rape

What They Voted For: Corruption & Special Interest

#trumpswindle | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump looks at a sheet of notes and talking points as he speaks during a rally in Eugene, Oregon, 6 May 2016. (Photo by Ted S. Warren/AP)

Who: Steve Benen (msnbc)
What: “Trump presents a new, twisted version of ‘populism'”
When: 11 November 2016

Steve Benen offers something of an obvious point:

The president-elect has effectively cornered the market on the former. Rhetorically, Trump is A Man of the People, railing against the established order. The elites have run roughshod over the interests of everyday Americans for too long, the billionaire celebrity told voters, and it was time the electorate overturn the corrupt system by electing Donald J. Trump, a champion of those overlooked taxpayers who’ve been left behind.

Trump, in other words, has a populist style. He adopted a populist tone. The more Trump railed against the elites, the more the media characterized him as a populist, and the more his fans swooned.

But then there’s actual populism, which is based on policies and proposals that advance the interests of working people. Real populists may struggle at times with style and tone, but they nevertheless fight for opportunities for those without, not those who are already members of the elite.

And if you mistook Trump as someone who believes in actual populism, I’m afraid he fooled you.

President-elect Donald J. Trump, who campaigned against the corrupt power of special interests, is filling his transition team with some of the very sort of people who he has complained have too much clout in Washington: corporate consultants and lobbyists. […]

Mr. Trump was swept to power in large part by white working-class voters who responded to his vow to restore the voices of forgotten people, ones drowned out by big business and Wall Street. But in his transition to power, some of the most prominent voices will be those of advisers who come from the same industries for which they are being asked to help set the regulatory groundwork.

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One Thousand Five Hundred Three Years

Fight: Mikasa awakens ― Detail of frame from Attack on Titan episode 6, 'The World the Girl Saw: The Struggle for Trost, Part 2'.

This is the short form:

A 41-year-old California man has been sentenced to 1,503 years in prison for raping his teenage daughter over four years.

(Goglowski)

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office detailed the harrowing numbers:

On September 22nd, Mr. Lopez was found guilty of one hundred eighty-six (186) counts of sexual assault; including twenty-two (22) counts of Rape of a Minor, one hundred sixty-three (163) counts of Forcible Rape, and one (1) count of Forcible Oral Copulation. These crimes were perpetrated on a single victim over a period of five (5) years from 2009 to 2014.

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Fresno County District Attorney’s Office. “Rene Lopez Sentenced to 1,503 Years for Sexual Assaults”. News Release. 21 October 2016.

Goglowski, Nina. “California Man Sentenced To 1,503 Years For Raping Teen Daughter”. The Huffington Post. 24 October 2016.

Not Something You Want to Read

Dana Stubblefield, a former NFL player, in booking photo from Santa Clara County District Attorney's office, ca. 2016.

The lede is pretty much sickening:

Three-time NFL Pro Bowler and Super Bowl winner Dana Stubblefield is facing charges that he raped a disabled woman.

And such as these tales go, the report only gets worse. This is not the fault of Brook Hays of UPI; rather, it’s just how these stories go.

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An Obvious Question (Illinois Ignominy)

D City Rock: Detail of frame from "Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt", 'Help! We Are Angels', by TeddyLoin featuring Debra Zeer.

This is … what, traditional family values?

According to a proposed bill filed last week by two Republican Illinois state lawmakers, if a father is not listed on a newborn’s birth certificate, the birth certificate will not be issued and any future financial assistance will be denied.

The proposed bill HB6064 by Representative John Cavaletto and Representative Keith Wheeler would amend the Illinois Vital Records Act to require that unwed mothers either name a father on the birth certificate or within 30 days go to court and have another family member sign the birth certificate and agree to accept financial responsibility for the child ....

.... If a single mother fails to name the father or identify another guardian, the child will not be issued a birth certificate and the family will be permanently banned from public assistance. The bill makes no exception for rape or incest victims. Under current law, an unmarried father is not named on the birth certificate unless he signs a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity.

(Tesfaye)

You know, something useful is supposed to go here, but in truth I am uncertain what that is. More specifically, I’m still stuck on the obvious question.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

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Tesfaye, Sophia. “Illinois Republicans target single mothers and their babies: GOP bill would ban birth certificates, financial aid if father is not named”. Salon. 25 February 2016.

A Small Collection of Depressing Thoughts

Detail of frame from 'Darker Than Black: Gemini of the Meteor' episode 4, "The Ark Adrift on the Lake …".

“But every now and then, when the irony is just too rich, we can also permit ourselves a moment to say, Oh, you felt too concerned for your safety to hold your little rape rally? That must be so hard for you.”

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Two questions insistently assert themselves:

A year ago, Roosh penned an essay in which he offered a modest proposal: “Make rape legal if done on private property. I propose that we make the violent taking of a woman not punishable by law when done off public grounds.” He went on to explain, “Let’s make rape legal. Less women will be raped because they won’t voluntarily drug themselves with booze and follow a strange man into a bedroom, and less men will be unfairly jailed for what was anything but a maniacal alley rape.” Somehow this didn’t quite make it to the Supreme Court. (Also, it’s “fewer.”) But in January, he announced an International Meetup Day On February 6, 2016, promising, “will be the start of regular meetups that serve men in a way that internet sites do not.”

The plan, proposed for “heterosexual, masculine men” to gather for “165 meetings in 43 countries,” featured a secret code question fellow manly men could ask to signal each other — “Do you know where I can find a pet shop?” They were then to proceed to the “final location,” where, ostensibly, all three of them would say stuff like, “Bitches, man, am I right?” in bro solidarity. But while Roosh insisted that “Tribal meetings will not tolerate the promotion of illegal actions and will not engage in violence,” he also did vow that “I will exact furious retribution upon anyone who challenges you in public on that date.”

(Williams)

The first question to mind is both obvious and obscure: Just what is the target market, here? That is to say, just how many men from forty-three countries does one expect to turn up to one of a hundred sixty-five sites to celebrate the glories of rape? To the one, it’s a glaring question. To the other is a question of what that population would signify. There is, after all, the bizarre discourse swirling ’round the proposition of rape culture, in which there are the factions one might imagine―that is, those who rape and those who would stop them―but also a curious mix of seeming righteous deviancy gone awry. Or, I don’t know, is that too flaccid a euphemism?

These usually posture themselves against some straw man indicting all men as raping lunatics; generally speaking they then set about proving whence comes that indictment, which in turn is themselves. Those familiar with #NotAllMen and #WhatAboutTheMen know the phenomenon; it is spectacularly stupid, yet somehow finds traction―to wit, one might argue that rape culture is a politically-correct invention of liberals and feminists to something something demonize all men which is why this video of a chimp raping a frog to death makes the point that there is no rape culture because it explains rape better as something we all have in common.

And if you followed that, well, right, you’ve probably already had practice. If, to the other, you’re stumbling through that as if I have just repeated some incoherent nonsense, and thus wonder why you should take it seriously, that would make you just about normal.

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Unsettling

A Yoma feeds. (Detail of frame from 'Claymore the Series', episode 1, "Great Sword".)

“Most girls do not really understand how horny guys are, how much stronger guys are, how guys will rationalise what they do.”

Anonymous

Be as horrified as you feel appropriate:

It is, of course, uncommon for people, mostly men, who take advantage of passed out roommates or routinely anally rape their wives to come out and give a no-holds-barred account of what they know to be a horrific act.

So when a reddit thread began in 2012 asking perpetrator of sexual assault to tell “their side of the story” — attracting more than a thousand responses — researchers pounced on the opportunity.

It’s the first time the viral social media site has been used as the basis for an academic study, and the results are as fascinating as they are disturbing.

The result, to the one, is about as morbid as we might expect; to the other, neither is it unfamiliar. This is what a rapist says:

The same respondent, who admitted to raping a woman while “extremely horny”, even after she “realised what was happening and tried to clamp her legs shut”, disturbingly describes how he plans to educate his own daughter about the dangers of men’s uncontrollable sexuality.

“When my daughter is old enough, I’m going to have a very frank conversation on male-female relations of the sort that I do not think most girls get,” he wrote.

“Most girls do not really understand how horny guys are, how much stronger guys are, how guys will rationalise what they do.”

And it is not, by any measure, unfamiliar. Chicken or egg; art and life. Liz Burke notes that researchers “found the motivations the responses illustrated were consistent with what is commonly described as ‘rape culture'”; we ought not be surprised. The rapist is, after all, the living manifestation of rape culture.

Unsurprising, to be certain, but how can that familiarity not be unsettling?

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Burke, Liz. “Victim-blaming, hormones and objectification: Reddit-based study reveals why men rape”. News.com.au. 22 January 2016.

A Perfect Way to Ruin Your Day (Light Bulb Belfry Remix)

Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), left, and Rep. Steve King (R-IA), right, speak with reporters at the Capiol, 11 December 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

If I tell you that the headline above Scott Eric Kaufman’s report for Salon yesterday reads, “Michele Bachmann: Refugees coming to America in order to commit ‘rape jihad’ against non-Muslim women and girls”, and would, unfortunately, seem a reasonably accurate description of the wisdom proffered by Our Lady Light Bulb, do any of us really need me to post the detail?

Or is this one of those occasions we can trust that you will click and read, or not, according to your inclination?

Because it really is sickening.

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Image note: Detail of photo by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo.

Kaufman, Scott Eric. “Michele Bachmann: Refugees coming to America in order to commit ‘rape jihad’ against non-Muslim women and girls”. Salon. 30 November 2015.

The Abiding Question of How Anyone Could Ever Possibly Come to Think Something Was Not a Terrible Idea

Bloomingdale's.

Of course they did.

A holiday advertisement by Bloomingdale’s that encourages drink spiking was trending heavily on social media on Thursday with some critics saying the image promotes date rape.

The ad, which was released in Bloomingdale’s 2015 holiday catalog and was meant to advertise Rebecca Minkoff merchandise, features a woman looking away and laughing as a young man looks at her suggestively. The text reads: “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking.”

The luxury department store owned by Macy’s Inc apologized for the ‘inappropriate’ eggnog advertisement on Tuesday.

“In reflection of recent feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes for this error in judgment.”

Bloomingdale’s also apologized on its official Twitter account (@Bloomingdales) on Tuesday: “We heard your feedback about our catalog copy, which was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes.”

(Fares)

Okay, so … it looks like we need to have this talk again.

Still, though: Really?

I mean, come on. Really?

Okay, okay, okay. Try this one: How?

Can you please at least try to explain that?

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Fares, Melissa. “Bloomingdale’s ‘spiked eggnog’ ad sparks outrage on social media”. Reuters. 12 November 2015.

The John Kasich Show (What Counts)

Gov. John Kasich (R-OH; second from right), celebrates after signing a budget, 1 July 2013.  The controversial budget contained several anti-abortion measures intended to bureaucratically outlaw the practice.  (Detail of frame from video by Ohio Capitol Blog, via The Rachel Maddow Show.)

“I’m willing to fight all day long, but you’ve got to have a good prospect of being able to be successful. Because if you’re not successful, you shut the government down, you open it up and you haven’t achieved anything. You’re just going to have people shake their head and wonder what your thinking was.”

Gov. John Kasich (R-OH)

Remember, though, this is John Kasich we’re talking about, here. The takeaway from Jennifer Bendery’s report for Huffington Post is that Mr. Kasich is giving his colleagues sound strategic advice. That is to say, we should not let this or his recent sound bite about Kim Davis suggest he is any sort of moderate.

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Not Actually a Punch Line

Detail of cartoon by Jen Sorensen, via Daily Kos Comics, 26 May 2015.Even though it would make for a crass joke, there are days when we find ourselves wishing it was a punch line. The thing is that as setups go, Jen Sorensen’s explanation only goes downhill from there. And no, that’s not a complaint or disdainful critique of the cartoon; it’s a very good cartoon worth the click to read. Truth is stranger than fiction. You can’t make this sort of joke up. And, besides, you know. Americans. Conservatives. Family values. It’s not actually funny. She is describing a disaster; no matter how we tell it, the story only gets worse as it goes along.

This is a matter of priorities. We are the United States of America, and we damn well know what is important to us.

And this is how we show it.

(sigh)

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Sorensen, Jen. “Pro-life, Boko Haram style”. Daily Kos Comics. 26 May 2015.