Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Why the Hyperbolic Language of Child Molestation and Pedophilia?


dailybeast |  Liberals have clucked their tongues at Judge Roy Moore, the “family values” conservative now dodging accusations of sexual contact with a minor. But Moore’s not a hypocrite; he’s an exemplar of the morality he preaches.

Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, has been accused of making unwanted sexual advances on three teenage girls in 1979 when he was a single man in his thirties. Two of the girls were of legal age, 16, but one was 14. She says he drove her home, took off her shirt, touched her bra and underwear, and guided her hand to his pants.

Moore has denied the incident with the 14-year-old, but has not denied dating teenagers when he was a thirty-something district attorney – “always with the permission of their parents,” he said.

While Moore has blamed the eruption of the scandal on Democrats, in fact it’s Republicans who would most like to see it bring him down. Some of this, of course, is because Moore is an anti-democratic theocrat who tarnishes the entire Republican brand with unreconstructed homophobia and contempt for the rule of law. Democrats would benefit if he actually stays in the race.

But a big reason conservatives are running from Moore is to make him into a scapegoat, which is why he has so often been described not as someone accused of statutory rape but with terms like rape, pedophile, sexual predator and child molester.

On Sunday, for example, Marc Short, the White House Director of Legislative Affairs, told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that “there’s a special place in hell” for pedophiles like Roy Moore. “There’s no Senate seat more important than the issue of child pedophilia,” he said.

Weaponization of Sexual _________________?


unz  |  Reminiscences of harassment have no value, even if true. If the woman did not act on the spot, forget it.
 
Otherwise, soon the US will have no normal men politicians left; only women and effeminate men. And then the disease will spread all over Europe, until the Old World and North America will be ready for its repopulation by virile Africans.

Russia remains a safe zone for males. Though many American trends come to Moscow, emasculation is not one of them. When, a few years ago, Russians banned same-sex propaganda for minors, they broke with emasculating trend. Actually, Russian women prefer things done Russian way, too. Men pay for dinners, keep doors open, help with putting a coat, in short, they keep doing what the American and European gentlemen did some fifty years ago.

Russia has had its #MeToo campaign a year ago (#янебоюсьсказать , I dare to tell, in Russian), and a lot of women recited or invented stories of their harassment. But it remained in the Facebook, for the law did not allow to complain years after the alleged crime occurred.

Moreover, the Russians consider sex between men and women as a normal thing. They have no horror of sex between a teacher and a student, or between a boss and his assistant. Reports on severe punishment American judges meted on female teacher having sex with teenage boys are met with bewilderment and disbelief. Out of fifty recent stories of this kind probably not even one of them would be punished in Russia. I wouldn’t understand, either, what is the harm for a 17 year old student to be seduced by his 23-year old teacher. The kid should be envied, if anything. This traditional attitude toward sex is the main reason for the current mass media attack on Russia, not the mythical “Russian hackers”.

It is very difficult to defend Weinstein, with his Holocaust obsession and his desire of taking revenge upon blondes. However, his case had opened the gates of Hell. Let us shut them up before the Yin and Yang, male-female balance of the universe collapse.

Why has the US been hit by this strange trouble? I would explain it as an undoing of the 1968 revolution, including the Sexual Revolution. For us, for children of 1960s, the living was easy, and sex was free and plentiful – in California, Crimea, Côte d’Azur. We had a lot of it, wonderful unprotected sex, often with strangers. That was Communism. Fear of free and available sex is the fear of Communism.

The rich guys and gals who came to power afterwards turned everything into money, and with that purpose on their minds they created scarcity, even scarcity of sex, a sex counter-revolution. Harassment complainants are the soldiers of the Sexual Counter-Revolution as they increase scarcity in order to monetize their charms. They will be the losers, poor things; hopefully they won’t ruin the world before they understand it.

Things Rich People Do To Keep You Peasants From Airing Their Dirty Laundry


NewYorker |  Weinstein’s employees were, and are, bound by confidentiality agreements included in their employment contracts with Miramax and the Weinstein Company. While nondisclosure agreements are a standard feature of employment contracts, the clauses in Weinstein’s included a special provision about information “concerning the personal, social or business activities” of “the co-Chairmen”—namely, Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Estreicher, the expert on employment law, told me that the nondisclosure clause regarding the personal lives of both Weinstein brothers was unusual. 

“That’s not generally found, the personal conduct of an individual being part of a contract like that.”
Many employees I spoke with said that these contractual provisions made it impossible to talk about suspicious behavior they witnessed at the company. Irwin Reiter, who worked for Weinstein for nearly three decades and is currently the Weinstein Company’s executive vice president for accounting and financial reporting, had previously declined requests to participate in stories. “I hope there’s no reprisal,” he told me, referring to legal action against employees. He said that he was nevertheless going public because he felt the culture of silence at the company deserved further scrutiny. Weinstein, he told me, “was so dominant that I think a lot of people were afraid of him, afraid to confront him, or question him, and that was the environment.” Reiter also raised doubts about the fairness of lifetime nondisclosure agreements. “A forever N.D.A. should not be legal,” he told me. “People should not be made to live with that. He’s created so many victims that have been burdened for so many years, and it’s just not right.”

These contractual constraints are perfectly legal. Allred, the victim’s-rights attorney, said that courts usually enforce them and view efforts to break them as “buyer’s remorse.” But in recent weeks lawmakers and legal experts have called for reforms to this system. Estreicher has proposed that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the government body that oversees workplace discrimination, track sexual-misconduct-related settlements and investigate employers who use them repeatedly. In addition to Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s legislation regarding congressional employees, state lawmakers in New York and California are pushing legislation to curtail the use of nondisclosure agreements in sexual-abuse cases. “These secret settlements perpetuate the problem. They allow rich men to continue to be sexual predators,” Connie Leyva, the California state senator who has announced legislation in that state, told me. “I hope that we can get this done in California, and that it will spread like wildfire around the country.”

Allred raised concerns about the potential reforms, which she feared could limit victims’ options. She noted that “anyone who agrees to enter into a settlement has a choice” and accepts both the costs and the—sometimes considerable—benefits. Good attorneys, she argued, explain the full implications of such agreements. “And then the client makes an informed choice.”

Gutierrez, Perkins, and other women who signed agreements with Weinstein told me that they felt their consent was far from informed. Gutierrez said that she wished she had been aware that Weinstein had faced similar allegations in the past. When, after the fact, she learned that his behavior with her was part of a pattern, she was filled with guilt. “I couldn’t even think of that person touching someone else,” she told me. “It made me have chills.” Gutierrez said that she wants to warn people of the risks of silence. “People need to really change right now,” she said. “To listen and speak. That was the worst thing—people not speaking.”

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Christian Nationalism Collides With the Cathedral



HuffPo  |  Many have believed the accusations against Roy Moore of sexual assault and harassment against teen girls to be massively hypocritical since for years he’s presented himself as a hardcore evangelical man of faith, and he has a loyal white Christian evangelical following.

But what if Moore’s alleged actions actually meld with a religious belief among some evangelicals, even if the adherents won’t outright admit it?

Moore in fact represents an extremist wing of an already theocratic-leaning base of the GOP that believes all women must be subservient and submit ― as Mike Huckabee, who hasn’t pulled his full-throated endorsement of Moore, infamously once said of women with regard to their husbands, expressing his own “Handmaid’s Tale” dream come true ―  and that would no doubt include young women such as teen girls. After all, as one of Moore’s defenders in the Alabama GOP said in dismissing the allegations, “Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.”

And since the advent of Donald Trump, this more extreme group of evengelicals has cleaved away from others and joined the alt-right and white nationalists, led by former Trump White House advisor Steve Bannon ― who is a front line warrior for Moore’s election campaign ― and which include white supremacists and racists like those we saw in Charlottesville.

Jack Jenkins, senior religion reporter at Think Progress, has been charting the growth in the Trump era of Christian nationalism ―the melding of some evangelicals and their beliefs with nationalistic movements and ideologies ― in several excellent and important articles. He, too, puts Roy Moore at the nexis of the white nationalist movement and the extremist evangelical movement.

As someone who has covered the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voters Summit (VVS) for years, I, along with other observers, saw a marked difference in the speakers and in the crowd this past October, when Donald Trump became the first sitting president to speak at the event. Some long-time leaders like those from the Southern Baptist Convention ― whose Russell Moore is a Never Trumper ― were not there, along with their followers. They were replaced by Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka and other white nationalists and their followers who never had an interest in VVS and are far from what anyone would think of as devout Christians.

White Nationalism and Christian Right Unite at Values Voter Summit,” was the headline of Adele Stan’s piece on Bill Moyers.com last month. A longtime progressive journalist, Stan, too, has covered VVS for years, as has Right-Wing Watch’s Peter Montgomery. Both of them agreed in a discussion on my radio program that this marriage of evangelicals and white nationalists was clear at this year’s VVS, a sort of realignment taking place. The star of VVS this year was Roy Moore ― backed by Bannon and his minions ― who would become the test candidate for catapulting Christian nationalism further into the mainstream.

Expecting Candle Light and Roses Got Tighty Whiteys and a Hard-On Instead...,



dailycaller  |  An Alabama pastor railed against Roy Moore’s accusers, arguing that the allegations are their sexual fantasies and that they could have looked older as teenagers.

Pastor Earl Wise, along with several other pastors interviewed by the Boston Globe for a Monday piece in relation to a letter posted by Kayla Moore, railed against the allegations of sexual misconductlevied against Roy Moore and argued that in some ways Moore’s alleged actions could be excusable.
Wise argued that the women coming forward to accuse Moore must be getting paid to do so, and that their allegations against Moore were actually their sexual fantasies about Moore, and that Moore could not be blamed for sexual acts with underage women since they sometimes look older.
“I don’t know how much these women are getting paid, but I can only believe they’re getting a healthy sum,” Wise told the Boston Globe.
“There ought to be a statute of limitations on this stuff. How these gals came up with this, I don’t know. They must have had some sweet dreams somewhere down the line. Plus, there are some 14-year-olds, who, the way they look, could pass for 20,” Wise added.
Wise told the Boston Globe that he would support Moore regardless of the veracity of the allegations that he committed sexual acts with a 14-year-old girl and several other teenage girls in his 30s. He was not the only pastor to rally to Moore’s defense, as both pastor Franklin Raddish of South Carolina and pastor Franklin Graham spoke out against Moore’s critics.

Ease Fourteen Year Old Jezebels What Done Seduced Roy Moore...,


BostonGlobe |  “I don’t know how much these women are getting paid, but I can only believe they’re getting a healthy sum,” said pastor Earl Wise, a Moore supporter from Millbrook, Ala. 

Wise said he would support Moore even if the allegations were true and the candidate was proved to have sexually molested teenage girls and women. 

“There ought to be a statute of limitations on this stuff,” Wise said. “How these gals came up with this, I don’t know. They must have had some sweet dreams somewhere down the line.

“Plus,” he added, “there are some 14-year-olds, who, the way they look, could pass for 20.”

For 40 years, “these women didn’t say a word. They were cool as a cucumber,” said pastor Franklin Raddish, a Baptist minister from South Carolina and a Moore supporter. 

“You’re asking me to believe them,’’ Raddish said, “when their own mother didn’t have enough red blood in her to . . . go and report this? Come on.” 

The statements are indicative of a broader shift among conservative evangelicals — and particularly white evangelicals. Long thought of as a voting bloc that demanded their lawmakers to be pious and spiritual, some are now even more accepting of a lawmaker’s personal indiscretions than the average American, polling data indicate. 

Eighty percent of white conservative evangelicals voted for Trump, according to 2016 election exit polls, even after the infamous “Access Hollywood’’ tape and the numerous allegations from women who said that he sexually assaulted them.

Six years ago, just 30 percent of white evangelical Protestants believed an elected official “who commits an immoral act in their personal life can still behave ethically and fulfill their duties” as a public servant, according to The Public Religion Research Institute, a nonprofit polling firm focused on faith issues.

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Pankpocalypse Snatches Charlie Rose....,


BostonGlobe |  ‘‘In my 45 years in journalism, I have prided myself on being an advocate for the careers of the women with whom I have worked,’’ Rose said in a statement provided to The Post. ‘‘Nevertheless, in the past few days, claims have been made about my behavior toward some former female colleagues. 

‘‘It is essential that these women know I hear them and that I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior. I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times, and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate. I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken. 

‘‘I have learned a great deal as a result of these events, and I hope others will too. All of us, including me, are coming to a newer and deeper recognition of the pain caused by conduct in the past, and have come to a profound new respect for women and their lives.’’

Most of the women said Rose alternated between fury and flattery in his interactions with them. Five described Rose putting his hand on their legs, sometimes their upper thigh, in what they perceived as a test to gauge their reactions. Two said that while they were working for Rose at his residences or were traveling with him on business, he emerged from the shower and walked naked in front of them. One said he groped her buttocks at a staff party. 

Reah Bravo was an intern and then associate producer for Rose’s PBS show beginning in 2007. In interviews, she described unwanted sexual advances while working for Rose at his private waterfront estate in Bellport, New York, and while traveling with him in cars, in a hotel suite and on a private plane.

‘‘It has taken 10 years and a fierce moment of cultural reckoning for me to understand these moments for what they were,’’ she told The Post. ‘‘He was a sexual predator, and I was his victim.’’

Slaughterbots


sfgate |   In the video above, the technology is initially developed with the intention of combating crime and terrorism, but the drones are taken over by an unknown forces who use the powerful weapons to murder a group of senators and college students. The video does contain some graphic content.

Russell, an expert on artificial intelligence, appears at the end of the video and warns against humanity's development of autonomous weapons.

"This short film is just more than speculation," Russell says. "It shows the results of integrating and militarizing technologies that we already have."  Fist tap Big Don.

The Human Strategy


edge |  The big question that I'm asking myself these days is how can we make a human artificial intelligence? Something that is not a machine, but rather a cyber culture that we can all live in as humans, with a human feel to it. I don't want to think small—people talk about robots and stuff—I want this to be global. Think Skynet. But how would you make Skynet something that's really about the human fabric?

The first thing you have to ask is what's the magic of the current AI? Where is it wrong and where is it right?

The good magic is that it has something called the credit assignment function. What that lets you do is take stupid neurons, these little linear functions, and figure out, in a big network, which ones are doing the work and encourage them more. It's a way of taking a random bunch of things that are all hooked together in a network and making them smart by giving them feedback about what works and what doesn't. It sounds pretty simple, but it's got some complicated math around it. That's the magic that makes AI work.

The bad part of that is, because those little neurons are stupid, the things that they learn don't generalize very well. If it sees something that it hasn't seen before, or if the world changes a little bit, it's likely to make a horrible mistake. It has absolutely no sense of context. In some ways, it's as far from Wiener's original notion of cybernetics as you can get because it's not contextualized: it's this little idiot savant.

But imagine that you took away these limitations of current AI. Instead of using dumb neurons, you used things that embedded some knowledge. Maybe instead of linear neurons, you used neurons that were functions in physics, and you tried to fit physics data. Or maybe you put in a lot of stuff about humans and how they interact with each other, the statistics and characteristics of that. When you do that and you add this credit assignment function, you take your set of things you know about—either physics or humans, and a bunch of data—in order to reinforce the functions that are working, then you get an AI that works extremely well and can generalize.

In physics, you can take a couple of noisy data points and get something that's a beautiful description of a phenomenon because you're putting in knowledge about how physics works. That's in huge contrast to normal AI, which takes millions of training examples and is very sensitive to noise. Or the things that we've done with humans, where you can put in things about how people come together and how fads happen. Suddenly, you find you can detect fads and predict trends in spectacularly accurate and efficient ways.

Human behavior is determined as much by the patterns of our culture as by rational, individual thinking. These patterns can be described mathematically, and used to make accurate predictions. We’ve taken this new science of “social physics” and expanded upon it, making it accessible and actionable by developing a predictive platform that uses big data to build a predictive, computational theory of human behavior.

The idea of a credit assignment function, reinforcing “neurons” that work, is the core of current AI. And if you make those little neurons that get reinforced smarter, the AI gets smarter. So, what would happen if the neurons were people? People have lots of capabilities; they know lots of things about the world; they can perceive things in a human way. What would happen if you had a network of people where you could reinforce the ones that were helping and maybe discourage the ones that weren't?

Way of the Future


wired |  The new religion of artificial intelligence is called Way of the Future. It represents an unlikely next act for the Silicon Valley robotics wunderkind at the center of a high-stakes legal battle between Uber and Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous-vehicle company. Papers filed with the Internal Revenue Service in May name Levandowski as the leader (or “Dean”) of the new religion, as well as CEO of the nonprofit corporation formed to run it.

The documents state that WOTF’s activities will focus on “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.” That includes funding research to help create the divine AI itself. The religion will seek to build working relationships with AI industry leaders and create a membership through community outreach, initially targeting AI professionals and “laypersons who are interested in the worship of a Godhead based on AI.” The filings also say that the church “plans to conduct workshops and educational programs throughout the San Francisco/Bay Area beginning this year.”

That timeline may be overly ambitious, given that the Waymo-Uber suit, in which Levandowski is accused of stealing self-driving car secrets, is set for an early December trial. But the Dean of the Way of the Future, who spoke last week with Backchannel in his first comments about the new religion and his only public interview since Waymo filed its suit in February, says he’s dead serious about the project.

“What is going to be created will effectively be a god,” Levandowski tells me in his modest mid-century home on the outskirts of Berkeley, California. “It’s not a god in the sense that it makes lightning or causes hurricanes. But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it?”

During our three-hour interview, Levandowski made it absolutely clear that his choice to make WOTF a church rather than a company or a think tank was no prank.

“I wanted a way for everybody to participate in this, to be able to shape it. If you’re not a software engineer, you can still help,” he says. “It also removes the ability for people to say, ‘Oh, he’s just doing this to make money.’” Levandowski will receive no salary from WOTF, and while he says that he might consider an AI-based startup in the future, any such business would remain completely separate from the church.

“The idea needs to spread before the technology,” he insists. “The church is how we spread the word, the gospel. If you believe [in it], start a conversation with someone else and help them understand the same things.”

Levandowski believes that a change is coming—a change that will transform every aspect of human existence, disrupting employment, leisure, religion, the economy, and possibly decide our very survival as a species.

“If you ask people whether a computer can be smarter than a human, 99.9 percent will say that’s science fiction,” he says. “ Actually, it’s inevitable. It’s guaranteed to happen.”

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Deuteronomy 25:11-12


WaPo  |  The United States and its allies are under attack. The cyberwar we’ve feared for a generation is well underway, and we are losing. This is the forest, and the stuff about Russian election meddling, contacts with the Trump campaign, phony Twitter accounts, fake news on Facebook — those things are trees.

We’ve been worried about a massive frontal assault, a work of Internet sabotage that would shut down commerce or choke off the power grid. And with good reason. The recent exploratory raid by Russian hackers on American nuclear facilities reminds us that such threats are real.

But we failed to prepare for an attack of great subtlety and strategic nuance. Enemies of the West have hacked our cultural advantages, turning the very things that have made us strong — technological leadership, free speech, the market economy and multi-party government — against us. The attack is ongoing.

With each passing week, we learn more. Russia and its sympathizers have cranked up the volume on existing political and cultural divisions in the West, like some psychic version of the Stuxnet hack that caused Iran’s nuclear centrifuges to spin so fast they tore themselves to pieces. They’ve exploited the cutting-edge algorithms of Facebook and Google to feed misinformation to Americans most likely to believe and spread it. They have targeted online ads designed to intensify our hottest culture wars: abortion, guns, sexuality, race. They have partnered with WikiLeaks, the supposed paragon of free speech, to insert propaganda into influential Twitter accounts — including @realDonaldTrump. 

They have created thousands of phony online identities to add heat to political fever swamps.
The genius of this cyberwar is that unwitting Westerners do most of the work. Our eagerness to believe the worst about our political opponents makes us easy marks for fake or distorted “news” from anti-American troll farms. Our media — talk radio, cable news, every variety of digital communication — seek to cull us into like-minded echo chambers. The West has monetized polarization; our enemies have, in turn, weaponized it.

Weaponization of Monetization? Nah, Just Look In the Mirror For the Problem...,


DailyMail  |  The wildly popular Toy Freaks YouTube channel featuring a single dad and his two daughters has been deleted, amid a broader crackdown on disturbing children's content on the video streaming platform.

Toy Freaks, founded two years ago by landscaper Greg Chism of Granite City, Illinois, had 8.53million subscribers and was among the 100 most-viewed YouTube channels before it was shutdown on Friday. 

Though it's unclear what exact policy the channel violated, the videos showed the girls in unusual situations that often involved gross-out food play and simulated vomiting. The channel invented the 'bad baby' genre, and some videos showed the girls pretending to urinate on each other or fishing pacifiers out of the toilet.

Another series of videos showed the younger daughter Annabelle wiggling her loose teeth out while shrieking and spitting blood. 

'He is profiting off of his children's pain and suffering,' one indignant Reddit user wrote about the channel last year. 'It's barf inducing and no mentally stable person or child should ever have to watch it.'

A YouTube spokesperson said in a statement: 'It's not always clear that the uploader of the content intends to break our rules, but we may still remove their videos to help protect viewers, uploaders and children. We've terminated the Toy Freaks channel for violation of our policies.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Government Treats Citizens The Exact Same Way Sexual Predators Treat Victims


counterpunch |  The New York Times recently published a list of 25 men “accused of sexual misconduct” since the Harvey Weinstein revelations first came out in early October. The list is a who’s-who of “players” in the entertainment, political, media and corporate worlds.  Even scandalous stories about Bush-the-elder are finally coming out after decades of suppression.  In being outed, many of the male predators have lost their jobs or contracts, some of their marriages ended, high-priced defense lawyers have been retained and a few say they are seeking professional counseling.

Many of those identified as being or having been a sexual aggressor are being subject to public shaming.  For a while, their lives might be miserable, under a public magnifying glass as to how he could have done what he is “accused” of doing and, therefore, who really is this man?  However, for some, the price to be paid may be far harsher, including an arrest, trial and (if found guilty) jail as a sex offender.  Prosecutors in New York, Los Angeles and London are sharpening their legalistic claws as they seek criminal indictments against Weinstein.  Who will be the next player to fall?

Since the Reagan-era of the 1980s, the U.S. has engaged in two domestic wars – a war on drugs and a war on sex.  Both have roots dating from the 1920s Prohibition campaign; both rejected the 1960s-70s countercultural insurgency. Both have been played out at federal and local levels — and both are failures!

The country’s drug-addiction “epidemic” has shifted from black to while, from the inner-city or urban ghettos to the suburbs and rural heartland.  Throughout the country, low-level drug offenses are being decriminalized, criminal penalties are being lessened and the traditional ethos of harsh punishment is being undercut by calls for restorative justice.

When launched, the war on sex drew politicians, law enforcement and people of good intentions, conservative and liberal (including anti-porn feminist and gay-rights advocates), into alignment with the religious right.  They joined forces in a campaign to forcefully suppress what was broadly conceived as a domestic security threat, violation of the sexually acceptable.

The sex offender was – and remains — a perfect target for moral outrage.  He (mostly) is someone who crossed a moral line and committed an unpardonable offense.  If he cannot be executed for his affront to civil and religious decency than, at least, he can be shamed or stigmatized, imprisoned, placed in indefinite detention and listed on a sex-offender’s registry.

The 25 men identified by the Times are “players” in the entertainment, political, media and corporate worlds.  Others will surely be added to the list.  Their outing is a friction point in the seismic shift in American social values now underway.  Those so far identified come from the celebrate sector, not most people everyday life. Unfortunately, misogyny is endemic to American life, but gets little local media or public attention until it becomes a media spectacle like what’s happening today.  Its all-to-often considered a private matter, rather than a social practice.

Glasses Could Not Conceal Her Secret Identity



twitchy |  The lengths some people are willing to go to in order to defend Al Franken …
Huh. So because she is a Playboy model and has been on Howard Stern that apparently means what? That she doesn’t count? Oh and please with that last line, ‘… she was on USO tour as part of a comedy skit so that she could be groped.’

Sadly this oddly angry meteorologist wasn’t the only one playing the ‘her skirt was too short’ game with Leeann Tweeden, but this is certainly one of the uglier tweets we’ve seen on Twitter. Fist tap MVD.  


#MeToo Mika "Know Your Worth" Brzezinski - Priceless Comedy Gold....,


dailywire |  While it’s certainly encouraging to see progressive pundits, politicians, and celebrities finally give some credibility to Bill Clinton’s accusers, it all feels forced. It’s as though progressives are being forced to acknowledge these women — at least in passing — simply because the topic of sexual abuse is so prevalent in the news. It’s all too little, too late.

Clinton was accused of several heinous crimes. Juanita Broaddrick says Clinton violently raped her in 1978; Kathleen Willey says he sexually assaulted her in 1993; Paula Jones says he exposed himself to her in 1991.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Hillary Clinton Rape-Enabler


theatlantic |  If the ground beneath your feet feels cold, it’s because hell froze over the other day. It happened at 8:02 p.m. on Monday, when The New York Times published an op-ed called “I Believe Juanita.”  

Written by Michelle Goldberg, it was a piece that, 20 years ago, likely would have inflamed the readership of the paper and scandalized its editors. Reviewing the credibility of Broaddrick’s claim, Goldberg wrote that “five witnesses said she confided in them about the assault right after it happened,” an important standard in reviewing the veracity of claims of past sex crimes.

But Goldberg’s was not a single snowflake of truth; rather it was part of an avalanche of honesty in the elite press, following a seemingly innocuous tweet by the MSNBC host Chris Hayes. “As gross and cynical and hypocritical as the right’s ‘what about Bill Clinton’ stuff is,” he wrote, “it’s also true that Democrats and the center left are overdue for a real reckoning with the allegations against him.”

As gross and cynical and hypocrtical as the right's "what about Bill Clinton" stuff is, it's also true that Democrats and the center left are overdue for a real reckoning with the allegations against him.

What happened next can only be compared to the moment when Glinda the Good Witch of the North came to Munchkinland and told the little people that it was finally safe. Come out, come out, wherever you are!

Senator Franken Caught Doing What Preznit Trump Was Accused of Doing


thewrap |  Donald Trump drew outrage in October 2016 for his “Access Hollywood” boast about kissing and grabbing women without their consent. Now Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden says Sen. Al Franken kissed her without consent on a 2006 USO tour — and produced a photo of him groping her while she slept.

So how did Franken respond when the video emerged of Trump talking about doing something very similar to what Franken is now accused of doing?

Cautiously.

Franken-Furter: #YouToo? Troglodytes Eating One Another Alive


weeklystandard |  Anyone who has followed the career of Al Franken should be unsurprised to learn that he was a jerk to Leeann Tweeden. Because if you go back to Live from New York, Tom Shales’ brilliant oral history of Saturday Night Live, Franken appears as a lying, drug-abusing (and distributing), jackass.
A couple choice excerpts—remember, this is an oral history, so they’re from the primary sources:
Al Franken: There was not as much cocaine as you would think on the premises. Yeah, a number of people got in trouble. But cocaine was used mainly just to stay up.
There was a very undisicplined way of writing the show, which was staying up all night on Tuesday. We didn't have the kind of hours that normal people have. And so there was a lot of waiting until Tuesday night, and then going all night, and at two or three or four in the morning, doing some coke to stay up, as opposed to doing a whole bunch, and doing nitrous oxide, and laughing at stuff.
People used to ask me about this and I'd always say, "No, there was no coke. It's impossible to do the kind of show we were doing and do drugs." And that was just a funny lie that I liked to tell. Kind of the opposite was true, unfortunately, for some people, it was impossible to do the show without the drugs.
So Franken liked to tell funny lies about not using drugs when he wasn’t writing a book castigating Republicans which was titled—this is so great—Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. 

Maybe now when he says that he “doesn’t remember” his encounter with Tweenden the way she describes it, this is a funny lie, too.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Tapper Tweeden - The Franken Full Monty


Pompous Posturing Democrats Serve No One But Themselves...,


"Another example of giving the game away in few words came two nights ago when the liberal-elitist 'Inside Elections' political analyst Stuart Rothenburg spoke on the PBS NewsHour.   'The Democrats as a party'  Rothenburg told NewsHour host and Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member Judy Woodruff,  'are divided between the Bernie Sanders wing and Hillary Clinton wing, the pragmatists and ideologues.'

For Rothenburg, the Clinton wing members are the 'pragmatists,' the realistic adults who want to 'get things done' (one of the great neoliberal president Obama’s favorite phrases and claims).  The Sanders folks are 'ideologues,' a pejorative term meaning people who are mainly about ideology and who are carried away by their own flighty and doctrinal world view. 

This was a slap (an ideological one I might add) at the more progressive and social-democratic faction of the Democratic Party – a blow masquerading as 'objective' and detached political analysis."

Paul Street, Giving the Game Away

If you watch this relatively short video much of what has been puzzling you about the failure of our political system will be made clearer.

Franklin Roosevelt could work tirelessly for the common person because he was already comfortable in his own skin with regard to his social status.  And more importantly, as a result of his long term paralysis he knew how little social status really meant.   As suffering sometimes does, it introduces compassion and empathy, even among the upper crust.

But the New Deal principles were shunned for the credentialed aspirations of those class-climbing, middle class kids who would be rich and acknowledged as members of an elite crowd with the right kinds of bona fides.   There are probably few better recent examples than the Clintons.   Their attitudes towards the average American are paternalistic at best, and highly cynical and patronizing at worst.

They attempted to disguise their credentialed, professional class preferences with 'identity politics.'   But if you look at the culmination of actual policy initiatives, versus platform platitudes, the Democrats, similarly to the GOP, serve no one but themselves.   Winning...

They rely on the 'lesser of two evils' to scrape out the occasional win, when the excesses of the other party drive people to embrace 'hope and change,' and to be largely betrayed once again.

Sheer Hypocrisy and Undemocratic Control Killed The Democratic Party...,



therealnews |  PAUL JAY: All right, let me introduce our guest, Norman Solomon. Norman is the co-founder of rootsaction.org, and he's co-author of a new report, "Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis." Thanks for joining us, Norman.

NORMAN SOLOMON: Thanks, Paul.PAUL JAY: There's kind of two arguments there. One, let's start with the first, that now's not the time to rehash all of this, that Trump represents a kind of -- they are not using this language, but I will -- a kind of neo-fascism. There's a broad front called the Resistance, and people like Hilary Rosen and others are saying that this isn't a time to, they use the word re-litigate what the DNC did or didn't do. There should just be a constructive outlook in terms of reforming the DNC. Don't rehash who did what to whom, and focus on attacking Trump. How do you respond to that?

NORMAN SOLOMON: Ideally, there's a united front against the horrific Trump presidency. There's not usefulness in getting united behind bad strategies and undemocratic internal processes of the Democratic Party. After all, "Democratic" is the first name of the party, and when we see so clearly that contempt for basic democratic principles were in play and in force inside the Democratic National Committee, then it doesn't work to just shrug and say well, that's the past so let's move on. The reality is that the same basic forces, the political corporate tendencies and power, that held the DNC last year still control it this year. So it's all well and good to say hey, just move on, but we can't move on without being real about what happened and what continues to be in play in terms of the top-down power at the DNC.

PAUL JAY: The media has on the whole been very antagonistic to Donna Brazile, at least the media I've seen, led of course by MSNBC, and I've seen CNN, especially the first few days after Brazile's book was started to be released by the Washington Post. There was one report I saw, it was a CNN journalist, who just lambasted Brazile. We couldn't find the clip, but NBC had released this agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC, and according to a couple of sentences in that agreement, the money that Clinton was controlling and the power she had over the DNC was all supposed to be directed towards the general election, which would have been appropriate. But NBC later actually, it got revealed, when people look at the dates, and I understand NBC even had to retract this, that the dates actually showed it was clearly about the primary, and Donna Brazile clearly makes that this control of Clinton was all about the primary. But the attack continued. Here's Robby Mook, a former campaign manager for Clinton, on CNN.

Russiagate Cognitive Dissonance: What Being Wrong Feels Like



medium  |  We know from the Snowden leaks on the NSA, the CIA files released by WikiLeaks, and the ongoing controversies regarding FBI surveillance that the US intelligence community has the most expansive, most sophisticated and most intrusive surveillance network in the history of human civilization. Following the presidential election last year, anonymous sources from within the intelligence community were hemorrhaging leaks to the press on a regular basis that were damaging to the incoming administration. If there was any evidence to be found that Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to steal the 2016 election using hackers and propaganda, the US intelligence community would have found it and leaked it to the New York Times or the Washington Post last year.

Mueller isn’t going to find anything in 2017 that these vast, sprawling networks wouldn’t have found in 2016. He’s not going to find anything by “following the money” that couldn’t be found infinitely more efficaciously via Orwellian espionage. The factions within the intelligence community that were working to sabotage the incoming administration last year would have leaked proof of collusion if they’d had it. They did not have it then, and they do not have it now. Mueller will continue finding evidence of corruption throughout his investigation, since corruption is to DC insiders as water is to fish, but he will not find evidence of collusion to win the 2016 election that will lead to Trump’s impeachment. It will not happen.

This sits on top of all the many, many, many reasons to be extremely suspicious of the Russiagate narrative in the first place.

Humans are storytelling creatures. The most significant and most underappreciated facet of our existence is how much of our interface with the world consists not of our direct experience of it, but of our mental stories about it. Combine that fact with the century of research and development that has gone into refining propaganda tactics and the US plutocracy’s stranglehold on mainstream media, and you get a nation lost in establishment narratives. People forming their worldviews based on phantasms of the mind instead of concrete facts.

I’ve noticed a strange uptick in establishment loyalists speaking to me as though Trump-Russia collusion is already an established fact, and that I’m simply not well-informed. There is still the same amount of publicly available evidence for this collusion as there ever was (zero), so this tells me that the only thing which has changed is the narrative. Pundits/propagandists are increasingly speaking as though this is something that has already been established, and the people who consume that propaganda go out and circulate it as though it’s an established fact. When you’re not plugged into that echo chamber, though, it looks very weird.

This is why Russiagaters find my certainty that collusion will never be proven so intensely abrasive. Their entire worldview consists of pure narrative — literally nothing other than authoritative assertions from pundits who speak in a confident tone of voice — so when they encounter someone doing the same thing but with hard facts, it causes psychological discomfort. This discomfort is called cognitive dissonance. It’s what being wrong feels like.

 

Dollah, Dollah, Bill Y'all...,


slate |  Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife, Louise Linton, have already gotten in hot water more than once for acting like out-of-touch snobs whose primary hobby is wasting taxpayer money on their extravagant lifestyle. (Linton went so far as to label an Instagram picture of herself deboarding a government-funded private jet with the names of the numerous luxury products she’s depicted wearing in it.) Helpfully, as you can see above, they have now provided the media with a perfect distillation of their public image for use if and when Mnuchin is axed from the administration as a PR scapegoat after the backlash against Trump’s extremely rich-person-friendly tax bill reaches a fever pitch.