Friday, December 31, 2010

Sady Doyle Skipped Constitutional Law

In an article last month discussing the forthcoming British Royal Wedding, Sady Doyle confided that she "wasn't the only girl whose mother told her that she might marry William when she grew up." Prince William is 28 years-old, and since Ms. Sady has yet to earn her own Wikipedia entry, I can only guess that's she's roughly the same age. I also haven't the slightest clue as to Ms. Sady's educational credentials. She's listed as a participant at a "Rethinking Virginity" conference held at Harvard earlier this year. The event featured a roster of esteemed panelists, and the participants' educational backgrounds are listed nearly to a one. But we have nothing on Ms. Sady's creds. It matters only so much as to offering an explanation for the sheer mindlessness of her entry at the screencap:


She doesn't link but she's responding to my post yesterday, "Sady Doyle Cheers Penis Amputation in Sweden!" And I'm a little taken aback by her dim take. I posted a disclaimer at top so there'd be no misunderstanding (you can't be too careful these days). I haven't yet seen Sady Doyle cheer penile amputation, although the link there goes not to a reference on "fair use" but to libel law. Seems to me that a hot shot writer like Ms. Sady might have a better handle on stuff like that, especially considering the high-octane allegations she tosses off with some regularity. No doubt she's loaded up more on Gramscian postcolonial feminism than introduction to First Amendment case law. More important, though, is that she's ignored the underlying meme there on Lorena Bobbitt-style feminist resistance. Radical (and deeply embittered) feminists cheered the John Wayne Bobbitt mutilation as striking a blow against "the institution of marriage as a legal cover for the act of rape and the permanent humiliation of women." For the hardcore feminist emancipators, Lorena Bobbitt was "a symbol of innovative resistance against gender oppression everywhere." Sady Doyle obviously gets it. But she doesn't cop to it since that would be giving up the candle for the Dworkinite extremist that she is. Because let's face it: Every man is a potential assailant in the post-modern "dude friend" world of militant feminism. Read her Atlantic essay, for example, "The Boyfriend Myth." Young women who enter relationships (with boyfriends) are basically asking for it since --- stop the world! --- small percentages report having sex when they weren't in the mood and some were "verbally abused" during their relationships. Yeah, it's hard out there ...

Anyway, all of this is mostly academic. Sady Doyle is a bitter hag of a young woman. She's a totalitarian painting a brush of censorship and repression so broad that the
Red Guards of China's Great Proletarian Revolution look like amateurs in comparison. Most hilarious is her aggressive campaign to avoid responding to me directly, for example by blocking me on Twitter and abjuring links to my blog. It's a sign of complete anti-intellecualism and insecurity, but that's of course typical for academic feminists that she socializes with at Harvard-sponsored post-virginity conferences featuring such high-brow panels like "Debunking the Virginity Ideal: The Feminist Response to Slut-Shaming & Sexual Scare Tactics."

Top Bloggers Appreciation

It's hard to keep up with all the great blogging out there. And I was thinking about this the other day, when I saw the great John Hawkins' post, "The 40 Best Conservative Blogs For 2010 (Version 4.0)." I can't do a ranking like that. There are too many top quality blogs. It's impossible to keep up. I think regular readers have noticed that I generally read and link those who read and link me. Obviously Robert Stacy McCain's the most frequent. But Blazing Cat Fur's great, and quite generous with the linkage, and Doug Ross is a blogging workhorse, especially with his daily Larwyn's Links feature. (And Doug's a phenomenal essayist as well, for example, "true story of customer service in the age of social media"). Plus, Left Coast Rebel's been doing some hot aggregating as well. Thanks also to some cool link-around guys: William at Pirate's Cove, and also Astute Bloggers, Bob Belvedere, CSPT, Dan Collins, Gator Doug, Irish Cicero, Mind-Numbed Robot, WyBlog, Yankee Phil, and Zion's Trumpet.

Instapundit obviously deserves special mention, and Ann Althouse and Pamela Geller.

I also want to thank David Swindle for the chance to blog at
NewsReal (and see the cool feature there today: "The Top 10 Top 10s").

And special thanks to
Theo Spark for offering a fabulous co-blogging opportunity over there.

And I know I've forgotten a bunch of other blogging buddies who read and link here as well. Just drop me a note in the comments and I'll get you linked up at this appreciation and throughout 2011.

The Methodology of Contemporary Progressive Argumentation

I'm catching up on some of the reaction to Colman McCarthy's essay on ROTC at yesterday's Washington Post.

iOWNTHEWORLD's commentary is
here (and a McCarthy's mug shot as well). Warner Todd Huston is here, and CSPT is here. And William Kristol hearts Allahpundit here.

But some of the best commentary is at National Review, for example Jonah Goldberg, "
The Moral Mush of Pacifism." And especially Victor Davis Hanson, "I, I, Me, Me, My, My — for Pacifism!":

Somehow Colman McCarthy included almost every leftist trope possible in his Washington Post op-ed opposing ROTC on campuses in the post–“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” era. Jonah has covered the main points, but the essay should be taught in schools as an example of the methodology of much of contemporary liberal argumentation.

1. Self-referencing narcissism? McCarthy in a brief essay references himself — I, me, my — in the first person 13 times. He has outdone even Justice Sotomayor and Barack Obama on that count. When I began the piece I wondered whether he would, as is the practice these days of an aging generation, actually reference life on the ramparts in the 1960s — as in, what I did in those days. And lo and behold, then it appeared: “To oppose ROTC, as I have since my college days in the 1960s . . .”


3. Historical ignorance? McCarthy seems to suggest that U.S. action in WWII, including and especially bombing, was a crime. One can enter into legitimate arguments over the morality and efficacy of leveling Hamburg and Tokyo, but it is just a faculty-lounge bull session without commensurate discussion of how else were the Allies, largely disarmed by the 1930s, to stop Hitler or the Japanese militarists who by 1944 were murdering off the battlefield several thousands a day in eastern Europe and Asia. I am not sure 1930s pacifism was going to appeal to Herr Hitler. Voting against the war after Pearl Harbor was not going to bring remorse from the Japanese for the several million butchered in China over a near decade (1931-41) of unopposed bloodletting. McCarthy does not seem to realize that organized murdering in the death camps, in the purges and collectivizations, in the Communist revolution and subsequent Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution — much of it far away from the battlefield — by Hitler, Stalin, and Mao accounted for perhaps 100 million dead in the 20th century: more than WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam combined.

4. Moral equivalence? Note McCarthy’s passing admiration for the spirit of the U.S. military as well as that of the Taliban (“I admire those who join armies, whether America’s or the Taliban’s”). One force is trying to create consensual government, the other executes gays and non-believers, blows up cultural monuments, hangs and stones women, and on and on. For McCarthy, both are reduced to the same moral plane by virtue of similarly using arms. One could say the same abhorrent thing about the Waffen SS and those who landed at Normandy.

5. Special pleading? Colman invokes Martin Luther King. King certainly urged non-violent protests against Jim Crow and the Vietnam War; but was he a pacifist? Did he oppose in retrospect, say, the Civil War? That is, did he deplore Lincoln’s military decision to restore the Union without slavery? Perhaps non-violent protests might have won a secessionist South back into the Union by the 1920s or 1930s without slavery. After all, what is a mere 60 or 70 years more of slavery? Did King think that non-violent marching and protesting might have far better thwarted the racist dreams of a Hitler or Tojo?

6. Infantilism? We are lectured about “the impracticality of maintaining a military that has helped drive this country into record depths of debt. The defense budget has more than doubled since 2000, to over $700 billion.” The military still accounts for about 19-20 percent of the budget. Record depths of debt are far more attributable to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid expenditures that have grown astronomically and are unsustainable, despite steady increases in payroll tax rates. The recent military budgets of the last two decades fluctuated between 3.5 percent and 4.9 percent of GDP, far less than at any time since World War II. A graph of U.S. military spending both in budgetary percentages and as a share of GDP from 1940 to the present will show a general decline.

7. Self-serving self-righteousness? ...


Hating Scott Eric Kaufman — Closing Out 2010 With Some Epic Schadenfreude

Look, when SEK's compelled to write a post that shows how much he's loathed by someone, most likely a former student, that's newsworthy. It's especially good since SEK's always bleating about how "great" a teacher he is, blah, blah.

And since SEK's recently sent death wishes my way, I can't resist a little schadenfreude in re-posting this stuff:

Because I have someone—likely a former student using a pseudonym or a random troll—by the name of "Eric Oden" signing me for mailing lists ( and American Intercontinental University Online in the past hour) and creating an alternative email address that looks like mine and then doing generally untoward things (like making false promises to people on Craigslist). To that end, I thought I'd at least put this information out there for anyone who searches for my name:

My email address is
scotterickaufman@gmail. If someone claiming to be me contacts you from any other address—no matter how similar it is to that one—it is not me and you can either ignore it or forward it to my actual email address so I can keep it for my records.
More at the link (those bogus Craigslist postings are killer).

SEK's Facebook page is
here and Twitter page here.

Here's to a Happy New Year of hatin' on SEK.

Keep those cards and letters (and fake Craigslist listings) flowing!

Barrett Brown Battles Girlfriend's Roommate

Barrett's my new BFF. He sends me his life updates via YouTube. This one's an update to the one he sent yesterday. R.S. McCain's posted on that, with commentary: "VIDEO: Dueling A**holes."

Katy Perry Hottest Woman of 2010 — Or, Well, On Second Thought...

Katy Perry is Maxim's hottest woman of the year (easy loading pictures here).

And here's this
from the editors:
What do you think makes a woman sexy?

The way she presents herself and the air she has about her. You can feel her power and her confidence. Also, the way she uses her ability to communicate, her brain and personality. I think that's really sexy because you all know the hottest woman can be the biggest bitch, and that's not cool.
What makes a woman sexy? Well, how about not posting morning after pictures on Twitter? A woman would be a lot more sexy without lingering memories of this, c/o cold mofo husband Russell Brand: The full story at London's Daily Mail, "That's one way to annoy the missus! Russell Brand posts a picture of bare-faced Katy Perry on Twitter," and The Sun, "I Bet Katy Perry's Not Happy."

Hat Tip:
Greg Gutfield.

Russell Brand's Twitter page is
here (he deleted the tweet, too late methinks).

Top Stories of 2010

Actually, it's not WikiLeaks (although Canadian progressive media didn't get the memo).

At Rasmussen, "
Voters Follow Unemployment, Jobs, Gulf Oil Leak Stories Closest in 2010." And following the link we find that Ground Zero Mosque was a top ten story.

More at Pamela's, "
Ground Zero Mosque Number #1 News Story in 2010, Rasmussen Reports -- Atlas Readers Change History!"

And hey, "I want to be a part of it."

And I was:
"Faith, Freedom, and Memory: Report From Ground Zero, September 11, 2010."

Foreign Policy in 2011

An interesting clip, featuring Michael O'Hanlon:

And from the neo-communists: "The Afghan War, Terrorism and Media Propaganda":
As 2010 winds down, I am reminded that there is no Imperial policy more reprehensible and shameful than the war in Afghanistan. This war is constantly presented to Americans as an integral part of the War On Terrorism, but it is no such thing. The Afghan war is a pointless, expensive, destructive exercise in futility whereby American power is projected into southern Asia for God Only Knows what purpose at this point. Those who remember the Vietnam War, which was a much, much bigger senseless, destructive exercise in futility, know what I'm talking about.
Of course Vietnam was the necessary war of an earlier era, and we flubbed it. The neo-communists no doubt are looking for repeat in Afghanistan, with the concomitant consequences for America's global power.

More on this later.

Why China Will Not Overtake U.S. as Top Leading Power

Well, not anytime soon, at least.

And, yeah, I know.

I've admitted
I'm not as bullish on continued American preponderance as I used to be, but stories like this remind us that China is seriously FUBAR on freedom --- and hence, innovation. At Telegraph UK, "China Makes Skype Illegal."
China on Thursday announced that it had made illegal the use of Skype, the popular internet telephony service, as the country continues to shut itself off from the rest of the world.

In the latest move dashing Western internet company hopes of breaking into China, it was announced that all internet phone calls were to be banned apart from those made over two state-owned networks, China Unicom and China Telecom.

"[This] is expected to make services like Skype unavailable in the country," reported the People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist party.

Websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are already blocked in China and Google closed down its Chinese servers last year after heavy government pressure.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Working the System: 750,000 British Welfare Recipients Refuse Employment

At Telegraph UK:

Almost 750,000 welfare claimants refused to work or gave up jobs to claim benefits, new figures have revealed.

Ministers said the data from the Department for Work and Pensions, suggest that over the past decade, thousands of people have attempted to “play the system” and avoid work.

The figures show that over the last decade, 744,000 people were “sanctioned” and had their benefits reduced for refusing to comply with rules meant to push them towards employment.

About 177,000 people receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance refused jobs they were offered. Another 444,000 left jobs voluntarily and made a claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

A further 123,000 people faced sanctions when claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance after losing their job through misconduct.

Under previous rules, people refusing work or leaving employment without good reason faced “variable length sanctions,” having their benefits cut for between 1 and 26 weeks.

Today's Happy Abortion Story

At the comments from a previous post on "happy" abortions, which is heartbreaking to me:
I got an abortion yesterday, I knew right away that was what I wanted to do. But I did have thoughts of keeping it, unrealistic as they were. My boyfriend and I have been together nearly two years, we have a stable happy relationship but we do live with his mom. I am 18 and he 20. We have some money not a lot by any means. But I made a mistake and maybe it was a pretty big one but should the consequence for a bad mistake at a young age be a baby? I mean come on really, that is not fair to a child. I was not ready for a baby, I did not want a baby. I would never want to hold that kind of resentment for a poor child. I just honestly want to say I am so happy for my decision, I know what I did was the right choice. Today I woke up with a new sense of empowerment. Today I am a new woman who is proud of not only this but all the other big decisions I've made in my life.
The childish irresponsibility here is staggering.

I fear for the youth of today. There's an utter collapse of morality that leaves me grieving. This is not empowerment. It's murder.

I will say a prayer when I go to sleep in a little while.

RELATED: Darleen Click, "Narcissism."

Isabelle Caro Dies

This is heart-wrenching.

At New York Times, "
Isabelle Caro, Anorexic Model, Dies at 28."

But see Telegraph UK (with photo), "
French Model in Anti-Anorexia Campaign Dies."

The Arrogance of the Atheists

From S.E. Cupp, at NY Daily News, "They Batter Believers in Religion With Smug Certainty":
The militant atheist wants nothing more than to spoil the believer's spiritual journey. That's both meanspirited and radically unenlightened.

The Secular Religion of Radical Progressivism."

Piers Morgan's Trash Talk on Twitter

A prediction for 2011: microblogging gets hotter than blogging.

And at The Blaze, "
CNN Host Resorts to Name-Calling in Twitter Bash Fest."

Piers Morgan

RELATED: This taps into what Felix Salmon was saying earlier, although contrary to Piers Morgan's sensibilities, I think hierarchies are archaic on Twitter.

And Piers Morgan's Twitter page is here.

Warrant Out for Lieutenant's Son After Video Release

Saw this today on Good Morning America: "Police Chief 'Disappointed' Cop's Son Wasn't Arrested After Allegedly Knocking Out Homeless Man."

Pressure Builds on Wired to Release Lamo Chat Logs

Glenn Greenwald keeps pushing.

And now this at The Guardian, "
Wired Journalists Deny Cover-Up Over WikiLeaks Boss and Accused U.S. Soldier."

Some background at Reason, "
What's in the Manning/Lamo WikiLeaks Chat Logs?" And from the Boing Boing asshats, "Greenwald vs. Wired in 1000 words or thereabouts." More from Blake Hounshell, "The curious case of Glenn Greenwald vs. Wired magazine," and, especially interesting, from Felix Salmon, "The Evanescence of Twitter Debates."

And man, the radical progressives really want these logs released. At Firedoglake, "
The Unlikely Story of Adrian Lamo, Bradley Manning, Wired Magazine and the Federal Government," "If the Justice Department Is Investigating Manning-Wikileaks, Why Isn’t It Investigating Lamo-Wired?", and "Pulling Some Threads on Lamo’s Inconsistencies."

Wired Battles Glenn Greenwald."

Progressives and the Constitution

Folks are all over this today.

And Larry O'Connor is merciless, "
Which Part of the Constitution is ‘Confusing’ Ezra?"

Conservatives still look to our country’s founding documents to guide their political and legislative agendas and the left just does what they want and then tries to force it through because working within the confines of the Constitution is just “too hard.”

Think I’m exaggerating? Take a look at this fine bit of work from
The Right Place, a citizen journalist who provides a liberal’s interpretation of the Constitution:


We the People of the United States progressive-minded citizens of the North American Province of the United Nations, in Order to form a more perfect Union obtain a far groovier chakra, establish SocialJustice, get righteous with Mother Earth, insure domestic Tranquilitypartnerships of any nature, provide for the common defencepromotion of peace, free love and a total lack of responsibility, promote the general creation of the Welfare State, and secure the Blessings of Liberty some boss doobage to for ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America North American Province of the United Nations.

More at the link.

And Ezra Klein responds: "
What the tea party wants from the Constitution."

Feminists Freak Over Spongebob Squarepants Shaving Kit

Would they prefer it say "hot wax and go"?

See, "
Toy for 3-Year-Olds Who Want to Shave Their Crotch Like a Big Girl?" (via Amanda Marcotte).

O'Donnell Blames Biden for Campaign Investigation

At Vanity Fair, "Christine O’Donnell Accuses Joe Biden of Conspiring Against Her, Again."

Also, at ABC News, "O'Donnell Claims Political Witch Hunt," and The Other McCain, "Christine O’Donnell’s Not a Witch, But They’re Gonna Burn Her Anyway" (via Memeorandum).

DoubleTapper Visits Dachau

A photo-essay: "Memorial Day for Holocaust Victims."

Sady Doyle Cheers Penis Amputation in Sweden!

Just kidding (i.e., parody).

It's a misdiagnosis, actually. But
it's Sweden, so maybe it's a Lorena Bobbitt weird kinda karma thing, I guess. You know, striking a blow for the home team. For example, "Mrs. Bobbitt is Symbol of Feminist Resistance." Either that, or it's the totalitarian sentence for marriage rape. That fits in pretty well with the #MooreandMe ayatollahs.

And samples of Ms. Sady's quasi-violent feminist discourses
here, here, here, and here.

Added: BCF links with "Progressives and the Julian Assange Rape Allegations."

Everyone Loves Lesbian Sex Scenes!

Says the newly pregnant Natalie Portman at People Magazine.

Foreclosures to Surge in 2011!

Hey, now that's some change!

Daily Caller:


Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, estimates that there will be 1.8 million foreclosed homes in the United States this year, and that the numbers will be even higher in 2011. Moody’s estimates that foreclosures should peak next year at 2.1 million, Zandi said.

A spike in foreclosures is a major reason why home prices fell in 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas in October from September — the first time that has happened since Feb. 2009.
Also at The Other McCain: "Foreclosures Rising, Home Prices Slumping: Can You Say ‘Double-Dip’?"


The True Face of Anarchy

From Doctor Zero, at Human Events:
Anarchy is difficult to pin down as a political movement. Anarchist groups, unsurprisingly, squabble among themselves quite a bit. Many of them are essentially leftist or Marxist groups trying to rebrand themselves, but others declare themselves equally opposed to capitalist and Marxist concepts of order. The Greek militants organizations have flourished during riots caused by austerity measures designed to hold off government collapse, which gives us the spectacle of “anarchists” furious that a bankrupt government won’t keep giving them stuff. The Italian anarchist movement has deep roots in communism, dating back to the 19th century.

The Anarchist International Information Service defines their philosophy as “system and management without rulers, i.e. co-operation without repression, tyranny, and slavery.” For the record, they don’t think much of the Informal Anarchist Federation. It is, however, difficult to follow the ideal of “horizontal organization” to any other conclusion except violence and repression. In practice, anarchy is not the absence of rulers. It is the rule of brutality.

Society does not naturally assume a “horizontal” configuration. It must be beaten into that shape. People willingly cooperate and seek leadership, for better or worse. They must be violently prevented from doing this, and those who wield the violence become the new leaders, selected by their willingness to kill off those who would have assumed the position through merit.

Communism, Marxism, socialism, and every other incarnation of supposedly “compassionate” collectivism are sold as pathways to horizontal organization. “From each according to his means, to each according to his needs” is meant to express the moral superiority of demand, in which needs dictate the allocation of resources. This ignores the tremendous amount of deadly force necessary to take “from each according to his means.”

The anarchist is really just another species of collectivist, who holds romantic notions about the level of violence necessary to destroy the existing order, while pointedly ignoring the level of violence needed to sustain the “anarchy” he would replace it with.
There's more at the link.

WikiLeaks — News Story of the Year."

Tucker Carlson: 'I think Michael Vick Should Be Executed'

This was trending on Twitter yesterday, and now at Politico, "Tucker Carlson: Michael Vick 'should have been executed'" (via Memeorandum):

And the comments from BooMan:
When I found out that Tucker Carlson was impersonating Keith Olbermann in emails to Stu Bykovsky, I thought the proper punishment should probably be death. I mean, I am fervently into second chances and I think forgiveness is super-important, but a society that can't kill its sockpuppets and email impersonators is a society that has lost faith in itself. Do we want to live in this new feminized America?

On the other hand, Michael Vick? Who wants to defend the guy? But he's not Dick Cheney. He's not George W. Bush. Tucker Carlson thinks he should have been executed. Ben Roethlisberger raped someone. Should he be executed? I'm tired of this stupidity. Call me when people start calling for the execution of the people who brought us the war in Iraq.

Leftists Attack Megyn Kelly For 'Non-Consensual Sex Partner' Analogy

Actually, she makes a perfectly good point. Of course the left's outrage is clearly designed to futher deligitmize the correct terminology on illegal immigration. But this is what radical progressives do.

At Memeorandum:

15 Year-Old British Boy Secretly Donated Sperm to Help Lesbian Aunt's Partner Get Pregnant

Hey, all in the family, I guess.

At Telegraph UK, "
Teenager helped lesbian aunt's partner conceive."

Amazing story.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WikiLeaks — News Story of the Year

Read Nick Gillespie's essay, "The #1 Game-Changer of 2010: Wikileaks By a Landslide." The key point is that unlike the umpteen other purported "game-changing" news stories, WikiLeaks is genuinely new. And Gillespie argues the frequently heard point that WikiLeaks' impact goes far beyond one individual, such as Julian Assange. Beside that though is to what effect? What's the utility beyond the crazed anarchist's dream of sowing mayhem and destroying state operations, if not the state. We get that discussion at this Reason video, which features Eli Lake, Aaron David Miller, Steven Aftergood, and Heather Hurlburt (in that initial order).

It's a thoughtful clip, although there's a bit of romanticism at parts. I like Lake's comments on the immediate impact of simply generating greater knowledge of international actor behavior and interests. Miller's comments are both lyrical and penetrating. He suggests that the effects could be like footsteps on the beach, possibly washed away by the next big wave. Aftergood, who directs the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, is matter-of-fact and to the point (and agreeable if not that animated), and, sorry, but I'm not learning much from Hurlburt.

What's just barely touched is the effect of WikiLeaks on the continued rise of anti-Americanism in the world. Eli Lake mentions this at the start of the clip, but the point gets lost at the remainder of the discussion. WikiLeaks has tightened the tacit alliance between the anarcho-libertarians and the neo-communist progressives. Nick Gillespie is a respectable guy, but the problem with libertarianism is that its adherents give cover for some of the most vile revolutionary doctrines now gaining increased respectability. See, "
WikiLeaks: The Revolutionary as Entrepreneur." More on that later. Meanwhile see my previous entries, "How Communists Exploit WikiLeaks," and "Exposing the WikiLeaks/Communist/Media Alliance."

Wired Battles Glenn Greenwald."

ADDED: Linked at The Rhetorican!

Wired Battles Glenn Greenwald

At The Atlantic Wire, "The Epic Fight Between Wired and Glenn Greenwald." And following the links takes us to Wired's big response to the Greenwald smears: "Putting the Record Straight on the Lamo-Manning Chat Logs." The debate is raging at Memeorandum as well. And see Karl at Patterico's, for example: "Wired gets tired of Glenn Greenwald." And here's the clip of the Jessica Yellin/Glenn Greenwald exchange that's also been buzzing:

Progressives and the Julian Assange Rape Allegations

I thought I really had no meta-theoretical update to my previous comments on developments. Yet it turns out l that I did have something in mind, especially after seeing Richard Adams' essay at The Guardian, "#MooreandMe: the hashtag that roared." It's not easy, but I'm genuinely flabbergasted at progressives' uncritical and superficial response to Sady Doyle's campaign. And Adams here is just prostrate. It's almost comical. I'm picking him as he explains Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann's responses:


For a week, Moore didn't respond to the tide of protest. Olbermann did, foolishly and petulantly, only to make matters worse – boasting that "Feminism has no greater male supporter in TV news than me", and at one point proclaiming he was suspending his Twitter account "until/if this frenzy is stopped", although he failed to take his own good advice.

Other writers waded in and got caught in the fallout: the journalist Moe Tkacik posted at the Washington City Paper, describing #MooreandMe as "near-homicidal #rage" while naming the two women (something the Guardian and New York Times have avoided as a matter of policy), only for her editors to yank the piece. The blogging pioneer Dave Winer produced an artless car-crash of arguments that might have worked as parody. Naomi Wolf continued her upside-down defence of Assange – as can be heard in her debate with Jaclyn Friedman on Democracy Now. And so on.

In the end, though, it was Moore – without addressing #MooreandMe directly – who gave way, with his appearance on Rachel Maddow's show. Olbermann ...
RTWT at the link.

And notice Adams' mention of Moe Tkacik. I had a revealing Twitter exchange with her, and wrote it up
here. What I like about her is that she wants to think things through --- to put intellect over ideology --- and to resist the obtuse and frequently mendacious herd mentality of the hardline feminists. That's something we don't see much of in political debates these days, and it takes a lot of courage. Moe of course paid with her job, and Sady Doyle's bleating non-apologies after the fact are now legend. And now I'm seeing this piece at New York Times, which is refreshing, "Is It Rape? It Depends on Who Is Asking" (via Echidne and Memeorandum):
Is it rape when you have sex with someone who didn’t tell you it was O.K., but told you it was O.K. earlier that night?

The allegations of sexual assault by two Swedish women against Julian Assange, the founder of the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, have raised a series of questions, some silly (Is a broken condom a criminal offense?), some preposterous (Were the two women on the C.I.A. payroll?), but at least one worth mulling: What, today, constitutes sexual violence?

According to a leaked police report, Swedish prosecutors want to question Mr. Assange on allegations of rape in only one of the two cases: The woman in question, a WikiLeaks groupie, let him spend the night at her apartment and had consensual sex with him at least once (reportedly with a condom). She then testified to falling asleep and being woken later by him penetrating her (without a condom).

She only went to the police days afterward, when she discovered by talking to another woman with whom Mr. Assange had stayed that the second woman, too, felt violated after he was reluctant to use a condom and then allegedly “did something” to make it break. (The allegation here is sexual molestation.)

In recent conversations, reactions among my girlfriends — all in their 30s, and most in steady, heterosexual relationships — were forceful, and almost unanimous.

“It cheapens rape,” one said.

“Why get the police into the bedroom over something like this? Grow up,” said another.

“He sounds really sleazy,” said a third, “but not exactly like a rapist.”
That's just the introduction (so RTWT). But this reminds me Andrea Grimes' essay, "Girl Talk: Who Will Rape Me?" Whereas those at the New York Times essay take the big picture, progressive feminists make essentially extremist arguments that in the end work primarily to shut down competing perspectives. And this is what I find so fascinating. I don't doubt that Assange may have committed rape (especially if he pinned down Ms. A). But to even raise the point is to summons the progressive left's neo-Stalinist commissars, most prominently Sady Doyle. Here's the query from a woman on Twitter I last night:


That's a really powerful question-cum-indictment, and it triggered a series of Tweets from Ms. Doyle (scroll down to December 28th). Basically, she claims she's a victim. After being called "hundreds of names" she snapped, because "I thought feminists had my back." The problem, of course, is that if you're the bully you can't expect folks to "have your back." If coercive power isn't enough, "friends" will defect. Ms. Sady's effective, though, and persistent. And she's obviously impressed loads of less aggressive women who wanted to be a part of the "movement." And apparently this movement is way more "revolutionary" than what Assange has on offer, at least to hear this guy Bill Weinberg make the case:

Demonizing "revolutionary feminism"

The most blatantly irritating thing is abject demonization of the women who have made the charges of sexual abuse against Assange. In any other context, the summary dismissal of a woman's rape accusations would be seen as utterly politically incorrect. But Assange gets away with anti-feminist rhetoric that would do Rush Limbaugh proud. In an interview now receiving widespread coverage in the British press (e.g. The Telegraph, Dec. 26), Assange says: "Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism... I fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism." Assange added that one of the women who said she was assaulted took a "trophy photo" of him lying naked in her bed. (TMI, Julian.)

Especially sickening is Naomi Wolf, who sneers in Huffington Post at the international "Dating Police" that have snared Assange. Flaunting her supposed creds as a "longtime feminist activist" in the opening sentence, she writes that "Assange is accused of having consensual sex with two women, in one case using a condom that broke." A Dec. 17 account in The Guardian (based on Swedish police documents that were—ahem—leaked) paints a rather different picture. (E.g.: "She told police that she had tried a number of times to reach for a condom but Assange had stopped her by holding her arms and pinning her legs.") John Pilger, who presumably wasn't there when the putative leg-pinning took place, nonetheless told ABC Sydney on Dec. 8 the case against Assange is a "political stunt." Wolf's glib dismissal of the allegations is especially ironic in light of her own sexual harassment claims against Harold Bloom, which many had similarly dismissed as spurious (e.g. Meghan O'Rourke in Slate, Feb. 25, 2004).

I've covered much of this already, but Weinberg's links open to news windows, so cruise around.

There are still some commentators who continue to go big on WikiLeaks' power to destroy sovereign state power, especially Glenn Greenwald. He's gotten so hysterical that he's now gone after Wired Magazine with a series of sensational allegations essentially claiming that the magazine's a tool of the national security state. The editors have responded here: "Putting the Record Straight on the Lamo-Manning Chat Logs."

So here we can see the big picture coming together again. Radical feminists have put progressive solidarity against rape culture to the forefront of the cause. Meanwhile, an anarchist-libertarian-progressive alliance of sorts has been promoting WikiLeaks as the model of 21st century quasi-journalistic accountability. And to be sure, there's been some extremely revealing --- and perhaps even worthwhile --- findings with this last batch of cables. But for the most part we've seen something of a nihilistic destruction of ordered relations among states and their agents. Just yesterday we learned that WikiLeaks had compromise the opposition movement in Zimbabwe. See, "How WikiLeaks Just Set Back Democracy in Zimbabwe," and "Morgan Tsvangirai faces possible Zimbabwe treason charge." And some say WikiLeaks is here for good? At this point I'm simply hoping for Assange's extradition. He can go up on charges under the Espionage Act as far as I'm concerned. The outcome wouldn't make me any more likely to take serious the left's charges of a "CIA honey-trap operation."

Image Credit: American Digest.

The Moral Right Boycotts CPAC

"Shame on CPAC for defending the absurd proposition that one can be 'conservative' while embracing moral surrender – in this case the idea espoused by GOProud of the government granting 'rights' and benefits based on sinful sexual conduct long regarded as anathema to biblical and Judeo-Christian values..."

Peter LaBarbera, quoted at World Net Daily (via Memeorandum).

Additional commentary from Outside the Beltway and Dave Weigel.

I'll have more on this debate in the weeks ahead. I'll be heading to CPAC for one thing, and I expect this won't be the last we've heard about these issues. And don't miss The Other McCain's post on this as well.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Prince William and Kate Middleton to Do Without Butlers, Household Staff

At Telegraph UK, "We'll manage without butlers or servants, say Prince William and Kate Middleton":
His father famously employs almost 150 staff to cater for his every need, but Prince William has insisted he and Kate Middleton have no intention of taking on butlers or household staff when they begin married life in April.
Check the full story at the link.

Prince William intends to serve in the
RAF Valley until 2013, and he wants to "shield" Ms. Middleton from the media swarm that surrounded his mother.

And I'd add that while I haven't blogged about this, there's been talk that their nuptials are a godsend not just for
the monarchy, but for the institution of marriage itself. A recent Time cover story raised the point explicitly, with reference to the royals: "Who Needs Marriage? A Changing Institution." And interestingly, given this whole weeks-long #MooreandMe production, I'm a bit surprised at how approvingly --- if not a bit cautious --- Sady Doyle speaks of the institution at her essay, "What a British Royal Wedding Says About Marriage in America." My sense, frankly, is that Ms. Sady held back, if her writing at Tiger Beatdown is any clue. (Let's just say that she doesn't seem like the marrying kind, in any case, and that's putting it nicely.) Now, in my exchanges at Twitter, I was reassured that these feminists were not monolithic, and that the old-style Andrea Dworkin man-hating wasn't the issue (marriage is rape, remember). No, today's feminists are enlightened but sensitive to questions of male power and privilege. No doubt these are complicated things, but it's gotten to the point where feminists today expect that rape charges won't be taken seriously unless a woman is "hit over the head in some back alley by some drugged-out crazy f**k with a criminal history" before being beaten senseless behind a dumpster and then savagely raped. Hmm ... maybe this kinda woman's still be a little standoffish on the traditional white wedding thing of 'till death do us part.

In any case, Kate Middleton's a knockout. Congratulations to the royal couple, and here's to a happy and long-lasting marriage.

Let's Get Tough With Israel — Or the Palestinians?

From the letters to the editor at Los Angeles Times (in response to this article):
Palestinian- Israeli impasse

Re "Let's get tough with Israel," Opinion, Dec. 22

Yousef Munayyer is dead wrong. It's time to get tough with Arab terrorists, not with the only democracy in the Middle East.

He reiterates the myth of Palestinian refugees, warehoused in camps rather than settled among their prosperous brethren, more than 60 years after the Israeli war of independence. It's time for him, and for them, to move on.

When the Palestinians renounce violence, perhaps the peace process can begin again. Until then, the Israelis must continue their efforts to settle and pacify the land.

Daniel Fink

Beverly Hills
This is weird.

The letters at Los Angeles Times haven't been this good in some time. See my previous entry as well: "
Americans Have Strayed From Our Core Values of Social Justice?"

Lady Gaga is Leni Riefenstahl Reincarnated!

Says this Daily Kos diarist with spelling problems (via Yankee Phil):

Tuesday Beauty Blogging

Via Theo Spark...

See also William at Pirate's Cove, as well as Bob Belvedere, Irish Cicero, Mind-Numbed Robot, WyBlog, Yankee Phil, and Zion's Trumpet.

The Homosexual Bourgeoisie

Jonah Goldberg argues for the bourgeoisification of the radical gay rights movement (via Ed Driscoll). Read the whole thing (the discussion of Rabbi Michael Lerner is killer), but I'm especially wiggin' at this passage ridiculing the hypocrisy on gay integration of the military:
Or look at the decision to let gays openly serve in the military through the eyes of a principled hater of all things military. From that perspective, gays have just been co-opted by the Man. Meanwhile, the folks who used "don't ask, don't tell" as an excuse to keep the military from recruiting on campuses just saw their argument go up in flames.
If you can't beat 'em join 'em, I guess.

Progressives Again Call for 'Revolutionary Justice' After GOP Comments on Unemployed

An update to "Progressives Cheer Mark Madoff Suicide as 'Revolutionary Justice' ."

Turns out that the
DownWithTyranny! progressives are invoking revolutionary appeals again. A ten-point roster of GOP quotes on the unemployed and public benefits actually ends with Marie Antoinette's famous line, "Let them eat cake." And then the progressive response:
Now we know that Marie Antoinette was expressing the modern-day Republican philosophy centuries in advance. And what happened to her?
This is another one of those times where I take progressives at their word. Republicans aren't Bourbons, but radical leftists would love the same dénouement:

Via Memeorandum with more progressive extremism at Digby's.

Amanda Marcotte, Digby, and TBogg Nominated for 'Moore Award' at Daily Dish

Just saw this over at Memeorandum. Turns out voting is open for the annual Daily Dish awards, and Amanda Marcotte's currently in first place at one percent for the "Moore Award," which recognizes "divisive, bitter and intemperate left-wing rhetoric." Her nomination is here. I wrote about Amanda Marcotte yesterday, and I'm going to try to get her attention on Twitter later if she's back from holiday travels, which may be so by the looks of her review of "True Grit" at Pandagon (from a feminist perspective, of course). Digby and TBogg are also nominated, and while the former --- who's basically a blogging imitation of Frank Rich --- doesn't interact, TBogg's the occasional BFF of American Power. Misogynist and racist (and stupid), no doubt he and Amanda were made for each other. In August, TBogg demonstrated his divisive discourse by telling Bill Kristol to "Fuck off and die ... Seriously, just fuck off and die, you evil piece of shit."

Added: Idiot John Cole defends TBogg, and more:
I’m proposing that pretty much every one do what I’m about to do, which is to suggest that I think we all agree the world would be a much better place if Bill Kristol was dead. Let’s give Sully so many nominations he doesn’t know what to do with them.
And I found Digby's nomination, for "comparing right-wing media to facilitators of the Rwandan genocide," which illustrates my comparison to Frank Rich.

Obama Administration Slams Russia for New Khodorkovsky Verdict

At WSJ, "White House Criticizes Moscow Court":

The Obama administration, in an unusual public rebuke, condemned a Moscow court for finding oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his former partner guilty of embezzling, saying it appears to be “an abusive use of the legal system for improper ends.”

A Russian court has found Mr. Khodorkovsky, who once controlled the oil giant OAO Yukos, and business partner Platon Lebedev guilty of embezzling and laundering tens of billions of dollars. The case is seen as an effort by the Russian government to stifle Mr. Khodorkovsky’s political ambitions.

The Obama administration, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have condemned the verdict, and said it raises questions about Russia’s commitment to the rule of law.
And at Telegraph UK, "Analysis: Khodorkovsky verdict confirms Putin's grip on power":
The political reality is that powerful people are determined to keep Mr Khodorkovsky behind bars.

Don't Text and Drive

At Mashable, "AT&T Documentary Takes on Texting-While-Driving."

I don't text and drive. I hate that others do. Should the state prohibit it? Of course, but check with the anarcho-commies like JBW for the "nanny state" whining (and the stoned Reason-oids as well, unfortunately).

Black Women and Rape

Interesting discussion, at New Model Minority:
Black men have been lynched and Black women have been raped, historically, in the US to maintain the hierarchical, racial, gendered, social order. This terror was particularly acute 1880′s-1920′s in the south, as the US tried to figure out what a post slavery nation would look like.

Historically Black women are seen as UNrapeable. Naturally lewd, lascivious, fast and promiscuous. The social system of slavery needed us to be seen this way to normalize the domination of our reproduction and our manual work during US chattel slavery.

Because Black women were the two-fer, we worked in the fields and gave birth to enslaved workers, our sexuality was and in many ways still is looked at in a very particular way, even in 2010.

My understanding of this comes from two books. The first is Terror in the Heart of Freedom: Citizenship, Sexual Violence, and the Meaning of Race in the Postemancipation South by Hannah Rosen and At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance – A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power by Danielle McGuire.
The piece loses a little coherence as it continues, but RTWT: "Misogyny and Genius: Assange + R. Kelly."

I'll take that experience over the #MooreandMe totalitarians.

From the USS Abraham Lincoln

Via Theo Spark:

And here's something I wrote back in 2006:
I toured the USS Abraham Lincoln in 1999, which was opened to the public when, on its way back from the Persian Gulf, it stopped in Santa Barbara for a shore leave.

It's an incomparable feeling being atop an aircraft carrier. When I stood on the bow of that ship -- feeling the Lincoln's stout sturdiness -- I felt a sense of pride and security. Just over two years later, the U.S. would be attacked by terrorists on September 11, 2001. I appreciate the crew of the Abraham Lincoln, including the pilots of the F-14, -- and the rest of the U.S. military personnel -- who have put their lives on the line so that other Americans may continue to feel that same pride and security.
RELATED: Also from 2006, at USA Today, "Navy retires F-14, the coolest of cold warriors."