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George Will | Being a victim of sexual assault is a “coveted status that confers privileges”

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The Washington Post columnist thinks women are lying about sexual assault in order to get "privileges".

Katie McDonough, Salon

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george_will-620x412.jpg George Will (Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

Monday, Jun 9, 2014 |  Washington Post columnist George Will doesn’t believe the statistic that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college. Instead he believes that liberals, feminists and other nefarious forces have conspired to turn being a rape survivor into a “coveted status that confers privileges.” As a result of this plot, “victims proliferate,” Will wrote in a weekend editorial that ran in the Washington Post and New York Post.

Further compounding the crisis of people coming forward about sexual assault to stay de rigueur is the fact that “capacious” definitions of sexual assault include forcible sexual penetration and nonconsensual sexual touching. Which is really very outrageous, according to Will. It is really very hard to understand why having your breasts or other parts of your body touched against your will should be frowned upon.

Katie McDonough is an assistant editor for Salon, focusing on lifestyle.

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Related: 

In The Last 33 Years, 70 Of The 71 Mass Murderers In The U.S. All Had 1 Thing In Common, Adam Mordecai, Upworthiest

  • This isn't about blaming men. It's about calling out our culture, which tends to encourage this line of thinking that a small percentage of men take to heart. If we don't teach kids when they're young, attitudes like this will continue to poison our society.
  • Up close with small-town white rage, with bitter, scary men who feel left behind by economic and cultural change
  • Spitting, Stalking, Rape Threats: How Gun Extremists Target Women

 

 

 

 

Colleges are full of it!

  • Behind the three-decade scheme to raise tuition, bankrupt generations, and hypnotize the media
  • Tuition is up 1,200 percent in 30 years. Here's why you're unemployed, crushed by debt -- and no one is helping
  • The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff

Thomas Frank, Salon

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06/back_to_school-620x412.jpg Rodney Dangerfield in "Back to School"

Sunday, Jun 8, 2014 | The price of a year at college has increased by more than 1,200 percent over the last 30 years, far outpacing any other price the government tracks: food, housing, cars, gasoline, TVs, you name it. Tuition has increased at a rate double that of medical care, usually considered the most expensive of human necessities. It has outstripped any reasonable expectation people might have had for investments over the period. And, as we all know, it has crushed a generation of college grads with debt. Today, thanks to those enormous tuition prices, young Americans routinely start adult life with a burden unknown to any previous cohort and whose ruinous effects we can only guess at.

On the assumption that anyone in that generation still has a taste for irony, I offer the following quotation on the subject, drawn from one of the earliest news stories about the problem of soaring tuition. The newspaper was the Washington Post; the speaker was an assistant dean at a college that had just announced a tuition hike of 19 percent; and the question before him was how much farther tuition increases could go. “Maybe all of a sudden this bubble is going to burst,” he was quoted as saying. “How much will the public take?”

Thomas Frank is a Salon politics and culture columnist. His many books include "What's The Matter With Kansas," "Pity the Billionaire" and "One Market Under God." He is the founding editor of The Baffler magazine.

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The Best and the Brightest Led America Off a Cliff, Chris Hedges, Truthdig

Don’t expect them to save us. They don’t know how. And when it all collapses, when our rotten financial system with its trillions in worthless assets implodes and our imperial wars end in humiliation and defeat, they will be exposed as being as helpless, and as stupid, as the rest of us.

 

 

Chester Nez, last of the original Navajo 'Code Talkers,' dead at 93

Altogether, before war's end, 421 Navajo warriors enlisted in the Marines and learned how to give Japanese intelligence headaches. Without them, their commanders and other officers have said, American casualties in battles for Japanese-held islands would have been far more ghastly than they were.

Meteor Blades, Daily Kos

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Betty Culver

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ChesterNez_zps9758ec80.jpg?1401913610 Chester Nez in 1942 and in 2008.

Jun 04, 2014 | In Navajo tradition, when someone dies, it is said that he or she has "walked on." Wednesday, Chester Nez, last of the famed Navajo code talkers, walked on. He had turned 93 in January and was living in Albuquerque. He was 21 when he joined the Marines in World War II. He had been specially recruited.

Felicia Fonseca writes:

Of the 250 Navajos who showed up at Fort Defiance—then a U.S. Army base—29 were selected to join the first all-Native American unit of Marines. They were inducted in May 1942. Nez became part of the 382nd Platoon.

Using Navajo words for red soil, war chief, clan, braided hair, beads, ant and hummingbird, for example, they came up with a glossary of more than 200 terms that later was expanded and an alphabet.

Meteor Blades (Timothy Lange) is a member of the Daily Kos staff.

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The Problem Isn't the VA or Eric Shinseki

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  • Ultimately, Bernie Sanders is completely correct about it all. If you don't want to pay all the real costs of taking the nation to war, then don't take it to war at all. It is, after all, criminal naivete to be shocked by the inevitable.
  • Who is to blame for the crisis at the VA?

Charles P. Pierce, Esquire 

esq-shinseki-0514-xlg.jpg U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testifies before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee today. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

May 30, 2014 | Eric Shinseki resigned today as a result of the unfolding scandal within the Department of Veterans Affairs. This event became inevitable the moment that Shinseki sat down before the Veterans Affairs Committee of the United States Senate. It became clear almost immediately that Shinseki didn't have two votes in that room; Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal who, despite Shinseki's departure, shows no sign of getting this teeth out of this story any time soon, made it quite plain that he wasn't buying anything Shinseki was selling. And thus ends the honorable career of a soldier who was correct about the lies behind the greatest policy disaster of our times, about the essential criminality of the people who launched the invasion of Iraq, but whose primary failures as an administrator were his inability to oversee the people in his department who were directly trying to cope with the flood of casualties that resulted from all of those soldiers that most of official Washington told Eric Shinseki they would never need to create a democratic paradise in Iraq. Irony is the rail on which Shinseki now has been ridden out of town.

One of my first beats in this business was covering the Vietnam veterans movement as they tried to get the various veterans organizations, including the VA, to pay attention to things like PTSD and the longterm effects of Agent Orange. They spoke with contempt of the World War II veterans who staffed those organizations, scoffing at what they called "the Class of '45" for the way those veterans looked down on them because they had "lost" their war. The people most willing to help were the scattered remnants of the antiwar movement -- like the people who ran 

Jim%20Morin%20%7C%20Thank%20You%20for%20Your%20Service%20Cuts.jpgJim Morin

the GI coffeehouses and, I guess, people like us in the alternative press. I recall vividly the general anger at the Reagan Administration when it proposed to close down the psychiatric outreach centers that they had fought so hard to include under the VA system. Those centers served some 52,000 veterans of the war Reagan called "a noble cause." That was my rude introduction to the vast gap between the political rhetoric about America's veterans and how they actually are treated. "I got a hundred stories," my best source within the Vietnam vet community told me when we first met. "Which one do you want?" Two years later, he took his M-1 into a closet and only the rifle came out.

Charles P. Pierce is a writer at large of Esquire magazine. 

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Related:

Who is to blame for the crisis at the VA? People's World

The truth is the VA was not equipped to deal with the aftermath of two multi-trillion dollar land wars. To deal with the aftermath properly the agency has to be modernized and beefed up and given far more, not fewer resources.

 

 

Muslim Slaves in America

Today's selection -- from Rebel Music by Hisham D. Aidi. Many slaves in the New World were Muslim, and brought their religious practices with them.

delanceyplace.com

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/uploads/picture6.png Bilali Muhammad

5/12/14 | In 1501, less than a decade after Columbus landed on the island of Hispaniola, Queen Isabella of Spain issued a decree instructing the governor of Hispaniola to ban Jews, Moors, 'New Christians,' and heretics from entering the Americas. The queen had just quelled the Morisco rebellion of Alpujarras (1499-1501), and as Muslims and Jews fled eastward toward the Ottoman Empire, the Spanish monarchs feared that these religious outcasts would board ships in Seville and escape to the Americas. The last thing Ferdinand and Isabella wanted was for their centuries-old battle with Islam to continue in the New World. And they took great measures to ban the importation of Muslims. Several church decrees, cedulas, were passed (in 1501, 1532, 1543, 1550, and 1577) to stop the flow of 'white slaves' (esclavos blancos), as Moors were called, and to deport those who had trickled into the New World. The Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors saw the Moors as 'agents of Islam,' 'intractable and rebellious,' and feared their radicalizing influence over West African slaves.

"But Moorish women did not face the same persecution. In 1512, King Ferdinand issued an order to send moriscas to the Americas in order to avoid 'carnal relations between the colonists and native women.' Spanish and Portuguese officials issued licenses to have these mujeres publicas ('fallen women') transported from Iberia to the Americas to serve in brothels. No sooner had they arrived than the colonists established these casas publicas throughout the Americas. In 1526, Charles I authorized the establishment of a brothel of moriscas ('casa de prostitutas blancas') in San Juan, Puerto Rico, again to avoid mixing between Spaniards and indigenous women. The demand for Moorish women actually made the Church decrees difficult to implement. In 1543, when an order calling for the deportation of enslaved Moors was issued, settlers in Hispaniola requested its annulment, 'because slaves and free persons from this background were few and very useful in a variety of occupations.' The order was rescinded in 1550.5/12/14 | In 1501, less than a decade after Columbus landed on the island of Hispaniola, Queen Isabella of Spain issued a decree instructing the governor of Hispaniola to ban Jews, Moors, 'New Christians,' and heretics from entering the Americas. The queen had just quelled the Morisco rebellion of Alpujarras (1499-1501), and as Muslims and Jews fled eastward toward the Ottoman Empire, the Spanish monarchs feared that these religious outcasts would board ships in Seville and escape to the Americas. The last thing Ferdinand and Isabella wanted was for their centuries-old battle with Islam to continue in the New World. And they took great measures to ban the importation of Muslims. Several church decrees, cedulas, were passed (in 1501, 1532, 1543, 1550, and 1577) to stop the flow of 'white slaves' (esclavos blancos), as Moors were called, and to deport those who had trickled into the New World. The Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors saw the Moors as 'agents of Islam,' 'intractable and rebellious,' and feared their radicalizing influence over West African slaves.

Delanceyplace is very simply a brief daily email with an excerpt or quote we view as interesting or noteworthy, offered with commentary to provide context.  

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Happiness and disability

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Surveys reveal that people with disabilities consistently report a good quality of life, says Tom Shakespeare. So why is it often assumed they are unhappy?

Tom Shakespeare, BBC News

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_75063338_promo-large.jpg31 May 2014 | Have you ever thought to yourself: "I'd rather be dead than disabled?" It's not an unusual reflection. Disability, in everyday thought, is associated with failure, with dependency and with not being able to do things. We feel sorry for disabled people, because we imagine it must be miserable to be disabled.

But in fact we're wrong. It's sometimes called the "disability paradox". Surveys reveal people with disabilities consistently report a quality of life as good as, or sometimes even better than, that of non-disabled people

Tom Shakespeare is a research fellow at the Institute for Policy and Practice at Newcastle University, specialising in the fields of disability, bioethics and the arts.

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US Economy Contracted By 1 Percent In First Three Months Of 2014

  • Nearly six years after the 2008 financial meltdown, the US economy remains mired in stagnation and slump. Behind the booming stock market and record corporate profits and CEO pay, daily life for broad sections of the population is dominated by unemployment, falling wages and growing poverty
  • America’s rotting empire

Andre Damon, World Socialist Website

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30 May 2014 | The US economy contracted at an annualized rate of one percent in the first quarter of 2014, the first time the economy shrank since 2011, according to revised figures for the gross domestic product (GDP) published Thursday by the Commerce Department.

The figures reflect the fact that nearly six years after the 2008 financial meltdown, the US economy remains mired in stagnation and slump. Behind the booming stock market and record corporate profits and CEO pay, daily life for broad sections of the population is dominated by unemployment, falling wages and growing poverty.

Andre Damon: national secretary of the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (US)

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Related:

America’s rotting empire, CJ Werleman, AlterNet 

  • Billionaires galore and a crumbling infrastructure
  • More proof we're in rapid decline: Not a single U.S. city currently ranks among the world's most livable
  • We're NOT Number 1: Guess Which Country Now Has a More Affluent Middle Class Than America?
  • 5 Ways American Policies and Attitudes Make Us Lonely, Anxious, and Antisocial

 

The Piketty Panic

It has been amazing to watch conservatives, one after another, denounce Mr. Piketty as a Marxist. Even Mr. Pethokoukis, who is more sophisticated than the rest, calls “Capital” a work of “soft Marxism,” which only makes sense if the mere mention of unequal wealth makes you a Marxist.

Paul Krugman, New York (NY) Times

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jackets/9780674430006.jpg April 24, 2014 | “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” the new book by the French economist Thomas Piketty, is a bona fide phenom-enon. Other books on economics have been best sellers, but Mr. Piketty’s contribution is serious, discourse-changing scholarship in a way most best sellers aren’t. And conservatives are terrified. Thus James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute warns in National Review that Mr. Piketty’s work must be refuted, because otherwise it “will spread among the clerisy and reshape the political economic landscape on which all future policy battles will be waged.”

Well, good luck with that. The really striking thing about the debate so far is that the right seems unable to mount any kind of substantive counterattack to Mr. Piketty’s thesis. Instead, the response has been all about name-calling — in particular, claims that Mr. Piketty is a Marxist, and so is anyone who considers inequality of income and wealth an important issue.

The Nobel Prize-winning New York Times Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman comments on economics and politics.

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Related:

How Piketty's Bombshell Book Blows Up Libertarian Fantasies, Lynn Stuart Parramore, AlterNet

Sorry, Ayn Rand. Your fiction has been exposed as, well, fiction.

 

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