Sunday: Hili dialogue

November 20, 2022 • 6:45 am

Good morning (or “grüß Gott,” as the Austrians say) on this Sunday, November 20, 2022: National Peanut Butter Fudge Day (if you can’t have chocolate, I prefer maple fudge to peanut butter fudge):

The World Cup has begun in Qatar (Warning: NO BEER!) and today’s Google Doodle is a GIF that links to the latest games (click to see):

It’s also Mother Goose Parade Day (held yearly in El Cajon, San Diego County, California on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, National Absurdity Day, World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, and Transgender Day of Remembrance

Here’s the highlight float of the 1984 parade:

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this day by consulting the November 20 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Joe Biden turns 80 today. Hoist a flagon in his honor: he saved us from another four years of Trump. And although he’ll be 82 if he runs again, he may get to save us again.

To his doubters, he says: “Watch me.”

Biden has been diagnosed with several very common age-related health conditions, none causing him serious problems.

In his November 2021 summary of Biden’s health after the president’s first full physical in office, Dr. Kevin O’Connor noted Biden’s gait had become somewhat stiffer, something doctors watch for in older patients as it could signal a fall risk.

But after testing, the doctor concluded it’s mostly due to ongoing “wear and tear” arthritis of the spine, as well as compensation for a broken foot sustained a year earlier and the development of “mild peripheral neuropathy” or subtle damage to some sensory nerves in the feet.

. . .In Cockeysville, Maryland, outside Baltimore, Nelson Hyman, 85, and his wife, Roz Hyman, 77, credit Biden with getting big things right and especially with appointing a strong team. To these Democrats, that adds up to an effective presidency that taps the value of age in a society that often doesn’t.

“I’ve always felt the president is as good as the people that he appoints, and I think he’s appointed some very, very good people, very competent people, and he uses them,” said Roz, a retired counselor in a psychiatric hospital.

“Now, are you going to ask me, is he going to be competent in two years? Who knows? I don’t know.”

And remember that Nancy Pelosi is 82, and runs around the Capitol like a hamster in a wheel, and in high heels, too.

*The World Cup is about to begin in Qatar, but it’s been plagued by troubles: heat in the 100ºF range outside, officials caught taking bribes to bring the contest to that country, the employment of thousands of ill-treated foreign laborers, and on top of all that, a ban on selling beer. Not to mention that why are they having it in a country where homosexuality is a crime? It’s a debacle.

The cherry on top of this merde sundae is a new and unhinged rant by the head of FIFA:

In a bizarre news conference the day before the World Cup is set to begin in Qatar, FIFA President Gianni Infantino dismissed concerns about Qatar’s human rights record, compared himself to marginalized people and took aim at critics of the country’s hosting of the tournament.

Responding to scrutiny of the treatment of migrants who are working on the World Cup and of LGBTQ people and women in Qatar, Infantino, who is Italian and Swiss, said he knew what it meant to be discriminated against because he was bullied at school as a child for having red hair and freckles.

“Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker,” Infantino told journalists in Doha, Qatar.

In wide-ranging remarks, he appeared to cast questions about the treatment of migrant workers and discrimination against LGBTQ people as attempts to sow division in the world and to portray people concerned about those alleged human rights violations as wanting “to spit on others.”

. . . Since FIFA awarded the tournament to Qatar in 2010, criticism and protests from human rights advocates, players, workers, and others have been steady. The sheikhdom has a large number of migrant workers, criminalizes homosexuality and restricts the rights of women.

Human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have estimated that the death toll of migrant workers building World Cup facilities is in the thousands, a number Qatar has disputed. Many of the workers are from South Asian and African countries. Meanwhile, fears about the safety of LGBTQ fans attending the tournament have mounted.

Seriously, FIFA is corrupt, disorganized, and should be disbanded.

*Until the NHS decided to close its London Tavistock Clinic for treating transgender children, it, and the NHS elsewhere, practiced “affirmative therapy”, which you’ll know involves a rush to judgement, puberty blockers, and on to hormones and surgery. Well, that ended with the Cass review. Still, children who have gender dysphoria need help. And what they get is going to change, according to an article in The Economist, “Britain changes tack in treatment of trans-identifying children.” (h/t Wayne).

Next spring the NHS will close its specialist youth gender-identity clinic in England, the Gender and Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the Tavistock Foundation Trust in London. It will be replaced by eight regional centres in which gender services will be integrated with other mental-health services. That is partly because GIDS had long waiting lists. But it also reflects concerns that in the hurry to affirm gender identity, other conditions were ignored. Children with gender dysphoria often experience comorbidities, including autism, depression and eating disorders.

. . . Dr Cass’s report seems to have prompted the NHS to rethink its wider approach to gender ideology— which holds that gender identity is as important as biological sex. The affirmation model is predicated on the idea that being trans, like being gay, is innate. Yet in draft guidelines published in October the NHS cautioned that in children “gender incongruence…may be a transient phase”. This suggests that prescribing blockers to some children may have harmed them. The vast majority who take blockers proceed to cross-sex hormones; this combination can lead to sterility and an inability to reach orgasm. It is unclear when the guidelines, which could be altered, will come into effect.

This, of course, was precisely Abigail Shrier’s point in her book Irreversible Damage, attacked by trans activists everywhere and most strongly by ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio.  But prudence dictates a thoughtful “objective” therapy—not to prevent transitioning,  but to see if it, rather than letting children work out their own fate with counseling, no medical treatment should be given.

. . . and a few more changes:

Beyond the NHS, too, things are changing. This month a group of education organisations published guidance on “provision for transgender pupils”. Apparently aimed in part at protecting schools from lawsuits, it warns that making all toilets open to both biological sexes can raise safeguarding concerns and that requiring a pupil to sleep or undress “in the presence of members of the other sex” could break equality law. Its straightforward, scientific language stands in contrast to literature and training produced for schools by Mermaids, an activist charity which is also coming under increasing fire.

. . The way politicians speak about gender ideology is also beginning to change. Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, has long tried to sidestep a furious row between trans activists and “gender-critical” feminists within his party. But in October he said that “children should not be making these very important decisions without the consent of their parents”. Trans-rights activists were livid.

Now if only the U.S. could slow down and follow the models of the UK, Netherlands, Sweden and Finland, who are using blockers only in clinical trials, as there is very little data on their long-term effects (sterility is a side effect of the transitioning process when hormones are added. The worries that remain are that blockers and hormones are still available to young people online, some doctors may continue to practice affirmative therapy, and that people in their teens may also be rushed into hormone therapy. As the article quotes, “A significant number of those who identify as trans are unhappily gay.”

*The Wall Street Journal, which broke the details on the Theranos scam that brought the company and its two heads (Sunny Balwani and Elizabeth Holmes) down, adds a few details to the 11+ year sentence that Holmes received yesterday. First, although a huge fine was recommended, it wasn’t yet levied: there will be another hearing for the fine.  Here are a few other tidbits.

Judge Davila ordered Ms. Holmes to serve 135 months, or 11.25 years, and to surrender on April 27, 2023. The sentence length falls in the midrange of those received by the dozen white-collar criminals with similar offenses cited by the government in its sentencing memorandum.

. . . Judge Davila, who also sentenced Ms. Holmes to a three-year supervised release, said he would schedule a hearing to discuss restitution.

He expressed some admiration for Ms. Holmes, saying her motivation with Theranos wasn’t to gain personal wealth and praising her grit to break into a male-dominated industry. “The tragedy of this case is Ms. Holmes is brilliant,” Judge Davila said.

No, the tragedy is that Holmes is smart but also a grifter. Finally,

A probation officer who submitted an independent report, which helps guide the judge’s sentencing decision, recommended that Ms. Holmes receive a 9-year prison sentence.

U.S. Sentencing Commission data show the median prison term for offenders with economic crimes similar to Ms. Holmes’s was 16 years, according to an analysis by consultant Empirical Justice LLC. The review, which covered 102 first-time offenders, excluded defendants who cooperated with authorities or entered guilty pleas, which often results in lighter sentences. Ms. Holmes didn’t cooperate.

She should consider herself lucky that she didn’t get another four or five years slapped on. I suppose people who are well behaved in a minimum-security federal prison will get a considerable part of their sentence shaved off for good behavior.

. . .Alex Shultz, the father of former Theranos employee whistleblower Tyler Shultz, was the only victim to address the court ahead of Ms. Holmes’s sentencing. Mr. Shultz discussed her vengeance against his son, who was also a source for the Journal’s stories. Ms. Holmes had hired a private investigator to follow his family.

“My son slept with a knife under his pillow every night thinking that someone was going to come and murder him in the night,” Mr. Shultz told the court. “We are happy that this is finally coming to an end.”

Ms. Holmes was crying at the conclusion of Mr. Shultz’s comments.

Grifter’s crocodile tears. . .

*Andrej (not my Polish friend) sent a link from the Spectator to an article called “Cambridge University is blind to reality in the gender debate.” Again, it describes the authoritarian Left prohibiting or chilling speech. Just a snippet:

Newnham College, Cambridge, was once a bastion of feminist activism. No longer. This summer my curiosity was drawn to two women whispering to one another in the college cafe. They were, as it happened, a senior fellow and doctoral student; leaning over their table, they spoke furtively for fear that someone might overhear their conversation about gender politics. At Cambridge, professors and students alike are afraid to speak critically, or at all, on the subject of gender.

Believing that biological sex is binary and unchangeable – and that gender is culturally constructed – may not seem controversial. Yet gender-critical feminists who hold such mainstream views are often slapped with a derogatory label: Terf, or trans-exclusionary radical feminist. Their beliefs, let’s remember, are far from radical: they think that conflating gender with sex leads to violations of the rights of women, children and gay and lesbian people.

Women, faced with censorship and discrimination, have had to fight for the right to assert this basic truth. Last year, finally, a judge-led panel ruled that gender-critical views are a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act and should be considered ‘worthy of respect in a democratic society’. Yet still, Cambridge University does not do enough to protect those with gender-critical views.

Cambridge Students’ Union recently published a guide titled ‘How to spot Terf ideology’. It suggests that sex is neither natural nor binary, but rather a social construct and a ‘colonial fiction created to oppress trans people’. The guide goes on to claim, falsely, that ‘Terfs spend a lot of time working with the far-right.’  The Union’s Women’s Officer proudly announces in her manifesto that ‘Terfs aren’t welcome here.’

The last paragraph is complete bunkum—”sex is neither natural nor binary, but a social construct and a ‘colonial fiction’ created to oppress trans people. You have to drink plenty of Kool-Aid before you’d buy that. But they do, and the article goes on to describe the downfall of free speech—at least about sex and gender—at Cambridge.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is busy supervising the yard again, while Kulka watches:

Hili: There is another leaf to rake.
Kulka: You are too pedantic.
(Photo: Paulina)
In Polish:
Hili: Jeszcze jeden liść do zgrabienia.
Kulka: Jesteś zbyt pedantyczna.
(Zdjęcie: Paulina)

******************************

From Merilee, an appropriate sign:

From Stash Krod, who love’s B. Kliban’s often bizarre cartoons:

I’ve seen this at various places on Facebook. Guess the principals!

The Tweet of God. Can it really be that Twitter is going to fold?

The Iranian regime killed another young person:

From Malcolm, more signs of revolt in Iran:

A tweet from Luana; you can read the original story here.

Two tweets from Barry. First a kitten attacks a d*g; good thing the d*g is good-natured:

And an attack ON a cat. Is that a sugar glider? Ride ’em, cowboy! (I think I’ve posted this one before.)

From the Auschwitz Memorial: a guy who looks like he was badly beaten before he was killed—6 days after arrival at Auschwitz.

Tweets from the eminent Professor Cobb. First, a dystopian Britain.

A famous French general during WWII had ducks on his coat of arms!

 

And a gorgeous mosaic floor revealed:

34 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. The Nazis were obviously convinced of the Divine Righteousness of their cause as we can see from their methodical record-keeping and prisoner photographs. I follow the Auschwitz Memorial tweets, and every day I am reminded of someone whose life was taken for the cause of eliminating the Jews. It still baffles me, this continued hatred of an entire people, even down to today. What does it take for someone to have such hatred, how is their worldview so distorted? I get the “othering” of nationalism, but this goes back at least before the Romans conquered Israel.

    The most heartbreaking of photos that they post are of the children who cannot possible understand what is happening to them, their families, and all those Jews they are imprisoned with. And certainly they have little understanding that they will soon be poisoned and their lifeless bodies dumped into piles while gold teeth are extracted.

    The photo you are sharing today, of the man who was beaten, illustrates the lack of shame that the Nazis had for their Final Solution. They took good records of their crimes, but it serves to illustrate that the greatest evils are undertaken by those convinced of the righteousness of their cause. The Nazis didn’t think they were the baddies, they believed they were saving Europe.

    I was going to use this post as a counterpoint to the way that trans activists liken gender skeptics to Hitler, but I find that even referring to the minimization of the Shoah feels to me like it dishonors those murdered millions of Jews.

    1. The most disgusting aspect I find is how other countries conspired with them to kill off the Jews. For example, France under the Vichy regime used government resources to find Jews (and, with things like the census, identify Jews by tricking them into revealing themselves), used their own police and military to round them up (so they were completely complicit, using their own citizens), and sent them straight to Auschwitz to be gassed. They worked hand-in-hand with the Germans to find and kill as many Jews as possible

      If you’re interested in this, read about the “Vel D’Hiv.” This was the largest rounding up of Jews in France, where they dragged over 13,000 of them from their homes using French police, housed them in the Velodrome D’Hivre (an arena constructed for a previous Winter Olymptics), and then put them all on a train to Auschwitz. Of the Jews captured in those two days, fewer then ten survived.

      Of course, we should also remember that every single Western nation rejected Jewish refugees who were trying to escape the Holocaust, as well as rejecting them before the Holocaust began. Before they built the death camps, Hitler’s government tried to ship the Jews to other countries, and every single country said “no” to taking in even a single Jew. And once the Holocaust started, they continued to say “no.” Nobody cared, and nobody did anything about it, except for some of the brave soldiers on the ground who saw what was happening firsthand and were happy to help defeat such evil. But the governments around the world? They didn’t care one bit.

      1. The Vichy government was not accepted as legitimate by most French. Pétain and Laval were -and still are- considered traitors.
        Not all countries denied jewish refugees entry. My uncle organised -with a Belgian baron- a ‘railroad’ for Dutch Jews to get to Spain (despite him having been a staunch opponent of Franco).
        Of course he was caught and executed in 1941.

        1. “The Vichy government was not accepted as legitimate by most French.”

          Just out of curiosity, have you ever watched The Sorrow and the Pity?

          Anyway, nobody has ever been able to suss out what “most” means, but regardless, the fact is that French citizens of the Gendarmerie and other law enforcement and military arms of the French government carried out these round-ups, not Germans; in fact, the Germans were expressly forbidden by their agreement with the Vichy regime from participating, so it was all done by French citizens. Neighbors turned in their neighbors. Everyday French citizens turned in thousands of Jews to be sent to their deaths.

          I knew a person who was a hidden child from France and the only surviving member of his family. Why? Because someone on his street turned his family in, but his family had the foresight to hide him, having already seen what happened with the phony “census” (the first large-scale rounding up of Jews before the Vel D’Hiv). The family that took him in said they could only take one person, and he was their youngest child. His parents and older brother (his only sibling) all died in Auschwitz. He was an emotionally abusive alcoholic his entire life, and I think it’s because he never got over the survivor’s guilt. Imagine being chosen by your parents to be the only person who lives. I can’t imagine the mental toll that must take on someone…

    2. Further to methodical record-keeping, I highly recommend Edwin Black’s IBM and the Holocaust. Try to find a later edition since he added some material in an appendix at least once. It baffles me that i don’t see this book mentioned. I think I read somewhere that part of that may be due to its release date of 9/11/01, but that seems a stretch.

  2. If the book Bad Blood is correct, David Boies was the legal attack dog for Theranos. He is the one who threatened to destroy people if they told the truth about what Theranos was doing.

    In my view he is no better than a mafia consigliere and also belongs in prison.

    1. I would be surprised to learn that Boies did something illegal. I believe that he was taken in by Holmes as well. It has been reported that he was paid by Theranos in Theranos stock which became worthless once the fraud was revealed.
      The illusions about who Holmes was are still existing in some corners. What to make of Judge Davila’s comment that Holmes was brilliant?
      I agree with Jerry that this is false. Holmes had a vision of becoming rich, famous and widely admired (like Steve Jobs). She wanted to restore the greatness of her family (read Carreyrou’s book Bad Blood to learn about her family background). She had no passion for science and consequently her understanding of science was entirely superficial. In this documentary,
      Valley of Hype: The culture that built Elizabeth Holmes. Yahoo ! Finance, July 2021, 75 mins
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=to2GSibbrv0
      at 19:00 Holmes is asked “What was fundraising like?” Her answer: “Finding the right people to invest in you, I think, is everything.” Wrong! Money is not everything. Without it you have no company, with it you are not guaranteed success.
      Holmes talks here the way she was described by Stanford professor Phyllis Gardner in an article by John Carreyrou (Wall Street Journal, Oct 15, 2015): “a young kid with only rudimentary engineering training and no medical training”.
      The basic absurdity at the heart of the Theranos story was always the idea that “a young kid with only rudimentary engineering training and no medical training” would lead a company making revolutionary breakthroughs in blood testing. To believe this, you have to be very ignorant about biomedical science. You have to be oblivious of the simple fact that science is hard.

        1. The key question is whether Boies knew that Theranos did not have the technology Holmes claimed it had. Boies was a rich and respected lawyer. Why would he legally expose himself and threaten his reputation just to get a bit richer? To assume that he was in on the fraud makes no sense. Just remember how many people let themselves be fooled by Holmes (many journalists, people like George Shultz, the board of Harvard Medical School, etc.) … Boies was just one of those many people. There is no evidence that he was aware of the fraudulent nature of Theranos. If Boies had done anything illegal the Wall Street Journal and other parties could go after him. I’m not saying that being at the receiving end of Boies’ threatening letters, personal surveillance he instigated, etc., is a pleasure. The question is whether any of this was illegal.
          The 5 hour meeting at the office of the Wall Street Journal was just so much bluster by Boies and Co. Boies’ main point that any journalistic investigation of Theranos was an infringement of that company’s trade secrets was risible.

        2. Since you talk about enabling fraud: Boies entered the scene late. You know who enabled the fraud? Those who handed over their money to Holmes without engaging in due diligence. They set themselves up as victims. The smart venture capital money (knowledgeable about the biomedical field) stayed away from Holmes because her story never made any sense (though Holmes did pitch them to invest in her company).

          1. My empathy goes to the emotionally damaged teen agers who were raped and damaged for life with the help of Ghislaine Maxwell. For rich investors looking to accumulate more wealth, let me remind them that they are capitalists and there are no guarantees of profits. As Bertold Brecht said: “Is it worse to rob a bank or to found one?”. Holmes didnt destroy human lives. She just did what countless other people do all the time: deceive them with the promise of more wealth. History is full of examples and tales of this. (For a wonderful look at how a victim took revenge on a grifter, watch the Argentinian film “Nine Queens”…the original, not the remake. Great fun.

  3. “…the employment of thousands of ill-treated foreign laborers…”

    The way Qatar built the facilities for the World Cup, as well as just about all of their large construction projects, is much more akin to slave labor. The workers come to the country for jobs, have their passports taken from them and locked up, and are exposed to extremely dangerous and highly illegal working conditions. If I remember correctly, 50 workers died in the first two months when they began building the World Cup stadium. They treat them like slaves because they can’t leave, as they have no passports and will be arrested if they try to go anywhere else. So the workers have no choice but to bear the horrifying conditions with which they’re burdened.

    While this is essentially slave labor, there are other places in the world where slavery in the strictest definition of the term still exists. All of these places are way outside the West. Slavery has been a constant throughout the history of human civilization, until the West decided it needed to end. For all the talk of the West being “colonial oppressors/slavers/etc.,” it was the West that developed the philosophy that eventually led to abolition throughout its own part of the world. The only places where it has continued allow it because they don’t hold the same values regarding freedom, individualism, and bodily autonomy. This is one of the many great ironies of “progressive/critical” theory, and of course the people who espouse such philosophies never mention these things, just as they never mention how Palestine treats women or minorities or gay people, or how large swathes of Africa treat child soldiers and minorities, or how theocracies like Iran treat…well, I could do this for hours, couldn’t I?

    1. Heartfelt thanks for homing in on the ongoing crimes of slavery. India: at least 30 million slaves, largest number in the world. Haiti: largest per capita number of slaves.
      Mauritania: slavery illegal but still exists, no enforcement. Slavery originated and was controlled by Arabs and the elites of northern African tribes; is anyone holding THEM accountable? Global estimate of slaves today is at least 30 million, half of which are in India. Slaves were treated deplorably. here and elsewhere, ..but unlike the Holocaust slaughter of Jews they were not killed. They were needed for work!

      1. And those estimates are just the people who are truly considered by society and their “owners” to be slaves. They don’t count the tens of millions more who are in situations like the one I described in Qatar, which is slavery in all but name. They can call them “employees” all they want, but they have meticulously created the conditions for these people to be stuck, with no choice but to work for their “employers,” no matter how bad the working and boarding conditions. It is a system made for the sole purpose of creating a slave labor force without needing to call them slaves, and being able to get away with it because the “employers” give the slaves a meager salary (if the slaves don’t die while doing the work). The world turns its collective head and pretends not to notice.

      1. As I recall having seen quoted, Trump has an agreement with Trump Social that obliges him to post first there, and not post elsewhere for 6 hours.
        Besides, if he posted on Twit and not on Trump Social, who would subscribe to Trump Social? Enough Trump activities have folded that he probably doesn’t need yet another, and one so tied to his activities personally (as opposed to purely business activities, like hotels).

  4. And remember that Nancy Pelosi is 82, and runs around the Capitol like a hamster in a wheel, and in high heels, too.

    In tandem with Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer — like Fred and Ginger — who’s a mere pup at age 71.

    Christ, there are a lot of oldsters at the top of our federal government. Vermont senator Patrick Leahy, the president pro tempore of the senate (third in the line of succession for the presidency) is retiring in January at age 82. But that fossilized corncob from Iowa, Chuck Grassley, was just reelected to his eighth six-year term in the senate at age 89.

    1. I really think there should be an upper age-limit for Presidents (which would also be one for Vice-Presidents since they would have to be capable of being President). Not sure where it should be, but somewhere in the low 70s. I think Biden is too old and Trump, as well.

    2. Your comment got me thinking – has congress always had a lot of geezers or is this congress an outlier.

      I was surprised to see that since the early oughts the average age of congress critters has risen to it’s current 59.4 years, the oldest ever.

      The fossilization of the Senate is even more pronounced than congress as a whole with the fraction of that house older than 60 more than doubling since 2000 to 40% today.

      It is past time to hand over the reins. FSM knows we oldersters really blew it.

    3. Sadly, I think the oldsters are the only ones standing in the way of a full Progressive takeover of the Democratic Party.

  5. I want to follow up on yesterday’s cat post:

    For anyone who ever wants to adopt cats, I ask that you please consider adopting an adult cat. Kittens will almost always find homes, but adult cats usually don’t. Even worse, adult cats are usually there because they were brought back after families tired of them, no longer found them cute after they were kittens, or decided they couldn’t handle the responsibility any longer. Most of those adult cats went from a life of luxury in a home with lots of loving humans, to a life inside a tiny cage where they can barely stand, not knowing why they’re there or what they did to deserve it.

    Please consider adopting an adult cat! They need you and are usually already from a home, so they are almost always loving and grateful.

  6. “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker,” Infantino told journalists in Doha, Qatar.

    Sounds like today Infantino feels febrile. He needs to get out of that 100-degree F Qatari sunshine and sit in the shade for a spell till the fever breaks.

    1. Late night comic shows have a lot to unpack there. “…Today I feel a migrant worker.” (Okay, as long as it’s consensual.) Did he slip in “Ich bin ein Berliner” somewhere in the list? Maybe the song ” Feelings, (nothing more than feelings) ” could be superimposed on the background as the clip plays -or( I am) “Every Day People”.

  7. That Tweet about trans prisoners recidivating back to male after leaving prison, put me in mind of San Francisco’s new Guaranteed Minimum Income program for trans people. What’s to stop literally everyone from saying they are trans in order to get money? The standard heretofore has been mere assertion.

    1. The worrying thing about the Scottish prison story is that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is currently rushing through a Gender Recognition Reform Bill in the Scottish parliament that will facilitate male prisoners who say the magic words “I’m a woman” being incarcerated in women’s prisons. The latest case involves a 6′ 5” man who has just assaulted another man in a male prison and is being transferred to a women’s one instead. This after being guilty of sex offences against young girls and breaking the conditions of his registration on the sex offenders register by failing to inform the police of his address and moving into a women’s refuge: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/fc90146c-6813-11ed-bcd8-599592d95f22?shareToken=4aa8db330265c2db1083abbe9b53a6b5

      Nicola Sturgeon has previously claimed that things like this never happen – she wants the new law to be passed before the New Year.

  8. Now if only the U.S. could slow down and follow the models of the UK, Netherlands, Sweden and Finland, who are using blockers only in clinical trials, as there is very little data on their long-term effects (sterility is a side effect of the transitioning process when hormones are added.

    In Germany, the trans activists are just getting started.

    The traffic light coalition sees a need to catch up with the USA etc. and is planning far-reaching legal changes in favour of trans people. One would think that the government would be attentive to the negative developments in other countries and follow a more cautious course, taking into account (natural) scientific findings, but unfortunately this is not the case.

  9. First, although a huge fine was recommended, it wasn’t yet levied: there will be another hearing for the fine.

    I believe the issue on which Judge Davila reserved determination in Elizabeth Holmes’s case was restitution. The maximum fine under the wire fraud statute for which Holmes stands convicted is $1 million per count. The restitution amount has no cap and is commensurate with actual losses incurred by the victims. Fines are punitive; restitution, compensatory.

  10. I suppose people who are well behaved in a minimum-security federal prison will get a considerable part of their sentence shaved off for good behavior.

    Federal offenders — whether doing their time at Club Fed or a maximum-security penitentiary — earn 54 days a year off their sentences for good time (which means they do approximately 85%). They also spend the last six months of their sentences at a halfway facility. (Under The First Step Act passed in 2018, qualifying federal inmates can get to a halfway house a few months earlier through good behavior.)

  11. “[Biden] saved us from another four years of Trump.”

    Actually, I think it was Covid that saved us from another four years of Trump. But Biden deserves more credit than he gets, so I’m willing to let him have it. Happy birthday, Joe.

  12. Regarding potentially trans teenagers: In Oregon, at least, the standard of care involves a year of therapy before any drugs.

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