Sunday, November 18, 2018

Mind the Gapped

The nation is so cowed by political correctness controversy isn't what it used to be.
When I heard a city councilman somewhere had used the phrase "master race" my morbid self rose to the clickbait, expecting to learn some poor soul went off-matrix and starting ranting about race and all that entails.

But no, it turns out "master race" is a phrase, like "nigger", that not only offends when used in earnest, it can't be uttered in context, and certainly not in jest.
Political correctness expanded beyond barring the (ever growing realm of) offensive to things that remind one of the offensive at some point. Now we can't even be trusted with our own language, uttering child-like constructs such as "the N-word". That this is the ineffable name of our time, like Yahweh, shows you who sits atop the hierarchy of grievance that is our quasi-religious order now.

Turns out the controversy was over a councilman making a joke about the concept of "master race" in front of a black woman, with whom he actually shared an affinity
 “I don’t want you to think I am picking on you because we are part of the master race,” Klemp told Penelton. “You have a gap in your teeth. We are part of the master race. Don’t you forget that.”
Klemp, chairman of the three-member commission, also has a gap in his teeth. Fellow commissioners Robert Holland and Doug Smith have also called for Klemp to leave.
We in the gap-toothed community were not consulted.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Portland Report



This is local professional woman of color Alyssa Pariah speaking in downtown Portland today at a demonstration opposing a scheduled "#HimToo" rally in support of men falsely accused of sexual assault.

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Friday, November 16, 2018

Pozztown Dispatch

Earlier this week Portland voted down an ordinance restricting public demonstrations. The city has been the scene for serial warfare between Vancouver, Washington based (just over the river) Proud Boys affiliate Patriot Prayer, and antifa. Patriot Prayer stages a demonstration for a provocative (to the pozzed--"free speech" being one) cause and antifa show up--in increasingly organized and aggressive fashion.
The economic cost and embarrassment for the city has been substantial. I suspect somewhere a cop has got a new boat with all the overtime, another one is adding on to the house...
I don't blame them. It's thankless work.

The police chief offered the bill and the mayor supported it, in hopes of being rid of the Patriots.

The same left that turns up attempting to physically drive them out of town opposed the ordinance thinking, sensibly, that the same rule would then be turned upon them. It is notable the city wasn't looking to limit protests when it was just the locals throwing a tantrum over Trump's election and breaking stuff.

So, wasting no time, combatants announce it's on, for tomorrow:
Rival protests are planned Saturday in downtown Portland, which could draw several hundred people — and potential conflict — to a pair of parks near City Hall.

An offshoot of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer scheduled a #HimToo rally and their left-wing opponents plan to hold counter demonstrations.

The demonstrations once again provide an opportunity for rival political factions to confront each other in the center of the city, in this case only days after a failed attempt by Mayor Ted Wheeler to restrict violent protests that have become a fixture in Portland.
I'll try to be on hand and livestream it at my YouTube channel.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Six of one, half dozen of the other

Donald Trump has thrown in with criminal justice reform:
President Trump threw his support behind a substantial revision of the nation’s prison and sentencing laws on Wednesday, opening a potential path to enacting the most significant changes to the criminal justice system in a generation. 
The tentative legislative package, developed by a bipartisan group of senators and called the First Step Act, builds on a prison overhaul bill already passed overwhelmingly by the House by adding changes that would begin to unwind some of the tough-on-crime federal policies of the 1980s and 1990s that incarcerated African-American offenders at much higher rates than white offenders. 
Combining new funding for anti-recidivism programs, the expansion of early-release credits for prisoners and the reduction of certain mandatory minimum sentences, the compromise bill would help shape the experiences of tens of thousands of current inmates and future offenders. 
“In many respects, we’re getting very much tougher on the truly bad criminals — of which, unfortunately, there are many,” said Mr. Trump, flanked by Republican lawmakers and law enforcement officials. “But we’re treating people differently for different crimes. Some people got caught up in situations that were very bad.” 
Just before his firing Jeff Sessions was still pushing against reform.
The proposed law would in effect roll back the Clinton Administration's 1994 Crime Bill which locked up more criminals, or in the soft Orwellian language of the Current Year, "raised incarceration rates". There is no difference between the two, but the latter is bad.

In politics locking up criminals used to be a thing. Clinton was quaintly defending it as late as the 2016 presidential campaign, before having his ass handed to him by the Narrative and apologizing. Politicians now campaign on "reducing incarceration rates", where they once campaigned on "locking up criminals"--Trump being an exception, and all the more a disappointment now for climbing down. If the Left has its way, he'll be the last national candidate who dares advocating for locking up criminals, openly.

Recall police were being executed in the streets by radicalized Black Lives Matter supporters during the 2016 campaign as part of what Steve Sailer calls the "Late Obama Age Collapse."  No small part of Trump's appeal was his old-fashioned call for law and order in the face of BLM agitation, which is a kind of criminal advocacy.

The average white American hadn't necessarily experienced an increase in crime but he knew, in 2016 as he knows now, that the problem with criminal justice isn't its "racism". Trump appeared, as if on cue, to provide us with the opportunity to strike back.

This cave from Trump and Jeff Sessions' departure threaten his gains of the past two years in rolling back Obama era excess.
Jeff Sessions spoke uncompromisingly against reform while Attorney General and issued a memo on his way out limiting the pursuit and extent of consent decrees--seeking to preempt a return to Obama/Holder's political weaponization of them.

The bill, which would take more people out of prison and into halfway houses, reverts to Obama-era policy and is sold in part on its economics--it's cheaper to put someone in a halfway house than a cell (and an ankle bracelet for home detention is cheaper still) and the Bureau of Prisons ran a shortfall of 40 million last year.

Apparently under Sessions' authority convicts were serving out more of their sentences and spending less time in the bloated industry of halfway house contractors that rose to meet Obama-era demand.
Prisoner advocate the Marshall Project complained just last month:
In federal penitentiaries across the nation, prisoners eagerly awaiting a transfer to halfway houses say they are being told that they will have to wait weeks or months longer than they had anticipated because there is a shortage of beds at the transitional group homes. 
But that’s not true. According to inmates, halfway house staff and industry officials, scores of beds lie empty, with some estimates of at least 1,000 vacant spaces. They remain unused due to a series of decisions that have sharply reduced the number of prisoners sent to halfway houses. And home confinement, a federal arrangement similar to house arrest that allows prisoners to complete their sentences with minimal supervision, is being even more drastically curtailed. 
The Bureau of Prisons says it is curbing overspending of past years and streamlining operations, but that doesn’t make sense. Putting inmates in halfway houses or on home confinement is much cheaper than imprisonment. The federal government spent almost $36,300 a year to imprison an inmate, $4,000 more compared with the cost to place a person in a halfway house in 2017, according to the Federal Register. It costs $4,392 a year to monitor someone on home confinement, according to a 2016 report by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. 
The new law is being sold as a money-saver.
Abandoning transitional supervision aligns with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ disputed opinion that reduced prison populations during the Obama administration are to blame for a small uptick in violent crime. As a senator from Alabama, Sessions led the charge two years ago against a bill to ease sentences, and as attorney general he has instructed prosecutors to be more aggressive in charging defendants.  
Steve Sailer attributes that "small uptick" to his "Late Obama Age" collapse thesis: BLM rioting and the subsequent retreat of police forces in affected municipalities led to increases in murder rates, citing its localization in places like Baltimore and Ferguson. Jeff Sessions has been blaming soft law enforcement leaving too many criminals on the street. Certainly the overall effect of the Obama administration was to keep as many criminals out of jail as possible while riling them up with demagogy about police brutality.
But his draconian ideas are undermining his own boss’ stated preference for early release and rehabilitation programs. President Donald Trump has endorsed the First Step Act, which would let prisoners earn significant time to finish their sentences in halfway houses or home confinement if they complete certain rehabilitation programs. The bill is awaiting a Senate vote. Trump has said that he would “overrule” Sessions if the attorney general tried to stymie efforts to reform the criminal justice system.
Criminal justice reform as envisioned by the new bill seeks to get people out of prison earlier and out of halfway houses and into home detention earlier. Predictable problems arise from putting convicts too early into transitional

This reversion to Obama-era policies will impact public safety.
Since the 1960s, halfway houses have provided federal prisoners a running start before release to find work, which has been shown to help people stay crime-free longer. A Pennsylvania state study found connections between higher rearrest rates and stints in halfway houses, while federal violations, violence and overdoses have contributed to poor public perception of the facilities. But prisoners and their advocates say moving into a transitional residence gives inmates an incentive to avoid trouble in prison and join rehabilitative programs. 
Under the Obama administration, the number of federal prisoners in halfway houses and other transitional programs boomed. The federal government required the privately-run residences to provide mental health and substance abuse treatment, and the Department of Justice also increased access to ankle monitors so more prisoners could finish sentences in their own homes. 
At the peak in 2015, more than 10,600 prisoners resided in federal halfway houses. The number of inmates in home confinement—4,600—was up more than a third from the year before. In all, one in 14 of the people under Bureau of Prisons supervision was living at home or in a halfway house.
If you fall victim to a crime take solace: the event is tangible evidence of lower incarceration rates!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Life of Becky

The left's current campaign against white women for not voting as a leftist block (for policies hostile to them as white people) looks like just another Current Year escalation, but feminism and black civil rights have been in real conflict the whole time.

The suffragettes of course were progressive "racists" whose reputations are already being taken down just as the centennial of the 19th Amendment approaches--their statues are slated for removal before going up. They argued from a white supremacist point of view: giving the vote to a black man before giving it to a white woman was an outrage.

With the inclusion of sex as a protected category in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the creation of the initially weak Equal Employment Opportunity Commission began the transformation of the women's rights movement into one modeled entirely on black civil rights, treating sex as a class no different than race.

Including sex as a protected class was offered by Virginia Democrat and Rules Committee chairman Howard W. Smith as a sort of troll, thinking to sink it:
The Southerners’ plan was to delay a vote, in the hope that violent protests would lead to a white backlash. Smith promised to drag out hearings on the bill. But in January, 1964, he was threatened with a discharge petition—a measure, rarely used, to bring legislation out of committee against the wishes of the chairman—into releasing it for debate. It was during that debate that he introduced, on February 8, 1964, the sex amendment.

The amendment was a one-word addition, “sex,” to Title VII of the bill, which prohibited employers from discriminating on the basis of “race, color, religion, or national origin.” Opponents of Smith’s amendment, led by Emanuel Celler, of Brooklyn, the seventy-five-year-old chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and the bill’s floor leader, regarded it as either a prank intended to expose the limits of liberal egalitarianism or a poison pill that would make the bill more difficult to pass in the House, which had twelve female members, and impossible to pass in the Senate, which had two.

Opponents of civil-rights legislation had offered the sex amendment before. In 1950, Congress debated the resurrection of the Fair Employment Practices Committee, which had been created by Roosevelt to ban discrimination by government contractors, but which, after the war, under the leadership of Smith and Richard Russell, of Georgia, Congress had shut down. A Florida congressman, Dwight Rogers, proposed adding “sex” to the list of categories to be protected from discrimination. The House adopted the amendment, and the bill died in the Senate. 
If Smith’s amendment was a prank, it backfired. The House accepted it by a “teller” vote (that is, a head count) of 168 to 133. Most of the yeas were reported to have been Republicans and Southern Democrats. Johnson and Robert Kennedy were firm about minimizing changes to the bill after it reached the Senate, and although there were some alterations, the ban on discrimination by gender stayed in. On July 2nd, it became law.
Historians don't agree Smith was insincere in offering the amendment; he was a longtime confederate of radical suffragist Alice Paul and supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. Hugh Davis Graham in "The Civil Rights Era":
The courtly Virginian, however, was also curiously sincere in his unlikely feminist egalitarianism. He had been a Congressional sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment since as far back as 1945--almost as far back as he had been a scourge of [] FEPC. Ever since then he had maintained loose political ties with the National Women's Party...founded in 1913 in the suffragist campaign under the aggressive leadership of Alice Paul... 
..For forty years the NWP's campaign for the ERA was opposed by vintage Democrats like Eleanor Roosevelt and Emanuel Celler, largely because it threatened their proud legacy of progressive legislation to protect women in the workplace...
The ERA would have negated laws designed to protect women from exploitation in the workplace which included limiting the hours they can work (as Title VII has anyway). The "courtly" Judge Smith was also a friend of business. Virginia's textile mills employed a lot of women and were interested in anything that made it easier to employ them.

Granting women equal employment rights, as with the vote, had secondary effects on the racial dynamic, and Smith's amendment was defended by firebrand women's libber Martha Gritffiths in racial terms:
Martha W. Griffiths of Michigan, who was the first woman to join the House Ways and Means Committee, led the bipartisan and ideologically strange fight for the Smith Amendment. Griffiths was a warrior who took no prisoners; she declared that "a vote against this amendment today by a white man is a vote against his wife, or his widow, or his daughter, or his sister... 
...It would be incredible to me that white men would be willing to place white women at such a disadvantage," Griffiths said. Under the bill as reported, "you are going to have white men in one bracket, you are going to try to take colored men and colored women and give them equal employment rights, and down at the bottom of the list is going to be a white woman with no rights at all."
But the ancient, stubborn female rage we're seeing expressed through, among other things, the #metoo movement, was showing itself as well:
Katherine St George, a genteel Republican from Tuxedo Park, New York, hurled defiance in the teeth of her male colleagues: "We outlast you. We oultive you. We nag you to death. So why should we want special privileges?" "We want this crumb of equality," she said, "to correct something that goes back, frankly, to the dark ages."
We haven't even named the primordial rage we've unleashed with women's liberation. But it's real.
Her  Republican Colleague, Catherine May of Washington, was a less strident petitioner, yet quaintly echoed the sentiments of the NWP: "I hope we won't overlook the native-born American woman of Christian religion."
No. We'll just name her Becky and set loose the hounds.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

White Women Wantonly Whiting

Via Steve Sailer, the Twitter account for feminist advocacy group "Women's March":


"White women gonna white" appears to be a theme. From the organization's website:
We are outraged. We are organized. They forgot that 5 million women lit the world on fire two years ago. On January 19, 2019, we’re going to remind them when we flood the streets of Washington, D.C., and with sister marches in cities across the globe. Save the date: The #WomensWave is coming, and we’re sweeping the world forward with us.
Fire and flood. Sweeping the world forward on a wave of menopausal discharge. You can pretend to notice nothing (not noticing things is a Current Year survival skill we have all developed--without noticing) but the imagery is unavoidable.
I'm reminded of another unintentionally sinister slogan (sorry ladies, the logo is taken):


Cover the earth grrrls.

A google search for "white women" of course turns up more of the same. White women are letting the side down, perpetually:
Twitter:


...

EXT. TYPICAL SMALL TOWN MAIN STREET, CIRCA 1962, DAY


A malt shop with a young soda jerk wearing white apron and hat out front, sweeping the sidewalk; next door a pair of old men lounge out in front of a barber shop, chewing the fat; kids race down the street on bicycles, a pet dog joyfully in pursuit; a young couple moving down the sidewalk filly back and forth flirtatiously. It is a beautiful day. The camera pulls back and pans over to a sparrow which has alighted on a nearby branch. The sudden, rude intrusion of the distinctive sound of several Harley Davidsons sends the bird to flight. Refocusing into the distance we see scores of bikers streaming into the town.

A SERIES OF QUICK CUTS THROUGH SEVERAL CLOSE SHOTS

The soda jerk looking over his shoulder at the sound;
The old timers, one lowers his pipe, the other reaches for his glasses as they turn toward the commotion;
The dog that was chasing the children, stops and looks, gives a yelp and scurries off;
The young couple turns to look, the girl drawing in close to her boyfriend.

ORIGINAL SHOT

Now a biker gang fills the street, a horde of modern day Visigoths pouring into the town center on their choppers raising a cloud of dust. The racket grows, drowning out everything in a bone rattling commotion. The bikers start to park their bikes with disciplined precision, two and three at a time pulling up to and gently backing up against the curb, each giving a defiant, noisy twist or two of the throttle before shutting down.

CLOSE SHOT, THE LEADER OF THE GANG

He is forty-something, wearing an old leather bomber’s helmet. Removing his goggles he reveals heavy, weather beaten slits for eyes. A misshapen nose bears an old scar across its bridge. He scans back and forth, with the air of someone who's about to devour a meal. He gets up from his bike and turns away, revealing his "colors", stitched across the back of his weatherbeaten cut-off denim vest, reading:
UNTETHERED

memento

Memento
June 7, 2008

Memento, n.; A hint, suggestion, token, or memorial, to awaken memory; that which reminds or recalls to memory; a souvenir.
[1913 Webster]

I thought to capture my history but was surprised to find it won't stay put; I'm not sure I recognize it. Sometimes it's a faint image, like a 3-D hologram, shimmying and wavering. I reach for it and it flickers out as my hand passes through. I don't know if it isn't just a composite of experience real and imagined, some mine, some stolen from others, some culled from the commons of humanity. There are those moments we all have, of sudden temporary displacement, wherein we do not recognize our surroundings, the life that sprung up around us, that is to say moments when we do not recognize ourselves. These leave behind the residue of doubt.

I'm having trouble neatly separating the experience from the flotsam trapped in the recesses and eddies of my mind, from the residue still building up about the edges of the endless stream of electronic illusion passing through even now. The sticky fragments of no particular relevance left behind in no sensible order. I can no longer clearly demarcate the boundary between the real and the representational. I see now I never really could. Did I live this life? Perhaps I saw it all on TV.

Nothing is stranger than to look in one's past and ask: did this happen? Am I that child, connected to the present by a series of heart beats? How in the hell can this all be? How can this world be real? All this time spent no more than a blip; inconsequential, yet everything I know.
The truth is a tear of mercury that resists containment. It cannot be seen head-on or appreciated in full. It will not be drawn in from the periphery. We are all reduced to furtive voyeurs of our own lives in the end. Your history is that light smudge in the corner of your eye, that flits away when you look in its direction.
I haven't done anything here, after all. Skirting the issue always; the story of my life, of all our lives, of humanity. All this supposed revelation just circling the periphery like a basketball "rimming out." Nothing.

The real journey I will not make.
Or maybe not. Maybe we all make that journey within, the only real journey there is, eventually. Maybe that's what death is. Going home. The incoherent babble of death's delirium is the purging, surrendering energy back into the ether, in waves of language by way of dissipating will, a chemical reaction rendering our identities inert and final. Only after it can no longer be known, only after it is lost is it made whole; only then does it lose its contingent nature and become complete.
This, this is all just stalking, lurking about outside the fortress of reality in the forest of illusion.
No: illusion is the fortress, reality the forest. As it should be.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The World on Wednesday

As I write a shouting mob is assembled outside of Tucker Carlson's house, the same group that chased Ted Cruz out of a restaurant, all arranged via a Twitter account that remains very much active.



Journalists haven't been entirely safe on the streets around antifa, and those of Carlson's stature have almost entirely ignored it to feign fear of Trump's jackboots and the fascist thunder-on-the-horizon that are those rally chants.

But this seems an escalation for antifa, direct, organized harassment of a journalist critic. Note, or not, what's the point, the standard left/right double standard. In ignoring this (I'm going way out on a limb in assuming Fox's competitors' coverage will be cover for the left, to the extent it will be covered at all) the media will be complicit.
It's so much a dereliction of journalistic duty it constitutes assent.

Meanwhile in Portland internecine leftist drama continues to entertain.

Self-described "copwatchers" who film the police on the street are a motley segment. There's one specific type, the pot-bellied middle-aged hippy with an ironclad zeal. They give no moral quarter to police or their defenders, and by "defenders" I mean anyone who doesn't think their local police should be disbanded and/or jailed.

They will descend on you with their camera phones if they find you suspicious--as happened to me once. I've seen the same type descend on a hapless deliveryman at City Hall, as if all taxpaying citizens are fair game--and they should be, somewhat, by the copwatchers' determination that law enforcement is murder. I mean, we're all paying for it. Copwatchers look like they don't, but I'm sure as a group they have to be similarly compromised, if less.

Another type of copwatcher is the young and unbalanced type looking for excitement. They are no less zealous, no closer to reason.

Today the Mayor praised last night's peaceful protest, a march celebrating the passage of an initiative--a positive message for once. But it wasn't entirely peaceful, when an aggressive local copwatcher (who says he's been arrested 16 times) responds to withering SJW irony with a genuinely impressive left- right-hook combination before indulging his well-earned rant against Portland, the Police and the pussies.




Source: Brandon Farley

Tomorrow the city council (cue television commercial voice-over: "now with more Diversity!" after the elections), exhausted from the serial encounters between Vancouver Washington's Proud Boys affiliated Patriot Prayer provocateurs and the always-down locals will consider limits on public protests in the city:
The Portland City Council is scheduled to have a public hearing on an ordinance at Mayor Ted Wheeler's request Thursday that would place new restrictions on protests in the city.
The proposal, dubbed the Protest Safety Ordinance by Wheeler's office, is a direct response to the many political demonstrations that have devolved into violent street clashes in the last two years, which have caused injury and property damage and drawn unfavorable attention to Portland.
If adopted, Wheeler would be allowed broad powers over when and how people may speak their minds in public. He could order demonstrators to restrict the length of a rally and order it be held at a specific place. He could limit movement within a zone of the city. And he could order public buildings be closed to curtail protesters' access to high-up vantage points, given worrying use of a public parking garage rooftop by armed protesters in August. Violators would be subject to arrest and fines.
Wheeler could order the restrictions only under certain circumstances, including if protesting groups have a history of violence, or if there is a "substantial likelihood of violence" at a planned protest, according to a draft of the ordinance.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Objectification

Self-objectification distinguishes us from our forebears. You might say we're in an era of hyper-self-objectification (someone probably has). Social media gives anyone the opportunity to package and broadcast oneself as a crafted image, to imagine themselves as a work of art.

Popular makeup and hair for women has gone from the attempt to fake youth to unmasked artifice--it doesn't matter if you notice it; you're supposed to notice it and it's supposed to convey a message--not about sexual availability entirely or even mostly but about identity, signalling aspirational class and aesthetic sensibility, philosophical, even political affiliation--blue hair.

The average woman long ago adopted open sexual objectification, what used to be reserved for the disreputable (it is said lipstick originated among ancient Egyptian prostitutes, not to recreate youthful lips but to mimic the vagina and advertising fellatio), again, as distinct from its role in enhancing sexual attractiveness.

Broadly the trend toward popular self-objectification it goes well beyond sexual signalling, is often asexual or even ironic, parodying sexuality or sexual vigor.

What remains is the vanity, the vanity of the individual indulging the experience of objectification, which is not necessarily dehumanizing, or, the fact is "dehumanization", literally interpreted, isn't necessarily unpleasant. The high-concept fashion adopted by the serious (or obsessive) self-objectifier is an attempt to transcend physicality and biology, to de-humanize.

I thought to contrast "dehumanization" with "commodification", with the latter as a negative, but it occurs to me it that people are enthusiastically commodifying themselves, and in a wold of money worship the only concern is to be too cheaply priced a commodity--which doesn't mean people aren't selling themselves cheap. Self-commodification, quite literally, is widespread. Online an attractive woman can package and sell her image to men she never has to see. She's taken the sex out of prostitution; indeed, she seems to have transferred the degradation in the sexual transaction to the John, who is legion, anonymous and sexually frustrated.

Nobody is supposed to believe the thick eyebrows presently in vogue; they're taken up like a style of dress, off the rack. Likewise sexually enticing but outlandish effects--thick eyeliner framing rather than accentuating the eyes, ridiculously long lashes; sharp-angled effects in hair and makeup mimic the mechanical, the designed object or, I like to think, the palette, which is how the individual sees himself.

The world champion objectifiers of women are of course drag performers. Naturally the trans movement, which seeks a political identity for pathological self-objectifiers, places them in the forefront. The feminists are right about one thing: men tend to objectify more than women. What they won't or can't see is that, naturally, women seek out this very objectification--and who do they go to? Gay aesthetes. Men. No one objectifies women more than fashion designers.

The enthusiastic adoption of objectification is changing the way we live. Now the humblest specimen can find someone who will objectify her--and it is far more often her. Notable however how many men seek it now too--trans men are the biggest self-objectification whores on the planet, turning the same masculine tendency toward objectification upon themselves, belying the feminist notion it's inherently degrading. It is the highest honor.

That doesn't mean it doesn't cause trouble for women. It's dangerous. To be honored in this way can be fatal. The feminists are wrong here as they are everywhere else primarily in assigning to biologically-determined human behavior a socially constructed origin. As if the guys decided to play this trick on them one day--but of course the whole silly idea of a "patriarchy" existing as a social construct or pathology has this problem of origins. Patriarchy was born of primitive necessity, a necessity we haven't really shed, despite conventional wisdom.

The way women live now contradicts feminist theory identifying the objectification of women with misogyny.

Women seek out objectification--and they aren't alone. The profusion of self-objectification through media is human nature meeting the open-ended indulgence of capitalist technology. Indulging vanity is Who We Are now.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Night Stream



New York Times op ed features comedy bit based on racial slur:



Fatal Type II error.
Another example of the "Dead Becky" phenomenon or what happens when you don't call 911 on suspicious, dangerous blacks—the 2008 murder of Anne Pressly by Curtis Lavelle Vance.

Pressly was a news anchor for KATV Channel 7 in Little Rock, Arkansas, who was raped, tortured, and murdered in her Little Rock home.

Here's what Nicholas Stix wrote about it here on VDARE.com in 2009:

Lori Garner, a personal trainer at the Pro Fitness club in Pressly's Heights neighborhood, reported seeing a man whom she and a client are now sure was Vance stalking the gym three times during the pre-dawn hours. Twice, Garner was accompanied by the client. The last time, in September, the man was crouching outside of the gym exposing himself. But they never called the police.
If the reports are true and the charges hold up, my conclusion is that Curtis Lavelle Vance apparently is only interested in raping and murdering white women, with robbery an afterthought.

In an earlier time, such bravado on the part of black felons in white neighborhoods was the exception. But after some 45 years of authorities and the MSM terrorizing whites in the name of “civil rights,” it is the rule. No matter how many white females are raped and/or murdered, whites fear being treated like "racists” by police and reporters if they demand action against black strangers acting suspiciously in neighborhoods where they have no legitimate business
Does biting your tongue out of political correctness count as a Type II error? It clearly isn't the same as someone making an objective call and getting it wrong. It's compelled from without. The inner slap of self-regulating non-racists is a result of deliberate social conditioning.
It's not enough for the Current Year though. The BBQ Becky campaign seeks to intimidate whites outright into not calling the police ever on blacks. It's the outer slap.

I think we need a Type III error. An objective judgement finds a threat--real or not--but is superceded by the "inner slap" of conditioned masochism or the outer slap, the threat (there's that word again) of sanction for getting it wrong. You could be the next BBQ Becky. Or, maybe putting down the phone is itself a risk assessment--of the risk of social sanction. That certainly is the intention of the BBQ Becky cultural campaign--which has to be viewed alongside the real threat of violence evidenced in interracial crime statistics. On one end whites are criminally trangressed upon the more they come into contact with blacks, at the other political and cultural action seeks to limit what they can do about it.
That's why I say BLM and offshoots like this are sinister.

Associated Press:
The alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was angered when he learned he had to undergo security screening between flights on the morning of the suicide attacks, a former U.S. Airways ticket agent says. 
Michael Tuohey of Scarborough said he was suspicious of Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari when they rushed through the Portland International Jetport to make their flight to Boston that day. 
Atta’s demeanor and the pair’s first-class, one-way tickets to Los Angeles made Tuohey think twice about them. 
“I said to myself, ’If this guy doesn’t look like an Arab terrorist, then nothing does.’ Then I gave myself a mental slap, because in this day and age, it’s not nice to say things like this,” Tuohey told the Maine Sunday Telegram. “You’ve checked in hundreds of Arabs and Hindus and Sikhs, and you’ve never done that. I felt kind of embarrassed.”




Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Error Prone

Black Lives Matter, by fabricating a crisis of racist police brutality, seeks to shield blacks from the law at the same time a true crisis of black criminality grinds on. To the extent it succeeds people will die.
Black street violence is the sword, political agitation is the shield. This is revealed in its silly but sinister offshoot, the "BBQ Becky" fad, fabricating a national crisis out of a handful of anecdotes of white people calling the police on harmless blacks. The New York Times:
The phenomenon of white people harassing African-Americans going about their day is nothing new, but with the ubiquity of smartphones and social media, everyone can now see how these injustices are played out and lead to anxiety for and material harm to people of color. And this problem is bigger than a few unreasonable white people. Racist stereotypes are baked into our society.    
Has someone called the cops on you when you were doing nothing wrong? Email your story or video to The New York Times Opinion Video team at 844WYTFEAR@nytimes.com. Below is a list of 39 known instances just this year when someone called the police to complain about black people doing everyday activities:
Steve Sailer:
After all, these kinds of false-alarm Type I errors—false-positive calls to the cops to investigate a person who turns out to be law-abiding—happen countless times per day in this vast country of ours. So do Type II errors: false negatives of failing to alert the police in cases of a genuine lawbreaker. 
Thirty-nine false positives in a country of 320 million or so is nothing, of course. But as Sailer points out
Our ability to think statistically about the trade-off between Type I and Type II errors seems to go on the fritz when race is involved. When the participants are all white, everybody more or less intuits that if you want the cops to question fewer innocent people (fewer Type I errors), you’ll have to put up with more guilty ones committing more crimes (more Type II errors), and vice versa.
You have to wonder to what extent the necessity to think illogically about race infects our ability to think logically in general.

But the real crime of course is the lives lost to Type II errors, failure to recognize a real threat. Type II errors are encouraged, practically demanded.

So now we have what Nancy Pelosi might call Collateral Damage Cathy. The white person who is victimized because he failed to respond to a threat from a black person. How much you want to bet that number's a little higher than the Times' roll of hurt feelings?
Another example of the "Dead Becky" phenomenon or what happens when you don't call 911 on suspicious, dangerous blacks—the 2008 murder of Anne Pressly by Curtis Lavelle Vance. 
Pressly was a news anchor for KATV Channel 7 in Little Rock, Arkansas, who was raped, tortured, and murdered in her Little Rock home. Here's what Nicholas Stix wrote about it here on VDARE.com in 2009: 
Lori Garner, a personal trainer at the Pro Fitness club in Pressly's Heights neighborhood, reported seeing a man whom she and a client are now sure was Vance stalking the gym three times during the pre-dawn hours. Twice, Garner was accompanied by the client. The last time, in September, the man was crouching outside of the gym exposing himself. But they never called the police.
There is an unquantified toll in white lives sacrificed to forced desegregation and forced desensitization.

But the single most fatal case of political correctness overriding the survival instinct comes from 9/11
Michael Tuohey of Scarborough said he was suspicious of Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari when they rushed through the Portland International Jetport to make their flight to Boston that day.  
Atta’s demeanor and the pair’s first-class, one-way tickets to Los Angeles made Tuohey think twice about them. “I said to myself, ’If this guy doesn’t look like an Arab terrorist, then nothing does.’  
Then I gave myself a mental slap, because in this day and age, it’s not nice to say things like this,” Tuohey told the Maine Sunday Telegram. “You’ve checked in hundreds of Arabs and Hindus and Sikhs, and you’ve never done that. I felt kind of embarrassed. 
Consider we live in a country where it's morally reprehensible to be suspicious of a black person but missing the chance to stop a 9/11 terrorist because you didn't want to be racist is entirely understandable.

Back to the unlucky ticket agent:
A few weeks later, another investigator showed him a large number of pictures and asked him to point out the men he had waited on that day. “I went right to Atta,” Tuohey said. “It’s like the skull on a poison bottle. There’s no mistaking that face.”
There may be no mistaking it, but be warned: there will be absolutely no noticing it!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Nightstream




My YouTube channel

Triggering Point

"Excuse me. Is your baby a boy or a girl?"

Despite having prepared for this for nine months, it came as a shock. My child was being gendered--and by a cis-hetero white male.

I collected myself, realizing we could be in danger. Cradling ____ protectively in my arms I turned away from the assailant's penetrating gaze.

"Ze hasn't assigned zirself a gender."

He stared, confused. So confident in his privilege that he'd never been challenged before when engaging in gender-aggression; he didn't even know how to recognize it.

"Well," he said after a pause, "ze sure is cute."

Rage and terror vied in my breast.

"That's look-ist." I could barely get out the words. Again, the look of confusion, again the confident privilege unable to navigate a world in which white cis-hetero normativity is not centralized. And again the pause, as he formulated a new line of assault.

"What bright eyes! Looks like a smart little critter!"

The elevator doors opened, finally. He looked at me, expectantly, concealing his privileged aggression under that smug mask of goodwill. I stepped out and turned, not knowing what I would say but knowing I had to say something.

"Well, ze has shown signs of giftedness..."

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Prose Story

I lost a dog that spring.

I don't remember the year. The decade was the seventies, I think; could have been as late as 1981. The dog I'd picked up years before at the riverbed. A gap-toothed Eurasian kid, I don't remember his name, and I found him as a stray. We decided to walk in opposite directions. The dog followed me, and so I adopted him.

We lost him in the same place, Melody and I, when he went into the water during a heavy rain. He came close to the edge, on the wet concrete bank, sliding in with a little wisk and like that he was submerged and gone. So quick and mild was it we sat there a long moment, processing, before Melody let out a little whimper. Easy come easy go.

I don't recall what happened next.

I don't recall her face. Can't conjure it. I remember her sweatshirt; off-white with a stylized minimalist sketch of a fly's head in thick black and red contours, like a logo. I can picture it clearly still; it was the night we met. For some reason she fell for me, I never understood why. She was safe; I was young and harmless, so shy there might as well have been a force field around her.

By the end of the summer she was in the hands of an older boy and the rest is her own little history. I wonder if she recalls me ever, sometimes. Or, more likely perhaps, she recalls some detail of her own, serving as her shirt serves for me, an indication of the vastness of the thing that seared it there in memory, first love, of its superiority to its puny players, to us, its mere material.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Soviet Stream



MyYouTube channel.
A couple of weeks ago I joked social media platforms would soon start limiting what you can type into their pane. When writing "it's okay to be white", say, you might find the last word simply won't post.

Well they're way ahead of me, of course. After last week's mysterious YouTube outage, users claim the site is now auto-censoring chat
Last night for about an hour, YouTube went dark. The popular video and streaming site came back up, but a number of users quickly discovered the platform run by Google released a brand new auto-censor for live streams.

During The Gator Gamer’s stream, users discovered just how powerful YouTube’s new censor bot was. Many believe the new censor bot was tied to YouTube’s crash yesterday.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Portlando-Tyranny



Whose streets, Portland? Anarchists in control.
Travis Hund plays some music and Judas Star Chai visits. My Youtube channel.

A video of a black anti-police protester (who wouldn't have looked out of place in a newsreel about the Cultural Revolution; I'm not sure he wasn't deliberately adopting a Mao aesthetic) directing traffic in downtown Portland (as a Portland motorcycle cop watches from down the street) gives the impression the municipal government has been overthrown and a people's republic declared. It hasn't; cue obligatory joke about how you wouldn't be able to tell.



Like the bizarre middle-aged white man shouting anti-white epithets with a stranger-to-reason demeanor, protesters trying to take over the streets is par for the course here. Protesters have blocked traffic, City Hall and the Justice Center (the "Injustice Center"), a light rail train and of course an ICE office with tacit approval from the city, when Portland police refused to respond to the office's 911 calls for help and let the siege go on for a couple of months before shutting down the mini-shantytown that had been allowed to develop.

Last Saturday's street-blocking rally was the second protesting the fatal shooting of a black male.
Demonstrators blocked a section of a downtown Portland street for hours Monday where a 27-year-old man was fatally shot by police, calling for answers on why officers killed him.
About 150 people gathered near Southwest 4th Avenue and Harvey Milk Street for a vigil in memory of Patrick Kimmons. Yellow caution tape that ran from a public parking lot to a strip club blocked the street from traffic. A memorial with signs, pictures of Kimmons and candles lined the sidewalk just outside the parking lot.
A grand jury declined to indict the officers. The recent shooting appears to be gang-related
Central Precinct Sgt. Garry Britt and Officer Jeffrey Livingston were patrolling the downtown area early Sunday when a shooting occurred near Southwest Third Avenue and Harvey Milk Street (formerly Stark) and injured two people. 
This is where the strip clubs are.
Britt and Livingston at some point encountered Kimmons and fired at him. He later died at a hospital, police said. One gun was found near Kimmons and other guns were found by police in the area, according to police. Two other men suffering from gunshot wounds were taken to a hospital in private vehicles and are expected to survive.
Kimmons was spotted by rival gangbangers and exchanged gunfire with them, allegedly.
Investigators found five guns at the scene of the shooting, including some discovered in or around cars searched in the lot. It's not clear who owned the guns. 
A witness described the shooting differently than police sources. 
Ayan Aden said she was stopped early Sunday in a public parking lot near Southwest Fourth Avenue and Harvey Milk Street with her boyfriend when she heard yelling. Aden said she and her boyfriend saw Kimmons run from Fourth Avenue through the parking lot, drop a gun near the car she was in and keep running.
Aden said she heard who she thought were officers yell "stop," twice and then open fire immediately after. She said her boyfriend told her to duck down once the gunfire began. Two bullets hit the passenger side of the car, but neither of them were hit.
Aden said she and her boyfriend were ordered to remain in the car by police for several hours and were questioned if they knew Kimmons because the gun was near their car. She said they didn't know him. She said she also didn't know how many shots were fired.
"The shooting was excessive," said Aden, 18, at the vigil. "He was clearly running away and threw the gun away."
The fleeing felon rule allowing this was limited in scope in 1985 but still appears to stand in extreme cases:
A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead...however...Where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or to others, it is not constitutionally unreasonable to prevent escape by using deadly force. 
link text

Monday, October 08, 2018

Trauma Queen

In emotional intensity the left's reaction to their loss in the Kavanaugh fight rivalled their reaction to Trump's win. All this irrational behavior is perfectly logical. Nothing Trump has done so far has had the consequence of this, taking the supreme court away from the left for the next generation.
They were right to be desperate; that's why a few Democratic leaders thought it necessary to cultivate and unleash a moral panic among the many.
 It's that good. This could make the difference in our salvation. Sorry, but hype is in the air.

The Resistance now makes every contest or issue a proxy battle in the Trump War. Soon, subjects more broadly, perhaps. It would be in keeping with the Soviet-esque nature of the left now, if there was something like an anti-Trump theory of the brain.

Via Steve Sailer, the Washington Post health section:
The junk science Republicans used to undermine Ford and help save Kavanaugh 
The politically convenient, scientifically baseless theory that sexual assault so traumatized Christine Blasey Ford she mixed up her attacker is now something like common wisdom for many Republicans. 
President Trump explicitly endorsed the theory Saturday, shortly after Brett M. Kavanaugh was narrowly confirmed as a Supreme Court judge, telling reporters he was “100 percent” sure Ford accused Kavanaugh in error. 
In days leading up to the confirmation vote, the same notion was implicit in the rationale of every senator who attempted to defend Kavanaugh without wholly dismissing Ford’s accusations — her vivid testimony that he pinned her to a bed and tried to rape her when they were teens in the 1980s: 
“I believe that she is a survivor of a sexual assault and that this trauma has upended her life,” said Susan Collins (R-Maine), who gave Kavanaugh his crucial 50th vote. 
“Something happened to Dr. Ford; I don’t believe the facts show it was Brett Kavanaugh," said Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.), the only Democrat to support the nominee. 
“That would get me off the hook of having to make a hard decision,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), one of Kavanaugh’s most loyal defenders. “I don’t know if this is a case of mistaken identity.” 
It’s easy to forget that less than three weeks ago, when the mistaken-identity theory was first formulated, it was so widely ridiculed that a pundit who advanced it on Twitter subsequently apologized and offered to resign from his job. But for many cognitive researchers who study how memories actually form during traumatic events, the theory never stopped sounding ridiculous. 
A plot to hang the assault on a Kavanaugh look-alike capitulated to the Believe Women mood by offering it a live body where the senators had only ghosts, but no one was willing to challenge Ford's testimony directly. A defeatist policy of half-measure that was teetering until Trump "mocked" her recollection.

But the fact is she was credible enough in the eyes of many (and I genuinely care less about it than I care about restoring the nation, so my eyesight is not keen here) and it isn't inconceivable she wouldn't remember everything.
“The person lying on top of you — who she’d previously met — you’re not going to forget that,” said Richard Huganir, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “There’s a total consensus in the field of memory ... If anything, fear and trauma enhances the encoding of the memory at a molecular level."
I believe that. Furthermore, a fifteen year-old girl at a party with older kids is acutely aware of who's who. Kavanaugh would have been a popular older boy in the pecking order that dominated her life.
The idea she misidentified him is not credible.

I think people felt compelled to placate the mob by recognizing her status as Survivor, daring not to challenge it.
“This story [of mistaken identity] that’s being offered here is a way of both trying to validate sexual assault and not deny it — which is a lovely change — but at the same time create a narrative that Kavanaugh couldn’t have been the person who did it," he said. "That’s just not consistent with memory research on misidentification.”
My suspicion is something did happen, but not an attempted rape. That's how you get two credible sounding people in contradiction. The gaps in Ford's memory are consistent with something else: an event that wasn't traumatic--not in the sense rape is.
Asked last week if she could have mistaken her attacker, Ford testified that she is “100 percent” certain it was Kavanaugh. She vividly recalled other details of the night — the single beer she drank at the party, music in the bedroom she was pushed into, boys laughing as she was pinned to a bed — while having no memory of how she arrived or got home.

Trump has mocked her story because of these gaps, but it’s perfectly consistent with the science of traumatic memory formation.
Key here is "perfectly consistent with", which doesn't mean it's typical or common. It's hard to imagine, for instance, not remembering the aftermath of trauma; events leading up to may fade, but you tend to remember things like the drive home after, say, an assault.

Things that are memorable but not traumatic (they can nonetheless be very negative) are things for which you don't remember surrounding detail--like the time that senior tried to feel you up against your will thirty-some odd years ago n high school. No, it wasn't traumatic. We weren't crazy in the eighties.

But it wasn't nothing either, and if something from your past becomes suddenly relevant (even, remunerative), and even a means by which the country might be saved from Trump...
Mara Mather, a professor at the University of Southern California, has performed laboratory studies in which volunteers are given electric shocks or subjected to loud noises while they look at a set of symbols — to find out which ones they remember while their brains are flooded with the same chemicals released during trauma.
That's what's missing here--the actual trauma.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Salt Stream



Kavanaugh salts the earth. Claire Khaw, Ecce Lux and Jonathan Pohl join.

Subscribe to my channel for semi-regular livestreams at around 12:30 in the afternoon, Pacific Time, all week.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Conquest and Consequence

It is hard to believe that it was the ancestor of those stolid and downtrodden Indians who one sees today, peddling their rude wares in the marketplace of Cuzco. It is their old imperial town, but there is scarcely one among them above the rank of a laborer; and during the last three centuries few indeed have emerged from the abject condition to which the Conquest reduced them.
The sudden fall of an entire race is an event so rare in history that one seeks for explanations. It may be that not only the royal Inca family, but nearly the whole ruling class was destroyed in war, leaving only the peasants who had already been serfs under their native sovereigns. But one is disposed to believe that the tremendous catastrophe which befell them in the destruction at once of their dynasty, their empire, and their religion by fierce conquerors, incomparably superior in energy and knowledge, completely broke not only the spirit of the nation, but the self respect of the individuals who composed it.  
--South America, James Bryce

It all sounds so familiar, except the part about the conquerors' superior intelligence and energy, but that just adds to our present humiliation--deemed inferior to foreigners morally, by virtue of their material inferiority.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Pozland Dispatch

Protests follow closely upon police shootings in Portland.
Demonstrators blocked a section of a downtown Portland street for hours Monday where a 27-year-old man was fatally shot by police, calling for answers on why officers killed him.
About 150 people gathered near Southwest 4th Avenue and Harvey Milk Street for a vigil in memory of Patrick Kimmons. Yellow caution tape that ran from a public parking lot to a strip club blocked the street from traffic. A memorial with signs, pictures of Kimmons and candles lined the sidewalk just outside the parking lot.
Newly renamed Harvey Milk Street is christened with diversity. Kimmons is the third police shooting fatality in Portland this year.

John Elfritz was  white guy having a psychotic episode and armed with a knife when police shot and killed him inside a homeless shelter. Controversy followed.
In 2012 Eric Holder's Justice Department sued the city of Portland for excessive use of force against mentally ill suspects. The city eagerly settled, instituting rules on police engagement with the mentally ill.

Sarah Michell Brown was a burglary suspect wounded in an exchange of gunfire with police, and one bad-assed Becky apparently, but as such of no interest. Tearfully recounting high school pranks before Congress is heroic, squaring off against armed men, meh...

Those are the only other two listed on the Portland Police Bureau's site. Portland State University police shot and killed a black man after his legally concealed gun fell onto the sidewalk in the middle of a melee. PSU cops have only been armed since 2014 and a permanent campaign to disarm them is enlivened.

A grand jury declined to indict the officers. The recent shooting appears to be gang-related
Central Precinct Sgt. Garry Britt and Officer Jeffrey Livingston were patrolling the downtown area early Sunday when a shooting occurred near Southwest Third Avenue and Harvey Milk Street (formerly Stark) and injured two people. 
This is where the strip clubs are.
Britt and Livingston at some point encountered Kimmons and fired at him. He later died at a hospital, police said. One gun was found near Kimmons and other guns were found by police in the area, according to police. Two other men suffering from gunshot wounds were taken to a hospital in private vehicles and are expected to survive.
Kimmons was spotted by rival gangbangers and exchanged gunfire with them, allegedly.
Police believe they were injured before officers arrived. Police haven't said what prompted the shooting that drew officers to the scene. They also have not confirmed how many shots were fired or where Kimmons was hit. Surveillance video in the area is being reviewed by investigators. 
Police sources told The Oregonian/Oregonlive that Britt and Livingston fired fewer than 10 shots. Britt, who has been with the police bureau for 10 years, and Livingston, with the bureau for one year, encountered Kimmons as he turned toward them holding a gun and fired at him, sources said.
Kimmons' received 15 or 16 wounds most or all to the back, allegedly.
Investigators found five guns at the scene of the shooting, including some discovered in or around cars searched in the lot. It's not clear who owned the guns. 
A witness described the shooting differently than police sources. 
Ayan Aden said she was stopped early Sunday in a public parking lot near Southwest Fourth Avenue and Harvey Milk Street with her boyfriend when she heard yelling. Aden said she and her boyfriend saw Kimmons run from Fourth Avenue through the parking lot, drop a gun near the car she was in and keep running.
Aden said she heard who she thought were officers yell "stop," twice and then open fire immediately after. She said her boyfriend told her to duck down once the gunfire began. Two bullets hit the passenger side of the car, but neither of them were hit.
Aden said she and her boyfriend were ordered to remain in the car by police for several hours and were questioned if they knew Kimmons because the gun was near their car. She said they didn't know him. She said she also didn't know how many shots were fired.
"The shooting was excessive," said Aden, 18, at the vigil. "He was clearly running away and threw the gun away."
That has the ring of honesty. By the way, every one who's seen old movies knows there used to be a time when police shot at fleeing suspects (I'm not entirely sure you had to be armed and dangerous). The fleeing felon rule allowing this was limited in scope in 1985 but still appears to stand in extreme cases:
A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead...however...Where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or to others, it is not constitutionally unreasonable to prevent escape by using deadly force. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Forget it Jake, it's Vaginatown..."


Claire Khaw joins me to talk Kavanaugh, women.

One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
--Deuteronomy 19:15

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Meriting Attention

Way back in 2007 a national crisis was initiated by the press over the prevalence of nooses, a symbol of lynching in the Jim Crow South, throughout America terrorizing blacks--all prompted by a series of hoaxes of course.

I wrote a little satire (below) and thought I was being clever when I created, for a fictional black studies Professor Balder-Dash, a book called The Myth of Merit.

Then I found the left had already identified merit as a tool of oppression, and the joke was in no way ahead of reality Still, we had to reach the Current Year for Merit, spawn of Reason and Objectivity, to, er, merit being called out by name. Indeed, "merit" just reeks of white-shoe law firms and Anglo notions of fair play; it comes off a lot better than going right after objectivity and reason and makes a good "dog whistle" by which to attack them (soon enough, justice willing, we can abandon the ruse).

Linux' open-source code of conduct for developers has been replaced by a "contributor covenant",
apparently after Linus Torvalds lost a skirmish with its proponents (he taps out in a letter "I am going to take time off and get some assistance on how to understand people’s emotions and respond appropriately") that opens:
Open Source has always been a foundation of the Internet, and with the advent of social open source networks this is more true than ever. But free, libre, and open source projects suffer from a startling lack of diversity, with dramatically low representation by women, people of color, and other marginalized populations. 
Part of this problem lies with the very structure of some projects: the use of insensitive language, thoughtless use of pronouns, assumptions of gender, and even sexualized or culturally insensitive names.

Marginalized people also suffer some of the unintended consequences of dogmatic insistence on meritocratic principles of governance. Studies have shown that organizational cultures that value meritocracy often result in greater inequality. People with “merit” are often excused for their bad behavior in public spaces based on the value of their technical contributions. 
Meritocracy also naively assumes a level playing field, in which everyone has access to the same resources, free time, and common life experiences to draw upon. These factors and more make contributing to open source a daunting prospect for many people, especially women and other underrepresented people.

(For more critical analysis of meritocracy, refer to this entry on the Geek Feminism wiki.)
Score one for social justice. Then, Torvalds' daughter, a progressive activist based out of Portland Oregon (who insists Dad had "nothing" to do with her interest in computing, and may actually be honest because she seems more interested in politics), apparently signed on to something called the Post Meritocracy Manifesto that begins:
Meritocracy is a founding principle of the open source movement, and the ideal of meritocracy is perpetuated throughout our field in the way people are recruited, hired, retained, promoted, and valued. 
But meritocracy has consistently shown itself to mainly benefit those with privilege, to the exclusion of underrepresented people in technology. The idea of merit is in fact never clearly defined; rather, it seems to be a form of recognition, an acknowledgement that “this person is valuable insofar as they are like me.” 
(If you are not familiar with criticisms of meritocracy, please refer to the resources on this page.) 
It is time that we as an industry abandon the notion that merit is something that can be measured, can be pursued on equal terms by every individual, and can ever be distributed fairly.
You can run but you can't hide from social justice, Mr. M.

Ah, for the days when all this was a little farther out on the horizon.
OCT 27, 2007
POINT DEFERENCE, WA (UNS*) -- Civil rights leaders in this Seattle suburb are up in arms over what they say is the latest incident in a nation-wide trend of hate crimes involving the public display of nooses, a symbol of lynching in the Jim Crow south.
A noose was discovered hanging from a tree in a remote corner of a wooded park early Friday morning by two children, ages twelve and fourteen. Doug Beedle, head of Seattle's NAACP chapter, said he is considering seeking damages against the city for not moving more quickly to deal with the apparent hate-crime. 
"The city is engaged in a white-wash, treating this as a minor incident. If we hadn't been notified by an alert citizen, the whole thing would've been swept under the rug and treated as something other than what it was." Mr. Beedle did not rule out filing a complaint with the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. "We're opening a dialogue with the city, but if they refuse to come around to our way of thinking, we're prepared to take it to the next level. No justice, no peace." 
The childrens' mother, Misty Handringer, who is white, tearfully related that she initially didn't realize the significance of the noose. "At first all I could think about was the other aspect of it. I'm not proud of this, but I was more concerned about the fact that the kids had found a dead body. I was mortified when the ugly reality of it was explained to me. I really thought we were above that sort of thing here. I'm not very proud of my community right now. I guess nowhere is safe." 
Police say it appears the man, who is white, acted alone in stringing up the noose before using it to hang himself. Officials haven't ruled out bringing posthumous charges.
"Allowing this to simply die with the perpetrator would be wrong. Suicide is just the sort of transgressive act that brings out the underlying racism inherent in our society." 
Tanyika Balder-Dash, professor of Afro-American studies at Northwest College and author of The Myth of Merit, said, explaining why the man chose the inflammatory racial symbol for his apparent suicide. "People feel liberated to express their darkest impulses."
The children who discovered the noose are receiving counseling. "First we have to make them aware of the trauma they've suffered, then we can begin to deal with it." Professor Balder-Dash said. "Most distressing of all is that these kids have no idea about the profound image of hatred and oppression they encountered. People don't realize that racism is in fact far worse now than it ever was, due to faltering awareness. I fear we are allowing this image of America's racist past to slip into the past." 
A march is planned for this Monday. The man remains unidentified. 
(*Untethered News Services; Additional reporting for this story was provided by Dennis Dale, who is white.) 
In related news, the U.S. Army has retroactively legalized lynching.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Media v Media

Google's Perspective algorithm is a tool for censoring "toxic" speech based on word combinations that isn't effective enough for censorship proponents. (Who come mostly from media. Oliver Darcy's efforts on CNN were crucial to the campaign to ban Alex Jones. They should just give him the Pulitzer. Come on, msm, you know you want to.) Cable news, formerly more prestigious outlets such as the Atlantic, and of course the Huffpo-sphere all contribute to the campaign prodding the social media companies toward ever more de-platforming and censorship. Tech media provides creative technical advise.

The near future of censorship will focus on individuals and their ability to associate. Taking out Jones isn't just about silencing him, but also about taking out a node of transmission, by which the curious find their way to more serious and ultimately, to the Narrative, damaging content. From the severely progressive site Rantt
Google’s new Perspective algorithm is a good start, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle we can’t solve with the data points from a single comment, even with the most well trained recurrent neural networks. Ultimately, we need to teach computers to follow a conversation and make an informed opinion of a person’s character, something that can’t be done by a single neural net heavily reliant on parsing language.
It's not the character of the content but the content of your character
Understanding how to do it may be one of the most important technical issues we tackle, or lose the web to armies of trolls, bots, and people really into goose-stepping to a strongman’s tune.
Social media executives, down with the cause but retaining sympathy for the bottom line, are pressured from within as well. Their ranks are rotten with progressives clamoring for more censorship, like cops who resent not being able to bust heads:
Tech companies succeed or fail based on the talent of their developers, which gives those workers the leverage to shape the company culture. So when your engineers tell you there's a problem, you listen. That was clear again this week when Twitter engineers took to the site to push back against CEO Jack Dorsey's comments about why notorious conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is still on the platform when other tech companies have banished him. 
Dorsey responded to his engineers publicly, thanking them for their thoughts and pledging to do better... 
The pressure on Twitter to ban Jones from its platform grew exponentially this week, though, after other major companies like Apple, Facebook, and YouTube started taking action against him for violating their terms of service. On Tuesday, Dorsey tweeted, “We didn’t suspend Alex Jones or Infowars yesterday. We know that’s hard for many but the reason is simple: he hasn’t violated our rules. We’ll enforce if he does. And we’ll continue to promote a healthy conversational environment by ensuring tweets aren’t artificially amplified.” 
Dorsey further explained that Twitter couldn’t ban Jones based on “succumbing to outside pressure,” and he called on journalists to continue to fact-check him. This didn’t go over well with journalists—many pointed out that we spend a lot of time fact-checking nonsense, but that it’s not our job to keep a viral disinformation incubator healthy;
spit take 
it’s our job to report facts. The defense also fell flat with some current and former Twitter employees. “There is no honor in resisting ‘outside pressure’ just to pat ourselves on the back for being ‘impartial,’" 
Jack, the call is coming from inside the house...! 
Twitter engineer Marina Zhao tweeted. "I agree with @ekp that Twitter does not exist in a vacuum, and it is wrong to ignore the serious real-world harm, and to equate that with political viewpoints.” @ekp is Ellen Pao, formerly of Twitter and Reddit, who had earlier replied to Dorsey, “We tried treating @reddit as a silo, and it was a huge mistake. People got harassed cross-platform. Also if your site is the only one that allows this hate and harassment, it will get overrun and collapse.”
In the end taking Jones out might be the best thing for the right. The left is defusing a bomb that's already gone off, and if Jones disappears entirely, he takes with him a reputation for crazy that is no longer applied to the right. And in all likelihood the deplatforming of Jones will work as intended.

Here's Motherboard:
“We’ve been running a research project over last year, and when someone relatively famous gets no platformed by Facebook or Twitter or YouTube, there's an initial flashpoint, where some of their audience will move with them” Joan Donovan, Data and Society’s platform accountability research lead, told me on the phone, “but generally the falloff is pretty significant and they don’t gain the same amplification power they had prior to the moment they were taken off these bigger platforms.”
The sad fact is someone like Jones has nothing other than his platform--his voice. Emphasis added:
Deplatforming works “best” when the people being deplatformed don’t have any power to begin with. Nor are we talking about people from marginalized communities who have self-censored or left social media because of far right harassment and hate campaigns (and could, in theory, come back with more proactive moderation by large platforms.)
I say the author's self conscious, he'd say thorough, but following "we're crushing the powerless" with "but not the real powerless" is comic gold. Thank you, social justice man. Who, whom all the way down.

Once they've purged the net to the extent possible, expect to be hounded right into the dark web weeds:
Nonetheless, the concern among academics is that, as hate moves to the darker corners of the internet, that some of their old followers may move with them and become further radicalized. “The good that comes with deplatforming is, their main goal was to redpill or get people within mainstream communities more in line with their beliefs, so we need to get them off those platforms,” Robyn Caplan, a PhD student at Rutgers University and Data and Society affiliate, told me on the phone. “But now we’ve put them down into their holes where they were before, and they could strengthen their beliefs and become more extreme.” The question is whether it’s more harmful to society to have many millions of people exposed to kinda hateful content or to have a much smaller number of ultra-radicalized true believers.
The work of social justice never ends, or, it ends at the barrel of a gun.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018



Reading the report "Alternative Influence: Broadcasting the Far Right on YouTube"

Intro:
"For a short time on January 4, 2018, the most popular livestreamed video on YouTube was a broadcast dominated by white nationalists. More specifically, it was a stream by YouTubers Andy Warski and Jean-François Gariépy, facilitating a debate between a white nationalist and a libertarian. The debate topic was scientific racism, which they refer to as “race realism”—a contemporary incarnation of the long-standing claims that there are measurable scientific differences between races of humans. Arguing in favor of scientific racism was infamous white nationalist Richard Spencer, known for having popularized the term “alt-right.”1 Ostensibly on the other side was Carl Benjamin, a YouTuber who goes by the pseudonym Sargon of Akkad. During the broadcast, the debate became the #1 trending live video worldwide on YouTube, with over 10,000 active viewers. The archived version of the broadcast has been viewed an additional 475,000 times.

....

This debate is part of a larger phenomenon, in which YouTubers attempt to reach young audiences by broadcasting far-right ideas in the form of news and entertainment. An assortment of scholars, media pundits, and internet celebrities are using YouTube to promote a range of political positions, from mainstream versions of libertarianism and conservatism, all the way to overt white nationalism. While many of their views differ significantly, they all share a fundamental contempt for progressive politics—specifically for contemporary social justice movements. For this reason, I consider their collective position “reactionary,” as it is defined by its opposition to visions of social progress. United in this standpoint, these YouTubers frequently collaborate with and appear with others across ideological lines. Together, they have created a fully functioning media system that I call the Alternative Influence Network (AIN)."

Monday, September 17, 2018

Hate in Context

An opinion piece in the NYT:
Manal al-Sharif, co-founder and leader of the #Women2Drive movement and founder and CEO of Women2Hack Academy, is author of the memoir “Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening.”

As a Saudi Arabian woman who has lived most of her life under one of the last surviving absolute monarchies in the world, the closest I have come to experiencing democracy has been in challenging the status quo through my tweets.  
In 2016 a lot of Americans felt that way. Donald Trump's victory was more Arab Spring maybe than the Arab Spring--way less foreign intervention, I'll bet.
For activists and citizen journalists in the Arab world, social media has become a powerful way to express dissent, to disrupt and to organize. Digital activism, however, comes at a high price: The very tools we use for our cause can be — and have been — used to undermine us. While social media platforms were designed as a way to connect people online, activists used them as technological tools of liberation, devising creative hacks to defy state censorship, connect with like-minded people, mobilize the masses, influence public opinion, push for social change and ignite revolutions. With these opportunities came risks: The more we posted and engaged, the more vulnerable we became, as our aggregated data was weaponized against us.  
Likewise, after the catastrophe of Trump, the socials and old media rally to shut  down dissent by classifying our arguments Hate--by weaponizing our words against us. Regardless of truth, or genuine "hate" for that matter.
Over time, such data can be used to build an accurate picture not only of users’ preferences, likes and behaviors, but also of their beliefs, political views and intimate personal details; things that even their family and friends may not know about them. 
It strikes me that "build[ing] an accurate picture" of "beliefs, political views" is precisely one of the things those combating Hate Online are trying to do to right wingers.
Attempts to censor right wing speech online look increasingly to focusing on individuals' histories and associations, likes and links, as systems focusing on word combinations to flag actual speech transgressions can always be dodged with creative speech as this article laments:
To try and answer that, we need to step way, way back and first talk about bigotry not as an algorithm, but as social entity. Who exactly are bigots and what makes them tick, not by dictionary definition one would expect to find in a heavily padded college essay, but by practical, real world manifestations that quickly make them stand out. They don’t just use slurs, or bash liberal or egalitarian ideas by calling them something vile or comparing them to some horrible disease, which means the bigots in question will quickly catch on to how they’re being filtered out and switch to more subtle or confusing terms, maybe even treating it like a game.
White supremacists keep behaving in un-hateful fashion, unfortunately. But when did "hate" become forbidden? We lapsed in a fit of absentmindedness from robust freedom of speech into a bizarre system ostensibly censoring the emotion "hate".
Just note how Google’s algorithm goes astray when given quotes light on invective but heavy on the bigoted subtext and what’s known in journalist circles as dog whistles. Sarcasm adds another problem. How could you know on the basis of one comment that the person isn’t just mocking a bigot by pretending to be them, or conversely, mocking those calling out his bigoted statements? Well, the obvious answer is that we need context every time we evaluate a comment because two of the core features of bigotry are sincerity and a self-defensive attitude. Simply put, bigots say bigoted things because they truly believe them, and they hate being called bigots for it.
Google's "harassment tool" did not impress. Richard Spencer's "at the end of the day, America belongs to white men" somehow only scored 29 percent toxic on their meter rating speech from "healthy" to "toxic" (why not "unhealthy"? is this the difference between hate and Hate?). The disappointment with which censorship proponents in the media greet these programs and how they go about testing them (plugging in crimespeak quotes to see if they pass) reveals comically that it's content, and not hate they're after.

If they have their way, perhaps after Trump (or, counter-intuitively, maybe they'll let up, no longer in panic because of him) we can expect internet censorship to focus on individuals and their associations to just choke off the "hate" at the source.

I fear we'll view this already repressive time as when free speech cops thought they could get away with writing tickets on the street, instead of kicking down your door.