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Home country: USA
Current location: Holistically detecting
Member since: Wed Jan 27, 2010, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 10,660
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Twitter seems to have rejuvenated some of the darkest corners of our culture.
I remember that guy a while back tweeting sexually threatening comments about some retired baseball player's (Curt Schilling?) daughter.
What struck me was not just that it was so overtly horrific and demeaning, but the sense that the guy didn't even think twice about it. Like he was hunched over his keyboard somewhere like that troll cartoon, drooling and waiting for a chance to come up with the most disturbing things to say to show how strong his sports partisanship was. Because Schilling played for the "enemy team" back in the day, apparently.
I lived across from the university baseball stadium for a while in school. Games were free, and it was two-minute walk away. I went over one day and watched part of the game, and people were sitting a few steps behind the batters, SCREAMING insults and taunts, nonstop, at the top of their lungs. Nasty stuff. They thought they were "helping" their team, I guess, and it was all you could hear in the relatively small and quiet stadium.
I know sports fandom can be healthy and fun, but there is a weird level of acceptance of absolutely despicable behavior that ought to go away sooner rather than later. People are clearly acting out scenes from their childhood, or fantasizing about some power they lack in the real world. You see these 50-yr-old lawyers with floor seats in the NBA, snarling epithets at players like they want to kill them.
"Fan" is short for "fanatic." Maybe no one should be a "fan" of anything. Support, cheer, encourage, sure.
But if people can't enjoy it without losing their goddamn minds to the point where racist gibberish or rape threats seem like a logical response, they need to find something else to do for fun.
Posted by DirkGently | Mon Jun 8, 2015, 02:00 PM (1 replies)
But there’s another accusation in the police report that the Duggars have not addressed. In a police interview with an unnamed Duggar child, the child admits to an investigator that the Duggar parents spank their children, and that “they have a rod.”
“Deal with them” could mean a lot of things; the key word in Michelle’s statement, however, is “training.” According to The Duggar Family Blog—the most trusted and thorough fan-maintained resource regarding the Duggars—Michelle practices “blanket training” with her children when they are toddlers.
Blanket training is a parenting method that comes from the dangerous, backwards, evangelical parenting book To Train Up a Child by Michael and Debi Pearl. The Pearl method relies on corporal punishment to teach children total obedience, and it’s terrifying—at least three child deaths have been linked to the teachings in the book.
Blanket training is the Pearls’ first step to molding obedient children: starting in infancy, parents put their baby on a blanket and flick them with a flexible ruler or other instrument if the baby tries to roll or crawl off. Eventually, the baby is “trained” to ignore his or her natural curiosity and stay on the blanket, because he or she is scared.
More on the Quiverfull "training" from a commenter:
Here is a selection of quotes from the main Quiverfull child-rearing manual:
The Pearls recommend whipping infants only a few months old on their bare skin. They describe whipping their own 4 month old daughter (p.9). They recommend whipping the bare skin of “every child” (p.2) for “Christians and non-Christians” (p.5) and for “every transgression” (p.1). Parents who don’t whip their babies into complete submission are portrayed as indifferent, lazy, careless and neglectful (p.19) and are “creating a Nazi” (p.45).
On p.60 they recommend whipping babies who cannot sleep and are crying, and to never allow them “to get up.” On p.61 they recommend whipping a 12 month old girl for crying. On p.79 they recommend whipping a 7 month old for screaming.
On p.65 co-author Debi Pearl whips the bare leg of a 15 month old she is babysitting, 10 separate times, for not playing with something she tells him to play with. On p.56 Debi Pearl hits a 2 year old so hard “a karate chop like wheeze came from somewhere deep inside.”
On p.44 they say not to let the child’s crying while being hit to “cause you to lighten up on the intensity or duration of the spanking.” On p.59 they recommend whipping a 3 year old until he is “totally broken.”
So, the goal of this religious sect is to psychologically “break” a child. Not for any defensible purpose mind you; just to fully crush the will of another human being in order to take full control of them. This was the goal, we'll recall, of the Bush / Cheney torture regime. To reduce a person to a softly whimpering ball of fear and obedience, so as not to have to argue with a rational, functioning human being who might dare to disagree with you.
Brainwashing. Nothing more or less.
Some people say these stories about the Duggars are gleeful “bashing” of a famous family; or some kind schadenfreude on the part of people who don’t share their “beliefs.” I don’t think so.
I had not heard of them that I recall before the news of the son having molested his siblings and others, but I don't think it's a cruel coincidence that this family of religious extremists obsessed with the sexual conduct of others found a disturbed sexual predator within their family.
I think they made him that way.
It’s good to have a chance to examine and talk about exactly where the people who want to tell women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies are coming from. THIS is where. Baby whipping and incestuous rape. Insanity, cruelty; ignorance. It’s not ironic that a fanatically puritanical family would turn out to be steeped in depravity and abuse. And above all, an endless capacity for hypocrisy, pointing and screaming about the supposed improprieties of others, while nurturing and sheltering the worst of human depravity in their own ranks.
It's not a coincidence. It's cause and effect.
THIS is where all of that thinking comes from, and where it leads. Terrified repression of sexuality, of choice, even to the point of trying to terrify an infant into total subjugation.
And yet people stand before our legislators and, with their enthusiastic cooperation, pretend that it's just a natural, perhaps even pious, way of thinking that perhaps a woman or even a child, raped or subject to incest, should be physically forced to give birth.
When they can, they also suggest that maybe a grown woman has no business even using birth control, based on these religious convictions regarding how sexuality and reproduction should work.
These are not the people who should be setting the national agenda on how we deal with reproductive freedom, or health insurance, or, frankly, anything. Their point of view proceeds from a toxic obsession with, and fear of, normal human relations, freedom of choice, and life without shame over our own biology.
These are child molesters and rapists, arguing for laws that would make women carry the children of child molesters and rapists. They are sexual scolds not because sex is evil, but because their own crazed thoughts about sex are evil. They are projecting their sickness onto everyone else, and yet we listen to them as though they might have a point.
Posted by DirkGently | Wed May 27, 2015, 02:21 PM (48 replies)
From women's suffrage to civil rights and segregation to the end of the Vietnam War to gay rights and on and on and on.
Around the world, "street protests" have upended regimes, expelled empires. Ended segregation and slavery and religious persecution.
NONE of that happened through the magic of an inert "representative democracy." That is a plutocrat's argument, and it is demonstrably false.
And of course the point of the OP is a narrower, even easier to prove proposition. The supposed passionate support for TPP is a sham; a lie expressly designed to mimic grassroots movements, precisely because they are so respected and so effective.
No one is in the streets for TPP because it is a money and power grab by a handful of elites. They don't like wearing out their shoes or getting their hands dirty. They excuse their anti-democratic conduct with weasel words about what a "Republic" America is supposed to be.
They are, largely and not coincidentally, mostly called "Republicans."
"Sane people" not only recognize the value of "street protests," but know enough to ape and manufacture them for unpopular causes, which is precisely why the tiny fraction of monied interests are doing exactly that with the astro-turfing of TPP.
The fact they aren't real enough to take to the streets proves the OP's point rather perfectly.
Posted by DirkGently | Mon May 25, 2015, 11:08 AM (2 replies)
Problems like these are not a function of weeding out evil people from good people, or deciding whether it's fair to paint an enormous group with one brush.
Concluding that "most" of anybody is good or bad gets us nowhere. We can't get rid of "most cops."
But we can change the culture in which they work, and the incentives and ramifications for doing the job right vs. abusing it.
These issues are group power dynamics over a large scale. The same way people who work on Wall Street don't sit around cackling about screwing the middle class, but manage to do it anyway. Regulate them correctly, and suddenly you're in Canada, where bankers don't gamble taxpayer money and break the world.
Sure, individual proclivities matter, but WE ALL are doing something wrong with the way we conceptualize law and order. We wouldn't be seeing racist or corrupt policing everywhere if we didn't allow the systems that encourage those attitudes to stay in place.
- Independent review. Neither cops nor bankers are good at "policing themselves." Places with community review boards, or at the very least, outside agency review of complaints, typically do better.
- Less militarization. We need to stop sending cops tanks and APCs and fifteen different ways to hurt people that "probably" won't kill them. You prepare constantly for war; you're going to find a war.
- Transparency and accountability. Dash cams, body cams, and better review of all of those things. Policing is a public matter. It should be done where the public can see. The crooked get scared and the tempted think twice.
- Better training and culture within departments. LAPD was infamous for its racism and bunker mentality when Daryl Gates was in charge. It looks like NYPD, Baltimore, Mississippi, and many other departments have them same thing going on. Foot patrols and community policing get cops to see residents as neighbors and friends, instead of an enemy country.
There's no getting rid of the fact that people in power will misuse it if we don't actively prevent it. You take away incentives to do it, and develop better responses for when it happens. You put a better system in place, and suddenly you don't have those barrels full of rotten apples any more.
Posted by DirkGently | Sat May 16, 2015, 12:21 PM (4 replies)
The same ones think Democrats are communists.
No helping them, probably.
So no better time than now, as democratic socialism continues to work across Europe, surpassing us in areas like healthcare and renewable energy, to educate the American public on where the "social" in their Social Security comes from.
Posted by DirkGently | Wed May 13, 2015, 11:42 PM (1 replies)
The problem he's got in arguing for what he wants is exactly the problem with the TPP. He can't / won't say what's in it. Which is why it looks so strange trying to laugh off these very logical concerns, held by plenty of serious, well-informed people, as though they were inconceivable.
If he could explain why Stiglitz and Warren and Sherrod Brown shouldn't worry about what they're worried about, we might not be having the discussion at all, either because Obama and the Republicans are right and everything is reasonably fine, or because it never would have gotten out of the gate with what's in it had people known.
But recall, Warren says she was told the very reason the TPP was classified was because it would create a public outcry if the terms were known.
I thought Sherrod Brown's comments on Chris Hayes last night were great. He didn't want to dwell on his earlier comment that he thought Obama got too personal with Warren, and then he laid out examples of all the previous trade agreements, all of which were promised to add American jobs and did not.
So it's fairly obvious that Warren and everyone else are not being ridiculous or illogical, and it was a tone-deaf way for Obama to approach it.
Dismissal is just not a credible tone to take with something like this. Had Obama acknowledged the problems with past trade deals and the concerns with the details we know about this one, he would have sounded much more convinced of his own opinion than he did saying things like "it's not logical" and "Why would I do that?"
Posted by DirkGently | Wed May 13, 2015, 07:03 PM (0 replies)
If we were worried about "people in other countries," governments would require businesses to provide for fair wages, labor rights, and environmental controls.
Instead, it works the other way. Businesses want to tell governments they can't interfere with "expected future profits" with "non-tariff trade barriers."
In other words, low wages, child labor, no safety protocols, and no environmental regs for all.
Slavery and zero accountability for harm remains the dream of giant business interests, and anything put forward by those interests will be a movement in that direction, however it is spun or rationalized.
Posted by DirkGently | Mon May 11, 2015, 10:10 AM (0 replies)
As Larry Summers explained to Elizabeth Warren:
He teed it up this way: I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People — powerful people — listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders.
I had been warned.
Posted by DirkGently | Mon May 11, 2015, 09:15 AM (0 replies)
It looks like the "common wisdom" in some Democratic Party circles here in Florida continues to be that you need a near-Republican (or, ideally, a recent Republican convert) to run as a Dem.
And so then we run an Alex Sink or a Kendrick Meeks or a Charlie Crist, and lose, because people who want to vote for a Republican don't have any problem finding one of those, and the excuse afterward is to blame the voters for poor turnout. And possibly also progressives for being hurtfully hung up on annoying principles and things.
As though the voters have a duty to vote for whatever super corporate, recently Republican candidate they are offered, with no corresponding duty to listen to actual Democrats, or even to allow Dems outside of the cozy Tallahassee money bubble to compete.
This business of leaking nastiness about Grayson's girlfriend or whatever, apparently to signal an all-out attack should he choose to run, is way beyond the pale. It's not the business of a handful of higher ups to anoint a candidate before anyone else can announce, and then try to quash any competition.
Primaries are good things. They let the voters speak, they provide a range of views for comparison and contrast, and they draw out Republican attacks before they can be decisive.
Purchasing a convenient money-magnet candidate early may be nice for getting all the usual operatives paid, but it doesn't win elections, and it's not the voters who need to come around.
Posted by DirkGently | Sun May 10, 2015, 01:35 PM (1 replies)
We shy away from brash ideologically loaded terms like "fascism," because collectively we agree so seldom on when a political system has gone too far that we end up comparing everything to Nazis, and nothing really compares that well to the Nazis. They really went the extra mile in terms of horrifying the world. We may not see their specific brand of terribleness again.
But private money trying to undermine democracy? That's not any kind of special evil unicorn. That's common as dirt. It happens every day. We would be buried by private money tomorrow if we stopped pushing actively against it for a second. It's not unique. It's not even particularly evil, really, although its effects if unchecked certainly are. It's just a thing that money and power do to any kind of civilization.
Like Pinky and the Brain, the privately wealthy and privately powerful wake up every morning, drink some fine, strong Columbian coffee, and decide HOW TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD.
One thing we do have in common with Germans and Italians and everyone else who has seen their country go through horrifically destructive political paradigm shifts, is that we *assume things will never get that bad.*
We really do give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. We don't see jackboots in the street or hear bombs exploding above, and we assume things will remain within at least some modicum of sanity.
But that's not true at all. Radical things can happen in an instant, and THE MOST COMMON way is not through crazed painters shooting guns in beerhalls. It's with the stroke of a businessman's pen.
Of COURSE business interests want to force through a sweeping realignment of power, elevating "investors" to the level of nation states and erecting an extra-judicial system run by corporate lawyers to punish countries that interfere with "expected future profits."
It's what they've always wanted. And it's not like we don't see them trying to get there, every single day. It's what lobbyists are for, and lobbyists have all the business they can handle.
We need not to shy away from strong talk. We need to understand that secret international trade agreements are EXACTLY how things can go horribly wrong. Not a shot fired, not a jackboot in sight. But they can still take it all, and they will, and we need to call these massive power grabs out for what they are, and not be bored to sleep by the details, or cowed into not using harsh terminology.
“give them their way and they will take the course of every aristocracy of the past – power for themselves, enslavement for the public.”
FDR was no conspiracy theorist. He was reporting what he saw, and he'd report the same today if he was here to see this.
Posted by DirkGently | Sun May 3, 2015, 07:53 PM (2 replies)