Saturday, May 28, 2016

a story about a hoax hate crime, burqas, and an argument for police cameras being on at all time

"Don't confuse truth with falsehood or knowingly conceal the truth." -Qur'an 2:42

This is obviously a story that Islamaphobes exploit, but I'm sharing it for two reasons:

1. It's more evidence that everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt until all the facts are known.

2. If the cop's camera hadn't been on, even if he'd been found innocent, he would've been mobbed by people who "believe the victim".

I disagree with the people who conclude burqas should be banned. As the story notes, even the most conservative muslim scholars say it's appropriate for a woman to show her face to an official to verify her identity.

Emotional thinking and folie à plusieurs: a few links about "political correctness"

Political Correctness Gone Mad | Psychology Today:
Collective, contagious behavior of this sort was first described in some detail by the French many years ago. They called it folie à plusieurs. It is collective behavior, often accompanied by a shared delusional system and reconstruction of reality, culminating in emotional thinking. Historically, it involved a degree of social isolation which favors delusional ideation. It seems these days it involves a response to catastrophic or awfulistic thinking with absolute demands (i.e., anger), short of delusional reconstructions of reality. I suppose this is progress of sorts! What we're dealing with appears to involve other dimensions, other sources of a breakdown of rational thinking giving rise to emotional thinking including the cognitive distortions of black-and-white thinking, overgeneralizations, problems with abstraction, emotional thinking, mind-reading, fortune-telling, labeling, exclusion of positive evidence, favoring negative evidence (because "fear attracts"), favoring moral-relativity while blind to moral-absolutes, and engaging in the even more dangerous factual-relativity often associated with growing ignorance and cynicism concerning science and the scientific method.
ETA: 10 Ridiculous Cases of Political Correctness - Listverse is a rightwing grabbag. I disagree with #5, I'd love to know what solution the writer has in mind for #2, and #1 is about science, not "political correctness", but the other seven are worth noting.

Winston Churchill's cigar airbrushed from picture - Telegraph

UNH In Hot Water Over the Word 'American'

'Political correctness gone mad': Man asked not to wear Union Jack jacket because it’s 'offensive' — RT UK

Controversies about the word "niggardly" - Wikipedia

Maryland Teacher Knocked Out, Bloodied by Black Student Who ‘Misinterpreted’ This Word as ‘Racist’ | Top Right News

Political Correctness Gone Mad - TV Tropes:
In some cases, this might be literally about political correctness taken too far, presented through a Granola Girl or Soapbox Sadie who embodies the negative aspects of the PC movement. It may also involve Moral Guardians attempting to Bowdlerize a work in order to remove anything, no matter how trivial, that might be considered "offensive". However, in other cases, the accusations of political correctness are baseless.

Friday, May 27, 2016

University at Albany expels students indicted in hate crime hoax

University at Albany expels students indicted in hate crime hoax - Washington Times
Inspector Paul Burlingame of the University Police Department, a witness who testified at the hearing, said the real victims of the assault stayed mum during the media storm because they feared for their safety.

“One of the female victims,” Mr. Burlingame said, “withdrew out of concern for her physical safety.”

He said another student withdrew, “having been the target of threats made on social media because of the false reports made by (the women) of his having participated in an alleged hate crime,” the Times Union reported.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Today's example of identitarian hypocrisy: a comment on Sady Doyle and the Matt Breunig affair

Just shared this on social media:
The only amusing thing about the Matt Bruenig firing is watching folk who reject "tone policing" say he deserved to be fired for incivility.
Sady Doyle is not the only identitarian who inspired that, but she did her very best to get Bruenig fired, so it's especially funny in her case. She recently said in Sady Doyle (Patterns):
I’m tired of explaining the central thesis of my argument, which is that Bruenig is a ringleader for harassment. I get it: The idea that someone could get fired for insensitive or flippant things they say on Twitter is concerning. It concerns me – I post rude things all the time. But the question I’m most often being asked, or the point I’m being made to prove, is that Bruenig “bears responsibility for his followers.”
There would be some justice in her being fired for the same offense, and after her harassment of Michael Moore with #MooreAndMe, she's in no position to complain about anyone else's followers. But I want a world where Doyle and Bruenig are both free to speak their minds without being fired, so I hope she never has to suffer what she so blithely seeks for others.

ETA: The Bruenig Firing: 'Civility' As A Tool To Control Dissent:
As Rania Khalek argued in an interview with The Benjamin Dixon Show, there’s a growing trend of painting any and all political disagreement as forms of harassment, and “prominent Clinton supporters are using the language of rape, assault and misogyny to smear people” with no concrete evidence. This effectively protects even the most “privileged” among us from criticism.

Sady Doyle and the Hillary Clinton Pass on "Believe the Victim"

If Sady Doyle has written about the rape charges against Bill Clinton,  my quick googling hasn't found it. She seems to have realized there's no way for her to address the issue without seeming like a hypocrite, because she has a problem: "believe the victim" makes her believe Julian Assange is guilty, but the rape allegations against Clinton are stronger than those against Assange: Clinton is accused of violent rape, and he has many accusers. Some offer less evidence than others, but to anyone who "believes the victim", this should not be an issue. Some have very strong evidence. From The rape allegation against Bill Clinton, explained - Vox:
Several friends of Broaddrick's backed up the story. Norma Rogers, who was the director of nursing at Broaddrick's nursing home at the time, told reporters that she entered the hotel room shortly after the assault allegedly took place and "found Mrs. Broaddrick crying and in 'a state of shock.' Her upper lip was puffed out and blue, and appeared to have been hit." Kelsey elaborated to the New York Times, "She told me he forced himself on her, forced her to have intercourse."
The problem for Doyle isn't whether Bill Clinton raped anyone; it's that her heroine, Hillary Clinton, clearly does not "believe the victim" when it comes to her husband's accusers. From ’90s Scandals Threaten to Erode Hillary Clinton’s Strength With Women - The New York Times:
Over the years, the Clinton effort to cast doubt on the women included using words like “floozy,” “bimbo” and “stalker,” and raising questions about their motives. James Carville, a longtime strategist for Mr. Clinton, was especially cutting in attacking Ms. Flowers. “If you drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find,” Mr. Carville said of Ms. Flowers.
And from Hillary Clinton's 'Feminist' Campaign Is Fraudulent | National Review:
When allegations of sexual misconduct emerged during Bill’s 1992 presidential run, she’s reported to have said “Who is going to find out? These women are trash. Nobody’s going to believe them.” Multiple people also report that she called the women “sluts” and “whores” — you know, for daring to be raped. A private investigator named Ivan Duda claims that, after Bill lost his second governor’s race, Hillary told him: “I want you to get rid of all these b****** he’s seeing . . . I want you to give me the names and addresses and phone numbers, and we can get them under control.” 
Clinton's attempts to deal with this expose the double-standard of "believe the victim" From the New York Times article: 
...a young woman asked Mrs. Clinton about several women who alleged her husband sexually assaulted them. “You say that all rape victims should be believed,” the woman said. “Should we believe them as well?” Mrs. Clinton replied, “Well, I would say that everybody should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence.” 
But there is no evidence that Mrs. Broaddrick lied. By "believe the victim" logic, the benefit of the doubt goes to the accuser, not the accused, and anyone who supports Hillary Clinton is supporting a textbook example of a "rape enabler".

Monday, May 23, 2016

The difference between private and personal property, or Personal property is not social property

The Communist Manifesto calls for the "Abolition of private property." It also says, "When, therefore, capital is converted into common property, into the property of all members of society, personal property is not thereby transformed into social property."

Even under capitalism, we have some examples of social property—parks, police departments, libraries, and government buildings that are owned by the people and controlled by what Lincoln called a "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

Personal property consists of things everyone should be able to have: clothes, toys, books, tools, etc. It's what you personally use and your home is probably filled with. Private property consists of things capitalists own and exploit commercially: land, factories, corporations, etc. Private property falls under the category of "the means of production", and what private property produces is capital for its owner. Socialists want to turn private property into social property so we will all be owners of the means of production and everyone will benefit equally.

Recommended: End Private Property, Not Kenny Loggins | Jacobin

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sady Doyle does the identitarian dance around Adolph Reed's Catch-22

I noticed Sady Doyle a few years back when she told her Tumblr followers to mob Michael Moore until he apologized for saying something she didn't like. I've noticed her again this week thanks to her entry in Liberal Think Tank Fires Matt Bruenig for Rude Tweets. In the comments at The Great Matt Bruenig-Neera Tanden Kerfuffle Sort of Explained, I responded,
Oh, god, Sady Doyle, queen of the identitarian neoliberals who has taken to heart the principle that when you can't answer people, you accuse them of racism or sexism or both. The simple fact is neoliberals hate talking about class, and Bruenig excels at it, so writers like Doyle cannot engage with him on the merits of the argument and have to rely on ad hominem.
After leaving that, I realized that it's not fair to accuse people without offering evidence, so while there's plenty online, here's enough, I hope:

1. She assumes men are guilty because of their gender.

A post at  My Own Private Guantanamo discusses what she wrote publicly about Julian Assange in 2010 and appears to have deleted:
...Doyle herself is no agnostic on Assange’s guilt. Last Thursday, she wrote:
“I really, really, do tend to believe that he raped those girls.”
And: 
“he (Assange) — in my opinion, probably, allegedly — happened to be a repeat rapist…”
Identitarians do not care that the law presumes innocence for a reason: the victim of every lynching died because the mob "believed the victim" instead of letting the law take its course.

2. She campaigns for women because of their gender.

She wrote in "Some Other Woman" for President 2016 - The Baffler:
...Hillary Clinton is the only viable Democratic candidate we’ve got—and the only viable female candidate we’ve ever had. She is not perfect; she’s not an evil wizard or the reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher, either. (Another tip: Before you compare Hillary Clinton to Margaret Thatcher, ask yourself: Am I about to compare Hillary Clinton to Margaret Thatcher? One was a hyper-conservative Tory who supported apartheid and whose talking points included the phrase “I hate feminism”; the other is a moderate Democrat whose economic policy hews too close to the center for some liberals’ tastes. It makes about as much sense as comparing Reagan to Obama because both of them served two terms.)

There is no spot on the ballot that allows you to vote for “some other woman.”
By championing Clinton, Doyle steps into what I'm currently calling the Adolph Reed Identitarian Catch-22. Discusing Sanders and race, Reed said,
You can go down Sanders’s platform issue by issue and ask, “so how is this not a black issue?” How is a $15 minimum wage not a black issue. How is massive public works employment not a black issue. How is free public college higher education not a black issue. The criminal justice stuff and all the rest of it.
Reed's observation about race applies to gender. You can go down Sanders' platform issue by issue and ask, "So how is this not a feminist issue?" Everyone who is concerned for the working class is disproportionately concerned for women and people of color because the working class is disproportionately female and dark-skinned. 

Doyle does see the catch, which is why in her article she adds disingenuously:
If you prefer a different, male candidate to Hillary, say so. Wear your “SANDERS 2016” T-shirt with pride. There’s no harm, and no sexism, in advocating for the person you believe is best for the job—unless it’s some imaginary far-future lady president who will deliver the State of the Union address via hologram from her private spaceship.
Even while she assures the majority of millennial women who support Sanders that she's not calling them sexist, she can't keep herself from mentioning that "imaginary far-future lady president". Doyle wants her "lady president" now, and therefore doesn't care that Clinton's economic policies will hurt more women than Sanders' would. Doyle mentions Thatcher and doesn't notice the things Clinton has done that remind us of Thatcher: supporting Israel's treatment of Palestinians, supporting the rightwing coup in Honduras, supporting the creation of chaos in Libya that has only strengthened Daesh... In all those places, women suffer, yet identitarians like Doyle look away because their only concern is for the symbol of a female president.

ETA: Lawrence Person notes in the comments that Doye is wrong about Thatcher, as this 1984 article shows: Apartheid 'Unacceptable,' Thatcher Tells Botha.

All lives matter: Danielle Maudsley

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

How One Tweet Can Ruin Your Life | Jon Ronson | TED Talks


ETA: If you want to understand how the targets of Racefail 09 felt, start at 11:20.The person I felt most sorry for was Jay Lake, who was dealing with his cancer when Racefail exploded after his post.