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the narcissism of male sexual violence…

September 22, 2018

IMG_8144How wonderful it was to be at the family farm for most of the past six weeks, where there is no internet, no Facebook; where the only worms to crawl out from an overturned rock were, well, actual worms.

But now I have returned to the big, wide world, where men like Brett Kavanaugh, and Jian Ghomeshi, and Louis C.K. (and numerous others) have, in fact, crawled back out from under the rocks they were hiding under.

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Brett Kavanaugh

Kavanaugh, whom we already knew had a long history of political/legal corruption so abysmal the White House would not release his records to the congressional committee reviewing his appropriateness for the Supreme Court, also has an equally long past with misogyny.

And, as we are witnessing, so does the Republican Party.

Kavanaugh has been accused of an attempted rape from when he was seventeen – to which the Republican Party leadership has basically defended, saying “oh, it’s no big deal. Boys will be boys.”

When Democrats and women point out that perhaps this should be investigated further before he is given a lifetime seat on the most powerful court in the country, the Republican leadership retort “Why? That would just be a waste of time. We are already going to confirm him.”

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Louis CK

Louis C.K. returned last month, doing a stand-up routine in a comedy club, where he had the nerve to make a rape whistle joke. (He got a standing ovation btw.)

And now one of our very own – a former Canadian media darling – Jian Ghomeshi – has been given space – in the New York Times Review of Books no less – (considered one of the world’s leading publications) – to wax nostalgic for a career now lost after more than twenty women stepped forward and accused him of slapping and punching and choking them for his own sexual amusement.

Not once in the 3,500 or so words does Ghomeshi stop to consider the impact his actions might have had on the women involved.

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Jian Ghomeshi

Not for a second does he reflect on the lifetime of pain he may have inflicted on these women – women who, upon reading his plea of innocence, you quickly deduce were all merely props in his narcissistic mythology of Jian Ghomeshi greatness.

He truly does not seem to understand why he is still persona non grata with such large numbers of people. Why, he seems to be saying, is everyone still picking on him?

These types of men are almost too unbelievable to be considered 1) adults, and 2) human. (But then by this measure, a majority of men would be found wanting. And if you don’t think so, just look at the statistics. Only 5% of women ever report an assault, and last year 500,000 women in Canada reported an assault to the police. Only 3% of the men were convicted. Do the math.)

It’s almost like these men of fame and fortune are genetically inhibited from being able to reflect on how their actions affect others. Their narcissism allows them to believe that they – in fact – have been victimized, that the world is out to get them – because they are rich and/or famous and/or simply misunderstood in their greatness.

Not for a second do they seem able to contemplate the destruction they do to their victims.

But the sad fact remains that there are far far more men who think and act this way than our recent 60 year run at liberal-social-democracy would have us believe.

In our 5,000 year run of the Patriarchy boys and men are still put on the pedestal, told they can do and achieve anything they want, take whatever they want – that women are lesser-than, without rights or voice (or with the rights and voice that men allow them to have) – and if women should be so forward and bold as to expect and demand equal space, then they will quickly see – by our fists and our guns if necessary – that men are still in charge.

Is it a surprise that it was a man at the New York Times Review of Books who gave Ghomeshi his stage to feel sorry for himself, while not even considering equal space for any of the victims to talk about what the experience has done to them?

No, the battle for gender and racial equality are not over. In the big space of History, the whole feminist movement may in fact turn out to be still-born. (It is too early to tell.)

Never in History has there been a social reformation without a corresponding crushing counter reformation by the ruling powers.

Why should our times be any different?

I am not resigned to the fact that things will never change – but I do think we need to be realistic and acknowledge that the battle for justice and equality are far from over. And that more men need to be allies in the movement for gender (and racial, and economic, and sexual) equality.

More men need to start asking themselves what they are afraid of when they consider a world where everyone has equality of access; freedom from fear of sexual assault; freedom from hate crimes?

More men need to ask themselves what right they have to tell a woman how to live, how to dress, what rights she will, or will not have, over her body?

The whole planet is suffocating on male toxicity. When will we say enough is enough?

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/jian-ghomeshi-john-hockenberry-and-the-laws-of-patriarchal-physics

 

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Some people say it better than me…

September 7, 2018

Today’s podium goes out to George Godwyn. I do not know this person, but I read his Facebook response to the New York Times op-ed piece written by an anonymous White House staff member that has been in the news the last couple of days.

Here is the link to the op-ed piece if you have not read it.

Here is George’s spot-on response:

So I’ve read the anonymous op-ed piece in the Times a couple times now, and it’s heartening in several ways, of course. It’s good to know what’s happening in that White House, and it’s good to know the much touted “adults in the room” are actually doing some good, but one line keeps bugging me.

“The bigger concern is not what Mr. Trump has done to the presidency but rather what we as a nation have allowed him to do to us. We have sunk low with him and allowed our discourse to be stripped of civility.”

“What we have allowed him to do to us.”

“We?”

I’m wondering, now. What’s this “we” shit?

I’m sure we’re all grateful that you’re holding back the President’s worst excesses and restraining his most, well, unhinged tendencies, stopping him from going to war with the ancient fish-men of sunken Atlantis or blowing Maine off the continent with a stray nuke, but let’s get something straight.

Motherfucker, we didn’t do this. We didn’t do any of this. You did.

Donald Trump has been precisely Donald Trump since the he began running for president. Every word out of his mouth for the last two years has fucking screamed “I am not fit for office.” He’s exactly the same goddamn person he’s been for decades, he never hid it one iota, and there is, very simply, not one fucking chance on earth that every single person paying attention to politics was confused about the fact that he would be, by an order of magnitude, beyond any reasonable debate, cognitively, emotionally, and morally the most unfit person to hold the office of the presidency in modern history and likely the history of the presidency total.

You knew who he was, you knew exactly who he was when you voted for him. You knew who he was, what he was, and you didn’t fucking care. Not one of you motherfuckers cared.

Because it was going to put you in power.

It would put your judges on the bench, your tax cuts in the congress, and those dirty immigrants out of the country. If a few thousand kids got thrown in cages because the man in charge has no moral center, that’s small price to pay for getting your pet programs into law. That’s what you wanted, and that’s what you got. You knew the precisely the deal you were making when you made it.

You helped a drooling, psychopathic monster to become the most powerful human being on earth because you figured he could get some policies enacted. You know EXACTLY what you were doing, and you did it anyway. Every one of you, everyone who voted for him, everyone who supported him, from Jeff Sessions to your grandmother. If you voted for him, you knew what you were doing, and you did it anyway.

You voted a deranged imbecile into the highest office in the land and now, when it’s starting to turn out it wasn’t such a good idea, you’re going to start spreading the responsibility around? Yeah, I don’t think so, Captain. We saw what you did, you did it all in public. We watched. We watched you do this and you – not we – you are responsible for Trump. You are, and some of us won’t forget.

So, great, please, stop him from doing anything stupid, the things he ran on, the things anyone with half a fucking brain knew he would do. It’s the right thing to do, and I’m sure we’re all quite impressed at your rediscovery of your moral parameters, but don’t confuse yourself, any of you.

If you voted for Trump, if you supported Trump, if you didn’t come out and oppose Trump, this is on you.

All of it.

You did this.

Shit and a fan walk into a bar…

September 4, 2018

Here’s the problem. It’s hard not to let the Zealots be in charge of the Revolution.

Human history appears to be an endlessly repeated cycle of one group of Zealots eventually overthrowing the ruling Zealots – usually in the name of justice, freedom, human dignity – while, very quickly, taking things back to the place they essentially ever were – which, for the majority of people has always been the very opposite of justice, freedom, and human dignity.

If the GOP can’t stop the wave of young, progressive, diverse Democratic candidates popping up for the November midterms, Wall Street will very quickly dampen their enthusiasms.

Not that I am above thinking that the GOP could very collude with the Russian government to fix the election. (And it’s not like America has no experience colluding with other nations to fix elections – having interfered in nearly every Latin American election since 1900.) The rich will always risk civil war, if it is in defense of their wealth.

The odds are already stacked against Democrats as the GOP spent the entire Obama administration gerry-mandering districts to suit their needs – and the DNC was too myopic and/or self-satisfied to stop them.

We also know that the GOP and the DNC work for the same people – they are almost equally funded by the same corporate and pharmaceutical lobbyists – and the main reason why the DNC has tried to throw up as many obstacles as possible in front of the rising wave of young progressives clamoring up the grassroot ranks of the party.

The last thing the DNC wants is a whole cadre of young Elizabeth Warrens and Bernie Sanders and Cory Bookers coming up the ranks who actually want universal healthcare, paid maternity leave, foreign policy based on human rights, and a living wage.

Why should that be so much to ask for?

~~~~~

Why, young progressives are asking, in 2018, does America rank #1 in wealth, yet 48th in public education, and has the worst healthcare system in the western world?

And why does America spend more on its military than the next 12 largest military budgets in the world? What exactly, is America afraid of?

~~~~~

We continually fail to understand that Pirates now wear business suits – that the Pirate Creed of rape and pillage has always existed – that the Enlightenment was a response to piracy – a piracy that had thrown middle-Europe into perpetual war.

We only ever seem to be able to stanch the pirate’s impulse – momentarily – for piracy is forever regenerating itself – man’s original sin.

Inevitably, the Pirates’ insatiable appetite for ever more rape and pillage – in injections ever larger – leads to madness and societal collapse –

-now leaving us with 1% of the people having more wealth than the other 7 billion people living on the planet. And of that 77,000,000 people who make up the world’s 1%, only 50 of them – only 50 people on the planet – control 65% of the world’s wealth. (Most of the 1%, as you can see, are merely accroutrements to the 0.00000065% (the six-one-millionths of 1%) who control the world’s economy.

The Aristocracy never left. And its never been so wealthy.

~~~~~

Ultimately, this is the economic superstructure that young progressives will have to contend with. (And as we know, Pirates don’t fuck around.)

The GOP and DNC has long been the American political minions of this global superstructure.

After World War II, and for forty years America has set the rules to support and grow this ever-expanding global super-structure.

Now the superstructure has outgrown America – Asia and south-Asia are now where all the action is at – the self-defeating cancerous contradictions inherent in the capitalist system are becoming more apparent by the day – (tick-tock goes the climate/debt/poverty clocks – 2 minutes till midnight…) – and America (like the Pentateuch Jew) will soon discover, that their prosperity God has abandoned them.

 

still one of my favorites…

September 1, 2018

“That I fall like Adam is not surprising: I plunge,

waft, arc, pour, and dive. The surprise

is how good the wind feels on my face as I fall.”

Annie Dillard

 

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Everything you need to know about Donald Trump…in less than two minutes…

August 27, 2018

Here’s the truly sad thing about Donald Trump’s character (or, more accurately, one of the more deplorable aspects of it).

Donald Trump used the idea that he had ‘bone spurs’ as a means of avoiding the Vietnam draft. Not once, not twice, but three times did he get to use this excuse. (As did many rich American kids whose parents helped them avoid the draft.)

John McCain went to Vietnam, got shot down as a fighter pilot over Hanoi, used his ejector to exit his crashing plane – broke both arms and a leg when the ejector malfunctioned and catapulted him out of the cockpit – landed in a lake in downtown Hanoi – somehow made it to shore where he was beaten to within an inch of his life by the angry crowd who was sick of America bombing the shit out of them – had a bayonet speared through his scrotum and his shoulder smashed to pieces by a gun butt – was left in a prison cell for three weeks before a doctor came and set his broken bones – when the Vietcong discovered that McCain’s father was an admiral in the US military Hanoi was going to release him as a sign of good intent, but McCain refused as the rules of war stated that earlier prisoners of war are released first – he was not the type to jump to the front of the line – he then had his ribs broken and his arms re-broken because he refused to take the offer – and spent 5 years in solitary confinement before he was released.

Bone spurs. Trump has spent 1/3rd of his time as President golfing.

Trump called McCain a loser for being captured in the first place.

Trump refuses to lower the American flag to half-mast to salute McCain’s service to country.

What else do you need to know about the Donald Trump?

What else do you need to know about fascism?

Bill Clinton, Ronald MacDonald, Rich Uncle Pennybags…hail the glory days!

August 26, 2018

I came across this old photograph today – and when I say “old”, I mean like only 1995 old – 23 years old –

-back when Bill Clinton was President and the world was wonderful (he is the man, afterall, who will get an Oval Office blowjob) –

and if you will recall, it was the same Bill Clinton who rescinded Roosevelt’s banking laws (the Glass-Steagall legislation) that were created to prevent banks from speculating and causing another Great Depression; speculation being something they had previously been allowed to do, and which had resulted in the Great Crash and the Great Depression which had punch-drunk America to its knees.

And there is a straight line between that Clinton Presidential Act of Infamy and the bank speculation crash of ’08 – the worst financial crisis America has endured since the Great Depression. (And for whom China bailed out and who now holds the Bailiff’s Receipt.)*

(* The same Bill Clinton who now pleads innocence to the whole affair, defending himself by saying that he was only doing what he was being told to do.)

~~~~~

Of course 1995 Wall Street would be opened by Ronald MacDonald and the Monopoly character Rich Uncle Pennybags.

Junkfood and Greed, Baby!

All the way down the line!

The infestation of Washington that was 1995, while having always been odious (Lincoln, as a Senator,  complained bitterly about the political corruption that was plaguing a nation not yet 100 years old, and argued repeatedly that that same corruption was leading the nation to war), had not seen such overt slitherings since the post-war 1920’s.

America was in the thralls of its last middle-class hurrah – wages were good and jobs were plenty, Clinton’s Washington was open to any and all business.

Its been downhill ever since.

Richard Nixon was a raving socialist compared the current position of the Democratic Party.

Bill Clinton’s a rocket scientist compared to Donald Trump.

Hell, even that village idiot George Junior made it past Grade Four.

~~~~~

What surprises me is how surprised we all seem to be about how we got here.

That somehow it’s not possible that we have arrived at our destination.

Millions of Americans, it seems to me, are truly befuddled by what is happening to their country.

~~~~~

Americans are a deeply docile people – despite what their violence mythologizes – so they are pretty unmoored watching as the sand under Washington washes out to sea.

What to do? What to do?

They blindly follow words like Patriotism, Tribe, God. But now the golden-haired leader feels no need to play along anymore. He says he is the Fox, and at rallies he calls the people sheep – right to their faces – and the people agree and jump up and down applauding his honesty!

~~~~~

For the most part, great swaths of America are still Old Testament cast-aways – quick to anger, and aggressively self-righteous in their love of God and Money – at least a third of them now openly running around wearing swastikas and heil-Hitlering and carrying Home Depot Tiki torches as they march by, yelling and screaming into the night.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/12/charlottesville-far-right-crowd-with-torches-encircles-counter-protest-group

~~~~~

I hate that Liberal smugness of that particular group of second-wave Baby Boomers who think that just because they watched people march on Washington in 1963 – from the sidelines – that the war for equality has been won. They dismiss current protests for economic and environmental justice – as in “been-there done-that” – while drinking their lattes on the way to the cottage. And then say they don’t understand where all the young neo-Nazis are now coming from.

They don’t understand that those 1960’s battles for women’s rights, workplace equality, and easier divorces, not to mention the hundreds of Black people who died for some basic Civil Rights; these were just the preliminary battles.

Authoritarians only make strategic concessions – as long as they don’t affect the bottom line.

Now we can barely hear the boomer echos of protest – after 40 years of wealth management, free pornography, and record economic growth – that shoreline has drifted away.

Economic and environmental justice for all – regardless of race, religion, homeland, orientation, or intersectionality – that is the real battle to come.

0.5% of the world’s population control 73% of the world’s wealth. Of that 0.5% group of 355 million people, 44 of them control 40% of the wealth.

Rome’s wealth, near the end, was also so mal-distributed. Greece and Egypt too!

Chinese dynasties that were centuries old also fell in such times.

The Dutch. The Portuguese. The Spanish. The French. The British.

The Holy Roman Empire.

Time kills eternity,

and the Brahmana said: The wheel of life moves on. It has the understanding for its strength; the mind for the pole (on which it rests); the group of senses for its bonds, the five great elements for its nave, and home for its circumference.

How much longer American elites can deflect attention from this economic reality – (all the while hastily filling their own pockets as rapidly as possible) – is anyone’s guess in the new social media realities.

Strike the right match of injustice and you could have a flash-mob of 200,000 people on your lawn by tomorrow!

 

 

 

Something Canadians never think about…

August 24, 2018

Healthcare plan #1:    $5,000 deductible, 20% co-pay of medical bill, $350.00 per month fee.

Healthcare plan #2: $10,000 deductible, 20% co-pay, $190.00 per month fee.

Healthcare plan #3: $12,500 deductible, 20% co-pay, $170.00 per month fee.

Our current coverage through Northwestern University: $250 deductible, no co-pay, $335.00 per month.

Canada: universal healthcare coverage. I fell off my bike once and broke my hand. I went to the hospital and had a cast put on. I went home and watched a baseball game.

In a current survey 60% of Americans said they would not be able to come up with $400 in an emergency.

More than 643,000 Americans declared bankruptcy last year due to medical bills. Medical bills are the #1 cause of bankruptcy in America.

According to the World Bank, America continues to be – by far – the wealthiest nation in the world.

In 2017, 92 cents of every dollar earned in America was earned by less than 1% of the population.

330 million people fought over the other 8 cents.