Trump is “the one pussy you are not allowed to grab”

A reference to Trump’s boycott of the annual White House correspondents’ dinner, where it it traditional to have a comedian lampoon the president and administration. And boy, does Trump’s circus provide material!

White House Correspondents’ Dinner: Conservatives walk out as Michelle Wolf brutally ridicules Trump and aides

olf’s routine, which ripped into senior White House staff – including a visibly uncomfortable Sarah Huckabee Sanders – drew audible gasps. Several people walked out. Former press secretary Sean Spicer took to Twitter to call the performance a “disgrace”.

Donald Trump himself had boycotted the dinner for a second year running, opting, instead, to hold a campaign-style rally in Michigan – a fact which Wolf did not let lie.

“I would drag him here myself, but it turns out that the president of the United States is the one pussy you’re not allowed to grab,” she said at one point, referring to his recorded comments on the infamous Access Hollywood tapes.

Strange how thin-skinned conservatives are these days, when someone calls them on their bullshit.

Trump, meanwhile, was basking in the adulation of sycophants supporters at a campaign pep rally in Michigan. No doubt Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the butt of many jokes that evening, will brief him on what he missed. One can but hope.

Catholic church demands apology for accusations of homophobia

God, that’s rich. The church that protects clerical paedophiles outraged by by being called out as hypocrites. Jeez.

BBC boss to meet church leaders over ‘offensive’ film

The Social Video on homophobia

Catholic Church leaders are to meet the head of BBC Scotland Donalda MacKinnon to discuss their concerns over a digital film about being gay in 2018.

The piece, published on digital content stream The Social, included a clip saying the communion host “tastes like cardboard and smells like hate”.

Bishop of Paisley John Keenan said that was “deeply insulting and offensive”.

BBC Scotland has defended the film but regretted that some church members found it offensive.

What offended the good bishops was the segment in the film The Time for Love on religiously sanctioned homophobia. All people in this film are actors, but the sight below of religious believers attacking gay people is not uncommon.

This article (from 26 April 2018) was well buried on the BBC website. Had to do a lot of excavating to find it. I came across a reference to this through the Pink News website.

(BBC The Social)

What is actually offensive is the attitude of many religions, including Catholicism, towards gay people. As I’ve mentioned before, I was born into a Catholic family and raised a Catholic, and since a teenager have never darkened the doorway of any Catholic church. I abhor the institution. As the film implies – it does not single out Catholicism, by the way – a lot of allegedly Christian churches, including the Catholic one, do reek of prejudice, hypocrisy and hatred.

This isn’t Catholic or Christian bashing. It’s exposure of religious hypocrisy and absence of Christian charity by institutions quick to condemn those they disagree with, but slow to admit their own shortcomings.

I’m glad the bishops were insulted and offended by the film. They deserve to be for the lack of shame they feel about their behaviour towards gay people. They are still living in the dark ages, expecting special consideration for the voodoo they preach. And well done BBC for showing it.

What on earth does Amber Rudd think she’s doing?

Amber Rudd ‘made a mistake but didn’t mislead’

Apparently that’s the new Tory line.

Ms Rudd faced calls to resign from her position as home secretary after telling MPs earlier this week there had been no targets for migrant removal then later admitting “local” targets existed.

In a series of late night tweets on Friday, she apologised, saying that although her office had been copied into the document she did not see it herself.

So she is desperate to get herself out of the pickle Theresa May got her into. Either Rudd knows what she is doing and manages her department so the responsibility for its actions is hers, or she’s a clueless and mendacious ninny adrift in Whitehall, with no knowledge of what her department is doing, or what she ought to do.

Either way, resignation is the way to go. The Tory government is a disgrace, the prime minister has no credibility, and now neither do any of her ministers.

Tories in disarray?

Well, that is hardly news. They are not exactly an organised political party, they are disorganised chaos.

Brexit: Britain set to offer EU immigration deal ‘very similar’ to free movement

Britain is set to make an offer to the EU on future immigration which would see arrangements “very similar” to current free movement rules put in place after Brexit, The Independent has learned.

UK negotiators would like to put the proposal forward to coincide with a European Council summit in June, in a bid to break a deadlock in Brexit talks.

The plan would see a high level of access to the UK for EU citizens in the future, but would leave the British government power to halt it in certain circumstances.

If that’s true, then it is likely to enrage hard-right, frothing-at-the-mouth anti-immigrant Tories like Rees-Mogg. Stay clear of them, they might bite you, and no good comes of being bitten by a rabid Tory.

Now, I am of the internationalist frame of mind. In my ideal world, there would be free movement of peoples worldwide. Of course, I’m not dumb enough to think we live in an ideal world, far from it. But it was encouraging to see we had managed to achieve something of this in the European microcosm, enough to make the ideal seem not impossible.

And now rabid nationalistic Tories want to tear it all down. It’s not clear what the waffling May wants, but she’s made political waffling  her forte, even more than most politicians.

It’s funny that among the lies told by Tory Brexiteers like Michael Gove and Boris Johnson, they asked us to  imagine a global Britain making trading partnerships across the world without being limited by Brussels, whereas in fact they were all narrow-minded little-Englanders with a beady eye on immigration figures.

Immigration has never harmed Britain. Britain may have harmed immigrants, but never the reverse. The free movement of people and culture is a cause to be embraced, though we can’t trust the likes of Theresa May to see it through. Like her best buddy Trump, she lies out of both sides of her mouth, and there is no such thing as strategic  policy in their universe. They will both say whatever it takes at the given moment to get themselves out of whatever sticky mess they’ve gotten themselves into.

Oh dear, poor Amber Rudd

Was there ever a more unfortunate woman, having to pick up after May’s disastrous stint as Home Secretary, and her incompetence as Prime Minister?

Amber Rudd summoned back to Parliament for questioning as calls grow for resignation

Ms Cooper [chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee,] said she had asked Ms Rudd to reappear in front of the Home Affairs Select Committee to explain why she had appeared to be unaware of her department’s policy of imposing numerical targets for deportations.

Ms Rudd has initially told the committee the Home Office did not use targets for deportations, only for this to later be proved untrue. She then claimed she had been unaware of the targets but this too prompted questions when a leaked memo revealed details of the policy had been sent to her office.

Poor Amber Rudd… she has to shuffle along behind Theresa May, cleaning up the shit that flows down.

May can’t risk firing her, because that puts a Tory anti-Brexit remainer on the back benches. Who knows what she might do there. But Rudd could do the decent thing and resign, because there is no honour in following May’s evil policies.

It is the hapless and incompetent Theresa May that’s at the bottom of this. Amber Rudd is just the fall  guy.

Still we can look forward to a lovefest between May and her best buddy ever, Donald Trump, due for a visit July, Friday 13. Which happens to be my birthday. I may need to take time off and go down to London and throw bricks at their cavalcade.

Gay panic defence alive and well in the US. What a surprise.

Gay panic defence is offered when some heterosexual male kills a homosexual male for fear of being molested. It means, basically, that if a guy comes on to a straight guy, the straight guy is entitled to resist with lethal force.

This isn’t a situation where someone is defending themselves against forcible rape. Even I would admit that’s valid grounds for aggressive self defense. This is murder for an attempted kiss, allegedly… the dead man isn’t available to corroborate the allegations against him.

Man cleared of murder using ‘gay panic’ defence after killing neighbour who tried to kiss him

After James Miller retired from the Austin Police Department, he took up guitar, strumming the instrument at a nearby musicians’ bar, trying to put together a jazz band and getting together at the house of David Spencer, a 32-year-old neighbour and a saxophonist who shared his passion.

In September, 2015, after a night of music and drinking at Spencer’s house, Miller testified, his younger neighbour made a fatal mistake: He moved in for a kiss.

“We were playing back and forth and everything, and I just let him know – Hey, I’m not gay,” Miller, 69, said in an affidavit, according to Austin NBC-affiliate KXAN.

“We been playing. We’re musicians and all that kind of stuff, but I’m not a gay guy. Then it seemed like everything was all right, and everything was fine. When I got ready to go – it seemed like [expletive] just started happening.”

Then, he said, he pulled out a knife and stabbed Spencer two times.

I presume [expletive] = shit.

In Miller’s case the defence was successful. Jurors did not find him guilty of murder or manslaughter, and while he was convicted of criminally negligent homicide, he will not spend a day in prison.

Apparently he has a few hours of community service, a few thousand dollars restitution to his victim’s family, he has to wear an alcohol monitoring device, and he has 10 years of probation.

Now, this was a 69 year old man claiming that a guy half his age was so besotted and attracted by him that he moved in for a kiss, so he pulled out a knife and stabbed the young man to death. I find this implausible. I’ve no idea what happened here, the only one alive who does is the culprit, and I have no reason to think there’s a word of truth in his claims.

Admittedly, drink can lead to folly, but a 32-year old hitting on a 69-year old? That’s stretching it. A young man would find fresher meat in the gay bar down the road. I won’t speculate as to what actually happened, but I do think that justice wasn’t done here.

What has been done here is a jury listened to the culprit’s story, a story that has no corroboration whatsoever, taken into account that the victim was gay, and essentially let the culprit off with a slap on the wrist. If Miller had been a straight man murdering a woman he had a liaison with, the jury would not have found as it did. He would have done time for murder, not let off for “negligent homicide”. There is nothing “negligent” about stabbing someone to death.

Amber Rudd ought to go

Fury as NHS recruits 100 doctors from India only for Home Office to deny them all visas

Well, it’s not as though the Tories actually care about health care under the NHS. They use private practice. They can afford it, being wealthy and for the wealthy. But this is a common practise by the Tory-controlled Home Office.

Hundreds of doctors recruited by the NHS from overseas have been denied visas by the Home Office, leading to increased pressures in the health service.

NHS bosses said limits on the number of visas issued to non-EU doctors were contributing to rota gaps and delays in patients receiving care.

Some 100 Indian doctors are reported to have been refused for a scheme in the North-west that supplies junior doctors to 30 NHS trusts.

Chief executive of NHS Employers Danny Mortimer told the BBC he had heard of 400 cases of blocked visas of overseas doctors since December.

“We have examples of clinics being cancelled and delays in terms of patients receiving care. It exacerbates pressures in what are relatively small medical teams,” said Mr Mortimer.

I suppose one can feel a bit of sympathy for poor Amber. She’s been stuck trying to enforce the odious May’s immigration policies. She’s had to rewind on the Wndrush scandal caused by those policies; she’s been found to have lied about knowing there are deportation quotas at the Home Office she supposedly presides over; the UN has accused her Home Office of being lax about racism by the British Police:

Amber Rudd’s tenure at the Home Office has again been thrust into the spotlight after the United Nations raised serious concern over the deaths of a “disproportionate number” of black and minority ethnic people in police custody in Britain.

“The deaths reinforce the experiences of structural racism, over-policing and criminalisation of people of African descent and other minorities in the UK,” a panel of human rights experts said.

It’s a little sad that Britain has to be on a UN list of countries that can’t behave decently towards their minorities, and in Britain’s case, those minorities were either forced here under the Empire, or invited.

Of course, it’s not just Amber Rudd at fault here. It’s the Tory party as a whole. It’s not that Labour is free of racism or antisemitism as the squabbles about Corbyn’s response to accusations of antisemitism show, but the Tories make it central to their existence, as they try to get their natural voters back from UKIP.

Tories are a party of shame and hatred. The only time they are colour blind is when money is involved.

Voter ID laws: Tories getting desperate

Voter ID checks ‘calculated effort’ by government to make voting harder for disadvantaged groups, warn experts

Government plans to tighten voter identification measures appear to be a “calculated effort” by ministers to make voting harder for people from disadvantaged backgrounds, experts have warned.

In its first in-depth analysis of the plans, the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) said mandatory ID checks at polling stations would “disenfranchise” millions of voters who do not hold any form of photo ID – often due to financial reasons.

Based on research of voter ID checks in the US, the study found the policy, which will force members of the public to show ID before voting, mounts “sizeable barriers” to ethnic minority and lower socio-economic backgrounds wishing to vote.

This is being done in the absence of any evidence of widespread voter fraud. It’s reminiscent of May’s best buddy Donald Trump’s repeated and refuted claim of voter fraud to explain the fact he lost the popular vote, and only scraped through to the White House on electoral college votes, which most Americans have been regretting ever since.

Who in their right minds would want Theresa May perpetuated in Downing Street by manipulating the polls in this way?

Currently, you go to the polls, the teller asks for your address, draws a line through it to show you’ve voted, and you cast your ballot. Where are the hordes of legitimate voters creaming that someone else has voted in their place?

Figures suggest 3.5 million people – 7.5 per cent of the electorate – do not have access to any form of photo ID, while even more (11 million) do not have a passport or driving licence.

The report also suggests that a pilot study to be conducted in several areas of the country – most of which are in the south-east and have below-average unemployment rates – will provide insufficient data to assess the impact of a UK-wide roll-out.

Are they likely to be voting Tory? I rather think not. This is just a blatant attempt by May’s discredited misgovernment to give Tories an advantage they don’t deserve.

The development in Bavaria doesn’t bode well

German state orders all government buildings to display a Christian cross

A German state has ordered that Christian crosses should be placed on the entrance of all government buildings.

Bavaria’s conservative government has said the crosses should not be seen as religious symbols, but are meant to reflect the southern German state’s “cultural identity and Christian-western influence.”

Crosses are already compulsory in public schools and courtrooms in predominantly Catholic Bavaria.

This is the sort of thing far right Christianist evangelicals try to do in the US: force their odious religion down everyone’s protesting gullet. Jews, atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, non-believers and agnostics, even other Christians who don’t believe in forcing their religion on anyone.

I was born and raised a Catholic, so I don’t particularly care for Christianity, particularly Catholicism, though Protestant evangelicals are often more aggressively Christian than the pope. Apparently, for some ardently credulous believers, if you don’t believe in their version of Christianity, it’s not just blasphemy against their notion of god, it’s unpatriotic and possibly seditious.

For a German state, given German history in the 20th century, to elevate Christianity above all other ethical and spiritual ideas and religions, is a dangerous precedent. This is the same German Catholic church at work here that gave succour to Chancellor Hitler, also born and raised a Catholic. Well, he lapsed too, but that didn’t stop many German bishops and cardinals from going along with him as long as he was following policies they favoured.

Now, Bavaria plastering Christian crosses all over its government buildings is still a far cry from Hitler’s sort of fascism, but it isn’t that far a cry from anti-semitism, or anti-whatever non-Christian believers these stupid Catholic legislators want to intimidate and cow into accepting they are unwelcome and weird minorities.

A government respectful of its citizens, and of the fact that minority beliefs exist in its fiefdom, would not be doing this, especially given Hitler’s historical connections to Bavaria. They would want to make schools, courts, and government buildings welcoming to citizens of all creeds and political opinions. Not just the ones they subscribe to.

Bavarian legislators have reduced themselves to the shallow and hypocritical level of American Christianist yahoos. But then, that is what I have come to expect of religious extremists the world over. It’s always their way or the highway, to… and there’s the troubling bit.. who know where that highway ends up? We’ve seen where it led before in many countries.

God, Theresa May and the Tories are sickening!

The human impact of Theresa May’s hostile environment policies

Tories seem intellectually incapable of understanding concepts like human rights, or treating people respectfully and decently. My parents came to Britain separately during WWII, met here, and the rest is history. My brother and I don’t have papers verifying they settled here legally, and that’s something May and her evil crony Amber Rudd has been throwing at other children of immigrants, or immigrants in general.

Should I be expecting a letter from the Home Office telling me I should get my sad ass back to Poland because I can’t prove my parents resided in the UK legally? I don’t even speak the language.

And then there is the issue, as yet unresolved, of EU immigrants who have made a legal life in Britain, and enriched its culture. One cannot trust the sorry likes of May and Rudd not to force them home or tear apart families on the altar of prejudice against immigrants.

Tories are proving themselves to be utter bastards without any human feeling. They are the stuff Nazis were made of. Only they call it “hostile environment”, courtesy of Theresa May.