The Widdershins

War Crimes by Any Other Name…

Posted on: April 4, 2022

Would be just as horrifying.

When I was at the conference two weeks ago, I heard Condi Rice talk about Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. She remained mostly non-partisan, but one critique she leveled at Biden was that she said he shouldn’t have called Putin a war criminal. She said she would have waited before making that strong statement.

I wonder how Condi feels about that position now?

We’ve been talking about what to call this ongoing immeasurable cruelty being perpetrated by Russia. The term “genocide” typically means that many more people have been killed than have been killed in Ukraine as of yet, so we’ve been wondering if that word applies. I think in this case, what’s being done is the intention of genocide. Zelenskyy said something like this.

“We are the citizens of Ukraine and we don’t want to be subdued to the policy of the the Russian federation, and this is the reason we are being destroyed and exterminated,” Zelenskyy said through a translator, pointing out that the alleged atrocities are happening in “the Europe of the 21st century.”

If Putin had his way, does anyone doubt that he would wipe Ukrainians off the face of the earth? After all, Soviet Russia did it before. It was called the Holodomor, and it was a man-made famine that happened in 1932-1933, under Joseph Stalin.

The overlying causes for the famine are still disputed. Some scholars suggest that the man-made famine was a consequence of the economic problems associated with changes implemented during the period of Soviet industrialisation.[26][27][28] There are also those who blame a systematic set of policies perpetrated by the Soviet government under Stalin designed to exterminate the Ukrainians.[11][56][25] According to Stephen Wheatcroft, the grain yield for the Soviet Union preceding the famine was a low harvest of between 55 and 60 million tons,[57]: xix–xxi  likely in part caused by damp weather and low traction power,[58] yet official statistics mistakenly reported a yield of 68.9 million tons.[59] Mark Tauger has suggested an even lower harvest of 45 million tons based on data from 40% of collective farms which has been criticized by other scholars.[59] While Wheatcroft rejects the genocide characterization of the famine, he states that “the grain collection campaign was associated with the reversal of the previous policy of Ukrainisation[60] and that “[Wheatcroft and his colleague’s] work has confirmed – if confirmation were needed – that the grain campaign in 1932/33 was unprecedentedly harsh and repressive.”[61] Historian Stephen G. Wheatcroft lists four problems Soviet authorities ignored that would hinder the advancement of agricultural technology and ultimately contributed to the famine:[61]

As the Ukrainian MP Kira Rudik said tonight on MSNBC, “All those people who said ‘never again,’ they need to help us prevent ‘never again’ from happening.” She followed that statement with pleas for weapons and equipment to protect their skies, their people from being massacred.

Let’s hope we do something to stop this soon. My heart and soul are sickened by this slaughter.

Open thread as always…but I’ll leave you with some good news, because we really, really need it. Ketanji Brown Jackson will be our first Black, female Supreme Court Justice, and there’s nothing the QOP can do to stop it.

108 Responses to "War Crimes by Any Other Name…"

Excellent post, MB! I have heard of that famine, and it seems like Putin is Stalin.2.

Love the Randy Rainbow on last thread btw. He’s as funny as ever.

MB @2, Ha! I hope it happens.

Last night, an ugly tirade by a trans activist appeared on my twitter feed, so I clicked on it (huge mistake) and was plunged into a deep, dark, angry world of mostly trans women who really seemed like they don’t like women at all. It was disturbing and actually scared me. I was left with the impression that they are going to make themselves at home in our safe spaces, careers, sports, whatever, and if we don’t like it, tough shit. They were absolutely vile about JKR, and a couple of women challenged them on it, telling them to read her very reasonable statement about why she spoke out about this issue and that did not go over well at all. . .they were more vicious than ever. Also I noticed how they dominated every conversation point, ganging up on the natural women in so aggressive a manner, that I thought, hmmm, they’re acting just like angry, defensive . . . men. I think a lot of them were from UK btw. One woman left a link to JKR’s essay and asked them to read it and point out one hateful thing, and I didn’t see any responses to it, but I clicked on it, and was amazed at how kind, reasonable and honest it was. I related to a lot of her experiences and thought, wow, we’re lucky to have a leader like this to help navigate through this sea of fear and anger. But the trans didn’t see it that way. It was a disturbing hour, and I had to take a bunch of melatonin to get to sleep. I don’t how the two sides are going to co-exist peacefully at this point.

Excellent idea about collecting the names of the perps for future war crimes trials.

Yes, socal. the TRAs can be a freakish bunch. And, yes, very toxic masculine, while screaming about how they’re more women than women. The misogynists and weirdos among them just plain need help. Others, like Debbie Hayton who writes for the Times, and whose day job is teaching physics in high school, are fine, insightful people who just really are more comfortable being in women’s social role. We could do without the gumballs. There’s no way to coexist with someone who thinks your only purpose in this world is to support them in any madness they choose to follow.

@4, socalannie, Yes. JKR’s actual words are thoughtful and reasonable. She wants the males who identify as trans women to live without fear and discrimination, just as women should be able to live without fear and discrimination. Human rights, however, don’t include being able to hang your dick out in women’s changing rooms or pressure lesbians to have sex with males. Or pressure for gay men to have sex with women because if they don’t they’re transphobic and have genital fetishes. (eyeroll) As you’ve noticed, the reaction from trans-identified men who are asked to leave women alone is to insult and threaten them. Why? You won’t see women doing that.

This situation has been going on for a few years. They just “want to pee.” Somehow that turned into invading girls’ and women’s rape crisis centers, homeless shelters, changing rooms, restrooms, saunas, sports, and female-only scholarships and medals. Offer them their own space and they reject it. Example: Hannah Mouncey, an Australian handball player who went from the male team to the women’s after claiming female ‘gender identity.’ He refused to use the changing room set especially aside for him, and insisted on using the women’s changing room. Fortunately for the women, he was dropped after they all refused to let him enter. Most men who identify as trans women keep their penis and testicles, as has Lia Thomas. Unfortunately in Thomas’ case he’s allowed to shower with the women, even though he’s shown physiological signs of getting excited by this.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10445679/Lia-Thomas-UPenn-teammate-says-trans-swimmer-doesnt-cover-genitals-locker-room.html

The UK has a good solution in their Equality Act, which bars discrimination based on protected “characteristics” of sex, age, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender change recognition, but allows exceptions when reasonably necessary for that protected characteristic– so girls’ and women’s same-sex spaces are protected. This makes sense to me.

Note: #NotAllTrans. Many trans persons are open that they haven’t actually changed sex, and understand that it’s not fair for them to invade women’s sports and same-sex spaces. It’s the men’s-rights type trans who are the problem. There’s far fewer trans-identified women who are demanding gay guy sleep with them, and even fewer in men’s sports. Ha! Wonder why?

Source for Hannah Mouncey example: https://savewomenssports.com/hannah-mouncey

I agree #NotAllTrans…but the activists are generally at the very least, tone deaf and at the worst, they act the way they acted towards you, Annie. I’m so sorry to hear about that. And, I know how triggering it is that they discount your entire existence as a woman when they try to “erase” sex in favor of gender. My friend the gender studies professor says they are doing it to advance the rights of all people. That is rank BS. My marginalization is based on the fact that I can have children (aka sex), not the fact that my gender is female. If I were a trans man I would still be able to have children and would still be considered unworthy to manage my own body by one of the major political parties in the US. Therefore, canceling the word “mother” in favor of “birthing people” doesn’t do anything except reduce the act of mothering to something an animal can do. It certainly doesn’t protect against the wackadoo red state laws that are taking away women’s agency and allowing for child rape and subsequent marriage. Way to marginalize women even further!!

My colleague, a trans woman, was shaking and crying because I didn’t refer to her as a woman without a qualifier (trans). I’m sorry, but who the hell are you to define womanhood? Who gave you that right?

I’m going to ask her that in our next conversation. She is a kind and reasonable person so we’re going to try to work through this. She has some assumptions that I think she needs to question, and I’m continuing to educate myself about the trans experience with her help.

A while back on the Investigation Discovery Channel (I think it was), I saw a very strange story about Philip Bondy, a man who had Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID). I had never heard of such a thing. Anyway, this guy was absolutely convinced his whole life that he had a leg that shouldn’t be there (and that obsession tormented him and made his life miserable). He could not find a surgeon who would fix it for him. Finally at the age of 79 he found a quack, Dr. Brown who was willing to amputate the leg. Mr. Bondy died as a result of the procedure. Dr. Brown was also willing to perform “gender affirming” surgeries for the right price. Dr. Brown ended up being convicted of second-degree murder and was sent to prison. You can find the story on Wikipedia if you’re interested…

I guess my point is, the human mind can come up with just about anything. I don’t doubt that it seems real to them even though it looks crazy to everyone else. I just don’t think there’s been enough research on transsexualism.

In the meantime, toxic masculinity is – to state the obvious – TOXIC. And as you all have educated me on, that’s what TRAs are all about. Can we just call biological men “penis people”? No penis people are allowed in women’s spaces. Unless you’re Donald Trump in which case, feel free to go in young women’s dressing rooms and gawk – like the creepy perv you are.

@9 mb, good luck with your colleague! I admire your negotiating skills! The problem is the same as any time someone constructs a fantasy world that requires everyone to participate to maintain the fiction. Emperor’s new clothes stuff. And when the Emperor is in a position to get you fired or hated, also dangerous. But maybe she/he would be open to information of trans people, like Debbie Hayton, Miranda Yardley, Fiona (Apple? not sure of last name), who’ve lived as women for eons and have no trouble acknowledging that they’re not biological women. Basically, planting the seed that she can live as who she likes without worrying about biology.

The war crimes in Ukraine are so awful I can’t even say anything about it. The words get stuck in my throat as a scream.

Get rid of Putin. Get rid of Putin. GetridofPutin. GetridofPutin. GetridofPutin. GetridofPutin. GetridofPutin.

(I know he’s getting way too much enthusiastic cooperation. But he’s the enabler. Without him, there’s a hope of halting these atrocities.)

@10 – PJ, oh my goddess. What a terrible story. That “doctor” deserved to go to jail!!

@11 – thanks, Q! I think she lives in a pretty big echo chamber. But I have the same need – no penises in safe spaces such as locker rooms, where I and other women take off their clothes. It’s too scary and dangerous.

This type of terrorism against women does not at all impact TRA. This is the source of my tension.

I agree with socal – excellent post, MB. I’ve stopped watching the news the last several days – it’s too upsetting and it makes me feel too helpless. I wonder if people in America knew what Hitler was doing while he was doing it – I don’t think so. I agree it doesn’t really matter what we call it, the acts speak for themselves. Zelenskyy said it perfectly about what this is about.

As for Condi – a day late and a dollar short, as usual.

@15 My source of tension as well – terrorism is the right word. Another thing that I can only think about in small doses.

More people have a Body Integrity Identity Disorder than I would think could be possible. They are considered to have a mental disorder. OTOH, amputating healthy breasts, penises and scrotums is considered affirmation. Not that very many trans-id’d men do the genital amputation since they believe in ladydicks, lol.

Brave, beautiful, and resistant!

@17 That was my thinking too, Luna. Why *isn’t* trans thought of as a mental disorder, a delusion? By the medical profession, I mean. Or is it something real? I’ve always accepted it as a real thing, until the discussions here and I remembered Mr. Bondy. He was every bit as convinced, and distressed, as a transperson about being in the wrong body – yet no one would consider that real. I don’t know the answer, but I think it should be looked at a little more closely. Ladydicks… no question, *that’s* crazy. 🙂

PJ, it used to be that “gender dysphoria” was classified as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. Then the “disorder” was removed a few years back, because ‘transphobic’ (eyeroll). Most states now have policies saying that anyone who identifies as another gender should be affirmed in that gender, without need for surgery, hormones, or a period of time living as that gender. Whatever the hell ‘gender’ means. It sure looks like stereotypes to me — the lipstick, dresses, high heels, long hair. Those things do not make a woman. Mastectomies and genital plastic surgery are usually covered by most insurance now. I want to know why other body dysphorias aren’t covered! I identify as someone skinnier and younger! I want plastic surgery to fix my body disphoria!

Crazy-making.

Unfortunately, I believe the APA also once classified homosexuality as a disorder which was clearly wrong. Maybe it spooked them?

Hey! I have body dysphoria too – I also want plastic surgery to look younger. (not really; I think plastic surgery to make you look younger makes you look not quite human, jmo. I loved Phyllis Diller, but not the way she looked… I found it a bit scary)

So what do you think about drag queens? (it’s possible, probable, I’m thinking about this as a distraction from thinking about what’s happening in Ukraine). I’ve watched all the episodes of “We’re Here”. These three guys are genuinely good people (imo). They are gay and not interested in women, sexually. They say drag saved their lives and I believe them. They say being in drag makes them feel powerful. So it got me thinking about female stereotypes and where they come from (men, I think) and even for gay men, feminine power comes from a lot of make-up, big hair, and high heels (like you were talking about). In short, sex appeal (or what men find sexually appealing in women?) And where do male stereotypes come from? Again, men, I think.

I don’t know… it doesn’t seem fair.

All that aside, I like the show’s central theme of letting people express themselves however they want to – as long as it doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s rights – which I don’t think they do.

Sound on!

Luna @23, A tiny bit of love in that poor place. I’m glad they found each other. Dogs are wonderful.

The only trans person I know is very far from mentally ill. I think it’s definitely real, although I think now it’s become a bit diluted by trendiness.

I watched a video she sent me about what trans is like. The trans woman said she feels comfortable and relaxed in her body for the first time. She said she never felt like she was really a man, and when she gave up pretending, it was an enormous relief.

IMO drag is womanface. Bunch of White people dressing up like stereotypical Blacks is racist. Drag is misogynist. Why is it OK when men make fun of women as vain, shrill, dumb, over- or under-sexed, busty, and slathered with cosmetics? I think the men doing drag are indulging their inner AGP.

“…was shaking and crying because I didn’t refer to her as a woman without a qualifier (trans).”

MB, glad to hear you don’t give in to compelled speech. What is a woman? An adult human female. It’s quite simple. There’s no reason why a man’s feelings should mean the rest of us have to lie about reality.

As for “…feels comfortable and relaxed in her body for the first time.” That’s great that he liked the results of his plastic surgery and exogenous hormones. That’s fine and a wonderfully positive outcome after what time-intensive, and painful surgeries. I do have a problem if he claims he’s now a woman, or now a lesbian and pressures real lesbians to sleep with him, or if he demands that I should use “she” pronouns for him. I have to be evidence-based in my work. As much as possible, I’m that way in the rest of my life. It’s OK for him to dress and behave as he wishes, and have sex with any consenting adult as long as it doesn’t intrude on the rights of others. But he shouldn’t expect us to affirm that he’s something he’s not. As quixote mentioned in one of her comments, there are a number of old-school transsexuals (as they call themselves) who’ve had surgery, use exogenous hormones, wear stereotypical women’s clothing, but know they haven’t changed sex.

@28 That cute fox? Looks innocent to me. 🙂

I’m going to admit that I sometimes end up being more confused with these conversations, but that’s on me – I still appreciate having the conversation.

PJ, if drag was just dressing up, it would be fine. Funny, even.

But, like blackface, it’s done on a background of gross power relations. Making fun of or even just having fun with an underclass for being in the box they’ve been stuffed into … that’s not funny. That’s just more of the same gross power relations.

I know the charge some people get out of it is that they feel like they’re striking a blow against stereotypes by overdoing them. And so long as you ignore the entire massive superstructure of sexism and misogyny, yeah, that’s sort of true. And it’s good to start somewhere.

Thing is, it’s such a small step, you can’t stop there without becoming part of the problem.

Yes – I appreciate the conversations too, PJ. I think there’s a range of views here, and all of us are well-intentioned. We don’t have to agree on everything.

The important thing is to provide some safety for women to have the conversation. This safety is sorely lacking in the public forum, as Annie found out.

I agree, MB – having a safe place for women to have these discussions is a very good thing!

Quixote and Luna, thank you for your thoughts about drag – I can see what you’re saying. On the “We’re Here” show specifically, piling on women doesn’t seem to be their intent (which doesn’t excuse them, I’m just saying). You made me think about what *is* driving them so hard to do it (at least in their minds)? Why is it lifesaving? I think maybe it’s male stereotypes they are attacking. All three of them lived in fear of being “found out” as gay. They were constantly worried about appearing “manly” enough. Until finally one day they said, “fuck it”. I’m going 100% in the other direction. It was very liberating for them. I don’t think it crossed their minds how it would affect women – which is also kind of a sad commentary…

If I’m right, it still doesn’t really work, does it? Attacking the male stereotype (which was hurtful to them) by overdoing the female stereotype (which is hurtful to women).

I will say the show has also had lesbians on who have done male drag (I’m not sure what the actual term for it is). It really doesn’t have the same feel. Probably because of the “background of gross power relations” that you were talking about, quixote.

The only time I’ve seen that kind of thing land a punch to the white male power structure was when Melissa McCarthy did Sean Spicer.

God, the MacCarthy-Spicer skits! I burst out laughing even now just thinking about them.

(One thing, she was doing a genius job of parodying *Spicer*. Not maleness or masculinity.)

Insightful point about why those guys found it so liberating. I hadn’t thought of that possibility. As I said, good to start somewhere.

(One thing, she was doing a genius job of parodying *Spicer*. Not maleness or masculinity.)

True. Good point. (bummed look)

Time for a cute, ah, weird critter pic!

@15 I caught a little bit of Joy Reid’s show and she had a pollster guy on who said that even in Oklahoma, only 15% want to make abortion illegal (which is the same as nationwide – 15%). Talk about minority rule!

Joy was talking about the SCOTUS overturning Roe and it makes me sick, but it’s starting to feel inevitable (sorry to say that out loud). If that happens, then abortion rights will be state-by-state? Thus the need for bounty hunters, I guess – to catch women trying to escape? These Red States are really getting scary. How far are they going to go with this Christian fascism? I think they’ll go until they’re stopped.

Something interesting (but not surprising) that the pollster said: two-thirds of Republicans said the country has been going in the wrong direction since 1950; two-thirds of Democrats think the country has been going in the right direction since 1950.

Great post MB!

I hate Putin, he is going straight to Hell and I wish there was a faster way to get him there. I can’t even watch the news, it is so sickening, heartbreaking and makes me livid.

IMO –
Trans-women are men with surgeries or even without surgeries but like to pretend they are women. Have they had to deal with an effin’ period every month since they were a preteen?? That’s a BFD, like it or not. (Sorry DYB, hope it’s not too blunt for you.)

Have they had to worry about getting raped and getting pregnant by force? And having an abortion…

Have they been treated like a second class worker, all their lives, making peanuts compared to men doing the same job?

Have they had to raise their children alone while their cheating husband destroyed their marriage?

These are just a few things these trans ‘women’ will never experience.
I don’t give them a free pass into womanhood, it’s not about wearing makeup, pretty frocks and being treated like a princess.

As if cutting my hair short, wearing men’s shoes and driving a truck would make me a man. Nor would I preach to men that I am the same as they are.

Annie, sometimes you’re too nice to people that treat you and your friends badly. They don’t deserve your kindness. ❤

PJ
‘Penis People’……..good one.

Shadow, good points!

I’ve appreciated the conversations here and listening to what you all have said. I credit quixote for pointing me to evidence when I said over at SD that TW were W, and that our bathrooms at home were used by both sexes. (Or did I say ‘gender’ back then — I was pretty clueless then.) I always thought something was weird about a man claiming he was a woman when he had no idea what it was like to be in a woman’s body or grow up as a girl and then a women. But I was going along with the majority of other liberals and wanted to ‘be kind.’ Q noted that one’s home bathroom is only used by people we invite into our homes, and that it’s a room with a door and only used by one person at a time. She also noted that Karen White (British trans-identified male) when put from the men’s into the women’s prison because he ‘transitioned’ had raped 4 women before the prison authorities realized it wasn’t a good thing to put a man in a cell with a woman. Then I started learning more, reading up on DSDs which are medical conditions, not ‘intersex’ nor gender identity, and thinking about the implications of putting male bodies in women’s same-sex spaces. Viewed the videos by the immortal Magdalen Berns. Goddess but I love(d) her. I read what other women and feminist were saying, and looked at trans people’s writings. Twitter is an all too abhorrent source for this. Whoa! Sure looked like TRAs (trans rights activists) were the same as MRAs (men’s rights activists). The insults, the disgust, the threats to women. The demands for lesbians to sleep with them. Interesting there’s much, much less of that (if any) from trans-identified women. Well, after all they are women.

I’ve certainly been radicalized, lol! Though it wasn’t too hard. Even in childhood and teens I’d occasionally say or do things which others thought strange since I was a girl and not a boy. Huh? I’d think, since those actions were just what I did according to my personality, not my sex. I credit that to growing up fairly isolated and not being allowed to watch much TV. Ha! So I did escape some of the socialization girls and women get. I’ve always thought that ‘feminine’ should mean absolutely anything a female did, and ‘masculine’ anything a man did, and there’d be plenty of overlap.

We woman have different opinions on how polite or accepting we should be of men who think they’re women. And that’s OK. We come from different backgrounds. What we can all agree on is that men who think they’re woman are not really women and they can’t really understand living and growing up in a female body. And that they should stay out of girls’ and women’s same-sex spaces!

@41 OMG that was so funny! Better even than what I remembered. Thank you for posting.

@38 Excellent points, Shadow.

Your comment also sent me off in another direction thinking about how far women have come in overcoming their biology. Periods really are a bitch and menopause is no picnic either (not to mention childbirth for a lot of women). Yet women are still expected to perform their duties on the job, at school, at home, taking care of the people around them, etc. And they do.

Men, on the other hand, have not done as well in overcoming their biology (tendencies toward aggression, dominance, sexual preoccupation, etc). Maybe because they haven’t had to.

(I’m speaking in generalities, of course)

Speaking of the good ole days of the 1950s (when America was GREAT!) It was a time when:

Women were not allowed to make contracts or wills, could not buy or sell property, had little control of their earnings in most situations, and were discouraged from acting politically, such as hold office, even though they could vote. Women’s rights were minimal. Abortion was illegal and there was no contraception pill.

Jim Crow laws were going strong. The Ku Klux Klan was in full-swing. Black men had the right to vote, but Black women were effectively banned from voting (until the Voting Rights Act in 1965). Very few opportunities for Black people.

No gay marriage. Pre-Stonewall and the gay liberation movement. It was cool to treat gays and lesbians like shit.

The Supreme Court – all white men

Congress – 97-98% white men

(Those are just a few of the wonderful things. Pretty shitty if you weren’t a straight white guy)

But this is how MAGAts/White Fundiegelicals remember it (honestly, I could only get through like the first minute. I found it to be truly gag-worthy). If you google “what was it like in the 1950s?”, it will come up all roses – that’s how I found this gem:

Shadow – the points you make are exactly the ones that come up in my head every morning when I’m thinking about this. I am glad to hear I’m not alone in thinking that my life as a woman is defined by sex, and not gender. I wish I could be free of my uterus, honestly. I know Luna and Quixote will explain that it’s vital to the proper functioning of my body, but man is it awful to go through periods and then menopause. I can’t even get to official menopause yet. I am way too old for this sh*t!

Luna, I had a similar journey. As a liberal I want equality for all, and I have a very soft spot for the gay community in general. But when I heard about “birthing people” I started to realize that TRA are actually harming women in their attempts to promote equality. Never mind the women’s sports and locker rooms – that just doesn’t make any sense. My husband said straight men will just game the system and my instinct says he’s right. And I agree about the core positions – I think we’re aligned.

I do call people whatever they want to be called, but that doesn’t change their sex into female.

PJ – love the 50s commentary!! Amazing that 85% of Oklahomans are against that abortion law. No wonder they did it secretly and suddenly.

Really appreciated this great conversation on the trans issue. Like all of you, I want to be a kind, inclusive liberal, but having a hard time with this latest issue. It’s a bridge too far, I guess. I can’t believe that prison let the trans rape 4 women before they moved him. Are women rapists?!? It trans want to live as women, that’s fine, but some of their demands, like sharing our private, safe spaces, and the competitive sports issue need to be looked at again. And I hate the idea of being called a birthing person. It seems really contradictory for the trans community to insist on being referred to, and treated as “women” while at the same time demanding that women delivering babies be called “birthing person!”

As Shadow & PJ brought out, the trans women haven’t and cannot experience all of the critical women-only-biology experiences we have, like menstruation, and many others, and we can’t experience theirs. That’s a monumental difference. They’re women in their heads, we are in our heads and bodies. My hubs (who is in the public building biz) thinks that cities, counties, schools are going to have to build single use bathrooms and showers, and that L.A. is already on it.

So I’m sitting in a Starbucks near a community college (near where you used to live Quixote) and a trans is here, but I cannot tell if it is a trans man or woman, the body, clothes, hair are a mixture of both.

@50, zomg, where is that? Queen Elizabeth’s deck?? 😆

(I don’t remember you ever being clueless, Luna!)

Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed!! What an incredible and historic day

Shadow, that’s sweet of you to say I’m too nice! However, I think I’m losing it as I get older.

MB, my hubs has also said that straight men will game the system. I’m wondering now if men mind or don’t mind having trans men in their restrooms and gym showers. And what about sports? Do trans men want to compete on men’s, women’s teams, or both depending on the sport? So many weird variables.

Quixote @51, Haha! I had the same thought. My son counted 8 corgis. Also, there’s one in the middle that moves back & forth to keep the hammock swinging. They look so happy, like they’re smiling.

The hammock dogs are really cute, I was just waiting for someone to toss their favorite ball and see what happens…

Annie, you will always be kind and unfortunately some will take advantage of it. That’s what hardens you up as you get older. We should always leave room for the exception, if they mindful are of not stepping on our toes.

Yipes, let me redo the last part of that sentence. (I am still recovering from being at the dentist).

*”…if they are mindful and are not stepping on our toes”.

LOL! I imagine what would happen if someone tossed a ball! We’d have a hammock of corgis bursting apart and scrabbling in the air and on each other!

A neighbor couple down the way have a corgi. It always looks so very happy-happy-happy when getting walked.

SCOTUS trashing the Clean Water Act — atrocious.

They used red paint so it looks like blood. Apparently he’s not too badly hurt (this time).

Prominent Russian newspaper editor Dmitry Muratov was attacked on a train Thursday, doused with a paint and acetone mixture that left his eyes burning, his newspaper said.

The attack came just days after Muratov, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was forced to suspend operations of the independent Novaya Gazeta newspaper until the end of Russia’s war with Ukraine.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/07/russia-muratov-novaya-gazeta-attack/

@52 Isn’t it fantastic?! It has been a long and busy day for me, but I couldn’t let it pass by without saying, WOO HOO!!

@50 I love that. 🙂

I’m really happy that the Three Amigo/a/s voted to affirm Ketanji Brown Jackson as a new Supreme. I think that makes the majority of Supremes female? Congratulations Ketanji!!

@62 Me too! Now I can feel okay again about voting for Romney. 🙂 This is going to sound strange, but I was really proud of him. Seeing him standing there alone and clapping was really something. And I don’t want to take for granted Murkowski (who I like) and Collins (ugh) too. I think the three of them are always going to feel good about that vote even if it costs them politically.

@63 That’s great! Beating those three “somethings” – I don’t know what to call them – makes me feel there’s hope for America. I’m going to take it as a good sign/omen. KBJ wins again!

Even though she’ll be on the side of three to six, I’m not going to underestimate her. #BlackGirlMagic

It’s too early in the morning for me to say this (although it’s never stopped me before), but I see Barrett as a woman in vagina only (which has nothing to do with trans discussion). Just like I see Clarence Thomas as a Black man in skin only. Both are totally on board with hurting women and Black people in service to the white male god.

@47 “No wonder they did it secretly and suddenly”

They’re doing a lot of shit under the cover of darkness. The morally bankrupt Grand Old Perverts (h/t Dak).

There may not be room in the sidebar, but wouldn’t it be great to have a picture of Biden holding hands with Judge Jackson – watching the Senate confirm her? That really got to me.

Very glad Jackson got confirmed – and with 3 Republican votes. Lindsey Graham didn’t even bother to vote from the Senate chamber. He voted from the cloak room. Bernie Sanders left before the voting finished. Kyrsten Sinema announced she would vote yes when her vote was no longer needed. We live in the dumbest times.

Supreme Court Judge Jackson! Cheers! Champagne!

Bernie left before the voting finished? What a jerk. I’m not surprised, though.

Putting this in 2nd comment since Spammy doesn’t like me putting 2 links in the same comment. Who says old rockers can’t rock?!

Pink Floyd reunite for Ukraine protest song

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-61037080

The Burning Man is such a loser.

‘L’ on the forehead!

Bernie is such a class act, isn’t he? Once again, he proves Black women in SC right.

I was just watching Joy Reid and she was talking about Tim Scott who didn’t vote for Judge Jackson. Of course he couldn’t – his white man club card would have been revoked. I don’t think he’s a true believer in white supremacy like Clarence, but he’s willing to play the game for personal gain. White men have been playing this wicked game for a long time – using Black people to keep down other Black people. Like the story of Nat Turner from the early 1800s who was trotted around to preach from the bible to other slaves – telling them that God wanted them to be obedient to their masters. But then Nat woke up…

@75 That is so sick. This war on women is starting to have a Putin/Ukraine feel to it. The frustration and anger about the progress women have made is reaching a fever pitch to where they just can’t stand it and will do anything and everything to put us back in our place – under male control. It’s fucking scary.

Speaking of sick/disturbed people… I’m sure people here will be rooting for Le Pen this weekend. Has Tucker been promoting her like he does Putin?

I wasn’t going to say anything about Miss Lindsey, but I can’t help myself. When I was in grade school, we learned how to make papier mache. You know, you blow up a balloon, dip the newspaper strips in a flour/water paste, put them around the balloon, wait for it dry, and then pop the balloon. Voila. Then you paint the “head”. Some kids did clowns (not me!). But yeah, that’s Lindsey. There is seriously no core there at all. His entertainment value is just not worth it.

Totally agree, PJ. I’m in Texas right now and I just hate being here. Our two biggest offices are in this godforsaken state. I can’t imagine how a single person is okay living in this hellhole.

Poor MB, tell us how you really feel about Texas. 😉

$500k bail, that’s a crime!!

…While her impregnator gets off scot free.

End abortions! Mandatory vasectomies for all males! And give the unlock key to women.

MB,

I wish I could be free of my uterus, honestly. I know Luna and Quixote will explain that it’s vital to the proper functioning of my body, but man is it awful to go through periods and then menopause. I can’t even get to official menopause yet.

I won’t tell you that you need to keep your uterus. There are conditions where it makes sense to remove it; in which case the surgeon should leave as much of the cervix as possible, as there are indications this part of the body helps in the orgasmic process. (grin) Most H. sapiens women had very few menstrual periods in the hundreds of thousands of years before invention of contraception, because (unfortunately) women were pregnant much of the time. Exclusive breastfeeding would have suppressed menses for a while too.

The #1 reason for women to be anemic? Menses. Measured by strength of muscle contraction, menstrual cramps are easily stronger than heart attacks. When I first read this I thought What? Heart attacks are only as bad as menstrual cramps? LOL!

Solutions for painful and excessive menstrual bleeding: 1) birth control pills, 2) continuous birth control pills (no it is not harmful to suppress periods). You don’t ovulate when on birth control pills so the menses are in effect breakthrough bleeding. 3) Mirena or similar IUD with small amount of levonorgestrel to suppress bleeding; not a systemic estrogen. 4) Endometrial ablation, with the caveat that pregnancy is unlikely to occur successfully or safely afterwards. 5) Hysterectomy. In order of my preference I’d pick endo ablation 1st and next Mirena IUD.

Solutions for menopause: None that I know of. HRT is ok for a few years. Risks increase with continued use. Approx 30% of women have no symptoms of menopause, ~30% moderate symptoms, and ~30% horrible symptoms. Tendencies may be inherited. My mother had hot flashes into her 70s (thanks, mom *angry face*). There are some meds which decrease thermal instability (hot flashes, otherwise known as brief descents to the fires of Hades) but nothing that eliminates it.

Do trans men want to compete on men’s, women’s teams, or both depending on the sport?

Extremely odd, but women who claim they’re men don’t seem to be invading men’s sports. Hmmmm. Wonder why? Because they’d effin’ lose! Even with testosterone supplementation, a fit woman wouldn’t reach the speed or power of a fit man. The only exceptions could be sports where flexibility is crucial. These trans-identified women should play on the women’s team (they are indeed women) if they’re not taking wrong-sex hormones. If they are, then a trans or mixed-sex team.

Damn it, how much more evidence of war crimes do we need? Evil, evil, evil.

Minutes after an attack left at least 52 people dead at a train station in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on Friday, Washington Post reporters saw near the scene the remains of a missile, with the words “for the children” scrawled on its side, in Russian.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/04/09/missile-writing-kramatorsk-train-station-ukraine-russia/

As Luna says, uterus is not super-critical, but cervix is nice to leave in place if possible since quite a few useful bundles of nerves are there.

One consideration about a hysterectomy, especially if it’s removed through a sizable incision in what’s currently the usual procedure, is that it’s major abdominal surgery. So there are all the potential downstream effects of such surgery, starting with internal scar adhesions which can be painful, and continuing on from there. What I’m trying to say is that removal is nontrivial, even if the organ itself isn’t important to the patient.

HRT can be a lifesaver. Low dose is better than high dose, but the recent ideas that it’s bad long term are actually not panning out. The added risk is quite small. Don’t have the reference, but it was on the order of, say, 10 expected cases of breast cancer per 2000 with HRT, and 8 expected per 2000 without. So, two extra cases per 2000. It could be expressed as an extra 20% of cases, but that doesn’t give a very realistic picture of the actual risk being taken on. Plus, HRT helps heart health, muscle tone, neural health, so there are costs to _not_ taking it.

It’s not fundamentally different from birth control — exogenous hormones added to the body — and women take birth control for decades.

I feel your pain, MB! Hellhole, indeed. Extremely unpleasant for non-demons. But demons seem to like it.

Since this is Sunday, the day of religion…

Last week, I saw clips (or rather heard, I was busy doing something else) on MSNBC of religious leaders calling for more babies, babies, babies. More babies is the answer to everything! And I think it was Luna who pointed out the Pope doing the same thing.

Given the rights’ current obsession with pedophilia (obvious projection) and the Catholic Church’s past, it is just too freaking disgusting and disturbing.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Q was sexually abused as a child or is a child sex predator himself. Or both. (it isn’t common for victims of abuse to become abusers, but some do)

Quixote, my impression from the literature is that many –but not all — of the benefits we used to assume with HRT use haven’t held up in clinical trials.

Risks/benefits, from Cochrane review 2017. Cochrane reviews are considered by most to be standards of practice. Their criteria are rather stiff, though.

AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: Women with intolerable menopausal symptoms may wish to weigh the benefits of symptom relief against the small absolute risk of harm arising from short-term use of low-dose HT, provided they do not have specific contraindications. HT may be unsuitable for some women, including those at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, increased risk of thromboembolic disease (such as those with obesity or a history of venous thrombosis) or increased risk of some types of cancer (such as breast cancer, in women with a uterus). The risk of endometrial cancer among women with a uterus taking oestrogen-only HT is well documented. HT is not indicated for primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease or dementia, nor for prevention of deterioration of cognitive function in postmenopausal women. Although HT is considered effective for the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, it is generally recommended as an option only for women at significant risk for whom non-oestrogen therapies are unsuitable. Data are insufficient for assessment of the risk of long-term HT use in perimenopausal women and in postmenopausal women younger than 50 years of age.

Free full-text here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6465148/

Skimming thru the first few pages of ‘cited by’ articles, there isn’t anything substantial to contradict the above.

Timing is important: Benefits are highest and risks lowest when HRT is started in the perimenopausal or just at menopause time period, rather than 5 or 10 yrs later. Since menopause is defined as starting 1 yr after cessation of menses, we can’t tell except retrospectively. Another study sums it all up, rather unsatisfactorily, by saying there is “a complex balance of benefits and harms on multiple health outcomes.” OTOH, benefit on the genito-urinary system is clear and topical treatments can be safely used even by women with breast cancer. Sigh. It’s a very individual decision.

Sorry for TMI for everyone not interested in this topic!

Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Objectives:

The objective was to assess the effect of menopausal hormonal therapy (MHT) on all-cause and cause-specific mortality.
Methods:

We conducted a comprehensive search of several databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Database of Systematic Reviews, and Scopus) from inception [1982] until August 2013. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of more than 6 months of duration comparing MHT with no treatment. Pairs of independent reviewers selected trials, assessed risk of bias and extracted data. We estimated risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using the random-effects model.

Conclusion:

The current evidence suggests that MHT does not affect the risk of death from all causes, cardiac death and death from stroke or cancer.

(From a popular article, referring to a JAMA article. This is the WHI researchers themselves, but is a not-so-click-useful aspect that did not get stressed.)

… excess risk, the actual increase in risk between the two groups. In fact, as the Women’s Health Initiative researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association, in terms of breast cancer and stroke, the excess risk was just eight more strokes and eight more invasive breast cancers per 10,000 person-years.

Thanks so much, Q and Luna, for the medical info! I can well believe that menstrual cramps are like, or worse than, heart attacks. I was debilitated by them for many years until I took birth control pills to stabilize. I had to quit using them after a while, as I developed a rash all over my body from the binders in the pills. Apparently it’s not that uncommon.

I am not one to have elective surgery or take supplements (I typically struggle with any kind of medication other than allergy meds), so I think I’m just going to be stuck with my slow roll towards menopause.

PJ, in terms of the religion and having more babies, it really does break your heart to think about what these QOP are doing. How can anyone be so evil?!

MB, I hope you made it back to civilization ok and that there aren’t any residual effects!

Yes, the medical info is much appreciated. DYB, if you have any male body issues, please feel free to share. 🙂

Did everyone see the tweet about the little boy at the Trump rally who said he was there to see Joe Biden? It was an honest mistake. I’m sure his intellectually challenged parents told him they were going to see the president. It was so cute and innocent, but he probably paid later. 😦

@95, surprise surprise!

Butterflies fluttering.

@95 That’s good news.

@98 It feels more and more like that. Zelenskyy has been saying for a long time that at some point NATO will get involved militarily – at some point it just won’t be an option not to. It’s just a matter of how many people have to die before that happens. He could be right. I’m glad I’m not at all involved in that decision for the U.S. I’m super glad it’s Biden and not DumpsterFire making that decision. OMG, that’s a terrifying thought. Dump in charge right now.

Wow – Jared got 2 Billion from his buddy, the Saudi Prince. It’s probably like 2 dollars for the Prince, but it could be very embarrassing for him if Jared fails – given that the Saudi advisors said, “no effing way, are you serious?”. And we know how the Prince handles things when someone falls out of favor with him… I wonder if Jared has thought about that.

Awwww.

@91, yep, wasn’t horribly bad. However, analysis shows that the estrogen only for women w/hysterectomy didn’t increase risk. For women w/uterus, it did. Breaking down the stats by age range, the risk was low for women at and within 5 yrs of menopause. It went up for women who were on HRT for more than ~5 yrs. So, it doesn’t make sense to lump all the women’s risks together.

The WHI and more recent research findings indicate the benefits of HRT have been overrated. Non-systemic, local HRT such as vaginal creams, pills, or the Estring have no to minimal risk and I’d recommend those. For women w/out risk factors HRT, if desired, would be a good choice for perimenopause and up to 5 yrs or so afterwards. There’s enough complexity that it’s hard to make blanket recommendations. As always, I change my recommendations as new findings are made.

@92, MB, That’s awful you got a rash from the pill ingredients. There should have been some brands that didn’t have those allergy-inducing ingredients. I can understand not wanting surgery.

I also had painful muscle contractions at menses. I was very anemic due to excessive bleeding, and was based on my ferritin level was 1 pt away from getting transfused. I ended up getting an endometrial ablation and should have had that done years before. No incisions, simply ablation of the endometrium which as you probably know is the uterine lining which grows cushiony with capillaries after ovulation in case there’s a fertilized egg to nurture. If no egg, not, this lining is shed and is the menstrual fluid. An ablation renders the uterus unable to produce this cushy lining again — so there’s very little to no bleeding. Also no cramping as the uterus doesn’t have to contract to discard the endometrium. Voila! No pain, no menses, no anemia! You should get pain meds and perhaps muscle relaxants afterwards, but recovery is rapid.

The Mirena or other hormonal IUDs — there are at least 4 options in the US — are good choices, too. They are not like the horrible Dalkon Shields of yester-decades. They cause lightening or cessation of menses and last for up to 7 yrs, depending on brand.

It really feels like Putin has sucked us all into the “Lord of the Flies” story. There are way too many “Jacks” in the world, but he is THE Jack right now. He has to be stopped and it is becoming clear that the only way to do that is militarily. I’ve given up hope that the Russians will stop him. They are no more capable of dealing with Putin than the Republican Party is of dealing with Trump.

I hear a lot of complaints from people here that if people (on the left) would just watch Fox News (especially Tucker), they would understand what’s really going on. Why aren’t people willing to watch Fox? (this from people who never watch anything BUT Fox).

I remember seeing Joy Reid interviewing a group of college students both R and D and the R guy said something like, “I just wish they would be more open about hearing different points of view.” I really wish Joy would have followed up with, “what views of the Left are *you* open to?” (she didn’t really need to ask – the answer was NONE).

I remember the “Read the Transcript” campaign and a Trumper being interviewed. He said people need to stop being sheep and read the transcript (no, he himself had not read the transcript).

I’m just venting and probably repeating myself from comments before…

DYB was so right about there being no point in the media putting all that effort into trying to understand Trumpers (in DYB’s words – who gives a shit?). They’re not that complicated.

NEW POST! COME UPSTAIRS!

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