December 18, 2018

Changing the rules

“I think it will be really exciting to see the stuff that we notice within the rules that don’t work for a modern-day America.”

So said Representative-elect Ilhan Omar of Minnesota concerning modifications to the ban on hats on the House floor.

Exceptions are now made for religious headwear and medical reasons. An example of the latter is a legislator undergoing chemotherapy and normally wearing a (presumably modest, discrete) head covering after her hair falls out. That is obviously a reasonable exception.

But Omar’s evocation of “modern” is not at all consistent with her insistence on wearing a hijab because of her submission to religious strictures.

Allowing religious headwear flies in the face of the ideal of the House of Representatives as a neutral – secular – space. That is the purpose of dress codes: not to deny diversity, but to reinforce equality.

While the world works itself into fits over Donald Trump’s imagined narcissism (as if it is different than that of any other politician’s, and doesn’t pale next to that of the candidate he defeated), here is pure narcissism in action.

Claiming a victory for “modern-day America”, Omar has forced a rule change in the House of Representatives solely on personal religious grounds.

If she feels she is not free to appear in public without a hijab, fine. The U.S. House should not submit as well.

November 17, 2018

«The Trump Experiment: Liberals and Leftists Unhinged and Around the Bend» by Bill Martin

Bill Martin writes at Counterpunch (excerpts):

What is condemned now as “right-wing populism” is simply the populism of the working class, it is the popular discontent of working people who have continually been sold down the river by the globalist-imperialist ruling class. The Democratic Party leadership have positioned themselves to be the best servants of this class, and they’ve done a very good job with that. This is especially true in the ideological sphere, whereby anyone who disagrees with them is a racist, misogynist, homophobe, transphobe, and hater of refugees from the Third World. On this last, and the approaching “caravan,” it makes sense to me now why, as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton would have supported a coup in Honduras—to drive more desperate people northward to further replace and undermine working people in the U.S. That is the sort of game the globalists play on the global chess board; more to come on this subject. …

Of the various things for which we can be thankful to our forty-fifth president, perhaps the most important is what we can call “the Trump Clarification.” In actuality, this Clarification is spread out over numerous, qualitatively-different issues. I wrote about one form this Clarification takes in a previous article on the Christine Blasey Ford stunt. Trump “causes problems for the postmodern capitalism anti-politics set-up, and shakes things up. He is especially good at taking things that have needed to be addressed for years, and pushing them another step (at least rhetorically) toward crisis—and what the existing structure is showing is that, whether Democrat or Republican, the system has no solution to these things, at least not without a major shake-up and (what’s more important) without loss of power by those who are entrenched in power.” …

[long digression about the Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party coming to align with the Democratic Party:]

[W]hat I am pointing to is how the utilitarian, power-based left has found itself without any philosophical basis for resisting the larger, far-larger mechanisms of power in the world. Thus they now find themselves on the side of a Democratic Party that shows nothing but contempt for ordinary working people.

I draw the conclusion that, in terms of what the world needs now, not only is the “left” worthless, but even “Marxism” as a name for the sequence of communist revolutions that run from the Paris Commune to the Cultural Revolution has come to an end. And we need to let go of it.

We need to let go of it especially when all that it seems to be able to tell us to do is to get onboard with the anti-Trump movement, which will lead to no more than helping the Democrats (and many Republicans, too) get things back on track for globalist finance capital. …

It shouldn’t be so hard to break with all of this horrible crap, and in fact most “ordinary people,” especially “ordinary working people,” aren’t having such a hard time breaking with it. And whether or not Trump truly represents these people, he does seem to be an alternative to the horrible crap that the Democratic Party proudly represents. And you know what they’re going to say: something about the rural, white, working class being fascist, etc. And something about me being a fascist or fascist sympathizer, etc. …

[W]hat would actually be good is to stop blaming working people for having figured this out—even if not in the heavily “theorized” way that some academics might prefer. The irony here is that, in this age where the left is wrapped-up in Identity Politics, there’s not a lot of good “theoretical” work going around, things have mostly been reduced to a jargon that is good for little more than name-calling and call-out culture. …

Trump is at least bringing forward issues that do not exist in any positive or constructive way for the LOLs [liberalism of ostensible leftists]. This deserves credit, because, whether or not Trump is really for the working people, at least he is not the sworn enemy of working people, at least he does not openly express contempt for working people.

In this series:
The Christine Blasey Ford Episode: State Feminism, the Worthless “Left,” and Liberal Delusions
The Trump Experiment: Liberals and Leftists Unhinged and Around the Bend
The Fourth Hypothesis: the Present Juncture of the Trump Clarification and the Watershed Moment on the Washington Mall
Watershed Moment on the Mall

November 16, 2018

«The Christine Blasey Ford Episode: State Feminism, the Worthless “Left,” and Liberal Delusions» by Bill Martin

Bill Martin writes at Counterpunch (excerpts):

However well-intentioned and however much it is based on real grievances and oppressions, it seems to me that Identity Politics is a disaster for any real politics, for any real struggle for the general emancipation of humankind. There is a cynical side of Identity Politics, in that it has simply given up on the emancipatory project, and/or simply allowed itself to be assimilated to the existing circuits of power, albeit with certain twists that present themselves as something new.

Accordingly, Identity Politics appeals to those who have already had a taste of power, sometimes a substantial taste. To complete Plato’s version of what Buddhists call the “three poisons,” the appeal is especially to those who have also had a substantial taste of material wealth and have been able to pursue desires that are not in the reach of most people in the world. In and of itself there is nothing wrong with at least the latter two “poisons,” up to a point, but it is when everything is subordinated to power, money, and desire that the real problems come in. It should go without saying that the point here is not that privileged women should be oppressed; the point is what people do with their privileges. …

What is especially important here is the fact, if we are going to consider the question of whether “being a man” disqualifies one from saying anything that relates to (the many things that might present themselves as) feminism and “women’s issues” (here I am simply using a term that was put to me in criticism), or to anything at all (in my case I was told to stick to “brocialism” and “fantasy football,” as if I’d ever had anything to do with either of these things), then we also have to consider the question of “representation” in the case of, say, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who somehow gets a pass in supposedly being able to speak for women. … Having said all this, this is not really about women, per se; it’s about the horrible Democrats, and what and who they are willing to sacrifice for the privilege of serving globalist finance capital. …

Here’s a little test for what world one is in. Is there anyone who honestly believes that Hillary Clinton was speaking the truth when she said she was shocked and disappointed upon hearing the revelations about Harvey Weinstein? Should anyone this gullible really be trusted to be able to speak on any matter of importance? But, you see, this isn’t about truth, it’s about power, and it’s about interests and what team seems to work better for one’s interests. I doubt many women actually believed Hillary on this point, but hey, going along with it is just part of staying with your team. Never mind that this is a way of validating the things Harvey Weinstein did, or at least of letting oneself feel okay that the Democratic Party was fine with taking his large contributions—at least until after the elections. I imagine that Woody Allen did not make such large contributions, so (and on no real evidence) to hell with him. …

The women who find Christine Blasey Ford to be credible and even heroic, however, are not gullible. Instead, they have been provoked, “triggered” (in the current parlance), and even forced to relive terrible experiences from their lives. … The underlying premise of this effort is that the situation of girls and boys and women and men in this society is so deeply broken and unjust that it can be likened to a state of war; therefore, such niceties of bourgeois-democratic society as legal procedures, real evidence, credibility of witnesses, and judgments rendered by more than a single, ideologically-driven, all-powerful authority (in Title IX, this is called the “single-adjudicator system”) have to go by the wayside. … These questions have to remain on the table, as part of the big picture, not necessarily because they are based on a completely realistic picture of life as it has been lived by women and men, or because a world of gender separatism is likely to come about, but because everyone of good will needs to confront the injustices of patriarchy and to ask what can be done to create the conditions wherein the lives of women do not have to be mediated through the lives of men. What the Christine Blasey Ford part of the Kavanaugh episode has to do with, however, is something else again. …

The Democratic Party’s commitment to Identity Politics is not a commitment to the real issues and questions that are the basis for Identity Politics, it is a commitment to marshalling people’s energy around these issues and questions to the imperatives of finance capital globalism and American imperialism. It’s not an accident that the heroes of this Democratic Party/Identity Politics “feminism,” such as Hillary Clinton and Rachel Maddow, are so open and bloodthirsty about their militarism. … Without any hesitation, I will say that I sincerely hope the Democrats will go down in flames. As for all my liberal and supposed leftist friends out there, I love you, I care about you; you may hate me, but I don’t hate you. I hope you will find your minds and stop letting the Democrats use your trauma, and whatever good intentions toward humanity that you have, for their nefarious and ignoble ends.

We are at a point where the “conventional wisdom” of the Left is just as hackneyed and dogmatic as that of the “Right,” if not more so. And neither political category is of much use in the present moment, this moment of what I call the “Trump Clarification.” Obviously, we are in a different moment when Tucker Carlson has more interesting things to say about the State and the ruling class and class in general than most who are bogged down in received categories that needed a radical overhaul already a generation or more ago, if not indeed much longer.

[Philosophical footnote:]

In [Alain] Badiou’s work, there are four “conditions of philosophy,” domains of human activity in which truth may emerge: art, science, politics, and love. Yes, in all cases, there is the criteria that something new emerges, such as when two people fall in love, and one way we know that something new has emerged is that the previous “situation” is “evacuated,” and the previous terms of things are recast. So, when two people fall in love, there is a new situation, and pre-existing relationships with other people are recast.

Since the late ’60s and early ’70s, everyone has gotten used to saying and thinking that “everything is political.” There is much to be said about this, and it is not entirely a simple question, but I think, following the distinctions that Badiou makes, we people of good political will need to rethink this idea and basically reject it. This idea has led us into a big mess. …

Now, let’s remember that a clear distinction should be made regarding the term “politics.” The ordinary use of the term has to do primarily with the pursuit of power. I call this “anti-politics.” The exceptional use of the term, in both discourse and practical matters, has to do with the pursuit of the good society, and here “good” is meant in the sense that we see in Plato and Aristotle: that which encourages a general and mutual human flourishing. …

In the reduction in which “everything is political,” you end up, by and by, and regardless of intentions, with the power-oriented, anti-political view. This is what we see coming to complete fruition in recent years, [in] the idea that the core and limit of “politics” today is the “struggle against Trump.” This is the model of “politics,” easily intermixed with Identity Politics, that reduces everything to “power vs counter-power.” In other words, this is a “politics” in which, by design, the emergence of the new truth that we need, does not stand a chance. This is why Badiou says that, from the standpoint of the existing situation, the change we need is impossible and illegal, and the change will also seem irrational. …

To simplify greatly (everything that is in my “footnote”), there is a kind of reduction, that the philosopher Alain Badiou is worried about, whereby the “everything is political”-claim reduces all of our attempts at finding or pursuing (or “inventing,” “constructing”) truth into a matter of the play of “political” power. In this way, “everything” (that is supposedly “political”) becomes assimilated to the workings of power. … The other kind of reduction that Badiou is concerned with can be seen in the reduction of art to entertainment, science to technology, love to sexuality (or possibly to “a kind of friendship”), and politics to power. These, in other words, are reductions of quality to quantity, but they also point out the problem of thinking that the emergence of something new can be accounted for by a magic trick called the transformation of quantity into quality. …

Another way to put this is that the basis in capitalism, in which the dominant “understanding” of “politics” is instead an “anti-politics” of mere power-manipulation, is also the basis in which reductionism in general occurs. The kind of “feminism” I am criticizing here indeed seeks to work within and does nothing, absolutely nothing, to challenge the capitalist (and American imperialist) framework; on the contrary, instead, it actively seeks to work within the system, and indeed to “work the system.”

This is a win-win proposition for this kind of “feminism”: either more power is gained for those whose conception of “politics” is nothing but power, those who are already established in this world of power (or a few clever opportunists who hope to become established), or, in the case of the failure to secure more power in any given sortie, there is a “win” in being able to call all those who oppose this bullshit-parody of feminism “misogynists,” “ignorant and stupid,” “deplorable, chauvinist pigs,” “straight, white, cis-men,” “cis-women” (and even “cis-feminists”), etc.

That many and perhaps most people are on to this bullshit constantly eludes the Democrats. Or perhaps it is more that the Democrats have nowhere else to go, and nothing else to offer, than their power-plays dressed up in “social justice” rhetoric. This is certainly the case in reality, but it seems that the Democratic leadership and even Hillary Clinton, no matter how deluded they are, must know this on some level. Still, what choice do they have but to dig into their narrative deeper and deeper? …

The larger liberal/anti-Trump narrative, in which truth is fully-defined within the narrative and the narrative is what must therefore be defended, come what may, is the context in which the Blasey Ford stunt took place. …

Part of what I’m trying to say is that the politics of simply “anti-Trump,” based overwhelmingly on hatred for an individual (which, I suppose, does confirm that he is not really a figure of either establishment party), is leading us down a very bad path. And it’s not that the opportunism of the leadership of the Democratic Party is a case of passions having overcome reason—Hillary is a great example of a consummate politician who knows how to serve power, through the employment of a purely instrumental reason—it is that they are inflaming passions, including hatred (which is simply poisonous, especially when aimed at people rather than institutions), it’s that these passions are being opportunistically deployed in the service of “political” ends that have nothing to do with addressing patriarchy or any of the other oppressive institutions of our capitalist society. …

Trump is not a “fascist.” The people who support the idea that he is, and that a fascist regime is solidifying under Trump, are way off the mark. What the Democrats tried to do with their Blasey Ford-stunt was closer to “fascism,” in the attempt to further eliminate basic principles of bourgeois-democratic legal procedures and to more broadly ensconce the idea that, at least for a certain range of offenses, the accusation is the “evidence,” and therefore the accusation is the “case.” (In this mix it can also be quite unclear how the “accusation” is generated in the first place.) Everyone should be relieved that the Democrats did not get away with this, at least for now.

[digression on the North American Sartre Society:] [W]e need them [Simone Beauvoir and Simone Weil] for the kind of feminism and radical struggle that comes from a universalist perspective, as opposed to the anti-universalism of Identity Politics.

Trump … is especially good at taking things that have needed to be addressed for years, and pushing them another step (at least rhetorically) toward crisis—and what the existing structure is showing is that, whether Democrat or Republican, the system has no solution to these things, at least not without a major shake-up and, what’s more important, without loss of power by those who are entrenched in power. Those who have committed themselves to a “solution” to any major problem within the system, and therefore those who accept “#votebluenomatterwho,” have committed themselves to the complete elimination of any thinking that attempts to go beyond the existing system. This is a confirmation of instrumental reason that no fascism or “totalitarianism” has ever achieved, but the leading elements of postmodern capitalism, such as the Clintons, seem close to doing it. … Except most people don’t believe the Democratic Party’s bullshit, and, in terms of a “politics” confined entirely to the non-idea of “pursuing interests,” these people have not only interests as well, but also real needs that are not being met by a Democratic Party that not only does not really represent the working class (it never did, but at least it tied itself to the idea that it did), but even straightforwardly dismisses working people as “deplorable.” This is the Democratic Party that has been created by the Clintons, Al Gore, and others since the Reagan/Bush period. It is purely a liberal delusion to think there is anything to support there. …

Whatever Trump is, and whatever the Republican Party is or is becoming, I truly hope the Democratic Party crashes and burns.

In this series:
The Christine Blasey Ford Episode: State Feminism, the Worthless “Left,” and Liberal Delusions
The Trump Experiment: Liberals and Leftists Unhinged and Around the Bend
The Fourth Hypothesis: the Present Juncture of the Trump Clarification and the Watershed Moment on the Washington Mall
Watershed Moment on the Mall

November 13, 2018

Authority, empire, and the devolution of liberalism

In the recent centennial commemoration of the end of the first “world war” (ie, the beginning of the second) French President Emmanuel Macron said: “In saying ‘Our interests first, whatever happens to the others,’ you erase the most precious thing a nation can have, that which makes it live, that which causes it to be great and that which is most important: its moral values.”

How can you have moral values if you have you have no self-interest? It is obviously a question of balance (which Macron denies), but it is also obvious that one’s own interests (and what happens to those closest to you, expanding outward to community and eventually to nation and only then to include the world community) must be attended to first. Only an authoritarian would define moral value as the opposite.

Similarly, Justin Trudeau said, “Attacks on the media are not just about getting your preferred political candidate elected, for example, they are about increasing the level of cynicism that citizens have toward all authorities, towards all of the institutions that are there to protect us as citizens.”

Memo to the Canadian Prime Minister: Authorities earn respect, and when they are no longer respected, it would be the very definition of authoritarianism to demand that they be and to condemn the critical engagement of citizens as “cynical”. Democracy, not, unquestioning submission, is how we protect ourselves as citizens.

Trudeau also said: “When people feel their institutions can’t protect them, they look for easy answers in populism, in nationalism, in closing borders, in shutting down trade, in xenophobia.”

The joke is that all that so-called populists and nationalists in the US and around the world want is to control their countries’ borders with the rigor that Trudeau’s Canada controls theirs.

And who is shutting down trade?! Control of trade or renogiating aged treaties is not shutting it down, any more than controlling immigration is shutting it down or xenophobic.

Back to Macron, who also said about the victors in 1918: “They imagined the first international corporation, the dismantling of empires, and redefined borders, and dreamed at the time of a union, a political union of Europe.” In other words, a single empire to replace the three that had just been at war.

November 1, 2018

The heroic and the mundane

‘The absolute is eternity. The relative is day-to-day existence. These are the two fundamental tropes of our lives. We hold the absolute at bay, firstly by leveling down the bigness of our existence, that which has to do with the very boundaries of life and materiality, to the commonplace, addressing the issues that concern us all, the great collective, mankind, only in the quotidian; secondly by ritualizing the absolute in an unreal world of images: death is to us not the physical death of the body, but the figurative death, as it occurs in images, in the same way as violence is not physical violence, but figurative violence. Heroism is no longer a possibility, there being no arena for it, those arenas have all been shut down, for the heroic belongs to the bigness we do what we can to shun, yet in the world of images, which any one of us may enter at any time, the heroic lives on: entire worlds and societies have emerged in Internet gaming, where anyone can pick up a machine gun and venture out into the world to shoot the enemy for a few hours. Practically all the films we watch are about exactly this: heroism, violence, death. And the people we watch carry out these heroic deeds in our name, in our place, are all physically beautiful or charismatic, or both. Indeed, that world, growing and expanding with every year that passes, celebrates all the worlds we otherwise reject. Outer beauty, charisma, heroism, violence, and death are not relative, they belong to the pure, the unambivalent, the simple. Our need for this, to see the magnification of our existence and what borders the absolute, is insatiable.

‘... This is what happened in Norway this summer [2011], when a man only a few years younger than me went out to an island and began indiscriminately shooting and killing young people. He acted like a figure in a computer game ... Did he feel a yearning for reality, for an end to relativity, for the consequences of the absolute? We must assume he did. Do I feel such a yearning? Yes, I do. My basic feeling is that of the world disappearing, that our lives are being filled with images of the world, and that these images are inserting themselves between us and the world, making the world around us lighter and lighter and less and less binding. We are trying to detach ourselves from everything that ties us to physical reality; from the bloodless, vacuum-packed steaks in the refrigerated counters of our supermarkets, the industrially produced meat of cooped-up animals, to society’s concealment of physical death and illness, from the cosmetically rectified uniformity of female faces to the endless flow of news images that pass through us every day and which together, in sum, erase all differences and establish a kind of universal sameness, not only because everything is conveyed in the same language, but also because what thereby is so incessantly conveyed inexorably, albeit gradually, recreates what is conveyed in its own image. The symbol of this trend is money, which converts everything into monetary value, which is to say numbers. Everything we have is mass-produced, everything is the same, and our entire world, which is commercial in nature, is based on that serial system. The values in our sky of images are Nazi values, though everyone says differently. Beautiful bodies, beautiful faces, healthy bodies, healthy faces, perfect bodies, perfect faces, heroic people, heroic deaths ... and the rush of the authentic, which here is fictitious, so compelling, that someone sooner or later is bound to bring the sky down to earth and let it apply here.’

My Struggle (Min Kamp), Book 6, by Karl Ove Knausgård, translated by Martin Aitken

October 28, 2018

The almost inescapable we

‘To protect ourselves we use the most potent marker of distance we know, the line of demarcation that passes between “we” and “they.” The Nazis have become our great “they.” In their demonic and monstrous evil, “they” exterminated the Jews and set the world aflame. Hitler, Goebbels, Göring and Himmler, Mengele, Stangl, and Eichmann. The German people who followed “them” are in our minds also a “they,” a faceless and frenzied mass, almost as monstrous as their leaders. The remoteness of “they” is vast and dashes down these proximate historical events, which took place in the present of our grandparents, into a near-medieval abyss. At the same time we know, every one of us knows, even though we might not acknowledge it, that we ourselves, had we been a part of that time and place and not of this, would in all probability have marched beneath the banners of Nazism. In Germany in 1938 Nazism was the consensus, it was what was right, and who would dare to speak against what is right? The great majority of us believe the same as everyone else, do the same as everyone else, and this is to because the “we” and the “all” are what decide the norms, rules, and morals of a society. Now that Nazism has become “they,” it is easy to distance ourselves from it, but this was not the case when Nazism was “we.” If we are to understand what happened and how it was possible, we must understand this first. And we must understand too that Nazism in its various elements wasn’t monstrous in itself, by which I mean that it did not arise as something obviously monstrous and evil, separate from all else in the current of society, but was on the contrary, part of that current. The gas chambers were not a German invention, but were conceived by Americans who realized that people could be put to death by placing them in a chamber infused with poisonous gas, a procedure they carried out for the first time in 1919. Paranoid anti-Semitism was not a German phenomenon either, the world’s most celebrated and passionate anti-Semite in 1925 being not Adolf Hitler but Henry Ford. And racial biology was not an abject, shameful discipline pursued at the bottom of society or its shabby periphery, it was the scientific state of the art, much as genetics is today, haloed by the light of the future and all its hope. Decent humans distanced themselves from all of this, but they were few, and this fact demands our consideration, for who are we going to be when our decency is put to the test? Will we have the courage to speak against what everyone else believes, our friends, neighbors, and colleagues, to insist that we are decent and they are not? Great is the power of the we, almost inescapable its bonds, and the only thing we can really do is to hope our we is a good we. Because if evil comes it will not come as “they,” in the guise of the unfamiliar that we might turn away without effort, it will come as “we.” It will come as what is right.’

My Struggle (Min Kamp), Book 6, by Karl Ove Knausgård, translated by Martin Aitken

October 19, 2018

The teleological error of biography

‘The issue with biography as a genre, and this is as true of autobiography as it is of the memoir, is that the author purports to be omniscient, a sole authority, he or she knows how it all turned out, and as such it is almost impossible not to accord emphasis to any sign, be it character trait or event, that points in that one direction, even if, as in this instance, it is merely one trait, one event among many others that in no way called attention to themselves. Of course, the truth of any past situation is elusive, it belongs to the moment and cannot be separated from it, but we may ensnare that moment, illuminate it from different angles, weigh the plausibility of one interpretation against that of another, and in that experiment endeavor to ignore what later happened, which is to say refrain from considering one character trait, one event, as a sign of something other than what it is in itself.

‘This “in itself” is both riddle and solution at the same time. If we view Hitler as a “bad” person, with categorically negative characteristics even as a child and a young man, all pointing toward a subsequently escalating “evil,” then Hitler is of “the other,” and thereby not of us, and in that case we have a problem, since then we are unburdened of the atrocities he and Germany later committed, these being something “they” did, so no longer a threat to us. But what is this “bad” that we do not embody? What is this “evil” that we do not express? The very formulation is indicative of how we humans think in terms of categories, and of course there is nothing wrong with that as long as we are aware of the dangers. In the night of pathology and the predetermined there is no free will, and without free will there is not guilt.

‘No matter how broken a person might be, no matter how disturbed the soul, that person remains a person always, with the freedom to choose. It is choice that makes us human. Only choice gives meaning to the concept of guilt.

‘Kershaw and almost two generations with him have condemned Hitler and his entire being as if pointing to his innocence when he was nineteen or twenty-three, or pointing to some of the good qualities he retained throughout his life, were a defense of him and of evil. In actual fact the opposite is true: only his innocence can bring his guilt into relief.’

My Struggle (Min Kamp), Book 6, by Karl Ove Knausgård, translated by Martin Aitken

October 7, 2018

Equality in language only

‘After writing this yesterday morning, I took Heidi and John to the nursery, where I was putting in a shift. The staff told me I could get off early to go to Vanja’s last-day-of-school even if I wanted, so I took Heidi and John with me and went to the church a few blocks away where it was taking place. Compared to the last-day assemblies of my own school days, which had taken place in a chapel with hymns and a priest in full garb in an atmosphere that was starched and solemn, the last thing we had to endure before the summer, which seemed to us to be ready and waiting outside, Vanja’s last day was like something from a different world. … It was like an audition for American Idol. The priest spoke about how important it was to be joyful, he told them fame and fortune didn’t matter and that everyone was equal. There was no mention of God, Jesus, or the Bible. After the sermon, which lasted all of five minutes, the pupils who had stood out most during the year were called forward. They received diplomas. Some for their fantastic grades, some for their fantastic personal qualities, which, judging by what was said, consisted of taking responsibility for others and caring. … After we got back to the nursery and I was busy filling the dishwasher and wiping the kitchen counter, the nursery head asked me how the even had gone. I said it was like being in the United States. That I’d never seen anything as Americanized before. The best students singing and performing for the others, diplomas awarded to those who had stood out. And the absurd sermon given by the priest, who said everyone was equal, while everything that was going on around him said the opposite, with some students singled out as being more valuable than others and put on display in all their glory. …

‘Equality was the supreme principle, and one of the consequences was that expressions of the singularly Swedish were seen as exclusive and discriminatory, for which reason they were shunned. … It was this same ideology, hostile to all difference, that could not accept categories of male and female, he and she. Since han and hun are denotative of gender, it was suggested a new pronoun, hen, be used to cover both. The ideal human being was a gender-neutral hen whose foremost task in life was to avoid oppressing any religion or culture by preferring their own. Such total self-obliteration, aggressive in its insistence on leveling out, though in its own view tolerant, was a phenomenon of the cultural middle class, that segment of the population which controlled the media, the schools, and other major institutions of society … . But what did this ideology of equality actually entail? A recent study said that differences between pupils in Swedish schools had never been greater than they are now. The gap between the ablest children, for whom the future is bright, and the least able, whose futures lie outside the zones of influence and wealth, is widening year by year. The trend in the study is clear indeed: the strongest pupils are those from Swedish backgrounds, the weakest are from immigrant backgrounds. While we might be concerned not to offend people from other nations and other cultures, going so far as to eliminate everything Swedish, this happens only in the symbolic world, the world of flags and anthems, whereas in the real world everyone who does not belong to the Swedish middle class, which is hostile to all difference, is kept down and excluded … . … Equality in Sweden is confined to the middle class, they alone are becoming more equal; elsewhere the only equality is in the language, managed by the same middle class. In Sweden something happening in language is much worse than something happening in reality. An instance of one moral code applying in language and another in reality used to be called a double standard. This was what was going on at Vanja’s last-day-of-school event; the ideal of everyone being equal, and fame and wealth being unimportant, applied in the language of the priest, whereas the reality surround that ideology said the opposite: the most important thing is to be rich and famous. Every child there harbored that dream, it was in the air. And the more I see of it, this self-blind and self-satisfied ideology of quality, believing as it does that the conclusion it has reached is universal and true and must therefore govern us all – although in fact it is valid only to a small class of the privileged few, as if they comprised some little island of decency in an ocean of commercialism and social inequality – the more the significance of my life’s struggle diminishes … . … Oh, how then, for crying out loud, can we make the lives we live an expression of life, rather than the expression of ideology?’

My Struggle (Min Kamp), Book 6, by Karl Ove Knausgård, translated by Martin Aitken

October 6, 2018


This week’s The Commons, out of Brattleboro, Vermont, dedicates its “Voices” section to “The Supreme Court Hearings and the Trauma of Sexual Assault”, asking “What do the Kavanaugh hearings say about our politics and how our society treats survivors who have suffered in silence?”

Although there are 5 “Viewpoints”, 1 regular column, and 3 letters, only one viewpoint is presented, however. There is no questioning of the assumptions behind their theme. For example, maybe the Supreme Court hearing had nothing at all to do with the trauma of sexual assault except in the minds of those forcing the issue in to derail it. And maybe that’s what speaks more about our politics and how our society treats survivors, such as cynically using them to achieve a political end – or mere campaign event – that has nothing to do with actually helping victims of sexual assault.

Of course, in this atmosphere, who would dare to raise such views, such a voice, and incur the wrath of the whipped-up mob?

October 2, 2018

Paul Krugman defends his privilege

Gary Taustine comments in reply to Paul Krugman’s opinion piece “The Angry White Male Caucus: Trumpism is all about the fear of losing traditional privilege”:

Dear Paul,

Have you ever considered, even for a moment, that the white folks who voted for Trump are not scared of losing the fictional “privilege” of which you speak, but rather, sick and tired of being told they’re privileged as they struggle to make ends meet?

Perhaps your own wealth and privilege make you feel guilty and uncomfortable, so you’d rather ascribe your charmed life to race instead of facing the fact that you, personally, are one of the few truly privileged people in this country.

From your ivory towers you and your fellow leftist one percenters haphazardly label everyone who disagrees with you as small-minded bigots, terrified of losing advantages they’ve never known and entitlements they’ve never enjoyed, and you wonder why you lost the election.

Here in Manhattan, where a MAGA hat is a 100 percent reliable form of birth control for men, I’m sure most everyone agrees with you, but that’s the danger of living in an echo chamber. Venture outside of your bubble and you’ll find that you’re part of a jaded, uninformed minority whose views of the working class are as ignorant as they are offensive.

This is not an issue of race; the only color of privilege in America is green, and the interests of the truly privileged one percent on both sides of the aisle are well served by suggesting their advantages are enjoyed by all 62 percent of Americans lacking melanin. If they didn't pit races against one another, eventually everyone might recognize the real enemy.

Some Dude replied:

@Gary Taustine
You sound better aligned with Bernie Sanders than with Trump. How do you figure that the poster man-child for upper class greed is going to help the working class? That defies even pretzel logic.

And Gary Taustine:

@Some Dude
I'm no socialist, I'm an independent capitalist, and I don't think Trump cares any more about the working class than Rian Johnson cares about Star Wars fans, but I know that the trade deals Trump has been shredding rewarded huge corporations with massive profits for outsourcing jobs. I also know that his tax cuts greatly benefit the super-wealthy while adding to the deficit, but they help those who really needed some relief as well, and the corporate cuts have resulted in historically low unemployment.

So when I see one side rewarding the wealthy while exporting jobs and the other rewarding the wealthy while creating jobs, logic dictates going with the latter.

September 29, 2018

Memories and Stories | Cuimhní agus Scéalta

Our memories are our stories. We can construct them in the spirit of vengeance or forgiveness.

Is ár scéalta ár gcuimhní, a bhfuil iad a tógáil i ndíoltas nó i ndíolghadh.

September 8, 2018


From Karli Thompson, Democracy for America, 7 September:

URGENT: Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski need to hear from you IMMEDIATELY about Kavanaugh's dishonesty on Roe v. Wade. Will you take a minute to make an emergency call to their offices now?

An email leaked to the New York Times yesterday confirmed what we already suspected: Brett Kavanaugh lied when he told Susan Collins that he believes Roe v. Wade is settled law.

Not only that, but during questioning yesterday, he referred to birth control medication as "abortion-inducing drugs" -- a construction used by the far right to demonize birth control and pave the way for severe restrictions on a woman's right to regulate her own body. ...

A vote for Kavanaugh is a vote to strip women of their bodily autonomy. Period. ...

From Zephyr Teachout, 7 September:

At last night's final debate, one of our opponents took the personal and petty attacks to a new level. He took a page out of the Republican playbook and used a gendered attack against Zephyr — calling her "unhinged."

Why? Because Zephyr correctly pointed out that he voted with Wall Street lobbyists to roll back key provisions of Dodd-Frank. ...

From Ben Jealous, Democracy for America, 8 September:

On Thursday night, at his rally in Montana, Donald Trump finally did it -- he attacked me personally:

"In Maryland, the Democrat candidate for governor wants to give illegal aliens free college tuition, courtesy of the American taxpayer. Come on in, free college!"

He attacked my plan to extend tuition-free community college to all Maryland residents, including DREAMers. And he attacked it with the same hateful language he always uses -- rhetoric meant to divide us. ...

[[[[ ]]]]

Almost all of such e-mails from these and other campaigns have this tone of desperate import and apocalyptic battle. Granted, they are to people who have already expressed support for the causes, or at least the people and organizations promulgating them, but frankly, they should be a complete turn-off to anyone who has any self-respect.

The first example about Kavanaugh is a baldfaced lie. Twenty years ago, Kavanaugh wrote, as legal vetter of an opinion piece in support of one of Bush's appeals court nominees, that the statement “It is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land” may not be accurate. He did not say that he himself does not accept it as such. And he told Collins that he does.

Similarly, regarding his reference to "abortion-inducing drugs": In the case in question he recognized that the general requirement of the ACA to provide contraception included, indeed, "abortion-inducing drugs" (such as RU-486), which some religious groups could not accept. He also stated in the same opinion "that the government has a compelling interest in facilitating access to contraception for the employees of these religious organizations".

Regarding the second example, I have not seen or even read about the debate in question, but in fact, Dodd-Frank protected potential home-owners only by severely limiting their access to credit. Instead of facilitating families to buy homes on fair terms, Dodd-Frank turned the market over to landlord/investors. The "rollback" that was made was actually good, raising the threshold of assets for a bank to be subject to the severe restrictions of Dodd-Frank. To criticize voting for that change simply because "Wall Street lobbyists" supported it does seem rather unhinged. And it is certainly unhinged to think the adjective is "gendered". Omarosa Manigault Newman's book Unhinged is just one major example of the term's frequent use in reference to Trump.

Finally, Ben Jealous: You weren't attacked personally. Your plan to provide free community college to illegal aliens was. And it was not done with hateful language, but simply mocked on its face.

Almost all "rhetoric meant to divide us" is coming from the Democrats like this. They mischaracterize, lie, and hide behind identity politics in an obvious inability to defend their own policies or honestly criticize policies they oppose. Anything that some of them might have to offer is getting overwhelmed by their continuing derangement over Trump's election. And as long as that dominates (persecution of Trump is in fact Teachout's primary campaign promise), they can not overcome their implicit disdain for voters.

(I am sure that fundraising e-mails from other campaigns are just as bad — I get only these "progressive" ones because I donated to Bernie Sanders's primary campaign. And they rather underscore that they aren't actually very progressive, but little more than politics as usual.)

August 27, 2018

An Mhaighdean Óg

Dá mbeidh’ áitreabh agam féin
No gabháltas a’s réim,
Caoirigh breágh’ bána
Ar árd-chnoc no sléibh,
Sláinte agus méin
Agus grádh ceart d’á réir,
Bheidhinn-se ’s mo ghrádh geal
Go sáimh ann san tsaéghal.

Tá maighdean óg ’san tír
’S is réaltan eólais í,
Grian bhreágh ar bórd í
A’s togha de na mnáibh,
A cum fada breágh
’S a cúilín crathach bán
’S gach alt léi ar lúth-chrith
Ó búcla go brághaid.

Dá mbeidhinn-se ’s mo rún
Ar choill ag buain cnó
No ar thaoibh lisín aoibhinn
’S gan dídionn orrainn acht ceó,
Bheidheadh mo chroidhe-se d’á bhreóghadh
Le díogras d’á póig
’S gur b’é grádh ceart do chlaoidh mé
’S do fhíor-sgair mo shnódh.

Dá mbéidhinn-se ’s mo ghrádh
Ar thaoibh chnuic no báin
’S gan feóirling ann ár bpóca
Ná lón chum na slighe,
Bheidh’ mo shúil-se le Críost
Le ár ndóthaint gan mhoill
A’s go dtógfadh mo stór geal
An brón so de m’ chroidhe.

Dá mbéidhinn-se ’s mo ghrádh
Cois taoide no tráigh
’S gan aon neach beó ’nn ár dtimchioll
An oidhche fhada, ’s lá,
Do bhéidhinn-se ag cómhrádh
Le Neilidh an chúil bháin
Is liom-sa ’budh h-aoibhinn
Bheith ag coímhdeacht mo ghrádh.


If I had a home of my own
Or a holding and position,
Fine white sheep
On a high hill or mountain,
Health in body and mind
And love in turn,
Myself and my bright love
Would live there peacefully.

There is a young maiden in the land
And she is a star of knowledge,
A splendid sun at table
And a pick among women,
Her long lovely form
And her waving fair hair
And her every joint aquiver with life
From buckles to breast.

If myself and my sweetheart
Were gathering nuts in the wood
Or beside a pleasant little rath
With only fog our shelter,
My heart would be sick
With passion for her kiss,
Such love would destroy,
Would shatter me.

If myself and my love were
Beside the hill or moor,
No farthing in our pocket,
No food for the way,
My hope in Christ
To soon provide
And my darling light
To take this sorrow from my heart.

If myself and my love
Were beside the tide or strand
With nothing alive around us,
The long night and day
I would be talking
With Nelly of the fair hair,
My own pleasure won
To be with my love.

from Abhráin Grádh Chúige Connacht, Douglas Hyde (1893);
revised translation by Eric Rosenbloom (2018)

Tune by Eric Rosenbloom:

Dá dTéidhinn-se Siar

Dá dtéidhinn-se siar is aniar ni thiucfainn,
Air an g-cnoc do b’áirde is air a sheasfainn,
’S í an chraobh chúmhartha is túisge bhainfinn
’Gus ’s é mo ghrádh féin ar luaithe leanfainn.

Tá mo chroidhe chomh dubh le áirne,
Ná le gual dubh dhoighfidhe i g-ceartaidh,
Le bonn bróige air hállaidhibh bána,
’S tá lionndubh mór os cionn mo gháire.

Tá mo chroidhe-se brúighte briste,
Mar leac-oidhre air uachtar uisge,
Mar bheidh’ cnuasach cnó léist a mbriste,
Ná maighdean óg léis a pósta.

Tá mo ghhrádh-s’ air dhath na sméara,
’S air dhath na súgh-craobh, lá breágh gréine,
Air dhath na bhfraochóg budh duibhe an tsléibhe,
’Gus is minic bhí ceann dubh air chollainn glégil.

Is mithid damh-s’ an baile seó fhágbháil,
Is geur an chloch ’gus is fuar an láib ann,
Is ann a fuaireas guth gan éadáil,
Agus focal trom ó lucht an bhiodáin.

Fuagraim an grádh, is mairg do thug é
Do mhac na mná úd, ariamh nár thuig é,
Mo chroidhe ann mo lár gur fhágbhuidh sé dubh é,
’S ni fheicim air an tsráid ná i n-áit air bith é.


If I could go west, I’d not return—
On the highest hill I’d stand,
The first fragrant branch I’d pick,
My love I’d quickly follow.

My heart is as black as sloe,
As black coal burned in a forge,
As bootsoles dirtying white floors,
A deep melancholy above my smile.

My heart indeed is bruised and broken,
Like an ice-sheet on water,
Like gathered nuts are after cracking,
As a young maid after marrying.

My love the color of blackberries,
The color of raspberries a fine sunny day,
The color of black mountain heath-berries—
There’s often a black head on a pure body.

I should leave this town,
Where the stone is hard and the mud cold,
Where song no longer avails,
But heavy words from the chattering mob.

I warn of love, and woe to who gave it
To yon woman’s son, who never understood,
My heart in my stomach, where he left it black,
And I don’t see him on the street or anywhere at all.

from Abhráin Grádh Chúige Connacht, Douglas Hyde (1893);
revised translation by Eric Rosenbloom (2018)

can be sung to the tune of “Scarborough Fair”

August 17, 2018

“Much of the news media is indeed the enemy of the people.”

Comments to The Commons (Brattleboro, Vt.) editorial, August 15, 2018:

Ruby Bode comments...

Yet what press operations have been “reined in and silenced”? Facebook increasingly closes down TeleSur and Venezuela Analysis, and Alex Jones and InfoWars have been shut down in a concerted action by Itunes, Youtube, Spotify, and Facebook. Many other conservative broadcasters have been removed from or “shadow-banned” by Twitter and demonetized by Youtube. It is not the President’s critics being silenced, but his supporters, along with critics of American “liberal” imperialism.

Yet this editorial ignores all that and continues to wallow in the demonization of Trump that has appeared to be the mission of most of the press since election day 2016, not in the interest of “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable” (where was that rabid sense of mission during Obama’s administration and Clinton’s campaign? where will it be when Trump’s terms are done?), but in what can only be called a naked antagonism to the results of an election. …

Ruby Bode continues...

… The advice to “think about and read your news critically” in fact provides good reason to distrust much of the press. The criticism of Trump “blaming the messenger” applies just as aptly to this editorial. Indeed, it closes in neo–John Birch Society fashion, “without the slightest hint of shame”, by evoking “a foreign hand”. The same brand of “incendiary rhetoric” – even the prurient obsession with prostitutes – was prominent against President Kennedy in 1963.

Jane Palmer replies...

Trump is not consistent in his criticism of the press. He only attacks the ones that don’t agree with him.

Ruby Bode replies...

And the only outlets that have been “reined in and silenced” are those who support the President (Infowars has been shut down in a coordinated move at Youtube, Facebook, Itunes, and Spotify, and many “conservative” Twitter users are repeatedly banned or “shadowbanned”), along with critics of “liberal” imperialism (Telesur and Venezuela Analysis have been repeatedly shut down on Facebook).

Ruby Bode further replies...

Also, Jane Palmer’s comment belies the premise behind this editorial. Trump is in fact consistent: He attacks those who unfairly attack him. His use of the broad terms “press” and “people” are the rhetorical exaggerations he is known for. Some press outlets are against some of the people, against those who voted for Trump and the increasing numbers who think he should be given a chance. And by agitating for his removal with John Birch Society–inspired hysteria, they are against our democracy itself.

TB Smith says...

The divisiveness brought on by this shamefully poor excuse for a president has been once again, borne out by this article, and the responses to it .. his most devoted followers are the most gullible and easily swayed sheeple since the “Kool-Aid party in Jonestown” ... those who stand up the most fervently to this dictator “wannabe”, will , in the end, see him and the fellow purveyors of his garbage rhetoric like FOX News, Alex Jones, Breitbart, etc., crumble and be dumped like stale crackers (pardon the pun) .. we must impeach this tyrant before too much damage is done, either from within or outside our borders.

Ruby Bode replies...

So it’s OK that access to outlets that simply recognize Trump as President is indeed being shut down? But isn’t that exactly what this editorial is against? Should outlets that cheered on Obama’s wars and love of Wall St have likewise been shut down? Only John Birch Society–inspired screeds against Trump indicate the “legitimate” press?

Ruby Bode replies again...

TB Smith’s comment in apparent support of the us-vs-them tone of this editorial illustrates why so many people distrust so much of the press (although, again, it appears to be only pro-Trump and anti-imperialist outlets that are actually being shut down): They are promulgating hysterical claims about fascism, Russians, and “crackers” not in the interest of the people, but wholly on behalf of the neoliberal/neoconservative program of Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama to deny Trump the Presidency and even remove him from office – not democratically, but by coup if necessary. That makes the press rather anti-democratic and, indeed, against the people.

banar Singleton says...

Spot on...thank you for challenging those who would blanketly dismiss your opinion/facts to do their own “facts checking”. Unfortunately I fear many if not most of these sheep will be lead to slaughter thinking that they are going to the trough.
a day ago

Ruby Bode replies...

Since when does the press get a free pass? Remember the Maine? The mainstream press has always been promoting the agendas of the powerful, the parties of war and Wall St. Not questioning the criticism of President Trump (particularly as it is rarely about actual policy and is so often in apocalyptic tones) is no more responsible than not questioning the voices of support.

Bev Matias says...

Thank you for your efforts to disseminate the news of the day and resist the hate-filled and deceitful rhetoric of this administration. I cannot believe, still, in this country that it is necessary for the press and regular citizens to defend themselves. Only one quarter or less of the citizens believe a word he says yet you are forced to defend yourselves because his speech is so incendiary. The press is now officially our last line of defense.

Ruby Bode replies...

Last line of defense against what, exactly? Having to live with the results of a democratic election?

Judith Skillman says...

Excellent and informative writing about the media and about the state of our nation. We must support the press speak truth to power, now more than ever before.

Ruby Bode replies...

We are also obliged to criticize the press when they merely echo the lies of the powerful. In this case, much of the press has taken a side, not just against the policies of the President, but against the election itself on behalf of the parties of war and Wall St. Just as the US has in the past agitated in other countries for coups against democratic outcomes they don’t like, much of the press, including this editorial, is now agitating for a coup here at home.

See: “Press and editorial wallow in demonization of Donald Trump”, September 12.

June 9, 2018

FEAR etc.

Fear, m., a man

Féar, m., grass

Fear, v. tr., pour out, rain, give forth, send, grant, bestow

Fearthainn, f., rain; tá sé ag cur fearthainne, it is raining

Fearb, f. a welt, a stripe; a blotch caused by a satire, etc.; a groove, a notch; the notch-end, scroll or peg-box of a violin; al. “beaded edge or caiseal of a fiddle” (Car.); al. a dish or trencher; d’fhéach mé ar a feirb, I looked at the peg-box; bhí poll ar a feirb, the scroll was perforated; al. a word (Lat. verbum); al. fearb, feirbh.

Fearb, f., a doe or dear

Fearg, f., anger, wrath, fury

Fearn, f., the alder tree; alder timber; ... the letter F; al. a shield.

Fearr, a., comp. of maith; better, best ...

Fearsa, m., a verse

Fearsach, -saighe, a., full of small ridges as a strand (O’R.).

Fearsaid, f., a shaft; a spindle; the ulna of the arm (f. na láimhe), the fibula of the leg (f. na coise), a club

Feart, m., virtue, power, force, strength, efficacy, desert, merit, expedient; heed; a miracle, a prodigy

Feart, m., a grave, a tomb, a vault; a trench.

May 31, 2018


[Dinneen, 1927]

bean, … a woman, a wife; …

beanaim, I cut, etc.; … I strike; … See bainim and cf. buainim.

[Ó Donáill, 1977]

bainim, I dig out.

beann, f. (gs. binne, npl.~a, gpl. ~). 1. Horn, antler. 2. Drinking-horn. 3. ~ buabhaill, bugle-horn. 4. Prong. [Ó Donáill]

beann, f. (gs. binne). Regard; dependence. [Ó Donáill]

beann. 1. gpl. of binn. 2. f = binn.

binn, f. (gs. ~e, npl. beanna, gpl. beann). 1. Peak. 2. Gable. 3. Cliff. 4. Corner; edge, margin. 5. (Of garment) Lap. 6. ~ sleáin, wind, flange, of turf-spade. ~ siosúir, blade of scissors. 7. Side, portion. 8. = beann.

binn, a1. 1. (Of sound) Sweet, melodious.

binn, f = beann.


beann, gs. beinne, binne, beanna; ds. beinn, binn; pl. beanna; f old neut., a point, a peak; a mountain peak; a headland; a cliff; a pinnacle; a crest; a top; tip, peak or skirt of a garment; b. a gúna ar bhaitheas a cinn, her dress drawn over her head; a lap; im’ bheinn, on my lap; a corner; ceithre beanna an tighe, the four corners of the house; a gable, al. a spire, a steeple; ní saor go binn, the test of a mason is the gable; clár binne, bargeboard; a mast-peak, a wing, a branch, an arm, a bracket; gach b. de’n chrann, every arm of the tree; b. croise, arm of cross; b. dá chabhlach, a wing of his fleet; b. chluig, clock hand; a prong; píce dhá mb. (trí mb.), a two- (three-) pronged fork; a goblet, a horn, fig. a long ear; péire beann, a pair of long ears; b. buabhaill (al. buadhalach), a bugle-horn; beanna chinn, his horns (of jealousy, poet.); a couplet, a stanza; leath-bheann, a line; the full complement of cattle to stock a farm, agistment; bárr binne, a privileged beast over and above the agistment, fig. bí b. b. ar Éirinn sinne, we are not privleged persons in Ireland; báirr-bh., excess stock; care, regard, respect; ní’l aon bh. agam ort, I care not about, ignore, disklke or am independent of you; is suarach mo bhinn ort, I care little about you, I am not dependent at all on you; is mise beag-bheann ort, id.; common in place names; B. Gulban, Bengulbin; Beanna Beola, the Twelve Pins; B. Éadair, Howth; al. binn, beinn, béinn (cliff, Antr.); Corrán Béinne, Horn Head.

beannach, beannaighe, a., horned, forked; cornered; gabled; peaked (as mountains); an t-Oileán Trí-Bheanach = Trinacria (Sicily); skipping, prancing, nimble; capall b., a prancing horse; standing out to the vision, distinct; fiadh b., a deer, a stag; tigheanna b. buacach, a gay flounting lord (Car.).

beannacht, … a blessing; …

beann mhear, f., henbane; …

beannóg, -óige, -óga, f., a coif, a cap, a corner of a woman’s cloak; al. beannán.

beannóg, -óige, -a, f., a step, a bounce; …

May 1, 2018

Renewable energy undermine

Jeff Rice @EvolvingCaveman asked on Twitter: Hi @windwatchorg, Haven't you guys got anything better to do than try to undermine clean, green #RenewableEnergy? Enlighten us - what would you like to see make up our energy mix? Expensive nuclear? #ClimateChange causing #FossilFuels? @GeorgeMonbiot

National Wind Watch @windwatchorg answered:

The unfortunate fact is that renewable energy does not meaningfully replace fossil and nuclear fuels.

And such diffuse (low-density) sources as wind and solar require massive plants to capture even enough to make selling virtue-signaling green tags profitable.

That means wind and solar on an industrial scale necessarily have adverse effects of their own, particularly as they need huge tracts of previously undeveloped rural and wild land, including mountain ridge lines.

And being intermittent and, in the case of wind, highly variable, they still require backup, which is forced to run much less efficiently (ie, with more carbon emissions) than it could without having to contend with wind's erratic generation.

So for such utter lack of actual benefit coupled with substantial harm, no, we do not support wind and work to protect the environment from its depredations.

We advocate conservation, which reduces fossil and nuclear fuel use much more than wind and solar do.

Jeff Rice replied: I notice that you haven't answered my question...

National Wind Watch answered: That's a separate issue from National Wind Watch's mission to educate people about wind's shortcomings and harm. We do not take a position for any over any other except to note that wind is not a solution.

Jeff Rice: Campaign organisations have long recognised the need to promote solutions to the problems they campaign against. Your anti #WindPower campaign lacks substance and comes across as NIMBYism. It also looks like you are apologists for the #FossilFuels industry. #NIMBY

National Wind Watch:

That is of course a risk we take. On the other hand, there are plenty of groups already proposing solutions, and those who question wind power represent people of very different views, from off-grid deep green to pronuclear free marketers.

Our role is to provide a resource for all of them on the issue of industrial-scale wind power. If people see that as being apologists for fossil fuels or giving comfort to climate skeptics or NIMBYism, that is a failure of imagination on their part.

It is a failure of environmentalists, driven by the "need to promote solutions", that they have forgot their role is to challenge and question solutions, especially those promoted by government and industry and banking in collusion.

Jeff Rice: Various forms of #RenewableEnergy are the solution! Although, do you think that we don't need to tackle #ClimateChange or air pollution? And as for renewables being supported by the establishment - what utter nonsense. Governments are very much wedded to #FossilsFuels!

National Wind Watch:

Wind and solar would be great if their benefits far outweighed their harm, but, as already noted, on a large scale their harm far outweighs their benefits, because they do very little to alleviate carbon emissions, pollution or fossil fuel dependency.

As to government support for wind, it is hardly a secret that subsidies, regulatory favoritism and special market structures are necessary for wind development.

Jeff Rice: Why do you think wind and solar DON'T reduce carbon emissions? A gross inaccuracy on your part.

National Wind Watch: How much have carbon emissions decreased with the massive industrialization of rural and wild places with wind turbines around the world since the 1990s? It's madness to continue.

Jeff Rice: Why you are wrong: It's a myth that wind turbines don't reduce carbon emissions

National Wind Watch: Goodall and Lynas point to a passing reduction of electricity generation from CCGT plants, not to any actual reduction of fuel use or carbon emissions.

April 9, 2018

Prayse and disprayese

‘The disfiguring of names is a serious business, though it is often very comical in Joyce’s work and in other places where the Irish penchant for theatricality manifests and amuses itself; yet it is traditionally an office reserved for the Irish bard who was both feared and admired for his ability to “nail a name” on a friend of foe. Terrence Des Pres explains the historical link between naming, satire, and bardic disfigurement in a discussion of Yeats and the ancient, bardic rat-rhymers, suggesting that “the blemish of a nickname” was one of the Gaelic bards’ best defenses against an enemy:

As late as the seventeenth century a famous bard (Teig, son of Daire) challenged his own patrons (the O’Briens) by threatening to “nail a name” on them with his “blister-raising ranns”. ... To “nail a name on a man” could ruin his tribal standing, destroy his reputation and the honor on which his personal worth depended. (Terrence Des Pres, Praises and Dispraises: Poetry and Politics, the Twentieth Century (1988), p. 42)
‘Des Pres explains that “mockery, invective and magical injury” were often involved in cursing of this sort (42), and that the potency or believed potency of the relevant rhymes, verses, and incantations endowed the rat-rhymers with a certain fame: “Irish bards were often more famous for their cursing than for their more constructive powers, their duties and privileges as ministers to the tribe” (38).’

—Claire A. Culleton, Names and Naming in Joyce (1994)

‘Irenius: There is amongest the Irishe, a certen kinde of people called the bardes, which are to them insteade of Poetts, whose profession is to sett forth the prayses and disprayese of men in theire Poems or rymes; the which are had in soe high regarde and estimacon amongest them, that none dare displease them for feare to runne into reproach through theire offence, and to be made infamous in the mouthes of all men. For theire verses are taken up with a generall applause, and usuallye sonnge att all feaste meetings, by certen other persons whose proper function that is, which also receave for this same, great rewardes, and reputacon besides.

‘Eudoxus: Doe you blame this in them, which I would otherwise have thought to have ben worthie of good accompte, and rather to have ben mayntayned and augmented amongest them, then to have ben disliked? for I have reade that in all ages Poetts have bene had in specyall reputacon, and that me seemes not without greate cause; for besides theire sweete invencons, and most wyttie layes, they are alwayes used to sett forth the praises of the good and vertuous, and to beate downe and disgrace the bad and vicyous. Soe that many brave younge mindes have oftentymes, through the hearinge the prayses and famous Eulogies of worthie men songe and reported unto them, benn stirred up to affecte the like commendacons, and soe to stryve unto the like desertes. ...

‘Irenius: It is most true that such Poettes, as in theire wrytinge doe labor to better the Manners of men, and through the sweete bayte of theire nombers, to steale into the younge spirittes a desire of honor and vertue, are worthy to be had in greate respecte. But these Irish bardes are for the most parte of another mynde, and soe far from instructinge younge men in Morrall discipline, that they themselves doe more deserve to be sharplie decyplined; for they seldome use to chuse unto themselves the doinges of good men, for the ornamentes of theire poems, but whomesoever they finde to bee most lycentious of lief, most bolde and lawles in his doinges, most daungerous and desperate in all partes of disobedience and rebellious disposicon, him they sett up and glorifie in their rymes, him they prayse to the people, and to younge men make an example to followe.

‘Eudoxus: I mervayle what kinde of speaches they cann finde, or what face they cann put on, to prayse such lewde persons as lyve so lawleslie and licensiouslie upon stealthes and spoiles, as most of them doe; or howe can they thincke that any good mynde will applaude the same?

‘Irenius: There is none soe bad, Eudoxus, but that shall finde some to fauor his doinges; but such licentious partes as these, tendinge for the most parte to the hurte of the English, or mayntenance of theire owne lewd libertye, they themselves, beinge most desirous therto, doe most allowe. Besides these evill thinges beinge deckt and suborned with the gay attyre of goodlie wordes, may easilie deceave and carry awaye the affeccon of a younge mynde, that is not well stayed, but desirous by some bolde adventure to make profe of himselfe; for beinge (as they all bee) brought up idlelie, without awe of parents, without precepts of masters, without feare of offence, not beinge directed, nor imployed in anye coorse of lief, which may carry them to vertue, will easilie be drawen to followe such as any shall sett before them: for a younge mynde cannot but rest; yf he bee not still busied in some goodnes, he will finde himselfe such busines as shall soone busye all about him. In which yf he shall finde any to prayse him, and to geve hym encorragement, as those Bardes and rymers doe for little rewarde, or a share of a stollen cowe, then waxeth he moste insolent and halfe mad with the love of himselfe, and his owne lewde deedes. And as for wordes to sett forth such lewdenes, yt is not hard for them to geve a goodlie glose and paynted showe thereunto, borrowed even from the prayses which are proper unto vertue yt selfe. As of a most notorius theife and wicked outlawe, which had lyved all his tyme of spoiles and robberies, one of theire Bardes in his praise findes, That he was none of those idle mylkesoppes that was brought up by the fyer side, but that most of his dayes he spent in armes and valiant enterprises; that he never did eate his meate before he had wonne yt with his sworde; that he laye not slugginge all night in a cabben under his mantle, but used commonly to kepe others wakinge to defend theire lyves, and did light his Candle at the flame of their howses to leade him in the darknes; that the day was his night, and the night his daye; that he loved not to lye woinge of wenches to yealde to him, but where he came he toke by force the spoile of other mens love, and left but lamentacon to theire lovers; that his musicke was not the harpe, nor layes of love, but the Cryes of people, and clashinge of armor, and that fynally, he died not wayled of manye, but [made] many wayle when he died, that dearlye bought his death. Doe you not thinke, Eudoxus, that many of these prayses might be applied to men of best desert? yet are they all yeilded to moste notable traytors, and amongest some of the Irish not smallye accompted of. For the same, when yt was first made and soung vnto a person of high degree, they were bought as their manner is, for fortie crownes.

‘Eudoxus: And well worth sure. But tell me I pray you, have they any arte in their composicons? or bee they any thinge wyttye or well favored, as poems shoulde bee?

‘Irenius: Yea truly; I haue caused diuers of them to be translated unto me that I might understande them; and surelye they savored of sweete witt and good invencon, but skilled not of the goodly ornamentes of Poetrie: yet were they sprinckled with some prettye flowers of theire owne naturall devise, which gave good grace and comlines unto them, the which yt is greate pittye to see soe good an ornament abused, to the gracinge of wickednes and vice, which woulde with good usage serve to bewtifie and adorne vertue. This evill custome therefore needeth reformacon.’

—Edmund Spenser, A vewe of the present state of Ireland: discoursed by waie of a dialogue betwene Eudoxus & Irenius (1596) (via Corpus of Electronic Texts, University College, Cork)

“’Tis not war we want to wage
With Thomond thinned by outrage.
Slight not poets' poignant spur—
Of right ye owe it honor.

“Can there cope a man with me
In burning hearts bitterly?
At my blows men blush I wis,
Bright flush their furious faces.

“Store of blister-raising ranns
These are my weighty weapons,
Poisoned, striking strong through men,
They live not long so stricken.

“Shelter from my shafts or rest
Is not in furthest forest—
Far they fall, words soft as snow,
No wall can ward my arrow.

“To quench in quarrels good deeds,
To raise up wrongs in hundreds,
To nail a name on a man,
I fail not—fame my weapon.”

—Douglas Hyde, from a poem by Teige Mac Daire (The Golden Treasury of Irish Songs and Lyrics (1907), edited by Charles Welsh)

(‘At the commencement of the seventeenth century, most of the senachies in the kingdom were engaged in a poetical controversy respecting the claims to superiority between the great northern family of O'Neal and the great southern one of O'Brien, a subject on which several thousand verses were employed. These have been collected, and are termed by Irish scholars, ‘the Contention of the Bards;’ the contest arose out of a composition of Teige Mac Daire's, who was retained as poet by Donogh O'Brien, the fourth Earl of Thomond, and was answered by Louis O'Clery, poet to O'Neal. Rejoinder and reply almost innumerable ensued, and the majority of the bards of that period became involved in the dispute.’ —Thomas Crofton Croker, Researches in the South of Ireland (1969) (via Corpus of Electronic Texts))

April 7, 2018

CATHÚ: conflict, temptation, regret

From Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla, 1927, by Patrick Dinneen:

Cathughadh, -uighthe, m., act of fighting, rebelling against (re); act of sorrowing; sorrow, contrition; temptation, trial; mo ch. é, alas! I grieve because of it; c. do dhéanamh, to fight; longing; hankering (=caitheamh); c. i ndiaidh (g.), a hankering after (N. Con); c. do chur ar, to tempt; ná léig sinn i gcathuighibh, “lead us not into temptation”; cath, pl., cathaí, id.

Cáthughadh, m., act of befriending (Meath); cf. cátha.

March 17, 2018

Hillary Clinton says it’s your fault, you are what’s wrong

India Today Conclave 2018, Keynote Address, 10 March, Hillary Rodham Clinton

36:00. Aroon Purie: … So what’s gone wrong in America?

HRC: Look, I think that there are several big, uh, problems that beset us and to some extent you’re seeing them in Europe, um, one is the phenomenon of disappointment, of a sense of being left behind in a fast-changing economy. That is absolutely true, it’s been going on for years, but it has sped up. Some of it is the overhang from the disastrous financial crisis of oh-7 oh-8 oh-9, where millions of people lost their jobs, they lost their savings, they lost their homes, and nobody was ever punished for it is the way they look at it. Y’know, y’know, what happened to the bad guys? Nothing. And I’m stuck in a hole after having worked hard and I’ve got nothing to show for it. Some of it was a reaction to advancing opportunities and rights for, um, other groups, for example, African-Americans, um, for the LGBT community, uh, for women, and some people were fury that that meant it was a zero-sum game and there was no similar, uh, potential for them. I think there was also the reaction against immigrants, which you see again in Europe, which has a very difficult set of challenges because of a flooding of immigrants from the Middle East and Africa. Our immigrants, primarily from, uh, Latin America led by Mexico, from India, China, other places, are hard working, productive, law abiding, but if you remember, Trump started his campaign attacking immigrants. Because he knew that in many parts of the country — and let me just hasten to add, in many parts of the country where there aren’t very many immigrants — he was able to scapegoat immigrants. If you have problems, if you’re not happy with your job, you don’t think you’ve gotten enough advancement, y’know you’re working for, y’know, a woman now, ya don’t like it — whatever the reason was, um, he stirred that up. And anti-immigrant feeling became so virulent, um, thanks to his, un, rhetoric that it was a big motivator in a lot of the, uh, votes in certain parts of the country.

If you look at the map of the United States, there’s all that red in the middle, where Trump won. I win the coasts, I win, y’know, Illinois, Minnesota, places like that, but what the map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. [applause] So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward, and his whole campaign, Make America Great Again, was looking backwards. Y’know, you didn’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women, y’know, getting jobs, you don’t wanna, y’know, see that Indian-American succeeding more than are — whatever your problem is, I’m gonna solve it. So it was a symptom, but it was also a cause, because having someone run for President who voices those ideas, who rejects so much of the American story and our values, was also the underlying cause as well.

40:00. AP: I was also surprised, uh, looking at the details of the American election, is how almost 52% of white women voted for him, despite the Billy Bush tape and so forth. How do you explain that?

HRC: Well, I should start by explaining that, um, Democrats, eh, going back to my husband and even before but just in recent times going back to Bill and, and and uh, our candidates and then President Obama, have been losing the white vote, including white women. Uh, we do not do well with white men and we don’t do well with married white women. Um, and part of that is a, an identification with the Republican Party, uh, and a, un, a, a sort of ongoing pressure, uh, to, uh, vote the way that your husband, your boss, uh, your son, whoever, uh, believes you should, and what happened in my election is I was on the way to winning, um, white women until [cough] former Director of the FBI Jim Comey dropped that uh very ill-advised letter on October the 28th and my numbers just went down because all — and I heard a lot of anecdotal evidence about this, people have written about it — all of a sudden, y’know, white women who were going to vote for me, and frankly standing up to the men in their lives and the men in their workplaces, uh were being told she’s going to jail, y’know, you don’t want to vote for her, y’know, it’s gonna be terrible, you can’t vote for that. So it just, it stopped my momentum and it decreased my vote, uh, enough — because I was, I was ahead, I was winning and I thought I had fought my way back in the ten days from that letter until, uh, the election, I fell a little bit short, and so I think that it, it was part of a historical trend that I was bucking and then it collapsed on me.

March 10, 2018

Wind power does not reduce CO₂ emissions.

“In a wind-thermal system, production variations from the intermittent character of wind power results in an increase in system costs and a decrease in the efficiency of wind power as a means to reduce CO₂-emissions from the system. This effect gets increasingly pronounced with increased levels of wind power grid penetration and is due to the adjustment in production pattern of the thermal units to the variations in wind power production. As wind power grid penetration increases, the conventional units will run more at part load and experience more frequent starts and stops. Also, wind power may need to be curtailed in situations where the costs to stop and restart thermal units are higher than the difference in running costs of wind power and the thermal units. Thus, variations in wind power reduce the possibility of the power system to lower CO₂-emissions by adding wind power capacity to the system.”

—“Large scale integration of wind power: moderating thermal power plant cycling” by Lisa Göransson and Filip Johnsson, Wind Energy 2011; 14:91–105


Olaf Errwigge (Facebook) —

There is no argument that burning fossil fuel to generate electricity releases CO₂ into the atmosphere, or that using the wind to generate electricity does not. But it does not follow that adding wind to the grid reduces CO₂ emissions from other sources: Where there is little hydropower (no CO₂ emissions) to balance the highly variable wind, fossil fuel–fired generators are forced to work less efficiently, ie, with more emissions per unit of electricity generated. Furthermore, the best “balancing” plants for wind are open-cycle natural gas–fired turbines (OCGT), which can respond quickly enough to compensate for the continual changes of wind generation. But combined-cycle natural gas–fired turbines (CCGT) are substantially more efficient efficient, such that wind + OCGT may not represent lower emissions than CCGT alone. Thus, wind power’s manufacture, transport, and maintenance would indeed contribute to increased CO₂ emissions. And there is no benefit at all to weigh against its other adverse impacts on the environment, wildlife, and human neighbors.

Result: Wind + fossil fuel generation does not necessarily mean lower CO₂ emissions, particularly in the comparison of wind + open-cycle gas (necessary to quickly respond to wind’s continually variable generation) vs. the much more efficient combined-cycle gas alone.

And, of course, where there’s hydro, that’s the preferred source to ramp back as the wind rises: no CO₂ involved at all.

With virtually no benefits, wind power’s many adverse impacts – on the environment, wildlife, and human neighbors – not to mention its financial cost and the carbon and materials footprint of its manufacture, transport, and maintenance – are impossible to justify.

Also see: Why wind power does not substantially reduce emissions

February 7, 2018

“Open Borders” keep wages down

Neil Munro writes at Breitbart:

... The push for a DACA amnesty is largely powered by the alliance of business interests and Democrats who want more imported workers to help keep Americans’ wages from rising, and to eventually vote for Democratic candidates. The push is strongly supported by establishment journalists, even though business groups also want to cut their white-collar wages. Multiple establishment columnists are also eager to replace Americans with immigrants.

Companies want more imported workers because the nation’s formal unemployment rate is low. Without a reserve army of unemployed people, companies are forced to compete for new workers by offering higher wages, bonuses and training opportunities. For example, a new chart shows that annual wage growth (including inflation) rises above 2 percent once the “prime age non-employment rate” drops below 23 percent.

The January wage-rise was cited by several economists as a reason for the sudden drop in stock prices because a year of rising wages means lower profits for investors.

But there are also millions of sidelined Americans who have not worked for years, largely because wages have been lowered by mass immigration. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed this month that 74 percent of college-trained Americans hold jobs — but only 57.5 percent of high-school graduates and only 45 percent of high-school dropouts are working. However, employers don’t want to employ these sidelined Americans. Some lack workplace skills or training, some are living in rural areas far from immigrant-fueled economic hotspots, and some have drug problems amid the national opioid epidemic.

Those millions of disadvantaged Americans are the people that Democratic Sen. Carper wants to discard in favor of illegal immigrants. He told MSNBC:
A lot of people on our side and others as well, they look at the dreamers and say the morally right thing to do here — these are kids who came over here, they were young, didn’t come by their own volition, their parents brought them, they grew up here, they were educated here, work here in many cases, and we have a moral responsibility to them, that’s all true.

Having said that, actually, there is an economic imperative here as well. Today, when folks want to work in this country, there is still 2 to 3 million jobs unfilled. Unfilled! Nobody is there to do the jobs, they don’t have the education, the work skills, the work ethic, they can’t pass a drug test, and one of the reasons why I think the stock market is gyrating around is because we are at full employment. And at a time when we have all these jobs to fill, are we going to send 700-800,00 people back home to the countries where they were born? They are perfectly capable of doing these jobs, they can pass a drug test, why would we do that?

It is economic insanity and I think the business community is saying that to the administration.They are certainly saying that to those of us in the Congress, and we should focus on that economic, economic side as well … Doing a deal with the dreamers is as much about – as I said earlier — is about making sure we have the folks who can go to work tomorrow.
Carper is not the only D.C. politician who wants to discard Americans. Numerous other Senators are urging an amnesty even though millions of Americans are sidelined, while wages and salaries have been stuck since 2000, so allowing the stock market to grow rapidly.

Nearly all Democratic Senators, plus a few Republicans — including Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner – support the DREAM Act which would allow up to 3.25 million illegals to replace sidelined Americans.

GOP Sens. Thom Tillis and James Lankford have proposed an amnesty for roughly 2 million illegals to help employers.

Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson has publicly backed a plan to import 500,000 workers per year, allowing companies to replace swaths of their American workforces. ...

Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.

But the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting roughly 1.1 million new legal immigrants, by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.

The Washington-imposed economic policy of economic growth via mass-immigration floods the market with foreign labor, spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate prices, widens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.

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More articles by Neil Munro:
Tech Firms’ Immigration Bill Targets College-Grad Salaries
CEOs to Congress: Import More Cheap Labor

February 6, 2018

The catharsis of a witch hunt

Some interesting exchanges on Twitter regarding the hounding out of Wayne Pacelle from the Humane Society ...

Carol J. Adams @_CarolJAdams
Feb 3

Here I helped #WaynePacelle with his letter to the #HSUS staff upon resigning from the #HumaneSocietyoftheUnitedStates. #TimesUp #TimesUpAR

El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 3

I never thought that much of HSUS, and @_CarolJAdams has always been one of my guiding lights. But this is distasteful and infantile. @VINEsanctuary

solo‏ @OezlemSandra
Feb 3

How so? Because children tend to be direct and tell the truth?

El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 3

If @_CarolJAdams is telling the truth, then she ought to present actual evidence, not anonymous allegations and innuendo. Without that, this looks like mere vindictive character assassination.

El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 5

"Believe the children" was the mantra of the day-care satanism witch hunts of the 1980s. Children are actually adroit liars. As are adults, both men and women.

[cf. Bret Stephens, N.Y. Times, Feb 9 ‘But it’s precisely because Dylan [Farrow]’s account plays to our existing biases that we need to treat it with added skepticism. Most parents know that young children are imaginative and suggestible and innocently prone to making things up. The misuse of children’s memories by ambitious prosecutors against day-care center operators in the 1980s led to some of the worst miscarriages of justice in recent U.S. history. You don’t have to doubt Farrow’s honesty to doubt her version of events.’]

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Carol J. Adams @_CarolJAdams
Feb 3
Carol J. Adams Retweeted El Rucio

If @_CarolJAdams is telling the truth, then she ought to present actual evidence, not anonymous allegations and innuendo. Without that, this looks like mere vindictive character assassination.
Read the papers, please. See the New York Times on Pacelle's sexual assault of a woman in his office, WaPo and Politico have covered Pacelle too. Women have spoken on the record. There is no innuendo. There is, on the other hand, a refusal to believe women by many. Is that you?

El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 4

Women are capable of lying. Why not believe Pacelle's denial, which is no less uncorroborated than the allegations.

Carol J. Adams‏ @_CarolJAdams
Feb 4

Because I have talked to numerous of his victims who did not know each other. I really have to ask why you are willing to believe him. And stop insulting me and everyone else. Read all the material.

El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 5

I respect your judgement, but it is after all just YOUR judgement.
And I read all the material, so please stop insulting me with the assumption that I haven't.
Finally, again, why should I believe Pacelle any less than I believe his accusers?

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Guy Scotton @GuyScotton
Feb 2
Guy Scotton Retweeted VINE Sanctuary

Time's up!

VINE Sanctuary Retweeted The Humane Society of the United States
Today, the Humane Society of the United States accepted the resignation of President and CEO, Wayne Pacelle. Read more:
Time's up for Wayne Pacelle - a case that should be read in the context of the many testimonials of male entitlement, exploitation, and predation within the movement: … A systemic scourge calls for systemic change in the policies and priorities of such orgs.

El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 3

Are you implying that all of those testimonies are about Wayne Pacelle? Or that Pacelle has been sacrificed because we don't know who those testimonies are about (let alone their context)?

Guy Scotton @GuyScotton
Feb 3

Oh, neither, apologies if unclear. I meant that both illustrate a systemic failing in the expectations, policies, and priorities of animal advocacy. As some articles have noted, something like Tofurky's giving policy might be indicative going forward:

El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 3

As inherently lawless, the power of the mob is even more dangerous than the power of well paid executives. So yes, discrimination and harassment policies are apparently needed to remedy abuses in both directions.

Guy Scotton @GuyScotton
Feb 3

Begone. [blocked]

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Update:  Carol Adams seems to be very pleased with her new crusade (she posted her alteration of Pacelle’s letter of resignation on Instagram and Facebook as well as Twitter). Now she is demanding that all men should probably have to apologize and even specifies what they should say. As El Rucio already said, this continues to appear vindictive and childish. It is also dangerous, evoking kangaroo courts, public shaming, and reeducation camps in its heedless witch-hunting righteousness.