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6 hours ago, SlaneyLCFC said:

The Dems have provided no concrete evidence as to why they have pushed impeachment through. It has been heresay,nothing more and they have moved the goalposts along the way. It won't pass the senate (thankfully) and normal service will resume. Dems have dug themselves a hole and instead of climbing out with some dignity, they have kept digging.

Against the speaker of the houses wishes, the radical left element of the party got what they wanted but the consequences will be another 4 years of trump because they cannot get over the 2016 election result  and "orange man bad" 

 

That's just an untrue categorization of the events that transpired in the lead up to impeachment. What you've said is pretty much the conservative talking points that ignore the facts of the case.

 

The intelligence committee heard testimony from:

 

- William Taylor (ambassador to the Ukraine) - He testified before congress that directly implicated President Trump in a proactive and coordinated effort to solicit a political quid pro quo whereby "everything" – from a one-on-one meeting with President Trump to hundreds of millions of dollars in congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine – would be held up unless Ukrainian President Zelensky agreed to announce publicly that "investigations" would be launched including into former VP Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden, Ukrainian energy company Burisma, and Ukraine's alleged involvement in the 2016 election.

 

Not only that, but he got caught with physical evidence. Look at his his texts with Gordon Sondland (Ambassador of the EU). 

 

- George Kent (Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs) - He testified that Rudy Giuliani used a campaign of disinformation to undermine the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch. That name might be familiar, because Marie Yovanovitch is the ambassador that Rudy Giuliani admitted to 'force out' on Fox News.

 

- Jennifer Williams (special advisor to U.S. vice president Mike Pence on European and Russian affairs) -  She overheard the July 25, 2019 call, and that the Trump administration wanted better knowledge about the controversy surrounding Burisma. She stated that she expressed concern over the phone conversation, which she described as "unusual." 

 

Marie Yovanovitch (former ambassador to Ukraine) - She testified that Trump had pressured the State Department to remove her. That that after her removal, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan had told her that she had done nothing wrong but that the State Department had been under political pressure from Trump to remove her since summer 2018.

 

She detailed how Giuliani and his associates Lev Parnas (in jail and currently flipping on Giuliani) and Igor Fruman worked with a corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor to orchestrate a smear campaign against her, oust her from her post as ambassador, and "circumvent official channels" of Ukraine policy. Yovanovitch also testified, "Perhaps it was not surprising that when our anti-corruption efforts got in the way of the desire for profit or power, Ukrainians who preferred to play by the old, corrupt rules sought to remove me. What continues to amaze me is that they found Americans willing to partner with them and, working together, they apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a U.S. ambassador. How could our system fail like this? How is it that foreign corrupt interests could manipulate our government?" While Yovanovitch was testifying, Trump denigrated her on Twitter.

 

- LT Col. Alexander Vindman (Director for European Affairs for the United States National Security Council) - He was on the July 25, 2019, telephone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump asked Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, who is campaigning for President. 

 

- Kurt Volker (US Ambassador to NATO) He testified before the U.S. House of Representatives during a public hearing, during which he reversed statements made in his closed hearing, regarding mention of investigations, stating instead that Sondland "made a generic comment about investigations," which Volker and others found "inappropriate." The reason why he changed his tune.... because he got caught (Giuliani posted an incriminating text message from Volker on Twitter). He resigned afterwards.

 

- Tim Morrison (Republican Political Adviser) -  He testified that Sondland confirmed to him that there was indeed a quid pro quo requirement for US aid to Ukraine, and again brought up the telephone conversation between Sondland and Yermak. 

 

- Gordon Sondland (Ambassador to the EU) - He testified that Trump, through Giuliani, was clearly demanding a public commitment by Zelensky to investigate Burisma (a Ukrainian gas company where Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden had sat on the board) and the 2016 election as a prerequisite to receive a White House invitation or phone call. "Was there a ‘quid pro quo? The answer is yes."

 

- Laura Cooper (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian affairs) -  She testified to the U.S House of Representatives that Ukrainian officials knew about the hold on military aid by July 25, the day of the Trump–Zelensky call, undercutting an assertion that there could not have been a quid pro quo because Ukraine was not aware of the hold.

 

- David Hale (United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs) - He testified that an Office of Budget Management (OMB) official informed him that Trump ordered aid to be withheld from Ukraine.

 

- Fiona Hill (former official at the U.S. National Security Council) -  She testified on Gordon Sondland's involvement in the Ukraine matter: "It struck me when (Wednesday), when you put up on the screen Ambassador Sondland's emails, and who was on these emails, and he said these are the people who need to know, that he was absolutely right," she said. "Because he was being involved in a domestic political errand, and we were being involved in national security foreign policy. And those two things had just diverged. 

 

She also ripped apart congressional republican's narrative that Ukraine had been involved in the 2016 election interference (instead of Russia), and the other false republican narrative that Yovanovitch was corrupt. 

 

- David Holmes (counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine) - He testified that he overheard EU ambassador Gordon Sondland speaking to Trump via cellphone in a Kyiv restaurant, hearing Trump ask, "so, he's gonna do the investigation?" to which Sondland replied, "he's gonna do it", adding Zelensky would do "anything you ask him to". 

 

The only people who have not testified about their involvement in the scheme - Rudy Giuliani, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton were forbidden by Trump to testify before Congress. This is the basis of the 2nd article of impeachment. Not only have witnesses been withheld from the proceedings, but documents under subpoena were not provided. Both of these acts by the executive branch are unconstitutional. 

 

If you somehow don't believe that Trump was using military aid as leverage to have Ukraine investigate and weaken his domestic rivals, let's hear from the man himself:

 

The prosecutor "they got rid of" was none other than Victor Shokin. 

- As Prosecutor General, he was accused of blocking major cases against allies and influential figures and hindering the fight against corruption in Ukraine

- In early April 2015, Shokin stated that the General Prosecutor Ukraine (GPU) files about criminal orders from former General Prosecutor Viktor Pshonka had disappeared, along with Pshonka's secret casework and secret materials. Various street protests demanding Shokin's resignation were held.

- In March 2016 his office carried out a raid against one of Ukraine's leading anti-corruption groups, the Anti-Corruption Action Center (AntAC), claiming that it had misappropriated aid money. AntAC was a frequent critic of the Prosecutor General's Office under Shokin. In one notorious case, two of Shokin's prosecutors were caught with stashes of diamonds, cash and valuables in their homes, likely indicating bribery

- Through 2015 and early 2016, domestic and international pressure (including from the IMF, the EU, and the EBRD) built for Shokin to be removed from office. The Obama administration withheld $1 billion in loan guarantees to pressure the Ukrainian government to remove Shokin from office.[

- The European Union praised Shokin's dismissal due to a "lack of tangible results" of his office's investigations, and also because people in Shokin's office were themselves being investigated.

- Shokin claimed in May 2019 that he had been investigating Burisma Holdings. However, Vitaly Kasko, who had been Shokin's deputy overseeing international cooperation before resigning in February 2016 citing corruption in the office, provided documents to Bloomberg News indicating that under Shokin, the investigation into Burisma had been dormant. Also, the investigation into Burisma only pertained to events happening before Hunter Biden joined the company.

 

How about Trump's own Chief of Staff?

 

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Alright, I know i just dropped a lot of information. But I will attempt to simplify it.

 

The Democratic side of the argument is this:

Trump ordered his personal lawyer (Rudy Giuliani), his ambassador to the EU (Gordon Sondland), and his ambassador to NATO (Kurt Volker) to push out the ambassador to Ukraine, and leading anti-corruption advocate (Marie Yovanovitch). She stood in the way of Trump's ability to open investigations into the Bidens in order to weaken his political opponent in the 2020 election. Witnesses have testified that this indeed happened, that Yovanovitch was forced out and her reputation smeared.

 

Congresssionally approved aid, and a white house meeting was withheld. Then, once the white house was notified of a whistleblower complaint, they then released the military aid. 

 

The Democrats then launched an inquiry, in which witnesses were either forbidden to testify (some testified anyway) or were intimidated by the President himself on twitter for their testimony. Documents that the constitution REQUIRES the executive branch to turn over, were withheld. Not even Richard Nixon withheld his tapes after the supreme court ruling. 

 

The two questions that need to be asked is 

- Is it acceptable for a President to use taxpayer money, and vital military aid to an ally at war time, as leverage to weaken a political rival? Would we accept this in all future elections? If Democrats did this in 2024, would that be fine? 

- Is it acceptable for the executive branch to ignore congressional subpoenas for witness testimony and documents? If yes, then we no longer have 3 co-equal branches of government, or checks and balances.

 

That is what makes these offenses rise to the level of impeachment.

 

The Republican side of the argument is this:

- The President is concerned with corruption in the Ukraine (even though he, himself has been found guilty of misappropriating campaign funds).

- Victor Shokin was wrongly fired as prosecutor in Ukraine (even though the IMF, EU, and Obama administration all agreed on his dismissal. Also, he misappropriated funds, and his associates were arrested with piles of diamonds). 

- Marie Yovanovitch was corrupt, and needed removal (even though her boss, and all her colleagues agree upon her sterling reputation for being anti-corruption).

- The Bidens needed investigating, and it has nothing to do with the fact that Joe Biden is a major candidate for the 2020 election.

- Ukraine had a part in meddling in the 2016 election. (A narrative only previously repeated by Putin, and thoroughly dismissed by the intelligence community).

- Trump held back military aid, with no connection to wanting President Zelensky to open these investigations.

- Trump released the aid anyway, so it's no big deal (even though it only happened after the whistle blower complaint).

- All the witnesses are lying (even though the witnesses are non-partisan and have corroborating stories).

- It's all hearsay (even though multiple people were part of the calls, and 2 of the 3 amigos have agreed that Trump's requests were either inappropriate or straight up quid pro quo).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Detroit Blues
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Now, if you want to speculate that it wont matter because the Senate Republicans can kill it anyway, or that it's poor "political strategy," I don't care. If you make a coherent argument, I might even agree with you. But there are facts, and all the facts point to Donald Trump violating the law, the constitution, and his oath of office.

 

 

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2 hours ago, MattP said:

The tide really is turning on this, wonderful.

 

 

Well, from what I gather, Maya Forstater wasn't technically "forced" out of her job, her contract just wasn't renewed.

Can't get my head around why her statement about biological sex was so contestable. She was talking about biological sex, not gender.

One may be able to change "gender" as many times as one wants (I think it's at least a silly concept, if not delusional), your sex remains the same your entire life. And there are only two sexes - unless you're born hermaphrodite or with another birth defect. Which affects about less than 2 percent of the human population.

Still great to see the reactions on Twitter. What a cesspit of human inadequacies and faux outrage.

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4 hours ago, Detroit Blues said:

Now, if you want to speculate that it wont matter because the Senate Republicans can kill it anyway, or that it's poor "political strategy," I don't care. If you make a coherent argument, I might even agree with you. But there are facts, and all the facts point to Donald Trump violating the law, the constitution, and his oath of office.

 

 

Look at you dropping  facts, how dare you lol. Republicans: here, read these alternative facts. Lol.

 

America is so messed up right now i refuse to go there. I'd rather go to a corrupt and crime ridden jamaica this saturday for 1 week . The way i see it,  they have nice beaches, fantastic jerk chicken move along nothing to see here :)

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8 hours ago, MattP said:

To be honest the Democrats seem to get everything wrong these days so this is probably just another example - hence why they've allowed themselves to be infiltrated by radical morons - almost a mirror image of the Labour party over here.

That sounds an awful lot like Gamblers Ruin Fallacy to me tbh - seem to be getting a lot of that around right now.

 

If I could be given a reason beyond "they're just incompetent because no reason" for the Dems suddenly choosing to follow a course of action that lots of people seem to deem catastrophic for them then I'd entertain it. Prussians idea that they're desperate is a possibility, but it's not like they've been out in the cold for very long (and it's not like they've not been there before either) and they could work on getting power back in 2024...the Dems may be many things, totally irrational as a leadership and calling shots based on that isn't one of them, I think. The "far left" (such as it might be called) elements don't have anywhere near the same amount of control of the Dems as they do of the Labour party and in any case the Overton Window is so much further to the right in the US than the UK anyway, so I don't get the parallels there, either.

 

DB makes some good detailed points about the impeachment above.

 

 

7 hours ago, MattP said:

The tide really is turning on this, wonderful.

 

 

Yeah, there's a similar public "consensus" (not the same as a scientific consensus btw) about climate change ignorance, too. Both include about the same level of ignorance of the detailed science behind the topic. Nothing is fixed and everything is mutable.

 

But then folks like their labels and terminology as they think it makes the world easier to understand, so...

 

Speaking purely for myself, I don't get why the existence of trans people makes people so riled up (and yes, people can make up stuff about what they might do and no end of scare stories about bathrooms that hardly ever - if at all - have a basis in reality, but if you strip it down to the fundamentals the complaint comes from what they are and the idea that they're somehow unnatural - same complaint that was levied against other members of the LGBT community for a very long time.)

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8 hours ago, Detroit Blues said:

Now, if you want to speculate that it wont matter because the Senate Republicans can kill it anyway, or that it's poor "political strategy," I don't care. If you make a coherent argument, I might even agree with you. But there are facts, and all the facts point to Donald Trump violating the law, the constitution, and his oath of office.

 

 

I totally agree but why do so many take the opposite view?  Apart from self financial security/interest what am I missing? My neighbors will vote for Trump because their IRA will stay in tact.

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Just now, Smudge said:

I totally agree but why do so many take the opposite view?  Apart from self financial security/interest what am I missing? My neighbors will vote for Trump because their IRA will stay in tact.

Short term self-interest. Or, as some people like to call it, "human nature" (which it really isn't). It's a more powerful motivator than many realise, I think.

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3 minutes ago, leicsmac said:

Short term self-interest. Or, as some people like to call it, "human nature" (which it really isn't). It's a more powerful motivator than many realise, I think.

I know Mac it was somewhat rhetorical, but still eh?

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1 minute ago, Smudge said:

I know Mac it was somewhat rhetorical, but still eh?

I get you.

 

I don't really understand it either tbh - just seems to be a difference in thought I can't comprehend. I'd leave it at that and just be OK with the difference if those lines of thought weren't so clearly dangerous to the future when so widespread - but then that's my own belief.

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7 minutes ago, leicsmac said:

I get you.

 

I don't really understand it either tbh - just seems to be a difference in thought I can't comprehend. I'd leave it at that and just be OK with the difference if those lines of thought weren't so clearly dangerous to the future when so widespread - but then that's my own belief.

I've lived more than most on this forum so I've experienced a thing or two  but in all my years I have never experienced this absolute denial of what is right. I can only think this is what life was like in Germany and Italy in the 1930's

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Just now, Smudge said:

I've lived more than most on this forum so I've experienced a thing or two  but in all my years I have experienced this absolute denial of what is right. I can only think this is what life was like in Germany and Italy in the 1930's

I wouldn't go that far myself yet as it's a pretty serious comparison to make considering what happens next, but I can certainly see why someone would arrive at that conclusion.

 

Unfortunately such denial, I think, isn't really a new phenomenon - the advent of social media and greater world interconnection has just made it more obvious and easier to climb into the public sphere and obtain power, IMO.

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7 minutes ago, leicsmac said:

I wouldn't go that far myself yet as it's a pretty serious comparison to make considering what happens next, but I can certainly see why someone would arrive at that conclusion.

 

Unfortunately such denial, I think, isn't really a new phenomenon - the advent of social media and greater world interconnection has just made it more obvious and easier to climb into the public sphere and obtain power, IMO.

I take your point and I'm not suggesting the apocalypse is nigh but the behavior of the politicians of today is nothing like I have ever seen before.

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2 minutes ago, Smudge said:

I take your point and I'm not suggesting the apocalypse is nigh but the behavior of the politicians of today is nothing like I have ever seen before.

Well, those who know me on here know I'm not one to shy away from catastrophic predictions. :D

You might well be 100% right here tbh, I guess we shall find out in due course (hopefully not in the bad way).

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4 minutes ago, leicsmac said:

Well, those who know me on here know I'm not one to shy away from catastrophic predictions. :D

You might well be 100% right here tbh, I guess we shall find out in due course (hopefully not in the bad way).

Righto Mate i'll return to my "Talking Heads" DVD and in particular ' Start Making Sense"

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10 hours ago, leicsmac said:

Yeah, there's a similar public "consensus" (not the same as a scientific consensus btw) about climate change ignorance, too. Both include about the same level of ignorance of the detailed science behind the topic. Nothing is fixed and everything is mutable.

 

But then folks like their labels and terminology as they think it makes the world easier to understand, so...

 

Speaking purely for myself, I don't get why the existence of trans people makes people so riled up (and yes, people can make up stuff about what they might do and no end of scare stories about bathrooms that hardly ever - if at all - have a basis in reality, but if you strip it down to the fundamentals the complaint comes from what they are and the idea that they're somehow unnatural - same complaint that was levied against other members of the LGBT community for a very long time.)

The science is behind people like Rowling on this though - even in the face of the angry mob trying to change it.

 

Again I don't see any comparison whatever with LGBT issues - that was all about consent and individualism, this is about impacting others and totally incompatible with upholding women's rights with it.

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12 minutes ago, MattP said:

The science is behind people like Rowling on this though - even in the face of the angry mob trying to change it.

 

Again I don't see any comparison whatever with LGBT issues - that was all about consent and individualism, this is about impacting others and totally incompatible with upholding women's rights with it.

It really isn't, mate - have a look at a recent biological science/genetics journal, or if you want I can put some articles up on here - though it is Friday night and I'd rather be out with a beer or two.

 

Do you really think that trans folks are doing this for the purpose of impacting other people - some kind of frigging performative social disobedience? Not entirely sure what to say about that, other than that argument, as well as the "against nature" one, was used against the gay community for a long time too ("oh, I don't like how flamboyant he is about it", "I just disagree with the lifestyle choice", "gays are sexual predators!"). The parallels are pretty clearly there, and this is all about yet another marginalised and largely benign community being made to look like freaks because some people don't like them not adhering to outdated social norms.

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10 hours ago, Smudge said:

I totally agree but why do so many take the opposite view?  Apart from self financial security/interest what am I missing? My neighbors will vote for Trump because their IRA will stay in tact.

I think one of the factors behind the increased polarization of liberal/conservative view points is the emergence of new media, and the ability to surround oneself with "journalism" that confirms your own bias. 

 

We no longer have a common set of facts, so we cannot hold an honest discourse.  

 

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13 hours ago, leicsmac said:

Yeah, there's a similar public "consensus" (not the same as a scientific consensus btw) about climate change ignorance, too. Both include about the same level of ignorance of the detailed science behind the topic. Nothing is fixed and everything is mutable.

 

But then folks like their labels and terminology as they think it makes the world easier to understand, so...

 

Speaking purely for myself, I don't get why the existence of trans people makes people so riled up (and yes, people can make up stuff about what they might do and no end of scare stories about bathrooms that hardly ever - if at all - have a basis in reality, but if you strip it down to the fundamentals the complaint comes from what they are and the idea that they're somehow unnatural - same complaint that was levied against other members of the LGBT community for a very long time.)

 

2 hours ago, leicsmac said:

It really isn't, mate - have a look at a recent biological science/genetics journal, or if you want I can put some articles up on here - though it is Friday night and I'd rather be out with a beer or two.

 

Do you really think that trans folks are doing this for the purpose of impacting other people - some kind of frigging performative social disobedience? Not entirely sure what to say about that, other than that argument, as well as the "against nature" one, was used against the gay community for a long time too ("oh, I don't like how flamboyant he is about it", "I just disagree with the lifestyle choice", "gays are sexual predators!"). The parallels are pretty clearly there, and this is all about yet another marginalised and largely benign community being made to look like freaks because some people don't like them not adhering to outdated social norms.

I don't think the likes of JK, Gervais and Linehan actually have an issue with trans people whatsoever, personally. It's the very loud and hateful activists and extremists that take advantage of a vulnerable community and let it down IMO.

 

People like "Jessica" Yaniv who tried to sue vulnerable immigrant female beauticians at salons because they were uncomfortable with having to wax her big hairy testicles, and complaining that gynaecologists refuse to see her purely because she doesn't have a vagina is bigoted and very hurtful. 

 

Even the person who is the "victim" of misgendering in this case - Gregor Murray:

_106983287_gregormurray102929787.jpg

 

Was kicked out of the SNP for referring to women as scum, hateful vile cvnts.

 

I think people are right to be concerned about the effect this issue has on women and girl's rights. 

 

As Gervais has put it today - they (the activists and extremists, not ordinary trans people) have created their own dogma with it's own blasphemy laws. Very concerning iMO.

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14 minutes ago, urban.spaceman said:

 

I don't think the likes of JK, Gervais and Linehan actually have an issue with trans people whatsoever, personally. It's the very loud and hateful activists and extremists that take advantage of a vulnerable community and let it down IMO.

 

People like "Jessica" Yaniv who tried to sue vulnerable immigrant female beauticians at salons because they were uncomfortable with having to wax her big hairy testicles, and complaining that gynaecologists refuse to see her purely because she doesn't have a vagina is bigoted and very hurtful. 

 

Even the person who is the "victim" of misgendering in this case - Gregor Murray:

_106983287_gregormurray102929787.jpg

 

Was kicked out of the SNP for referring to women as scum, hateful vile cvnts.

 

I think people are right to be concerned about the effect this issue has on women and girl's rights. 

 

As Gervais has put it today - they (the activists and extremists, not ordinary trans people) have created their own dogma with it's own blasphemy laws. Very concerning iMO.

And if I think that were the case, they would be more nuanced about the whole thing and actually make the point that they're ok with trans rights too, rather than only coming to the table every time a piece of news like this comes to the fore.

 

People are using the actions of those "activists" (hardly inflammatory when compared to the multitude of discrimination and often outright violence that trans folks face in many different places) as an excuse, either through ignorance or flat-out malice, to disparage a community that is already one of the most marginalised in the UK and in the world.

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1 hour ago, leicsmac said:

And if I think that were the case, they would be more nuanced about the whole thing and actually make the point that they're ok with trans rights too, rather than only coming to the table every time a piece of news like this comes to the fore.

 

People are using the actions of those "activists" (hardly inflammatory when compared to the multitude of discrimination and often outright violence that trans folks face in many different places) as an excuse, either through ignorance or flat-out malice, to disparage a community that is already one of the most marginalised in the UK and in the world.

I don’t see how Rowling could have been any more nuanced? She was respectful enough and then stated consternation at the sacking of a woman for saying that biological sex is real. It’s an important case that’s worried a lot of people. Gervais simply refuses to be dictated to and Linehan’s been ardent about this issue for some time. 
 

I also don’t see how what any of them has said has in any way justified the reprehensible vitriol and actual death threats they’ve received simply for having a different opinion. 

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