The Fascists of Silicon Valley.

Marco Rullkoetter/Getty.

Marco Rullkoetter/Getty.

Before Gamergate, Larry, the Google software engineer, was “a standard Democrat straight-voting person,” as he puts it. But reading about the movement in the tech press and on pro-Gamergate websites “did highlight some of the inconsistencies and hypocrisies with positions on the left,” he says. A comment in a Gamergate thread led Larry to the Unz Review, a website run by Palo Alto tech entrepreneur and former GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron Unz. There, Larry says he was exposed to treatises on “human biological diversity” expounding on the supposed cognitive differences between intellectually superior and inferior races.

Human biological diversity has also gained currency in the Valley through computer scientist Curtis Yarvin, who writes under the pseudonym Mencius Moldbug. Starting in 2007, in series of blog posts often cited by alt-right followers, Yarvin laid out a political philosophy known as neoreaction or the “Dark Enlightenment.” Combining a technocratic sensibility with reactionary political thought, neoreaction rejects Enlightenment concepts—such as democracy and equality of the races and sexes—and instead advocates something much closer to authoritarianism. Yarvin believes government would work much better if run like a tech company and helmed by an all-powerful CEO president. He spoke admiringly Napoleon, whom he considers to be “kind of the Steve Jobs of France.”

Yarvin’s blog combines dorky programmer lingo with dense references to obscure, proto-fascist political texts. “When I started blogging 10 years ago, the availability of completely unorthodox written content [online] was mostly confined to the pre-1923 corpus, which Google did such a nice job scanning,” Yarvin told me in an email. He believes that software programmers are attracted to his writings because they “are always looking for something to do with their restless, fidgety brains. Especially if it’s weird and doesn’t involve dealing with physical humans.”

Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who reportedly gave Trump more than $1 million during the campaign and was an adviser on Trump’s transition team, has circled neoreactionary ideas. “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible,” he wrote on the Cato Institute’s blog in 2009, adding that women and “welfare beneficiaries” have through their voting habits “rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron” (He clarified two weeks later that he supports women’s suffrage and redirected blame for the supposed demise of democracy on “unelected technocratic agencies.”)

That’s just part of an in-depth article on all the dyed-in-wool bigots infesting the tech sector. I’m sure this wouldn’t come as news to anyone who works in the industry, and certainly not news to women and people of colour. Recommended Reading.

Facebook, Oh, What The Fuck?

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Everyone knows Facebook’s incredibly fucked up policies concerning nudity, and it looks like they’ve dropped the ball yet again. Since 2015, Marines have been uploading illicit images of fellow Marines who happen to be women, inviting all manner of commentary, and it’s not pretty. I do realize all the fallout here doesn’t belong on FB, but a share of it does. As for the rest, Jesus Fuck, the military, what an unbelievable mess it is.

The U.S. Department of Defense is investigating hundreds of Marines who used social media to solicit and share hundreds — possibly thousands — of naked photographs of women service members and veterans.

Since Jan. 30, more than two dozen women – many on active duty, including officers and enlisted service members – have been identified by their rank, full name and military duty station in photographs posted and linked to from a private Facebook page.

In one instance, a woman corporal in uniform was followed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina by a fellow Marine, who surreptitiously photographed her as she picked up her gear. Those photographs were posted online in the Facebook group “Marines United,” which has nearly 30,000 followers, drawing dozens of obscene comments.

One member of the Facebook group suggested the service member sneaking the photos should “take her out back and pound her out.” Others suggested more than vaginal sex. “And butthole. And throat. And ears. Both of them. Video it though… for science.”

Senior officials with Headquarters Marine Corps have verified that incident as well as the distribution of photographs of other active duty and veteran women through the page and links out to a Google Drive.

The photo sharing began less than a month after the first Marine infantry unit was assigned women on Jan. 5 and underscores ongoing problems of sexual harassment within the military ranks and could hurt recruitment of women. Officials within the Defense Department confirmed it also puts service members at risk for blackmail and jeopardizes national security.

The activity on the Marines United page was uncovered by The War Horse, a nonprofit news organization run by Marine veteran Thomas Brennan. Within a day of Brennan contacting the Marine Corps headquarters on Jan. 30, social media accounts behind the sharing had been deleted by Facebook and Google at the Corps’ request and a formal investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has been launched.

However, it is clear that the actions taken so far have not fully stopped the activity: photos of the woman followed at Camp Lejeune were posted on Marines United on Feb. 16, more than two weeks after the linking accounts had been shut down. The Marine who shot those photos has been discharged from active duty, Marine Corps officials confirmed.

“We need to be brutally honest with ourselves and each other: This behavior hurts fellow Marines, family members, and civilians. It is a direct attack on our ethos and legacy,” Sgt. Major Ronald L. Green, the most senior enlisted Marine on active duty wrote in an email response. “It is inconsistent with our core values, and it impedes our ability to perform our mission.

The service is deeply concerned about the damage the incident could do to the Marines, according to a document provided to generals yesterday warning them of the upcoming story.

Yes, I imagine they are deeply concerned, but as usual, they are not at all concerned with the right things. Perhaps a bit less focus on creating killing machines, and a bit more on being a decent human being, for fuck’s sake. Apparently, a good many of your recruits need to be taught that either being a rapist or encouraging rape is wrong.

…The War Horse submitted multiple requests for additional comment to the Secretary of Defense and Commandant of the Marine Corps. Both declined to comment on specifics of the situation, citing the ongoing investigation.

However, in his email, Green added additional perspective, repeatedly denouncing the “degrading and demeaning behavior” of Marines United members and encouraging Marines — and all service members — to be “a voice of change” for the better.

“As Marines, as human beings, you should be angry by the actions of a few,” Green wrote. “Ultimately we must take a look in the mirror and decide whether we are part of the problem or the solution.

“…We need to realize that silence is consent — do not be silent.”

Yes, it would be nice to see the military address the rampant rape culture infesting it, but it seems all that happens every time there’s an inconvenient spotlight on such behaviour, is lip service. Time to step up, don’t you think? What happened to the standard you walk past is the standard you accept?

The full story is here, and much worse than the excerpts included here.

Abusive Assholes Might Have A Change of Heart.

Mississippi state Rep. Andy Gipson (YouTube).

Mississippi state Rep. Andy Gipson (YouTube).

Domestic violence as grounds for divorce? No, no, those abusive asses might have a change of heart, y’know. Could happen, right? Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. That said, Rep. Andy Gipson really thinks marriage ought to be a prison for abused spouses.

The Republican chair of the Mississippi House Judiciary B Committee this week killed a bill that would have made domestic violence grounds for divorce.

According to Mississippi Today, Republican Chairman Andy Gipson said that he would not take up Senate Bill 2703 before a Tuesday deadline, effectively allowing the bill to die.

The bill would have amended Mississippi law “to create domestic violence as additional grounds for fault divorce.”

[…]

Gipson, who is a Baptist pastor, has said that laws should encourage people to stay married.

“At a time I think we need to be adopting policies that promote marriage and people sticking together, I have some serious concerns about opening the floodgates any more than they already are,” the lawmaker explained. “I think the floodgates are already open and this just tears the dam down.”

“We need to have policies that strengthen marriage,” Gipson added. “If a person is abusive, they need to have a change in behavior and change of heart.”

Jesus fuckin’ Christ. You know what I think, Mr. Gipson? I think being christian ought to be a legal bar to being a politician. Especially asshole christians like yourself.

Via Raw Story.

Arctic Hysteria.

A still from Arke’s 1996 video Arctic Hysteria shows the artist naked and crawling across a photograph of Nuugaarsuk Point in Greenland. Photo courtesy of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Acquired with funding from Anker Fonden 
Poul Buchard/Brøndum & Co.

A still from Arke’s 1996 video Arctic Hysteria shows the artist naked and crawling across a photograph of Nuugaarsuk Point in Greenland. Photo courtesy of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Acquired with funding from Anker Fonden 
Poul Buchard/Brøndum & Co.

Most people have never heard of Pia Arke, which is a shame, because she was an artist who took on one huge subject: the colonial takeover of indigenous peoples by those who termed themselves “explorers” and “discoverers”. There’s a great deal of horror inherent in any indigenous peoples experiences with colonialism. Unsurprisingly, indigenous women got the worst of it.

In the spring of 1995, Danish-Greenlandic artist Pia Arke was digging through the archives of New York City’s Explorers Club. She was searching for maps, ethnographic images, and scientific miscellany that she could repurpose into collages that confront Greenland’s colonial past. Arke knew early 20th-century adventurers often, by turns, demeaned and romanticized her Inuit ancestors. Even so, one photo from American explorer Robert E. Peary’s collection shocked her: a native woman, topless and screaming, restrained by two fur-clad and seemingly untroubled white men. A curator told Arke the woman could have been suffering from a madness called Arctic hysteria.

More than 20 years later, Arke’s mesmerizing film Arctic Hysteria, which she created the year after she found that dark photo, was looping endlessly in an alcove at Denmark’s Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Situated in a small town along the Baltic Sea about 50 kilometers north of Copenhagen, the Louisiana Museum enjoys the kind of international acclaim that makes it a dream exhibit space for most artists. Arke’s work was part of last year’s star-studded exhibit Illumination, which featured such luminaries as Ai Weiwei, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Wall, and Gerhard Richter. The flashiest Arke piece on display was Legende I-V, a series of five collages of Greenlandic maps and sepia-toned family snapshots layered with imported commodities such as rice, sugar, and coffee. Legende I-V is physically imposing—it dominated an entire gallery wall—and hauntingly beautiful. The foodstuffs function both symbolically and texturally, the photographs evoke the warmth of kinship, and the cartographic lines of Greenland, stamped with place names referencing colonial explorers (Peary Land, Humboldt Glacier, and Kane Bassin, for example), loom insistently over everyone.

Arke’s Arctic Hysteria is equally magnetic. The performance, which lasts six minutes, is silent and consists almost entirely of one scene: Arke crawling naked across a giant black-and-white photo of Nuugaarsuk Point, a spit of land at the terminus of a C-shaped bay. The artist lived there, outside the small town of Narsaq, Greenland, with her parents and siblings in the late 1960s. In the video, Arke strokes the artificial landscape, rolls across it, and sniffs it like an animal. Then she methodically rips the entire thing to shreds, gathers the curled shards of paper, and lets them fall across her shoulders and thighs. The intimacy of the performance and the title’s historical allusion are classic Arke.

[…]

Historical context points to alternative interpretations. Inuit women labored at the very bottom of the social hierarchy on Peary’s expeditions and in his camps, expected to sew, fish, carry wood, and submit to the Americans’ sexual desires. Peary, for example, fathered two sons with his Inuit laundress, Ahlikasingwah. His navigator, Robert Bartlett, viewed one woman’s hysteria as simple protest, or “pure cussedness.” Accounts described women who seemed intent on escape or dissent leaping over the ship’s railings or shouting for a knife. Expedition member Donald MacMillan recounted finding a woman named Inawaho naked and screaming, presumably unaware of her surroundings and out of her mind. But as soon as MacMillan pulled out his camera, Inawaho hurled huge chunks of ice at him and later begged him to destroy the photos. Were these women, in fact, crazy? Or were they reacting perfectly rationally—even bravely—to their circumstances?

You can read and see more here.

Right Wing Views: Women? Ick.

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Some nice staffers at The Advocate are reading Breitbart and other fascist publications, so we don’t have to feel all filthy clicking on those sites, but can still know what’s happening. It’s still a very nauseous trip, reading the excerpts, so be warned.

In the current political climate — well, in any political climate — it’s good to know who your adversaries are and what they’re saying. For this reason, we’re initiating a weekly roundup of the highlights and lowlights from Breitbart and other right-wing news and opinion websites.

Our inaugural entry (in more ways than one) takes note of these sites’ coverage and commentary regarding the ban on entry to the U.S. from citizens of seven countries, the Women’s Marches, and Donald Trump’s swearing-in as president.

[…]

Breitbart featured several other defenses of  the Trump order, including a column by failed vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. She denounces “hysteria” over the order and says calling it a ban amounted to “fake news,” then concludes, “Trump’s executive action is a step in the right direction towards welcoming safe, loving, law-abiding, hardworking, patriotic people into our nation that was built on the backs of safe, loving, law-abiding, hardworking, patriotic people willing to assimilate into America’s exceptional melting pot.”

I, I…uh, oh fuck. For the life of me, I cannot figure out, at all, why anyone gives this person space to say anything. It’s nothing but word salad with shit dressing. uStates is a melting pot (not in the least exceptional) because of immigration. (After the genocide of those who were here first, natch.) FFS. All manner of safe, loving, law-abiding, hardworking people have been denied entry and re-entry into the Fascist States of America. What. An. Idiot.

The previous weekend was marked by Women’s March on Washington and sister marches all over the world. In case you think sexism isn’t alive and well, consider what the far-right sites had to say about the actions:

“Just another random protest march by the usual ragbag of leftist suspects, far too many of them blue hair, their whale-like physiques and terrifying camel-toes the size of the Grand Canyon.”

This isn’t from the comments section, folks. This sentence, grammatical problems and all, is from Breitbart contributor James Dellingpole. And wait, there’s more — after sharing his tweet saying men would probably have to fetch their own beers the night after the march, he writes:

“Very few of these shrieking munters — save the token celebrities — will ever find themselves in a position where they are able to fetch a man’s beer from his fridge because first they would have to find a man willing to share the same space with them.”

According to Urban Dictionary, “munter” is British slang for an ugly woman. Dellingpole finishes:

“Still, when all is said and done I think we owe those women who took to the streets across the world in their various pod groups a massive favour. They have reminded us what a Hillary presidency would have looked like every single day for at least four years. And they have swept away any reservations we may have had about the absolute necessity of having voted for Donald Trump.”

Ah yes, women, quelle horreur! Echoes from Euripides’ Hippolyta strike:

Go to hell! I’ll never have my fill of hating

Women, not if I’m said to talk without ceasing,

For women are also unceasingly wicked.

Either someone should teach them to be sensible,

Or let me trample them underfoot.

How little things change, literally, over centuries, when it comes to conservative authoritarians. In 195 bce, Cato the Elder declared:

If every married man had been concerned to ensure that his own wife looked up to him and respected his rightful position as her husband, we should not have half this trouble with women en masse. Instead, women have become so powerful that our independence has been lost in our own homes and is now being trampled and stamped underfoot in public. We have failed to retrain them as individuals, and now they have combined to reduce us to our present panic…It made me blush to push my way through a positive regiment of women a few minutes ago in order to get here. My respect for the position and modesty of them as individuals – a respect which I do not feel for them as a mob – prevented my doing anything as consul which would suggest the use of force. Otherwise I should have said to them, ‘What do you mean by rushing out in public in this unprecedented fashion, blocking the streets and shouting out to men who are not your husbands? Could you not have asked your questions at home, and have asked them of your husbands?

[…]

Woman is a violent and uncontrolled animal, and it is not good giving her the reins and expecting her not to kick over the traces. No, you have got to keep the reins firmly in your own hands…Suppose you allow them to acquire or to extort one right after another, and in the end to achieve complete equality with men, do you think that you will find them bearable? Nonsense. Once they have achieved equality, they will be your masters. – Livy, The Early History of Rome, translated by Aubrey de Sélin-court, Penguin Classics, 2002.

Cato’s speech failed, and the Oppian laws were overturned in 195 bce. This was the first recorded protest movement ever organized by women. It’s now 2017 ce, and we have not yet achieved equality, and still find ourselves needing to protest in the streets, much to the displeasure of misogynists everywhere, who still carry the attitude and mores of Cato the Elder.

There were more right wing comments on the Womens’ March:

“Commentators on MSNBC bragged about the crowd size of the women’s marches but, as a fellow female, I couldn’t help noticing the size of some of the marchers. There is a big difference between crowd numbers and crowd size.” — Townhall columnist Susan Stamper Brown

“Never have so many hotness-challenged crones so vehemently rejected being grabbed while simultaneously being at so little risk of it.” — Townhall columnist Kurt Schlicter

And conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s Infowars site, which is one that really brings the crazy, approvingly posted a video of a conservative activist called Big Joe confronting a participant in the Women’s March in Los Angeles. “Planned Parenthood is a racist system,” he says. “Margaret Sanger [Planned Parenthood’s founder] thought very little of black people. She thought they were ignorant and shouldn’t exist and shouldn’t reproduce. … You want to be against racists? You should be against Planned Parenthood.” (Editor’s note: The assertion that Sanger and her organization were/are racist is a bald-faced lie, but many on the right believe it.)

Some things never change. The full article is at The Advocate.

Arkansas Act 45.

Danny Johnston/AP Photo.

Danny Johnston/AP Photo.

A new Arkansas law bans one of the safest and most common abortion procedures and allows family members to block an abortion by suing the abortion provider.

Arkansas Act 45, signed by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson last Thursday, bans dilation and evacuation abortions, the most common abortion procedure during the second trimester of pregnancy. Rushed from filing to law in less than two months, the legislation effectively blocks abortions after 14 weeks by making the safest procedure a felony. The earliest current abortion bans block the procedure after 20 weeks.

With no exception for rape or incest, and a clause that allows a woman’s spouse or parent to sue an abortion provider, the law potentially allows the fetus’s father to sue even in cases of spousal rape or incest, abortion rights activists say. The law could go into effect as early as spring.

Emphasis mine. Looks like Arkansas is going full court biblical, reducing women to mere things, at best, nothing more than chattel. Interestingly enough, the fuckwits in Arkansas are also crusading against Sharia law. Apparently, they are utterly immune from irony poisoning.

State Rep. Brandt Smith (R-Jonesboro) introduced HB 1041, which won approval Thursday from a House judiciary committee, to “American laws for American courts,” reported the Arkansas Times.

He claims the measure was not specifically aimed at Sharia law, although it’s similar to legislation introduced in other states based on the conspiracy theory that Islamic law is creeping into the American legal system.

Yes, you could say Islamic law is creeping in, it’s called American laws for American courts, laws which exist for no other reason than to oppress and grind people down into the dirt, stripping them of their human rights and autonomy. At least Islamic law makes exceptions for rape and incest for 120 days when it comes to abortion, which makes that law better than the “American” one in Arkansas. Getting back to the Arkansas law, they aren’t alone:

When not working in the legislature, Mayberry doubles as the president of Arkansas Right to Life, a subsidiary of the National Right to Life Committee. Introducing the bill before the Arkansas House in January, Mayberry announced that the text was “based on model legislation from National Right to Life that has been passed, or similar legislation has been passed in six states.”

Those six states are Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and West Virginia. In all but the latter two, which passed their bills in spring 2016, legal challenges have temporarily blocked the laws from taking effect. As in the other states, the Arkansas legislation takes a hard line against dilation and evacuation procedures, making their use a Class D felony, punishable by a $10,000 fine or six years in prison.

[…]

But one particularly punishing element of Arkansas’s law has not been tested in court, even in Mississippi and West Virginia, where versions of the bans still stand, reproductive rights activists say.

A clause in the Arkansas law allows a woman’s spouse, parent or guardian, or health care provider to sue an abortion provider for civil damages or injunctive relief that could stop the abortion. And because Act 45 does not provide any exceptions for cases of rape or incest, the clause could allow the fetus’s father to sue an abortion provider even in cases of spousal rape or incest.

Full stories at The Daily Beast and Raw Story.

Wax That Ass.

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Wax That Ass, Allison Bouganim. Images courtesy of the artist.

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What do laundromats, bus stops, and supermarkets have in common? Besides being everyday locales, these seemingly innocuous sites are also hotbeds of sexual harassment. Wax That Ass, a project by artist Allison Bouganim, fuses sculpture, photography, and on-site intervention to explore the everyday discomfort felt in public places.

Bouganim began the project by making a series of sculptural butts cast from actual butts. The results were a series of plaster and wax butts (hence the project title, Wax That Ass) in a variety of different shades that seem to represent a spectrum of skin tones. Once these were made, Bouganim went to a series of sites that are not only breeding grounds for sexual harassment, but are also places where the artist herself has been sexually harassed before, to enact the performative aspect of her project.

You can read and see more at The Creators Project.

A Playful Gesture.

Chris von Keyserling. Photo: / Helen Neafsey.

Chris von Keyserling. Photo: / Helen Neafsey.

Christopher von Keyserling, 71, was arrested in Greenwich Town Hall on Wednesday afternoon and charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, police said. He posted $2,500 bond and was released to appear in court on Jan. 25.

The incident began at about noon Dec. 8 when the 57-year-old woman encountered von Keyserling in the hallway of an unnamed town facility, the warrant said.

The two briefly spoke about politics and the woman told him that “it was a new world politically” and he had to educate his fellow politicians, the warrant said. Von Keyserling is a member of Greenwich’s Representative Town Meeting.

He allegedly replied: “I love this new world, I no longer have to be politically correct,” according to the warrant.

She told him that if he was “proud of that I can’t help you,” after which he called her a lazy, bloodsucking union employee, the warrant said.

[…]
As she walked by, he allegedly pinched her in the groin area, according to the warrant. She threatened to punch him if he ever did that again, the warrant said.

She said he “looked back with a really evil look in his eyes and said, ‘it would be your word against mine and nobody will believe you,'” according to the warrant.

[…]

Reached by phone, von Keyserling deferred comment to his attorney, Phil Russell. “It’s a sad situation,” von Keyserling said.

Russell said the incident in question, at the Nathaniel Witherell Home, could not be described as sexual or aggressive in nature. He said the charge stemmed from a “jocular” moment with a woman at a gathering at the town-owned senior facility.

“In almost 30 years of practicing law in this town, I would say Mr. von Keyserling is the one person I would never suspect of having any inappropriate sexual predilections,” Russell said, noting his client is in his 70s.

“There was a playful gesture, in front of witnesses. It was too trivial to be considered anything of significance. To call it a sexual assault is not based in reality,” the lawyer said.

And there we are, in a reality where open sexual assault is no more than a “playful gesture”. I have an idea that Mr. von Keyserling might not find people deciding to pinch his penis as jocular play. Since the election of Pussy Grabber-elect, we will no doubt be seeing much more of this; assholes all over using the excuse of “hey I don’t need to be politically correct anymore!” as the rallying cry for indecent behaviour.

Via Daily Voice and Greenwich Time.

Europe: 4 out of 10 say rape may be justifiable in certain circumstances.

noA new survey reveals that a quarter of Europeans think that rape is justifiable in some cases, notably in situations where a person is drunk or drugged, or agrees to go with someone. There are several sources available, and you can read the full 102 page report here.

Article One, Article Two, Article Three.