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Sun, 01 Aug 2021
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Med school madness and the denial of biological sex

Human sex chromosomes

(L) Female sex chromosome (R) Male sex chromsome
In November of 2018, I noted that, in an announcement, the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) maintained that not only gender, but biological sex should be "more accurately viewed as a continuum." That came as a shock to someone (me) who had spent his life sorting fruit flies into piles of males and females. (Once a year or so I'd find a "gynandromorph", an individual having bits from both sexes, but that is not in itself a sex — and they're extraordinarily rare.)

Here's the SSE's original announcement (my emphasis)
Variation in biological sex and in gendered expression has been well documented in many species, including humans, through hundreds of scientific articles. Such variation is observed at both the genetic level and at the individual level (including hormone levels, secondary sexual characteristics, as well as genital morphology). Moreover, models predict that variation should exist within the categories that HHS proposes as "male" and "female", indicating that sex should be more accurately viewed as a continuum.

Heart - Black

Hundreds of children abused while in care of Lambeth council, inquiry finds

Lambeth town hall
© Alamy
Lambeth town hall. The inquiry said the south London council had allowed violence and sexual assault to proliferate in its children’s residential homes.
Hundreds of vulnerable children in the care of Lambeth council in south London were subjected to horrendous cruelty and sexual abuse over several decades on a scale that was "hard to comprehend", an independent inquiry report has found.

The independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) found more than 700 allegations of sexual abuse against hundreds of staff and individuals connected with just three homes in the borough. The true scale of abuse was likely to be far higher, it said.

It said Lambeth council had allowed violence and sexual assault to flourish in its children's residential homes, had failed to act against known abusers, or tackle the brutal, harsh and punitive culture of its homes - with devastating consequences for many children in its care.

"It is hard to comprehend the cruelty and sexual abuse inflicted on children in the care of Lambeth council over many years, by staff, by foster carers and their families, and by volunteers in residential settings," the report concludes.


'You meddling conservatives!' Gavin Newsom blaming 'right-wing' media for his failings makes him sound like a Scooby-Doo villain

© Aric Crabb/MediaNews Group/Mercury News/Getty Images
California Governor Gavin Newsom
A grown man should have the capacity to own up to his mistakes. Instead, Governor Gavin Newsom has decided to ignore the suffering of Californians and blame conservative media for his inability to do his job properly.

Newsom, as a governor, is so unpopular in California that a recall election is about to be run. No doubt he's frustrated by this, for the obvious reason it could scupper his political ambitions for the future. Some might think this would be a time for self-reflection, to try to figure out where you went wrong and how you might fix things. But Gavin has decided to DARVO (deny, attack and reverse victim and offender) the entire population of his own state like an abusive husband.

During his recent appearance on MSNBC, he blamed the "conservative media" for the recall election happening. So, it's not the unpopular COVID-19 regulations? It's not the shuttering of thousands of businesses? It's not mandating masking and social distancing while you swan off to one of the world's most exclusive restaurants? It's not deciding to give away free housing with government money while businesses suffer? It's those gosh darn conservatives and their pesky media that's the problem.


California voters almost evenly split on recall of Dem Gov. Newsom

Gavin Newson
© Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Gov. Gavin Newson of California
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newson of California is in the fight for his political life, and according to one new poll, it could go either way.

Opponents of the governor, who made several major missteps as he locked down the entire state during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, collected enough signatures to secure a recall election on Newsom.

"Californians who say they expect to vote in the September recall election are almost evenly divided over whether to remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office, evidence of how pivotal voter turnout will be in deciding the governor's political fate, according to a new UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times," the paper wrote on Tuesday.

"The findings dispel the notion that California's solid Democratic voter majority will provide an impenetrable shield for Newsom, and reveal a vulnerability created by a recall effort that has energized Republicans and been met with indifference by many Democrats and independent voters," said the Times.


Tyrant Michigan Gov. Whitmer stripped of emergency powers


Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan legislators have stripped Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of the emergency powers she freely wielded during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state Senate approved the Unlock Michigan initiative on July 15. On Thursday, the Republican-controlled state House passed the measure with a 60-48 vote largely along party lines.

"Yesterday was a great day for Michigan, and yesterday was anything but partisan politics," Michigan Congresswoman Lisa McClain told "Fox & Friends First" on Friday. "It was the voice of the people saying enough is enough."

Whitmer utilized powers granted by the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945, which allowed her to enact significant health and safety restrictions in the early days of the pandemic.

Comment: Good. Now it's time to bring on the criminal charges.

Light Sabers

Russian billionaires vs British writer: London court battle begins over Putin book

Roman Abramovich
© Reuters
Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea football club Roman Abramovich
England's High Court will begin hearing arguments on Wednesday from lawyers for four Russian billionaires including Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich and state-owned oil firm Rosneft about a book on President Vladimir Putin which they say defames them.

In the 2020 book, British journalist Catherine Belton chronicles Putin's rise to power and how many of his associates from the former Soviet spy services rose to positions of wealth and influence after he won the top Kremlin job in 1999.

Lawyers for the businessmen will tell the court that passages in the book Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and then Took on the West, published by HarperCollins, are defamatory. Abramovich is suing both HarperCollins and Belton, according to case details filed with the courts and tribunals service.


MyPillow CEO, Mike Lindell, predicts Biden and Harris may resign over latest election claims

mike lindell my pillow election fraud law suit investigation
© AP Photo/Alex Brandon
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, March 30, 2020.
MyPillow CEO Michael J. Lindell said Monday that he thinks President Biden might resign next month when the pro-Trump bedding magnate reveals his latest purported evidence of alleged election interference.

Mr. Lindell, who denies the results of the 2020 election, falsely added that former President Trump will be reinstated if both Mr. Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris resign as he predicts may happen.

Speaking to Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump's former strategist, Mr. Lindell described the hypothetical dual resignations as one of several "pathways" for the former president to reenter the White House.

Comment: Despite the sneering tone of the article, Mr. Lindell has marshalled a bevy of experts and an impressive pile of evidence that he is correct about the fraudulent election. Whether or not that will be enough to overturn it is another matter, given that multiple courts have dismissed previous lawsuits on technicalities, before any evidence could be presented. What is odd and unsettling is that many Republican party members are impeding Lindell whenever possible. Apparently Trump is unacceptable to Washington swamp critters on both sides of the aisle.

Mr. Potato

'Leftist' ESPN columnist mocked after claiming US flag-waving at Olympics reminds him of 'rise of white nationalism'

ESPN columnist Bill Rhoden
© The Daily Mail
ESPN columnist Bill Rhoden; Opening ceremonies at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics
A veteran sportswriter has come under fire after suggesting that United States flags on display during the opening ceremony at the Tokyo Olympics were a visual reminder of the alleged surge of white nationalism in the US.

ESPN columnist Bill Rhoden told CBS This Morning that the opening ceremony used to be one of his favorite parts of the Olympics, but that this year he felt differently about the event.


Star of David

Human Rights Watch: Israel 'devastated entire families' in Gaza

gaza building israel bombing
© Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters
A building in Gaza collapses after being hit by Israeli missiles on May 12, 2021.
Israel's 11-day bombardment of the Gaza Strip in May amount to "war crimes", Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Tuesday.

Israeli attacks on Gaza "violated the laws of war and apparently amount to war crimes," the New York-based rights group said in a report.

HRW added it "investigated three Israeli strikes that killed 62 Palestinian civilians where there were no evident military targets in the vicinity."

Gerry Simpson, associate crisis and conflict director at HRW, said Israeli forces carried out attacks "that devastated entire families without any apparent military target nearby," noting that Israel's "consistent unwillingness to seriously investigate alleged war crimes" underlines the need for the International Criminal Court's inquiry.

Comment: The excuse eventually given by Israel was the launching of 'incendiary balloons' into the area adjacent to the open air prison.

And the reason:


Ireland will finally distinguish between hospital patients actually ill from Covid and those who simply test positive

doctor patient close up
The Irish Government has announced that it will change the way it collects data on Covid hospitalisations by distinguishing between those who are admitted to hospital because of the virus and those who test positive after being admitted for other reasons. It's only taken them 17 months! RTÉ has the story.
At present, the Health Service Executive [HSE] Covid hub website states that there are 141 people in hospital who have tested positive for Covid, of whom 22 are in ICU.

A Government spokesperson said it is "seeking better data on hospitalisations in order to better inform decision making.

Comment: Guess Ireland has finally caught up with the NHS in figuring out that only counting actual Covid deaths as Covid deaths (rather than anyone dying with Covid as a 'Covid death') the official numbers of total deaths from the disease will come down, making it seem as if the vaccines are working. Clever, no?

See: NHS Told to Identify Patients Actually Sick From Covid-19 Rather Than Those Testing Positive