1. Register as a user at the ifeminists.net website. At the bottom of the left column, you will see a box entitled"Welcome". Click the"Signup" link. You will be taken to a page asking you to verify that you are over 18. Once you have done that, you'll be taken to a second page, where you can provide a user name of your choice, a password, and a VALID email address. (This information will not be shared with anyone else.) Only the fields with a red asterisk are required. Enter the numeric code displayed at the bottom of the screen, and click"Register". You will receive an email which includes a link to a web page. You must visit that web page within five days to activate your membership.
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We're back baby! We're back!
We're back baby! We're back!
From his home site (which gives blanket permission to reprint):
Q: In view of the constant parade of jackassery which is Washington, is there any point in voting for candidates of either entrenched party? Throwing out the incumbents"for a change" is to me an idea based on the philosophy that my head will stop hurting if I bang it on the opposite wall.
A: How you cast your vote in the coming election is important, even if the two parties are both rotten. In essence, the Democrats stand for socialism, or at least some ambling steps in its direction; the Republicans stand for religion, particularly evangelical Christianity, and are taking ambitious strides to give it political power.
Socialism—a fad of the last few centuries—has had its day; it has been almost universally rejected for decades. Leftists are no longer the passionate collectivists of the 30s, but usually avowed anti-ideologists, who bewail the futility of all systems. Religion, by contrast—the destroyer of man since time immemorial—is not fading; on the contrary, it is now the only philosophic movement rapidly and righteously rising to take over the government.
Given the choice between a rotten, enfeebled, despairing killer, and a rotten, ever stronger, and ambitious killer, it is immoral to vote for the latter, and equally immoral to refrain from voting at all because “both are bad.”
The survival of this country will not be determined by the degree to which the government, simply by inertia, imposes taxes, entitlements, controls, etc., although such impositions will be harmful (and all of them and worse will be embraced or pioneered by conservatives, as Bush has shown). What does determine the survival of this country is not political concretes, but fundamental philosophy. And in this area the only real threat to the country now, the only political evil comparable to or even greater than the threat once posed by Soviet Communism, is religion and the Party which is its home and sponsor.
The most urgent political task now is to topple the Republicans from power, if possible in the House and the Senate. This entails voting consistently Democratic, even if the opponent is a “good” Republican.
In my judgment, anyone who votes Republican or abstains from voting in this election has no understanding of the practical role of philosophy in man’s actual life—which means that he does not understand the philosophy of Objectivism, except perhaps as a rationalistic system detached from the world.
If you hate the Left so much that you feel more comfortable with the Right, you are unwittingly helping to push the U.S. toward disaster, i.e., theocracy, not in 50 years, but, frighteningly, much sooner.
You are cordially invited to browse and join a libertarian BB that I moderate.
And, yes, I would make the same argument if the sexes were reversed.
One example of abuse is being currently discussed on the ABC News blog. It reads in part, A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we (Brian Ross and Richard Esposito) call in an effort to root out confidential sources."It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.
Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation. One former official was asked to sign a document stating he was not a confidential source for New York Times reporter James Risen.
Our reports on the CIA's secret prisons in Romania and Poland were known to have upset CIA officials. The CIA asked for an FBI investigation of leaks of classified information following those reports.
By analyzing the phone pattern of reporters who are investigating material that the government would like to bury, the NSA can identify/intimidate sources and plug 'leaks' thus making an end-run around freedom of the press. It is equivalent to having a phone tap on irksome media members without the unpleasantness of securing a warrant.
You are cordially invited to join my libertarian discussion BB.
Good luck to everyone involved -- past, present and future.
Having asked the question, I can provide a better answer than those who write obscenity laced emails under pen names as acts of moral courage. The task is not difficult, I admit. One answer I could advance: given the harm that 'bad' ideas have caused to real and innocent human beings -- e.g. racism 'caused' slavery or Friedan 'caused' the breakdown of the American family -- how can a decent, caring human being NOT feel rage when encountering such 'bad' ideas? Is not the recognition of any worth or the expression of any human connection toward the adovcate of such ideas actually an act of support for that advocate?
In a word"no." There are so many ways in which my answer is NO that I have to pick and choose the ones to expand upon or else I would blog all day. First of all, I rarely"hate" ideas. Even bad ideas -- as long as they are well presented -- can be fascinating. Indeed, one of the most intellectually interesting experiences I've ever had is to find out exactly where Foucault and I begin to disagree: the starting-gate idea where we part ways and never meet again. At no point in the discovery process did I hate Foucault as a person even though I believe his impact on the world has been horrible.
Several factors contribute to my response. For one thing, I am firmly committed to meeting ideas with ideas and this commitment makes me focus on the truth or falsehood issue rather than upon emotion. Moreover, I don't believe it is fundamentally wrong to say or ask anything; indeed, the progress of knowledge requires us to consider and discuss every possibility. If you express certain ideas, then we will not be friends and I may assiduously avoid your company. But this is different than hating you. And, yes, I extend this principle even to very 'bad' ideas.Take racism or sexism. I reject both but I actively support a world in which there can be active discussion on whether Asians are racially superior to whites, men to women, dogs to cats... I don't fear the truth and I don't think free speech endangers our understanding of what is true -- quite the opposite. If someone says something patently false or derogatory, then the way to meet it is a knock-down argument. Those who revert to attacking the person rather than the argument are usually a) not up to the task or b) wrong on some particular.
Another reason I don't hate those with whom I disagree is that words are words are words are words. I believe that a mugger who attacks someone in an alley has committed more wrong than anyone who merely says anything. Perhaps partly because of political correctness, which views ideas and words as acts of violence (e.g. sexual harassment), society seems to have lost all sense of what childhood wisdom once taught us: sticks and stones may hurt my bones but words can never hurt me. Unless someone acts to implement and impose vicious ideas -- or uses law and government through which to act -- then they have done no harm. They may be offensive and I may devoutly wish his/her mouth was a radio so I could change stations. But that is a different matter than hating them.
Aha! I hear the reaction. Friedan did use government to implement her ideas and, so, shouldn't hatred be the appropriate response? After all, she crossed the line I've just drawn. Well, you'll get no argument from me about Friedan using the law as a gun. But, evenly so, I don't feel rage. Much or most of the reason is that I find it difficult and exhausting to go through life with rage storming within me at every word and act. So many people use the law to impose awful and self-serving principles that I could easily be hate-filled 24/7. That wouldn't stop the injustice but it would ruin my life and my ability to take any pleasure. I wouldn't be more effective in countering the injustice; arguably, I'd be less effective. But I suppose it would convince the"let's hate" contingent of my sincerity. But I am not attracted to doing so even if it means being taken off mailing lists. I mean, can you imagine how much fun a"let's hate" conference would be with its penciled-in 'shooting-the-bile' coffee klatches, its scheduled 'who do we hate most?' panel discussions and its 'why we are right to hate' late night bull/beer sessions?
Rage is like a drug to some advocates of X or Y or Z. It is not enough to say to them"I agree with your position and I will argue my agreement to the best of my ability BUT I don't share your emotional response." It is not enough because what is important to them is not the truth or falsehood of the position but the rage it inspires. Thus, my agreement is irrelevant. My lack of rage is the entire point because their rage is the entire point to them. They advocate X or Y or Z in order to feel the surge of adrenaline that comes from wanting to bash in the face of whoever disagrees. What is the origin of their sanctimonious hatred? I don't know. I think some people are so filled with anger that they naturally gravitate toward the political causes that allow them to express hatred as moral imperative. I think others are so embittered by their experiences that hatred develops. There are probably a thousand other explanations and shadings of explanations at work.
Whatever. The bottomline remains: I don't hate easily. Part of the reason is my personality; part is ideological. I remain convinced that an individual who raises his/her hand against another commits an act that is different in kind than an individual who raises their voice. An idea doesn't 'cause' anything. Words are not actions. If I have anger toward Friedan it is because she promoted laws that constituted acts of violence against innocent people. Using this guideline, however, I am equally angry at Christian zealots, advocates of the war in Iraq, politically correct pundits...hell, I may as well be angry at everyone.
Only, I'm not. I know that's a hanging offense.
Is legally objecting to the forced groping of your genitals a false accusation? I don't see how...unless, of course, you believe that putting on a uniform excuses the wearer from all personal responsibility of respecting the human rights of others. That is a popular view these days, I admit. Put on a police, military, or some otherwise governmental uniform and you are somehow given a"right" -- no, make that word"privilege" -- to break the laws of common decency and non-agression. So, in response to critics, I say...GO PENN! GO REED! Thanks for making my person a bit safer from the thugs and their attack-dog apologists who wish to grope the genitals of reluctant others in order to make the world a better place. How bright the future they envision must shine!!
Check out my libertarian discussion BB!
Within the men's rights movement, there has been a concerted letter-writing and protest effort aimed at exacting an apology or retraction from PBS for their recent TV program"Breaking the Silence." And, from all I hear, the program seems to have been a bad piece of reporting that was quite biased against fathers and inaccurate to boot. But the campaign against PBS is one of those backlashes that combine several issues together as tho' they were one and make it more difficult for there to be a broad base of consensus.
I'll take myself as an example. I have seen so much wildly inaccurate and biased material against divorced fathers and their parental rights that the call for accuracy on the stats is like music to me. But the press release referenced above is as much a call to validate Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS} as it is a cry for accuracy. I am certain that parental alienation -- by which one parent poisons a child against the other -- is a real and painful problem. But I am skeptical and cynical about turning every human problem into a psychological Syndrome registered with the APA so that is accorded legal weight and used in court decisions. (And legal weight seems to be the goal of PAS advocates.) The Battered Wife Syndrome, the Helsinki Syndrome, the Recovered Memory Syndrome...I think these have been damaging steps away from common sense and hard standards of evidence within the courts. In short, I couldn't in good conscience sign on to the above protest against PBS because I don't want to endorse yet another court room Syndrome.
I had a similar problem with the drive against the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which I thought was a horrible measure on several grounds, one of which was the fact that it embeds gender more prominently, more deeply into the law. Most of my objections, however, revolved around the further expansion of the"domestic violence industry" through which massive government funds end up in the hands of ideologues: researchers, advocates, writers, lecturers, teachers, lawyers, etc. The solution favored by the men's rights movment -- which most of whom seemed to agree that the bill was bad in its essence -- the solution favored was to make the bill gender neutral by including men within its bad policies. I couldn't sign on to that either even though I opposed VAWA in several FOX News Columns. The intermixing of these two issues -- opposing VAWA and including men within its embrace -- is one of the reasons (I believe) that the drive against VAWA was so unsuccessful.
This makes you long for a single-issue issue. They are getting hard to find.
I wanted to announce that the ifeminists.net BB (not the ifeminists site) is being closed down. At the same moment, I have just opened another BB forum that focuses more on libertarianism and broad cultural issues and far less on gender discussions. At least two L&P members have joined the fledgling forum already and I cordially invite posters and readers to click on the preceding link to check us out.
Best to all,
But was Novak's temper tantrum and walk out staged to allow him to avoid being asked about the Plame scandal? For those who have lived in a cave for the last year or so, Valerie Plame was a CIA operative whose identity was disclosed in one of Novak's columns in July 2003. It is widely assumed that the disclosure was intended to punish or discredit her husband -- Bush-critic and former U.S. ambassador Joseph Wilson.
Arizona Central states,"Two other reporters connected to the case openly fought the revelation of their sources, and Judith Miller of The New York Times has been jailed for refusing to cooperate with prosecutors. Novak has repeatedly refused to comment about his role in the federal investigation. After Novak walked off on Thursday, Henry said that Novak had been told before the segment that he was going to be asked on air about the CIA case." Indeed, Henry stated that he had been just about to ask when the explosion occurred and cut off that possibility.
Or, rather, according to the Los Angeles Times, after uttering the expletive, Novak"appeared ready to continue the discussion. But after another moment he rose from his chair, removed his microphone and walked off the set." If it was Carville's needling he was trying to avoid or protest -- rather than Henry's impending question -- then wouldn't he have left immediately after uttering"Bullshit". (That was the expletive BTW.) Moreover, a lot of bloggers, who seem to have poured over clips of the incident which are already posted across the Internet, have remark on how mild Carville's needling of Novak actually was...at least, compared to exchanges on other shows during which Novak's posterior managed to stay solidly in his seat.
My opinion: Novak staged the walk out BUT his co-host James Carville is so damned annoying that the"blow up" theory cannot be fully discarded. And I echo a question asked by another blogger: will the Federal Communications Commission fine Novak for indecency? And, as usual, I like the Wonkette's take on the incident:"Novak Takes His Lack of Balls and Goes Home."
For more commentary, please see McBlog.
For more commentary, please see McBlog
For more commentary, please see McBlog
On July 1st, new laws regarding e-mailed newsletters went into effect in Utah and Michigan; other states are close behind. Anne P. Mitchell, President/CEO of the Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy and a law professor, calls those laws"a legal quandry in which every sender of commercial email is about to find themselves." (See Groklaw for more information. And please note: non-commercial emailers seem to be included if their newsletters contain URLs that link to commercial sites or products.)
Both Utah and Michigan have created a" child protection registry" for email addresses that belong to children or to which children have access. It functions like a"no call list." Spamfo.co explains,"Once an email address is on the registry, commercial emailers are prohibited from sending it anything containing advertising, or even just linking to advertising, for a product or service that a minor is otherwise legally prohibited from accessing, such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, prescription drugs, or adult-rated material." In short, e-newsletters (such as ifeminists.net) are not permitted to send to registered email addresses if those newsletters include URLs to news sites that, in turn, link to child-inappropriate commerical information or products such as casino or viagra ads, tobacco or alcohol for sale.
Many credible news sources -- especially British ones, it seems -- offer links to adult-themed sites or products. These links can change constantly, which means that it is impossible to check a URL and" clear" it of so-called objectionable links or ads.
Moreover, e-mailing to registered addresses is illegal even if the newsletter was requested, and the legal penalties for doing so are imposed without notifying the offender so that he/she can rectify the situation. What are those penalties? To quote Prof. Mitchell again,"Under these laws...that email sender faces strict liability which can include up to 3 years in prison, and fines of $30,000 or more. In addition, ISPs and the individuals whose email addresses are on the registry have a right of action against the sender, as does the state attorney general."
The only protection is for the emailer to make sure that a particular address is not"illegal" by matching his/her mailing list against the registries. That process requires at least two things that I am unwilling to do: 1) turn my mailing list over to the government; and 2) pay a per-address fee for the matching process. Moreover, since I cannot easily ascertain whether a hotmail or aol address has a final destination within Utah or Michigan, I'd have to turn over and pay for virtually every address on a monthly basis to two state governments. (There now are two; there will soon be several more and I would have to keep up with the variations in law in each state.)
Being charged under the new laws may seem to be a remote possibility. And I would not suspend publication were it not for two factors.
First, the enewsletter includes links to news and commentary on sexual issues such as pornography and prostitution, abortion and gay rights. It includes URLs to such discussion and, in turn, those URLs are more likely than many to point to sites the child registries would consider inappropriate. And, according to the Institute for Spam and Internet Public Policy, you could be in trouble if your email contains"unpermitted materials, links to unpermitted materials, or even links to sites which have information about the unpermitted materials". The law is *that* broad and *that* vague.
Second, it is difficult to over-state the viciousness and dishonesty of some of the people who attack father's/men's rights advocates. Some have crusaded to destroy the careers, lives, and even harm the families of those who advocate positions like the presumption of shared custody. Given that no notification of an inappropriate address is necessary before penalties can be imposed, I believe it is likely that one of these malicious feminists will subscribe to the ifeminists.net newsletter under an inappropriate address and, then, file a complaint when the e-newsletter arrives.
I won't take that risk. Nor will I turn over addresses to the government, let alone pay for the privilege.
I have enjoyed publishing the newsletter. I hope you have enjoyed receiving it and that will continue to follow the ifeminists.net news and commentary by clicking on our website at your convenience. To repeat: The newsletter content that you have received each week by email will now be available on a web page. This web page will give you the week's headlines. As other options, you can visit our main index page for daily updates, or subscribe to our RSS news feed. All three options give you the same news items. Choose the form that's most convenient for you.
Best wishes, as always,
P.S. These laws won't stop foreign spam (our ISP is American) or spam from"zombie" PCs. They will mean cash from the large email marketers; and will simply stop small companies and non-profit organizations from distributing email newsletters. Read Declan McCullagh's article for just some of the ramifications.
For more comentary, please read McBlog.
Some background on the Finkelstein/Dershowitz fracas... Wikipedia provides an overview of the origin,"Shortly after the publication of the book The Case for Israel, Norman Finkelstein accused its author, Alan Dershowitz, of 'fraud, falsification, plagiarism and nonsense.' Specifically, Finkelstein noted that in twenty instances that all occur within about as many pages, Dershowitz's book excerpts the same words from the same sources that Joan Peters used in her book From Time Immemorial, a book about the history of Israel that several critics have accused of distortion, and which Finkelstein had labeled a 'monumental hoax.' Several paragraph-long quotes that the two books share have ellipses in the same position, Finkelstein pointed out; and in one instance Dershowitz referenced the same page number as Peters, although he was citing a different edition of the source, in which the words appear on a different page... Finkelstein demonstrated in an October 3, 2003 letter to the Harvard Crimson that Dershowitz reproduced exactly two of Peters' mistakes, and made one relevant mistake of his own. Quoting Mark Twain, 'Dershowitz cites two paragraphs from Twain as continuous text, just as Peters cites them as continuous text, but in Twain's book the two paragraphs are separated by 87 pages'."
(The Wikipedia entry also offers extensive back-and-forth between Finkelstein and Dershowitz, as well as analysis of the possibility of plagiarism. For more on Finkelstein's critique of Dershowitz, see the former's homepage, which seems to be devoted to that subject. See also the subpage The Dershowitz Hoax.)
Dershowitz has gone to great lengths to try and kill the upcoming Finkelstein book. The Los Angeles Times explains,"Governors are asked by members of the public to do lots of things, but the request Arnold Schwarzenegger got from Alan Dershowitz in December was unique: to intervene with the University of California Press' plans to publish a book. Why does Dershowitz care? Because the book in question -- Norman Finkelstein's 'Beyond Chutzpah,' due out next month -- is harshly critical of Dershowitz... But Dershowitz's campaign against the book went beyond his letter to Schwarzenegger. He had his lawyers send belligerent letters to dozens of people who might have power over the process."
Good news: the University of California Press is going ahead with the book and hopes to meet the original publication date of August 28th. Over the last few months, however,"Beyond Chutzpah" may have become the most vetted book in history. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports,"Beyond Chutzpah" [has] been through several rounds of legal vetting. The University of California retained several outside lawyers, including American and British legal experts, to examine the manuscript along with its in-house counsel. Mr. Finkelstein said that the book had been through some 15 drafts in the past eight months." The University of California Press apparently took Dershowitz seriously when he said he would own them if they called him a plagiarist or claimed he did not write his own books. (Indeed, Finkelstein has claimed elsewhere that Dershowitz does not even read his own books.) In response, Dershowitz has launched his own vilification campaign against Finkelstein. For example, on July 5th the right-wing FrontPageMagazine published "Why is the University of California Press Publishing Bigotry?" by left-wing Dershowitz.
Meanwhile, the left-wing may well be deserting its former super-star lawyer. An article in the July 11 issue of The Nation asked, ''Why would a prominent First Amendment advocate take such an action?" -- referring to the attempt to bar"Beyond Chutzpah" from publication.
For more commentary, please see McBlog.`