The one thing all terrorists have in common

The Economist conjectured on the current decade of terrorism compared with previous decades. They had this to say:

Especially in America, it is all too easy to buy high-powered automatic weapons that can kill scores of people in moments. Neither great planning nor great intelligence is required to carry out such attacks. Even when the perpetrators are on the radar of the police and security services—and by no means all are—there is no guarantee they can be stopped, given the sheer number of potential jihadists.

Thus it seems likely that much of Europe and America will have to get used to acts of Islamist-inspired terrorism becoming, if not routine, at least fairly regular occurrences. The challenge for open, liberal societies is how they should respond to that threat, particularly at a time when popular confidence in traditional political elites has sunk so low. Above all, the danger is of over-reaction. (The Economist)

But the article makes these good points;

Last year General Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s adviser on national-security issues and a former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, did just that. He described the terrorist enemy as “fuelled by a vision of worldwide domination achieved through violence and bloodshed” that was “committed to the destruction of freedom and the American way of life”. That may indeed be how IS thugs see themselves. But why should anyone sensible be so keen to validate their boasts?

To his credit, Mr Obama has consistently warned about the consequences of using hyperbolic language to describe the terrorist threat. In a TV address last December, after the San Bernardino shootings, he explained that success against IS and other terrorists “won’t depend on tough talk or abandoning our values, or giving in to fear”. Instead, he said, America would prevail by being strong and clever, resilient and relentless. Mr Obama is right. Defeating terrorism depends above all on good intelligence, a degree of stoicism and a refusal to allow it to undermine the principles that open societies are built on.

In other words, all this banning of Muslims entering the country is so ridiculously irrational and unhelpful that only Trump supporters are capable of thinking it’s a good idea.

If, indeed, you want to be safe from the greatest threats of violence, let’s consider the facts:

  1. Muslims commit terrorism.
  2. No, radical Muslims commit terrorism.
  3. But radical conservative Christians have killed as many in the US, some years they account for more and some years less than Muslims
  4. So maybe this is all a religion thing
  5. But wait, it’s not just religion. Despondent adolescents and angry workers have killed even more
  6. But wait…what connects EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE GROUPS?
  7. They’re all almost exclusively men
  8. Men are the greatest risk to our safety in this country and the world

 

Maybe it’s time to ban men. Not only are they nearly every single terrorist, they are also almost the entirety of the violent criminals, murderers, abusers, and rapists. If this post seems ridiculous to you, you need to really spend some time thinking about risk assessment, patriarchy, scapegoats, and red herrings.

 

The CEO you hired

This is a tremendous post I ran across at Quora. It’s in response to a Trump supporter who wonders why Democrats won’t just “give Trump a chance.” Hahaha! I could ask why this Trumpian didn’t just “give Hillary a chance” — but I already know it’s because Trump supporters lack critical thinking skills.

So, let’s say your company hired a new CEO. By popular vote, but not really.

The new CEO, before he even gets there, announces he’s going to give high-paying, high-impact jobs to random people he knows, regardless of their ability to actually do the job.

The CEO announces he’s going to get rid of the company health plan. He promises “something better” but he’s already started the process of cancelling your health care with absolutely no plan to put something else in.

The future CEO also announces he’s buddies/not buddies with a rival firm who’s been trying to steal your company’s secrets and business for years. Maybe he even throws around the idea of a merger or a buyout… it’s just business right?

He’s also announced his intention to put all Muslim employees in the basement, under security cameras.

He has a history of not only dismissing sexual assault complaints, but actually bragging that he can do whatever he wants to women. He announces his intention to “inspect” the ladies room whenever he thinks there might be a transexual in there.

This is your job- you are about to be taking orders from junior executives who have no idea what they are doing, but have a lot of relatives who are bidding on company contracts.

You just sit back and watch all this coming and say, “I’m sure it will be great. Let’s see what he can do!”

Right? No cause for alarm.
Myra Scott 

Trump Supporters are Nihilists

A client entered group and announced she was dedicating her work out to the woman’s march on Washington. Another client already there said she was on the other side.

I asked, “You like Trump?”

She said, “I do.”

I said, “He scares me.”

She replied, “Good.”

Now, in that “good” — along with plenty of smugness — is a whole lot of ignorance. She misunderstood, as ignorance that runs on arrogance often does.

I’d be happy to break the corporate hold on Washington and end corruption. My fear isn’t that Trump is taking away establishment privilege and reducing corruption. Hell, far from it.

I replied to my client that Trump just appointed 5 former Goldman-Sachs executives to politically powerful posts. These are billionaires who made money from foreclosing on risky mortgages that the taxpayers ended up paying for so that these same Goldman-Sachs executives could keep their profit. Goldman-Sachs was “too big to fail”, so the taxpayers paid off the bank’s debt and the executives, who left with their booty, got to keep their profit. However, my client stared back dumbly. Dumb, as in she had no reply.

this-modern-worldTHIS IS WHY TRUMP SCARES ME.

Trump supporters hear the rhetoric and shout “yeah!” without understanding, and are, in fact, nihilists. They wish to laud themselves with the title of “making America great again” or “fighting for America” or “true patriots” or some other shit that makes them feel as if they have a hand in destiny. But they are building NOTHING. They are apes happy to topple the towers other hard-workers built.

Trump is building nothing. He doesn’t know how to build. His business ventures did NOT make money or create jobs. His business ventures all failed except real estate which merely maintained and did not thrive until just now, when — as president — he raised his hotel rates to have foreign and local business interests shelling out to stay in his rooms. By last year, no American bank would give him a loan because he was such a bad risk. Now, as president, he will not divest his holdings and it will be his businesses — not his job working for the American people — that will make him profit, more than we will even know since he refuses to be transparent. So much to hide, and his supporters don’t care, because Trump SMASH!

So, to all you Trump supporters who think you hired a CEO, you’re fools. You hired a wrecking ball whose lack of understanding or care will destroy programs that have protected you, your children, your health, and your environment from rapacious corporate interests.

So my client says, “We’ll see.”

This is the best she has to defend against the overwhelming evidence that our current president is petty, vindictive, selfish, and ignorant.

 

All the androids are female

Interesting report on the gender issues at the World Economic Forum in Davos — where there is an 80/20 split of men/women.

We are all biased, she explains. “Even if you have the best intentions, it’s hard to overcome your unconscious biases.”

Her favorite example is about the top orchestras in the United States, which began having auditions behind curtains in the 1970s. At the time only 5 percent of their musicians were women. Orchestra directors were confident that they did not need the curtain and that they had been choosing candidates purely on sound.

But with the curtain, the proportion of female musicians in American orchestras started to rise. It’s nearly 40 percent today.

Bias is a big theme today. At a session that Ms. Bohnet moderates on forecasting bias, two professors — one male, one female — present together. He presents first; she doesn’t interrupt him once. When she speaks, he interrupts her six times — once, as he puts it, to clarify, before repeating what she said just 30 seconds earlier.

But some bright moments, and good things to hear from millennials.

And then there was the disturbing point made about artificial intelligence. Have you ever seen a male android? No hot male androids made by women; all hot females made by men. Creepy. This is the same bot that made headlines at SXSW last spring, wherein Macworld assured us Sophia’s creators weren’t looking to make sexbots.

Still, why do men insist on making female robots, and why must they all be sexy? My husband didn’t understand when I asked that. “Should they make the bot look like Rosie from the Jetsons?” he asked. Why not? What’s the value in a bot that includes sexual markers when the bot has nothing to do with sex? I’ll tell you why: because the bot is female, and making “good” females means making them sexually attractive to patriarchal eyes.

Inaugural Ron Jeremy AMA 

Best part of the Trump inauguration was Ron Jeremy doing an AMA in Reddit. Thanks, Reddit, for helping me get through it.

“All man…no myth…the LEGEND”

Good advice: the business isn’t as classy as when he got started. But if you work with your boyfriend, it’s not so bad.

OMG some funny stuff as he answers questions about his 35 years in porn.

VIEW ASK ME ANYTHING

rowdy-vulcan-reddit-ron-jeremy

*mic drop *

It begins (and perhaps ends) with incompetence and greedy billionaires 

David Brooks got it exactly right. We don’t need to fear Trump’s ideology — he has none. It’s his incompetence, his lack of intellect, his conflicts of interest, his peevishness, and the family and “royal retainers” he has appointed to run a vast bureaucracy that should help and protect but will focus instead on policies that create profit for its leaders.

What we got:

His business is a pre-modern family clan, not an impersonal corporation, and he is staffing his White House as a pre-modern family monarchy, with his relatives and a few royal retainers. In his business and political dealings, he simply doesn’t acknowledge the difference between private and public, personal and impersonal. Everything is personal, pulsating outward from his needy core.

And how we got it:

We’ve never had a major national leader as professionally unprepared, intellectually ill informed, morally compromised and temperamentally unfit as the man taking the oath on Friday. So let’s not lessen the shock factor that should reverberate across this extraordinary moment.

It took a lot to get us here. It took a once-in-a-century societal challenge — the stresses and strains brought by the global information age — and it took a political system that was too detached and sclerotic to understand and deal with them.

The conflict of interest in nearly every appointee is astounding–a secretary of education who owns interest in charter schools poised to deliver long-distance education, couldn’t answer questions about standardized testing, and has NO personal and NO professional experience with public schools? A secretary of energy who once wanted to demolish the department but has changed his mind right after his nomination? A secretary of treasury who manages a tax haven holding company in the Cayman Islands and lied about an extra 100 million in property he owns and whose bank lied and profited off the foreclosure crisis?

So here we are. I doubt the country will actually end in the next four years, but we are seeing the unraveling. We are at the beginning of the end.

Let the circus begin…

But wait, the gay dude knows all about lesbians

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate LGBTQIA groups? Know why? They’re all run by gay dudes. Gay men know shit about lesbian lives.

In college my lesbian rap group was asked to answer a survey for a gay man’s senior thesis. The man told us, “Lesbians aren’t as vain as heterosexual women.” I asked why he thought that. He said, “They don’t spend as much time or care on dressing and cosmetics.” He was suggesting, on the one hand, that lesbians have more substance and, on the other, that lesbians aren’t attractive.

I told him he was a fucking idiot.

dorothy-parker-quote-heterosexuality-is-not-normal-its-just-commonI had a girlfriend who ironed her jeans — her jeans — and wore cologne every day. She spent 30 minutes sculpting her flat top with gel. She cared a whole lot about appearance, as did every lesbian I knew. Ignorant of his male privilege, this gay dude knew nothing about what femininity really represented; he thought if a woman wasn’t feminine as defined by mainstream culture, then she wasn’t attractive and didn’t care to be. He didn’t see that women could have ideas of what was attractive that had nothing to do with what he thought.

Yes, being lesbian is more about gender than sexuality.

As recently as last year, my girlfriend left an LGBTQIA organization because the cis, white, gay dude in charge didn’t understand intersectionality or believe in feminism. He didn’t accept that gender was an issue that mattered or that had complexity. His refusal to embrace that diversity meant he had no more organization because the rest of the organization was not comprised of cis, white, gay dudes. Good riddance.

Quotes

Some of my favorite parts from Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence (link below):

Lesbians have historically been deprived of a political existence through “inclusion” as female versions of male homosexuality. To equate lesbian existence with male homosexuality because each is stigmatized is to deny and erase female reality once again. To separate those women stigmatized as “homosexual” or “gay” from the complex continuum of female resistance to enslavement, and attach them to a male pattern, is to falsify our history. Part of the history of lesbian existence is, obviously, to be found where lesbians, lacking a coherent female community, have shared a kind of social life and common cause with homosexual men. But this has to be seen against the differences women’s lack of economic and cultural privilege relative to men; qualitative differences in female and male relationships, for example, the prevalence of anonymous sex and the justification of pederasty among male homosexuals, the pronounced ageism in male homosexual standards of sexual attractiveness, and so forth. In defining and describing lesbian existence I would hope to move toward a dissociation of lesbian from male homosexual values and allegiances. I perceive the lesbian experience as being, like motherhood, a profoundly female experience, with particular oppressions, meanings, and potentialities we cannot comprehend as long as we simply bracket it with other sexually stigmatized existences. Just as the term parenting serves to conceal the particular and significant reality of being a parent who is actually a mother, the term gay serves the purpose of blurring the very outlines we need to discern, which are of crucial value for feminism and for the freedom of women as a group.

The extension of this assumption is the frequently heard assertion that in a world of genuine equality, where men were nonoppressive and nurturing, everyone would be bisexual. Such a notion blurs and sentimentalizes the actualities within which women have experienced sexuality; it is the old liberal leap across the tasks and struggles of here and now, the continuing process of sexual definition that will generate its own possibilities and choices. (It also assumes that women who have chosen women have done so simply because men are oppressive and emotionally unavailable: which still fails to account for women who continue to pursue relationships with oppressive and/or emotionally unsatisfying men.) I am suggesting that heterosexuality, like mother-hood, needs to be recognized and studied as a political institution–even, or especially, by those individuals who feel they are, in their personal experience, the precursors of a new social relation between the sexes.

The assumption that “most women are innately heterosexual” stands as a theoretical and political stumbling block for many women. It remains a tenable assumption, partly because lesbian existence has been written out of history or catalogued under disease; partly because it has been treated as exceptional rather than intrinsic; partly because to acknowledge that for women heterosexuality may not be a “preference” at all but something that has had to be imposed, managed, organized, propagandized and maintained by force is an immense step to take if you consider yourself freely and “innately” heterosexual. Yet the failure to examine heterosexuality as an institution is like failing to admit that the economic system called capitalism or the caste system of racism is maintained by a variety of forces, including both physical violence and false consciousness. To take the step of questioning heterosexuality as a ”preference” or “choice” for women–and to do the intellectual and emotional work that follows–will call for a special quality of courage in heterosexually identified feminists but I think the rewards will be great: a freeingup of thinking, the exploring of new paths, the shattering of another great silence, new clarity in personal relationships.

Download the PDF Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence (From University of Georgia)

It just keeps getting worse

Well then, no need to worry. This is like the secret information Trump had about Russia that he was going to divulge last Tuesday…and didn’t.

In the interview, Mr. Trump provided no details about how his plan would work or what it would cost. He spoke in the same generalities that he used to describe his health care goals during the campaign — that it would be “great health care” that left people “beautifully covered.” NYT

We elected a man who doesn’t read, who gets his information from television and his popularity as well, and treats stereotypes as facts; as in tweeting that Senator Lewis fix the “burning and crime-infested inner city” problems when his district holds Emory College and Morehouse University. But, see, Lewis is an African American, so rich white dude thinks it fair to assume it’s all poor inner city.

I left Facebook to quit hearing ridiculous shit, but this twilight zone we call 2017 hits me with ridiculous shit that’s legitimate journalism every day. And many of my friends and family put him in the White House.

Many did it for “Jesus”. I guess he’s a republican. He’s all down with making poor people poorer because they don’t deserve help–lazy, you know. Making sick people sicker because healthy people want more money to buy shit–Jesus came to help the consumers.