to become a politician. He wrote that he felt he could push an agenda that would address unfair treatment in black communities, helping to bring the state’s conservative Democratic Party into the fold of the civil rights movement. But he could not do so without black votes.
He went to the Bucket to look for Smith.
“Mouse, you working?” Biden asked Smith one day.
Biden wanted to campaign in the projects and asked Smith to be his bodyguard. 

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Oh my God. That is so Biden! "I really want to reach out to black voters. Hey Mouse, will you come along and protect me from those scary black people?"

The angry phone calls from white voters came in, but Biden’s plan worked. He won the election. Days later, in a glowing profile of him in the News Journal, Biden was described as the handsome, progressive new face of the state Democratic Party. The article correctly speculated that in two years, at 29, he’d run for the U.S. Senate.
In the story, though, Biden showed a moderation that his opponents — and some of his supporters — did not expect after he campaigned on a civil rights agenda. Biden told the reporter he would not be a “crusading rabbit” who would make excuses for African Americans because of systemic racism.

Okay, first of all - classic moderate Dem bait-and-switch. Running on a civil rights platform, winning on a civil rights platform , then assuring white voters that you aren't going to really be all that worked up about the whole civil rights thing.

And second - what the fuck is a "crusading rabbit?"

I Googled it, and this was all I could find. So yeah, good move, Biden. You definitely don't want to be that.

“I have some friends on the far left, and they can justify to me the murder of a white deaf mute for a nickel by five colored guys,” he told the Wilmington News Journal in 1970. “They say the black men had been oppressed and so on.

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Who? Who do you know that would justify a heinous crime like that? That is a really horrible straw-man argument. Unless you have met characters from Ben Garrison comics or the 1/2 Hour News Hour, you do not know anyone who thinks it's fine for someone to get murdered by five "colored guys."
Also, "colored guys?" This was what, the early 70's? Were people still saying "colored?" I mean, my grandma was, but you were in your twenties. Colored? Seriously?

 “They say the black men had been oppressed and so on.
“But they can’t justify some Alabama farmers tar and feathering an old colored woman. 

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Yeah, of course not. Why would they/ Why would anyone even think that there was a possibility of justifying a horrifying hate crime like that? No one should ever, no decent person ever would - what the fuck is wrong with you?

 I suspect the ACLU would leap to defend the five black guys. But no one would go down to defend the rednecks.

A: no they wouldn't.
B: GOOD! No one should defend these hypothetical rednecks. They are hypothetical monsters.

 They are both products of an environment. The truth is somewhere between the two poles.”

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That's gibberish. What two poles? These are two imaginary crimes. They are both horrible. There aren't "two poles" here. Only in your weirdo Biden brain would this be some kind of left vs right issue. No one would be okay with five guys murdering a deaf man for a nickel (they need to renegotiate their compensation package!) and no one other than extreme racist asshole psychopaths (of which there are many) would justify the horrendous hate crime. And what "truth" do you think exists somewhere between these two "poles?"These are both scenarios you made up, There is no truth anywhere in your hypothetical scenarios. There certainly isn't any truth to the claim that the ACLU would rush to defend a mob of violent muggers. These aren't two sides of the same story where the truth lies somewhere in between the two versions.  It's not Rashomon. And it doesn't seem to be true that no one would defend the "redneck" racist monsters either, since you just did defend them as being "products of an environment."

He spent more than 30 years in the Senate trying to find the in-between.

Jesus Christ! Not since Ponce' de Leon has someone wasted so much time trying to find something that only exists in his imagination!

Biden is just freakin weird.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Democrats never learn

Well, we're back.
Let's have a look at what we missed while we were out of town.


Oh my God. I know, I'm supposed to be shocked - SHOCKED - that the NC GOP would sink so low. But I'm not. There is nothing they could do that would be so shameless as to even surprise me anymore. 
What is shocking is that Dems keep falling for this shit.

Like the Dems are all "Hey, we're going to the 9/11 memorial, you guys want to carpool?
And the Republicans are all "Uh, no. . . we already went. Um. . . last night. On 9/11 Eve."

Image result for jon lovitz that's the ticket

And then the Dems are all "Okay. That sounds plausible. We're going to go ahead and go now. You aren't going to hold any votes while we're gone, are you?"

And the GOP is all "Votes? Are you kidding? While you're out paying your respects to the Americans who died on 9/11? Oh, how could you even ask us that?"

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And the Dems are all like "you promise? Pinky swear?"

And the GOP is all "Oh, we promise. Cross our hearts! You just go on to your 9/11 thing. We'll probably just go to a movie or something."

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And the Democrats are all like "Okay, guys. Let's go. Don't worry, the North Carolina Republican Party totally promised not to fuck us over. No, seriously, they crossed their hearts and everything! We can go to the 9/11 thing without worrying about what's going to happen while we're gone!"

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Vacation Playlist # 3

Gun Songs

(God, remember "Night Music?" How great was that show?)

And, last but not least, the song that most people don't know is about a mass shooting (Google it!)

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Vacation play list # 2

Today's playlist is songs with a state's name in the title. I'm going to try to think of one song for each state. I would appreciate your help filling in the blanks.






















(h/t Tal Hartsfeld)








 New Hampshire

 New Jersey

 New Mexico

(h/t Jaded J)

 New York

 North Carolina

 North Dakota

(h/t Jaded J)





 Rhode Island

 South Carolina

 South Dakota





(h/t Anne Marie)





Sunday, September 8, 2019

Vacation play lists

We are on vacation this week, so I thought I'd try something new. Somethimg I can do on a hand-held that doesn't require a bunch of cutting and pasting or reading the news. So here goes.

Since today is Sunday,  the first play list will be pop songs that reference verses or stories from the Good Book.

Here gies nothimg:

(ref: Song of Solomon 1:2)

(ref: Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8)

(ref: Joshua 6:20)

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Who is Cathy Young?

I was blissfully unaware of the existence of Cathy Young until yesterday, when her name popped up twice on my Twitter timeline.

Which made me think that she must be a really awful awful person. So, being a glutton for punishment, I Googled her.

Apparently, the woman named Cathy Young was born in Moscow. Russia, not Idaho. I mean, "Cathy Young" sounds like this :

Image result for middle aged midwestern housewife

Not this:

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But that's neither here nor there.

Cathy Young is a writer. She has written for the Boston Globe, the Daily Beast and Reason Magazine among other outlets.  According to her bio: Catherine Alicia Young is a Russian-born American journalist. Young is primarily known for her writing about rape and feminism. 
And considering that she was or is employed by Reason Magazine and Quillette, it is not at all promising that that is the beat she covers.

Here is a little something she penned back in 2016:

Canadian University Student Convicted of Rape, But Was the Judge Biased Against Men?
Mustafa Ururyar's trial highlights a dilemma.

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Oh for God's sake. . .
I expect this kind of grotesque garbage from the Jordan Peterson disciple  incel community, but from a grown woman?

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Concerns that the crusade against "rape culture" is creating an accusation-equals-guilt mindset in sexual assault cases have been mostly aimed at colleges.

Aaaand we're off to a great start already, putting rape culture in quotes, implying that this is a made-up term or that rape culture doesn't exist.
Rape culture is absolutely a real thing and it has been around for a long time. Probably for as long as there have been humans. When I was a teen, back in the late mesozoic, we used to go to lots of movies. Because they had second-run theaters back then that were super cheap. I can not tell you how many teen comedies I saw back in the 80's in which the "cool" guy gives the not-so-cool guy dating advice that included some version of "when girls say no, they mean yes." And sometimes the not-so-cool guy found out that this was not true, but his attempts to treat a "no" as a "yes" were generally treated as hilarious fun.
Or take the example of "Revenge of the Nerds." This was a hugely popular comedy in which the "nerds" get revenge on the "jocks" by planting cameras in the women's dorms so that they can watch the jocks' girlfriends in various states of undresss. Then they print up nude photos of the girlfriends and sell them at a school fair. This is depicted as a fine and amusing way to get back at the jocks, by violating the women whom the jocks are dating.

Image result for revenge of the nerds pie gif

Oh, and this was considered a harmless collegiate prank.

It gets worse. One of the main nerds puts on a costume that is identical to the one that the star quarterback is wearing then has sex with the quarterback's unsuspecting girlfriend. This is rape. But when he removes the mask to reveal that she ahas not been having sex with the man she loves, but with a virtual stranger, she isn't even upset. She asks him something like "are all nerds as good at sex as you are?" And at the end of the movie, she chooses to be the girlfriend of the rapist nerd.  That's rape culture.  A major Hollywood comedy showing rape as a sort of harmless prank that could actually make a girl fall for you. And I do not remember anyone objecting back then. This was all seen as just a silly comedy wherein the violation of these women was played for laughs and cheap titillation. But sure, let's act as if "rape culture" is some siully overreaction to boys being boys or whatever.

Sorry, I got a little sidetracked there.
You know what, though? How long has the "panty raid" been depicted as harmless college hijinks?

Daily Texan.Panty Raid Headline
Above: Headline of The Daily Texan on November 3, 1961.

That's such bullshit. First of all, that's theft. Undies cost money. Stealing undies is no different from stealing purses or jewelry. I mean, it is different because it's also a gross violation of privacy. I mean, I should think some girls were probably humiliated by having their underthings seen and taken by strange men. God knows the judgments made on the basis of the prudishness or risque'ness of the various knickers. It's really awful. I remember seeing an episode of "Happy Days" where the young men had gone off to college and participated in a "panty raid" and it was played for laughs because who could possibly be upset about some harmless shenanigans?

UT Panty Raid.AAS.1956.05.03

It's so gross.

Anyway, let's see what Ms Young has to say about this and that.

Concerns that the crusade against "rape culture" is creating an accusation-equals-guilt mindset in sexual assault cases have been mostly aimed at colleges. It's campuses that employ extralegal tribunals to settle rape disputes—tribunals where the accused often do not have the right to an attorney, to cross-examine their accusers, or to examine the evidence against them. 

You do know why they have these "tribunals," right? It's to discourage rape victims from going to the police. It's to protect the "alleged" rapist (and the school's reputation.) It's not to railroad innocent young men who are falsely accused by evil harpies.

But the latest contentious rape case comes from a real court—albeit in Canada, where feminist activism has been much more successful in influencing the justice system than in the United States.

Oh nooooo! That would be so awful if feminist activism influenced the justice system. Oh nooooo!!!

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On July 21, Mustafa Ururyar, a 29-year-old York University graduate student, was found guilty of sexually assaulting fellow grad student Mandi Gray, 28. The verdict was handed down by Ontario Court Judge Marvin Zuker in a non-jury trial. The alleged rape—and I say "alleged," because after reading the 180-page judgment I see no grounds for a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt—happened in the early morning hours of January 31, 2015.

Oh, well, I'm sure you know better than the guy who made the decison. What was his job again? Oh right, he's a judge! But you probably understand the Canadian legal system a bit better than he does because you grew up in Russia and now live in the US and didn't attend law school.

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You know what, I can't even go on with this article. Suffice it to say that she tends to believe the rapist when he says it was consensual even though
[h]e said that Gray flirted with him all evening and that he even told her to stop touching him when she groped his thigh, twice. He admitted wanting a threesome, supposedly because he had heard from a friend that Gray was interested, but denied insulting or berating Gray. He also said that back at his apartment after they got into bed, he told Gray he wanted to end their relationship and mentioned being annoyed by her behavior at the bar. He said that Gray began to cry and he comforted her, and that she then initiated sex.

Because a: it's totally plausible that he would ask her to stop touching his leg when he was looking to have three-way sex with her and another woman. Nothing kills a sexy mood faster than the woman you're interested in touching your leg! Also, it seems perfectly believable that he would break up with her, make her cry, and then she would be totally wanting to visit bonetown! With such a believable story, I just don't see how anyone could think him guilty!

Anyway, most of her stuff seems to fit this template. "Men are being victimized, women are liars, no one ever believes the poor men and everyone always believes all the women even though we know what liars women are blah, blah, blah."  It's grotesque and it's completely untethered to reality and it's just horrible. And I wish I still didn't know who she is. But if I have to know about her, so do you. You knew what you were getting into when you clicked on the Daily Irritant.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Actual 100% real headline not from the Onion.

Catholic school reportedly removes Harry Potter books from library because they 'risk conjuring evil spirits'
 Megan Johnson,Yahoo Lifestyle Sun, Sep 1 3:35 PM EDT 

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The Rev. Dan Reehil, a pastor at the St. Edward School, a pre-K through 8th grade Roman Catholic school in Nashville, explained to parents in an email why the extremely popular seven-book series by J.K. Rowling about a young wizard and his friends was taken out of the school’s collection.
"These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception. . ."

Wow, you're really jumping on this one right on time! The first Harry Potter book was published in 1997. And just now, 21 years later, you're noticing that that they're about spooky witches and magick and whatnot?

And in those 21 years, have you seen any sort of an uptick in wizardry-related casualties?
Seems like 21 years is a good enough sample size to determine that these books are pretty benign.

"These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception. . .

Well, I'm not sure how clever that deception is, seeing as how the "deception" here is that being a wizard and casting spells is made up? And maybe some kids might be naive enough to think that they could actually somehow find a wizard school to teach them how to do magic? And then they would be disappointed when they eventually figure out that nonr of this is real?

"These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception. The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text," 

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The spells are real?
You, a grown man, think that magic spells are real. Seriously, this is a thing that you think. You think that there are actual, literal, magical spells that can actually be used to conjure up actual, literal evil spirits?

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So you know how many people have read the Harry Potter books? Over half a BILLION of these books have been sold. And God knows how many people have checked them out from libraries. So, hundreds of millions of people have read these books and I promise you - I PROMISE you - none of these people have inadvertently or intentionally summoned any demons into our realm.  Zero evil spirits have been conjured up by the readers of the Harry Potter books. Zero. Which is, coincidentally, the number of evil demon spirits that actually exist.

I mean, you know J.K. Rowling just made these spells and incantations up, right? She didn't copy them from ancient scrolls she unearthed in a repository of forbidden knowledge. She made them up. Honestly, she didn't even put a lot of effort into them. She just used some high-school Latin words that approximate the description of the desired result. Like this:

Aqua Eructo  (Aqua Eructo Charm)

Aqua Eructo
Type: Charm
Pronunciation: A-kwa ee-RUCK-toh
Description: This spell is used to create, and control, a jet of clear water from the tip of the wand.

Etymology: Aqua means, in LatinwaterEructo is a verb meaning "I raise"; roughly translated, it means "I raise water".

The email also reportedly shared that Reehil had consulted with several exorcists who also advocated for removing the books from the school’s library.

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Okay, this is a joke, right? This article is from the Onion, right?

No, this was actually reported in the Tennesseean, a part of the USA Today network, which isn't exactly LeMonde or Der Spiegel, but is a legitimate newspaper not known for playing pranks.

Why on Earth would you consult with exorcists? I didn't think the Catholic Church even did exorcisms anymore. Where would you even find exorcists with which to consult? Haiti? New Orleans? maybe some hidden pocket of Appalachia? What century is this? How long was I asleep?

Rebecca Hammel, the superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Nashville, confirmed to the Tennesseean that Reehil removed the books. 
As for whether students should be allowed to read the Harry Potter series on their own time, Hammel told the Tennesseean that it’s up to each child’s parents to make that decision.

"Should parents deem that this or any other media to be appropriate we would hope that they would just guide their sons and daughters to understand the content through the lens of our faith," Hammel said. "We really don't get into censorship in such selections other than making sure that what we put in our school libraries is age-appropriate materials for our classrooms."
Wait, what?

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Age appropriate?
I'm sorry, what is the appropriate age for conjuring evil spirits?
Is that the objection? That these children are too young to be conjuring evil spirits? Like, in Catholic high schools, sure. Summon all the demons you want, you're old enough to handle them. But in elementery school it's just irresponsible to have these kids  communing with the underworld. That's just child psychology 101.

Age appropriate!

What is going on in this country?