My thoughts exactly:
Trigger warnings, safe spaces, rape culture, gamergate, etc. isn't about protecting anyones bubble, it's about making everyone else shut up.
— RockPrincess (@Rockprincess818) May 12, 2015
I don’t get the chance to blog as much as I used to, but today I felt compelled to write after months of reading feminists launch ridiculous nationwide movements decrying America’s so-called “rape culture”, a culture they – get this – say “promotes” the belief that rape is “acceptable” and should be tolerated. Feminists have even gone so far as to accuse those in favor (gasp!) of due process for college men accused of sexual assaults of being “pro-rape”, while at the same time suggesting that the “default” position for anyone listening to a woman accuse a man of rape is to believe it without question. In other words, guilty until proven innocent. The accuser should be given the benefit of the doubt without hesitation, while the accused should be punished in the court of public opinion before he has a chance to make his case at trial.
Last I checked, this wasn’t how the system was supposed to work.
The latest “rape culture” grenade thrown by feminists is over the HBO hit series Game of Thrones. From the Associated Press:
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A U.S. senator is among those condemning a rape scene on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
In a comment tweeted Tuesday, Sen. Claire McCaskill described the sexual assault as “gratuitous” and “disgusting.” The Democratic lawmaker from Missouri said she was done with the show.
Others critics included the website The Mary Sue, which offers a feminist view of pop culture. The website posted that it would no longer promote “Game of Thrones” and said that rape is not a device to drive a story.
HBO declined comment Tuesday on the reaction to the episode that debuted last Sunday. An after-hours call to McCaskill’s office seeking further comment was not immediately returned.
The attack involved newly married characters Sansa, played by Sophie Turner, and Ramsay, portrayed by Iwan Rheon. Ramsay’s rape of Sansa was off-camera, suggested in her cries and the distress on a bystander’s face.
Sidenote: Incredibly amusing that the self-important Senator from Missouri couldn’t be bothered to tweet her comments about the “offensive” episode until a full 24 hours or more after the outrage started. Can you say “bandwagon”, anyone? But I digress.
I confess: I don’t watch the show. I don’t have HBO. I’m not sure I’d watch it even if I did. But I find all the pearl-clutching over this episode to be embarrassing for women, as if we’re supposed to be delicate little snowflakes who should be shielded from the realities of… fictional rape. It happens. It’s been used as a “plot device” in books, TV shows, and movies for as long as those mediums have existed and, in the case of GoT, my understanding from fans who are both viewers of the shows and readers of the books, what’s depicted on HBO (which has included incestuous rape and penis-severing) is actually a very sanitized version of what takes place in the books – and that includes the various rapes that have been shown to “shocked” feminist viewers.
My questions to the McCaskills and other feel-good left wing narcissists of the world are these: If you’ve read the books, how can you dare even make such complaints about the show? And if you’ve read the books, why would you watch it if you were worrying about so-called “triggers” that might upset your delicate sensibilities? And even if you haven’t read the books, why would you sit through the series for five seasons silently even though the pilot episode from season one included a rape scene?
None of us have to wait for answers to these questions because it’s hiding in plain sight: Feminists and their ilk have become the modern-day thought police, using a combination of shame tactics, obedient group-think, and mindless mob-rule to shut down dissent. Noah C. Rothman described this in a brilliant piece yesterday at Commentary Magazine:
….The mechanisms through which the vulnerable are shielded from discomforting thought develop over the course of decades. The process often begins imperceptibly, but the trained eye can see it in its nascent stages. It is the application of that perspective that renders Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s ostensibly fatuous and self-serving condemnation of Game of Thrones so dangerous.
In service to the new demands associated with a culture of “social justice,” a concept distinct from objective justice, Missouri’s U.S. Senator castigated the HBO drama for daring to depict the unseemly aspects of life; namely, sexual assault. “Ok, I’m done Game of Thrones,” McCaskill wrote on her Twitter account. “[S]tupid. Gratuitous rape scene disgusting and unacceptable.”
This casual admonition would be easily dismissed if running afoul of the ever-evolving concepts of social justice did not have dire career consequences for the accused. Livelihoods have been lost for offending the sensibilities of the left’s culture warriors, even years after the supposed offense has occurred.
And not only have livelihoods been lost by some for daring to be different, for daring to challenge left wing “social justice” narratives, but college life for some young men (falsely*) accused of sexual assault without the benefit of a trial have been one giant experience in humiliation, degradation, and ostracization via wars waged upon them by self-serving left wing “culture warriors” who are really no more than modern day digital/verbal lynch mob types who need no evidence whatsoever before publicly convicting a man based on nothing more than preconceived notions and prejudices. And if you dare see some merit to the arguments of the accused? The mob then becomes relentless.
It’s frightening, really, when you think about it. Our country has “been there” before on this disturbing and dangerous type of mentality, and it’s extremely troubling to see it rear its ugly head again, even if in a much different modern form. Fortunately, it’s the 21st century, and there are various platforms in existence now that help question narratives and facts, and shine sunlight on people, places, things – and accusations – that seem suspect, much to the dismay of self-designated enforcers who have taken it upon themselves to be the arbiters of what we should think, feel, believe, watch, do.
For people calling themselves “progressives”, I find their tactics rather regressive – in many ways, and in effect they’ve become the types of activists which they claim to abhor. Don’t you think?
My latest at Independent Journal Review details two recent incidents of church vandalism in Guilford County, North Carolina that saw windows busted out, landscaping being overturned, and walls and parking lots being spray painted with rainbows and messages like “Gay is OK!” and “Straights Approve!”
Law enforcement officials are still investigating. Stay tuned…
In my latest at IJReview, I noted NC’s GOP Governor Pat McCrory has signaled he doesn’t think such laws are necessary for this state. In fact, he indicated Monday he would veto in its current form a bill currently under consideration in the GOP-led state legislature that would give magistrates the option to opt out of performing a gay wedding ceremony if they feel it violates their religious faith.
“What is the problem they’re trying to solve?” McCrory asked during Monday’s broadcast of WFAE’s Charlotte Talks program.
North Carolina’s proposed version of the RFRA was introduced last week in both the state House and Senate. House Speaker Tim Moore said Tuesday that the bill deserved careful consideration in terms of how passage could impact NC’s “brand”:
RALEIGH – As opposition to a new Religious Freedom Restoration Act appeared to grow, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore Tuesday signaled that lawmakers will take a hard look at its potential fallout.
Moore called an unusual, impromptu news conference in his office to say the House will be deliberate as it considers the bill.
He said while the bill is important to a number of House Republicans, the session’s primary goals are job creation and improving roads and education. He said he wants to find out how the religious freedom legislation accomplishes those objectives and what it does to improve North Carolina’s “brand.”
“I think we need to show that if we approve this bill, that it will improve North Carolina’s brand,” he said. “Anything we do, we have to make sure we don’t harm our brand.”
Moore alluded to the current backlash in Indiana after GOP Gov. Mike Pence signed a similar bill into law.
Major industries, including Eli Lilly and Co., have urged Indiana officials to change the law so it can’t be used to justify discrimination. The head of the NCAA, scheduled to hold its Final Four this weekend in Indianapolis, said the law “strikes at the core values of what higher education in America is all about.”
Moore noted that Indiana is feeling repercussions from passage of its religious freedom law. He’s met with business leaders, and North Carolina’s bill has come up.
Another Republican in the House, Rep. Charles Jeter (R-Huntersville) gave off the distinct impression that he wouldn’t support such legislation:
GOP Rep. Charles Jeter of Huntersville said the N.C. proposal differs from the federal law in another respect.
“The difference is how it’s intended to be applied,” Jeter said. “And while some people may not like it, society grows over time. I think this (proposal) is specific to the homosexual issues, the same-sex issues, the gender issues.”
Jeter said existing laws already protect religious freedom.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R) doesn’t sound too enthused about the issue, either:
So, would the North Carolina’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act measures, which have been filed in both the House and the Senate, contribute to that economic boom?
“I think what we’ve done over the past four years would be the thing that has put us in a position where our economy is performing most other states,” said Berger, R-Rockingham. “I think what we are going to be focused on, as we have been over the past four years, is doing things that will move us in that direction. That means we’re going to deal with economic development, continuing tax reform, our regulatory climate, all of those kinds of things.”
So, it doesn’t sound like the RFRA is part of that group, does it?
“It’s been filed. A decision will be made as to whether or not we move it forward,” Berger said.
Everything at this point that happens with this type of legislation here in North Carolina needs to be viewed through the post-passage-of-the-Indiana-law prism. As I wrote on Twitter last night:
— Sister Toldjah (@sistertoldjah) March 31, 2015
— Sister Toldjah (@sistertoldjah) March 31, 2015
— Sister Toldjah (@sistertoldjah) March 31, 2015
— Sister Toldjah (@sistertoldjah) March 31, 2015
Simply put, GOP leaders in North Carolina are are already giving off vibes that they no longer want to deal with the hassle of trying to defend themselves and their state in front of a national audience as they’ve had to do over the last couple of years, thanks to the left’s relentless targeting and bullying of their reform agenda, this time over a law that some of them clearly fear could have a negative impact on our still-recovering local economy if the boycotts threats begin.
Color me a bit disappointed so far by what I’m hearing. BUT, as they say, stay tuned….
Via the Independent Tribune:
CONCORD, N.C. — Authorities have arrested two men and are looking for a third in an alleged robbery conspiracy at a Concord Taco Bell.
At about 6:29 a.m. Sunday, Concord police responded to an armed robbery call at the Taco Bell at 2281 Spider Drive.
Two suspects stole $1,300 cash from the restaurant, according to a police report and information provided by CPD. One suspect was wearing a navy blue sweat suit, an Obama mask and had a handgun. The second suspect was wearing camouflage clothing, a black ski mask and carried a rifle.
During the investigation, police determined that Darrius De’quane Mack-Weaks, a Taco Bell employee, allegedly conspired with his cousin and a friend to rob the restaurant, according to CPD.
A Twitter follower quipped:
— Joseph Ryan (@jmotivator) February 4, 2015
President Obama – if he’s not robbing us one way, he’s robbing us some other way …
Clarence Daniels had just crossed the threshold of Walmart’s front doors on Tuesday, in search of coffee creamer for his wife, when the gun in hip holster gave a well-intentioned vigilante the idea he was up to something more sinister.
From the Walmart parking lot at 11110 Causeway Boulevard, Michael Foster, 43, of Lithia had watched Daniels, 62, take from his car the handgun — for which he holds a concealed carry permit — and place it on his hip underneath his coat, Hillsborough sheriff’s deputies reported.
As Daniels entered the store, a label for the coffee creamer in his pocket in case he forgot the brand, Foster tackled him to the ground and placed him in a choke hold, sheriff’s spokesman Larry McKinnon said.
“He’s got a gun!” deputies said Foster shouted.
“I have a permit!” Daniels yelled back multiple times, McKinnon said.
The men struggled and were separated until law enforcement arrived on scene just before noon. Foster was arrested and charged with battery.
Oh – and liberals have naturally latched on to the supposed “racial” angle in this story. The CCWP holder is black. The guy who tackled him in the Walmart is white.
Happened in Brandon, FL. Full story and video here.
**Posted by Phineas
Attorney General Eric Holder — the first African-American to be the nation’s top cop — will announce later today that he is resigning, a Justice Department official told ABC News.
The announcement comes after nearly six years at the helm of the department that were marked by both highs and lows for a man who came in to revamp what many considered a demoralized and scandal-plagued institution.
Under Holder’s leadership, the Justice Department saw “historic gains in the areas of criminal justice reform and civil rights enforcement,” particularly on the issues of gay rights, sentencing reform and voting rights, and in the coming Holder is expected to impose new curbs on racial profiling in law enforcement, a department official told ABC News.
In a recent interview with ABC News’ Pierre Thomas, Holder described his time leading the Justice Department as “demanding” but “the honor of my professional life,” serving the American people.
“I hope I’ve done a good job,” he said. “I’ve certainly tried to do as good a job as I can. There are sacrifices that I’ve had to make, that my family has had to make.”
You want to know what a good job he’s done? Look at this:
That’s the blood of Mexican teens killed at a party by cartel gunmen wielding weapons that Eric Holder Department of Justice knowingly allowed to be bought illegally in the US and be taken to Mexico as part of Operation Fast and Furious. (See also) That’s what Eric Holder “sacrificed” for.
Hell of a legacy, man.
It’s a shame I don’t have time to write about this today; Holder just makes me sick, and I would love to vent. For now, though, If you want to know more of what I think about this corrupt, racialist radical, check out my posts tagged “Eric Holder.” Also, there’s an excellent recent book about Holder’s role as Obama’s enforcer.
By all rights he should walk out of his office and into a jail cell.
UPDATE: More on Holder from J. Christian Adams, a former DoJ elections attorney — Goodbye and Good Riddance:
What can be said about Eric Holder’s six years as attorney general that PJ Media hasn’t already said? The news that Holder is going to resign should be bittersweet to anyone who cares about racial equality and the rule of law. The damage he has already done to the country leaves a turbulent wake that is ill-matched to the financial reward awaiting him at a shameless and large Washington, D.C., law firm.
Our country is more polarized and more racially divided because of Eric Holder. He turned the power of the Justice Department into a racially motivated turnout machine for the Democratic Party. That was his job in this administration, and he did it well.
Be sure to read it all. Mr. Adams is also the author of the invaluable “Injustice.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
The shameful judicial advocacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg continues:
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been making the media rounds and the Internet is eating it up. After telling Yahoo News the five men on the court have a “blind spot” when it comes to discrimination against women, she turned around and told the Associated Press they’ll just have to live and learn.
The five conservative justices recently ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. that closely held for-profit companies may refuse to cover women’s contraceptives for religious reasons. Ginsburg was joined by the two other women on the court as well as liberal Justice Stephen Breyer in a dissenting opinion, which held that leaving it to companies to decide what sorts of health coverage a woman may use amounted to a form of discrimination.
Asked about the decision by the AP on Thursday, Ginsburg suggested the five male justices simply didn’t know better. “I have no doubt that if the court had been composed of nine women the result would have been different in Hobby Lobby,” she said. But, she added, she hasn’t entirely lost hope for the men in the court’s majority opinion: “As long as one lives, one can learn.”
Here’s the shorter version of what Ginsburg has said all along about the ruling on Hobby Lobby, including her dissent on the case: The United States Supreme Court should consider gender before the Constitution when deciding which way to rule on any given case where there is a perception that women could potentially be impacted. Furthermore, implicit in her public reaction and dissatisfaction with the majority opinion is the insinuation that the five “conservative” (hilarious that National Journal considers Justice Kennedy a “conservative”!) Justices ruled that way because they’re men – full stop, and that a court of all women would have (and should have) taken gender into account and ruled primarily on emotion rather than basing their opinion solely on the Constitution. And here you thought it was misogynistic for anyone to suggest women allow their sex and emotion to dictate their decisions rather than logic and fact and, in this case, the law! Silly rabbit.
I respect the position of SCOTUS Justice, and I respect the years Ginsburg has been on the bench. It’s cute that she and Justice Scalia are reportedly “close friends” in spite of their obvious ideological differences. However, none of that changes the fact that she has crossed a serious line here in suggesting in so many words that the men on the court are, well, just being men and that a majority of women on the court would have and should have ruled differently based more on the sideline emotional aspects rather than Constitutional law. She’ll get by with it, of course, without much criticism from the Usual Suspects™ who would have, I should note, flipped their lids at this point if any of the so-called “conservative” male Justices on the Supreme Court had even remotely suggested after a court ruling that the women on the court were, you know, just being women.
Move along here, business as usual, and all that …
**Posted by Phineas
I normally use that graphic as a metaphor for the needlessly disruptive, even harmful effects the Affordable Care Act is having on the American health care system and the millions who rely on it. But the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Halbig v. Burwell (formerly Halbig v. Sebelius) turned the ACA into its own flaming wreck by holding that purchasers of insurance on the federal exchange were ineligible for subsidies, meaning those buyers would be forced to pay the full cost of their new, needlessly more expensive O-care plans.
Some background: When the writers of Obamacare were designing this anti-constitutional monstrosity of a law, it was decided that states would be able to set up their own exchanges, with the federal exchange serving as the “insurance mall” for those that didn’t. To encourage states to create exchanges, it was written into the bill that subsidies for insurance purchases would only be available to those who bought their policies via an exchange “established by the State.” The idea was that pressure from purchasers who wanted those subsidies would force even conservative governors and legislatures to “opt in” to the system.
Trouble was for Obamacare fans, it didn’t work out that way.
Only 14 states set up their own exchanges (and some of those have been such disasters that their states are switching to the federal marketplace). That meant that, under the law, insurance buyers in the federal marketplace would be paying full price for their policies. It also meant that the federal government could not collect the “Roberts tax” (penalties) for not buying insurance, since those taxes were triggered by the availability of subsidies. No subsidies, no tax revenues, which the government was relying on to fund those same federal subsidies. You can just imagine how that prospect thrilled the pols in D.C.:
So the IRS, hearing its master voice, suddenly decided it had the power to declare that “established by the State” intended to include the federal exchange, and thus the subsidy money could keep flowing.
Enter Halbig and its argument that, no, the law meant what it plainly said, and then the First Circuit’s agreement.
The reaction on the Left has been amusing, to say the least. Ranging from shrieks of “judicial activism!!” to whines of “it’s just a typo and you know very well that’s not what Congress intended, meanies!”, they want the full, en banc, First Circuit to reverse the ruling. And, if they don’t do it, then, by golly, it’s on to the Supreme Court, where John Roberts will rewrite the law for us! Or something.
That got an awful lot harder to imagine, though, after the Competitive Enterprise Institute last night uncovered video from 2012 in which Jonathan Gruber, one of the key architects of both Obamacare and the earlier Romneycare, point-blank admitted the plaintiffs in Halbig were right:
The key moment starts at minute 31. Here’s CEI’s transcription of the big reveal:
What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re essentially saying [to] your citizens you’re going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country. I hope that that’s a blatant enough political reality that states will get their act together and realize there are billions of dollars at stake here in setting up these exchanges. But, you know, once again the politics can get ugly around this.
Per Michael Cannon, Gruber is off on one point, because the “Roberts taxes” are only triggered in states that create exchanges and thus get subsidies. But the core is that this destroys the government’s “congressional intent” argument, because we now have one of the designers saying the limitation of subsidies to state exchanges was the intent of Congress.
Where Obamacare defenders go from here (other than to a bar to drown their sorrows), I don’t know. They can’t give up, because the loss of the subsidies wrecks Obamacare. Can you imagine the reaction when customers on the federal exchange are told they have to pay full price, prices mandated by Obamacare, which was passed solely by Democrats?
I have no idea how the courts will handle this. Assuming the government asks for an en banc hearing, it’s possible the ruling in Halbig will be reversed, thus probably ending the matter, but I’d have to think less so after this revelation. And there is a contradictory ruling from the 4th Circuit, a situation that almost guarantees the Supreme Court would take the case in 2015.
As ST likes to say, stay tuned…
RELATED: More from Reason. The Federalist on Michael Cannon’s revenge. Mr. Cannon himself points out how Halbig frees tens of millions from an illegal tax. Paula Bolyard reports how Mr. Gruber calls the plaintiff’s arguments in Halbig “nutty,” …er… but they’re his own ideas, too. Oops, again. By the way, did you know 91% of fake applicants for Obamacare can get subsidized coverage? Another reason to kill this thing and bury it under a crossroads at midnight with a stake through it.
UPDATE: This is amusing – four ways in which Obamacare defenders have desperately tried to spin Mr. Gruber’s “speak-o.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)