QotD: “Passionate, experienced informed commentators no-platformed and muzzled, just for having a different point of view, widening the scope for debate and other such major thought crimes”

27 Nov

Anti-Porn Feminists

Pupils at the Simon Langton grammar school for boys in Canterbury have written an open letter, complaining about the decision to ban former pupil, Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos, from giving a talk at the school, owing to his “reputational issues”.

Yiannopoulos, who was banned after pressure from the Department for Education, clearly fancies himself to be quite the shock-jock, with his racist and sexist views (“America has a Muslim problem”; feminism is “like cancer”). Proper little charmer, isn’t he? However, the Canterbury pupils say they don’t need to be protected from “indoctrination” and have been denied the right to “interrogate rhetoric”. They said that silencing Yiannopoulos vindicated him, “reinforcing his accusation that our society is against free speech”. Bravo. Give those pupils a merit mark.

What a lesson for all those organisations and groups that have banned speakers (Germaine Greer and Peter Tatchell included), sometimes on the most spurious grounds, in…

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A Failing of Fish

20 Nov

I took my dog to the acequia madre today. The irrigation district burns or poisons the vegetation away, and they stopped irrigating some weeks back. There is little to look at other than a moonscape of rocks, sand, broken concrete, the occasional clot of garbage, and puddles of doomed fish.

I don’t know whether the fish always die every time they stop irrigating or whether they just live in the canal all season until the end of the season. It probably depends on what the year’s water allocation is and thus how frequently the canal is filled. It takes awhile for the standing water to all evaporate or seep away into the ground.

I’ve seen this before, and the ultimate aftermath of piles of rotting carcasses. I never see anyone eating the fish, dead or alive. Surely some hawk or raccoon must find this brutally created buffet of interest?

Maybe they do, and there just aren’t enough of them. The vultures have long gone south.

It’s hard to watch. Today the fish were flopping around in a puddle only deep enough to cover them halfway, desperately trying to keep themselves hydrated and aerated.

I almost never run across another human on foot by the acequia. They race by on their ATV’s, they drive by in their trucks, taking shortcuts or avoiding the streets for some reason, perhaps off to perform some irrigation-related task. And sometimes, if I’m fortunate, there are no vehicular humans at all for awhile.

I like the acequia during the summer, in the evenings or early mornings. There are birds, different ones than those I see in town. And sometimes they haven’t burned it yet.

In winter, it has its own still beauty as well. But this is the in-between time, the time of the slow, grim, pointless deaths. I’d forgotten about this. I hadn’t been there for awhile.

A Bright Red Pin

11 Nov

Pray for Calamity

Only two bolts hold the crankshaft-position-sensor in place. It is their distance from me that makes replacing the sensor a moderately frustrating task. The ratchet handle, cold in my left hand, has two six inch extensions on it, followed by an elbow joint, followed by a three inch extension, followed by the eleven millimeter socket. My right hand braces this ridiculous tinker-toy of a tool, or tries to at least, as I slowly loosen the bolts. The contraption feels only slightly more effective than attempting to loosen a bolt with a wet noodle. Through out the process, I have to constantly replace the socket as it slips off the hexagonal bolt head. More than once the extensions separate. At one point when they do, one of the heavy metal sections falls onto my face, smashing into my lip.

“Fuck.”

I don’t yell it. I just sort of say it.

The…

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“Neither Fish Nor Fowl”

3 Nov

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End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock

30 Oct

“From acclaimed documentary filmmaker Shannon Kring comes END OF THE LINE, the incredible story of a group of indigenous women willing to risk their lives to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline construction that desecrated their ancient burial and prayer sites and threatens their land, water, and very existence.

But there was another prophecy: the women, as the guardians of the waters and protectors of all life, would rise.

They are the brave survivors. Among them, the descendant of the female warrior who fought the US Cavalry alongside Sitting Bull. The great-grandmother who was fired upon at Wounded Knee in 1973. The lifelong activist who became a part of the system in order to defeat it.

They are the daughters and granddaughters of brave survivors. People who escaped genocide, only to be robbed of their lands and herded onto reservations. Children who were taken from their families and placed in non-Native boarding schools and foster homes where they suffered further abuse. Today, these women tell their own tragic stories. Stories ranging from forced sterilization to substandard medical care.

Yet somehow the spirit of these women has not been broken. The women of Standing Rock vow to protect Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. It is their responsibility to the ancestors and to the seven generations to come. This is their last stand.

End of the Line is being crowdfunded on Indiegogo. Show your support here.”

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/end-of-the-line-the-women-of-standing-rock-environment#/

Deep Green Resistance News Service

Source: End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock

Love Letter with Warning Label

28 Oct

Easilyriled's Blog

I’m teaching this semester.  three 3-credit courses, each with between 29 and 35 students or so. It’s the same course, so that’s a blessing. And I’ve taught it several times before. It’s called Educational Studies 401: Education, Schools and Social Institutions, and it’s one of many required courses for pre-service teacher candidates here at my university. I LOVE it. Well, the students, I love them. And mostly I like what we get to teach. A bit of theory, a bit of policy criticism, a bit of history, some sociology, a heap o’ feminism (in my case), and — increasingly — gender-critical feminist pedagogy. I don’t know if that’s really a thing, “gender-critical feminist pedagogy”, but it should be. Every damn year there has been more and more promotion of ‘trans-inclusion’, ‘support for trans and gender-variant kids’, ‘celebrating diversity’ and ‘queering the curriculum/language/inquiry/etc’.

One of the assignments for this course is…

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To Have Fun With Anyone

25 Oct

Best advice I’ve read all week.

Poor Impulse Control

Here in the Northeast, a chill is in the air. I’m relieved to say so, since it’s late October and last week it was inexplicably over 80 degrees for a few days. You know what autumn for realz means: leaves will fall and you will eat soup. This is not a recipe, but it plays one on TV.

First: go to a farm, a farmstand or a farmers market. Talk to a farmer! Farmers are so interesting! Pick out your favorite soup vegetables, even better if they’re organic. Which vegetables? Well, ask yourself this tricky question: Hey, you, what things are delicious? Then buy those. The farmer wins!

Prepare your vegetables for roasting. You may peel things. Here, I peeled a butternut squash and a passel of apples. I chopped up the peels and fed them to the chickens. The chickens win! I quartered onions and saved the tops and…

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Reviewing the research on transgendering our youth …

25 Oct

Detransitioning from Transgenderism

Here is the full text of the article.  I have highlighted some salient points, such as the comment about the prevalence of mental health issues among gender dysphoric youth and that it has not been evaluated how these are related (ie does gender dysphoria arise out of other mental health issues?) and that the prevalence of gender dysphoria varies across different countries, which I believe suggests that it is culturally-influenced, and thus more an expression of anxiety than of an underlying innate problematic gender.  Of alarming note is that the incidence of gender dysphoria is rising among young women:  we are at risk of losing our women!

Gender dysphoria in children and adolescents: a review of recent research 

Johannes Fussa , Matthias K. Auerb , and Peer Brikena

Institute for Sex Research and Forensic Psychiatry, Center for Psychosocial Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg and b Neuroendocrinology, Max Planck Institute…

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“Better Together”

22 Oct

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What is GYNX?

22 Oct Featured Image -- 3436

:-)

Alicen Grey

GYNX is a darkly comedic stage play

by award-winning writer Alicen Grey.


SYNOPSIS:

A homeless teen lesbian, a prostituted girl, an underground abortionist and a former child porn victim are recruited into a rapist castration plot by a mysterious woman named Gynx. Men go into hiding, women take over the streets, and their operation makes global headlines. But when Gynx takes things too far, the group is forced to question whether they are truly on the side of justice.

REASONS TO SUPPORT GYNX:

GYNX is written by a young woman of color (hi!), the five main characters are female, the script explicitly calls for ethnically diverse actors, and the main character is a lesbian. Women, people of color, and lesbians are all demographics that are barely (and unfairly) represented in theater. With this play, I hope to give opportunities to actors from marginalized communities.

GYNX educates the audience about feminist…

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