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We’re having a slo-mo Kristallnacht

The parallels have moved on from words to deeds.

There’s a huge difference of course. The US approach is not systematic. It’s scattershot. And it relies on non-state actors to commit the actual rapes, tortures, and killings. For the most part.

Ask any woman who has to avoid dark streets, subway stations, buses, parking garages, and who has to put bars on the windows and doors of her home how effective non-state terror can be.

Disorganization and using other people to do your dirtiest work does not actually prove you are better than the classical Nazis.

It just proves you’re more dishonest.

 

Burned mosque in Victoria, Texas. January 2017

(Bob Daemmrich)
 


Not even close

I love Joy Reid. Funny, true, insightful, informed, everything you could hope for in a journalist.

She’s not always deathly serious (laughter is the only balm these days) so on her twitter feed I found this, which led to many photos along these lines:

 

 

I was laughing till my stomach hurt at the whole series and many of the priceless comments, in spite of being clear on how likely compensatory (BIG) button-pushing would be in consequence.

But then further down in Joy’s feed was a link to an article in The Economist:

Conserve elephants: they hold a scientific mirror up to humans.

 

Fording the Ewaso-Nyiro River in Samburu, Kenya. 2013. Carl de Souza

 

You really can’t talk about the species in the first picture and elephants on the same page. It’s just lucky they’re too advanced to hire lawyers.



A thousand thanks to black people

You’ve saved us all from the worst. Again. Talk about the value of diversity.

I remember the first time this hit me between the eyes. David Duke decided to challenge Edwin Edwards for the governorship of Louisiana. Duke, card-carrying Nazi white supremacist. Edwards, not totally awful, fairly competent incumbent governor who’d used his position for some truly massive corruption. It was so bad he eventually got sent to Federal jail for ten years. But at the time he was out and about. And we all had bumperstickers: Vote for the Crook. It’s Important.

Well, Edwards won, but I was aghast to see that if it had been up to whites we would have woken up to the Nazi. Sixty percent of the white vote went to the card-carrying Nazi. Sixty percent.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to the blacks of Alabama. Thank you to the NAACP who had the sense to work on voter registration and turnout. Thank you to all the other groups who helped facilitate voting. Thank you to Doug Jones who had the sense to understand that people needed help voting. And thank you to the large minority of white women and the smaller minority of white men who were capable of telling right from wrong. At a time like this, it’s useful to remember that good people come in all shapes and sizes.

We really are stronger together.

black woman hugging white woman in a crowd

 

(Mickey Welsh)



There’s a lesson here

Somewhere. This is why science is useful. Scientists go to the bottom of the ocean (reported via Oceanwire and @azula) and find:

 

 

The redlipped batfish. A fish that’s serious about make-up. And here’s the thing: It uses those outrageously plumped up and fire engine red lips to lure predators toward its mouth. (No doubt they swim up expecting a meal and instead they become dinner.)

There’s a moral to this story, I think, if I could just remember which other species sometimes has this kind of display.



Language, people. Mind your language!

I see this headline:

At least as many voters want religious freedom as marriage equality.

Sounds good. Religious freedom sounds good. Marriage equality sounds good. Both sides sound reasonable. How to decide? So difficult. So very very difficult.

But … really?

We know what marriage equality means. Same sex marriages should have the same legal standing as other sex ones. That seems to say what it means and mean what it says. So far so good.

How about religious freedom? In context, what they’re talking about is permission not to recognize other people’s gay marriages. They want to treat others according to their own religious beliefs. To, for instance, not rent to a gay couple. Or quite possibly not employ them.

But religious freedom refers to you living according to your own religion (within the bounds of civil law). Forcing others to live according to your beliefs is the opposite of religious freedom.

Calling it “religious freedom” is a shameless attempt to drape coercion in the respectability of civil rights.

And assisting the shell game by parroting the self-serving terminology is aiding and abetting the deception.

Being a reporter or opinion writer means being as objective as you can, and it doesn’t mean acting as a stenographer for every interest group’s flimflam for their agenda.

Call things by their right names. Religionist coercion is anything but religious freedom.

Regurgitating deceptive names is the same nonsense that has allowed people to call themselves pro-life when they seem totally uninterested in helping anyone to actually live. After a few decades of that newspeak, de jure forced pregnancy is almost back.

These things matter. Words matter.

Truth is not lies and lies are not truth. Until we start using language as if it means something, the slide into meaningless bullshit will only accelerate.



Why sexual assault is fine and abortion is not

Honestly, people. This isn’t hard. You just have to keep your priorities straight.

Sexual assault makes everyone without a man card try to be invisible. That makes life much easier for real people who do have man cards.

Forced pregnancy keeps women chained to their biology and, bonus!, can never be used against real people with a man card.

You could of course use any part of biology to accomplish the same thing. You could withhold food or air or keep the nobodies immobile in a cage. But that’s crude. And besides, this way you can give yourself a nice little halo for caring so much about something that doesn’t exist while making sure that women, who do exist, don’t count.

So, if you’re trying to keep your cozy, nice high status man card, of course assault is okay and abortion is the end of all things.

For God’s sake, if women could just walk around loose, how would you keep them down on the farm?

“End sarcasm” tag perhaps. See comments.

 

Equality is poison when your worth depends on power over others.



Toxic Masculinity is not about masculinity

It is not about anything to do with maleness. Bits will not fall off if men stop being toxic.

It’s about status. Being toxic is the mark of high status. Being vulnerable or kind or nobody or pleasing is “not being a man.” Fighting off fifty storm troopers singlehanded while having a bunch of faceless naked women in the background gets you the unattainable Super Man card.

It’s all about the man card. It’s all about the social definition of being a man because it’s all about status. Biology has nothing to do with status. Status is 100% social. Playing the man card is not about being a man.

That’s good news and bad news.

It’s good news because if we really had to change what men are born with, something like preventing the development of testes, it would be impossible.

It’s bad news because changing people’s desire for social status is much harder than changing biological reality. It is physically possible, unlike ordering up a different biology, but it’s like pulling teeth without anesthetic.

However, and this is the point (I do have a point), if we understand what we’re actually trying to do when curing “toxic masculinity,” our efforts can apply to the real problem instead of the wrong one.

The problem is not maleness. The problem is the social definition of masculinity.

So, sure, it’s useful for men to stop toxic behavior. But that’s never going to stop the crap from regenerating bigger and worser than ever.

To cure toxic masculinity we have to stop having a top caste of men. We have to stop admiring it. It has to stop being in ads. It has to stop being in movies and videos and music and news programs and clothes and the pushing of a million products to get men to spend money to bolster their man cards. (Yes, the economy would crash.)

It means men would get 50% of the money and assets for 50% of the work instead of, as now, 90% of the benefits for 30% of the work. It means women would be 50% of government at all levels, and 50% of police and of the military at all levels. And … well, you get the picture.

There’s a lot of work to do. A lot more than men stopping their current bad behavior. A lot less than ending maleness.



One man gets it. One doesn’t.

Ben Rosenbaum outlined the price of patriarchy for men.

Lexi Alexander @Lexialex Oct 5:
Do men ever look at the week’s news and think “what the fuck is going on with men?”

Benjamin Rosenbaum @ben_rosenbaum
Replying to @Lexialex
sadly i think i know exactly what’s fucking going on with men 🙁

i am never surprised by the horrible shit men will do to stave off the terror of feeling dependent, inadequate, dominated, out of power …

… by the fever dream of entitlement, the desperate lies we tell ourselves, the starvation of human emotion that results when every …

…interaction is a struggle to dominate and failing to dominate feels like destruction….

…every oppressor class imagines themselves oppressed because the removal of privilege feels like death, but sexism is uniquely cruel…

…b/c it demands of men that, to be men, we poison our first & deepest love relationships w/ contempt, & conceal this from ourselves…

…if you wanted, from first principles, to design a broken & dangerous group of humans, you’d teach them love os weakness…

…dominance is safety, vulnerability is danger & that they are entitled to everything & losers if they cannot win it…

…& that losers are undeserving of love, of existence, that not winning is oblivion. and this is no accident. like other oppressions…

…sexism has a functional design & purpose in maintaining status-hierarchy societies. you cannot get a large # of humans to reliably…

…kill other humans w/o mangling their ability to feel, their self-knowledge, & their self-trust as emotional agents…

…but it’s not just the soldier class; the pattern developed there permeates the rest of patriarchy. My own conversational style, even…

…after 40+ years of struggle, is warped by the dictates of scholar-class patriarchal emotional starvation & warfare….

…tl:dr; men be fucked up; we are brutal to boys to make them brutal, much of it invisible to us; hug your sons & expect humanity of them.

i mean you probably knew all that @JustineLavaworm 🙂
but you asked!

i hope none of this sounds like “oh poor men, so coddle oppression”

denounce men’s behavior, destroy men’s privilege, have zero tolerance…

…for sexism. expect men to act like fucking humans. a command to heal, not an excuse to avoid healing. cutting it the fuck out is step 1

The joke-not-joke among women is that the comments on any post or piece or tweet about feminism proves the need for feminism. The same is obviously true for men trying to throw off the shackles. Within minutes, the following showed up.

Selor @SelorKiith
/14 Until such Men are deemed more desireable, nothing will change… We all have to work on this… on ourselves if we want a better world.

Benjamin Rosenbaum @ben_rosenbaum 1h1 hour ago
but being shitty to other people out of fear of loneliness is a shitty way to live, and not actually very sexy in the final analysis.

consider the possibility that standing up for what you believe in and being who you really are is a) more satisfying and b) probably sexier.

Selor @SelorKiith 1h1 hour ago
Forced to be alone with your thoughts. sitting there in your dimly lit room, a microwave meal-for-one the only thing giving you company.

Benjamin Rosenbaum @ben_rosenbaum 1h1 hour ago
I get the fear of loneliness; patriarchy does have a stick.
But fight back & you might actually find lots of comrades on the barricades.

Selor @SelorKiith 59m59 minutes ago
It’s not a fear, it’s bitter reality… also: I don’t want comrades, I want Love, I want Family, that is not achieved by casting myself out

The mind reels. At least mine does. There’s a caste system to limit women to cages (and men to being prison guards) and this guy thinks the problem is that some people escape? Because then they’re not there when he wants to use them? And he calls that “love.”

I wonder why no free agent wants anything to do with him.

 

Eastern Sierra. Beautiful, impassable, a walk in the park.



The new hip! Flat Earth Society

Noted on the twitter machine:

Gender politics has officially jumped the shark when a penis doesn’t make you male, but eyeliner makes you female

And in The tangled politics of transgenderism:

…[T]rans activists have recently targeted the provision of tampons in all-female spaces as transphobic.

We could also not bother with a space program. Just sail to the edge of the world and drop the satellites into orbit. Facts are what you make ’em. Right?

 

 


Just call US a Dark Age dictatorship

The global gag rule the Dump in the White House signed not long ago will kill women. But officially that’s an unfortunate unintended consequence.

Not this. The whole point is to go out and find people minding their own business and kill them. [Update 2017-10-08] It’s about more than gays. It also supports the death penalty for apostasy (leaving a religion), blasphemy (saying things like “Christ on a bike!”), and adultery. At this rate, the planet’s overpopulation problem could soon be solved. (Ostensibly, this US vote is because of the dreadful risk it might interfere with their ability to off prisoners when they want to.)

US votes against UN resolution condemning gay sex death penalty, joining Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The full list:

 

And you shall know them by the company they keep.

 


Heather Heyer

Killed by a fascist yesterday. Thirty five others injured. I can’t shake the dread that in ten years we’ll be looking back on this as the good old days, when the problems had barely begun, when we could have yet turned back.

Ah well.

The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed. (William Gibson)

 


Picture where The Donald would be without affirmative action

They haven’t thought this push against affirmative action through very well.

Take away the preferences white boys have been getting and colleges will be swamped by women and Asians.

Somehow, I don’t think that’s the outcome Sessions and Co. are looking for when they say they want colleges to purify themselves of “intentional discrimination.”



This dude. And his kidneys. Should run for US Congress.

Sometimes you just stand there, with a mouth full of teeth, gaping, dumbfounded.

The following thread happened on twitter:

The Motherhub: So furious everytime I hear reference to the ‘debate’ on abortion. How come the whole country gets to debate on my body? My rights?

Stephen McKillop: In fairness there’s more to it than just that. There’s an unborn child whose life and future is also affeccted by this issue.

Victoria Smith: Do you worry this much about the lives and futures of those who might benefit from that extra kidney of yours?

And the dude’s gobsmacking response:

“But I’ve genuinely no idea what relevance the kidney point has to pregnancy.”

Jesus take the wheel.

Really? I mean, really?

What do you think pregnancy is? The woman as some kind of ceramic pot? She carries a homunculus around until it’s grown big enough, no doubt by absorbing quintessence straight from the aether, to be born?

There’s this thing called a placenta. It’s a stupendously complicated organ that interfaces with the fetus’s circulatory system and allows the mother’s lungs and digestion and kidneys to perform all the vital functions for the fetus.

The fetus is using her kidneys, as if she was a human dialysis machine. Her kidneys allow it to live.

Just as your spare kidney could be removed and given to someone who’s dying for lack of a transplant.

So, now that you know she’s not just a pot, and you apparently feel people must save others’ lives at the cost of their own bodies, you’re going to understand when a kidney is surgically removed from you, right?

After all, there’s an adult human whose life and future are affected by that issue.



Fighting the weather

So, this is a thing Tomi Lahren (Ph.D. Bobblehead Studies) twittered in ref to the latest London attack. (No link to source. Search for it if you need to.)

Hey liberals, this is what we are fighting against while you fight weather.

Since you don’t get out much, let me show you the sequence.

Climate change → drought in Syria → some people ruined → some of the ruined young men join angry groups → Daesh (=ISIS or whatever they’re calling themselves today).

It’s not even many steps. Maybe you could follow them.

So I’ll fix your tweet for you.

Hey liberals, we’re shouting at the thunder while you’re building lightning rods.



The Silence of the Brutes

I followed a link from somewhere to this article, Downloading a Nightmare, about the association between autism and viewing child pornography.

The events unfolding in Joseph’s home—the SWAT team, the stunned parents, the vast collection of child pornography on a hard drive—have become increasingly familiar to autism clinicians and advocates. They are part of a troubling and complex collision between the justice system and a developmental disability that, despite its prevalence, remains largely misunderstood in courts across the country. …

I hadn’t known there was an association. So I kept reading to learn more.

Over several months, The Marshall Project interviewed a dozen families whose adult autistic sons were caught up in child pornography investigations….

Still, they found it difficult to believe their vulnerable son could be a danger to others, and as they researched the issue of autism and child pornography, it became clear to them he did not understand the ramifications of what he had done. …

Compounding the issue is the fact that high-functioning autism is severely under-diagnosed, and so some autistic men are diagnosed as a result of evaluations following their arrest for child pornography possession. …

Anything strike you about that? If the association was between autism and child pornography, autistic girls would also appear with these problems.

But there doesn’t seem to be a single one. ?? Odd.

They’re all boys and men, but the article doesn’t even mention it. Not once.

What is this consistent and complete invisibility of maleness as a factor in so much of the world’s violence?

 

Obviously, male violence is the bedrock of the caste system and paying attention to it would expose and dissolve the whole thing.

What amazes me is that the mass hypnosis necessary to sustain the system is so pervasive that it requires no effort to maintain even when the situation would seem to be exceptional enough that facts could be recognized without immediate danger to the mythology.

Somehow, even with such a thin thread of connection, the defense against noticing it is automatic.



Retirement isn’t in the bible, so…..

Hell. At this rate I’m going to have to start a category for Stupid Garbage Spewed By Congresscritters. And I try hard to avoid that “news.”

(just a small sample: Utah, why stop at global warming?. This is how our world ends. Congressmen should have at least room temperature IQ.)

Electricity. Also not in the bible.

And now? Now this from Greg “Body Slam” Gianforte who is (was?) running for Congress from Montana:

“There’s nothing in the Bible that talks about retirement. … Nowhere does it say, ‘Well he was a good and faithful servant, so he went to the beach.’ It doesn’t say that anywhere.

Forgetting for a moment that little thing about separation of church and state, you know what else isn’t in the bible?

America. That’s what. Neither North, South, or Central.

So I guess you just better vanish, Mr. Greg. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.