Everything is racist.

Even how one pronounces the name of a consonant is racist.

No, really it is;

No research has conclusively established….” seem like the most relevant words in that paragraph.

I heard a talk radio show once. Extrapolating the comments by the callers is a valid and reliable scientific approach“.

By pronouncing the letter H in the way that you do makes you responsible for the extinction of other languages“.

…and, not content with driving other languages to extinction, you are also responsible for historic and current violence against minorities“.

“Sinister. Yes, it may seem harmless but you’ve killed other languages and dealt violence on the innocent with your language pedantry, you monster. Look at what you have done. Happy now?

Bill’s Opinion

Voltaire didn’t actually write the quote being paraphrased and re-purposed above, his biographer did.

….he is also an utter cockwomble with a complete disregard for critical thinking, investigation of fact and application of logic.

He must be very comfortable and well at home in academia.

Meaty, Beaty, Hannah Mouncey

Our old friend Hannah Mouncey was back in the legacy press this week, on IDAHOBIT Day (yes, that’s a real “day”). The Grauniad gave him her some column inches to write about transphobia.

There’s no need to read the complete article, it’s mainly self-serving guff about how the AFL are tying themselves in logical knots trying to work out what to do with a “woman” player who has been on testosterone treatments (i.e. they were a man) for their entire life until their mid-twenties but wishes to compete in the female league. The picture Hannah and the Grauniad chose (above) to illustrate the injustice might not be quite as persuasive as they would hope. Nice guns there, Hannah, what do you bench?

The key part of the entire column is here;

But with latest figures showing 80% of young trans people having self-harmed, 48% reporting having attempted suicide at some point in their lives and rates of depression and anxiety approximately 10 times higher than other young Australians, it is important that people are aware of the impact their actions have. Those commenting on trans people and their place in society – as Chris Judd has recently – really need to be careful about the potential impact this has, as well as ensuring that what they have to say is informed.

Firstly, the comments by Chris Judd are here and are about as balanced an opinion as one is likely to see on any subject and has several academic studies referenced in support of the opinions. In summary, the physical advantages of a male athlete over a female athlete are not negated simply because they have recently reduced their testosterone levels and increased estrogen; the bone and cell advantages remain. For a less scientific version of this view, refer back to the picture above.

Secondly, Hannah seems to have jumped to the conclusion that transgender folk are depressed as a consequence of societal factors, rather than than a more inherent cause. It’s worth repeating that the only groups of people with documented rates of suicide approaching those of transgender people were prisoners in Soviet gulags and Nazi death camps.

For there to be a societal cause to the transgender suicide problem, we would have to agree that transgender people are being brutalised at a comparable scale to those two groups. Let’s just pause for a second and, if need be, go to Google and search for images and video footage of the liberation of Belsen.

Can you honestly claim western society is treating people like Hannah in a way that is similar to those war crimes?

Hannah also raises the issue of the perceived irresponsible use of speech that risks “harming” young transgender people. Apart from the balanced and academically-referenced article by Judd, the only evidence of this “harmful” speech offered was a news article reporting some signage on a bathroom door in a restaurant in the US (i.e. another continent away from Hannah’s house). What was the signage?

This;

Bill’s Opinion

Using our patented razor, it’s most likely that transgender people are depressed and suicidal due to their internal existential conflict rather than the reaction of the outside world to the outward displays of their internal existential conflict.

Regarding the irresponsible use of language, of course it is important that we consider carefully how we discuss the problems of others but it’s a dangerous path that leads from suggesting we can’t discuss facts. Hannah currently benefits from free speech; there are many locations in the  world where he she would be unable to write a newspaper column such as the one in the Grauniad simply due to who he she is. Be very wary of restricting what others might say, regardless and especially if you disagree with what it is they are saying. The true test of your belief in free speech is that you specifically allow and defend the right of opinions you reject to be expressed.

As for the bathroom signage…. well, I think it’s quite funny actually.

In fact, why would a Grauniad reader feel that it is offensive given their firm assertion that Bruce Jenner was a man and Caitlyn Jenner is most definitely a woman. If that statement is correct, what is inaccurate or offensive about the doors?

 

Luxurious lamb

Welsh farmers will need protecting against evil foreign farmer following Brexit.

It’s obvious isn’t it, really?

The poor farmers of Wales will have to contend with the unfair competition from New Zealand farmers once the UK has exited the EU and struck trade deals with its former colonies.

This is indeed an economic tragedy on a scale of which there is no precedent.

Imagine the devastation to the British consumer of cheaper, market-priced food appearing in the supermarkets.

The Welsh Assembly is correct in its assertion that government intervention is required to ensure that no farmer is negatively impacted by this loss of EU subsidies and market protection from superior or cheaper imported products.

Or perhaps we are being sarcastic.

Bill’s Opinion

Why would the Welsh Assembly prioritise a small group of farmers above every carnivorous UK citizen?

The best interests of everyone in the UK who enjoys eating lamb is for them to be able to source a quality product at the best possible price.

Protecting a particular special interest group at the expense of the consumer is a return to mercantilism and the Corn Laws. Of course, this is precisely what the EU has been increasingly implementing over the decades following the UK’s entry into “The Common Market” (that was the name of the entity of which the 1975 referendum confirmed continued membership).

Perhaps feminists should talk to Jerry Hall

My mother said it was simple to keep a man, you must be a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom. I said I’d hire the other two and take care of the bedroom bit.

Jerry Hall

Jerry was wildly off the mark with her infamous quote. No, what the world really needs can be summed up by this classic piece of critical thinking;

But until men are doing, on average, half of this daily work (housework) worldwide, and finding the joy and benefits in it, we will not achieve the full equality that women and girls deserve.

Hopefully that’s cleared things up for everyone.

Of course, there’s a few assumptions inferred in the article linked above, none of which are explicitly called out or tested with those annoying things we sometimes refer to as “facts”.

Assumption 1

Men and women are equally-suited to whatever task they decide they wish to undertake.

Whilst it’s true that there are many areas of human endeavour where women and men are able to perform at equivalent levels of competency, there are surely countless areas where this is patently untrue. Anything requiring physical strength, real-time mental assessment of a parabolic curve, endurance, etc., as evidenced by the difference in Olympic records.

Yes, there are some women who are stronger, faster, more skillful at judging parabolas than many men, but these are on the extremes of the female distribution. A difference of one standard deviation results in almost 100% of the best humans at those tasks being male.

Assumption 2

Men are lazy bastards lying on the sofa while their wives clean the house.

Perhaps the author, Gary Barker, is guilty of this but the majority of men are busy working, often in more physically-demanding and dangerous jobs than women.

Assumption 3

All or most women actually want men to do half of the child caring and housework.

Sure, there will be some women who want there to be a perfect split of domestic duties but anyone who has met other humans recently would also realise that most women would rather not get up on a ladder with a bag of tools and fix the roof or sit on the laundry floor with the washing machine in bits as they hunt a rogue sock stuck between the drum and the filter.

Assumption 4 

The gender pay gap is significant and is a result of duh patriarchy.

Oh Uber, not only are you destroying vested interests and rent-seekers in the taxi industry, but you’ve chucked a big rock in to the previously-placid lake of feminist logic.

Bill’s Opinion

Gary Burton, CEO of Promundo Global and author of the article linked above is either guilty of mendacity in his avoidance of the 4 elephants in the room OR he’s unable to think critically about a subject without allowing his inherent biases to intervene.

What inherent biases?

Well, Promundo’s business model requires that there is gender injustice for it to justify taking the begging bowl to a plethora of governmental bodies for its funding each year. Click that link and go to page 16 – Financials and look at the number of different United Nations’ agencies so generously handing out other people’s money for us to be lectured about our domestic choices.

Oh, and it should surprise nobody that Gary’s utter bollocks was published on the website of our friends the World Economic Forum.

Dear Gary, do your own fucking vacuuming, you Cultural Marxist.

The tyranny of the many

There is a theory know as the Overton Window that suggests there is a finite range of political opinions which are acceptable for public discourse and any ideas which fall beyond this are the political equivalent of the “third rail” (the one carrying the fatal current on electric railways).

When Overton first suggested the idea, the Internet was in its infancy, a very different group of first adopters were engaging in online discourse in the mid-1990s than today. His theory was that societal norms policed the range of discourse and kept those opinions outside the “window” to the fringes.

This builds on observations by, among others, John Stuart Mill and De Tocqueville. In the latter’s work “On Democracy in America” he examines the risk of replacing tyranny from a despotic leader (the King of England) with a tyranny of the many. He gives the example that, in 1830s America, there was no law preventing a white man from marrying a freed African slave woman but the weight of societal pressure meant that this was prevented as surely as if there were a jail sentence.

This example is a useful compare and contrast opportunity for the present day; very few people would be willing to heap public condemnation on a mixed race marriage in the USA today. Those few that still do fall into two opposite sides of the Overton Window; white supremacists or those African Americans who condemn relationships with white partners.

This is a great example of what we instinctively know; “acceptable” opinions change over time. Mixed race relationships are now nothing to pass comment on, cross-dressers and those with gender disphoria are no longer considered as suffering from mental illness, and same sex relationships are given equal worth as traditional marriages.

We have a problem, however. The velocity of the movement of the Overton Window is leaving a large number of people with the “wrong” opinion on a subject exposed to the risk that they are on record (on social media, for example) expressing a sentiment that, just a few years later, is stranded on the windowsill outside of the Overton Window.

The change to the DSM rating of gender disphoria, for example; 10 years ago an opinion that it was a mental disorder would have been underpinned by the the work of the American Psychiatric Association. Today, you risk being subject to a social media “pile on” for exactly the same sentiment.

Why is this an issue? I offer a personal example;

I recently changed employer. Part of the pre-employment checks was the agreement that I could be subject to an Internet search for unacceptable opinions. The contract was a little more vague than that, claiming to look for information “unfavourable” to the organisation’s public reputation, but the interpretation is vague enough to prevent my hiring for “wrongthink”.

Fortunately, although it’s not difficult to identify me if the searcher was motivated, I have always kept my online discussions behind a pseudonym. In hindsight, this was a smart move as the Overton Window has moved and left me stranded in many subject areas.

Bill’s Opinion

Perhaps the Overton Window is another recipient of the Matthew Principle, “For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” or a Pareto distribution where opinions accumulate in an ever tighter space.

Regardless, teach your children the important lesson that nothing on the Internet is biodegradable and that what might seem a perfectly acceptable opinion today is unlikely to remain so tomorrow.

We screwed up. You pay.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this news, after all, the modern response to a political scandal is always to make the taxpayer suffer and never for the responsible to resign or be fired;

The Northern Territory government’s response to a Royal Commission’s damning findings on juvenile criminal custody is to throw more money at the problem.

Perhaps most galling for those few suckers taxpayers who are net contributors in the Northern Territory is that this recent splurge of their cash is being pitched as an “investment”.

If that noun were truthful, perhaps it’s not unreasonable for those taxpayers to ask what the return was for previous such “investments” and whether or not they were receiving value for money?

Let’s examine the “investment” claim a little further, what will they get this time?

The money is going to buy;

  • Upgrades to two existing detention centres ($71.4m)
  • An IT system ($66.9m)
  • “Improvements” to detention operations ($22.9m)
  • “Coordination hubs” ($11.4m)
  • “Support for kinship and foster carers” ($5.4m)

I bet the NT taxpayers must be so excited, like a year full of Christmas and birthday mornings have arrived at once…..

Speaking of taxpayers, how many net contributing taxpayers (i.e. those who put in more than they receive back in benefits, childcare vouchers, medicare, etc.) are there?

Numbers are hard to ascertain but we could make an informed guess that it’s probably about 50% of the total population (supported by this article), so about 100,000 souls.

Bill’s Opinion

The press conference announcing the response to the Royal Commission’s findings could have been shortened considerably by reading out the following statement;

Good afternoon taxpayers of the Northern Territories.

The Royal Commission has found that this government and our predecessors have consistently failed to achieve our stated results, regardless of how much of your money we threw at the problem. Therefore, we will be removing another $200 each from your wallets and will be buying more stuff with it. We haven’t made any material changes to how we measure return on investment so please do not expect any change to the outcomes.

Nobody responsible for the past mistakes will lose their job or be subject to further investigation“.

If you are a Northern Territory taxpayer, you may want to consider the possibility that you are being farmed.

When intelligence is trumped by gullibility.

Regular readers of this organ will have realised that our assertion is freedom to choose and follow (or not follow) a religion is a very important principle, with the only caveat that doing so doesn’t impact on others’ freedom to live.

Therefore, if one chooses to believe that your prophet visited the moon on the back of a winged horse, you are most welcome to. If, however, you also believe that you must slaughter non-believers, we’re going to disagree quite robustly.

It could be argued and has been by various parties that not believing in a creator is also an act of faith; proving a negative is a particularly difficult task after all.

There are those who feel that a belief in something for which you have little to no proof other than the word of a third party (i.e. the definition of “faith”) is a form of mental illness. There’s certainly an argument to be made there but, given that existential questions of creation are unlikely to be solved to a high degree of scientific proof and we’d need to solve the problem of infinite regression, we all live with that unresolved internal discussion. We generally function on a day to day basis however.

Some religious adherents clearly are suffering from a dangerous delusion though and are a danger to themselves and/or others. When your religious beliefs require you to act out the crucifixion on Easter weekend, self-flaggelate for Ashura, murder Cathars for having the wrong version of Christianity or fly planes into tower blocks, there’s clearly a problem of the mind that is impacting physical reality.

Consider then what mental illness might look like from an atheist regressive progressive point of view;

New York lawyer self-immolated in protest against climate change.

Full disclosure; I have no evidence of what David Buckel’s religious views were at the point of death but, given his acceptance of two of the key tenants of the Cultural Marxist agenda and the extremely rare instance of anyone only believing one or two of the dozen or so must-believe doctrines, we’re guessing he didn’t believe in a creator.

Chances are he probably said, “Oh God” or “Jesus fucking Christ” at some point quite soon after flicking the flint on the Zippo though.

Bill’s Opinion

Unless he was an extremely modest polymath, it’s a safe assumption that the gay and trans rights lawyer David Buckel did not have a full and detailed understanding behind the science of climate change.

Yet he’d fully-accepted the impending doom of climate change as a solid fact based only on the testimony of third parties, like an illiterate peasant in medieval Britain blindly following the village Priest’s encouragement to join the crusades to liberate Jerusalem from heathen rule.

Perhaps he was suffering from an underlying mental illness, but perhaps the religiosity of the climate change pantechnicon and its followers is indistinguishable from religion?

Either way, the outcome is that he’s toast.

The best women are men part 2

He is free to make the wrong choice, but not free to succeed with it. He is free to evade reality, he is free to unfocus his mind and stumble blindly down any road he pleases, but not free to avoid the abyss he refuses to see.

Ayn Rand

The above quote is often summarised as, “You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.

Consider then, the logical and ethical knots the UK Useful Idiots Labour Party is currently tying itself into;

Hundreds of Women Plan Mass Resignation from Labour Over Trans Ruling

For decades now, the party has been running a policy of women-only shortlists to select candidates to fight parliamentary seats. This has resulted in their current ratio of MPs; 101:129 female to male.

Let’s pause for a moment to question again whether equality of outcome is really our preference compared to equality of opportunity. Exhibit A in our proposition that all women shortlists perhaps might not result in the most stunningly intellectual representative for the voters;

Unedifying viewing, isn’t it. Consider whether, in a purely merit-based system of democracy, Diane Abbott would have a) ever been elected as an MP in the first place, or b) been continuously re-elected since 1987.

But back to all “women” shortlists.

The progressive types at Labour HQ decided a few months ago that the definition of “women” included anyone who identified as a woman. Let’s just expand that a little; they don’t need to dress like a woman, have been living as a woman for any period of time, have any medical assessment to confirm their transgender status and certainly they do not have to even consider any kind of hormonal or gender reassignment procedures. Quite simply, if they say they are, they are.

What could possibly go wrong? No, seriously, what could possibly go wrong with redefining fundamental existential nouns with meanings that have been universally understood for the entire history of the species?

Bill’s Opinion

We’re back to the dilemma du jour; the desire to not hurt one group’s sensitivities is being rudely interrupted by, oh I don’t know, let’s call it reality.

The progressive view is that history will judge as dinosaurs those raising the fact that humans are dimorphic. The alternate to this future is, of course, that the progressives are illogical to the point where they can only be suffering from almost clinical levels of cognitive dissonance or are simply mendacious.

 

Who benefits? No, who *really* benefits?

Those helpful people at the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) have released a new standard, this one is focusing on the cross-border sale of secondhand goods.

Sounds perfectly reasonable, doesn’t it? If we can standardise the sale or donation (for charity, for example) of secondhand goods we can improve health and safety outcomes, reduce buyer disappointment and regret and bring order to an unregulated market.

To read the detail of the standard, you’ll have to buy a copy, but the summary probably tells us enough to judge whether it will be effective and/or of any use.

The standard reflects that there are going to be existing health and safety standards in individual countries which will still apply but this standard seeks to categorise the secondhand goods by their usability and condition.

An example given would be a car; it is presumably important that the starter motor works, whereas whether or not the GPS software is up to date is very much a secondary concern.

The standard is trying to assist the end buyer in making an informed decision and to set their expectations accordingly about the functionality and quality of the product they are procuring. One method the standard suggests is a categorisation of A through to D of the condition and functionality of the goods.

Will it achieve this and is there a more efficient way of delivering the same outcome?

Well…… the people at ISO may not be aware of this but there’s a website called eBay that currently enables consumers to buy secondhand goods across borders. How does eBay provide information to a consumer in, say, London who is buying a secondhand component for a marine Diesel engine from a vendor in Florida?

The answer is, of course, that eBay uses a condition grading system combined with a free text narrative field to describe the product and an option to ask detailed questions about the product before committing to buy. If the delivered product fails to live up to the description provided, eBay has a dispute process that arbitrates between buyer and seller to attempt to find a fair outcome.

Bill’s Opinion

The International Organisation for Standardisation seems to be about 15 years too late; the market has already found a solution to this.

Any country that adopts the standard and applies it at their ports of import can be certain that the prices paid by the consumer will increase.

It should also be obvious that these increased prices will result in lower volumes of sales of imported secondhand goods and a commensurate likely increase in local sales of the equivalent new items. And perhaps that’s the point of this belated push to regulate standardise the secondhand market; the main beneficiaries will be the industries who supply the new items.

Ah, vested interests seeking government intervention again…..

Logical inconsistency boomerangs

Today’s amusement is at the expense of the regressive progressive Legacy Press (c) and their take on the Commonwealth Games, currently taking place on the Gold Coast of Australia.

For those unfamiliar with the Commonwealth Games, think of them as the Special Olympics for countries that were colonised by Great Britain with the exception of the USA and basket case countries like Zimbabwe (although Myanmar is still competing).

To underline the purpose of the games, the original name in 1930 was The British Empire Games. Basically, it’s a way for all the athletes who would normally do “a Brian Jones” (i.e. not exit the pools) in the Olympics to get a medal. Which is pretty sad really, given the fact the Olympic Games itself is just a convenient way to bundle into a single event a collection of sports nobody normally pays to watch.

If the Olympics and Commonwealth Games’ actual sporting events are relatively pathetic spectacles, the opening ceremonies are even more tedious. It’s as if the event organisers sat around the planning table and said to each other, “I know what’ll liven up the prospect of a couple of weeks of synchronised diving and rhythmic gymnastics; a West End musical-style opening ceremony! Someone get Andrew Lloyd Webber and Elton John on the phone, stat!“.

The problem is, of course, if you have signed up to the entire list of left-wing “correct” positions to take on everything, yesterday’s opening ceremony at the Commonwealth Games puts you into a tight spot, logically.

Why?

The Aboriginals; yesterday’s song and dance show was heavily-influenced by Australian Aboriginal dancing, music and ceremony.

On the one hand, commentators such as Phil Lutton want to underline the message that it’s time for Australia to ditch the historic links with the UK, that a constitutional monarchy is an anachronism in the 21st century, and that things were altogether better before Australia was colonised. On that theme, many of his colleagues from his newspaper have campaigned vociferously to change the date of the national day, Australia Day, from its current date of January 26th (the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet) to show solidarity with the oppressed first people.

On the other hand, many of those Aboriginal people willingly took place in the opening ceremony of an event which celebrates Australia’s history as a member of the British Empire and, latterly, the British Commonwealth, and yet there was a small group protesting outside the stadium.

What is the correct position to take without destroying one’s progressive credentials? It’s a fine line to tread and one for which Phil has our deepest sympathies, after all, he desperately wouldn’t want to express the “wrong” sentiment and incur the wrath of the Twitter pile-on crowd.

What results, of course, is an article brimming with cognitive dissonance, probably not helped by the late evening hour that he had to file his copy and the, presumably, free-flowing Aussie beer in the press room;

He starts in rambling, grammatically-clunky style, desperately trying to keep the representation of the para-athletes in parity with the able-bodied, and doesn’t improve much from there;

Surely, this is not the time for jingoism in our fragile sporting climate.

A statement he then quickly goes on to disprove, of course, dismissing the link to England as an anachronism whilst cheering the kilted Scots. News flash for Phil, it was called the “British Empire” for a reason; many of the more successful colonial masters weren’t actually English; Hong Kong’s Jardine (Scottish), Australia’s Macquarie (Scottish), New Zealand’s Hobson (Irish), for example. Further evidence might be found by perusing the place names of countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, where there will be plenty of instances of Aberdeen, Hamilton and Perth. The monarch of the empire may have been German English, but a large proportion of their subjects probably only stepped foot in England to travel to a port of emigration.

Then we get an anthropological history lesson, which is a nice touch from the Sydney Morning Herald’s sports correspondent;

….but, if we agree that the first people to arrive in Australia landed 65,000 years ago, they’d have done very well to have settled 2,700km away within the same year. Oh well, it’s a sports journalist we’re reading here, after all.

The article continues by celebrating the beaches of the Gold Coast and a cursory nod at some local government corruption in the 1980s, which is, well, obscure and not relevant.

At least we can all agree that Prince Charles and his wife did look out of place. Well, overdressed compared to the dancers at least. Actually, overdressed compared to any resident of the Gold Coast of Australia, a place where “singlet” is considered appropriate wardrobe regardless of the social appointment; beach, bar, court appearance, state funeral, etc…..

Bill’s Opinion

Sometimes a sporting event is just a sporting event and doesn’t really need to be used as a cultural guilt weapon, especially as very few Australians are even related to anyone who has ever oppressed an Aboriginal, let alone actually been personally responsible for such oppression.

Also, regardless of how one feels about the relevance of the role of a monarch in 21st century Australia, surely the one person who looks least out of place at the British Empire Commonwealth Games is a member of the British monarchy?

Lastly, could someone also please have a word with the Aboriginal people of Australia and get them to agree on whether the Commonwealth Games are a good or a bad thing so that we can all virtue signal in the correct manner, please?