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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Propaganda, Putin, and the "tripped over a sofa" rape defense

Would it have killed The Daily Beast to write a more accurate headline -- such as "Russia is using space power in its DEFENSE of Syria"? Or "Russia is using space power in its attack on ISIS"?

Many people don't read beyond the headlines. This is how popular opinion is shaped. This is how misperceptions are implanted into the national noggin.

Did Putin mean THAT?  At his most recent press conference, Putin confirmed what we all already knew: That Turkey's downing of a Russian jet was a hostile act. I was a little surprised by this phrase...
He referred to the shooting down of a fighter jet as "a hostile act" and ridiculed Turkey for turning to the West for help, saying it had "run to Brussels."

"Couldn't they have just picked up a phone?" he asked, jokingly adding: "I don't know ... if the Turks decided to lick Americans in some places, I don't know..."
Crude? Yes, but President Trump will be worse. At any rate, Putin is being quite accurate: Turkey would not have dared to commit such an act if Erdogan's nose were not firmly planted between Uncle Sam's asscheeks.

Remember, Turkey was trying to dissuade Putin from doing combat against ISIS and the other jihadis.

On another topic: OOPS! It has been apparent for some time that "the west" will allow Saudi millionaires to do pretty much anything they want -- but this goes too far.

Ehsan Abdulaziz, a Saudi millionaire living in London, was accused of raping an 18 year old girl. He claimed that he accidentally penetrated her when he tripped over a sofa and fell on her.

He was acquitted.

Speaking of Saudi Arabia... Prepare to laugh:
Calling Islamic extremism a disease, Saudi Arabia has announced the formation of a coalition of 34 predominately Muslim nations to fight terrorism.

"This announcement comes from the Islamic world's vigilance in fighting this disease so it can be a partner, as a group of countries, in the fight against this disease," Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman said.
The coalition's formation comes amid criticism that Arab states have not done enough to fight ISIS.
"Not done enough to fight ISIS"? Talk about propaganda! As we have established many, many, MANY times, there would be no ISIS without massive funding from Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Kuwait. Saudis have literally contributed enough money to field an army -- a fact which tells us that this new "coalition" is just another "Go after Assad while pretending to fight ISIS" scheme.

Let me repeat: Saudis have literally contributed enough money to field an army.

Keep that preceding sentence in mind whenever someone claims that funding for ISIS came from private sources, not from the Saudi government. ISIS fighters are quite well-paid by the standards of the region, and someone had to cover the cost of transporting thousands of foreign jihadis (most of whom are impoverished) to the area of combat. Not to mention food, housing, arms...

If you really believe that such a massive undertaking can happen without the approval of both Riyadh and Washington, you must possess all the naivete of a kitten in heaven.

You may now be wondering: How would Mohammed Bin Salman explain all of the Saudi money that went to ISIS? I put that very question to him earlier this morning. (If you want to talk to a VIP, just mention Cannonfire and they'll patch you right through.) Here is his response:

"It was all an accident. You know how it is: A hundred Saudi billionaires came home late one night and they tripped on a hundred sofas. Before they understood what was happening, hundreds of millions of dollars had fallen out of their wallets and into the pockets of ISIS..."

A Christmas note. Wheaton College has suspended a (Christian) professor named Larycia Hawkins because she wore a hijab to express her solidarity with Muslims. At some point during this Christmas season, the folks who run Wheaton College may want to look at the way William Holman Hunt (after extensive research) depicted the Virgin Mary...

Regarding the alleged rapist, the defence may be absurd but the prosecution must have been worse. The Jury took only half an hour to find him not guilty. Not so much a problem with the defence as the total lack of a prosecution case, it seems.
Too bad you took a bye on listening or watching the Howler Monkey debate. You would have gotten to hear some of the candidates promise to start World War III with Russia. If they ever made it to the White House they would unilaterally declare Syria a "No Fly" zone and shoot down any intruding (Russian) aircraft.
And husband Joseph may have been publicly slaughtering animals on a temple alter to a Jewish God, while Romans crucified those who wouldn't bring offering to their gods. Meanwhile, 300 miles away, Greek men in their 20's publicly dated prepubescent boys and children were left on the hillside to die for the crime of being born two weeks early. 3,000 years ago, as was the custom of the time, Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter on an alter for fair winds*.

My first point, values change, just because women in the Eastern Mediterranean were forced to wear excessive clothing to appease patriarchal prerogatives 2,000 years ago doesn't mean we have to honor those misogynist men for all eternity...what is acceptable changes with time. Woman in this country have struggled mightily to gain there freedom from the restrictions of male bondage, if an immigrant women from other parts of the world, schooled by an oppressive patriarchy seek to return to an 8th century world , I wish them well, but please keep your tried and failed ideas out of public life.

Secondly, Muslims have been trying to conquer** Europe [often succeeding] since the early 9th century...just as I don't believe NAZI or KKK symbols should be displayed in a public building or conveyance, the hijab is equally a symbol of evil men's deeds. If you want to paint the interior of your house with swastikas, or hang pictures of lynchings while wearing a hijab...more power to you, but not in public.

*And he did reap the the Classical Greeks were found of retelling, their tastes had clearly changed in the intervening millennium.

**Unlike our "culturally sensitive" history books teach us, the Crusades were a response to the Popes plea to thwart Muslim aggression in Italy, Spain, Byzantium.
"...forced to wear excessive clothing to appease patriarchal prerogatives..."

Not THAT shit again. Women have always made their own decisions about how they dress, while men just stand around looking befuddled and wondering "What the hell...?"

As I pointed out in a previous post, I've made a study of Pyrenean culture, where the women traditionally wore headscarf and capulet, the design of which indicated the valley they called home. Not much difference between that get-up and the hijab, really. And you know what? That culture was the most pro-feminist in the world for thousands of years. Read up on it, and you'll see what I mean. It was the only place in the world where women could inherit property and run for office. The Romans thought that the tribes in that area were insane because they allowed their leaders to be women.

Next summer, do some hiking in hot weather. You'll quickly learn the usefulness of a hijab or turban or shemagh or keffiyeh, and you'll understand how it became a part of the culture in desert societies.
Oh for gosh sakes, Pyrenean women wear an ordinary scarf to keep their hair protected while they work, they take it off at will, horrible comparison.

Did you ever read of the Minoans? while not a true matriarchy, when viewed as a mirror of a patriarchy, women held full sway, their garments accentuated a woman's body, not hid it, just as women with good figures do today. They also created a meritocratic society, where, by measuring square footage, we know that a difference of rank were minimal in terms of resources. That was 1900-1650 BC. Flushing toilets,running water, no protective walls, a thriving art scene...that's what the world looks like when ordinary women have their say.

Here's what it looks like when a patriarchal society that views woman as chattel have a ruthless military man create a "religion".
The capulet is not the same as the head scarf. Look it up. It was always the girl's mother, not her father, who told her "This is what we wear."

You must understand that modest dress is not the result of "the patriarch." There are a lot of women who prefer such dress, and they do so for their own reasons. One modern example would be Mayim Bialik, the actress on "Big Bang Theory." I have no doubt that she makes her own decisions in life.

In my experience, when (hetero) men take any interest at all in the way women dress, the men usually tend to pressure women to dress IMmodestly.
Joseph - lots of Christian nuns wear what is a hijab in all but name. It covers their hair to top and sides and their chest between neck and breasts is also covered. I spoke with a woman in a post office queue recently whom I assumed to be a Muslim because of what she was wearing, which I would call a hijab. I think she was probably a Syrian refugee. Only towards the end of the conversation did I notice her cross badge.
"the men usually tend to pressure women to dress IMmodestly"

In their youth, and delayed adolescence, certainly. But then they become parents and suddenly the idea of girls (their daughters at least) covering up more bare flesh has a greater appeal to those who previously scorned 'muslim' practices. I'm sure many Christian fathers in the USA have slammed Islam for its cruelty to women just before telling their daughters "You're not going out of my house dressed like THAT!" and then later visited internet sites filled women women dressed in even less than "that". Perhaps its to be expected that the more religious you profess to be, the more capable you will be of great hypocrisy.

Unrelated to any of the above but thought it might give you some small sense of justice not being hopelessly lost:
@ Stephen, @ Joseph - Let's be careful here. We weren't in court, and it seems the defendant didn't say he accidentally penetrated his alleged victim but that he might have done. There seems to have been a substantial prosecution case: verbal evidence from the alleged victim, and also forensics. But had I been on the jury, there is certainly some of the alleged victim's evidence that I probably wouldn't have found convincing, to judge by how it's been reported anyway. She said she went into the bedroom but was unable to wake her friend and feared she might be dead. She said that she then fled the flat but did not call the police immediately because she did not want to "aggravate the situation". I am just reading that in the newspaper. I didn't hear her say it, how she said it, or the question that it was in response to. But the prosecution has to prove its case and the defendant - any defendant on any charge - should get the benefit of the doubt. The job of the jury isn't to decide whether they think the defendant is guilty or not.

The judge allowed 20 minutes of the defendant's evidence to be heard in private, which is unusual. This was presumably at the request of the defence. If so, I wonder what grounds they adduced, and I wonder how hard the prosecution argued to have the press permitted to stay in court. And the big question - what did he actually say during those 20 minutes, which presumably hasn't been reported? Was the press also excluded when (if) he was cross-examined on that part of his evidence?

I just discovered this blog and wanted to thank you for doing the yeoman's work of assembling all of this information, parsing out the various levels of spin therein, and refining it into nuggets of truly valuable information for the rest of us. You are a goddamn hero, Cheers!
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