Content note: This post discusses rape and transmisogyny
Dear Rape Crisis South London,
I’m at work today. I’m supposed to be working, but I can’t. My hands are shaking, and a knot in my guts twists about itself as I veer on the edge of vomiting. My head is full of thoughts of things my rapist said and thought, things I’d worked hard to believe aren’t true about me, things that aren’t true about anyone–or at least shouldn’t be.
Some years ago, you helped me get on top of the violent chattering in my mind and the sickness pervading my body. You were there for me, and you helped it stop hitting me like this.
So it’s horrifically ironic that it’s you, Rape Crisis South London, who are responsible for throwing me right back into this state.
You hit me with a blindside–it feels like it was hours ago, days ago, weeks ago, like I’ve always been like this–a mere half hour ago:
It was in response to a string of tweets of mine from a few days ago. A deeply transmisogynistic article had come out, and I’d spoken out against it as a survivor. I said:
you know who I don’t want in my women’s spaces? Bigots who are obsessing over what’s in everyone’s pants. It’s fucking creepy as fuck.
— Another Angry Woman (@stavvers) February 24, 2015
I’m a cis rape survivor and I’d rather have trans women in any support groups than gross, pussy-obsessed TERfs. — Another Angry Woman (@stavvers) February 24, 2015
You know who else was fascinated by what my genitals were like and considered it the important thing about me? My rapist.
— Another Angry Woman (@stavvers) February 24, 2015
THANKS TERFS. I’m cis and I haven’t even read that fucking article but I am now fucking SHAKING over your ideology. — Another Angry Woman (@stavvers) February 24, 2015
Fuck it, I’m a survivor and I’m entitled to speak my mind about how I see sexual violence, so I will: Rachel Hewitt thinks like a rapist.
— Another Angry Woman (@stavvers) February 24, 2015
After demanding an apology from me, Rape Crisis South London, you decided to pretend like both sides were in the wrong.
Yet I don’t see you going after Rachel Hewitt. I don’t see you demanding an apology from someone who thinks in the same way as my rapist. I only see you going after me, the Bad Survivor.
You’ve made it clear, Rape Crisis South London, who you prioritise in your help, and it’s not women like me. Women like me can be thrown to the wolves to protect the hurt feelings of bigots and transmisogynists. You don’t mind rage of survivors, as long as it’s rage directed at vulnerable women, rather than rage directed at those who exhibit exactly the same pattern of logic as rapists.
I feel myself growing stronger as I write this, because a lot of survivors, trans women and trans women who are survivors (which is a fucking big overlap, if you’ve done your research) have got in touch with me, and they feel the same as me. And the way I deal is I take their pain with mine and I scream and shout about the lies you’re supporting in demanding an apology for me.
Rape is not something that springs into being due to the presence of a penis. It’s a choice a rapist makes. In supporting the transmisogyistic line that a penis is some sort of magically-guided rape missile, you’re letting rapists get away with it. My rapist claimed he couldn’t help it, and you taught me that yes, yes he could. It’s devastating to see you taking a U-turn on this.
Genitals don’t matter, it’s obsessing over others’ genitals that’s creepy. My rapist viewed me as a walking pussy. A lot of other survivors I’ve spoken to have had the same experience. So I find it really disturbing that you are implicitly supporting the transmisogynistic line that genitals should dictate who should and shouldn’t be allowed in women’s space. I don’t want to be around people who are thinking about what’s in my pants. I find it terrifying that you would prioritise having creeps who do in survivors’ spaces over women who are more likely to experience rape and sexual assault.
Our trans sisters need our help. Let’s fucking give it to them if we’re serious about tackling male violence.
Survivors shouldn’t have to apologise for anything. Once again, you taught me this, when I felt bad about feeling angry and upset at seeing my rapist’s reasoning everywhere and reacting to it. Pretending a valid emotional reaction to someone reducing you down to your genitals is something to apologise for is…yep, you’ve guessed it, something my rapist did. So yes, it fucking hurts like fuck to see you turning around on this.
I say these things so they will sink in to me and I can believe them too, after the huge setback you provoked this morning. I know them to be true, and I know they will break through and become truths to me once again as this triggered feeling passes.
Meanwhile, I want something positive to come from this destruction of me this morning. I offer my hand, sincerely, in helping you to avoid hurting survivors in this way again, because it’s not just me who feels this way. I will come in and talk to you, I will work with you on these topics. I offer my hand in friendship, because I feel like you were integral to helping me recover, and I don’t want to see you slip under and become an organisation that does more harm than good.
Before that can happen, I need to know that you’ve read this and understood it. I need to know that you’ve realised you’ve fucked up quite seriously. From there, perhaps we can heal. I’d like for that to happen, because it would help me heal, too.
13.30 2/3/15: RASASC and I have arranged to discuss this issue this evening by email. I will keep you abreast as to how it goes.
18.30 2/3/15: I was emailed by the tweeter from RASASC opening the lines of communication. She offered a heartfelt apology which I accept. Right now, I’m holding off replying fully because I want my thinking to be clear. I’m also aware I have decentred the issue of transmisogyny in support provision onto myself, and I want to talk to trans women about the problem and what you want to happen. If you’re a trans woman survivor, please email me with your thoughts. Thank you, everyone.
3/3/15, 10.30: I received another email from RASASC which makes me less optimistic, reiterating their demand that I apologise. RASASC also tweeted the text of yesterday’s email, again publicly demanding that I apologise. I have storified my response in tweets to this. I am very disappointed that this has happened, especially given how positive I felt yesterday. I am still clinging on to hope that this can be resolved, and that resolution must include justice for trans women survivors.
Dear Citizens of the Internet:
From time to time, in your ordinary exercise of the delights of the online world, you may find yourself accosted by clods. These oafish louts crave your time and attention, but in point of fact, life is short and you have better things to do.
For you, I have created this helpful numbered list of standard responses to online stupidity. When accosted, send the twit here to read the specific numbered response(s) relevant to them. Saves you time; alerts them they’re a jerk, and this is all the response they rate.
Use and enjoy.
The BitchCoin logo (all images courtesy the artist)
Transactions in the art world tend towards the material: historically, collectors have exchanged their cash or patronage for physical artworks. But a new project from Sarah Meyohas and the Brooklyn-based Where gallery explores the future of art in a world where both art and the market are increasingly immaterial.
Fascinated by BitCoin, Meyohas decided to explore the implications of what she called “totally dematerialized value” by creating her own crypto-currency, Wired reported. “The idea began out of a conversation about speculation,” Meyohas told Hyperallergic. She says that she was intrigued by Bitcoin, which she saw as “a system of value that comes close to being dematerialized and purely ideal. Yet, the terminology surrounding the currency is surprisingly material. An analogy to gold allows the currency to be a ‘coin’ that is ‘mined.’ I was interested in how the language was being used to retrieve a sense of dimension.”
The BitchCoin mine
The result is BitchCoin, a currency that can be used solely to buy a share in Meyohas’s existent or future artworks. One BitchCoin is worth $100, and it purchases 25 square inches of one of Meyohas’s prints. An entire print is worth 25 BitchCoins. The project gives collectors a chance to invest not only in artworks Meyohas has already created but in her artistic development. This is a new kind of speculation — one that implications for the way that we think about artistic investments. “By giving the artist an increased stake in the supply, demand, and price of the work, BitchCoin challenges the status quo. The artist as maker of meaning reclaims agency in self-evaluation,” Meyohas said.
Her project underscores the degree to which monetary exchange is abstracted from material reality. As the value of currency becomes an increasingly digital affair, divorced from commodities on the ground, it becomes easier for us to construct or imagine alternate economic realities: in the Where gallery exhibition, there’s a space for “mining” BitchCoins — an ironic nod to the conceptual nature of Meyohas’s fictional currency, and currency more generally.
BitchCoin also calls traditional notions of ownership into question. If it’s possible to “own” a share of Meyohas’s not-yet-existent works — to “own” something as intangible as her progress — it may be possible to own other immaterial artworks, like installations or pieces of netart. “I would like to see an art market that allows collectors to invest in an artist as a value producer, rather than investing in a single piece. Artists and collectors are linked in a more symbiotic way,” Meyohas explained. Perhaps her project will help pave the way.
In a long awaited decision, the CT Supreme Court last Friday ruled that Miller v. Alabama applies to all youth sentenced to the functional equivalent of life without parole, even though such a sentence was not required to be imposed by the trial judge.
In State v. Riley [PDF], Ackeem Riley – 17 at the time of the offense – was sentenced to 100 years in jail, without the possibility of parole1. He argued that Miller prohibits the imposition of such a sentence without a hearing on the particularized vagaries of youth and his attendant circumstances. He also argued that any functional life without parole sentence violates Graham v. Florida and he must be permitted to show that he has been rehabilitated and earn a chance at release. The Court, in typical Land-Of-Whoa-Whoa-Lets-Slow-This-Down fashion, ruled on the first claim and not on the second:
We agree with the defendant’s Miller claim. Therefore, he is entitled to a new sentencing proceeding at which the court must consider as mitigation the defendant’s age at the time he committed the offenses and the hallmarks of adolescence that Miller deemed constitutionally significant when a juvenile offender is subject to a potential life sentence.
We decline, however, to address the defendant’s Graham claim. As we explain later in this opinion, the legislature has received a sentencing commission’s recommendations for reforms to our juvenile sentencing scheme to respond to the dictates of Graham and Miller.
Therefore, in deference to the legislature’s authority over such matters and in light of the uncertainty of the defendant’s sentence upon due consideration of the Miller factors, we conclude that it is premature to determine whether it would violate the eighth amendment to preclude any possibility of release when a juvenile offender receives a life sentence.
We’ve been down this legislative road before: twice in two years has the legislature considered Miller/Graham bills and twice the legislature has failed to vote on it. This year, however, will be different. We promise. Two bills are on the public hearing agenda, scheduled to be heard on Wednesday. They’re good bills, as the last two were. They’ve got support, as the last two had. But this is a legislature and soft on crime still is a phrase that no one wants to hear. Will it pass this time? Will the CT Supreme Court have to take this up again in 2 or 3 years because the legislature doesn’t have the will to do the right thing? I hope not, but this is CT. We don’t like to be on the forefront of social justice.
Whoever found my blog with the search terms “scared that im not a good femdom. help?” I just want to hug you and tell you you’re okay.
First of all, it’s completely normal to be scared that you’re not good at this, scared that you never will be, scared that you’ll hurt someone by accident, scared that you’ll disappoint your partner, scared that you’ll never find a partner, scared that no one will ever take you seriously as a dom or a thousand other things. Anyone who tells you they’ve never doubted themselves, never felt uncertain, never made a mistake is a lying liar who lies. Or a narcissist with no capacity for self-reflection. If you doubt yourself sometimes, all that means is that you’re a decent human being who cares about your partner.
Seriously, every last one of us feels like a total dork sometimes. Nobody is magically good at this the first time they try it, it takes practice to feel comfortable taking charge. Some people get that practice in different ways, some people start much earlier than others by bossing their childhood playmates around, but literally everyone has to practice before they’re good at running the show.
Also, it’s really, really common for d-types to hate feeling or appearing vulnerable. There’s this pervasive myth that “real” doms never doubt themselves and always know exactly what to do, so when (not if) we do feel uncertain or scared, we try to live up to the myth by hiding our feelings. I do that too, even though I know it’s unhelpful for a bunch of different reasons (but that, of course, is a whole other blog post). Where this relates to new doms feeling like they suck at being doms is that they end up comparing themselves to people who they think always know exactly what they’re doing, but those people are actually just hiding it when they feel uncertain. New doms end up trying to live up to this impossible standard because it can be really hard to find experienced doms who are willing to admit they fuck up sometimes and don’t always know what they’re doing.
Another thing that can make things tough for new doms is not having the experience to know whether you just need more practice or whether you’re not compatible with the person you’re playing with. Being a good dom is kind of like being a good roomate – it’s not an absolute thing. Just because you’re a great roomate for one person doesn’t mean you wouldn’t end up wanting to throttle each other if you lived with someone else. It’s handy to have a bit of experience and a few basic skills, but being a good dom for any given person is more about compatibility with that particular person and being able to explain what you want than it is about whether or not you’re objectively a “good dom.”
If things just don’t work with someone, it might not be anyone’s fault. The two of you might just want different things. There’s an enormous range of ways to be kinky, and as common as it is to assume that any two kinky people are compatible with each other it’s just not true. Maybe you’re a low protocol, easy going dom who is happy with any meal you didn’t cook yourself (like me!), but maybe your sub loves high protocol and feels hurt and ignored every time you don’t notice when he gets everything just so or don’t punish him when he makes some tiny mistake (one of my big fears as a dom). Maybe you want to work toward a total power exchange style relationship and your partner only wants that level of intensity a couple of weekends a year. Maybe you like sensual domination and your partner is a super heavy duty masochist. Nobody’s wrong in any of those situations, but it’s very easy to feel like you’re failing your partner when the two of you aren’t compatible.
Just like taking charge takes practice, giving up control does too. Some people aren’t very good at that, but when things don’t work they don’t want to admit it could be their fault, so they lash out and blame the dom for not somehow magically making them good at submission. It’s really common for men in particular to struggle with submission, and given the way men are usually raised they have some very good reasons for having trouble with it, but it’s still not fair to blame the dom when it’s you who can’t or won’t submit.
Finally, the d/s dynamic (or in fact any non d/s relationship dynamic you might have with your partner) is incredibly fragile. If both of you don’t hold up your end, there’s no way for a relationship to work. One of my very favourite posts, and one I wish had been around when I was first getting into the scene is When your submissive says ‘no’ by Ferns. Seriously, if you skip the entire rest of this post, please read Ferns’ post. I spent years thinking that I must not be a real dom because I didn’t know what I’d do if my submissive said no to me. I bought into the myth that real doms always knows exactly what to do too, so don’t feel bad if you got sucked in.
Readers, do you have any advice for new doms who are worried they’re not any good at it?
A couple weeks ago, Miriam and Elisha attended a National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) builder’s workshop at their elementary school. For me, this offered the opportunity to drop them off for an hour and drink in peace. For them, it meant a chance to enter a school-wide competition with a lot of their friends, as well as to play with Legos. Neither Miriam nor Elisha are huge Lego builders at this point, although they enjoy playing with things that are already built. We’ve had a bit more success with Lincoln Logs, which I was surprised to discover still existed.
Each kid received a few Legos, a sheet of aluminum foil, a piece of string, and instructions to build a project related to the construction industry. Parents were excluded from the cafeteria in order to ensure that the kids worked on their own. There was a lot of variance in how long it took the kids to finish; many were more interested in playing in the gym downstairs than in building. The kids were allotted about forty-five minutes; Miriam took 35, and Elisha was one of the last in the school to conduct an exit interview with the judges.
Initially, Elisha explained to me that she had built a milk machine. This didn’t seem to have much relation to the construction industry (her sister built a mountain), and so I pretty much wrote off her chances. When we were allowed in the exhibition room, she showed me her entry, and it was hard to tell precisely what it was.
And so I was surprised when the judges announced that Elisha had won first place in her age group (K-1), and even more surprised when they announced that she had won the overall competition.
Turns out that Elisha’s had thought through her entry in more depth than I had imagined. She had initially intended to build a giraffe, but decided that it was too difficult and would take too much time. The backup, a “milk machine,” was actually a milk processing plant, with the foil representing a big pond of milk, the string a pipeline, and the blocks the various stages of processing and distribution. At the end of the picture you can see crumpled foil being sent out on trucks for delivery.
The engineers in attendance found this explanation particularly compelling. After raining a variety of gift certificates on Elisha, one of the judges tried to explain the terms “mechanical engineering” and “electrical engineering.” I don’t think that she was paying any attention, having decided that the biggest achievement of the evening was outdoing her sister.
For her part, Miriam’s initial reaction was not positive. She was irritated that she hadn’t won, and more irritated that her sister had won. But she held it together; no falling apart. This was a respectable disappointment, focused not on the judges or the structure of the competition, but on an unhappiness that she hadn’t done better. Over the next few days her attitude evolved, and her sister’s victory became a point of pride in conversation with people outside the family.
Tiene mucha letra pero merece la pena leerlo.
A disturbing proposal out of Tennessee. In response to continued decreases in state funding of higher education, the Board of Trustees has announced cost cutting and revenue raising plans that are terrible for both students and faculty but fairly expected. And tacked on is something very weird and upsetting:
Tenure and post-tenure review process: To be conducted by UT System Administration and with involvement by the Faculty Council, to look at awarding of tenure, post-tenure compensation and enacting of a de-tenure process.
A de-tenure process? First, what on earth does that have to do with the funding crisis? The answer is of course nothing but a university shock doctrine, with the Board using financial problems in order to gain power over professors. What would call for the loss of tenure? It’s unstated at this time, but one assumes the answer is anything that a provost or professor doesn’t want professors to say would be one likely category.
More here as the war on faculty continues.
At one time, I was really worried about Scott Walker becoming president. But with each passing day, it’s increasingly clear that this is a person not ready for prime time. Instead, this is Sarah Palin in a tie. Just one of many examples:
In response to a question from an audience member at at the Conservative Political Action conference earlier in the evening, Walker brought up the massive protests in Wisconsin in 2011 over a law he signed stripping public-sector unions of their power to collectively bargain.
“I want a commander-in-chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists do not wash up on American soil. We will have someone who leads and ultimately will send a message not only that we will protect American soil but do not take this upon freedom-loving people anywhere else in the world,” Walker said. “We need a leader with that kind of confidence. If I can take on a 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.”
Following the remarks, the National Review’s Jim Geraghty wrote that he took no pleasure in defending the union protesters, but that Walker gave a “terrible response” to the Islamic State question. A spokeswoman for Walker’s political committee later sent Geraghty a statement downplaying the governor’s mention of the protesters.
“Governor Walker believes our fight against ISIS is one of the most important issues our country face,” the statement to Geraghty from Walker spokeswoman Kristen Kukowski said. “He was in no way comparing any American citizen to ISIS. What the governor was saying was when faced with adversity he chooses strength and leadership. Those are the qualities we need to fix the leadership void this White House has created.”
In an interview with Bloomberg Politics’ Mark Halperin and John Heilemann after the CPAC speech, Heilemann gave Walker a golden opportunity to deny that he was equating violent extremists with union protesters.
“You’re not actually comparing ISIS terrorists to the protesters in Wisconsin, right?” Heilemann asked him. “You’re not trying to make that comparison in either direction, that the protesters are equivalent to terrorists or that the terrorists are equivalent to protesters?”
“Not by a landmine — by a landslide out there difference, a Grand Canyon-sized difference,” Walker replied. “My point was just if I can handle that kind of pressure, that kind of intensity, I think I’m up for the challenge for whatever might come if i choose to run for President.”
I guess his strategy is to say as many crazy things as possible to win the Republican nomination and then assume the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson will buy him the job with hundreds of millions in negative ads. But there’s way too much he can’t walk back here and thinking about this man facing Hillary Clinton in a debate makes me laugh. Of course, it’s entirely possible his strategy could work.
I do mean to do these round-ups weekly, you know. Anyway, I have some excellent links for you, so sit down and enjoy.
Sex redefined (Claire Ainsworth)- Nature examines the science of biological sex. Read this article and bookmark it for when someone is chatting crap.
It’s Time To Talk About Why Our Young People Turn Against Their Country (Chimene Suleyman)- Addressing the issues the white media have been completely ignoring or spinning through a lens of racism.
I Dated Christian Grey: How Women Are Groomed For Abuse (Samantha Field)- Explaining neatly why 50SOG is so dangerous.
You are oppressing us! (Sara Ahmed)- Truly amazing article about free speech and those who shriek about it.
Freedom of speech: not what you think it is (Eve Livingston)- A student feminist explains no platforms.
Real work (Sometimes it’s just a cigar)- A quick overview of the absurd argument put forward that online activism isn’t “real”.
Excluding Transgender People Doesn’t Make Anything Safer For Anybody (Sarah Thomasin)- Very good piece on “female-only spaces”.
Chelsea racists are a distraction from a much bigger problem (Sam Ambreen)- Sam talks about the face of British racism.
‘Latin American women in the UK need this domestic violence refuge. Why are we facing closure?’ (Reni Eddo-Lodge)- The only refuge run for and by Latin American women faces closure. Read about why it’s so important.
Want more sex crime? Send more kids to jail (Lorraine Atkinson)- Important read on the evidence surrounding young people in prisons.
Transgender Elders Show Us the Meaning of Survival- A beautiful set of portraits.
Honoured bodies- In memory of Leonard Nimoy, here’s some of his photographs of fat women, which are gorgeous.
And finally, here’s some cats teaching tiny versions of themselves how to cat.
‘Cause if yer trying sooooooooo haaaaard, you are probably doing it wrong…………….
Yeah, gonna keep running with the pic above during the glorious fail highway that is the Conservative Political Action Commitee ThingamaJig-OogaBoogalooo they currently have transpiring.
A Drooling Cosplay DerpFest in search of a Derpulese to save them from,…Me, because, well, Negroid, and the rest of you, dear readers, who are in possession of IQ’s north of the Marxist Boiling Point of Water.
Being among those who accept the existence of Molecules, Earth as an Oblate Spheroid, accept water as a wet thing with interesting state change characteristics,and as such constitute the gravest danger to the body republic. Any of you that fit this particular bill, should keep an eye on the Pots Pol, who want to save the Country. Pro tip: Lose the Glasses at your earliest convenience. (Trots off to old blog to dig up Gettysburg…)
Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all monies are created equal.
(Note to self, put Gettysburg in the sidebar)
I have not yet plumbed the depths of what amounts to a (drawing a blank on a word*thank god I don’t get paid)on the despicable primrose path President 3/5ths KenyanMarxistNiggerMan is leading us, so I must be leaving for a moment and forage for that sweet fruit that awaits.
Have a video, while I go a searching for Derp amongst the Mangroves…My first and only actual music Video, my appearances are of the blink and miss it variety, but I am the guy playing Bass…
Well that didn’t take long, though I fear that the Straw Poll means that this confabulation is over today but Mr Acorn of Libertardis (R-DerpTucky) the apparent winner of said StrawPollTaxTheNiggers™ was followed by the GoggleEyed (not really feeling it Charles Homuculous. Having not yet read the article, as that is one of the various fashions in which I Roll, and because I want this shit to be as fresh to you as it is to me we shall peek into the widening gyre that is the WashingtonTimes!!!
First WhiskyGolf gives me a twofer which I do not deserve as I was simply quoting Yeats, but hell I’ll take it. I havent read a word on the page but the picture accompanying the piece means that…..Sweet, Gimp, the Linux version of P-shop is in fact already open on another workspace…..BRB.
The title of the thing:
CPAC 2015 Straw Poll: Rand Paul wins again — but Scott Walker is surging
Can we get a fluffer in the room or a carton of Enzyte…Speaking of Enzyte, where did they and the smiling guy go…Those were BonerPill™ Commercials I could not bring myself to hate.
Sen. Rand Paul won The Washington Times/CPAC presidential preference straw poll for the third time in a row while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker surged to second place, as they trounced the rest of a strong but crowded field of potential candidates Saturday.
Of course we all know how this goes as the FatherCorn won the thing a bunch of times in the past, It is almost as if during the second or third week of lent, Republicans are trying to get laid, what with the surging hormones and LogCabinFever, and Spring right round the corner and all, and take this one chance to attempt to Cosplay Libertarian for a minute, and “I promise, I’ll put on a condom” to get into somethings pants…
Yeah, that. Did, I, it.
I swear to god I had not seen this before cracking about the Libertarian excuse to bed something:
The more than 3,000 activists who voted at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference also showed commanding support for legalizing marijuana, with a strong plurality of 41 percent saying it should be legal for recreational use, and another 26 percent saying Americans should be able to at least use it for medicinal purposes with permission of a doctor.
Jeealzibub on a pogo stick….
Now given the ferocity with which your standard conservative value can turn on a dime, especially if a Negro anywhere is percieved to be having fun…..How did LBJ put it (also sidebar material) via Moyers:
We were in Tennessee. During a motorcade, the President spotted some ugly racial epithets scrawled on signs by a few plain, he called them homely, white women on the edge of the crowd. Late that night in the hotel, long past midnight, he was still going on about how poor whites and poor blacks had been kept apart so that they could separately be fleeced-. ”I’ll tell you what’s at the bottom of it,” he said. “If you can convince the lowest white man that he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll even empty his pockets for you.”
Yeah, there is always that and unfortunately sea level rise will make Manhattan and Miami untenable, lomg before we are able to clean that particular skidmark from our National Underoos…
Just came across the greatest question. Mommadillo in the comments at Roy’s asks:
I’m always amazed at the ability of conservatives to denounce all efforts against them as McCarthyism while simultaneously considering the real McCarthy a hero and public benefactor. How the fuck does that work?
[Update] I really should read all of these articles sometime…..
Because If I had, I would have not discovered in my local fishwrap that TeamBlackness™, this time running as the Good Dr. Carson finished a scant .1 percentage point behind TailgunnerTed™ to slot into fourth place. Again proving that Conservatives love to get laid and take any opportunity that Does. Not. Matter. At. All. to pretend that they are not, in fact, a howling pack of Racists…
Like everything great, Star Wars came within an ass-hair’s width of being total shit. You gotta remember that in the ’70s anyone with a doofy beard and a plaid shirt could shoot a movie just by telling people what to do and not giving them the chance to disagree. It was a magical time.
But through George Lucas’ devotion to an acid flashback he was apparently having for three straight weeks, when production wrapped, he found himself with a masterpiece of celluloid, right?
Nope! Turns out that the first cut of Star Wars was an incomprehensible mess, and it was up to George’s wife and editor, Marcia Lucas, to swoop in and save the day … again.
Actually, Marcia was Lucas’ “muse” through the entire production, if by “muse” you mean “person who had all the good ideas.” It was her idea to kill Obi-Wan (apparently George’s first draft had him just disappearing at one point) and demanded that Lucas keep the “For Luck” kiss scene that would snarl the series up in a knotty mess of incest once the third movie was released. But, most importantly, she’s totally responsible for the Battle of Yavin, also known as The Death Star Trench Run scene, also known as The Part at the End of the Movie Where the Good Guys Win.
During September 2014, the Digital Citizens Alliance and Netnames teamed up to publish a brand new report. Titled ‘Behind The Cyberlocker Door: A Report How Shadowy Cyberlockers Use Credit Card Companies to Make Millions,’ it offered insight into the finances of some of the world’s most popular cyberlocker sites.
The report had its issues, however. While many of the sites covered might at best be considered dubious, the inclusion of Mega.co.nz – the most scrutinized file-hosting startup in history – was a real head scratcher. Mega conforms with all relevant laws and responds quickly whenever content owners need something removed. By any standard the company lives up to the requirements of the DMCA.
“We consider the report grossly untrue and highly defamatory of Mega,” Mega CEO Graham Gaylard told TF at the time. But now, just five months on, Mega’s inclusion in the report has come back to bite the company in a big way.
Speaking via email with TorrentFreak this morning, Gaylard highlighted the company’s latest battle, one which has seen the company become unable to process payments from customers. It’s all connected with the NetNames report and has even seen the direct involvement of a U.S. politician.
According to Mega, following the publication of the report last September, SOPA and PIPA proponent Senator Patrick Leahy (Vermont, Chair Senate Judiciary Committee) put Visa and MasterCard under pressure to stop providing payment services to the ‘rogue’ companies listed in the NetNames report.
Following Leahy’s intervention, Visa and MasterCard then pressured PayPal to cease providing payment processing services to MEGA. As a result, Mega is no longer able to process payments.
“It is very disappointing to say the least. PayPal has been under huge pressure,” Gaylard told TF.
The company did not go without a fight, however.
“MEGA provided extensive statistics and other evidence showing that MEGA’s business is legitimate and legally compliant. After discussions that appeared to satisfy PayPal’s queries, MEGA authorised PayPal to share that material with Visa and MasterCard. Eventually PayPal made a non-negotiable decision to immediately terminate services to MEGA,” the company explains.
However, PayPal also advised that Mega’s unique selling point – it’s end-to-end-encryption – was a key concern for the processor.
“MEGA has demonstrated that it is as compliant with its legal obligations as USA cloud storage services operated by Google, Microsoft, Apple, Dropbox, Box, Spideroak etc, but PayPal has advised that MEGA’s ‘unique encryption model’ presents an insurmountable difficulty,” Mega explains.
As of now, Mega is unable to process payments but is working on finding a replacement. In the meantime the company is waiving all storage limits and will not suspend any accounts for non-payment. All accounts have had their subscriptions extended by two months, free of charge.
Mega indicates that it will ride out the storm and will not bow to pressure nor compromise the privacy of its users.
“MEGA supplies cloud storage services to more than 15 million registered customers in more than 200 countries. MEGA will not compromise its end-to-end user controlled encryption model and is proud to not be part of the USA business network that discriminates against legitimate international businesses,” the company concludes.
The same is true for many other media services such as BBC iPlayer, Amazon Instant Video, and even YouTube.
These regional blockades are a thorn in the side of Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market in the European Commission. In a speech this week he explained why these roadblocks should be abolished.
“Far too often, consumers find themselves redirected to a national website, or blocked. I know this from my own experience. You probably do as well,” Ansip said.
“This is one of many barriers that needs to be removed so that everyone can enjoy the best Europe has to offer online. It is a serious and common barrier, as well as extremely frustrating,” he added.
The Commissioner is targeting an issue that lies at the core of the movie and TV industries, who license content per location. Ansip specifically mentions BBC’s iPlayer, but other services including YouTube, Amazon and Netflix have the same restrictions.
The geoblocking restrictions are demanded by content creators, who want to sell the streaming rights on a regional basis. To enforce these licenses, users from outside of the designated countries are blocked.
The Commissioner believes that this is an outdated concept which he likens to discrimination. If people want to pay for content, they should be able to, regardless of where they live.
“In the offline world, this would be called discrimination. In the online world, it happens every day,” Ansip noted. “I want to pay – but I am not allowed to. I lose out, they lose out.”
“How can this be a good thing? We put up with the situation because there is not much alternative. Now it is time to do something about it,” he added.
The artificial restrictions are not a market issue according to the Commissioner, but a matter of rights. These rights should be enjoyed equally and not just by the happy few who happen to live in a ‘licensed’ country.
“There should be no exceptions. Everyone should be treated the same. This is a key principle that underpins everything we want to achieve,” Ansip said.
The EU is currently discussing how copyright legislation in Europe should be overhauled and the Vice-President for the Digital Single Market hopes that measures against geoblocking will be part of the new rules.
|Courtney shared this story from Super Opinionated.|
Jonathan Dushoff had issues with students in his population biology class cheating on his exams. One year there was suspicious behavior, but Dushoff and the proctors weren't able to prove the students cheated as it happened. So he looked closely at the test results to find the guilty students.
The final is entirely multiple choice. I got the results files from the scantron office. I figured that I wouldn't quite know what to do with a comparison just between these two kids (unless the tests were identical), and that it would be just about as easy (and far more informative) to compare everybody to everybody else. It's still kind of hard for me to get used to the fact that we have computers now and can really do stuff like this. I calculated the number of identical right answers and the number of identical wrong answers for each pair of students (~18K pairs), and plotted it out.
The diagonal line indicates two students who had the exact same wrong and right answers. No pair of students did this, but there were four outlying pairs that got close, shown in red. And looking back at the seating arrangements, in a class of 200 students, all four pairs were students who sat adjacent to each other.