Making sense of the culture war over transgender identity Reply

The Economist

As more people change gender, they are sparking a debate that enrages some and confuses many

A BEAUTIFUL man with high cheekbones, fluttering eyelashes and a galaxy of silver glitter in his hair strides into the room. He is wearing a wedding dress and dirty trainers. The gender-bending at this club night in east London is not new: Shakespeare’s comedies are filled with cross-dressers; Gladys Bentley stomped the boards of 1920s Harlem in a tuxedo; Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie’s ambiguous interstellar alias, landed in the 1970s. What is new, though, is that convention-defying statements of gender identity are moving from stage and dance floor to everyday life.
The word “gender” is used by prudes to avoid saying “sex”, and restricted by purists (and, until recently, The Economist’s style guide) to speaking about grammar. In the 1970s feminists described the restricted behaviour regarded as proper to men and women as “gender roles”. But in recent years “gender identity” has come to mean how people feel or present themselves, as distinct from biological sex or sexual orientation. Growing numbers of young people describe themselves as “non-binary”. Others say gender is a spectrum, or that they have no gender at all. Facebook offers users a list of over 70 gender identities, from “agender” to “two-spirit”, as well as the option to write in their own.

President Trump’s Fateful Choice 1

The Trump administration is Republican business as usual, as virtually all serious observers predicted it would be. The great thing about the Trump presidency is not only is Trump generally unpopular outside of his dying right-wing of the WASP middle class “base,” but he is demonstrating that Presidents are simply CEOs of America, Inc., and the state-capitalist oligarchs who serve as the de facto Board of Directors.

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

President Trump ran as a Republican, but he did not win as a Republican.  He won as a populist.  If he is to be a successful president and win re-election, he needs to make a fateful choice: will he govern as a populist or as a Republican?  If he chooses the latter, he will fail.

Unfortunately, the president seems to be leaning more and more towards governing as a Republican.  The tax reform proposal he recently offered is classic Republican:  it may benefit the middle class indirectly by creating more jobs, but its direct beneficiaries are high-income people.  One simple change would transform it into a populist measure: a high tax rate, say 75%, on earned incomes over $1,000,000 annually (indexed for inflation).  The people who elected Mr. Trump would cheer.

On the vexing problem of health insurance, the president’s latest action, cutting government subsidies to insurance companies to subsidize low income people, may hurt Trump voters.  Many of his supporters have modest incomes. They are not Republicans with money to burn.  The populist answer to health care is Medicare for all, with Medicare’s ability to control prices.  The origin of the health care affordability problem is grossly excessive prices for anything labelled “medical”. Any policy that does not deal with those prices is a band-aid.

In foreign and defense policy, Trump voters do not want more unnecessary wars halfway around the world that kill our kids and waste our money.  That is the populist position: America first.  If we are attacked, we fight, but why should young Americans die in the centuries-old war between Sunni and Shiite Islamics?  Here again, President Trump seems to be governing as a Republican, not a populist.  Continuing the futile war in Afghanistan, re-involving ourselves on the ground in Iraq, putting “advisors” in Syria, spooling up the long-standing and strategically meaningless war of words with North Korea—none of this is populist.  It all comes from the playbook of Republicans such as Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who cannot stand the thought that there is a quarrel somewhere in the world in which the U.S. is not involved.

I suspect President Trump knows the Republicans have taken over his administration and pushed the populism that elected him to the side.  Unfortunately, he seems not to know what to do about it.  There are sources of ideas and people from which he could assemble a different, populist-conservative agenda and set of advisors.  I write for one of them, The American Conservative magazine.

What the Republicans in and around the White House do not understand, in addition to the bankruptcy of the Republican “we serve the rich” agenda, is that populism is the wave of the future, both here and in Europe and on the Left as well as the Right.  Establishment Republicans and Democrats alike fear populism.  But to a president elected because he was seen as a populist, the populist wave of the future is one he should seek to ride.  If not President Trump then someone else will combine the Trump and Sanders voters into a new, enduring political majority that will shape America’s future agenda.  In the end, it is not President Trump or Senator Sanders who is important.  It is the people who voted for both.

 

Keith Preston: Status and power shields US elites from sexual allegations Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

Acts of sexual harassment in positions of power are commonplace in the institutional settings, and in the case of US President Donald Trump, given his background and “lifestyle proclivities” it is “reasonable to assume that these allegations are probably true,” an American analyst and media figure says.

“Of course Trump is going to deny all of this, and of course the White House press is going to deny all of this as well, or at least its press representatives like Mrs. Sanders [will deny]. That does not mean this did not happen, it just means of course the White House will issue the obligatory denial,” Keith Preston, the chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com, told Press TV on Sunday.

Such offensive conduct is common in “elite circles” and there is nothing “unique” in what Trump or others in positions of power have done, he added.

The multiple allegations against former US President Bill Clinton is not lighter than Trump’s allegations, he said, emphasizing that Clinton “probably has at least as bad a track record as far as engaging in sexual harassment and arguably sexual assault. Bill Clinton has been accused of actual rape by a number of women.”

“Those allegations have never been proven in the sense that he has never been charged of a crime. However, they have never been disproven as well, and a lot of that obviously has to do with the fact that they are of status and power and privilege and it shields them in that way.”

Women have recently been coming forward to share encounters of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, including in the US media and entertainment industries and the realm of politics.

An avalanche of sexual misconduct allegations have been made in recent weeks against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. The scandal has rippled in a wide range of industries, encouraging victims of sexual assault to share their stories on social media under the hashtag #MeToo.

The latest accusations of sexual assault came against journalist Mark Halperin. Halperin, who until recently worked for NBC and MSNBC as an analyst, has been accused by several women of sexual assault. Some of the allegations against him say that, while working at ABC News, he touched women without consent and pressed himself against three of his co-workers.

Amid the series of sexual harassment scandals against elite political and media figures, the issue of sexual allegations against Trump was once again raised by reporters during a briefing with White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Friday.

“Is the official White House position that all of these women are lying?” a CBS News reporter asked Sanders.

Sanders responded: “Yeah, we’ve been clear on that from the beginning, and the president has spoken on it.” She did not comment further and quickly moved on to another question.

Laci Green interviewed by Dave Rubin: Red Pilling, Sex, and Constructive Dialogue Reply

Laci Green (YouTube Creator) joins Dave Rubin live in studio to discuss social justice warriors, politics and her recent awakening, gender, sex, and more. Subscribe: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c…

Keith Preston: US mass shooters predominantly white males Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

Terror attacks in the US are not confined to certain demographics or religions, but mass shootings are usually carried out by white males, according to an American analyst.

“It’s certainly true that white males have committed plenty of terrorism in the United States, particularly terrorism motivated by racism and to a lesser degree by religion,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

“The overwhelming majority of terrorists are [white] males,” Preston told Press TV on Wednesday.

The mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sunday night that left at least 59 people dead and over 500 wounded was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history and once again highlighted America’s extreme rate of gun violence.

The perpetrator, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, rained down a barrage of bullets from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel towards an open-air concert Sunday night, police said.

In a televised address on Monday, President Donald Trump offered his “warmest condolences” for the victims of the mass shooting, but did not address the scourge of gun violence that has become a common occurrence in the country.

Paddock, like the majority of mass shooters in the US, was a white American male. Critics say whiteness, somehow, protects men from being labeled terrorists.

 

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How Ron Paul Gets the NFL ‘Take the Knee’ Controversy Wrong 2

Apparently, there has been a predictable left/right split in the libertarian milieu over the NFL players’ protests. Ron Paul says nay, but Reason magazine says yay! Read all about it here.

I disagree with Ron Paul that the NFL is merely a private association. The idea that NFL franchises are private businesses is a joke. These are state-capitalist semi-manorial systems that are heavily intertwined with government at every level. With certain notable exceptions, most threats to free speech in the US today come not from the political class directly but from the new feudalism comprised of mass institutions like corporations and universities, with both leftists and rightists alike being the victims of political repression being carried out by these institutions. A possible solution might be to extend the Constitution to cover corporations and universities in the same way it was previously extended to include state and local governments. http://dailysignal.com/…/heres-much-money-nfl-rakes…/

The “cultural Marxists” that Ron Paul refers to are the “Religious Right of the Left” and I share his disdain for them. But his criticism of the NFL players along these lines is misplaced. I generally dislike professional jocks as overpaid neanderthals. But the players are simply trying to protest what they regard as a violent state attack on their people. They’re not just another case of overprivileged undergraduates whining about microagressions in order to show how enlightened they are. I dislike cops a great deal as well, but I disagree that there’s a mass of cops out there running around just looking to murder black folks. I don’t think that perception is borne out by the evidence. But that’s how the players perceive it, rightfully or wrongfully, and they’re just trying to voice their objection. The police state is a serious problem in the US, but not in the way that the narrative is typically framed by the Left. Trump is just a huckster plutocrat trying to maintain his position with his “base” of flag-waving cretins, and the team owners are just modern robber barons leeching off the taxpayers.

Murders, Assaults, and Shootings of Police Are Rarer than Ever Reply

There is no war on cops.

By Daniel Bier

Foundation for Economic Education

ollowing the tragic and horrible events in Dallas last week, it is important to grieve and to take stock of what led to that fateful evening that ended with five police officers killed. But it’s also worth taking a step back and putting the problems and threats the police face today into perspective.

The sniper attack on Dallas police on July 7 was unquestionably one of the worst days for American police since 9/11. More officers were killed in one city that day than are typically killed across the whole country in a month. But as terrible as this event was, it also shows just how rare deliberate killings of police are.

Police Are Safer than Ever

Attacks on police have been in a long and steep decline for decades, and policing in general has never been safer. Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), and the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) confirm a large and significant drop in fatal injuries, from all causes, as well as shooting deaths and felony murders of police officers.

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How Long Can Americans Go on Hating the President and Each Other? Reply

The money quote, and the main reason why most US political factions are worthless:

“Unfortunately, most Americans do not bat an eye at the worst offenses committed by the presidency, namely the killing of millions in undeclared wars of choice with nations who have never attacked the United States.”

By Tom Mullen

Foundation for Economic Education

Trump Derangement Syndrome rages on, the latest symptoms flaring equally based on causes both legitimate and ridiculous. A key characteristic of the syndrome is its ability to evoke the same outrage over the president retweeting a harmless (and let’s admit it, funny) meme as threatening to destroy an entire nation. The breathless apoplexy over absolutely everything Trump-related, down to the shoes his wife wears while traveling, has desensitized Trump’s supporters to behavior even they should be concerned about.

It is true Trump has inspired new levels of hostility — even for politics — but Americans have been hating the president for this entire century, which is no longer in its infancy. Bush may not have been “literally Hitler,” but he was Hitler nonetheless to the Democrats, just as Obama was “literally Mao” to conservatives. But the proud American tradition of hurling invectives at the president isn’t nearly as ominous as the trend towards violence. Both the right and the left have mobilized armed groups, not just carrying signs but ready for violence. In fact, violent resistance is the far-left Antifa’s stated raison d’etre.

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Why the Left Must Confront the Cult of Identity Politics Reply

The money quote: “The bourgeois hijacking of the left is apparently complete.”

By Andrew Doyle

Spiked

od is dead and identity fills the vacuum.’ So says Riya Zachariassen, a character in Salman Rushdie’s new novel The Golden House, who holds a senior position at the ‘Museum of Identity’. For Riya, this new movement represents a ‘mighty new force in the world, already as powerful as any theology or ideology’. But when later in the novel she grows disillusioned and resigns her post, her former allies turn nasty. ‘So how’d you feel now about white women dressing up as Pocahontas on Halloween?’ they demand. ‘What’s your position on blackface? Are you a SWERF now as well as a TERF? Maybe you aren’t even an RF any more. What are you? Are you anyone?’ Riya has learnt the hard way that for the guardians of identity politics, apostasy is the unpardonable sin.

This may be fiction, but the scenario that Rushdie describes is all too familiar. Like all cults, contemporary identity politics is hostile to any form of dissent. Over the past few years we have seen reputations trashed, distinguished careers unravelled, and often for the slightest of transgressions. The upside of all this is that opposition to identity politics is much more widespread among left-wingers than first it might appear; it is simply that many feel unable openly to criticise the trend for fear of damaging repercussions.

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The Juggalos’ Fight for Freedom Reply

One of our natural allies.

By Lucy Steigerwald

Spiked

The Juggalos’ fight for freedom

he right’s young straw men and women – those whining, rioting college students – do exist. But current self-proclaimed champions of free speech and expression are just as much of an embarrassment.

Just look at Milo Yiannopoulos, and his now-cancelled Free Speech Week at Berkeley, which became ‘the most expensive photo-op ever’. These people care more about attention than principle.

So what’s a true advocate for the marketplace of ideas to do? Where are the principled protesters? Whoop, whoop. Look to the Juggalos.

The Juggalos are the devoted fans of the Insane Clown Posse, a hip-hop duo founded in Detroit in 1989. Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope were childhood friends who loved wrestling and hip-hop. They decided to change their half-assed crew name from the Inner City Posse, and gave birth to a movement.

They did themselves up as clowns in black-and-white grease paint, and made rap songs about everything from rednecks to the 1966 University of Texas shooting to their love of all the ‘Miracles’ in the world, including ‘fucking magnets’.

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How Common is Police Brutality in the United States? Reply

This is a peer reviewed article published last year by the British Medical Journal on the subject of police brutality in the United States and how frequently it occurs. The researchers summarized their findings as follows.

“US police killed or injured an estimated 55 400 people in 2012 (95% CI 47 050 to 63 740 for cases coded as police involved). Blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics had higher stop/arrest rates per 10 000 population than white non-Hispanics and Asians. On average, an estimated 1 in 291 stops/arrests resulted in hospital-treated injury or death of a suspect or bystander. Ratios of admitted and fatal injury due to legal police intervention per 10 000 stops/arrests did not differ significantly between racial/ethnic groups. Ratios rose with age, and were higher for men than women.”

Read the entire article here.

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Reflections on Class Relations in State-Capitalist Liberal-Democracies Reply

Modern liberal democratic states are oligarchies of state-capitalist power elites in practice (C. Wright Mills). But they have to afford a reasonable standard of living, level of protection, and quality of life to the middle class in order to maintain their legitimacy. States tend to collapse when they can no longer hold the support of the middle class. The middle class generally fears the lower class more than the ruling class (for a range of reasons, e.g. crime, economic competition, perceived cultural threats, status anxiety, etc). So the state will maintain the loyalty of the middle class by ensuring the lower class is effectively suppressed. Political rivalries in liberal democracies either represent different factions of the elite attempting to build constituencies for themselves (e.g. FOX News or MSNBC) or various middle class factions seeking favors and preferential treatment from the state and other elite institutions.

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Trump supporters just doxxed thousands of anti-racist protesters as part of a disturbing harassment campaign 4

More of the usual nonsense. The bottom line is that nothing productive will ever be achieved until dissidents and radicals are able to move past the usual left/right, red/blue, Nazi/Antifa, white privilege/Jewish conspiracy, free market/more government paradigms, and recognize that the fight is against a global system that is opposed to ALL OF US.

By Noor Al-Sibai

ersonal information belonging to thousands of anti-Trump and anti-racist protesters has been released by pro-Trump users on the 4chan message board,

The thread, which was posted on Thursday under the subject line “ANTIFA GETS DOXXED,” links to an organized Pastebin database full of information about the places of employment, home addresses, telephone numbers, emails and social media accounts of thousands of people involved in anti-Trump protests.

The Pastebin database, the report noted, has been making the rounds in pro-Trump circles online since at least April, when they released the information of roughly 3,000 people. Now, there are thousands more on the list, which has “easily tripled in size.”

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Conspiracy “Anti-Zionism”: The Current Face of Judeophobia 6

Clearly, we need a critique of the US-Israel relationship, Zionist imperialism, and related issues that stands apart from classical Christian and/or Nazi anti-Semitism on one hand, without simply dismissing these things a mere tools of the US ruling class. Instead, we need to develop a more nuanced analysis of the triangular relationship between Western imperialism, Zionism, and Wahhabi dominated regimes of the Persian Gulf, and the influence of both Israel and Saudi Arabia in domestic US politics.

By Andrea Pantazopoulos

Telos

The recent tripartite summit held in Thessaloniki in mid-June 2017 between the Greek and Israeli Prime Ministers and the Cypriot President to discuss energy- and security-related issues of the Eastern Mediterranean region, gave rise, again, to protests and strong reactions from the so-called political extremes against the visit of the Israeli Prime Minister to Greece. Within the context of the summit, the Greek and Israeli Prime Ministers also attended the official ceremony of unveiling a commemorative plaque for the planned Holocaust Museum in the city of Thessaloniki.

To begin with, this article discusses whether the protests organized and the statements made by the protesters (and several other political bodies) can convey some key representations of Greek Judeophobia. Far-left organizations held demonstrations in the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki, accompanied by announcements vehemently denouncing the summit. Interestingly enough, one of the main points in these announcements, namely, the denunciation of “Zionist” Benjamin Netanyahu, coincided with a similar condemnation coming from the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn organization: that was, indeed, a very striking coincidence both in terms of the target and the quality attributed to the targeted politician. The Israeli Prime Minister is challenged in the name of “Zionism”: a first indication that “anti-Zionism” or, more precisely, the demonizing caricature of the Jewish national ideology and Israel itself—their representation as a repulsive figure—is indeed the main theme of contemporary Judeophobia, contemporary post-racial anti-Semitism.

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