Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Good honest reporting from the Federalist

Well this headline is totally intellectually honest and not disingenuous or misleading in any way:

The NFL Just Declared War On Church

They did?
I mean, other than having their games on Sundays at 1:00 which means the early games start at 10:00am on the West Coast which means you need to leave right away afgter chgurch to get home and watch the game, not stick around til noon talking with your friends and cleaning up the multi-purpose room, mom!

What exactly did the NFL do that is being, I'm sure, legitimately construed as having declared "War on Church?"

A deal reached by the National Football Leauge and the NFL Players Association bans players from attending any indoor church services that are above 25 percent capacity, multiple sources told NBC Sports on Saturday.
Oooooh, they don't want their players catching Covid-19! Those heathens! Those infidels! It's very telling that ther players are not being allowed to go to church, and not being restricted from any other secular-type places where crowds could spread the virus! Oh wait, what? There's more?

Alongside its restrictions on attending worship services, the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) also prohibits players from attending indoor nightclubs and bars (except for take-out), indoor concerts, professional sports games, and indoor parties that include 15 or more people.

But mainly church.

The deal has not been publicly released, but NBC Sports made no mention of any restrictions on attending protests. 

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Oh God.
Every time.
Every time someone gets told that they shouldn't stage a virus-ridden reenactment of the stateroom scene from A Night at the Opera

Saturday Odds & Sods: Deeper Water | First Draft

The immediate response is always, ALWAYS, "oh so, I can't go to ______, but it's okay for these people to go to protests?" They all got the fucking memo, and it's just cut-and-paste right-wing MadLibs with racist overtones. Every single time.

Never mind that protests are held OUTDOORS and that the protesters are pretty much all wearing masks. And the cops are generally kind enough to sanitize random protesters with pepper spray and tear gas. If they get to risk life and limb demanding an end to state-sanctioned murder, then I should be allowed to infect the waitress at Buffalo Wild Wings! Read the Constitution, this isn't a Communist country!

Meanwhile, the NFL’s Twitter account has been sharing and celebrating pictures of players engaging in protests around the country.

How dare they? How dare the NFL be okay with some of their black players trying to help put an end to the practice of young black men being shot and brutalized by racist cops? They should be giving those players a stern finger-wagging and white-splaining to them how killing unarmed black men who are suspected of petty crimes is actually not racist because sometimes they police kill white guys too.

A June 5 tweet from the NFL also affirmed that “We, the NFL…encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest.”

Oh, yeah. As if the First Amendment applied to athletes!

And I can't believe that the NFL just comes out and says that racism is bad without giving Daniel Snyder a chance to present the opposing viepoint.

As with more typical CBAs, players can face fines if they don’t comply with the restrictions on church and the other activities listed. The fines for each offense can vary, and while they haven’t been revealed for this agreement, violating the CBA used to regulate conduct on the field can result in fines from $5,000 to over $70,000.

Which is totally unfair because if a player goes to a crowded church and gets the Corona virus, he's only hurting himself. It's not as if football players are going to have to crowd into locker rooms or meeting rooms, or team flights or anything where they might expose their teammates to a devestating disease!

NBC Sports also reported that players who test positive for Covid-19 after violating the CBA won’t be paid for games they aren’t able to attend. They would also forego any future guarantees made in their contracts.

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Hold on a minute, there. Are you trying to tell me that players might face consequences for violating the rules? The rules to which they agreed in theie collective bargaining agreement? Like if they break the rules and render themselves unable to perform the job they were hired to do, the NFL is not going to pay them for not doing it? No wonder a conservative publication like the Federalist is up in arms. Conservatives hate when people are held accountable for their actions, and love to see people being paid for not working!

If players do violate the rules, NBC Sports speculates that teams may “rely on contacts within the community to contact the team if/when violations are witnessed,” or even use a tip line. In other words, members of the community would be encouraged to report players they see trying to attend church.

Church. Or bars. Or restaurants. Or parties. But mostly church. Because obviously, this is just one more example of how every institution in America hates church!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Who is Abigail Shrier?

I saw this on Twitter today:

And anytime I see someone claiming that their book or video or mimeographed pamphlet is something that '[someone] doesn't want you to see," I generally figure I'm in for a trip through the funhouse.

1981 the funhouse GIF - Find on GIFER

Okay, so the title of the book is:

Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters

She apparently thinks that people being trans is some kind of a fad, the latest novelty, so you know this is going to be serious scholarship.

Here's some of the book summary from Amazon

Until just a few years ago, gender dysphoria—severe discomfort in one’s biological sex—was vanishingly rare. It was typically found in less than .01 percent of the population, emerged in early childhood, and afflicted males almost exclusively.

Is this true? Is any of this true? Pretty doubtful. Ms Shrier seems to be falling into the trap that many of the top sociological researchers fall prey to which is the assumption that if she hadn't heard about it before, it didn't exist until just now. Science is hard.One might consider that up until recently, being transgendered was something that was not socially acceptable to talk about in any context other than a cheap sitcom joke where the main character discovers that his old Army buddy is now a beautiful woman and boy is that awkward!

Just Shoot Me! S05 - Ep06 Brandi, You're a Fine Girl HD Watch ...

But in the end, we all learned a valuable lesson about something, probably.

But today whole groups of female friends in colleges, high schools, and even middle schools across the country are coming out as “transgender.” 

That Cant Be True Terry Crews GIF - ThatCantBeTrue TerryCrews ...

I don't think so. I, being a cis/het person, have never had to deal with the experience of "coming out," so maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think coming out is generally a group activity. I find it hard to believe that a bunch of sorority sisters are sitting around going "i'll come out as trnas if the rest of you do!" "No, you first!" "Come on, guys, I don't want to be the only one coming out as trans! If you're my friends, you'll all be trans too!"

Also, transgender is a thing. You don't need to put quote marks around it like it was a slang term for something else.

These are girls who had never experienced any discomfort in their biological sex until they heard a coming-out story from a speaker at a school assembly or discovered the internet community of trans “influencers.”

And you know this how, exactly? How on Earth do you know what these women felt or thought about themselves and their bodies before seeing "trans influencers" (whatever the hell that means) online? And, look, it may very well be that some trans people don't really realizr that they are trans until someone is able to put a name to what they are feeling. I knew a trans woman back in California. Only I diidn't know he was atrans woman. I don't think s/he knew. I suspect that this person, let's call him "Jim"  thought just like the rest of us did , that Jim was just a very effeminate gay man. Until one day he was no longer named "Jim," he was named "Jane."

Here's another "coming out" story.It's not about a trans person, but I think it's illustrative of the point I'm trying to make (Aand yes, I am trying to make a point) I met a guy once, a friend of a friend, who had been happily married to a woman. He said he loved this woman and she loved him and everythin g was fine except that in the back of his mind, he always felt that something wasn't quite right, that something was missing. Then, as he tells it, one day he suddenly realized what the problem was and he said to his wife "honey, I'm queer!" (his word) Now he's happily coupled with another bear and his ex-wife is with a woman. Happily ever after is possible after all!

The point is that it apparently can take people quite a lot of time to realize who they really are.And it makes perfect sense that a lot of people would come to the realization about their gender or sexuality in college, the first time they're not being watched over by their parents, maybe they aren't attending the same kind of church. Maybe college is the first time some people ever meet an out LGBT person and that helps them to realize something about themselves.

At any rate, being trans is not something that young people are trying on because it's chic or trendy or because all the cool kids are doing it and they want to be in with the "in crowd." It's just who they are.

Unsuspecting parents are awakening to find their daughters in thrall to hip trans 

No, we just covered that. Trans isn't "hip." Coming out as trans is probably a very difficult decision for these young people and fuck you for making light of it.

I remember, when I was a teen "gender-benders" like Boy George, Pete Burns, and Annie Lenox were "hip."

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 I remember trying on some of my sisters' cosmetics. I bought a string of faux pearls, pierced my ears and wore a lot of pink. That was something I did because it was cool. It did not make me trans. Or gay,. Or anything that I already wasn't. Being transgender is a toitally different thing. It's not fashion, it's not a trend or a fad, it's just who some people are.

Unsuspecting parents are awakening to find their daughters in thrall to hip trans YouTube stars and “gender-affirming” educators and therapists who push life-changing interventions on young girls—including medically unnecessary double mastectomies and puberty blockers that can cause permanent infertility.

Oh ny God, yes! That and other things that have never happened!
Sarn those "gender affirming educators." If a student says to her teacher "I think I might be a male person in a female body," if the teacher would just have the decency to say "the hell you are, now sit down, freak!" there wouldn't be a problem. Instead, what happens all too often is a young lady asks her guidance counselor "how much do you know about transgender people? Do you think I could possibly be trans?" and the guidance counselor says "oh, ye. Absolutely you are. Now I've scheduled you for an appointment with a surgeon who can lop those pesky boobs off and then we'll see about having a wang installed. No, no, too late to back out now. Take these pills. they'll put some hair on your chest!"

Abigail Shrier, a writer for the Wall Street Journal, has dug deep into the trans epidemic, talking to the girls, their agonized parents, and the counselors and doctors who enable gender transitions, as well as to “detransitioners”—young women who bitterly regret what they have done to themselves.

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Again, I am far from an expert on this subject, but I do know that gender re-assignment is a long difficult and expensive process. It is not something that anyone rushes into. I don't think one could rush into it if one wanted to. There are a lot of steps that come before any surgical changes to the body. It's not like getting drunk and waking up with a tattoo.

Coming out as transgender immediately boosts these girls’ social status, Shrier finds 

Okay, now you're just making shit up. No one's social status is being boosted by coming out. I guarantee that most, if not all of these girls have lost friends - either because their friends are just bigoted, or because things just get "awkward" or because I think a lot of women would see the desire to live as a man to be a betrayal of feminist values.

Coming out as transgender immediately boosts these girls’ social status, Shrier finds, but once they take the first steps of transition, it is not easy to walk back. 

I think it is. I think the first steps are easy to walk back. I Googled it and I found a list of all the steps involved on a site called
Here are the first couple of steps:

Thirteen Easy Steps to Becoming Transgender
  1. Spend your own money ($5-150+ a week x 3 months) to see a therapist for three months to be diagnosed as mentally ill, or "gender dysphoric."
  2. Depending on how strictly your therapist adheres to the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH - standards of medical and psychological care, you might have to spend a stretch of time living as your preferred gender without any hormones or surgery whatsoever.

Okay? So this is not something you can wake up in the morning and decide to do. You can't just say "I'm not having a great life as a man, I think maybe I'll try being a woman" and just pop in to the nearest sex-change-o-mat and get your torso redesigned.

Coming out as transgender immediately boosts these girls’ social status, Shrier finds, but once they take the first steps of transition, it is not easy to walk back. She offers urgently needed advice about how parents can protect their daughters.

And Abigail Shrier is defintely the person you want to take psychological advice from. She has a degree from Yale.
Law School.
Her degree is from Yale Law School? Hold on.
You know, maybe this creep doesn't actually know what the hell she's talking about after all!

Monday, July 20, 2020

New Contender for Worst Governor title

Living in Georgia, I have felt pretty confident that we have the absolute worst governor in the Union. But we have a new contender.  This is what the Governor of Missouri Mike Parson had to say about sending kids back to school during a pandemic:

Missouri GOP gov seeks to overturn will of the people ... 

“These kids have got to get back to school,” Parson told Cox. “They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.”

Oh my GOD!
He's not just willing to risk the possibility that kids will contact this horrible disease, he's willing to send kids out there KNOWING that they are going to contract this virus.  And yes, children who get Covid are likely to survive, but for one thing, we really have no idea what the long-term effects of this virus are. I just read something the other day about viruses with long-term effects. Like chicken pox. Chicken pox is somethiing that is fairly mild if you get it as a kid, but the virus stays in your body forever. You won't get chicken pox again, but the virus will always be there, just waiting to manifest itself as shingles in times of high stress. Or the herpes virus. If you've ever had a cold sore, that virus stays in your system forever, just bifing its time until it can produce another cold sore once a year on school picture day. So we have no idea what sort of lifelong effect this new virus might inflict on these kids who get it now.

Secondly, here's what he says will happen when (not if, but WHEN) children get the Coronoa Virus from their little classmates:

". . .they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.”

Oh, home! They're going to go HOME! Oh, why didn't you say so?  Oh, that's perfectly fine, then. Home, where they can be cared for by their middle-aged parents. Or, if both parents are fortunate enough to be employed, their elderly grandparents. . . . oh, wait. I think I see a flaw in your "plan," Governor.

Oh, and also, remember a minute ago when we were talking about how we're still learning a lot about this virus? Well, yesterday we learned this:

slide 1 to 3 of 10

And sure, one's natural instinct is to think "thank God our babies and small children aren't Brazilian, so they're safe," but. . .

Chicago infant dies after testing positive for coronavirus, governor says

Oh, and also too, you know that there aren't just children at schools, right? Youy know the teachers are grown-ups, right? The teachers, the custodians, the librarians, the administrators, the coaches, all grown-ups who, if they catch Covid from one of their students, are much more likely to die from it. I mean, you do know that, right?

Sp why the urgency to re-open the schools? What circumstance justifies this callous indifference to the health and safety of children and adults?

The closest thing to an explanation from the governor that I could find was this:

“We gotta move on,” he said. “We can’t just let this thing stop us in our tracks.”

Which, you know, yes we can. We can shut everything down for a while until it is actually safe to re-open. We actually do not need to plow ahead as if nothing were wrong to prove how tough we are or whatever it is you think you're proving. These are children! You're willing to sacrifice children, teachers and parents on the altar of, what exactly? American exceptionalism? Toxic masculinity? Your deep-seated fear of ever appearing weak?

This pandemic will never end in the U.S. Because evrything that defines us as a nation at this point in history just enables the spread of this virus. Americans' distrust of science, and of expertise in general, ensured that a large swath of the population would never take the threat seriously. The right-wing libertarianism so prevalent these days (libertarianism for me, police state for thee) made it inevitable that a not-insignificant portion of the population would refuse to endure the mild inconvenience of wearing a mask to avoid infecting other people because FREEDOMMMMM!!!! Our propensity to twist every event into some grand conspiracy theory made it inevitable that others would refuse to wear masks because they some sort of mind-control device, or a test to see how compliant citizens would be with governement orders restricting their liberties or something to do with 5-G and pizzagate, I don't even know, but the list goes on.

Oh shit! I just heard that Micheal Brooks passed away! I have to go now.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

This man gets paid to write things.

Brett Stephens is a professional opinion-haver. He gets paid to have opinions and he gets paid to type up those opinions for publication. And he is paid really well for typing up his opinions. And his opinions are published in the number one newspaper in America and syndicated all over the country. This would be the equivalent of me getting paid to play basketball in the NBA. And everyone in the NBA and the TV announcers and the fans all agreeing to pretend that I am a very very good basketball player (which I am NOT).

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Anyway, this is Brett Stephens' expert professional opinion about. . . somehting.

Reading Orwell for the Fourth of July

Ah, yes. Orwell. Every dumb guy who wants to have an opinion on politics defaults to having read Orwell and pretending to have understood the message.

As we celebrate freedom, speaking freely is in danger.

Mmmmm, yeah. . .no. No it isn't.

I can already pretty much guess where this is going. "People criticizing me on-line is a level of censorship and oppression not seen since the heyday of the Soviet Union," right?

This Fourth of July, it’s worth taking stock of the state of freedom — and of our attitudes toward it — at home and around the world.
In Russia, Vladimir Putin just won a “plebiscite” ratifying his right to stay in power until the year 2036. In Hong Kong, a new security law came into effect effectively putting an end to the right of peaceful protest. In Poland, a runoff election will decide if the country continues its slide toward illiberalism.

Okay. No argument here.but what has this to do with America and how is it the Democrats' fault?

In the United States, these stories barely make a dent on public consciousness. Conservatives and liberals alike have ceased to care very much about the denial of freedom to others.

What? When the Hell did conservatives ever care about other people's freedom? Other than as something they could use as a pretext to invade or bomb a foreign country or sponsor a coup?

We also have our own problems with freedom.
For once, the main problem isn’t Donald Trump. 

Well, you may have a point. At the moment, the main threat to freedom seems to be coming from local police departments.

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For once, the main problem isn’t Donald Trump. The president may be an instinctual fascist, a wannabe autocrat. But, after nearly four years in power, he’s been unmasked as an incompetent one.

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Okay, first of all, "unmasked?" Was there anyone other than the MAGA cult who didn't already know Trump was incompetent long before he took office? It took you almost four years to realize that "oh, maybe the guy who ran every business he's ever had into the ground, who can barely string a sentence together and makes everything about himself and his petty grievances doesn't actually know what the fuck he's doing?"

Secondly, you think that makes it okay? You think the fact that the fascist occupying the Oval Office is not very good at being a fascist = nothing to worry about here?

The more serious problem today comes from the left

Cenk Uygur on Twitter: "Of course!!!… "

Of course it does. Of course. I was wondering what was taking you so long to get there.

The more serious problem today comes from the left: from liberal elites who, when tested, lack the courage of their liberal convictions; from so-called progressives whose core convictions were never liberal to begin with; from administrative types at nonprofits and corporations who, with only vague convictions of their own, don’t want to be on the wrong side of a P.R. headache.

Stop, you're going to give me nightmares! Liberals who lack the courage of their convictions? So much scarier than Proud Boys, gun freaks and Boogaloo Bois!

This has been the great cultural story of the last few years. It is typified by incidents such as The New Yorker’s David Remnick thinking it would be a good idea to interview Steve Bannon for the magazine’s annual festival — until a Twitter mob and some members of his own staff decided otherwise.

Okay, honestly, I've read this paragraph about a half-dozen times now and I'm still not sure whether you're saying the problem was that the New Yorker decided to interview a white supremacist fascist or that people on Twitter and some New Yorker staff objected to publishing an interview with a white nationalist.

 Or by The Washington Post devoting 3,000 words to destroying the life of a private person of no particular note because in 2018 she wore blackface, with ironic intent, at a Halloween party. 

Okay, I read the article you linked to and I see that the lady got fired, but the Post article is only reporting that she got fired. They didn't get her fired. She had already been fired long before the article was written. So I'm not sure how you can say that the Washington Post "devot[ed] 3,000 words to ruining [her] life." I mean, it's not like you're some kind of disingenuous shitweasel, are you?

Or by big corporations pulling ads from Facebook while demanding the company do more to censor forms of speech they deem impermissible.

So. . . companies decide that they don't want to advertise on a platform that allows hate speech, and that's a problem because. . . ?

These stories matter because an idea is at risk. That’s the idea that people who cannot speak freely will not be able to think clearly, and that no society can long flourish when contrarians are treated as heretics.

Yeah, but by "contrarians," you mean "Nazis." You mean "prople who spread dangerous medical misinformation." You mean "incels."  The "idea" that you claim is at risk is racism.

If someone says "I think the Senate's proposed bill is a bad idea and someone else says "No, I think it's good," then yes. Both points opf view deserve a hearing. But when one person is saying "Black Lives Matter," and the other is saying "No they don't," there is no legitimate reason to hear out the "contrarion." He's just a racist piece of shit.

That idea, old as Socrates, formerly had powerful institutional defenders, especially in the form of universities, news media, book publishers, free-speech groups and major philanthropies.But those defenders are, on account of one excuse or another, capitulating to people who claim free speech for themselves (but not for others)

Oh my God.

Facepalm GIFs | Tenor

Do we really have to go over this again?
Freedom of speech means that the government can not prevent you from speaking or punish you for your speech. It does not mean that no matter what you say people aren't allowed to criticize you, to call you out, to condemn you. And it doesn't mean that your employer can't decide that you've become an embarassment to the organization and fire you.

. . .  and who demand cringing public apologies from those who have sinned against an ever-more radical ideological standard (while those apologies won’t save them from being fired).

This would be the radical ideological standard of . . . don't say racist, misogynistic or homophobic shit in public and expect to not get any pushback? That honestly doesn't sound that difficult. I'm 53 years old and I'm pretty sure I haven't done that. And I'm just some normal average guy.

As in so much else, George Orwell was here before us. . . 
“What is sinister,” he wrote, “is that the conscious enemies of liberty are those to whom liberty ought to mean most.” He was particularly calling out Western scientists who admired the Soviet Union for its technical prowess and were utterly indifferent to Stalin’s persecution of writers and artists. “They do not see that any attack on intellectual liberty, and on the concept of objective truth, threatens in the long run every department of thought.”

Yeah, that's certainly analagous to the current situation. The Soviets were an authoritarian dictatorship who had the power to restrict writing and speech and brutally punish anyone who violated their strictures. Being sent to the gulag for voicing an opinion is really, when you think about it, the equivalent of being told on Twitter that you've been "cancelled."

So to sum up, Trump - who recently demanded that protestors be given long prison terms, who has encouraged groups of heavily-armed thugs and whire supremacisits and who has threatened to unleash the military on American cities if governors do not heed his calls to utilize the National Guard, is not the problem.

Police who beat, knock down, pepper spray and tear-gas people exercising their First Amendment rights are not the problem.

Gangs of conspiracxy-theory-addled rage-fueled agreived white racists with sub-machine guns are not the problem.

The problem is that sometimes when someone gets racist on Twitter, people get angry and then sometimes that person gets fired. That's the problem. If you can type up some version of this opinion twice a week for the foreseeable future, you too can be a professional opinion-haver and writer. Apparently, that's all there us to it.