I Try To Walk Away: But traffic terrorism keeps following me

I intended to leave this topic alone.  So much for plans.

I read the Jalopnik and other items below and hurt myself rolling my eyes.  Once again, “car culture” is put ahead of and valued more than human lives or the environment.

First up: Honda pretends it “cares about pedestrian safety”.

Honda Cars Could Politely Text Pedestrians To Get The Hell Out Of The Way

Honda and Softbank are working together to try to reduce the number of accidents involving pedestrians and cars, as the Japanese carmaker tries to make good on its promise of a collision-free society. Honda has been developing its suite of ADAS to that end, but the carmaker is turning to the other half of the equation, pedestrians.

How is this a “solution” when pedestrians are not the problem?  Honda plans to put cell phone technology into cars and blame pedestrians.  I can think of at least five ways that this is “plan” is utterly stupid and a failure before it begins:

(1) WHY NOT MAKE THE CAR SLOW DOWN when it detects a phone?

Speeding death boxes kill people, not cell phones.

(2) WHY DISTRACT PEDESTRIANS with a text message?

If pedestrians are looking at a phone’s text message, they’re NOT looking at the road.  Congratulations, Honda, you just made things worse.

Traffic terrorists (drivers, cops, city planners, etc.) have long blamed pedestrians for the actions of drivers:

“If pedestrians look at their phones while walking, it’s their fault if they’re killed.”

Now Honda wants to blame the other half of pedestrians:

“If pedestrians DON’T look at their phones while walking, it’s their fault if they’re killed.”


I put my phone in my purse or my backpack when walking, so I wouldn’t hear or feel it if a message came.  Then again, I set my phone so it does not vibrate or ring at all, day or night.  I don’t want interruptions in my classes, and I can’t be bothered changing it.

Why is it MY responsibility to turn on vibration or a ring tone for the convenience of speeding drivers?  And even if I had the ringer on and I weren’t going deaf, I likely wouldn’t hear it over the noise of the traffic.


It doesn’t shock that a rich corporation doesn’t value the lives of the poor who can’t afford cell phones or children who don’t carry one.  But there’s also I and many people I know who go to the store or other places without a phone.  I doubt we’re the only ones in the world who do that, it’s likely people do it everywhere.


People have a different but still detectable heat signature from a vehicle or an animal.  Why not install heat instead along with (or instead of) car-detecting radar?  It would keep the onus of responsibility on the driver where it belongs.

What good is sending messages to a phone if someone’s phone does not vibrate? To someone who can’t feel the phone because it’s in a purse or backpack? To a kid more concerned about running across the street?  To someone who doesn’t have a phone?  This is just another way to blame pedestrians instead of putting the responsibility on traffic terrorists.

Second: The UK’s lavaTories force home owners to build corporate infrastructure.

This won’t hurt wealthy people, since they’re the only ones who can afford to build new homes.  But what happens when it extends to requiring it during home sales (i.e. buying an existing home)?  This is something government and car companies should be building, and instead they’re shifting the cost onto people.

New homes in England to have electric car chargers by law

New homes and buildings in England will be required by law to install electric vehicle charging points from next year, the prime minister has announced.

The government said the move will see up to 145,000 charging points installed across the country each year.

You may say, “So what’s the problem?”  The problem is this penalizes people who might choose NOT to own a car, who want to build a small home and have no intention of owning a car (i.e. people actually concerned about the environment).  Some people who don’t want to own one.  Instead, individuals are being forced to provide and pay for infrastructure that car companies will profit from, something that some people will never use.

Third: UK drivers are whining because traffic cameras are forcing them to slow down.

A week after a baby was run over in Shropshire, drivers in the city of Brighton are complaining about fines assessed after they were caught speeding through residential areas, illegally driving in bus lanes, and committing other infractions and crimes at a rate of three hundred per day.  Daytime traffic (6am to 11pm, 17 hours) accounts for approximately 95% of traffic during a 24 hour period., so Brighton drivers are averaging over seventeen infractions per hour, all day every day, endangering pedestrians, cyclists, children and many others.

And they don’t see that as a problem.  Talk about a sense of entitlement.

Brighton motorist slams Valley Gardens traffic enforcement cameras

A FURIOUS motorist said traffic enforcement cameras raking in thousands of pounds in fines from motorists are “disgusting”.

The outraged driver said the signage for the cameras, which have captured 9,618 motorists in the last month alone, was “very bad”.

She narrowly avoided falling victim to the experimental traffic order at Valley Gardens, which led 310 people being fined every day in October.

The Argus visited the controversial bus gates yesterday and within minutes, witnessed dozens of unsuspecting motorists breaching the traffic order.

Drivers called themselves “unsuspecting victims”.  As if.  They were told the cameras were coming, and had the warning to slow down and obey the law.  If they didn’t, that’s not the city’s fault.

Fourth: Drivers who keep weapons in their cars are the aggressor, not the victim.

Earlier this month, there was a minor trading of paint between the driver of a Volkswagen and a Maserati.  The small car’s driver, a university student, knew he was at fault and got out to apologize and make amends.

Instead of talking, the little rich boy driving the Maserati and his passengers got out and proceeded to beat the university student’s head with a baseball bat, leaving him in a coma.  The student is now awake and the Maserati driver under arrest, but what will be the outcome?  Little rich boy’s daddy buys his way out of prison and he does it a third time (this wasn’t his first arrest)?

Incompetent and corrupt policing is a big part of the problem.

Trio detained over attack on driver

Three men were detained in Taichung yesterday after their vehicle was hit and they allegedly assaulted the other driver with a baseball bat, resulting in a serious head injury.

Chang Tun-liang (張敦量), 23, Chen Ching-hao (陳勁豪), 19, and Lee Wei-lin (李韋霖), 25, might be charged with attempted homicide, illegal confinement causing injury to the victim and “interference with public order,” the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office said.

The other driver — a 19-year-old student, surnamed Sung (宋), who is enrolled at Feng Chia University in Taichung — remains in a coma.

[. . .]

A report by Sixth Police Precinct officers said that Sung was driving a Volkswagen with four friends in the early hours of Sunday morning when the vehicle sideswiped a Maserati sports car on Taiwan Boulevard, the city’s main thoroughfare.

According to a witness and video footage, Chang, Chen and Lee were yelling as they exited the Maserati and soon began punching and kicking Sung.

Lee, who had been driving, allegedly hit Sung with a baseball bat multiple times on the head, despite Sung’s apologies, police said.

After they arrived, police took the trio’s statements and let them leave the scene, the report said, adding that officers saw no reason to detain the trio, as the fighting had ended.

[. . .]

News of the assault and the handling of the case resulted in a public outcry, while media reports saying that the trio came from wealthy families and had criminal records brought more condemnation.

[. . .]

Taichung City Councilor Hsieh Chih-chung (謝志忠) of the Democratic Progressive Party said that the police chief should resign, and if he refuses to do so, Lu should be held responsible for the incident.

“Fighting had ended”?  There was no “fight”, it was an unprovoked assault.  That cop clearly “thinks” he answers to the wealthy and not the public.

The government is responding with half-measures instead of addressing the root problem, a sense of entitlement among the wealthy.  Of course, we saw that repeatedly in 2020 when little rich boys repeatedly broke quarantine for COVID-19 with little punishment.  They should have gotten months in jail instead of a fine that daddy can pay off.

Taiwan police to register car owners carrying baseball bats

Following a series of violent incidents in Taiwan involving baseball bats, Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said police will register anyone with a bat found in their car in the future.

During his speech at the “Synchronized National Anti-Gang Program” press conference on Monday (Nov. 22), Hsu vowed to uproot and snuff out organized crime, CNA reported. He mentioned recent “baseball bat team” incidents in Taichung, New Taipei, and Yunlin that disrupted social order over very small disputes.

Authorities have found that many bat-wielding miscreants are linked to scam or gambling rings. While some culprits involved did not have a gang affiliation on file, police will focus on combating these people’s tendencies to be violent and group up, Hsu was cited as saying.

Yes, a lot of it is gang related, but not all.  A significant portion of this is road rage by rich people (especially young males) who are not affiliated with gangs.  The cops should be doing random stops and checks of anything and everything with an German (e.g. BMW, Mercedes, Audi, VW) or luxury marque (e.g. Ferrari, Lambourghini, Lexus, etc.).  Those brands regularly come up in these stories and in youtube videos, but there are other idiots in other vehicles who get violent too.  I’ve had more than one pull out a bat on me for no reason.  They’re more high strung than piano wire.  It makes me glad I don’t own a scooter.

In 2015, Business Insider published an item entitled “Rich people and psychopaths tend to have 7 distinct traits in common”.  Six of the seven traits apply to rich people driving cars.

Let’s Remember: Freddie Mercury, 1946-1991

Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar (a country which no longer exists, now part of Tanzania) on September 5, 1946.  He would have been 75 this year. Instead, on November 23, 1991, after years of media speculation, he announced that he had contracted AIDS. He died the next day, November 24, 1991, thirty years ago today.

Freddie Mercury’s heartbreaking AIDS statement the day before he died

It was just 24 hours before his death that Queen frontman Freddie Mercury finally admitted to the world that he had been diagnosed with AIDS. 

The singer of the rock band Queen – one of the biggest-selling groups of all time – released his statement on this day in 1991.

In the heartbreaking message, he said, “Following enormous conjecture in the press, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS.

“I felt it correct to keep this information private in order to protect the privacy of those around me.

“However, the time has now come for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth, and I hope everyone will join with me, my doctors and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease.”

A child of Persian emigres from Iran, Mercury was born in Africa but educated in India. He spent almost the entire year during his education separated from his family, which led to his fascination with pop music.  And likely because of constant correspondence with his family, he became an avid stamp collector.  He performed in school musical numbers before moving to England for university where he met Brian May and Roger Taylor to form Queen.

Here are a few collections of stories about him and his life:

Bohemian Rhapsody: Freddie Mercury’s 28 most ludicrous anecdotes

Queen’s Freddie Mercury: the maddest stories about rock’s best-loved hellraiser

Freddie Mercury: The life story you may not know

As I mentioned in June, Mercury wasn’t the only high profile celebrity who announced he had HIV in November 1991.  Two weeks prior to Mercury’s announcement, Magic Johnson said that he had HIV.  That month became a watershed moment in the public’s attitude towards the disease.  If people that famous could get it, then anyone could.  The biggest effect their announcements had was to change the public’s attitude both towards people with the disease and people who aren’t cishetero binary.  Many who were fans of either or both changed their words and reduced or stopped their hate speech when it was one of their heroes.

For nearly 20 years I lived vicariously through Freddie Mercury and The Cramps while closeted and unable to express myself or love men the way I wanted to. Without people like them in the world saying “You’re not the only one”, I might have committed suicide decades ago. I owe them a huge debt of gratitude. I’m sure there are many others who feel the same.

A little more comes below the fold.

[Read more…]

The Infection Spreads: Anti-masker violence is here

The Taiwan government has done a remarkable job at keeping COVID-19 out, and getting it under control when the mass outbreak happened.  Although conditions now are no different than in May before the outbreak, the rules on masks have been kept in place.  People don’t like it, but nearly everyone complies because of the government’s credibility.  Tsai and her cabinet could win a third term unopposed if an election happened right now.

Unfortunately, there are fanatics who see themselves as exempt, who bristle at having to wear a mask everywhere outside their home.  They have started spreading anti-mask and anti-vax nonsense.  The government can’t do much about Taiwanese citizens who say it, but I wish they would round up and deport foreigners who spread it.  Especially when there are laws about spreading misinformation and fines for those who do.

But the worst part is the anti-masker violence.  Two cases may sound few, but it’s the ferocity of the violence that galls me, hospitalizing the first and the second died from stab wounds.

From May:

Convenience store clerk beaten up by customer who refused to comply with epidemic control measures

A convenience store clerk in New Taipei City was sent to hospital after being beaten up by a man who refused to comply with the requirement to wear a mask and register his name and phone number when visiting the store, today, May 17.

At around 7:00 am this morning a 50-year-old man, named Lai, entered a High Life convenience store in Tucheng District, without wearing a surgical mask. A 22-year-old clerk named Zhuo requested he put on a mask and comply with the name-registration system.

Video of the incident shows Lai complying with the clerk’s request to put on a mask. However, when the clerk insisted Lai leave his name and phone number as required for possible contact tracing measures, Lai refused, and finally lost his temper and attacked the young man, hitting him with a motorcycle helmet before punching and kicking him.

From Sunday:

Convenience store clerk stabbed to death after asking customer to wear mask

A convenience store clerk in Taoyuan City died after being stabbed in the chest by a customer he had asked to put on a mask this morning, November 21.

According to reports, a 41-year-old man named Chiang entered a 7-11 store on Guangfeng Road in Guishan District at around 5:00 am. The 30-year-old clerk, named Tsai, requested that Chiang put on a facemask according to epidemic prevention regulations.

[. . .]

Chiang left the store, but returned for a third time and demanded the clerk step out from behind the counter. According to witnesses who called the police, Tsai and Chiang scuffled before Chiang allegedly stabbed Tsai in the left side chest three times.

Noticeably, both cases happened in the early hours of the morning.  It makes me wonder if the attackers feel a sense of “anonymity” when almost no one is around at that time of day.

Some foreigners also rail against vaccines, blathering about “freedumb”.  Vaccination is mandatory for immigrants unless we have a medical exemption, and I doubt many do.

My sister Katisen is Taiwanese and taking HRT so she is exempt.  It’s likely Transgender foreigners are also exempt.  I don’t take it because estrogen nearly caused me to have a heart attack or a stroke when I was on it.

Breathtaking Inanity Returns: 102 anti-Trans laws

In 2005, fanatical christian fascists in Dover, Pennsylvania attempted to violate the separation of cult and state and put creationism into public schools under the false veneer of “intelligent design” (NOVA episode, on youtube).  Despite being an appointee of George Bu**sh**, judge John E. Jones correctly rules that “intelligent design” was creationism by another name and accurately described the creationists’ claims as breathtaking inanity.

The same is happening now in dozens of US states, corrupt, incompetent, and bigoted republicans attempting to legalize discrimination, hate, and violence against Transgender children.  There are 102 “bills” that will legislate anti-Trans hate while only seven use the word Transgender in them. It’s as dishonest now as creationists were then.  From USA Today:

In 102 anti-trans bills in 7 states, the word ‘transgender’ appears just 7 times. It’s not an accident.

Over three special legislative sessions this year, Texas legislators introduced 47 proposed bills that aimed to restrict transgender kids’ access to sports or gender-affirming care, plus three bills that would block birth certificate updates for minors. The word “transgender” didn’t appear in any of them. 

Proponents of the bills in Texas, which brought triple the number of anti-trans bills this year of any other state, also rarely reference trans people during debate, even though the legislation is about what trans kids can and cannot do. Instead, they use language that categorizes trans girls as boys by using sex assigned at birth to define gender identity. 

More anti-trans bills were introduced in state legislatures in 2021 than in any previous year on record. The 19th reviewed the text of 102 bills in seven states that were primarily designed to restrict access to sports or gender-affirming care for trans youth, like hormones and puberty blockers, and only seven bills mentioned the word “transgender.” Only eight passed, primarily those focused on sports, although legal battles in several states have barred most from going into effect.

[. . .]

Lawmakers’ arguments in support of these bills stress that girls must be protected from losing opportunities in sports against “biological men.” That idea displays deep-seated assumptions about gender, as trans women are portrayed as a threat to cisgender girls’ academic and economic opportunities. As this argument has been repeated across the country, trans people and LGBTQ advocates tell The 19th that their existence is being called into question.

This approach isn’t new, but advocates say it has evolved in recent years.

In 2017, Texas’ failed bathroom bill did not actually reference transgender people anywhere in the text, though the legislation aimed to keep trans people from using bathrooms that match their gender identity. North Carolina’s infamous 2016 bathroom bill, which was passed and subsequently repealed after the Associated Press predicted it would cost the state more than $3.76 billion in boycotts, also never used the word “transgender.”

This “approach” is the same as others in the past twenty years, like drug testing for the poor.  They know it’s a waste of time and money, and they want taxpayers to be angry at those targeted by hate legislation (“you made us waste money on this!”).

This “approach” is eighty years old: repeat the lie often enough until people believe it, because they know it wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny or facts.

These “bills” are not written to “protect cis girls”, not even the writers believe that.  They’re written to deny health care to Transgender children, and to make people into targets of – and to encourage – hate and violence.

NPR: ‘It’s Specifically Cruel’: Multiple Anti-Trans Bills Considered In Tennessee

NBC: Texas has considered dozens of anti-trans bills. These moms have helped stop them.

SciAm: Why Anti-Trans Laws Are Anti-Science

Them: Anti-Trans Sports Bills Aren’t Just Transphobic — They’re Racist, Too

Boston Globe: Republican anti-trans legislation is an assault on children

Planned Parenthood: Florida Anti-Trans Legislation: Where It Is and Where It Might Be Headed


Traffic Terrorism Strikes Again: Because governments care more about fast traffic than human lives

It wasn’t my intent to post another item so soon about cars (and the environment, by extension) but two news items made it necessary.

In the city of Leeds, England, a heroic woman named Deborah Chapman (age 52) works as a street crossing guard (“lollipop woman”) near a school.  Nicknamed “Jolly Lolly”, she stops traffic so that children and families can cross streets safely.  Chapman has had to physically prevent people from being run over by reckless drivers.

Unfortunately, traffic terrorists in their cars view human beings as impediments to “their right to drive fast”.  She has been repeately subjected to verbal abuse and death threats, drivers yelling out that they will come back and run her over.

Chapman obtained a recording device (paid for by parents in the community) and took video and audio of drivers as she worked.  Their behaviours and words changed when they knew they were being recorded.  However, due to incompetent politicians and corrupt laws, Chapman was ordered to stop wearing the device to “protect the drivers’ privacy” (read: protect their ability to threaten violence against innocent people).

Angry Leeds drivers abuse this lollipop lady every day but she has been banned from wearing bodycam

Deborah Chapman, 52, doesn’t feel safe in the job she has done in Beeston for almost ten years

By Jasmine Norden

17:55, 15 NOV 2021

A Leeds lollipop lady has said she feels so unsafe doing her job at the moment parents decided to buy her a bodycam.

Deborah Chapman, 52, said she deals with ‘horrendous’ abuse everyday from drivers as she helps kids cross the road outside Beeston Primary School.

The problem has become such that parents took it upon themselves to raise money to buy Deborah a bodycam to keep her safe.

She told LeedsLive: “The drivers are horrible. They are always angry and think we are a nuisance.

“It happens on a daily basis – I get people swearing at me or revving up behind me. I get called horrible names like s**g or s**t or even the c-word. I see lots of dangerous driving.

[. . .]

“The kids call me the Jolly Lolly. I’m confident doing my job and protecting them and I will stand my ground – but it’s getting harder and harder to take all of the abuse home with me.”

In one recent incident, Deborah said a driver threatened to come back at the end of her next shift and ‘mow her down’.

Note the date on the above news item: November 15, 2021, which makes the item below the fold all the more appalling.

[Read more…]

The Pandemic Continues: 2021 is the worst year yet for the mass murder of Transgender and Non-Binary people

According to the Human Rights Campaign, in the US there were forty five confirmed murders of Transgender and Non-Binary people between November 20, 2020 and now.  The actual total is likely much higher, given that cops and governments intentionally misgender and deadname people; cops are lazy, bigoted and incompetent at catching these murderers; and some have gone missing and died without being counted because of hate and ostracism the victims faced from society.

2021 Becomes Deadliest Year on Record for Transgender and Non-Binary People

Today [November 9], with news of the killing of Marquiisha Lawrence in Greenville, South Carolina, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, has now officially recorded more violent deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people than any year prior.

At least 45 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been killed this year; HRC Foundation uses “at least” because too often these stories go unreported or misreported. Previously, the highest number of fatal deaths of transgender or gender non-conforming people that HRC Foundation has tracked over a 12 month period was just last year in 2020, when at least 44 transgender or gender non-conforming people were killed.

Pink News reports that worldwide there are three hundred and seventy five confirmed murders of Transgender and Non-Binary people in that same time period.  That’s a seven percent increase in the number of people who died.  The uncounted murders could sent that rate much higher.

Tragic figures confirm most dangerous place to be trans as 2021 becomes deadliest year on record

Between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021, at least 375 trans, non-binary or gender non-conforming people were slain across the world.

One in four trans people murdered globally were killed in their own home, according to data compiled by the Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide (TvTW), a Transgender Europe project.

The report stands as the official word on a truly grisly year, detailing a daunting, years-long rise in murders against trans people by seven per cent, compared to the same time period last year.

Released ahead of Transgender Day of Remembrance, held 20 November, the report found that 70 per cent of the documented murders happened in Central and South America.

Brazil remains the most dangerous place to be trans in the world, with the majority of the murders – 125 – taking place there.

Cases in Greece, Malawi and Kazakhstan were also reported for the first time.

Yes, it is a pandemic, one of violence.

I’m sure there’s at least one ignorant apologist for violence that will say, “It’s only 375 people!”

It’s not “only 375”.  Transgender and Non-Binary people account for approximately one in every three hundred people.  If the general population were murdered at the same rate, that would be 13,200 in the US alone, and 112,500 worldwide.  Imagine the uproar if 100,000 people of any specific group were mass murdered in those numbers, there would be outrage and people labelling it genocide.  (Unless they’re Iraqis or Afghanis, then the 100,000 aren’t counted as people.)

It doesn’t matter how few the victims are or how small the minority.  When the least powerful minorities are deliberately and intentionally targeted with hate and violence, it borders on eugenics and genocide.  The smaller the population, the greater the atrocity.

A Week To Go: Then the Remembrance Day that matters

Chris Mosier is a basketball player and Transgender man.  He put together the ten images below for Transgender Awareness Week which runs from November 13 to 19, culminating in Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20.  I’ll be posting more throughout the week.

Below the fold are the other nine images, good advice for cisgender people to read and learn.

Respect isn’t difficult.  Those who won’t respect one group usually won’t respect others.

[Read more…]

My Clock Runneth Over

The 1911 Revolution (October 10 1911 to February 12, 1912) signalled the end of the Qing Dynasty in China, the fall of the last emporer and both Taiwan and China’s beginnings as republics.  Taiwan has treated this as its Independence Day, which it celebrates on October 10 (“Ten Ten Day”).  The communists in China celebrate October 1 (the day the CCP took over in 1949) and avoid the 10th.

I was here ten years ago for Taiwan’s hundredth anniversary (also a Sunday), and can say I wish I had been on vacation in the Philippines instead.  The amount of noise from fireworks that weekend was beyond deafening.  My headaches lasted for days.

As you might have noticed, 2021 is 110 years in Taiwan’s domestic calendar.  This means that on Friday in 2022, about an hour before noon, the calendar and clocks will read:

111, 11/11, 11:11:11

My students had a laugh with that.



Numberphile also did a video recently on calendar calculation, vis-a-vis telling the day of the week by the date alone.  James Grime gives a system developed by the late mathematician John Conway, though others could be developed.

Conway used what he called “doomsday numbers” to determine the day of the week without having to calculate or remember many weeks or months.  I checked, and it’s true.

In every calendar year, the following dates are ALWAYS the same day of the week, regardless of the year.  For all my obsession with calendars and calendar reform, I had never noticed this before.

All even double digit dates after February (4/4, 6/6, 8/8, 10/10, 12/12)

“Working 9 to 5 at 7/11” (5/9, 9/5, 7/11, 11/7)

January 4th in a leap year, or 3rd in most years

So no matter what date of the year it is, you’re only a few weeks away from a date that a person gives you.  The video also mentions Pi Day (March 14) as being one of the above dates.  Not mentioned in the video below is the last day of February (28 or 29), regardless of regular or leap year.

There are only 28 possible calendars, and calendars run on 28 year cycles.  If you can remember the first day when these cycles begin (1900 which is not a leap year; 1600, 1628, 1656, 1684, 1814, 1842, 1870, 1898, 1916, 1944, 1972, 2000, 2028, etc. all start on a Saturday), it’s not hard to calculate the first day of the year. [Correction: 1898 starts on a Saturday, not 1900, 18 years until 1916.  The 17th and 18th centuries start to get tricky, every 28 years from 1695 to 1791.]

So let’s say (for example) you want to know the day of the week for Hallowe’en in 1980.  1972 started on a Saturday, so eight years plus two leap years makes 10 days (10 mod 7 = 3), thus 1980 started on a Tuesday.  January 1 to March 31 is 91 days in a leap year (91 mod 7 = 0), so April 1 is also a Tuesday, and by extension April 4 (4/4) is a Friday and so is 10/10.  Hallowe’en (10/31) is exactly three weeks after 10/10, thus also a Friday.

Lo and behold, it works.

But bleeping hell, I hate their ableist video editing.


More Than I Expected: What the hell is going on in Virginia?

I read PZ Myers’s recent item The Real Cancel Culture about the attempt to ban and burn books in Spotsylvania, Virginia.  Especially about a book with a positive message for children who have been survived emotional and sexual abuse.

My immediate response was to ask, “I’ll bet a few baptist pastors in that town have abused children”.

Nope. It was far worse.

I searched for news articles and expected to find one or two recent articles about sexual abuse in that county.  Instead it was a wall of stories, serial sexual abuse of children and other crimes.  What the hell is wrong with people there that they are more concerned about a book in a school library?  For a county of only 136,000 Spotsylvania has a serious problem that they seem unwilling to deal with, and would rather keep kids ignorant and vulnerable than protect and empower them with knowledge.

All these cases happened in Spotsylvania, and all involve different perpetrators.

2020: Former Spotsylvania church music director pleads guilty to molesting child

2019: Virginia man gets multiple life sentences for recording repeated child rape and Virginia man raped child in RV ‘sex dungeon’  (same perpetrator)


2018: Man convicted of rape in Spotsylvania

2017: Former softball coach faces 12 additional sex assault charges in Spotsylvania

2015: Sexual Assault Arrest In Spotsylvania

2015: Spotsylvania youth volunteer charged with sexual assault of minors

2012: Four Charged in Spotsy Rape Investigation

2012: Kyle Spencer Thom arrested for allegedly raping 12-year-old girl

2010: Teen Volunteer Alleges Firehouse Sexual Harassment

2009: 3 teens charged with sexual assault of Spotsylvania girl, 15

2009: Spotsylvania man arrested for rape and petit larceny

2007: Virginia Teen Charged With Raping, Killing Sister, Beating Toddler Niece With Sledgehammer

2003: Court document (PDF) involving a cop raping a teenage girl

1999: Richard Evonitz was a serial rapist and serial killer who lived in that county

1999: Man Charged in Slaying Of Va. Woman in 1990 (the crime included sexual assault)

Hero(in) Dealers Try Again: Another year of poppy fascism

Apparently, twenty years of failed and pointless war in Iraq and Afghanistan has done little to silence the hero(in) dealers, a/k/a poppy fascists. They’re spewing the usual “support the troops” propaganda yet doing nothing to prevent the next planned war for oil.  In the UK’s case in 2021, their “war for oil” is soldiers driving petrol tanker trucks around the country.  For once, paid terrorists are actually doing something useful.

Poppy fascists don’t do anything to “support the troops” that have permanent disabilities and mental health issues from twenty years of war. (In 2021, the republiclowns oppose spending money on VA hospitals now that the war is over, as if the after effects don’t exist or suddenly stopped.)  All that the keyboard warriors want is to cheerlead for the next war.  Abandoning the disposable heroes is standard practice, as is silencing any ex-military who criticize the government or speak out against war.  As L7 eloquently and elegantly said in the song, “Wargasm”:

Wargasm, wargasm, one, two, three

Tie a yellow ribbon round the amputee

Masturbate, watch it on TV

Crocodile tears for the refugees

[. . . ]

Wave those flags high in the air

As long as it takes place over there


The poppy fascist lie continues to be repeated: “they’re trying to ban poppies in [town name]!” which is about as believable as facebook enacting user fees.  Those who refuse to wear poppies continue to be the victims of harassment and threats of violence.  So much for the fiction that “poppies stand for freedumb!”  James McClean contiues to be a target of abuse and threats, so much so that even the “uk royal legion” had to speak out against it.

In more than one pile of tripe, sophists philosophers Alfred Archer and Benjamin Matheson claim to “support James McClean’s decision not to wear one”.  But they don’t support anyone else’s right not to wear one unless the person gives what the two consider to be a “valid” excuse.  Ergo, they don’t actually support individual personal freedom.

Commemoration and Emotional Imperialism

2 The Poppy’s Message

McClean refuses to wear the poppy because he finds the message that it has for him objectionable.

[. . .]

On McClean’s view, the poppy has a different meaning for the people of Derry (or at least the Catholic community of Derry) compared to people in other parts of the United Kingdom. Importantly, he takes the message that it has for him to be objectionable such that it is permissible for him not to wear the poppy. In this section, we support McClean’s stance.

The unspoken message is there: If your reason for refusing a poppy isn’t because you or your people are victims of militarist violence, then it’s “not valid” and you have to participate in poppy fascism.  If that weren’t their stance, why aren’t they stating it explicitly?  Why aren’t they calling for personalizing it and keeping it out of public discussion, to stop making it a “litmus test for patriotism”?

No one should be compelled to wear a poppy.

No one should be violated for not wearing one.

No one has the right to question anyone’s decision.

By violated, it could mean social shunning, firing people from jobs, or any other unlawful use of force that could coerce people.

Apparently the second clown Ford brother can’t grasp those concepts, currently trying to enact a fascist law in Ontario that will have government dictating policy to private businesses.  So much for being “pro-capitalism”.  I’d label those cheap plastic poppies a safety hazard and force the government to prove otherwise.

Ontario would compel employers to let workers wear poppies around Remembrance Day

Ontario is introducing legislation that would give workers the right to wear a poppy during the week of Remembrance Day.

The Progressive Conservative government says it wants to enshrine the right in law to remind employers that Ontario “owes a debt of gratitude” to those who serve the country.

It says that position should be reflected in employment policies and practices.

There will be an exception to the proposed law if a poppy poses a safety hazard.

Premier Doug Ford vowed to introduce the legislation last November amid controversy over a since-revoked policy at grocery chain Whole Foods Market that forbade employees from wearing anything other than their basic uniforms, including poppies.

The UK should know better or be more circumspect this year on the 50th and 100th anniversaries of two Bloody Sundays, but shameless as usual, they’re not.  On July 10, 1921 protestant loyalists ignited a campaign of violence and arson leading to at least seventeen deaths and a thousand people left homeless.  And it was on January 30, 1972 that uniformed UK terrorists murdered fourteen peaceful protesters without provocation, shooting them in the streets for carrying signs.  (Another Bloody Sunday anniversary, November 13, 1887, happens next year, the 135th.)  This is what James McClean objects to, the celebration of those who murdered innocents.



If I’m going to celebrate anything on 11/11, it’s “pocky day” (“pepero day” in South Korea, their local knockoff brand).  Having kids be kind and share chocolate covered sticks with each other serves more purpose than glorifying war.


Time To Stand Up: But was I funny?

There’s a comedy club in Taipei which has Open Mic Night on Wednesdays.  Amateurs can come in, sign up and perform up to five minutes, with the gratuity of cheap drinks all night.  For the first time ever, I signed up and did a four minute set.

It went over fairly well for a first timer, though the two best people were the ones immediately before me.  One was a doctoral student finishing his degree here, an american.  His comedy was smart, sharp, and insightful.  The other was a Taiwanese woman, very petite, doing a lot of self-deprecating jokes about her failures.  Funny, but never mean spirited.

They stood out in contrast to the first four that started the night.  They were unfunny at best and disgusting at worst.  “Edgy” is not comedy, it’s hiding behind a microphone to spew bigotry and hate you’d be afraid to say on the street.  I didn’t go there to hear some toxic male justify his fan worship and defence of Norm MacDonald’s sexual harassment of women, nor to hear some troll “joke” about racism, or people with disabilities and use insulting words (e.g. “r*****”).

Below the fold is not what I said verbatim, but it’s close enough.  For most of a week, I wrote stuff about women and men (clothing, sex, jobs, etc.), observational comedy that tells the truth.

But when I saw that the audience was almost entirely male, and after the unfunny and bigoted men, I decided to change directions and throw in a minute of TERF jokes.  I’ll include all of them except one which my sister Katisen said was too dark.  (I’ll email it in the FtB back channel if anyone wants to read it.)  Without further ado, read on and be appalled.

Also of note: While I never use profanity on the blog unless I’m directly quoting other people’s words (e.g. news articles, song lyrics, etc.), for the first time I’m using my own.  Just so you know what to expect.

[Read more…]

Adorable As Can Be: The best costumes of 2021 in Taiwan

I and almost everyone else in Taiwan has been giggling at these for the last two days.   This is the most adorable thing I’ve seen all month, two Hallowe’en costumes that beat all else.  I’m sure the two subjects were flattered.

First, a little girl with a blazer and a bob haircut, dressed as Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).



Second, a young lad with greyish streaks added to his hair and a yellow vest similar to those worn by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) went as Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the CECC.  The foam syringe says “Medigen”, the name of the Taiwanese produced vaccine currently undergoing Phase III trials.



If that doesn’t make you smile, you’re dead inside.

‘Mini-Tsai,’ ‘Little Chen’ spotted on Halloween in Taiwan

Photos of children dressed as Taiwan’s president and epidemic prevention czar went viral on social media as Taiwanese celebrated Halloween over the weekend.

Although Halloween fell on Sunday (Oct. 31), many of the biggest costume events for kids were held Saturday (Oct. 30), such as the 13th annual Tianmu Halloween Festival in Taipei’s Shilin District and the annual costume party in the Fuzhong Commercial Area of New Taipei’s Banqiao District. On Saturday evening, photos of children dressed as President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Health Minister and CECC head Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) quickly went viral.

On their Facebook pages, authors Lisa Liu (劉宗瑀) and Mr.柯學先生 posted photos of a girl dressed as Tsai and a boy wearing a Chen costume. The “Mini-Tsai” was dressed in a white T-shirt, gray suit jacket, black pants, and black sneakers and sported wireframe glasses, a blue mask, and Tsai’s bob haircut.

To make it extra clear who she was dressed as, the child also carried a sign showing photos of Tsai wearing the same outfit. Meanwhile, the miniature Chen could be seen with wisps of gray hair, a furrowed forehead, and the obligatory gray-and-yellow vest worn by all CECC officials at press events.

The boy also held a giant Styrofoam syringe labeled “Medigen,” a reference to Taiwan’s domestically developed COVID vaccine, in his left hand. In his right hand was a sign that read “Today’s local (COVID cases)” and the number zero, representing the long stretches without local cases the country has seen over the past month.



And a side note: here’s my little sister’s costume from last Saturday night when we attended an outdoor party, dressed as Marceline from “Adventure Time”.  (It was organized outdoors because more people were allowed to attend.)  Now I regret not wearing something that matches.  Two other friends were dressed as Finn and Princess Bubblegum.  But there ain’t no way I’m dressing as Jake.

Instead, last Saturday I dressed as Lux Interior of The Cramps, in honour of his 75th birthday.


There Are Bigger TERFish To Fry: The BBC should be ashamed, but they’re not

I haven’t waded in on the JAQoff/TERF “kathleenzielinski” because I planned to read everything before commenting.  But after seeing recent news, that TERF takes a back seat.  Blocked, and won’t be appearing here.



For decades, the BBC put Jimmy Savile on the air, defending and protecting him, and planning a “tribute documentary” even as the facts about his serial rape and pedophilia became public knowledge.  They knew, they enabled his crimes, they participated with their complicity.

The same is happening again.  Lily Cade was a lesbian porn performer in the UK until kicked out of the industry for just cause.   Cade is also a TERF, and (reportedly by self admission and accusations of several cis women) guilty of multiple sexual assaults.  So naturally, the BBC brought the TERF on for “balance” and let Cade call for the lynching and murdering of Transgender people, and advocating Trans people kill ourselves.  (This is the original link but twitter removed it for “violating rules”, i.e. reporting Cade’s words with screenshots.)

Once again, the BBC defends promoting a sexual predator and denigrating that individuals’ victims.  And it’s not the only recent instance of the BBC openly inciting hate towards Trans people, promoting the fiction that Trans women want to rape cis TERFs.


Adult content star Lily Cade was recently cited in a BBC article surrounding an experience that she claimed to have with a trans woman in the industry.

However, the adult actress has caused uproar online following social media claims of abuse and sexual assault within the adult industry and a personal online website named lilycade.com that explicitly called for the ‘cancellation’ of trans woman alongside severe hate speech and transphobia.

[. . . ]

According to a unverified Wikileaks article in November 2017, Lily also admitted to sexual assault with an apology that included “I feel ashamed now, I thought that that girls went along with me because they enjoyed it, but they did it because they felt like they couldn’t say no”.

Amazingly, the Guardian (edited by a TERF and employs several) managed to publish this item:

BBC changes online article at centre of transphobia row

The BBC has been forced to edit an article condemned as transphobic after a woman quoted in the piece described trans women as “vile, weak and disgusting” and it emerged she had previously been accused of sexual misconduct.

Standing behind its decision to publish the piece online last week – headlined “We’re being pressured into sex by some trans women” – the BBC took the decision on Thursday to remove a contribution from a former porn actor, Lily Cade, “in light of comments” she made after its publication, after a week of sustained pressure and criticism.

[. . .]

The BBC also said Cade’s admission of past “inappropriate behaviour … should have been included in the original article”.

This week more than 20,000 people signed an open letter calling for the corporation to apologise for the article, but the BBC rejected the complaints and said it was committed to covering different viewpoints in the name of impartiality.

Since the article’s publication Cade, who was quoted in the original story, published violently transphobic remarks on her website – which has been down since Wednesday – appearing to call for the “lynching” of high-profile trans women. In a statement to the Guardian, Cade said she had only attacked “personas”, not people, and said Lily Cade was also a persona.

An update added to the BBC article on Thursday reads: “We have updated this article, published last week, to remove a contribution from one individual in light of comments she has published on blog posts in recent days, which we have been able to verify.

“We acknowledge that an admission of inappropriate behaviour by the same contributor should have been included in the original article.”

[. . .]

On Wednesday Chelsea Poe, a trans porn performer, said she had told the BBC journalist behind the article that Cade had been accused of sexual misconduct and was no longer working in the porn industry, but said she had not been quoted in the piece. A source at the BBC said the journalist behind the story had spoken to Poe but an editorial judgment was made not to quote her because the general conversation was deemed not relevant to the piece.

The fact that Cade was forced out of porn for perpetrating multiple sexual assaults was deemed “not relevant to the story”.  Quelle surprise, BBC, just like Savile’s predating, raping and grooming of children for his client was deemed “not relevant” until ITV aired their story on him.

TERFs have repeatedly cited singular and dubious claims of Transgender women accused of certain actions, and falsely attributing the actions of one person to all Trans women.  (Or more likely none, since their “reports” are usually fiction and the claimed events never happened.)

Here, however, we have a proven instance of a TERF who perpetrates sexual assault and promotes violence.  From now on when I encounter TERF rhetoric, I’ll point out that Cade represents all TERFs, their mentalities and their actions.



Also note that not once did I refer to Cade as “she” yet did not insult that individual.  That was intentional.