Tag: #metoo

Campus Carry Bans Make Sexual Assault Easier

Tom DiGennaro | United States

The vast majority of college campuses do not allow campus carry. In fact, 16 states completely outlaw it. Pennsylvania and Virginia are two of the 23 states that allow campuses to set their own policies for firearms.

Continue reading “Campus Carry Bans Make Sexual Assault Easier”

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Slavoj Žižek Fails to Fully Understand Hierarchies

Daniel Szewc | Poland

One must understand the realities of Eastern Europe from 1945-1989 to understand Slavoj Žižek’s mentality. His embracement of the Marxist way of being is completely the result of his comparatively strong societal position in Slovenia before the fall of the Eastern Block. This was exemplified by the fact that this hierarchal position, created on the basis of being closer to the Marxist view of a perfected human than the average man, got even stronger after the acceptance of capitalism in his native country (for all intents and purposes, Slavoj Žižek is a celebrity in Slovenia). Of course, this brought to his subconscious the notion that being closer to Marx makes you a more efficient human in general, whilst in reality, it was just the manifestation of parts of the old, synthetic establishment, Žižek included, surviving into the new era, and adapting to the new circumstances.

As for his support of leftism, contrasted by his dislike of societal decay, it is comparable to liking uranium, yet disliking the particles that it emits. No matter how hard you try to keep society stable, without the philosophical absolute, you are unable to do so.

The Maintenence of the Hierarchy

Any hierarchy without an unreachable entity, whether it be a value or a being, that cannot be toppled from the bottom is doomed to fluctuate drastically, as well as to crash in a time proportionately short to the number of active members in the said structure. For example, the morally unthinkable happened in France, the regicide of the revolution, and the hierarchy’s immovable peak was shattered.

Soon after, the bloodshed flooded over to the initial instigators of the crime, causing the whole megastructure to topple. In the end, a new hierarchy arose, with Napoleon rising to its peak. He was able to justify his role sufficiently enough not to be toppled by power-hungry contestants for his position only because of his idealization and even stronger emancipation of the traditional role of emperor.

For such processes to not happen, equality, not hierarchy, would have to dominate throughout life forms- something that is mathematically ridiculous. To assume that the total sum capability of creatures as complex as us to have equal chances at maintaining our positions at a zero level hierarchy is simply improbable. Too many variables influence our lives on the daily for this to happen naturally, and for any individual even remotely knowledgeable about cybernetics, it is obvious that no circuit can encompass a circuit equally or more complicated than themselves, therefore the human mind may never manage to understand it’s own secrets (…and variables that make us so different in outcome).

Of course, #MeToo became dominated by empty media icons, because it’s the natural consequence of having a promiscuous society, something one can earn money off, and human nature. The last of the three implies inequality in intelligence and ability, whilst the first is implied by leftism. You cannot have all three and not get the result that #MeToo got.

In general, however, I personally like Žižek’s look on Buddhism, as well as I think that his views on love can be put to good use by any thoughtful person on any side of the political arena. Alas, 90%+ of what he says is based on some ridiculous imaginary plasticity of the human condition. For example, Jordan Peterson, a clinical psychologist, if anyone, knows the most about empirically proving the aforementioned rationalist perspective of it being improbable.

Who will win the debate between the two? Well, the better question is whether the side that in fact loses will be able to comprehend it’s fallibility, or will it stay in its shell of Marxist presumptions.


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Following the Gillette Ad, Get Politics Out of Advertising

Jack Parkos | United States

Whether or not you agree with the message of Gillette’s recent ad, it is clear that it is risky for any corporation to get political. Without a doubt, it can have great blowback. Gillette’s new ad is receiving both love and hate and the divide here is clear. In fact, the YouTube video is receiving a great deal of criticism from people. Many are calling to boycott the company.

Indeed, this ad makes some highly questionable claims. However, the main focus of this article is not to criticize the claims made by Gillette. Instead, it will discuss political marketing and how it is bad for the consumer and producer.

It does not take a marketing expert to know that you don’t alienate half of your customers. But when a company gets into politics, they almost inevitably do this. One should not receive cultural and political lectures when simply trying to purchase a razor.

Why Critics Dislike the Gillette Ad

First of all, some believe the ad has stereotyped men as misogynistic. They also believe it has used the leftist talking point of “toxic masculinity”. Critics have noted that the ad implies that fathers (a large consumer of razors) are currently failing to raise their sons to respect women. The left associates that the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” in the court of law is somehow promoting this behavior. Many believe that this is an insult to their top consumer. Gillette has claimed that this isn’t the point of the ad. Nonetheless, it comes across as such to many people.

The ad was trying to say that the good men should stand up to the “toxic men”, which of course is true. But critics of the Gillette ad state how good men already do that. They also suggest that to imply they don’t simply because they believe in due process is insulting to many.

Whether you agree with the ads or the criticism is irrelevant to why politics should not be in marketing, however.

Keeping Marketing Out of Politics

What place does a corporation have in this matter, anyway? Gillette is using a cultural movement to sell razors. The product has nothing to do with any political issue. They are simply trying to make themselves seem morally superior. Is it not toxic behavior to use a sensitive topic just to sell more razors?

It is not just Gillette that is the issue. Nike did this with Kaepernick. Countless other examples exist. Many people simply want to watch a game or even a commercial and get a break from politics. People just want to buy products without having to take a stand. All these ads do, though, is divide an already divided country. This ad is just another battle in the culture war. Why must everything be political?

Whether left, right, liberal, conservative, or anything else, the marketing industry should steer clear of political issues. Their job is to provide a good or service, not give lectures. Issues such as #MeToo are critical to talk about, but a Gillette ad is not the proper setting.


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Confirming Kavanaugh is Republicans’ Duty

Glenn Verasco | Thailand
I do not know who Casey Mattox is, but a June tweet of his popped up in my Twitter feed the other day:
I rate this a perfect tweet. It is both concise and evergreen.
The Supreme Court of the United States is supposed to be the clear third of three branches of the federal government. The Judicial Branch is not supposed to make laws or give orders of any kind. Courts are meant to determine the constitutional legality of disputed actions between individuals and groups. The legislature legislates, the executive executes, and the judiciary judges. It’s not a difficult concept. Unfortunately, bad-faith reading of the Constitution has resulted in a politicized court system in which many actually make the ridiculous argument that judges should conjecture what the consequences of a law will be, instead of simply reading the law itself, and rule based on those assumptions. SCOTUS Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomayor do not even try to hide their use of this method when writing decisions from the bench. As outraged as everyone should be with the state of liberal jurisprudence, Brett Kavanaugh is not my ideal Supreme Court justice either. As Judge Napolitano has eloquently explained, Kavanaugh’s understanding of the 4th Amendment is wrongheaded and dangerous. If this were the case being made against Kavanaugh, I would be all ears. Instead of criticizing the processes and actions of the federal government based on constitutionality, philosophy, and the individual human rights the United States of America was founded upon, hazy memories from many decades ago, that have conveniently resurfaced exclusively in their owners’ minds only as Kavanaugh’s illustrious career is set to culminate in the highest court in the land, are being used to railroad his confirmation. The accusations made against Kavanaugh are unverifiable and uncorroborated within themselves. They are also immaterial to the situation at hand. As someone who generally disagrees with but respects Ronan Farrow, I am shocked and disappointed that he agreed to publish something as salacious, hazy, and irrelevant as his September 24th story. Its publishing undermines the credibility of actual sexual assault victims and needlessly politicizes the #MeToo movement which the entire country, albeit to varying degrees, is generally supportive of. The point of view of the Democrats regarding this matter deserves no consideration from honest and thoughtful people. They decided to vote against Kavanaugh as soon as he was nominated and almost entirely forewent asking relevant questions during his confirmation hearings. Instead, they delayed the process on the basis of arcane technicalities and focused on creating sound bites and video clips throughout the duration of an agonizing and embarrassing process. They have since done their best to capitalize on allegations against Kavanaugh to delay his confirmation even further, certainly hoping that they can run out the clock through midterm elections or at least keep Kavanaugh from being confirmed before the Supreme Court begins their October session. GOP Senators now have a choice. They can allow the media and opposing political party to bully and shame them into submission, or they can grow a pair by taking a stand against a ballooning culture of hyperbole and hysteria. The GOP Senators will set a historical precedent either way. The former choice would make it clear that loosely-characterized sexual assault allegations from decades ago are a political weapon they will not fight back against. This will be the end of the current GOP and likely the end of textualist jurisprudence in the Supreme Court for decades. The latter choice would promote the dignity of the accused and take the wind out of bad-faith political actors’ sails, at least for the time being. I am not a Republican and have never voted for a Republican. I registered as a Democrat when I first became eligible to vote and will officially become a member of the Libertarian Party in 2019. If GOP Senators cave, they can bet that more and more of their constituents will join me in the LP or simply stay home and laugh as Democrats wipe the floor with them in November.

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Quick Thoughts on the Kavanaugh Allegations

By Glenn Verasco | Thailand

I would like to share a few thoughts about the sexual assault allegations that Christene Blasey Ford is making against SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh. This is meant to be an analysis, not a summary, so I do not overtly describe the details of the allegation. But basically, she accused him of sexual assault against her when the two were teenagers. The bullet points below sum up an analysis of the situation.

Sexual Assault

  • Being 17 and drunk does not excuse sexual assault.
  • What constitutes sexual assault is not well-defined or well-understood. The lines between playing around, making a sexual advance towards someone, having a momentary slip in judgment, and earnestly attempting to force someone into a sexual encounter can be blurry. It is even blurrier for teenagers and was certainly even blurrier for teenagers of yesteryear.
  • As a socially liberal individual, I do not believe that government or public oversight of teenage sexual interaction is a good idea. Sex and human relationships are generally too complicated for third parties to be able to fully comprehend, so authorities should only be consulted in extreme circumstances. Otherwise, young people, as well as adults, should be free to take risks amongst each other.

The Law

  • As the alleged incident between Kavanaugh and Ford took place 35 years ago, we are long past the statute of limitations. This issue is about conduct and character, not the law.
  • Although our legal system places the burden of proof on the accuser and presumes non-guilt until guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, this is irrelevant in the court of public opinion or SCOTUS nominations.
  • Believing someone is innocent until proven guilty is a value that I happen to share, but outside a court of law, it is a personal view, not a legal one. Reasonable people can disagree here.

The Sniff Test

  • Christene Blasey Ford is probably telling the truth, at least in part. There is some documented history of Ford discussing the matter in the past, and it is hard to imagine that she or anyone else would make up a story like this completely out of thin air.
  • Remembering the exact details of an event from 35 years ago is impossible for both Kavanaugh and Ford. Our brains remember certain details of our history, and our imaginations fill in the rest. This makes it difficult to accept either party’s version of the story without substantial evidence or witness testimony.
  • Emotion can also cloud our judgment as what we feel we experienced may not mirror what we actually experienced.
  • Ford’s lawyer Debra Katz defended Al Franken when he was accused of sexual misconduct, saying, “He did not do this as a member of the U.S. Senate.” This is obviously true, but, unlike Kavanaugh, Franken was an adult when his misconduct took place. Katz appears to be a partisan lawyer, not an impartial defender of the Constitution or human rights.
  • Ford is on the left-wing of the political spectrum, and thus, certainly has a political bias against a textualist judge like Kavanaugh.
  • Neither Katz’s nor Ford’s partisanship has any bearing on the accuracy of Ford’s story, but it does make them less credible.
  • Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s friend also accused of assault, deny the allegations wholesale.
  • By all accounts, the alleged incident between Kavanaugh and Ford is in no way representative of Kavanaugh as a person. However, one’s generally saintly behavior does not negate one’s sins.

Politics

  • Senator Dianne Feinstein knew of Ford’s allegations before Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearing but chose not to question him about it in any way. Feinstein is obviously using Ford’s story as a political weapon, which is shameful.
  • Regardless of how true Ford’s allegations are, Feinstein clearly timed the release of her name and story as a way to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination in the 11th hour. The Senate vote to confirm him is scheduled to finish within a week.
  • Democratic Senators have been against Kavanaugh’s confirmation since long before his confirmation hearings and put on an embarrassing and hysterical display of partisanship during them. This includes attempting to smear Kavanaugh’s assistant as a white nationalist for momentarily resting her hand in the “a-okay” position, which some in the media falsely describe as a racist dog whistle.
  • Senate Republicans can afford to delay the vote for at least another month without any risk of losing the Senate or their ability to confirm justices without any Democrat support in November’s midterms (though Senate Judiciary Committee rules may come into play here).
  • Up until Democrats blocked Ronald Reagan’s nomination of Robert Bork, there was little partisanship in these proceedings. Before Bork, the average SCOTUS nominee received 87% Senate approval and 49% were confirmed unanimously. Since Bork, partisanship in voting has dramatically increased, especially from Democrats.
  • Trump’s first SCOTUS nominee, Neil Gorsuch, had no allegations of misconduct of any kind. Yet, the Senate confirmed him by a slim margin of 54-45, and only three Democrats voted in his favor. Justice Alito received only four votes from Democrats in 2005. This shows that many Democrats are clearly in it for the politics, rather than justice or character.
  • Republicans have certainly become much more partisan too, refusing to even hold confirmation hearings for President Obama’s last SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland, arguing that it is tradition to deny a lame duck president’s nominations until after ensuing elections.
  • It can be argued that 11th-hour sexual assault allegations to derail SCOTUS nominations sets a terrible precedent, but with as much partisanship as we are seeing now, the precedent has already been set.

Summary

  • The allegations against Kavanaugh should not be categorically denied, but should certainly not be believed at face value. Both Republicans and Democrats are playing politics, and it is unclear to me that Kavanaugh’s alleged discretions are so damning that he should be denied an opportunity to serve on the Supreme Court. If Republicans have a way to investigate the situation and still have time to nominate Kavanaugh before midterms, they should do so. However, it would be hard to blame them for proceeding as planned as there is nothing they can do to satisfy the Democrats short of leaving Justice Kennedy’s seat vacant until a left-wing justice is nominated.
  • President Trump could have avoided this mess by nominating Amy Coney Barrett instead of Kavanaugh. Besides being a far better judge, nominating a woman would have taken the #MeToo card out of Democrats’ hands.

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