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February 24, 2015

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sk60

I was just about to send you that. :-D

David

I can’t decide if my favourite part is the dead air or the convenient fits of coughing. Mr Ferrari’s subsequent tone of voice is also rather special.

Tom

Regarding the advert, I may be reading it incorrectly but the apostrophe between 'of' and 'boys' seems to indicate that they believe their opponents to be afraid of children of the male sex. Perhaps they know something about Cameron, Milliband, Farrage, and Clegg of which the rest of us are currently unaware. I look forward to the breaking story.

svh

Be thankful she's not competent.

David

Be thankful she’s not competent.

Oh, absolutely. Her party’s image of utopia sounds very much like a totalitarian comedy sketch. What with Ms Bennett’s belief that, “The world is sodden with stuff” and that therefore it, or rather the people in it, “cannot have more stuff.” Or her predecessor’s repeated references to “realigning the [public’s] mind” until we conform to her collectivist fantasy, with a massively overbearing state and a “new economic order.” Which is to say, economic ruin.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

David - that poster...

I've just realised that Natalie Bennett and Caroline Lucas are two different people!

I don't know why I haven't noticed this before. Usually different names are a giveaway that you're dealing with distinct personages.

I think it might be because they're both schoolmarmish middle aged, middle class white women with Mum hair and a tendency to witter on sillily.

In my mind, which is a wild and tricky place not unlike the lair of the Goblin King in Labyrinth, they seamlessly merged into one big green organic fairtrade blob-person.

However, I am pleased to note that the Green Party has its finger on the pulse of batshit insane issues, like when this philosopher-Green inadvertently offended transsexuals and had to issue a series of grovelling Twitter apologies lest they throttle him with their great big hairy completely feminine hands:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/rupert-read-green-party-candidate-apologises-for-offending-transgender-people-9997956.html

The Green Party’s Dr Rupert Read has “unreservedly” apologised for a series of tweets in which he appeared to question the validity of trans people’s gender.

He had posted that the use of the word “cisgender” as the opposite of “transgender” troubled him.

[...]

“Imagine that some people regard themselves within themselves as disabled, as missing a limb,” he wrote, suggesting that people should not be “forced” to recognise transwomen as women. “Are disabled people obliged to regard those people as already part of the disabled community?” he continued. “I would suggest: obviously not.”

Dr Read faced fierce opposition from transgender activists and feminists on Twitter.

Sarah Brown, former Cambridge councilor and trans activist, told Cambridge News: “Rupert seems to be endorsing a fringe form of feminism that portrays transgender women as dangerous sex pests and predators.”
He has since expressed his regret on the social media platform:

@GreenRupertRead

This is to apologise to all offended by my tweets yesterday.Sorry!

To reiterate: I am _completely_ behind Green Party policy on trans issues

@GreenRupertRead

I'll stay off Twitter 4 a while. It's the worst possible medium 4 discussing these issues,& I don't want 2 cause [or suffer] further offence

@GreenRupertRead

I'll issue a fuller statement of clarification and apology later. But that's all for now. Signing off.

And this was a real head-scratcher:

@GreenRupertRead

It's not up to me(n) to decide who women are, or who are women.
It's up to _women_.
Cis women need to negotiate this with Trans women.

Ummm... LOL?

David

I followed the link and, bloody hell, it goes on forever. That’s some powerful grovelling. Did they have his children suspended over a fire?

David

By the way, it bears repeating that Ms Bennett was chosen by the Green Party to be its leader and mouthpiece, its Great Articulator. She’s the best they have, apparently. The last best hope of all humanity.

Sam Duncan

“Ummm... LOL?”

Ummm... I guess. I don't even know what they're arguing about.

Except “It's every man's right to have babies if he wants them.”

DH

Moreover, I do not and never have believed that being a trans woman manifests an 'opt-in’' idea of what it is to be a woman. I invented the phrase only to discuss a hypothetical philosophical position that I was arguing against.

Well, that clears that up then.

David Gillies

Half a million new homes? That's the thick end of a hundred billion quid*. Fifty billion if they're rabbit hutches. I've said it time and again: great mischief is caused by the inability of journos and lefties to grasp order-of-magnitude figures. This is leaving aside the question-begging nature of the idea that there is a housing shortage so dire that 500,000 new dwellings must be conjured up by government fiat.

* average new build cost of a house in the UK is around £180,000–190,000. About £130,000 of that is build and development with £50,000 going towards land costs. This is not counting any profit, which will push the market price over the 200K mark and the cost over 100 billion.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

David - it made me think of that Father Ted episode, where he inadvertently offended Craggy Island's Chinese community.

Sam Duncan - Well it's obvious, isn't it?

It's not up to me(n) to decide who women are, or who are women.

So if a big burly moustachioed person in a dress tell you he's a woman, it's not up to you as a man to disagree.

It's up to _women_.
Cis women need to negotiate this with Trans women.

There needs to be some sort of Yalta conference where women - women with lady parts, women with man parts, women with a potpourri of both parts - thrash this out.

They will then issue a communique to men, telling us who is and who isn't a woman. Or perhaps a Venn diagram of womanescence.

Remember - Doctor Rupert is a philosopher. He gets paid to think.

And that Monty Python scene? When that film came out, it was fiercely criticised by Christian clergymen for being blasphemous.

Now, it's criticised for being "transphobic":

http://disruptingdinnerparties.com/2014/08/13/let-stan-be-loretta-monty-python-gender/

DH - Dr. Rupert went to Oxford and Princeton. He's like one of those brain bugs from Starship Troopers. Clearly way beyond the intellectual capacity of us mortals.

JuliaM

Steve: 'It's not up to me(n) to decide who women are, or who are women.
It's up to _women_. '

I suspect the good doctor's being a wee bit ingenuous there - I'm a woman, and I rather suspect my decisions would be rejected out of hand.

dicentra

It may be amusing to watch one of these people twist in the wind when asked for simple accounting figures, but their more clever brethren aren't as easily stymied.

They come prepared with figures — abusurd figures pulled out their arses — but appealing enough to fool the masses nonetheless.

I'd be able to laugh at her if they were all like this but they're not: most are immensely gifted sociopaths who could charm the spots off a leopard and whose ability to manipulate both individuals and groups is responsible for all of the man-vs-man atrocities since time began.

That article from The Atlantic about "What ISIS Really Wants" contains the following:

Musa Cerantonio and the Salafis I met in London are unstumpable: no question I posed left them stuttering. They lectured me garrulously and, if one accepts their premises, convincingly. To call them un-Islamic appears, to me, to invite them into an argument that they would win. If they had been froth-spewing maniacs, I might be able to predict that their movement would burn out as the psychopaths detonated themselves or became drone-splats, one by one. But these men spoke with an academic precision that put me in mind of a good graduate seminar. I even enjoyed their company, and that frightened me as much as anything else.
He was in the company of charming, intelligent sociopaths, who "could mentally shift from contemplating mass death to discussing the virtues of Vietnamese coffee, with apparent delight in each."

(If you've not read this long article make time for it. Best explanation of ISIS's goals as I've ever seen.)

Unlike the Left, which has to invent figures to conceal the unworkability of their plans, the Salafists know their source material inside and out and are following it to the letter.

Sorry, but in the face of what ISIS has in store for the world (with the full enablement of the Obama Administration), it's hard for me to laugh at the plight of one ineffectual leftist who's in over her head.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

By the way, it bears repeating that Ms Bennett was chosen by the Green Party to be its leader and mouthpiece, its Great Articulator.

The Andrew Neil interview was simply stunning, but my favorite part was the "once we are in power you'll see how the accounting works" part. I have to wonder if she is related to Nancy "We had to pass the bill to see what was in it" Pelosi.

David Gillies

Well yes, dicentra, indeed the more slippery specimens have a good line in plausible-sounding flannel, but my point still stands: if the journos interviewing them had paid attention in maths class and had a feel for back-of-the-envelope plausibility calculations, then they'd be able to challenge the snake-oil salesman to their faces. Kudos, in fact, to Nick Ferrari for holding this daffy woman's feet to the fire. It's a rarity.

dicentra

if the journos interviewing them had paid attention in maths class and had a feel for back-of-the-envelope plausibility calculations, then they'd be able to challenge the snake-oil salesman to their faces

As you say, such journos are rare, and that's because they're as indoctrinated in their beliefs as any priest in a seminary. Knowing maths and accounting is irrelevant if you have been taught to believe that they're irrelevant to the Larger Cause.

Yes, kudos for the foot-to-fire holding.

For all the good it will do.

Dom

I like when she says: "...each one pound spent on this brings back £2.40..." She really worked it out.

Sam Duncan

Now, it's criticised for being "transphobic"

Oh, bloody hell. Well, that's it. The Left has now consciously and deliberately placed itself beyond parody.

AC1

OT
Power Rangers with Added Starbuck!

http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2015/02/24/katee-sackhoff-and-james-van-der-beek-star-in-gritty-power-rangers-fan-film/

RY

From the Guardian
Zoe Williams:

The Green Party leader's mistake was to try to answer a question, rather than describe her vision. But that won't deter anyone near voting for her.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/feb/24/natalie-bennett-shrug-off-humiliation-vision

WTP

RevRY link:

In fact, I would venture that the Green party leader knows a lot more than Ferrari about building new homes: Green Cities is just one eco-think-and-do tank, which has produced blueprints for food neutral, energy neutral homes, costed at 10,000 flats for £1billion (100k each rather than 60, assuming that the land was bought by compulsory purchase order).

OMG. They've produced BLUEPRINTS! Think-AND-do, all in one package. Blueprints. Whatever more do you need to prove a point?

dicentra

Also for the "why can't all lefties be this useless to their own cause" file, this Utopian experiment:

Evans couldn’t wait to create his retrograde society, where waif-like girls ‘with long, tawny dreadlocks’ would be doling out ‘bowls of bean stew from a steaming cauldron’. He sold his house, gave up his academic career and moved to a field near Inverness. He looked at an adjacent waterfall and thought it could ‘generate electricity’. He gazed at an acre of scrubland and believed he could ‘keep a few pigs and chickens’. He spotted a deer and, though he had no butchery or tanning training, imagined turning its hide into shoes and gloves.

Fair play to Evans: by the time he came to write this book he realised he was delusional. Though he had no difficulty recruiting like-minded eccentrics to join him in his ‘experimental community’ (a former Royal Marine who had ambitions to be a cobbler; a computer-programmer ‘passionate about vegetables’; a teacher who’d once met an Inuit; a graffiti artist from Belfast; a Cambridge student keen on the recorder), Evans admits that his utopia was doomed to failure. It attracted only idealists and disaffected romantics when what was needed were people with practical skills, like plumbers, carpenters and engineers. (Mike Rowe, call your office, ed.) Soon the militant vegetarians were squabbling with the meat-eaters, and the small group began to disintegrate. One member even started to invent his own religion, building a shrine with ‘carefully arranged’ bits of driftwood and old coins.

David

The Green Party leader’s mistake was to try to answer a question, rather than describe her vision

Ah yes. Zoe Williams thinks Ms Bennett should “describe her vision,” which is pretty much all the Greens seem to do, rather than answering questions about specifics – such as how much that “vision” will cost and what it will entail for the rest of us. “She needs to be able to frame the conversation around her own assumptions,” says Zoe. Well, I’m sure Ms Bennett would find that more comfortable, as would any hustler, being spared awkward queries about cost, freedom and practicality.

Of course anyone can fumble an interview and forget relevant figures. But Ms Bennett has a habit of this, and of waving aside numbers – and even the idea of cost – as if these were mere details and not an important part of framing the moral aspect of a political position. It seems to me that Ms Bennett’s assumptions are very often glib and unmoored from realism, and, rather importantly, they imply a great many things that aren’t stated clearly, and that aren’t stated clearly even when pressed. Say, like her insistence that the world – i.e., the public – “cannot have more stuff.” Or her party’s plan to “localise the food chain” with compulsory conversion to “organic” food production. Or her predecessor’s plan to “realign” the minds of those who disagree with her, i.e., the general public. Things that, to my ear, sound a tad totalitarian.

[ Added: ]

Zoe’s excuses reminded me of Zohra Moosa, an activist and Guardian contributor, who complained about being asked for evidence and practical details, when what she wanted was “a space where these ideas are a given.” These ideas being her ideas of how to spend “a lot of society’s money.” You see, justifying her “most basic principles” – explaining how they might work in practice, what problems might arise, how much they might cost – only “serves to distract.” And principles are so much easier to have if one isn’t obliged to defend them against even the mildest testing.

RY

The Guardian is on form today

'Season of the witch: why young women are flocking to the ancient craft':

It's tempting to write this off as fluffy woo-woo stuff
(a trivialization of which Starhawk is well aware: "We're no more nutty than most religions," she says, "and probably a lot less nutty than some"). But the politics are there, and they hold up; mixed in with the spells and rituals of The Spiral Dance, you will find meditations on sexual violence, ecology and anarchist group building, and thoughts on how men can overcome patriarchal conditioning in order to participate effectively in leftwing activism

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/24/witch-symbol-feminist-power-azealia-banks

It's a good thing there's nothing much going on in the world...

Connor

But Ms Bennett has a habit of this, and of waving aside numbers – and even the idea of cost – as if these were mere details and not an important part of framing the moral aspect of a political position.

That.

David

That.

Like her colleagues, and like many of her former Guardian colleague’s colleagues, Ms Bennett is big on ostentatious caring and casual hand-wavery. As if the morality of a government imposition exists unassailably regardless of its impact on others.

David

The Guardian is on form today

Oh, I think that one deserves a post of its own.

Bless you, RY.

David

I think this Telegraph piece captures much of what you need to know about the Green Party and its supporters:

At the front was a stand featuring a large photo of Ms Bennett posing with her predecessor as leader, Caroline Lucas (I looked in vain for any photo of Ms Bennett that didn’t also feature Ms Lucas). Another stand beside it was emblazoned with the party’s slogan, “Standing for the Common Good,” plus, in little letters above and below it, the names of hundreds of party supporters. “Cordelia from London… Clement from Guildford… Felicity from Cardigan… Darius, Verity, Lyndon, Jasmin, Colette…”

After that, it gets quite biting.

Karen M

Caroline Lucas blames it on sexism.

https://twitter.com/wallaceme/status/570347573707276288

Peter

Is that poster supposed to look like an advert for a cougar dating service?

David

Caroline Lucas blames it on sexism.

But of course. What other explanation could there be? Presumably, we must lower the standard of competence for women. It’s the feminist thing to do.

RY

Caroline Lucas blames it on sexism

Via Jay Nordlnger at NRO

Dorothy L.Sayers:

"I am occasionally desired by congenital imbeciles and the editors of magazines to say something about the writing of detective fiction " from the woman's point of view." To such demands, one can only say "Go away and don't be silly.
You might as well ask what is the female angle on the equilateral triangle."

sackcloth and ashes

'Is that poster supposed to look like an advert for a cougar dating service?'

Cougars are supposed to be sexy.

Doubting Rich

Wow. This arrogant Australian is even more stupid than I could have thought. There is no special tax relief on private landlords! Renting out a property is a business. Interest is a cost to the business. It is insane to separate that from the interest paid by any other business on its debt!

Tim Newman

From the Telegraph piece our host links to:

A man from The Sun raised his hand.
“Is there a woman?” asked Baroness Jones disappointedly. “A woman who’d like to ask a question?”

Can you imagine the uproar if Farage had said this with the genders reversed?

Tim Newman

Caroline Lucas blames it on sexism.

It's as if dear Maggie never existed.

Watcher In The Dark

You have to remember that the Greens, being good Sozialists, are a bit light on numbers because their appeal is strictly of the "Something Must Be Done" variety. If you vote for someone because you are convinced they will Do Something (however improbable) then mere detail such as actual numbers and boring things such as balancing the books simply don't matter. Natalie Bennett merely cares, and that earns votes.

I have never met her, but I suspect she can't be arsed with all the irritating detail stuff that gets in the way of real caring 'n' sharing.

Karen M

http://order-order.com/2015/02/28/jenny-jones-further-humiliates-natalie-bennet/

David

Heh.

galah23gagh23

The Greens poster with the two smiling women asking "What are you afraid of boys?" is, I find, rather insulting and presumptive. It is presupposing that i -as a male - am somehow frightened of or will have my masculinity brought into question by the thought of female leaders. I find that offensive, in a similar way that I found the video of the little princesses using the F-bomb insulting and offensive. This pre-emptive assumption that, because of my gender, I will almost certainly by default harbour prejudices against women.

I struggle to think of any male friends I have had during my life who have outwardly exhibited misogynistic views.

But, yes, the answer to the question, the answer that I instinctively go to in my mind, isn't the answer that they are expecting from me.

sackcloth and ashes

The funny thing now is that having demanded a place in the leadership debates, the Khmer Vert are now having second thoughts.

Not that I expect Lucas to cope any better with questions (other than the 'Caroline, what do you think?' variety).

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/feb/28/natalie-bennett-green-party-limit-leader-screen-broadcasters

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