Protecting the Un-scum

Facebook confirms it’s suspending the accounts of women who call men “scum” in the wake of the sexual harassment scandals that have sparked the #MeToo conversation on social media and beyond.

Source: Facebook defends blocking women who call men ‘scum’ – Tech News | The Star Online

 

I support feminism to the point that I once called myself a feminist. I maintain that gender balance in all aspects of society is not only a necessary precondition to a just civilization, it is also the antidote to many social ills that plague traditional patriarchies, whether in the workplace, the statehouse, or the home.

But when feminism crosses the line into misandry, when it engages in or tolerates behavior that incites hatred against the male gender as a whole, feminism mocks its own goals and becomes unsupportable.

There are many men who are deserving of the worst unflattering epithets known to language. But to draw from that fact the conclusion that “men are scum” (or worse) is to put us all on a pathway to oppression and injustice from which no person would be safe.

Misandry disguised as feminism is hypocrisy. Facebook was right to take the actions that it did.

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Salon and the Political Ad Hominem

Sure, Mike Rogers and Trey Gowdy are low-grade partisan hacks. But John Cornyn stands out for sheer shamelessness

Source: Who will be the next FBI director? Trump has many bad choices, but Sen. John Cornyn stands out as the worst – Salon.com

I’m (almost) nobody’s idea of a liberal,* but I recognize that no political ethos holds a monopoly on the truth, so I appreciate (and pay for) good thinking from across the spectrum.

When Salon was birthed to decades ago, I had hopes that it would be the repository of thoughtful liberalism. Some days it is. But to watch the publication sink to the ad hominem is discouraging. Clickbait or no, name-calling has no place in any thoughtful journal of American politics.

In fairness, I’m going to start calling out the right and center as well. It’s time we end name-calling, and the editors of these publications need to rise above pandering and start attacking words, actions, and positions.

At the same time, I’m going to start restraining my own grade-school playground rhetoric. Please feel free to call me on it if I fall into that trap again.

 

* The key word here is “almost.” To the reactionaries of the alt-right, I must seem somewhere to the left of Lenin.

The (Bad) Liar in the White House

Maybe the White House is telling the truth here, but I don’t believe it. How can anybody believe it?The thing to keep in mind is that this Dumpster fire is entirely of Trump’s own making. Maybe Comey deserved to be fired. If so, you don’t fire him in the middle of this Russia investigation, you don’t fire him in a dirty way guaranteed to raise everyone’s suspicions, and you sure don’t lie about it, and send your people (Pence, Sanders, et al.) out to lie about it.

Source: Trump: An Unusually Bad Liar | The American Conservative

And there it is: the real issue.

Unfit. To. Be. President.

The longer Trump stays in office with Republican support, the faster that any position with a conservative taint will lose legitimacy in the American dialogue.

Trump Looms as Kushner Companies Courts Investors in China – The New York Times

“Ms. Meyer wanted to make clear that her brother had stepped away from the company in January and has nothing to do with this project,” said Risa Heller, a Kushner Companies spokeswoman. “Kushner Companies apologizes if that mention of her brother was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors. That was not Ms. Meyer’s intention.”

She may have wanted to. She did not.

Therefore, Ms, Meyer, and by extension the Kushner Companies, are either attempting to hoodwink their Chinese investors, or they are attempting to hoodwink those of us concerned about the conflict of interest.

Or both.

 

Fighting Words

“If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing,” the President implored. “If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clip board, get some signatures, and run for office yourself.”

Source: ‘Lace Up Your Shoes and Organize’: Watch Obama’s Push For Participation in Politics | TIME

I have and retain severe differences with Mr. Obama. But that single quote is priceless, and should be permanently engraved above the chalkboard of every civics and American Government class in the nation.

Democracy is not a spectator sport. Let’s stop sitting around sharing memes, stewing in our glandular indignation and waiting for our names to be called.

Our Founding Fathers created a system designed around the imperative of citizen involvement.

Either we get off the bench and into the game right now, or the plutocrats and the illiberal will lead us into tyranny and decline.