Enough is enough: we’ve reached a tipping point on sexual assault

From The Guardian UK:

In the words of Elizabeth Warren, “women have had it” with guys like Trump, and the others who grab, insult and harass us. There’s a new defiance in the air

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Most times, it’s easier to say nothing.

When a man gropes you on a subway. If a stranger tells you to smile as you walk down the street. When someone calls you a bitch because you turned them down at a bar. The decision of whether to speak up or push back is made in a split second, and for a lot of women, it’s just not worth it.

The person that just harassed you might get even more aggressive if confronted. Besides, what difference will it make, you think. Why spend energy on a person like this?

As the election looms closer and women continue to come forward to accuse Donald Trump of assault, I’ve noticed a shift in the way women are talking about dealing with these all-too-common indignities. They’re not just fed up with the harassment itself, but with the resigned feeling that this is just the way things are.

More and more, women are sharing stories of speaking up in those moments – and crediting Trump’s misogyny with what they did. Carolina Siede, writing at Quartz, described being leered at by a man one evening and changing her usual tactic of not “rocking the boat”.

As we sat in uncomfortable silence, I began to think again about Donald Trump. I thought about the women he’d groped. I thought about the men who, through their ignorance or denial, enable this behavior to happen. I thought about Michelle Obama telling women and girls that they deserve dignity and respect too. And I decided enough was enough.

Writer Rebecca Solnit shared a similar story on Facebook from a woman who was called a “cunt” by a stranger and decided to confront him. “Are you going to tell me it was just locker room talk?,” she asked.

There’s more talk, too, of the less obvious kinds of harassment and assault. A woman on Twitter this week described a man caressing her calf as she walked by him on an airplane, for example. When we think of groping what comes to mind is someone grabbing “private” areas. But if it’s another person’s body – it is private.

Trump’s remarks about women – his bragging about assaulting women without consequence and his continued insistence that every accuser is lying – have brought us to a sort of national tipping point. As Elizabeth Warren said about Trump to tremendous applause this week, “Women have had it with guys like you”.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/25/sexual-assault-tipping-point-elizabeth-warren-trump

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In the Nixon-Humphrey election, I refused to vote for the ‘lesser of two evils.’ That was a mistake

If you don’t vote for Hillary Clinton you are voting for racism, misogyny, anti-LGBT bigotry and the destruction of the United States.

From The LA Times:  http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-weinstein-humphrey-nixon-election-20161021-snap-story.html

Those of us who helped Nixon win by failing to support the better candidate acted as if voting in a presidential election was a simple matter of morality.

By Henry Weinstein
October 21, 2016

When I stepped into the polling booth on Nov. 5, 1968, to cast my first vote for president, I was an angry Berkeley law student active in a variety of causes, including the civil rights movement, the antiwar movement and endeavors to enable California farmworkers to unionize.

I did not like either of the major candidates. Richard Nixon and his running mate, Spiro Agnew, promised to bring an unholy version of “law and order” to our country, just as Republican candidate Donald Trump is hawking now.

I also had no enthusiasm for Democratic candidate Hubert H. Humphrey. Until he became vice president under Lyndon Johnson, I admired Humphrey, the Minnesota senator who had championed civil rights. But Triple H morphed into Johnson’s surrogate, supporting an unwise, immoral war in Vietnam.

A devastating Bill Mauldin cartoon crystallized my feelings about Humphrey’s noxious role. It depicted Humphrey speaking to a Vietnamese woman seeking shelter from American bombs in foxhole. The caption: “Ma’am, I represent The Great Society.”

My hostility to Humphrey intensified during the Democratic convention when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s gendarmes beat demonstrators with truncheons on city streets, prompting Connecticut Sen. Abe Ribicoff to blast the police’s “Gestapo” tactics in a speech from the convention podium. In response, Daley, a Humphrey backer, brandished his middle finger.

So, what to do on Nov. 5? Be practical, settle for half a loaf with Humphrey? Or “take a stand on principle,” not succumb to voting for “the lesser of two evils” and declare, in effect, “it really doesn’t make a difference?”

My emotions prevailed. I wrote in Dick Gregory, an African American comedian who championed civil rights and opposed the war. Some friends voted for Black Panther Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver, the Peace and Freedom Party candidate. We walked out of our polling places feeling righteous.

In California, the smattering of votes garnered by Cleaver (27,707) and Gregory (3,230) had no impact on the outcome. Nixon defeated Humphrey by 223,000 votes. But there were people like us across the country who did not take the long view and consequently failed to do what Humphrey needed to win — register voters, talk to neighbors, canvas to increase election-day turnout. Nationally, Nixon prevailed — 31.7 million votes to 31.2 million votes.

Continue reading at:  http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-weinstein-humphrey-nixon-election-20161021-snap-story.html

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Huge phone scam targeting Americans leads to 700 being detained in India

I hate all the Indian scam artists who call pretending to be from Microsoft.  “I’m calling about Windows.”  No you aren’t.  You’re a fucking scam artist.  Any how I use Linux.

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/06/huge-phone-scam-targeting-americans-leads-to-750-arrests-in-india

Police say Mumbai call centre workers posed as Internal Revenue Service tax collectors to rake in tens of millions of dollars

in Mumbai and agencies
Thursday 6 October 2016

Thousands of US citizens may have been targeted in a huge tax scam run from call centres in Mumbai, where hundreds of workers were allegedly trained to speak in American accents in order to steal tens of millions of dollars, Indian police have said.

About 700 people are being investigated over what is believed to have been one of the biggest such scams in India’s history, which involved workers posing as US tax officials, according to Paramvir Singh, the police commissioner of Thane.

“Seventy workers have been formally arrested and around 630 others are being investigated,” Singh said. “We expect that many more people will be arrested.”

On Tuesday night about 200 officers raided nine premises in India’s financial capital. Police believe the alleged scam was run from the call centres, where workers pretended to be officials from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the US tax authority.

Employees would allegedly tell American citizens that they had defaulted on tax payments and were facing prosecution by the IRS. “They would give an American name and a batch number and tell the [US] citizen that they owed the authorities $4,000, $5,000 or $10,000,” said Singh.

“They were instructed to stay on the phone and told that their homes would be raided by police within 30 minutes if they hung up. They made threats, they said: ‘You have to pay, otherwise you will lose your job, your money, your house.’”

After allegedly duping the victims into revealing their bank details they would then withdraw money from their accounts, police said. The victims were told to stay on the call and go to their nearest Target or Walmart store, where they would buy a prepaid cash card, load thousands of dollars on to it and then transfer the money to an American bank account.

Police have not revealed the amount of money that was stolen, or whether citizens from other countries had been targeted. But Singh said the call centres were running for more than a year and are estimated to have conned billions of rupees out of thousands of people.

Continue reading at:   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/06/huge-phone-scam-targeting-americans-leads-to-750-arrests-in-india

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Hillary Clinton is an actual feminist: She met Trump’s misogyny head on, without apology

From Salon:  http://www.salon.com/2016/10/20/hillary-clinton-is-an-actual-feminist-she-met-trumps-misogyny-head-on-without-apology/

Instead of going cautious and playing it safe, Clinton leaned hard toward feminism in the final debate with Trump

Hillary Clinton frequently gets characterized as an overly cautious politician, afraid to go out on a limb and swift to scurry towards some ill-defined “middle” at the first sign of conflict. Part of that reputation is due to people’s mistaking her for her husband. But part of it is her own fault, as she tended to take that approach in the 2008 Democratic primaries, leaving it to Barack Obama to portray himself as more liberal, even though Clinton was actually somewhat to the left of her primary opponent.

 In Wednesday night’s debate — thankfully the last of this endless election season — Clinton proved her detractors wrong. Her opponent this time, Republican Donald Trump, is an obnoxious misogynist who literally bragged during the debate that he didn’t even apologize to his wife after a tape came out featuring him bragging about sexually assaulting women. Despite this, Trump continues to poll well with more than 40 percent of voters.

A more skittish politician would see that and assume the country is still incredibly sexist and not ready for a strongly feminist message and try to find some middle-ground way to tiptoe around the issue of women’s equality.

Clinton did the opposite. Faced with a misogynistic pig with a long record of belittling and objectifying women, Clinton leaned into the idea that voters want a feminist in office. (After all, the last president they elected is one!) Despite decades of pressure from the media to step back, soften her voice, be more submissive and bake more cookies, Clinton made absolutely sure that the debate-watching audience could not doubt her commitment to feminism.

“In the 1990s, I went to Beijing and I said women’s rights are human rights,” Clinton reminded audiences. Younger voters may not know how controversial that was at the time. But if that statement seems obvious now, it’s in no small part because Clinton had the ovaries to say it out loud then on a prominent international stage.

It took more than a year to get here, but finally Clinton got to be in a debate in which she was directly asked about abortion rights, and she offered a full-throated defense of reproductive rights.

Continue reading at:  http://www.salon.com/2016/10/20/hillary-clinton-is-an-actual-feminist-she-met-trumps-misogyny-head-on-without-apology/

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Dangerous idiots: how the liberal media elite failed working-class Americans

I remember the college student leftists of the 1960s writing off the actual working class as stupid red necks while proclaiming themselves to be the “new proletariat” as described by Marx.

For the record an awful lot of Trump supporters are racist, homophobic, misogynistic right wing neo-Nazi pigs.

Many seem to fail to realize how much of Trumps support come from the same people they went to college with, the same privileged elites as those college lefties.

From The Guardian:  https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/oct/13/liberal-media-bias-working-class-americans

Trump supporters are not the caricatures journalists depict – and native Kansan Sarah Smarsh sets out to correct what newsrooms get wrong

Thursday 13 October 2016

Last March, my 71-year-old grandmother, Betty, waited in line for three hours to caucus for Bernie Sanders. The wait to be able to cast her first-ever vote in a primary election was punishing, but nothing could have deterred her. Betty – a white woman who left school after ninth grade, had her first child at age 16 and spent much of her life in severe poverty – wanted to vote.

So she waited with busted knees that once stood on factory lines. She waited with smoking-induced emphysema and the false teeth she’s had since her late 20s – both markers of our class. She waited with a womb that in the 1960s, before Roe v Wade, she paid a stranger to thrust a wire hanger inside after she discovered she was pregnant by a man she’d fled after he broke her jaw.

Betty worked for many years as a probation officer for the state judicial system in Wichita, Kansas, keeping tabs on men who had murdered and raped. As a result, it’s hard to faze her, but she has pronounced Republican candidate Donald Trump a sociopath “whose mouth overloads his ass”.

No one loathes Trump – who suggested women should be punished for having abortions, who said hateful things about groups of people she has loved and worked alongside since childhood, whose pomp and indecency offends her modest, midwestern sensibility – more than she.

Yet, it is white working-class people like Betty who have become a particular fixation among the chattering class during this election: what is this angry beast, and why does it support Trump?

Hard numbers complicate, if not roundly dismiss, the oft-regurgitated theory that income or education levels predict Trump support, or that working-class whites support him disproportionately. Last month, results of 87,000 interviews conducted by Gallup showed that those who liked Trump were under no more economic distress or immigration-related anxiety than those who opposed him.

According to the study, his supporters didn’t have lower incomes or higher unemployment levels than other Americans. Income data misses a lot; those with healthy earnings might also have negative wealth or downward mobility. But respondents overall weren’t clinging to jobs perceived to be endangered. “Surprisingly”, a Gallup researcher wrote, “there appears to be no link whatsoever between exposure to trade competition and support for nationalist policies in America, as embodied by the Trump campaign.”

Earlier this year, primary exit polls revealed that Trump voters were, in fact, more affluent than most Americans, with a median household income of $72,000 – higher than that of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders supporters. Forty-four percent of them had college degrees, well above the national average of 33% among whites or 29% overall. In January, political scientist Matthew MacWilliams reported findings that a penchant for authoritarianism – not income, education, gender, age or race –predicted Trump support.

These facts haven’t stopped pundits and journalists from pushing story after story about the white working class’s giddy embrace of a bloviating demagogue.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/oct/13/liberal-media-bias-working-class-americans

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Elizabeth Warren DESTROYS Donald Trump In Manchester NH FULL Speech 10/24/16

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There’s a new “silent majority,” and it’s voting for Hillary Clinton

From Vox:  http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/10/19/13288594/new-silent-majority


In a 1969 speech, then-President Richard Nixon directly addressed the “silent majority” of Americans who he hoped would support his middle path policy on Vietnam. The speech itself, if you read it, is rather banal and unremarkable, but the turn of phrase came to be a powerful icon of the politics of the era. At a time when American society seemed in many ways to be pulling apart, Nixon argued for stability.

And with that phrase, he offered recognition to the large number of Americans who were neither Black Panthers nor Klansmen, neither war hawks nor hippies, just basically normal middle-class white people who rejected Jim Crow without embracing Black Power, disliked the war but disliked communism even more.

Nixon’s presidency itself descended into oblivion, but his silent majority of hard hats and conformists carried forward, dominating American politics for the rest of the 20th century. Under George W. Bush, Republican rhetoric took a different turn — more overtly pious and messianic — but in the wake of Bushism’s self-discrediting collapse, Nixonian themes have strongly reemerged under the leadership of Donald Trump.

Trump-branded signs intoning the slogan “THE SILENT MAJORITY STANDS WITH TRUMP” festoon his rallies, and optimistic writers invoke the notion of a silent majority to tout theories that the polls are undercounting Trump voters.

 But though Trumpniks are certainly the demographic descendants of Nixon’s white working-class silent majority, the basic reality is that they are anything but silent. Trump’s rallies are, as Trump would be the first to tell you, enormous, raucous affairs. He brings in big ratings. He attracts constant coverage, and so do his supporters, in the form of endlessly writerly explorations of the agonizing anxieties of “Trump Country” communities afflicted by everything from deindustrialization to opiate addiction to an influx of immigrants from the Dominican Republic.

Nor, crucially, are the Trumpniks a majority. Polls give every indication that Hillary Clinton is going to beat Trump, just as she beat Bernie Sanders — who also drew larger rally crowds and more think pieces than she did — in the Democratic primary. Clinton crowds aren’t as big, and her voters aren’t as loud or as interesting to the media. But there sure are a lot of them. And it’s about time we acknowledge them and their emergence as a new silent majority that reelected America’s first black president and is poised to elect its first woman.

Continue reading at:  http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/10/19/13288594/new-silent-majority

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