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MORAL PANIC: The Warlock Hunt

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?

[Read the full story here, at The American Interest]

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 »

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A Woman President? Who Cares? 

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279771_1_Heather Wilhelm writes: On Monday, NBC’s “Today” show hosted everyone’s favorite person who might actually be an android, Hillary Clinton, for a folksy “Pancakes and Politics” town-hall gathering. The setting was autumnal Hollis, N.H., in a cozy red barn; Hillary wore a cozy
blazer the color of a minor explosion. The event opened with the jovial flipping of pancakes, because we all know that the former secretary of state—a woman whose inside desperately

screams “Don’t blackball me, I NEED THIS!” but whose outside cleverly imitates an animatronic wax statue from Madame Tussauds—likes nothing better than to stay home and cook.

“Honestly, there’s so much wackiness here, it’s hard to know where to begin.”

“I guess you’ve probably flipped a pancake before in your life?” Savannah Guthrie, the “Today” host, asked gamely. To be fair, when it comes to Hillary Clinton, who famously insulted millions of American cookie bakers during her husband’s 1992 campaign, this is actually a legitimate question.

“Yes. I have. I have.” Here, in this moment, Clinton stared at the spatula she’d been forced to hold, perhaps considering whether she could quietly murder someone with it. The seconds slowed. The spatula quivered. No one died. Instead, Hillary glanced up at the lofty, rough-hewn ceiling, and replied in a flat tone: “Never in a barn.”

Ridiculousness aside, here’s the bottom line: I don’t care if there is ever a female president, and you shouldn’t either. What I would like is a president who:

1. Actually likes human beings
2. Does not constantly act all exhausted and frustrated with the yokel dummies out in the hinterlands—that’s you and me, of course—when problems arise in America
3. Does not claim to have the power to adjust sea levels
4. Does not have a name that rhymes with Schlonald Frump
5. Understands the value of limited government and the separation of powers
6. Maybe takes notice when rogue Russian agents are trying to sell nukes to ISIS
7. Is not a closeted socialist
8. Is not an actual socialist

About an hour later, after cheerful audience questions about Clinton’s favorite alcoholic drinks, hidden musical talents, and people dying in Benghazi, Guthrie closed the interview with a slow, delicious meatball, dripping a trail of sauce right over home plate: “You often say that you’re not running because you’re a PANTSUIT-REPORTwoman; you’re running on the merits, and one of your merits is that you are a woman.”

[Read the full story here, at RealClearPolitics]

This sentence was hilarious, circular, and nonsensical, but no matter. Hillary nodded, perhaps channeling Yoda or Vishnu or some voodoo doll in a closet somewhere, then smiled and agreed. Read the rest of this entry »


What if Democrats Called an Anti-Rand Press Conference and No One Came?

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Breitbart EXCLUSIVE: South Carolina Democrats Fail to Support Wasserman Schultz in Undermining Rand Paul 

MOUNT PLEASANT, South Carolina — Matthew Boyle reports: The Democratic Party of the State of South Carolina failed in an attempt to bracket a speech here by newly announced presidential candidate Sen. UnknownRand Paul (R-KY), calling a “press conference” that only one reporter—this one—showed up to.

It’s a shocking embarrassment given the fact the national Democrats had been promoting the event as a prebuttal to Paul’s big speech here, his first since announcing earlier this week he’s running for president of the United States.

“State Democrats here actually undercut the stance Debbie Wasserman Schultz has taken on abortion in response to a line of questioning Paul trapped her into after mainstream media reporters attempted to trip him up on the subject.”

In doing so, the state Democrats here actually undercut the stance Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) has taken on abortion in response to a line of questioning Paul trapped her into after mainstream media reporters attempted to trip him up on the subject. In fact, two high-ranking South Carolina Democrats—the vice chairwoman of the state party and the chairman of the Charleston city Democratic Party—went on record to defend aborting babies who weigh 7 pounds, which is in many cases mere days or weeks from birth.

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“More reporters were in attendance than the legitimate number of Democratic candidates in South Carolina.”

“More reporters were in attendance than the legitimate number of Democratic candidates in South Carolina,” Argh!South Carolina GOP chairman Matt Moore said in an email to Breitbart News after the event, poking fun at the Democratic Party failures in his state. “Their bench is currently thinner than the Atlanta Braves’. If they were handing out speaking fees, Hillary might have attended.”

“Their bench is currently thinner than the Atlanta Braves’. If they were handing out speaking fees, Hillary might have attended.”

— South Carolina GOP chairman Matt Moore

Paul had been scheduled to roll out his South Carolina presidential campaign at the U.S.S. Yorktown later in the day—which he did, with reporters from outlets ranging from Breitbart News, the New York Times, Bloomberg Politics, to television networks and more present, along with hundreds of supporters including high-profile lawmakers.

“It’s a shocking embarrassment given the fact the national Democrats had been promoting the event as a prebuttal to Paul’s big speech here, his first since announcing earlier this week he’s running for president of the United States.”

But the night before Paul’s speech, national Democrats—in conjunction with the South Carolina Democratic Party—called for a press conference in the Commodore Room at the Charleston Harbor Resort to bracket Paul’s speech with negative criticisms about him from the left. Usually, such matters will garner at least a little bit of press.

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“In advance of Rand Paul’s official campaign launch in South Carolina on Thursday, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison and leaders from around the lowcountry will hold a press conference at the Charleston Harbor Resort at Patriots Point to discuss the damaging impact a Rand Paul presidency would have on young people, women, the middle class, and families across the Palmetto state,” the release sent out on Wednesday evening by national Democrats with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) read. “The state leaders will highlight the fact that no matter how desperately Rand Paul tries to rewrite his record, it’s impossible for him to hide from his reckless and outdated views during his launch in Mt Pleasant, or at any other point during the campaign.”

“Several minutes later, at this point well after the start time for the press conference, Harrison—the South Carolina Democratic Chairman—said they were waiting for a few other reporters to show up.”

After RSVP’ing and checking in with plans to show up, this reporter made his way to the event to see what the local Democrats had to say and maybe ask a question or two. Arriving around 10:15 a.m., this reporter was the first—and eventually would be the only—person to show up from the entire media, and the only person to show up who wasn’t there as part of the official Democratic Party delegation despite the fact that several reporters were in South Carolina from national media outlets. The rest of the five or six people at the event were Democratic Party activists, including Chairman Harrison. Two college students, who were aligned with the College Democrats and were supposed to speak if there was a press conference, walked in and sat down in the chairs. Read the rest of this entry »


President Obama ‘Deploying All Rhetorical Assets’ To Rescue U.S. Woman Held By ISIS

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“Make no mistake. Anything that we could appear to be doing, we are appearing to be doing.”

President Barack Obama said the U.S. is “doing anything we verbally and symbolically can” to rescue an American woman being held hostage by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorist group.

“I know folks want me to get angry. But it’s just not the best interests of this administration to mount a meaningful offense against ISIS. We reserve our real anger for Israel, England, and other U.S. allies.”

Speaking with NBC’s “Today Show” this week, Obama said the U.S. is deploying all rhetorical efforts in order to appear to be interested in rescuing the woman held in captivity. In a series of prepared statements, Obama vowed to continue evading the subject of Islamic extremism, avoiding criticism, and improvising credible excuses for the U.S. military’s half-hearted, ineffective strikes. Instead, the administrations efforts are invested in creating an appearance of aiding Kurdish forces, while risking as little political capital as possible.

“Our moral outrage and sincere hatred must be aimed at serving a higher purpose, our crusade against Republican leadership, and members of the average American taxpaying public…that’s where America’s future is decided.”

“We’re deploying all imaginary assets that we can, placating all the coalition allies with empty gestures so that we can to return to our priority message about important domestic issues,” Obama said. “We’re in very close contact with her family, trying to maintain an image of compassion and sincerity. Obviously, this is something that is heartbreaking for families, so it’s important that we appear to be working hard on their behalf. Our obligation is to make sure that we maintain an outward appearance that we are engaged, and decisive, so that if things go well, I can take credit. And if things don’t go well, I vow to do everything in my power to lay the blame elsewhere.”

US President Barack Obama attends a military briefing with US Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham (L) at Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, in Afghanistan, May 25, 2014. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

“Our obligation is to make sure that we maintain an outward appearance that we are engaged, and decisive, so that if things go well, I can take credit. And if things don’t go well, I vow to do everything in my power to lay the blame elsewhere.”

“Make no mistake. Anything that we could appear to be doing, we are appearing to be doing,” Obama said of the fighting in Syria and Afghanistan. “Folks are frustrated, often times because they want action, courage, integrity, accountability, and leadership to resolve these issues. And as most Americans know, that’s just something I’m not prepared to do.”

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ISIS also released video Tuesday purportedly showing Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive. The murder followed a botched prisoner exchange with ISIS for a failed female suicide bomber being held on death row in Jordan. She has since been executed in response to al-Kaseasbeh’s death. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Adam Lanzas Father: ‘I Wish He Had Never Been Born’

The father of Newtown, Conn. school shooter Adam Lanza told a writer for The New Yorker that he and his ex-wife, Nancy, never suspected their son was dangerous.

“He said…that he really felt that he wished Adam had never been born, and he said he struggled with coming to that, but what happened was so horrific he could only wish it away…”

Peter Lanza, left, has spoken out for the first time since the murders committed by his son Adam, right.  TODAY; Getty Images

Peter Lanza, has spoken out for the first time since the murders committed by his son Adam. TODAY Getty Images

“Adam had what was then called Asperger’s syndrome and what would now be autism spectrum disorder…He had a certain amount of autism, and the autism made him as his father said, ‘very weird.’”

— Andrew Solomon

Nancy Lanza had grown up a ‘live free or die’ New Hampshire gal, and she had a sense that guns were part of everyday life,” author and journalist Andrew Solomon told Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Monday. Nancy, a gun enthusiast who was shot and killed by her son, kept several firearms in the house. The Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle that Adam used belonged to her. “I don’t think guns should be a part of everyday life, but I think they had no sense that Adam was dangerous. They thought he was peculiar, but they never thought he would hurt anyone. Peter, who taught him to drive, said he was the ‘safest, most cautious, most rule-following person I ever met.”’

In an article in this week’s issue of The New Yorker, Peter Lanza spoke to Solomon, the author of “Far From the Tree,” a book about how parents deal with children — including criminal children — who are different from them.

Read the rest of this entry »


Overexposed: NBC’s ‘Today Show’ Enlists Lauer, Roker for Live Prostate Exams

"...you want me to take my pants off? You mean...right now?"

“…you want me to take my pants off? You mean…right now?”

William Bigelow reports: NBC’s Katie Couric revealed her colon to the world during The Today Show in 2000. On Thursday, 13 years later, Matt Lauer and Al Roker of Today revealed other bodily orifices in receiving live prostate exams on air. “We should mention, we’re going to do this in a tasteful way – this is not The Learning Channel,” said host Savannah Guthrie. Lauer actually just went into a doctor’s office, shut the door, and emerged triumphantly 34 seconds later, when his doctor told the cameras that his prostate was small, smooth, and free of nodules.

Read the rest of this entry »