Red-winged blackbirds and other species are stepping up divebombing attacks on humans.
Fleming Smith reports: Stephen Vedder used to enjoy peaceful lakeside runs near his Marlborough, Mass., home. This spring, after years of coexisting with an ornery neighbor, those tranquil outings came to an end.
The culprit was a red-winged blackbird.
More than 250 million of the birds live across North and Central America, and this summer some are feeling extra aggressive toward human neighbors—driving them to change walking routes, wear protective headgear or furiously wave arms above their heads as they jog.
“You talk to people about being attacked by birds, and they look at you like you’re crazy,” says Mr. Vedder, a 60-year-old programmer. “This is ‘The Birds’ all over again, but it’s real!”
Many people who have long lived in harmony with the birds have noticed an uptick in their aerial assaults this season. Bird-on-human attacks are growing more common as people encroach on their habitats, says Lori Naumann, information officer at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Read the rest of this entry »
Alex Berezow reports: Testosterone does a lot of different things for a men — it masculinizes the body, boosts the sex drive, and contributes to hair loss. Now, researchers think it may also make men more honest.
In recent years, there has been an interest in determining how our hormones affect our economic behavior, such as gambling and financial risk taking. The financial industry is dominated by men, and if testosterone influences decision-making, this potentially has a profound implication for the national economy.
Paradoxically, testosterone promotes pro-social behaviors in some circumstances and anti-social behavior in others. The reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, but it may involve a man’s desire to increase his social status. Previous research shows that testosterone may actually make a man a fairer negotiator.
To investigate such phenomena further, a team of researchers administered testosterone gels to 124 college-aged male volunteers and placebo gels to 118 males. (The total sample size was 242.) They were then given a die and told to roll it, and whatever number came up was the amount of money they were to receive for participating in the experiment. Because they rolled the die in private, they could cheat (by reporting a higher value than they actually rolled). The authors hypothesized that the testosterone group would be more honest.
The results showed that both groups cheated, but the placebo group cheated more, which was consistent with the team’s hypothesis.
The long-awaited film “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer” is slated to hit theaters on October 12.
A trailer for the film, directed by Nick Searcy and starring Dean Cain in the lead role of a detective investigating an abortion doctor’s crimes, was released on Wednesday afternoon.
The movie (rated PG-13) is based on the sensational story of doctor Kermit Gosnell, who ran a multimillion-dollar abortion practice in West Philadelphia. Read the rest of this entry »
A vicious mob targeted the ICE office and even a food cart. The police followed orders to do nothing.
Andy Ngo reports: Along the trolley tracks behind the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office, a biohazard cleanup crew works under police protection. It finds used needles and buckets of human waste simmering in nearly 100-degree heat. The smell of urine and feces fills the block. For more than five weeks, as many as 200 people had occupied the site to demand ICE’s immediate abolition. They’re gone now, but a community is left reeling. Thirty-eight days of government-sanctioned anarchy will do that.
A mob surrounded ICE’s office in Southwest Portland June 19. They barricaded the exits and blocked the driveway. They sent “guards” to patrol the doors, trapping workers inside. At night they laid on the street, stopping traffic at a critical junction near a hospital. Police stayed away. “At this time I am denying your request for additional resources,” the Portland Police Bureau’s deputy chief, Robert Day, wrote to federal officers pleading for help. Hours later, the remaining ICE workers were finally evacuated by a small federal police team. The facility shut down for more than a week.
Signs called ICE employees “Nazis” and “white supremacists.” Others accused them of running a “concentration camp,” and demanded open borders and prosecution of ICE agents. Along a wall, vandals wrote the names of ICE staff, encouraging others to publish their private information online.
Federal workers were defenseless. An ICE officer, who asked that his name not be published, told me one of his colleagues was trailed in a car and confronted when he went to pick up his daughter from summer camp. Later people showed up at his house. Another had his name and photo plastered on flyers outside his home accusing him of being part of the “Gestapo.” Read the rest of this entry »
Joe Flint reports: Executives and creatives are losing their jobs as the entertainment industry becomes less tolerant of offensive remarks, abusive behavior
Hollywood’s longstanding say-anything, do-anything culture is rapidly turning into one where the wrong words can have career-killing consequences.
Top executives at Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures and Netflix Inc., as well as creative talent who worked on the “Lethal Weapon” television series and “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies have been fired in recent months after allegations of offensive remarks, verbal abuse and other inappropriate behavior that in the past was more likely to have been tolerated, industry veterans said.
“Saying something offensive back in the day wouldn’t necessarily get you fired,” said Tom Nunan, a former high-ranking television executive and executive producer of the Oscar-winning movie “Crash,” about race relations in Los Angeles. “Now the consequences are severe and immediate.”
The recent firings comes in the wake of the #MeToo movement that started in Hollywood with allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and has had repercussions throughout workplaces. Mr. Weinstein has denied accusations of nonconsensual sexual acts. Read the rest of this entry »
“When you’re violent and cursing and screaming and blocking me from walking into a movie, there’s something wrong,” said one top GOP official.
Marc Caputo and Daniel Lippman report: Two senior Trump administration officials were heckled at restaurants. A third was denied service. Florida GOP Attorney General Pam Bondi required a police escort away from a movie about Mister Rogers after activists yelled at her in Tampa — where two other Republican lawmakers say they were also politically harassed last week, one of them with her kids in tow.
In the Donald Trump era, the left is as aggressively confrontational as anyone can remember.
What it means for 2018 — whether it portends a blue wave of populist revolt for Democrats or a red wall of silent majority resistance from Republicans — largely depends on one’s political persuasion. But there’s a bipartisan sense that this election season marks another inflection point in the collapse of civil political discourse.
Few disagree that Democrats are marching, protesting and confronting Republican officials with more intensity during the midterm elections than at any time in decades. The progressive fervor recalls conservative opposition to the previous president in his first midterm, when Democratic members of Congress were left running from disruptive town halls and ended up being crushed at the polls in November.
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet — in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station — you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” implored California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters at a Saturday rally, prompting an immediate conservative backlash on social media.
The intense, in-your-face approach toward public officials is only expected to intensify, fueled by social media and what appears to be an increasingly polarized and angry electorate. Read the rest of this entry »
‘I freely admit it was controversial …’
Scott Morefield reports: Former Obama administration DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson “freely admitted” to Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday morning that his department “expanded family detention” as well as detained some children alone, but added that he believed the decision “was necessary at the time.”
After showing pictures of detained children from 2014, Wallace noted that “in some cases you separated children from their parents” before asking, “Did you handle it so well?” Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Exposing the ‘Ruling Class’ Behind Border Policy Uproar: ‘Their Goal Is To Change Your Country Forever’Posted: June 20, 2018 | |
Tucker Carlson on Monday blasted the “self-righteous posturing” of politicians and media figures eager to condemn the Trump administration for its border policy.
Before playing a clip of examples, Carlson began the segment by calling the “spectacle of illegal immigrants separated from their children at the border,” an “event in which the elites vie to see who can reach greater heights of rhetorical excess and self-righteous posturing,” rather than a news story.
“So, the same people who support the third term post-viability abortion for purposes of sex selection are now lecturing you about God and sin and the holiness of children. Feel chastened?” Carlson asked sardonically before launching into a few more examples, including Michael Hayden’s comparison of the border situation to Nazi Germany.
“We could go on,” The Daily Caller co-founder said. “There was so much more just like that. The rich and powerful reminding you just how virtuous they are. Read the rest of this entry »
Citizens of the ultra-progressive city have lost patience with political leaders’ failure to address the homelessness crisis.
Christopher F. Rufo is a filmmaker, writer, and executive director of the Documentary Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing and distributing documentaries about the American experience.
Don’t believe the hype that “Amazon killed the Seattle head tax,” the new levy that the city recently passed on businesses to fund an affordable-housing initiative. The truth behind the city council’s stunning reversal—repealing the tax by a 7-2 vote, just four weeks after passing it 9-0—is that Seattle citizens have erupted in frustration against the city’s tax-and-spend political class that has failed to address the homelessness crisis, despite record new revenues.
“To my astonishment, I’ve heard at least a dozen neighbors, friends, and colleagues whisper that ‘Seattle needs a Giuliani’—that is, the city needs to recognize that, in addition to public programs, we need to get tough on street homelessness and enforce the law.”
As recently as a few years ago, it seemed as if Seattle voters largely viewed our hyper-progressive city council as a harmless oddity in an otherwise tolerant, thriving, liberal city. But times have changed. Now, according to recent public polling, 83 percent of Seattle voters are dissatisfied with how the council has addressed homelessness, 65 percent believe that the local government hasn’t used new tax revenues effectively, and 63 percent believe that the city has enough money to solve the problem but isn’t pursuing the right policies.
Progressives have tried to paint the anti-head tax campaign as corporate astroturfing, but beneath the surface, it’s being driven by this broader shift in public opinion. In just two weeks, the No Tax on Jobs campaign, led by local businesses, recruited 2,000 volunteer signature-gatherers and collected nearly 46,000 signatures—more than double the amount required to qualify as a ballot measure. When I spoke with one of the volunteers in the liberal Fremont neighborhood, he told me: “I’m retired and I wanted to volunteer for the cause. I think the tax is a bad idea: if you tax something, you get less of it. I’m going to collect two pages of signatures and then go home.” Read the rest of this entry »
… A few days ago, Choice42 released this deliciously sardonic video entitled “The Magical Birth Canal.” It is a searing take on the pro-abort narrative that says life begins at birth.
Quite simply, it is brilliant …
… Something within that canal confers humanity on a life that has been human from the moment of conception. But pro-aborts prefer to think of the unborn as a mass of tissue not worthy of protection. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON (AP) — One airman said he felt paranoia. Another marveled at the vibrant colors. A third admitted, “I absolutely just loved altering my mind.”
Meet service members entrusted with guarding nuclear missiles that are among the most powerful in America’s arsenal. Air Force records obtained by The Associated Press show they bought, distributed and used the hallucinogen LSD and other mind-altering illegal drugs as part of a ring that operated undetected for months on a highly secure military base in Wyoming. After investigators closed in, one airman deserted to Mexico.
“I felt paranoia, panic … I didn’t know if I was going to die that night or not … almost as if I was going to have like a heart attack or a heat stroke.”
— Airman 1st Class Tommy N. Ashworth
“Although this sounds like something from a movie, it isn’t,” said Capt. Charles Grimsley, the lead prosecutor of one of several courts martial.
A slipup on social media by one airman enabled investigators to crack the drug ring at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in March 2016, details of which are reported here for the first time. Fourteen airmen were disciplined. Six of them were convicted in courts martial of LSD use or distribution or both.
None of the airmen was accused of using drugs on duty. Yet it’s another blow to the reputation of the Air Force’s nuclear missile corps, which is capable of unleashing hell in the form of Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs. The corps has struggled at times with misbehavior, mismanagement and low morale.
Although seen by some as a backwater of the U.S. military, the missile force has returned to the spotlight as President Donald Trump has called for strengthening U.S. nuclear firepower and exchanged threats last year with North Korea. The administration’s nuclear strategy calls for hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending in coming decades.
The service members accused of involvement in the LSD ring were from the 90th Missile Wing, which operates one-third of the 400 Minuteman 3 missiles that stand “on alert” 24/7 in underground silos scattered across the northern Great Plains.
Documents obtained by the AP over the past two years through the Freedom of Information Act tell a sordid tale of off-duty use of LSD, cocaine and other drugs in 2015 and 2016 by airmen who were supposed to be held to strict behavioral standards because of their role in securing the weapons.
“It’s another black eye for the Air Force — for the ICBM force in particular,” says Stephen Schwartz, an independent consultant and nuclear expert.
In response to AP inquiries, an Air Force spokesman, Lt. Col. Uriah L. Orland, said the drug activity took place during off-duty hours. “There are multiple checks to ensure airmen who report for duty are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and are able to execute the mission safely, securely and effectively,” he said.
Airman 1st Class Tommy N. Ashworth was among those who used LSD supplied by colleagues with connections to civilian drug dealers.
“I felt paranoia, panic” for hours after taking a hit of acid, Ashworth said under oath at his court martial. He confessed to using LSD three times while off duty. The first time, in the summer of 2015, shook him up. “I didn’t know if I was going to die that night or not,” he said as a witness at another airman’s drug trial. Recalling another episode with LSD, he said it felt “almost as if I was going to have like a heart attack or a heat stroke.”
Airman Basic Kyle S. Morrison acknowledged at his court martial that under the influence of LSD he could not have responded if recalled to duty in a nuclear security emergency. Read the rest of this entry »
Millennials are waiting longer to have sex, with one in eight still virgins at 26 years old, new research has found.
The sharp rise in the number of young people waiting longer to have sex may be because of a “fear of intimacy” and the pressure of social media, according to analysts.
The Next Steps project, the brainchild of the Department for Education which is now managed by University College London, has tracked 16,000 people born in 1989-90 since they were 14.
The interviews, conducted in 2016, discovered a rise in the number of Millenials waiting longer to have sex compared to previous generations, where one in 20 reported still being virgins at around the same age.
Susanna Abse, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist at the Balint Consultancy, told the Sunday Times: “Millenials have been brought up in a culture of hypersexuality which has bred a fear of intimacy.
“The women are always up for it with beautiful hard bodies and the men have permanent erections. That is daunting to young people.
“The fear for young men is of being humiliated that they can’t live up to that, plus the fear of exposure in your Facebook group.”
If those who refused to answer the question were also virgins, the figure rises to one in six … (read more)
Q&A with journalist Nina Teicholz
Alexis Garcia reports: “Government made a big mistake with the dietary guidelines,” says Nina Teicholz, author of New York Times bestseller The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. “Given the track record that they have so far, you can really make a plausible argument that they’ve done more harm than good.”
Consumption of meat, butter, eggs, and cheese were once encouraged as part of a healthy diet. Then in the 1950s, a Minnesota doctor named Ancel Keys put forth his diet-heart hypothesis, claiming that saturated fats raise cholesterol levels and cause heart attacks.
Keys produced landmark studies of the relationship between diet and heart disease that transformed nutrition science. He became a powerful figure in the science community. Contemporaries who publicly questioned the validity of his findings risked losing their research funding or becoming pariahs. When the U.S. adopted dietary guidelines in 1980, Keys’ recommendations became enshrined in national food policy.
“We have made our policy based upon this weak kind of science called epidemiology which shows association, but not causation,” Teicholz explains. “We have the situation where we just cannot reverse out of these policies that were originally based on really weak science.” Read the rest of this entry »
It’s sending a chilling message.
Stephanie Hamill reports: The tragic death of British toddler Alfie Evans is heartbreaking and the details surrounding his death will chill you to the core.
It’s hard to comprehend how a nation can take a child from a loving family, rip him off life support and deny him the care he needs to stay alive — all this because bureaucrats didn’t think his life is worth fighting for.
Let’s not sugarcoat what happened, this was a state-ordered execution of an innocent baby thanks to socialized medicine.
And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, the Christian legal group that took the lead in representing the Evans family may be investigated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, a watchdog group that works with the government. Read the rest of this entry »
‘Remove your mask, or you will be arrested’
Greg Bluestein reports: Faced with hundreds of demonstrators rallying against a crowd of neo-Nazis in Newnan, local and state authorities turned to a little-known Georgia law adopted in 1951 to combat the Ku Klux Klan.
The law, which makes it illegal to wear a mask at most public events, was cited in several of the arrests of counterdemonstrators who joined a protest Saturday against white supremacists.
And the irony was not lost upon the organizers of the counterdemonstration, who were fuming Sunday that a law aimed at weakening white supremacists was used to arrest protesters who opposed a neo-Nazi rally.
“They were trying to stop us, and we were trying to dial down the racist stuff,” said Jeremy Ortega, a 19-year-old who was among the counterprotesters charged with a misdemeanor for wearing a mask.
He said many of the demonstrators wore masks to avoid being identified and threatened by white power groups.
“The law, which makes it illegal to wear a mask at most public events, was cited in several of the arrests of counterdemonstrators who joined a protest Saturday against white supremacists.”
“We were peacefully protesting, yet they put guns in our faces and told us to take our masks off,” said Ortega, who added that he is considering filing a civil lawsuit. “It made no sense.”
State and local authorities did not comment on specific allegations of abuse on Sunday. But Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan said the overwhelming security – nearly 700 law enforcement officers were on hand – helped prevent the clashes from escalating.
“Making arrests in a volatile situation is never going to be pretty,” Keenan said.
No one from the white supremacist group was arrested on Saturday, and they largely avoided confrontations with police or the counterdemonstration group. The two dozen white supremacists who attended the rally were separated from the group by an 8-foot fence – and hundreds of armed officers.
‘Remove your mask’
On Sunday, a coalition of counterprotest groups planned a vigil at the Coweta County Jail to criticize what they said was excessive violence by police.
The Huffington Post reported that a contingent of officers approached a group of 50 counterdemonstrators before the rally and demanded they remove their masks or face arrests. The news outlet wrote that officers then “grabbed those who were still masked, tossing them to the ground and handcuffing them.” Read the rest of this entry »
Alain Tolhurst writes: Living under communism makes countries poorer and less healthy for decades, according to a landmark new study.
Researchers testing historical connections between cultures found that whether a country had been under communism was the biggest factor for those with lower health, income and educational levels.
In the first undertaking of its kind, they analyzed the fortunes of 44 countries across Europe and Asia and looked at geography, religion, systems of government and a more intangible quality called “deep cultural ancestry.”
Writing in the journal Royal Society Open Science, they matched these factors against where they ranked on the United Nations Human Development Index, which measures per-capita income, life expectancy at birth and the number of years its citizens spend in education.
Most of the issues they looked at appeared to have little or no effect on the disparities between the countries, except for Islamic countries scoring a little worse on education. Read the rest of this entry »
From Facebook to Harvey Weinstein, America’s scandals amount to a giant crisis of maturity.
“The signal fact of Mr. Zuckerberg is that he is supremely gifted in one area—monetizing technical expertise by marrying it to a canny sense of human weakness. Beyond that, what a shallow and banal figure.”
It has to do with not being able to fully reckon with your size, not because it is small but because it is big. I see more people trembling under the weight of who they are.
Laura Ingraham got in trouble for publicly mocking one of the student gun-control activists of Parkland, Fla. She’s been unjustly targeted for boycotts, but it’s fair to say she was wrong in what she said, and said it because she didn’t remember who she is. She is a successful and veteran media figure, host of a cable show that bears her name. As such she is a setter of the sound of our culture as it discusses politics. When you’re that person, you don’t smack around a 17-year-old, even if—maybe especially if—he is obnoxious in his presentation of his public self. He’s a kid. They’re not infrequently obnoxious, because they are not fully mature. He’s small, you’re big. There’s a power imbalance.
As of this week, it is six months since the reckoning that began with the New York Times exposé of Harvey Weinstein. One by one they fell, men in media, often journalism, and their stories bear at least in part a general theme.
They were mostly great successes, middle-aged, and so natural leaders of the young. But they treated the young as prey. They didn’t respect them, in part because they didn’t respect themselves. They didn’t see their true size, their role, or they ignored it. Read the rest of this entry »
Stephen Kruiser writes: Here is what happens when people on both sides of the gun conversation in America are able to be heard. The producers of this video had a variety of actors cold read statistical truths about guns and crime in the United States. Read the rest of this entry »
Maxime Bernier is right: Identity politics dissolves community, reduces a country to subsets of clans, and obscures the diversity of individual lives.
Then there is Justin Trudeau inviting the fanatically anti-Alberta-oil Bill Nye to Ottawa for a public chat on science, the highlight of which was the signal revelation of the centrality of breastfeeding to the scientific method — delivered by our PM. When baby wails and the milk flows, can Planck’s constant be far behind?
As well: Jaspal Atwal, failed Sikh assassin, holding what he ludicrously called a press conference. The only takeaway: his lawyer is scarier, though not necessarily more competent.
More fertile than them all however was the brisk, chippy, and entitled Twitter blast levelled by Liberal MP and person of colour, Celina Caesar-Chavannes (Whitby, Ont.), at Conservative MP Maxime Bernier (Beauce, Que.).
Bernier had criticized an earlier tweet by Ahmed Hussen in which the Immigration Minister said the federal budget was historic for “racialized Canadians.”
Bernier said he deplored that tweet’s “awful jargon,” the pitch to “racialized” Canadians, and put out a plea for “colour blindness,” character over skin colour. His critics, Bernier said, implied (he was) a racist because “I want to live in a society where everyone is treated equally and not defined by their race.”
“Please check your privilege and be quiet.”
— MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes
The parliamentary pigeons were duly agitated. Instanter, Caesar-Chavannes fired off her Twitter blast: Read the rest of this entry »
Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews Find LSD “Harmonizing” on Brain, Changes Personality for Years, Studies Show from Scientific ReportsPosted: March 5, 2018 | |
The study found that taking LSD is ‘harmonizing’ because it helps connect different parts of your brain in new ways while “reorganizing” it.
Josh Magness writes: Your brain on LSD is kind of like jazz improvisation.
That’s according to Selen Atasoy, a research fellow at the Center for Brain and Cognition at the Pompeu Fabra University in Spain. She was among the authors of a study published in the journal Scientific Reports that found the psychedelic drug can reorganize your brain in a “harmonizing” way.
“Just like improvising jazz musicians use many more musical notes in a spontaneous and non-random fashion,” she told PsyPost in an interview, “your brain combines many more of the harmonic waves (connectome harmonics) spontaneously yet in a structured way.”
Twelve people were examined for the study, with some taking LSD and some a placebo drug. Researchers examined their brain with an MRI scan both during and after the subjects listened to music.
Researchers said they wanted to study the combined effect of music and LSD because “music is also known for its capacity to elicit emotions, which is found to be emphasized by the effect of psychedelics.
“Exploring the combined effects of music and the psychedelic state induced by LSD provided us an opportunity to reveal not only the LSD-induced dynamical changes in the brain,” they wrote, “but also how these dynamics are affected by the presence of a complex, natural stimuli like music.”
The study found that taking LSD is “harmonizing” because it helps connect different parts of your brain in new ways while “reorganizing” it. The effects were temporary, but Newsweek reports that it’s a positive sign for people with some psychological conditions.
The brain could more efficiently make those new connections while a person listened to music, the study also found.
Atasoy told PsyPost that because changes in a brain with LSD were “structured” instead of random, this “suggests a reorganisation of brain dynamics and the emergence of new type of order in the brain.” Read the rest of this entry »
Just believing in the Second Amendment makes you a non-human.
Kurt Schlichter writes: The progressives are cranking things up to 11 on the Stupid/Psycho Scale, which is good for us in the short term – some of us Normals were growing complacent and the midterms are coming. But we also need to open our eyes and accept the bitter reality we face. We can’t just pretend the truth is not the truth because we wish it were otherwise. The left’s dropping of its mask has demonstrated once again the undeniable fact. The left hates you.
Just give them a listen. Those carefully selected moppet puppets are out there on TV telling Normals “We are going to outlive you.” When leftists tell you that you are going to die first, you should believe they mean it. They have a track record of making that happen.
And then there is the new meme, that the NRA is a “terrorist” organization. This means you are a “terrorist” simply by advocating for your political views. Think about that. Labeling your political opponents as “terrorists” – gee, that can’t end badly. Violence against and suppression of terrorists is okay, isn’t it? And when this ploy works with guns, it will happen with the next right the left wants to take from us.
How’s that blood on your hands? Sure, you were thousands of miles away, and your AR-15 – like the 14,999,999 other AR-15s out there – never shot up a school, but just believing in the Second Amendment makes you a non-human. Those of us who know something about history know that the people leftists regard as non-human always tend to end up non-living.
Oh, they want to have a conversation, all right. It’s a conversation about how you are going to be disarmed, disempowered, and at their mercy.
Crazy talk? No. Don’t be gaslighted. They will tell you exactly what they want for you if you give them long enough. The beauty of social media is these creeps just can’t help themselves; you just have to have the strength to listen and accept the truth no matter how unpleasant it is. Read the rest of this entry »
How Twitter feminism is bad for women
Katie Roiphe writes: No one would talk to me for this piece. Or rather, more than twenty women talked to me, sometimes for hours at a time, but only after I promised to leave out their names, and give them what I began to call deep anonymity. This was strange, because what they were saying did not always seem that extreme. Yet here in my living room, at coffee shops, in my inbox and on my voicemail, were otherwise outspoken female novelists, editors, writers, real estate agents, professors, and journalists of various ages so afraid of appearing politically insensitive that they wouldn’t put their names to their thoughts, and I couldn’t blame them.
Of course, the prepublication frenzy of Twitter fantasy and fury about this essay, which exploded in early January, is Exhibit A for why nobody wants to speak openly. Before the piece was even finished, let alone published, people were calling me “pro-rape,” “human scum,” a “harridan,” a “monster out of Stephen King’s ‘IT,’?” a “ghoul,” a “bitch,” and a “garbage person”—all because of a rumor that I was planning to name the creator of the so-called Shitty Media Men list. The Twitter feminist Jessica Valenti called this prospect “profoundly shitty” and “incredibly dangerous” without having read a single word of my piece. Other tweets were more direct: “man if katie roiphe actually publishes that article she can consider her career over.” “Katie Roiphe can suck my dick.” With this level of thought policing, who in their right mind would try to say anything even mildly provocative or original?
For years, women confined their complaints about sexual harassment to whisper networks for fear of reprisal from men. This is an ugly truth about our recent past that we are just now beginning to grapple with. But amid this welcome reckoning, it seems that many women still fear varieties of retribution (Twitter rage, damage to their reputations, professional repercussions, and vitriol from friends) for speaking out—this time, from other women. They are, in other words, inadvertently creating a new whisper network. Can this possibly be a good thing?
Most of the new whisperers feel as I do, exhilarated by the moment, by the long-overdue possibility of holding corrupt and bullying men such as Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, and Matt Lauer to account for their actions. They strongly share some of its broader goals: making it possible for women to work unbothered and unharassed even outside the bubble of Hollywood and the media, breaking down the structures that have historically protected powerful men. Yet they are also slightly uneasy at the weird energy behind this movement, a weird energy it is sometimes hard to pin down.
Here are some things these professional women said to me on the condition that their names be withheld:
I think “believe all women” is silly. Women are unreliable narrators also. I understand how hard it is to come forward, but I just don’t buy it. It’s a sentimental view of women. . . . I think there is more regretted consent than anyone is willing to say out loud.
If someone had sent me the Media Men list ten years ago, when I was twenty-five, I would have called a harmlessly enamored guy a stalker and a sloppy drunken encounter sexual assault. I’d hate myself now for wrecking two lives.
One thing people don’t say is that power is an aphrodisiac. . . . To pretend otherwise is dishonest.
What seems truly dangerous to me is the complete disregard the movement shows for a sacred principle of the American criminal justice system: the presumption of innocence. I come from Mexico, whose judicial system relied, until 2016, on the presumption of guilt, which translated into people spending decades, sometimes lifetimes, in jail before even seeing a judge.
I have never felt sexually harassed. I said this to someone the other day, and she said, “I am sure you are wrong.”
Al Franken asked for an investigation and he should have been allowed to have it; the facts are still ambiguous, the sources were sketchy.
Why didn’t I get hit on? What’s wrong with me? #WhyNotMeToo
I think #MeToo is a potentially valuable tool that is degraded when women appropriate it to encompass things like “creepy DMs” or “weird lunch ‘dates.’” And I do not think touching a woman’s back justifies a front page in the New York Times and the total annihilation of someone’s career.
I have a long history with this feeling of not being able to speak. In the early Nineties, death threats were phoned into Shakespeare and Company, an Upper West Side bookstore where I was scheduled to give a reading from my book The Morning After.That night, in front of a jittery crowd and a sprinkling of police, I read a passage comparing the language in the date-rape pamphlets given out on college campuses to Victorian guides to conduct for young ladies. When I read at universities, students who considered themselves feminists shouted me down. It was an early lesson in the chilling effect of feminist orthodoxy.
But social media has enabled a more elaborate intolerance of feminist dissenters, as I just personally experienced. Twitter, especially, has energized the angry extremes of feminism in the same way it has energized Trump and his supporters: the loudest, angriest, most simplifying voices are elevated and rendered normal or mainstream.
In 1996, a six-year-old boy with Coke-bottle glasses, Johnathan Prevette, was suspended from school for sexual harassment after kissing a little girl on the cheek. This was widely interpreted as a sign of excess: as the New York Times put it, a “doctrine meant to protect against sexual harassment might have reached a damaging level of absurdity.” Yet I wonder what would happen today. Wouldn’t feminists be tweeting, “Don’t first grade girls have a right to feel safe?” Wouldn’t the new whisperers keep quiet?
One thing that makes it hard to engage with the feminist moment is the sense of great, unmanageable anger. Given what men have gotten away with for centuries, this anger is understandable. Yet it can also lead to an alarming lack of proportion. Rebecca Traister, one of the smartest and most prominent voices of the #MeToo movement, writes:
The rage that many of us are feeling doesn’t necessarily correspond with the severity of the trespass: Lots of us are on some level as incensed about the guy who looked down our shirt at a company retreat as we are about Weinstein, even if we can acknowledge that there’s something nuts about that, a weird overreaction.
At first glance, this seems honest and insightful of her. She seems, for a moment, to recognize the energy that is unnerving some of us, an anger not interested in making distinctions between Harvey Weinstein and the man looking down your shirt—an anger that is, as Traister herself puts it, “terrifyingly out of control.” But weirdly, she also seems to be fine with it, even roused. When Trump supporters let their anger run terrifyingly out of control, we are alarmed, and rightly so. Perhaps Traister should consider that “I am so angry I am not thinking straight” is not the best mood in which to radically envision and engineer a new society. Read the rest of this entry »
Want to make the world a better place? Start by bettering yourself. Best-selling author and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson explains how incremental daily changes can lead to a better life and ultimately a more harmonious world.
Advocates of greater diversity at Google say they are being harassed and targeted on right-wing websites.
Nitasha Tiku reports: Fired Google engineer James Damore says he was vilified and harassed for questioning what he calls the company’s liberal political orthodoxy, particularly around the merits of diversity.
Now outspoken diversity advocates at Google say that they are being targeted by a small group of their coworkers in an effort to silence discussions about racial and gender diversity.
In interviews with WIRED, 15 current Google employees accuse coworkers of inciting outsiders to harass rank-and-file employees who are minority advocates, including queer and transgender employees. Since August, screenshots from Google’s internal discussion forums, including personal information, have been displayed on sites including Breitbart and Vox Popoli, a blog run by alt-right author Theodore Beale, who goes by the name Vox Day. Other screenshots were included in a 161-page lawsuit that Damore filed in January, alleging that Google discriminates against whites, males, and conservatives.
What followed, the employees say, was a wave of harassment. On forums like 4chan, members linked advocates’ names with their social-media accounts. At least three employees had their phone numbers, addresses, and deadnames (a transgender person’s name prior to transitioning) exposed. Google site reliability engineer Liz Fong-Jones, a trans woman, says she was the target of harassment, including violent threats and degrading slurs based on gender identity, race, and sexual orientation. More than a dozen pages of personal information about another employee were posted to Kiwi Farms, which New York has called “the web’s biggest community of stalkers.”
Meanwhile, inside Google, the diversity advocates say some employees have “weaponized human resources” by goading them into inflammatory statements, which are then captured and reported to HR for violating Google’s mores around civility or for offending white men.
Engineer Colin McMillen says the tactics have unnerved diversity advocates and chilled internal discussion. “Now it’s like basically anything you say about yourself may end up getting leaked to score political points in a lawsuit,” he says. “I have to be very careful about choosing my words because of the low-grade threat of doxing. But let’s face it, I’m not visibly queer or trans or non-white and a lot of these people are keying off their own white supremacy.”
Targeted employees say they have complained to Google executives about the harassment. They say Google’s security team is vigilant about physical threats and that Danielle Brown, Google’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, who has also been targeted by harassers, has been supportive and reassuring. But, they say they have not been told the outcome of complaints they filed against coworkers they believe are harassing them, and that top executives have not responded assertively to concerns about harassment and doxing. As a result, some employees now check hate sites for attempts at doxing Google employees, which they then report to Google security.
Google declined to respond to questions due to ongoing litigation, but a Google spokesperson said the company has met with every employee who expressed concern.
The complaints underscore how Google’s freewheeling workplace culture, where employees are encouraged to “bring your whole self to work” and exchange views on internal discussion boards, has turned as polarized and toxic as the national political debate. Read the rest of this entry »
It seems an incredible waste to put tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of taxpayer dollars at risk through fraud on federal exchanges.
On Tuesday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released another report into eligibility verification checks on the federally run Obamacare insurance exchange used by more than three dozen states. As with prior studies, GAO concluded that regulators still need to improve integrity efforts to ensure the federal government spends taxpayer funds wisely.
Among the report’s most noteworthy conclusions: A total of 17,000 federally subsidized insurance policies studied during the 2015 plan year—the most recent for which GAO had complete data at the time of its investigation—began or continued after the applicant’s reported date of death. In 1,000 of those cases, coverage began after the applicant’s reported date of death. In a further 2,000, the application was submitted after the applicant’s reported date of death—in most cases because the exchange automatically re-enrolled applicants without checking to determine that they remained alive.
GAO previously recommended that the federal exchange verify eligibility periodically, checking changes in circumstances that would affect the status of federal subsidies, such as death. However, to the best of auditors’ knowledge, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has not implemented this recommendation, one of 18 relating to exchange integrity that remain open (i.e., not completed) from two prior GAO reports. Read the rest of this entry »
Carl Stroud reports: A primary school worker has been suspended after bragging about her £500 ‘designer vagina’ in a magazine.
Kim Hanson, 37, told Closer how her sex life was “amazing” after undergoing a tightening procedure.
But, the teaching assistant’s revelations saw her removed from the classroom at St. Clement’s Catholic Primary School in Runcorn while an investigation takes place.
Facebook’s chief has signaled he will do what it takes to curb the social network’s negative effects—but how far will he go?
Imagine if, instead, they had given these researchers license to publish papers, or even taken the information to heart and crippled their own moneymaking machines for the good of their addicted users.
In the face of pressure brought by a growing roster of Facebook investors and former executives, many of whom have publicly stated that Facebook is both psychologically addictive and harmful to democracy, the Facebook founder and chief executive has pledged to “fix” Facebook by doing several things, including “making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.”
Mr. Zuckerberg has also recently told investors he wants his company “to encourage meaningful social interactions,” adding that “time spent is not a goal by itself.”
So here’s the multibillion-dollar question: Is he willing to sacrifice revenue for the well-being of Facebook’s two-billion-plus users?
Mr. Zuckerberg has already said the company will hire so many content moderators to deal with fake news and Russian interference that it will hurt profit, but whether he will go further and change the basic fabric of Facebook’s algorithms in the name of users’ mental health, he has yet to say.
Clearly, Facebook, a company Mr. Zuckerberg started when he was in college, has changed so much that even its creator is playing catch-up to the reality of its globe-spanning power.
In June, he changed the company’s mission from “connecting” the world to bringing the world closer together. He said he used to think giving people a voice would make the world better on its own, “but our society is still divided. Now I believe we have a responsibility to do even more.”
In December, Facebook researchers surveyed the scientific literature and their own work and publicly acknowledged that while direct communication and sharing between individuals and small groups on Facebook can have positive effects, merely lurking and scrolling through others’ status updates makes people unhappy. Read the rest of this entry »
The US says “the world is watching” how Iranian authorities respond to anti-government protests that have broken out in several cities.
Thousands of people have joined the protests, with scores arrested.
A White House statement said Iranians were fed up with “the regime’s corruption and its squandering of the nation’s wealth to fund terrorism”.
“The Iranian government should respect their people’s rights, including their right to express themselves. The world is watching,”
— White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, on Twitter
Meanwhile, authorities urged supporters to turn out for nationwide demonstrations on Saturday.
The rallies are commemorating the 2009 demonstrations held in support of the then conservative government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Those demonstrations were in response to protests by reformists over a disputed election which returned him to power.
The BBC’s Persian Service says thousands of people were likely to have been bussed into a rally in the capital Tehran.
What was the US response?
“The Iranian government should respect their people’s rights, including their right to express themselves. The world is watching,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Twitter.
The tweet later appeared on President Donald Trump’s Twitter account.
The US State Department urged all nations “to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption”.
What is Iran saying about the protests?
First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri has suggested that government opponents are behind the protests, according to comments reported by state broadcaster IRIB.
He said: “Some incidents in the country these days are on the pretext of economic problems, but it seems there is something else behind them. They think by doing this they harm the government, but it will be others who ride the wave.” Read the rest of this entry »
Mayors From Seven Major French Cities Write Open Letter Saying They Are Overwhelmed By The Flow Of MigrantsPosted: December 20, 2017 | |
Local chiefs from Nantes, Lille, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Rennes, Toulouse and Strasbourg wrote an open letter to Parisian officials to ask for relief from the ‘extreme tension’ caused by migrant arrivals.
- The mayors from large French cities wrote open letter to Le Monde newspaper
- In it they stressed their settlements were going through a ‘social emergency’
- They said there has been a ‘massive rise in the demand for asylum’ recently
- To relieve ‘extreme tension’ on services, they added, a national plan was needed
Local chiefs from Nantes, Lille, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Rennes, Toulouse and Strasbourg wrote an open letter to Parisian officials to beg for relief from the ‘extreme tension’ caused by the arrival of people seeking a new home.
The mayors – including this year’s presidential hopeful Alain Juppé (from Bordeaux) – explained that there had been a ‘massive rise in the demand for asylum’, with ‘several thousand’ migrants arriving every month.
The letter comes just over a year after the relocation of several thousands migrants from the Calais Jungle in Northern France.
The mayors – including this year’s presidential hopeful Alain Juppé (pictured) – explained that there had been a ‘massive rise in the demand for asylum’, with ‘several thousand’ migrants arriving every month
Local chiefs from Nantes, Lille, Bordeaux, Grenoble, Rennes, Toulouse and Strasbourg wrote an open letter to Parisian officials to help relieve the ‘extreme tension’ caused by the arrival of people seeking a new home. Pictured: Migrants leaving the Calais Jungle last year
Writing to Le Monde, they added: ‘A social emergency. An urgent solidarity. [Our cities] are, on this subject as on others, on the front line.
‘We can not, we must not, resign ourselves to the human, social and health drama of uprooting migrants. Every month, several thousand people arrive in our cities. Read the rest of this entry »
The posters appeared in several locations in Los Angeles.
In posters that appeared in several locations in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Meryl Streep was seemingly depicted as a Harvey Weinstein enabler by anonymous street artists.
Posters hung early in the morning, before the sun came up, feature an image of Streep next to Weinstein with a red strip across her face with the text “She knew,” an apparent reference to Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse of women over the course of decades.
The posters are a riff on the work of artist Barbara Kruger, whose signature text in red banners has been adapted and copied for decades.
Megan McArdle writes: Last week I considered our culture’s vanishing burden of proof when a prominent man is accused of any sexual impropriety. Certainly I wouldn’t want the bad old days of sexual harassment to continue. But there must be some way to find justice for women who have been abused without rushing to punish men who may not have abused anyone.
You can think of crimes as a sort of pyramid: At the top, there are a relatively small number of actions that we can all clearly agree merit the severest sanction, if proven. And then, as you slide down the walls of the pyramid, a growing number of cases that are less and less bad. At the base of the pyramid is a gray area where reasonable people can disagree about whether the evidence is strong, or the behavior alleged merits any sanction.
What happens if we try to apply the sanctions that are clearly merited for the guys at the top to the guys in the middle? What happens if we try to move the line down until it encompasses more and more of the guys at the bottom? Read the rest of this entry »
Deciding to run for Congress was an ‘intensely personal decision’
Lindsay Wise And Bryan Lowry report: Andrea Ramsey, a Leawood Democrat, decided to run for Congress after joining neighbors at a protest outside U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder’s Overland Park office the day Yoder cast a key vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Andrea Ramsey, a Democratic candidate for Congress, will drop out of the race after the Kansas City Star asked her about accusations in a 2005 lawsuit that she sexually harassed and retaliated against a male subordinate who said he had rejected her advances.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the case told The Star that the man reached a settlement with LabOne, the company where Ramsey was executive vice president of human resources. Court documents show that the man, Gary Funkhouser, and LabOne agreed to dismiss the case permanently after mediation in 2006.
Ramsey, a 56-year-old retired business executive from Leawood, was one of the Democratic candidates vying to challenge Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in 2018 in Kansas’ 3rd District.
She was running with the endorsement of Emily’s List, a liberal women’s group that has raised more than a half-million dollars to help female candidates who support abortion rights.
Ramsey will drop out on Friday, her campaign said.
“In its rush to claim the high ground in our roiling national conversation about harassment, the Democratic Party has implemented a zero tolerance standard,” Ramsey said in a statement Friday. Read the rest of this entry »
Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, and her family had to flee their homeland after receiving death threats over a photo she posted online last month.
Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, and her family had to flee their homeland after receiving death threats over a photo she posted online last month.
Why? Because Idan posed with Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, at a Miss Universe International Beauty Pageant, the Times of Israel reported.
Miss Iraq forced to flee country over Instagram photo alongside Miss Israel https://t.co/cw6cvVIBiT Religion of Peace™
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) December 16, 2017
Idan came under fire for posting the photo to Instagram, captioned, “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel,” in addition to modeling a bikini.
“The two of those things together caused a mess for her back home where people made threats against her and her family that if she didn’t return home and take down the photos, they would remove her (Miss Iraq) title, that they would kill her,” Adar Gandelsman told Israeli TV, the paper reported. Read the rest of this entry »
Antisémitisme: En 2017, on a dû déménager parce qu’on est juif
- In 2016, the number of anti-Semitic acts and threats fell sharply compared to 2015.
- In some cities of Seine-Saint-Denis, synagogues closed, the world’s fault.
- This “exodus” inside is still difficult to assess.
(translated from French via Google translate)
For weeks, André * slept with a bat baseball at the foot of his bed. A violently slammed the door made her jump. “After the burglary, I was always on the alert. With my wife, we no longer felt safe with us, “says the energetic septuagenarian by stirring his coffee. In spring 2015, his apartment was ransacked twice a few weeks apart. The second time, the thugs have left a trace message to the lipstick on the guestroom wall leaving little doubt as to their motivation: ” dirty Jew, long live Palestine .” So after 40 years in Bondy, in Seine-Saint-Denis. The couple set sail in December 2015, management Villemonble in the “golden triangle” of the department.
If his wife had not opposed it, Andrew, who defines himself as a Jew “traditionalist” but that does not bear the kippa on Fridays for Shabbat, would have left Israel to aliyah. In 2016, 5,000 departures were recorded, 8,000 the year before. The attacks against the Jewish school Ozar HaTorah in Toulouse, groceries hide in Sarcelles or the Hypercacher Vincennes sometimes served click. “These attacks were a shock but it obviously does not underestimate Semitism we live every day . For a long time, Jews were targeted through their symbols, today, it directly attacks the people, “said Sammy Ghozlan, president of National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism(BNVCA).
Decline in anti-Semitic acts in 2016
Si on s’en réfère au Service de protection de la communauté juive (SPCJ), qui s’appuie sur les données du ministère de l’Intérieur, les agressions physiques ou verbales à caractère antisémite ont fortement baissé en 2016: 355 actes et menaces ont été recensés contre 808 l’année précédente. Read the rest of this entry »
Cori Thomas was in high school when she says Dustin Hoffman exposed himself to her in a hotel room.
“He came out of the bathroom with a towel at first wrapped around him, which he dropped. He was standing there naked. I think I almost collapsed, actually. It was the first time I had ever seen a naked man. I was mortified.”
Speaking to Variety, the women described predatory incidents involving Hoffman that fit into a pattern of alleged behavior that has emerged in the wake of previous sexual-misconduct claims against the now 80-year-old actor.
“I didn’t know what to do. And he milked it. He milked the fact that he was naked. He stood there. He took his time.”
— Cori Thomas
Representatives for Hoffman did not make him available to provide comment for this story. In a letter to Variety’s owner Penske Media Corp., Hoffman’s attorney Mark A. Neubauer of Carlton Fields Jordan Burt called the accusations against the actor “defamatory falsehoods.”
Thomas was 16 years old and a high-school classmate of Hoffman’s daughter Karina at the United Nations International School in New York when she met the actor in 1980. An aspiring actor, she had spent a Sunday afternoon with Karina and Hoffman walking in Manhattan — visiting the Drama Bookshop, where, she said, Hoffman bought her a copy of Edward Albee’s “The Zoo Story,” and eating dinner at Jim McMullin’s on the Upper East Side, where she had veal piccata for the first time. They also visited the San Remo on Central Park West, where Hoffman, in the midst of a divorce from his first wife, Anne Byrne, was buying an apartment. Hoffman showed Thomas and Karina the apartment, which was being renovated while Hoffman stayed at a hotel near the house that he and Byrne had shared.
“This was at first one of the greatest days of my life,” she said. “One of my idols was spending time with me and talking with me respectfully.”
Thomas’ parents — her father was the U.N. ambassador from Liberia — were supposed to pick her up at the restaurant. But, according to Thomas, Hoffman suggested that the three of them wait at the hotel where he was staying and leave a note for Thomas’ parents with the maitre d’ saying they had gone to the hotel. After the three arrived at Hoffman’s hotel room, “Either Karina or Dustin suggested that [Karina] should go home” to Hoffman and Byrne’s house nearby, Thomas said, “because it was a school night and she had homework. So she left, and I was left in the hotel room with him alone.”
Shortly after Karina departed, according to Thomas, Hoffman went to the restroom. She heard the shower turn on. “I was just sitting there waiting for my parents,” Thomas said.
After several minutes, “He came out of the bathroom with a towel at first wrapped around him, which he dropped,” Thomas said. “He was standing there naked. I think I almost collapsed, actually. It was the first time I had ever seen a naked man. I was mortified. I didn’t know what to do. And he milked it. He milked the fact that he was naked. He stood there. He took his time.” Read the rest of this entry »
Matt Labash writes: As we celebrate this Christmas season (or this “holiday,” for Christ-haters), I don’t wish to be a killjoy to the world. But reflecting on the year gone by, it’s hard not to notice that we have lost a few of our favorite things: Tom Petty, political moderation, our dignity.
And yet, as we’ve hunkered down throughout 2017 to weather every storm from Hurricane Harvey (the tropical cyclone that nearly destroyed Houston) to Hurricane Harvey (the film producer/sex-criminal who has all but destroyed famous men), there seems to be another death that has barely registered—that of the open-bar office Christmas party.
It is a time-honored tradition, and in Dilbert-ified America most cubicle monkeys know the drill: Don your smart-yet-festive sweater vest. Show up to your company’s voluntary holiday gathering, where absences are informally noted by supervisors who will passive-aggressively punish the missing come January. Pretend you enjoy socializing with colleagues that you wouldn’t invite over to your house on a dare. All while drinking until your liver cries uncle, or until Jones from purchasing miraculously transforms into a sparkling conversationalist.
But the already-ailing patient might have died on the table last week, when news broke that Vox Media, after an internal sexual-harassment scandal that saw editorial director Lockhart Steele get fired, announced of their holiday party in a staff memo: “At the request of many of you, we will ramp up the food and cut down on the drinks.” According to accuser Eden Rohatensky’s Medium post, after an apparent drinking bout, the man eventually revealed as Steele caressed her hand and kissed the back of her neck in an Uber.
Vox Media, in case you don’t read the Internet, is, as they put it with characteristic modesty, “a prestigious modern media company . . . [that is] shaping the future of journalism and entertainment.”
The parent company’s myriad media outlets—or “brands,” as modern media companies now insist on calling themselves—include everything from tech-news site the Verge to foodie site Eater to the flagship itself, Vox. Read the rest of this entry »
The #MeToo moment has now morphed into a moral panic that poses as much danger to women as it does to men.
Claire Berlinski writes: #Metoo, of course. Women are not going nuts for no reason. We’re fed up with feeling prickles down our spine as we walk alone on dimly lit streets. Fed up with thinking, “If he feels entitled to send me that message, what might he feel entitled to do to if he knew where I lived?” Fed up with strangers who smack their lips and murmur obscenities at us. Fed up with thinking, “No, I don’t want to go to his hotel room to discuss closing the contract. I’ll have to tell him my husband’s waiting for me to call. ‘My husband? Oh, yes, he’s pathologically jealous, bless his heart, and a bit of a gun nut…’” My husband is perfect in every way but one—he doesn’t exist—but he has served me so well over the years that I’m willing to overlook his ontological defects. I shouldn’t need him, but I do.
I’ve been fortunate. My encounters with law enforcement have been contrary to reputation: The police have taken me seriously, once arresting a stalker when he failed to heed a warning to cease and desist. But too many women have been murdered because they could not persuade the police to take them seriously. That stalker doubtless believes he was “unjustly accused” and “his life destroyed” by a hysterical woman. He’s full of it. I’ll bet he did the same thing to many women before me. Sexual predation tends to be a lifelong pattern.
Among us, it seems, lives a class of men who call to mind Caligula and Elagabalus not only in their depravity, but in their grotesque sense of impunity. Our debauched emperors, whether enthroned in Hollywood, media front offices, or the halls of Congress, truly imagined their victims had no choice but to shut up, take it, and stay silent forever. Many of these men are so physically disgusting, too—the thought of them forcing themselves on young women fills me with heaving disgust. Enough already.
All true; yet something is troubling me. Recently I saw a friend—a man—pilloried on Facebook for asking if #metoo is going too far. “No,” said his female interlocutors. “Women have endured far too many years of harassment, humiliation, and injustice. We’ll tell you when it’s gone too far.” But I’m part of that “we,” and I say it is going too far. Mass hysteria has set in. It has become a classic moral panic, one that is ultimately as dangerous to women as to men.
If you are reading this, it means I have found an outlet that has not just fired an editor for sexual harassment. This article circulated from publication to publication, like old-fashioned samizdat, and was rejected repeatedly with a sotto voce, “Don’t tell anyone. I agree with you. But no.” Friends have urged me not to publish it under my own name, vividly describing the mob that will tear me from limb to limb and leave the dingoes to pick over my flesh. It says something, doesn’t it, that I’ve been more hesitant to speak about this than I’ve been of getting on the wrong side of the mafia, al-Qaeda, or the Kremlin?
But speak I must. It now takes only one accusation to destroy a man’s life. Just one for him to be tried and sentenced in the court of public opinion, overnight costing him his livelihood and social respectability. We are on a frenzied extrajudicial warlock hunt that does not pause to parse the difference between rape and stupidity. The punishment for sexual harassment is so grave that clearly this crime—like any other serious crime—requires an unambiguous definition. We have nothing of the sort.
In recent weeks, one after another prominent voice, many of them political voices, have been silenced by sexual harassment charges. Not one of these cases has yet been adjudicated in a court of law. Leon Wieseltier, David Corn, Mark Halperin, Michael Oreskes, Al Franken, Ken Baker, Rick Najera, Andy Signore, Jeff Hoover, Matt Lauer, even Garrison Keillor—all have received the professional death sentence. Some of the charges sound deadly serious. But others—as reported anyway—make no sense. I can’t say whether the charges against these men are true; I wasn’t under the bed. But even iftrue, some have been accused of offenses that aren’t offensive, or offenses that are only mildly so—and do not warrant total professional and personal destruction. Read the rest of this entry »
John Bowden reports: The Justice Department is moving to investigate Planned Parenthood over the organization’s fetal tissue practices, according to a letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.
In the letter obtained by The Hill, the department requests unredacted documents from the panel’s 2016 probe into Planned Parenthood over claims that the organization profited off the transfer of tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses to research firms.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the committee, referred Planned Parenthood to the FBI last December, saying at the time that his committee had uncovered enough evidence for the FBI to investigate the claims.
The Hill reported last month that the FBI had asked the Senate for documents it obtained from abortion providers, signaling that agents may be investigating the organization.
The letter sent Thursday states that the Justice Department intends to conduct a “thorough and comprehensive assessment” of Grassley’s report.
“At this point, these records are intended for investigative use only,” adds the letter sent by Stephen Boyd, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs.
News of the letter was first reported by The Daily Beast.
In 2015, videos released by the conservative activist group Center for Medical Progress showed Planned Parenthood staffers discussing procurement of “intact” and partial fetuses in exchange for compensation for expenses. Read the rest of this entry »