November 30th, 2016

empire | the things that love destroys

Blaming Clinton’s Base for Her Loss Is the Ultimate Insult

To say that the past two weeks — past two months, and perhaps two years — have been punishing for America’s women and people of color is surely an understatement.

During the presidential campaign, many Americans, notably those most likely to have voted for Hillary Clinton, were on the receiving end of torrents of vitriol coming from Donald Trump and his supporters: They were caricatured as rapists and criminals, bimbos, dogs, and pigs, and subjected to the humiliation of watching a man repeatedly accused of sexual assault run for president, advised by a cadre of racists adorably referred to as members of the “alt-right,” all while our first black president and first woman nominee were regularly called crooks and threatened with imprisonment and execution.

That man won the presidency, beating the candidate whom the vast majority of black voters, Latino voters, Asian-American voters, and women (if not white women, who voted for Trump by 53 percent) supported.

Those voters watched as Trump promptly appointed white nationalist Steve Bannon as a senior White House adviser and proposed Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, a man once deemed too racist to serve as a judge, to succeed Loretta Lynch as attorney general. They have shuddered as, across America, hateful expressions of white-nationalist victory have proliferated: “You can kiss your visa good-bye, scumbag; they’ll deport you soon, don’t worry, you fucking terrorist,” screamed one man in Queens at a Muslim Uber driver. A dugout wall in upstate New York was decorated with swastikas alongside the words “Make America White Again.” In Ann Arbor, a man threatened to set a Muslim student on fire with his lighter unless she removed her hijab. At Canisius College in New York, students posted photos of a black doll hung from a curtain rod. The nation’s white supremacists have been rolling in their own affirmations of power, while those proven again to have less of it stand witness.

And now, the women and people of color who made up Clinton’s base and were the most enthusiastic supporters of her campaign, the ones who have the most to lose under the Trump administration, have found themselves on the receiving end of the lion’s share of the blame for our recent national cataclysm.

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harry is the best

Will Trump Wipe Out Obama's Opening to Cuba?

by: Joshua Keating

Donald Trump’s initial response to the death of longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro was a factually correct but not quite presidential tweet:

After taking some time to digest this news, Trump followed up with a pledge to get a “better deal” from Cuba than the Obama administration:

The thing about Obama’s “deal” with Cuba is that there actually is no deal. There’s an ongoing diplomatic process involving talks on dozens of issues and a number of changes to regulations and diplomatic policy. So where does our president-elect stand on all of those? Even by Trump standards, he’s all over the map on Cuba.

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India cinemas ordered to play national anthem

India's Supreme Court has ruled that the national anthem must be played in every cinema before a film is screened.

Judges said the order should be enforced within 10 days and audiences must stand when the anthem is played.

In the 1960s and 1970s, cinemas regularly played the anthem, but the practice declined. Opinion on the court move is divided on social media.

There is no uniform law in India regarding the anthem and the 29 states have had their own laws on the issue.

In 2003, the western state of Maharashtra made it compulsory for cinemas in the state to play the anthem, but last year, the Madras High Court ruled against such a move in Tamil Nadu state, saying that doing so might create disorder and confusion.

On Wednesday, the two-judge bench of Justice Dipak Mishra and Justice Amitav Roy ruled that the anthem must be played in all cinemas, accompanied by an image of the Indian flag.

"The people should stop following individual notions of freedom and have a sense of committed patriotism," Indian media reports quoted the judges as saying.

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mus | like a bird in a cage

What will become of the dirtbag left?

Felix Biederman, Matt Christman, and Will Menaker befriended each other on Twitter several years ago. They had common interests—international politics, making fun of journalists—and a shared comic sensibility that borders on nihilism but stops just short of it. Christman, stout and Midwestern, had been unemployed for years, moving around the country with his wife, an academic librarian. Biederman was a freelance writer and mixed-martial-arts hobbyist in New York City. Menaker was an assistant editor at Liveright, an imprint of W. W. Norton. (His father, Daniel Menaker, is a former executive editor-in-chief of Random House, and was also a fiction editor at The New Yorker for twenty years.) He is slight and bearded, the unofficial dad of the trio.

In February, they appeared together on “Street Fight Radio,” an “anarcho-comedy show,” to mock the Michael Bay war movie “13 Hours” for its bathetic moral kitsch. (Christman: “If you watch these screaming, turbaned jihadis machine-gun the American flag while it’s on the end of the flagpole, and you’re weeping, then you’re a fucking rube, and I want to sell you a reverse mortgage.”) Then they decided to branch out on their own. They taped a ninety-minute freeform conversation using Google Hangout and broadcast it, unedited, over YouTube. A tossed-off joke from that recording, which combined the name of a famous Mexican drug lord and the slang term for a crack kitchen, gave them a title for the new project, a gleefully eccentric podcast dedicated to vulgar leftist commentary on politics and media: “Chapo Trap House.”

From the beginning, the “Chapo” guys lambasted Republicans as well as Democrats, but it was their critique of liberal thinking, and the assumed Hillary Clinton ascendancy, that generated energy and attention. After the journalist Brendan James appeared on their third episode to discuss a profile he’d written about Sean Hannity, he came on board as their producer. In the first episode, Menaker said that the “Bernie and Hillary divide is a profound and deeply instructive one—I can’t see it going away.” And as Bernie Sanders’s prospects dwindled during the primary, “Chapo” assured people who were frustrated by the Democratic Party that they weren’t alone. Their audience numbers climbed.

In June, the same month that Clinton became the presumptive Democratic nominee, Christman created a page for the podcast on the crowd-funding platform Patreon, offering exclusive episodes for a five-dollar monthly contribution. “Chapo” now receives nearly twenty-two thousand dollars a month, and, by their own estimates, has forty thousand listeners. They sell out live shows; a page on the popular Web site TV Tropes tracks their inside jokes about phrenology and anti-Irish racism, among other subjects. (Their most diehard fans call themselves Grey Wolves, after the fringe nationalist group in Turkey—another tossed-off joke that stuck.) Menaker quit his publishing job in July. That same month, Paste magazine labelled “Chapo Trap House” the “vulgar, brilliant demigods of the new progressive left.”

A more precise label might be the Dirtbag Left, a term coined by the writer Amber A’Lee Frost, who is Biederman’s roommate, and who, this week, officially joined the “Chapo” roster. In an essay for Current Affairs, Frost argued that while vulgarity isn’t “inherently subversive,” it can help tarnish the unearned prestige of the powerful—something that many Democrats, as well as Republicans, hunger to do. We can either “reclaim vulgarity from the Trumps of the world,” she wrote, or “find ourselves handicapped by civility.”

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Orange Mutant Crushes Invisible Hand's Finger. Corporate Neoliberal Insiders Angry.

Kenyan Marxist Communist Mooslim Tyrannical King Obama Bows to Corporate Oligarchs. Tells Working Class to Accept Reality and Enjoy the Freedom to Fail on their Own. Neoliberals Already Looking for the Next HillaryBama 2.0

How the Democrats could win again, if they wanted

What makes 2016 a disaster for Democrats is not merely the party’s epic wipeout in Washington and the state capitals, but that the contest was fought out on a terrain that should have been favorable to them. This was an election about social class –about class-based grievances – and yet the Party of the People blew it. How that happened is the question of the year, just as it has been the question of other disastrous election years before. And just like before, I suspect the Democrats will find all manner of convenient reasons to take no corrective action.
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How the Democrats could win again, if they wanted

Trump to Announce Carrier Plant Will Keep Jobs in U.S.

From the earliest days of his campaign, Donald J. Trump made keeping manufacturing jobs in the United States his signature economic issue, and the decision by Carrier, the big air-conditioner company, to move over 2,000 of them from Indiana to Mexico was a tailor-made talking point for him on the stump.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump and Mike Pence, Indiana’s governor and the vice president-elect, plan to appear at Carrier’s Indianapolis factory to announce a deal with the company to keep roughly 1,000 jobs in the state, according to officials with the transition team as well as Carrier.
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Trump to Announce Carrier Plant Will Keep Jobs in U.S.

Trump’s Showdown With Manufacturer Exposes Obama’s Weakness on Outsourcing

Donald Trump is in negotiations with Carrier to keep two Indiana air conditioning and furnace plants from moving to Mexico, eliminating 2,100 U.S. jobs. A video of executives informing workers of the plant closures went viral in February, leading Trump to vow to stop the outsourcing. Now president-elect, he is exerting his new leverage to make that a reality.

But someone else already holds that power. His name is Barack Obama. He just doesn’t seem to care.
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Trump’s Showdown With Manufacturer Exposes Obama’s Weakness on Outsourcing

Surviving in Trump's America: 10 things women can do to protect their rights

After the shock of Donald Trump’s presidential win wore off, it didn’t surprise me that one of the first things I saw women doing online was advising others to get IUDs as soon as possible. Anticipating the end of Obamacare, coverage for birth control, perhaps even abortion, a lot of women started to think about long-term contraception and talking about their options online. With social media, getting involved is easier than ever. And with Trump– the most overtly misogynist politician in history – in office, we have our work cut out for us. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are 10 things women can do that might ease our minds, and protect our rights. Collapse )

Source: The Guardian

I don't know about anyone else, but I really appreciate the concrete suggestions this article provides. Ever since the world as I know it came to an end the basket of deplorables shat on us all by electing Voldemort the election happened, I've been itching to do something, but couldn't figure out what. Now I have a few more ideas than I did before.Hope this is helpful to others as well.

EU survey: 27% say rape sometimes acceptable

EU survey: 27% say rape sometimes acceptable

A woman with a placard reading 'Let's save women' in an abortion rights campaigners' demonstration in Warsaw, Poland [Kacper Pempel/Reuters]

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OP: I would encourage those interested to go have a look at the actual report, as the article above does pick and choose among the results a bit (not that this makes the results reported any less horrible).
Red Moon

FBI hacking powers expand as efforts to block Rule 41 changes fail

An effort to block expansion of government hacking powers failed on Wednesday, ushering in a new era of uncertainty for digital privacy.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) attempted to block changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, approved by the Supreme Court in April, that will allow judges to issue search warrants that give the FBI authority to remotely access devices in any jurisdiction, or even outside the United States. Ordinarily, magistrate judges may only issue warrants for cases within their jurisdiction.

The changes allow investigators to access devices whose locations are “concealed through technological means”—such as the Tor anonymity network or virtual private networks (VPNs)—or devices that are used in botnets.

The DOJ argues that it needs these powers to investigate modern internet criminals, like pedophiles who conceal their identities to trade in sexualized images of children or discuss their abuse, and hackers' botnets that have become powerful cyberweapons.
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Amnesty condemns jailing of Syrian on terror charges in Hungary

Case of man jailed for 10 years after being accused of orchestrating clashes between refugees and police called ‘affront to justice’

A Syrian builder has been jailed for 10 years on terrorism charges in Hungary in a case that has become a cornerstone of the country’s crackdown on refugees, and which Amnesty International has called “an affront to justice”.

The 42-year-old Syrian, named in court as “Ahmed H”, was arrested on the Hungarian-Serbian border in September 2015 and accused of orchestrating clashes between refugees and police.

The case has been central to the rightwing Hungarian government’s two-year campaign to stoke xenophobia and portray refugees as terrorists. It has also become a cause celebre for rights campaigners seeking to highlight the draconian character of Europe’s refugee policies.

By the time of his arrest, H was already a legal EU resident living in Cyprus with his wife and children. He says he only joined the thousands of refugees making their way from Turkey to Germany last year when his elderly parents and other family members fled Syria and asked him to accompany them for their safety.

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