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Category Archives: Politically Incorrect

Simpsons writer lists Los Feliz home once owned by Katherine Heigl – Los Angeles Times

Posted: October 16, 2019 at 4:48 pm

The older this 97-year-old home in Los Feliz gets, the more action it sees. The Colonial-style spot has traded hands four times in the last 15 years, including a six-year stay by actress Katherine Heigl.

Its currently owned by comedy writer Tim Long, whose credits include The Simpsons and Late Show With David Letterman and his wife, Miranda Thompson. The couple are asking $4.45 million for the abode, or $780,000 more than they paid for it two years ago, records show.

Past a lushly landscaped front yard, the two-story digs draw the eye with a crisp black-and-white faade and a portico over a red front door. Well-maintained since it was built in 1922, the home has four bedrooms and five bathrooms across 4,340 square feet.

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The entry. (Alex Zarour)

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The foyer. (Alex Zarour)

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The living room. (Alex Zarour)

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The formal dining room. (Alex Zarour)

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The breakfast nook. (Alex Zarour)

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The kitchen. (Alex Zarour)

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The family room. (Alex Zarour)

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The office. (Alex Zarour)

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The deck. (Alex Zarour)

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The master bedroom. (Alex Zarour)

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The wraparound patio. (Alex Zarour)

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The back patio. (Alex Zarour)

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The backyard. (Alex Zarour)

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The swimming pool and spa. (Alex Zarour)

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The guesthouse. (Alex Zarour)

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The front yard. (Alex Zarour)

White walls mingle with hardwood floors in most of the common spaces, including a living room with a fireplace, a column-lined kitchen and sunny breakfast nook. The family room adds a bold splash of turquoise, while the formal dining room features floral wallpaper and a wet bar.

All four bedrooms are upstairs, as well as a treetop deck. Down below, a wraparound patio descends to the grassy backyard.

At the other end of the property, theres a chic swimming pool and spa. A newly renovated guesthouse, complete with beamed ceilings and polished concrete floors, sits adjacent.

Michael Maguire of Compass and Michael Maloney of Keller Williams Realty hold the listing.

A native of Canada, Long has penned 29 episodes of The Simpsons and has produced hundreds more. He has co-written a number of episodes with his wife including this years episode Doh Canada with his wife.

Longs other credits include Politically Incorrect and Spy Magazine.

Heigl, who starred in Roswell and Greys Anatomy before film roles in Knocked Up and 27 Dresses, bought the home in 2007 for $2.55 million. She sold the property in 2013 for $2.622 million, The Times previously reported.

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How Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the Longest-Running Sitcom on the Air, Keeps Up – Vanity Fair

Posted: at 4:48 pm

In 2005, the world was a different place. George W. Bush occupied the White House, YouTube was a brand-new novelty, and Donald Trump was content to yell youre fired at reality-show contestants. At the same time, and with little fanfare, FX was prepping its newest series: Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a jet black comedy about a group of largely despicable peopleMac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Charlie (Charlie Day), and Dee (Kaitlin Olson), with Frank (Danny DeVito) joining the Gang in season twowho run (aka spend most of the day drinking at) Paddys Pub, a derelict bar in South Philly.

If the premise doesnt sound like the setup for a daring political sitcom, thats because it was never meant to be one. [Sunny] wasnt born out of wanting to get up on a soapbox or wanting to be controversial, says Rob McElhenney, Sunnys creator, executive producer, writer, and star. It was a function of us trying to figure out how we could be different from other shows. Ultimately for Sunny, that meant constructing a politically incorrect world in which self-interest was the main currency, taking the selfishness of Seinfelds characters and ramping it up dramatically for the basic-cable boom.

Fourteen years later, televisions comedy landscape is wildly differentFleabag won Emmys, Barry took dark comedy to a bloody new level, and even on the networks theres The Good Place building a sitcom around moral philosophy. But back in Philadelphia, the Paddys gang remains as nihilistic and boundary-pushing as ever, keeping up with modern developments like the #MeToo movement and Trump presidency with the same commitment to making audiences laugh at the inanity of the world around them. Now tied with The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet as televisions longest-running live-action comedy, Sunny continues to keep up, even as the real world matches the absurdity its been dishing up for more than a decade.

As characters living in the real world in (almost) real time, weve seen the Gang tackle topical issues in episodes like Gun Fever, The Gang Goes Jihad, The Gang Solves the North Korea Situation, The Gang Exploits the Mortgage Crisis, and Mac Fights Gay Marriage. But the series has a well-established tradition of addressing hot-button topics in the most extreme ways possibleand coming at them from both sides (even when that other side originates in a dark or dangerous place). Whereas other shows are content to dance around controversial concerns, Sunny smacks them right in the facesometimes literally. Sunny has regularly been overlooked as one of televisions most adroit political satires, but you dont have to go too deep below the surface to see it.

Our show has really always been based on giving the characters a very strong point of view or a strong want or need or desire, and having that desire come into conflict with somebody elses desires, wants, and needs, says executive producer-writer-star Glenn Howerton, who also directed two season 14 episodes (including its opener, The Gang Gets Romantic). I think weve taken that basic tenet of writing and just added the element of something topical to that.

One of the benefits of having an ensemble cast of characters who are often at odds with each other, or at least suspicious of each others motives, is that its easy to introduce a controversial issue and have everyone come down on a slightly different side of it. We look at what the conversations areand what are the interesting arguments. Because the argument is whats entertaining to watch, says executive producer-writer-star Charlie Day.

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Zombieland: Double Tap Film Review: Emma Stone and Co. Battle the Undead in Lively Sequel – TheWrap

Posted: at 4:48 pm

Most unexpected sequels the kinds of movies you see a trailer of in theaters and ask your seatmate, Did that really need a sequel? are usually watered-down retreads of the original movie. They either make you miss what made the first movie so fun or memorable, or, at worst, make you question why you liked that original film in the first place.

Fortunately, Zombieland: Double Tap dodges many of the signs of sequel fatigue by acknowledging the ten-year gap between movies and developing the characters from where they started. Their adventures take on delicious new turns but never stray too far from the original idea of what it means to be a family when most of humanity has turned into brain-eating corpses.

Remarkably, all four members of the original gang are back for another round: The neurotic and bookish Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) is much less of a lonely college boy thanks to his relationship with Wichita (Emma Stone), whos still as flighty and moody as when she was first introduced a decade ago. Since then, her younger sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) is little no longer and has started to resent the couples relationship and their ragtag familys de facto patriarch, the trigger-happy Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson).

Watch Video: 'Zombieland: Double Tap' Red Band Trailer Brings Bill Murray Back From the Dead

Wichita and Little Rock run off again its one of several callbacks to 2009s Zombieland leaving the guys to deal with a half-empty household. Being that theres danger in every corner of Zombieland, whether its a pacifist musician (Avan Jogia from Now Apocalypse, as Berkeley) who doesnt believe in killing zombies or running into an almost complete copy of yourself, its not long before Columbus old rules for zombie apocalypse survival come in handy.

Like its predecessor, Zombieland: Double Tap has a bit of mean streak and a fondness for gross humor, especially where zombies are concerned. In this new movie, the world of Zombieland feels much more expansive and less isolated. Perhaps not everyone outside the main group is on board with Tallahassees violent version of dealing with life and zombies, which seemed to go on unchallenged in the first film. Speaking of which, if you havent seen Zombieland lately and want to see Double Tap, the new movie is full of fan service nods to the original (including the sequels title and Columbus love for both Code Red Mountain Dew and the girl in Apartment 406) throughout the sequel.

Also Read: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' to Lead Box Office as 'Zombieland 2' Battles 'Joker' for Second Place

Director Ruben Fleischer (Venom) returns to guide the sequel to his 2009 movie for yet another zippy and silly whirlwind road trip. He doubles down on squeezing in even more zombie kills even as he lays off using slow motion as often outside the opening credits. Once again, Eisenbergs voiceover leads the way through a zany story, meticulously explaining the new types of zombies, occasionally veering off into tangents where we see more gruesome zombie kills as well as animated texts popping up around characters to show Columbus still-growing list of rules.

The Expendables writer Dave Callaham joins original Zombieland scripters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to add more characters for our leads to deal with, along with pop-culture punchlines (which got some of the biggest laughs from my screening audience) and weirder scenarios to keep us guessing.

Some of the fresh blood that reinvigorates the Zombieland franchise belongs to Rosario Dawson as a mysterious Elvis-obsessed survivor known as Nevada; it seems like the trend of using cities for names has caught on outside our main group. There are more women in the mix, but essentially, all of them feel distant in Columbus singular point of view.

Also Read: Emma Stone Wants to Make Another 'Zombieland' in 2029

In what could have been a dismally uninspired part, Zoey Deutch plays a millennial Marilyn Monroe type who falls into the lap of a heartbroken Columbus with boundless energy and pep. Like Monroes character in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Deutchs Madison is constantly looked down upon for the way she talks and behaves, but shes smart when the occasion calls for it and occasionally even gets to have the last laugh.

Thats not to say Zombieland: Double Tap is not without its bumps. There are moments where the movie toes the boundary of whats funny and whats a tired clich too closely, and occasionally it crosses over into neither funny nor clever territory, like when Berkeley, who becomes Little Rocks new love interest, is first seen on-screen; the ambiguously ethnic character is accompanied by sitar music, and he greets the audience with Namaste. He barely improves as the movie wears on, so you either have to laugh at the low-bar hippie jokes or cringe whenever hes on-screen.

Always politically incorrect and uncouth, Tallahassee remains almost entirely unchanged from 2009, a living fossil as it were. In the sequel, other characters point out his most egregious statements in a kind of semi-meta-comedy turn even as the audience is laughing at his outbursts and vulgar references. Also, stick around through the credits for two post-credit sequences that again heavily reference the original.

Also Read: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' to Lead Box Office as 'Zombieland 2' Battles 'Joker' for Second Place

In the first Zombieland, there were few other humans to keep this band of misfits company (RIP fake zombie Bill Murray). Now, it seems like there are few others who could keep up with this roaming pack of lone wolves who lovingly snipe at each other, and thats OK. Theyre not meant to get along with everyone.

Most importantly, Zombieland: Double Tap continues the originals cheeky tone and irreverent humor, while it also acknowledges that its a series a little out of place and time with the current political age. But if all youre looking for is Shaun of the Dead, but American, then this is the movie for you.

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Zombieland: Double Tap Film Review: Emma Stone and Co. Battle the Undead in Lively Sequel - TheWrap

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‘Killing Europe’ and killing politically incorrect expression – The Post Millennial

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You have 15 free articles left today, enjoy reading.

Disclosure: Calgary lawyer John Carpay is president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (www.jccf.ca), which represents Valerie Thomas Price and Madeline Weld in their court action against the Ottawa Public Library.

Lastweek, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice declared that it had nojurisdiction to hear the claim of Valerie Thomas Price and Madeline Weld againstthe Ottawa Public Library.

In November2017, the Ottawa Public Library cancelled a room-booking for the showing of thedocumentary Killing Europe.

KillingEurope is aboutthe 1.3 million migrants who came to Europe in 2015, of whom 73% are male; the2015 Copenhagen shootings; the Organization for Islamic Cooperation pushing tocriminalize the criticism of Islam; the erosion and decline of free speech inEurope; welfare fraud committed by refugees in Europe; the honour killing ofBanaz Mahmod in the U.K. by her own biological family after she left herabusive husband; Oslo rape statistics showing that rape victims areoverwhelmingly Norwegians, and perpetrators are overwhelmingly foreigners;Ingrid Carlqvists report on the massive increase in rapes in Sweden (421/yearto 6,620/year) while Swedens population grew by only 19% in the same period;and the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation by Alexis Jay aboutthe Rotherham child sexual abuse scandal, where 1,400 children were beaten,raped and trafficked, while police refused to act because they fearedaccusations of racism, because the perpetrators were of Pakistani descent.

The Library cancelled the film-viewing in response to political pressure and claims that the film was Islamophobic propaganda. If the Library had honoured its contract, the film would have been seen only by people who paid a small admission to see it; nobody would have been forced or tricked into watching it.

Killing Europeis certainly biased.So is every documentary, website and media report. Every documentary is necessarily limited in its scope and depth; every media story fails to set out all of the facts; every publication fails to present all sides of a story fully. Every writer and every filmmaker approaches each project from a particular angle.

The film paints some Muslims as theocrats, as violent, as criminals, as rapists, as enemies of Western civilization, and as creating dangerous no go zones where secular law is absent and sharia law prevails. Obviously, Killing Europe will be highly offensive to many Muslims and non-Muslims. But if offensiveness was the standard used to determine criminal hate speech, Canadians would self-censor at all times, fearing criminal prosecution.

Should weban speech that hurts the reputation of a religious group, an ethnic group, asexual minority, or members of a certain trade or profession?

The sexual abuse of children by some Catholic priests has hurt the reputation of all Catholic priests, and the public standing of Catholics generally. This is unfair to the majority of priests and Catholics. But this unfairness should not become an excuse to suppress the truth about the bad behaviour of some.

The same can be said about police officers, lawyers, and various ethnic groups: protecting the reputation of a group should never be a justification for preventing accountability, healthy criticism, and robust public debate as a tool for seeking the truth.

If itstrue that some Muslims oppose the free society, or want to import sharia lawinto western democracies, why should this not be the subject of a documentaryfilm? Suppressing speech under the guiseof preventing group defamation is a sure way to eliminate public discussion ofa long list of important issues.

Are the contents ofKilling Europetrue, false, or part-way between?

In a free society, citizens get to decide that for themselves, and public libraries are one of the venues for doing so in a safe, peaceful and civil manner. In contrast, in a totalitarian society, the government decides on behalf of citizens what they may and may not hear.

The contents ofKilling Europecan be challenged as false or misleading or praised as accurate and informative.

People should be free to criticizeKilling Europe as hateful anti-Muslim propaganda, and people should also be free to see the movie and promote it.

Amid controversy about Killing Europe, a governmental authority like a public library should not interfere in a debate by playing politics with room-rentals. The content of the film is not illegal. A public librarys very purpose is to facilitate expression, and to provide access to a diverse range of alternative ideas.

A public library need not make rooms available to the public for rental, but if it does so, then the public library cannot discriminate based on belief or opinion. Whether it concerns books or room-rentals, a library should not prevent people from expressing their opinions, or from hearing alternative views.

Bybreaking its contract and cancelling the viewing of Killing Europe in November 2017, solely in response to questionableaccusations of anti-Muslim hate propaganda, the Ottawa Public Librarydeparted from its legal duty of neutrality, and from its constitutionalobligation to uphold freedom of expression.As a government entity, the Library has violated theCharterrightsof both speakers and listeners.

Practically speaking, this troubling and erroneous court ruling opens the door to taxpayer-funded libraries renting out their public spaces only to individuals and groups whose beliefs and expressions concur with the majority opinion.

This court ruling allows libraries to discriminate against groups who express unpopular or controversial opinions: pro-life groups, mens rights activists, traditional radical feminists (denounced as trans-exclusionary radical feminists or TERFs by transgender activists), climate deniers, conservative church groups who say anything critical of homosexuality, etc.

Inthe same way that libraries, as public bodies, should not be censoringincorrect books, libraries should not be censoring incorrect opinions whenit comes to room-rentals.

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Brit chimp brutally bullied by other primates in German zoo finally makes pals – Mirror Online

Posted: at 4:48 pm

Bili the British bonobo champanzee has had a brutal start to life.

First, he was rejected by his mum and then heartbreaking footage emerged of him being beaten up in his new home at Wuppertal Zoo.

People were so horrified by the attacks, almost 300,000 signed a petition calling for him to be returned to the UK.

Several animal welfare groups said Bili had been left badly traumatised by his ordeal after being sent to the zoo in April last year.

The young chimp even had his ear bitten off in the repeated attacks.

Zookeepers, who received death threats after footage of the abuse emerged, were adamant the attacks were perfectly natural.

Now Bili has bounced back and made some new friends - and even bagged himself two girlfriends.

Monkey curator at Wuppertal, Dr Severun Dressen, 31, said: "We are really pleased to see how Bili is developing.

"He is becoming much more confident."

Staff at the zoo were determined that Bili would fit into his new home and split the animals into two groups.

Dr Dressen explained: "We now have two separate groups and can now focus more individually on Bili's needs.

"The main problem was thought to be a female bonobo called Eja, 29, who did not like Bili.

"In the bonobos world, woman are the bosses. Eja has two sons Azibo and Ayubu, eight, and they together with their mother's support made Bili's life hell from the start."

Bonobo mothers protect their sons even as adults.

But because Bili was rejected by his and moved to Germany to be raised by hand, it made life very difficult for him.

Bili has now been separated from Eja, and her two sons now spend some time with the Brit chimp with no issues.

And Bili has also formed a close bond with two females Mahdeblu, 18, and Kichele, 30, who are BOTH his girlfriends.

Dr Dressen said: "Bili mates with both of them. Sex seems to be really important to Bili. They seem to get on well and Bili is accepted."

Bili is also close to Mahdeblu's daughter, five-year-old Akeena, and is often seen hugging her

Bili even has some male camaraderie as the troop's grandfather Mato, 55, has also accepted him and plays with him in the enclosure.

A zoo spokesman said: "Bili looks much more relaxed overall. We could no longer observe any aggression against him lately."

Wuppertal Zoo director Dr Arne Lawrenz said people have a romanticised image of nature.

Dr Lawrenz added: "This is why there must be zoos, where we can show what nature really looks like.

"That is our mission and that's why we, as zoos, might be at a crossroads here.

"For example, in the US there is a tendency to not exhibit bonobos because they are politically incorrect in terms of their sexual behaviour and aggression.

"I believe that zoos need to show people that nature is not all about peace, love and harmony, and that it's also about rivalry and that the animals are subject to different laws to humans."

Bili's mum, Maringa, failed to care for him when he was born in Twycross Zoo, Leicestershire, in October, 2008.

Because she didn't protect him when he was growing up, Bili was moved to Frankfurt, where he was adopted by two female chimps

Bili was adopted by loving female chimps in Frankfurt who have experience dealing with unwanted youngsters.

He was then sent to Wuppertal Zoo on the recommendation of the Specialist Group of the European Zoological Community and the European Conservation Breeding Programme.

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The Origins of the Transgender Movement – National Review

Posted: at 4:48 pm

Flag at a protest against Trump administration transgender policies in New York City in 2018.(Brendan McDermid/Reuters)We must not ignore cultural blind spots that put children at risk of abuse.

Editors Note: This article has been adapted from remarks delivered at a Heritage Foundation summit.

Ive been asked to talk about the origins of transgenderism and how it relates to children and their exploitation. But first, I would like to start with a little story.

Yesterday I was wandering around outside the Supreme Court chatting with some people who were there to support whats known as the LGBTQ+ community. I spoke with a lovely guy who identified as homosexual and then four teenage girls who identified as lesbian and queer. They asked me what I thought of the Human Rights Campaign, so I told them up front that I think its a force for tremendous harm in this country. Then, I asked them what they thought of Martin Luther Kings idea, the one about not defining people by irrelevant characteristics like their skin color, or in this case their sexual desires. They said it sounded like a very good idea.

Later, two men who were slightly less open-minded wanted to tell me about some horrible feminists called terfs who are apparently in cahoots with an even more horrible right-wing institution I probably hadnt heard of because Im Scottish. Its called the Heritage Foundation. So, if anyone knows anyone from there, just let me know, because I want to make sure I dont die by association.

The reason I mention this story, of course, is other than the Heritage Foundation being a symbol for all that is evil and far-right in American politics my experience with the LGBTQ+ community was that it wasnt really a community so much as it was a big mishmash of people who feel they belong to a certain cause for very different reasons. Yet they were all there at the end of the rainbow to claim their pot of gold, which they had been promised by the Human Rights Campaign.

Ive been asked to get to the origins of this movement, and Im going to try to do that. Of course, as you know, its just one stripe of the rainbow, and I couldnt possibly do it justice in ten minutes, but Ill do my absolute best. There are three things that I think have been changing since the mid-20th century. The first is in medicine, the second is what I like to call an ontology of desire, and the third is what I and others call the politicization of everything.

Lets start with medicine. When sex-change surgeries became surgically possible in the post-war period, it was understood to be something of a euphemism. Of course, a person couldnt literally change from one sex to the other, itd be more accurate to call it genital surgery, but people were trying to be euphemistic. These procedures were highly controversial, in part because they werent always that successful.

You mightve seen the movie The Danish Girl, and youre familiar with the Heritage Foundations Ryan Andersons book, in which he talks a lot about Paul McHugh, the psychiatrist who had to put an end to the surgeries in the 1970s at Johns Hopkins University, which he described as collaborating with madness. Thats how he called it. People who wanted to change their sex back then were called transsexuals. That was a term popularized by an endocrinologist, Harry Benjamin. Demand was fairly low; it was mostly males wanting to become females. Its complicated, but sexologists realized there were two types of male-to-female transsexuals.

There was the homosexual transsexual. Thats the person who feels inconspicuously feminine and uncomfortable as a man and is actually a deeply sympathetic figure, I think. Then theres the person with autogynophilia. Thats the person who finds the thought of themselves as a woman to be sexually exciting. Studies of interviews with such individuals, conducted by sexologists like Ray Blanchard or Anne Lawrence, suggest that its anything ranging from a man whos turned on from the check assistants calling him maam, to somebody who likes to urinate on sanitary pads and to pretend theyre menstruating, and many other things that I think many of us would find too unpleasant to dwell on so early in the morning.

In my friend Douglas Murrays new book, The Madness of Crowds, he explains that the struggle for defining things turned into this hardware versus software issue. So, intersex for instance, is very much a hardware issue. You cant exactly get concerned about somebody who has a hardware issue because thats not their fault. Of course, the reality with homosexuality is that its most likely some kind of combination of the two. People may be predisposed to certain proclivities, then theres environment and so forth, but in any case, like Martin Luther Kings point, dont define people by that.

This brings me to my second point, which was what Im calling the ontology of desire. Thats basically when in the 1990s, the definition of trans began to change. Transsexualism, specifically as a sexual fetish, as autogynephilia, had been known as a perversion. This was politically incorrect, so they changed it to paraphilia, which became politically incorrect and is now known as an identity. The broader term gender dysphoria (formerly gender identity disorder) is actually still listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, so its still a disorder in the DSM, but thatll likely change.

Transgenderism was widened, adopted, and celebrated in the academy, in large part thanks to people like Judith Butler, who thought that gender was a performance. This is where it gets really interesting in the contradictions. On the one hand, this is Murrays point, transgenderism is a hardware issue for trans people, but for everyone else gender is a software issue. So, if you think about it, the only people who are born women are trans women, which is rather an astonishing claim.

This is where the boys brain in a girls body stuff comes in, which turns out to be more of a metaphor. A more accurate metaphor might be that of a soul a gendered soul, the fundamental essence of a person. It goes back a very long way to the Gnostic heresies in Ancient times. The idea is that matter is less important and that its all about your spirit or your essence. The exploitation of language evolved so quickly that basically everybody calling a trans woman she initially that was meant to be a courtesy to accommodate people not to make somebody who has had a hard life have a harder life is now meant to signal our absolute uncontested belief in their femaleness, which it doesnt, because trans women are men. Not that there is anything wrong with being a man. Even if some people are uncomfortable being men. And fair enough.

The third point is the massive cultural and political tidal wave. The thing is, in the 1990s people might have been forgiven for thinking, This will never catch on. This is so outrageous. This is absurd. They would obviously be right, but the thing was the Internet and all these other things came into play. Society had just gotten used to defining whole sections of the population by their desires with regards to homosexuality, which was trying to correct genuine injustices that gay people faced in this country and still face across the world. They overcorrected and they became obsessed with identity. We moved further and further away from the sort of vision that Martin Luther King set out. We started to lose sight of all these different intricacies with regard to sexuality. Then, trans piggybacked onto gay rights, which had piggybacked onto civil rights.

A whole system of buzzwords popped up, like transphobia, transmisogyny, and conversion therapy, and all these buzz words that make people think, Gosh I dont want to be on the wrong side of history. I should say though, when I was at this thing yesterday with the LGBT crowd, when the police moved and we were walking down to the Supreme Court, it did kind of feel like it was this big angry mob chasing a bunch of women, which I have to say didnt really feel like being on the right side of history, but maybe Ill be proven wrong.

The point about civil rights is very important, which is perhaps why I dont get it as much, coming from a different country. In America, rightly, people are very sensitive about civil rights and their very embarrassing history in that area. They dont want to repeat that, and I think thats a good impulse and we should respect that impulse. But of course, its been used by people like the Human Rights Campaign for their own cynical ends.

Which brings me onto the final point: What has any of this got to do with sexualizing children?

I want to suggest two things. The first is that its created a massive cultural blind spot. Psychologists have always understood transsexualism to relate or to potentially relate to adult sexuality. We could have a debate about whether we think urinating on sanitary pads is normal behavior or not, we can have that debate, but it is about sexuality. Its been masked by an ideology, and because of the politics of it all, theres a great fear for many people. Its a legitimate fear because they might get fired, or worse, for signaling some terrible phobia.

This becomes very obvious in the subject of drag. Drag, which means dressed as girl, comes from the Elizabethan period when women were forbidden from performing publicly, so men assumed the role of women. For some drag queens I was speaking to one yesterday, James Davis, whose stage name is Elaine Lancaster it really is about performance. I come from the U.K. where we have this genre of theater called pantomime, and its funny. Its just men dressed up as women called dames. But these things are very context dependent.

Davis yesterday was agreeing with me. While he was saying that for him its about performance, he recognizes that when hes in bars and other public places, people come up to him at the end, and its all about sex for them. As an adult, who knows that and understands that, he can deal with it. He can say whether he wants to get involved or not after all, its a free country but why would we put children in that situation? Why would we invite salacious interest in children by dressing them up in drag? We shouldnt do that, and Im referring here to a whole new phenomenon called drag kids.

The argument were supposed to accept rather unthinkingly is that, Oh youre just being bigoted, and youre just prejudiced, because this about self-expression. And Im thinking well no, because yes children dress up, but again, its context dependent.

The analogy I would invite you to think about here is imagine a little girl in a bikini. Shes 13 years old, in her parents private pool. Is it a big problem that shes wearing a bikini? No, its not a big problem. Shes in her parents private pool. But if the same girl, in the same bikini, still 13 years old, is walking down a catwalk in a room full of adults, would we all feel uncomfortable? Yes, we all would feel uncomfortable. Its a completely different thing, and its the same when it comes to drag.

This is not hypothetical. I invite you to look up the case of Desmond is Amazing, who should really be called Desmond needs saving because this poor little boy is dressed up in drag, gyrating in gay clubs in Brooklyn, and few have said anything because to do so would be homophobic. Well, no, sorry. Because this drag queen and other gay people would say the same thing on this its just not on. It is not, and never should be, acceptable to sexualize children.

Our friends at the Humans Rights Campaign would prefer that none of us knew these intricacies, that people like me didnt exist to remind you of them, that people like James Davis (the drag queen) didnt exist, or those open minded people at the rally who thought that Martin Luther King had a point didnt exist. They would prefer that the only people who opposed the sexualization of children were like the horrible, frightening right-wing boogeyman the Heritage Foundation. Everyone whos too scared to talk about this will just have to get over that because theres too much at stake, Im sorry to say. And to be honest, the worst thing they can do is say that youre the boogeyman, and you just say, Boo. And then thats it, youre done.

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The Origins of the Transgender Movement - National Review

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Review: Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil Resembles The Offspring Of An Unholy Union Between Gargoyles, Aquaman And Avatar – Forbes

Posted: at 4:48 pm

'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil'

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is a breath of fresh air from Walt Disneys sub-genre of live-action fairy tale adaptations. It is noticeably better than the previous Maleficent (which was allegedly stitched together via an assist from John E. Hancock) and the very best of these Disney fairy tales since the one-two-three punch of Cinderella (excellent), The Jungle Book (damn good) and Petes Dragon (spectacular). Okay, well ignore Alice Through the Looking Glass for a moment, but you get the idea. The plot is almost as threadbare as the first one, but it makes A-to-B-to-C logic and exists as an excuse for a fantastical spectacle, some dynamite action and not a little camp melodrama. At its best, its a go-for-broke adventure that that avoids the mistakes that tripped up the last handful of Disney fairy tales.

Plot synopsis: Five years after the first film, Maleficent's peaceful life as the protector of the Moors takes an unexpected turn when Prince Phillip proposes to Aurora and she accepts. Unbeknownst to all, Phillip's mother, Queen Ingrith, plans to use the wedding to divide humans and fairies forever. With Maleficent and Aurora finding themselves on opposite sides of an impending war, the two question whether they can truly be a family.

Directed by Joachim Rnning, and written by Linda Woolverton, Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, Mistress of Evil offers specific pleasures new to the franchise and thus feels organic and narratively justified. Sure, the whole What happens after happily ever after pitch is straight out of Shrek 2, as is the first acts extended Guess Whos Coming to Dinner set-piece which sees Maleficent forced to dine with Phillips parents. But its a fun set up and allows Jolie and Pfeiffer to snipe at each other, which is half of why you bought the ticket in the first place. Alas, the dinner goes badly, with Shrek 2 morphing into Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, forcing Maleficent to flee while Queen Ingrith seems to be using the wedding to strike at the heart of an already fragile peace.

Michelle Pfeiffer in 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil'

The film treats Ingriths duplicity as every bit as surprising as the makers of Angel Has Fallen treated the Shocker Danny Huston is a bad guy. reveal. While we dont get the full breadth of what shes up to until late in the game, the movie makes no effort to hide a painfully obvious reveal. Once Maleficent takes off, she finds herself in a fantastical world populated by creatures not unlike herself. Theres some arbitrary worldbuilding an exposition, but this is all an excuse for the movie to go full-How to Train Your Dragon 2-meets-Avatar, and I mean that as a compliment. Much of Mistress of Evil seems like a contingency plan for the theme parks in case Avatar 2 bombs. Just wave your magic wand, shout bibbidi bobbidi boo and, poof,World of Pandora becomes Maleficent-Ville.

The second act is something of a waiting game, and they even blow a pretty clear opening for Jolie and Pfeiffer to reenact the coffee shop scene from Heat. That said, the visuals are great, and its worth it for the third act. What you get is less conventional Walt Disney battle scene and more a ridiculously violent (but bloodless) mass battle scene that feels like a What if Gargoyles had bed-breaking unprotected sex with Avatar? blow out. The film is technically about how a racist human hatches a scheme to massacre a bunch of fairy tale creatures, and wow, the movie has a body count that earns that PG. I dont want to be the troll who says Maleficent: Mistress of Evils action finale is better than the climax of Avengers: Endgame, but

Ell Fanning in 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil'

The cast does what they must amid the spectacle, although Jolie and Pfeiffer are special effects all by themselves. The production design has a clarity and coherence that was missing from the first film, as does the overall story. Oh, and as an example of how unapologetically over-the-top it goes, Mistress of Evil features Jenn Murray as a (I think) silent assassin/enforcer who is both conventionally bad-ass and gets one extended musical beat every bit as absurd as Mad Max: Fury Roads Doof Warrior. Youre damn right I mean that as a compliment. The entire movie, but especially the third act, feels like Disney got high and storyboarded the movie while binge-watching The Battle of the Five Armies, Aquaman and Avatar. Its not as good as those films action sequence, but you get the idea.

More so than any of these films since Petes Dragon, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil feels like Disney using the safety of a viable IP, or at least the protection of knowing that they will survive if this movie bombs, to just throw caution and fidelity to the wind. Theres a bare minimum of (to paraphrase Lindsey Ellis) girl boss faux feminism, attempts to correct the politically incorrect attitudes/ideologies of the original material or obsessive recreation of what came before to appease the fans. Its a self-correction that brings (false?) hope to the next batch of presumably less slavishly faithful Disney adaptations coming down the pike. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is the Disney remake/fairy tale as kid-friendly heavy metal madness. It may not be a masterpiece of music, but it rocks and rocks hard.

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Sky Views: Protesters have gone far enough. It’s time to restore dignity to parliament – Sky News

Posted: at 4:48 pm

Views of Westminster from the bridges over the Thames have been celebrated by artists as varied as William Wordsworth, Claude Monet and The Kinks.

There's not much inspiration for any artist coming to parliament these days.

Big Ben is shrouded in scaffolding and dark drapes. The chimes and the clock are out of order.

Westminster Bridge is shut to traffic and strewn with barriers, cones and rarely used cycle lanes. The pavements are cluttered by a motley crew of con artists, illegal store holders and rickshaw drivers looking to separate the throngs of tourists from their cash.

Those who make it as far as Parliament Square have to do so on foot. That is currently the only way to reach the important buildings which surround it including parliament, Westminster Abbey, and the Supreme Court. To protect the few hundred Extinction Rebellion protesters camping out for two weeks the police have closed surrounding roads such as the Embankment, Victoria Street and Whitehall.

Thanks to recent terror attacks, the Palace of Westminster itself stands in a state of siege, protected by high fences and massive blast proof barricades.

Outside, other protesters drift about with their hats, flags, banners and amplification systems. The majority of them are either for or against Brexit but there are a number of other eccentrics who seem to have little to do with the political issues of the day. Glockenspiel Man comes along to play loudly on evenings when live cameras are around. There's the cartoonist who does his mostly scatological pictures as oil paintings. The bloke who dresses as a Roman legionary, the man wearing sandwich boards who claims to be responsible for peace in Ireland, not forgetting the defrocked Irish priest who capers to loud music bare-legged and in a kilt. Stewart Holmes the perennial demonstrator whose causes have shifted from anti-smoking to anti-nuclear to, now, get Brexit done. Such people used to be confined to Speaker's Corner at Tyburn in Hyde Park, London's old place of execution.

Now anyone who wants to conduct business in Westminster has to clamber through an obstacle course of protesters and barriers. No wonder hordes of tourists stand around blocking the pavements looking bemused.

It's difficult not to find metaphors for the current state of British politics in the crumbling buildings and multiple blockages. One thing is certain. This England, "the mother of parliaments", is abusing its baby. There is scant respect too for the politicians trying to make democracy work from the inside.

There have always been protest marches in central London but these are no longer enough for demonstrators who want to draw attention to their cause.

Politicians are partly to blame, falling over themselves to show they are "listening" to protesters and turning a blind eye to the increasingly aggressive tactics they are using. It's no surprise that Extinction Rebellion is both urging parliament to act and proposing to replace it with "peoples assemblies".

Anxious not to be politically incorrect, the police mainly facilitate protests rather than clear obstructions.

Protests used to be banned in Parliament Square back in the 1980s and I witnessed mounted police blocking a student march coming down the Embankment. But by 1998 the New Labour government encouraged those seeking the extradition of the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to set up camp opposite parliament.

I am expressing no view on the merits of any of these protests, but I do wish to draw attention to their growing disrespect for other people and their lack of interest in democratic argument. Adam Boulton

A rival pro-Pinochet camp soon turned up, then others with different axes to grind joined in. The Stop the War protester Brian Haw lived in Parliament Square for several years, sometimes accompanied by a small village of tents. The Countryside Alliance installed a pig in a pig sty there and flash mobs, often with political grievances from the Indian subcontinent, frequently crowd the square and Whitehall.

I am expressing no view on the merits of any of these protests, but I do wish to draw attention to their growing disrespect for other people and their lack of interest in democratic argument. Extinction Rebellion are just the latest manifestation of this escalating intolerance.

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Perhaps bolstered by their own anxieties about global warming and guilt at their own consumption, the public have largely smiled benignly at these latest protests. The police have obliged by blocking any roads they have targeted. It looks suspiciously as if they have done a deal to ensure the Queen's Carriage gets uninterrupted passage to parliament for the state opening on Monday.

But if these demonstrators can shut down central London for a fortnight why shouldn't another group such as the English Defence League do the same?

There is no doubt that there is a problem with congestion around parliament. But there is a good reason to have a centre where the pillars of state - parliament, executive, civil service and established church can come together and have direct access to each other. Ensuring this happens should be the priority.

Some populists say parliament should move out of London - but this surely is to relegate it. Government should be at the heart of the nation in the capital, most accessible to all.

Since London has a history of more than a thousand years, the street layout is old. Major transport arteries converge on the city. This week buses and other road transport have not been able to operate on their usual routes. Governments and mayors have considered turning Parliament Square into a pedestrian zone, but no one can find where to put an alternative north-south route away from the Thames which flows in that direction at Westminster because of a bend in the river.

Plans are under way to repair and modernise parliament to make it a building fit for this century. Already some MPs are trying to curry favour by complaining about the cost of the renovation and the "full decant" to a temporary chamber nearby while it is under way. They should have more confidence in the importance of their work.

The last time parliament was this run down and obstructed was in 1834. The building caught fire. Ordinary members of the public are said to have watched and jeered as it burnt down.

In all our interests it is high time we restored dignity and freedom of access to our parliament and the areas around it.

Previously on Sky Views: Ian King - We could do with more US-style philanthropy

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Let’s get back to the unity of Sept. 12 – Winchester Herald Chronicle

Posted: September 23, 2019 at 7:42 pm

Sept. 11, 2001, is one of those days etched in the memories of those of us who were alive at the time.

Ive never shared my memories of that day publicly before this year. Ive never felt it was that important since I wasnt directly affected.

However, because the story involves my dad, I felt like I should at least put it down since I no longer have him either.

It was a Tuesday morning, and I was chilling out in my dorm room at Ole Miss. I had classes later in the day. My dad called me and asked if I was watching the TV or knew what was going on.

He said something to the effect of some idiot has flown a plane into the World Trade Center.

I asked him what kind of plane and how somebody could have been so inept they hit a huge skyscraper.

See, at that time, it wasnt known it was an airliner or a deliberate terrorist attack.

My dad was a private pilot, and I had grown up around aviation. He had grown up during WWII and remembered a B-25 Mitchell crashing into the Empire State Building one foggy night.

We had also read stories on the occasional light aircraft hitting skyscrapers because the pilot got too close.

As we were talking about possible ways it could have happened, the second plane hit. That this was no accident was immediately obvious.

I stayed glued to the TV and didnt go to any classes that day. I think they were cancelled, but I dont honestly remember.

I watched on live TV as people jumped to their deaths from the tops of the towers instead of being burned alive. I watched it live when the first tower fell and then the other.

On Sept. 11, 2001, I had been talking with my dad and witnessed an event that for me would be just as memorable as Pearl Harbor was for him.

I remember feelings between sadness and anger for quite some time.

I was studying to be a mechanical engineer at the time. When classes resumed, I remember my thermodynamics professor trying to speculate and explain to our class how the planes might have caused the buildings to collapse.

I remember how united we all were on Sept. 12, 2001.

A lot has happened in the intervening years. Even with protracted conflicts overseas, I am still stunned we have sitting members of Congress who refer to what happened on September 11th as some people did something, or that the New York Times runs a picture of the Twin Towers, stating airplanes took aim instead of the now politically incorrect truth that this was done by radical Islamic terrorists.

I suppose they now blame the jets for hitting the towers, not the evil at the controls, much like guns are now blamed for the actions of those wielding them.

I wish we could return to the unity of Sept. 12, but I would never want to see another 9/11 to make us get to that point.

Hopefully someday the rancor and divisiveness will subside. The lust for power that drives political parties now is ripping the nation apart.

I pray that cooler heads will prevail, and the nation will once again come together.

Greg King is the Franklin County District 4, Seat A commissioner and a Decherd police sergeant.

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Israelis vote in repeat election centered on PM Netanyahu. Alan Steinberg wants to know what Trump and Bibi are up to? – News Talk Florida

Posted: at 7:42 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting to hold on to power with the help of President Trump AP-PHOTO

JERUSALEM (AP) Israelis vote Tuesday in an unprecedented repeat election that will decide whether longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stays in power despite a looming indictment on corruption charges.

Netanyahu, the longest serving leader in Israeli history, is seeking a fourth consecutive term in office, and fifth overall. But he faces a stiff challenge from retired military chief Benny Gantz, whose centrist Blue and White party is running even with Netanyahus Likud. Both parties could struggle to form a majority coalition with smaller allies, though, forcing them into a potential unity government.

Netanyahu has tried to portray himself as a seasoned statesman who is uniquely qualified to lead the country through challenging times. Gantz has tried to paint Netanyahu as divisive and scandal-plagued, offering himself as a calming influence and an honest alternative.

Tuesdays vote marks their second showdown of the year after drawing even in the previous election in April.

Netanyahu appeared poised to remain in office at the time, with his traditional allies of nationalist and ultra-religious Jewish parties controlling a parliamentary majority.

But Avigdor Lieberman, his mercurial ally-turned-rival, refused to join the new coalition, citing excessive influence it granted the ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties. Without a parliamentary majority, Netanyahu dissolved parliament and called a new election.

News Talk Florida columnists Jim Williams and Alan J. Steinberg breakdown what to expect in the election on The Politically Incorrect Podcast Powered by Warby Parker.

Opinion polls have forecast similar results this time around, potentially putting Lieberman once again in the role of kingmaker.

After voting Tuesday, Lieberman reiterated his promise to force a unity government between Likud and Blue and White. He vowed there wont be a third round of elections and said the parties will have to deal with the constellation that emerges from this vote.

The performance by the Soviet-born politicians Yisrael Beitenu party is just one of the factors that could determine Netanyahus future. Several small parties are fighting to squeak past the minimum 3.25% threshold for entering parliament. The performances of these parties could make or break Netanyahus ability to form a coalition.

The longtime Israeli leader is desperate to secure a narrow 61-seat majority in parliament with his hard-line religious and nationalist allies who are expected to approve legislation that would grant Netanyahu immunity from prosecution.

Israels attorney general has recommended pressing criminal charges against Netanyahu in three separate corruption cases, pending a long delayed pre-trial hearing scheduled next month.

With his career on the line, Netanyahu has campaigned furiously and taken a late hard turn to the right in hopes of rallying his nationalist base.

Hes staged a flurry of media appearances to beseech supporters to vote in large numbers to stave off the prospect of a left-wing government he says will endanger the countrys security. He also has accused his opponents of conspiring with Arab politicians to steal the election, a message that has drawn accusations of racism and incitement.

Heavier turnout by Arab voters, many of whom stayed home in April, could hurt Netanyahu. After casting his ballot, the leader of the main Arab faction in parliament, Ayman Odeh, said Netanyahu was obsessive in his incitement toward Arabs. He said the answer was for that his constituents must be first-class voters on the way to becoming first-class citizens.

Voter turnout has emerged as a key element of this election day, which is a national holiday aimed at encouraging participation. In Aprils election, turnout was about 69%, slightly below the 72% figure in the previous election in 2015.

As of 10 a.m., Israels central election committee said some 15% of Israelis had already cast their ballots. It marked more than a 2% increase over the figure at the same time in April.

Aron Shaviv, who managed Netanyahus 2015 re-election campaign, said Netanyahu believed theres no such thing as bad coverage. But he thought his former boss may be making a mistake by appealing so heavily to hard-liners and giving up on moderate voters.

Hes turned people off, playing the right-left polarization as far as he possibly can, he said.

A centerpiece of his eleventh-hour agenda has been the pledge to extend Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank and to annex all the Jewish settlements there, something Netanyahu has refrained from doing during his decade-plus in power because of the far-reaching diplomatic repercussions.

His proposal sparked a cascade of international condemnation, including from Europe and Saudi Arabia, an influential Arab country that has quiet, unofficial ties with Israel. The U.S., however, had a muted reaction, suggesting Netanyahu coordinated his plan with the Americans ahead of time.

Netanyahu has also been flaunting his close ties to President Donald Trump, and the prospect of a defense pact between their countries shortly after the election, as part of his frantic push get out the vote and dictate the elections agenda on his terms.

Trump chimed in his prediction, telling reporters at the White House on Monday that it will be a very interesting outcome. Its gonna be close.

After casting his ballot in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said he could confirm the vote would be very close.

Voting in his hometown of Rosh Haayin in central Israel, Gantz urged all Israelis to hope. We will bring hope, we will be bring change, without corruption, without extremism, he said.

In his attacks on Arabs, Netanyahu has made unfounded claims of fraud in Arab voting areas and unsuccessfully pushed for legislation to place cameras in polling stations on election day.

He also claimed to have located a previously unknown Iranian nuclear weapons facility and said another war against Gaza militants is probably inevitable. In some of his TV interviews, the typically reserved Netanyahu has raised his voice and gestured wildly as he warned of his imminent demise.

Yohanan Plesner, president of the non-partisan Israel Democracy Institute think tank and a former lawmaker, said he didnt think it reflected genuine panic.

I think youre observing Israels most seasoned and competent politician who knows exactly how to fire up his base and is now using all his tools at his disposal in order to ensure victory, he said.

Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday with exit polls expected at the end of the voting day at 10 p.m. Official results are projected to come in overnight.

Thats when the real jockeying may get under way, with attention shifting to President Reuven Rivlin who is responsible for choosing a candidate for prime minister. He is supposed to select the leader who he believes has the best chance of putting together a stable coalition. The honor usually goes to the head of the largest party, but not necessarily. Just as important is the number of lawmakers outside his own party who recommend him to the president.

Rivlins selection will then have up to six weeks to form a coalition. If he fails, the president can appoint an alternative candidate and give him up to four weeks for the task.

In an overnight video, Rivlin said he will do everything in his power to get an elected government in Israel as soon as possible and to avoid another election campaign.

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