Saturday, April 29, 2017

Trump's Tax Reform Proposal: A Gift Not To His Voters But To Himself And His Rich Friends

Have now been made available in the sense of a page or two of scribbles, without any impact calculations.  The shortness of those pages makes it fast work to conclude that the proposed tax reforms will shift even more money into the well-filled pockets of the top one percent of US earners.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Trump's Gift to the Women of the World: More War, Fewer Rights

Our Dear Leader began his reign by returning the global gag rule, expanded to many more fields.  That will teach those sluts not to avoid their proper roles which is to have as many children as their lords and masters decree, even if that kills them. 

But our Dear Leader is generous, so the women of the poorer countries get a second present:

...Foreign Policy revealed plans by the president to strip all funding from a State Department bureau dedicated to promoting women’s advancement in developing countries. According to documents released to Foreign Policy, Trump’s proposed budget plan would eliminate funding for the Office of Global Women’s Issues by 2018. In order to make room for more military spending, the plan would also eliminate USAID’s budget for working with blind children and 95 percent of funds allotted to the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

This is utterly stupid, even if one is a determined misogynist like Donald Trump.  Too fast population growth rates in poor countries contribute to the migrant floods into Europe, too fast population growth rates in poor countries contribute to periodic episodes of starvation and to local unrest and violence, because the limited land resources cannot adequately support the rising populations, and that causes increased competition for resources.

And not supporting women's education and greater independence exacerbates all the problems that the US has struggled with, including radical Islamism.

As one of those interviewed in the quoted article states:

“It’s clear that women’s empowerment and gender equality are on the chopping block in this budget”
And yet many Republican women voted for him.


Added later:  Ivanka's projects are intended to be the front which covers what is happening behind the stage where the fundie patriarchs are decimating women's rights.  Ivanka is not wrong, but what she is doing is a bit like dressing a starving and very sick woman in a designer dress while not treating her illness or giving her food.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Meet Rep. Robert Fisher, a New Hampshire Misogynist

1.  Did you know that I have a lackluster and boring personality and a sub-par intelligence? (1)

I didn't know that, either, until I was told so by Robert Fisher, a Republican state representative in New Hampshire who has now been outed as one of the creators of the woman-hating (and popular!) message board The Red Pill.

The Red Pill teaches men to be pickup artists by training them in the skills needed for the Hunting of The Reluctant Pussy and in how to deal with the woman the pussy is unfortunately attached to.  Usually she should treated like an enemy in a war or the way a predator would handle its prey (2).

These dating strategies are truly weird, sadistic, even, but in that alternative Red Pill reality they are necessary because of the terrible feminist-created oppression of pussy-hunters these days:

Feminists have destroyed all good things in life, including the respect for traditional masculinity and for the good old-time marriage arrangements where men could buy lifelong access to pussy (and to housekeeping services), sometimes for as little as bed and board for the hussy.

But what is a man to do now, huh?  Women are no longer desperate enough to marry men like Rep. Fisher just for a pittance, because feminism allowed them to have paid jobs. So the only remedy for Rep. Fisher is to make certain-sure that all women everywhere suffer.

And why should all those billions of women have to suffer?  Ah!  The reason is that Rep. Fisher had a very painful personal experience with a conniving slut, and the pain he felt just had to be turned into generalized misogyny, the hatred of all women everywhere. 
I learned all this via The Daily Beast which was able to establish that Rep. Fisher indeed is one of the founding fathers of the Red Pill.  Imagine that!  We have our very own now outed woman-hating politician.

And Rep. Fished does hate women.  Not only do we have sub-par brains and boring personalities, but when he was an eighteen-year old Immanuel Kant wannabe he couldn't find absolutely gorgeous and sexy girls of the same age who would also want to talk about free will and how time travel made it impossible and so on.

This made it clear to Rep. Fisher that women are intellectually inferior, poor things.

With the exception of his mother and his sisters, by the way.  But all other women are vacuous empty-headed wannabe gold-diggers, climbing up one hairy man-thigh after another, in search for the richest man possible.  Rep. Fisher's thighs were not the richest or perhaps even the hairiest, and thus his heart was broken.

He managed to cope with his pain by reading on evolutionary psychology of the most woman-hating kind (3).  That taught him that women are biologically wired to be hypergamous, always seeking a yet richer man (4).  Poor things, we women.  We cannot help our faulty wiring.  After all, we don't even know how to change a flat tire, let alone wiring, but must depend on men for help with that, though men, of course,  never need help with making sandwiches or meals or getting their laundry done or anything else whatsoever.

Rep. Fisher also tells us that modern women are totally free, unlike modern men, because men have to learn the consequences of their actions but women don't have to, given that pregnancy, for instance, has not been shown to be the consequence of having sex without contraception. 

That's what feminism has done to women:  Women take all the good bits and refuse to drop the pussy off the pedestal (2), which is very unfair for those waiting under the pedestal.  At least in the good old days women were oppressed in exchange for chivalry towards the pussy, but modern sluts want that chivalry without paying for it by subjugation.

Only men need to develop their skills and knowledge, according to Rep. Fisher, because women totally know that the optimal waist-to-hip ratio and nubile breasts are sufficient by themselves, and an empty head is the best setting for a nice hairdo.

It's all very sad, of course, but at least those men who agree with Rep. Fisher's intricate philosophical argument can find support at the Red Pill.

Perhaps they talk about the awful risks of false rape accusations (5), the possibility that any avid pussy-hunter with many successful hunts might one day wake up to being accused of some underhand moves, even though those are necessary in the War of the Sexes or the Hunting of the Reluctant Pussy and are never real rape but just the sluts' regrets about having been shown to be sluts.

And in any case, the dark cloud of rape has its golden lining:  The rapist probably had a good time (6).  Just like a sadistic murderer while dismembering his victim, I might add, if pleasure is somehow a sign of things not being that horrible.

But it's the fear of false rape accusations that keeps Rep. Fisher awake at night. The fear isn't strong enough to frighten him off pussy-hunting.  Still, he hates this feminist-governed world where almost any man can find his life ruined by some slut's say-so (7).

2.  The reason I began this post with false statements about my scintillating personality and about my extraordinary brightness, despite the fact that Rep. Fisher failed to mention me,  is to point out one of the very common logical flaws the misogynistic Manosphere uses:

False generalizations.  We are told that "women," as in the "class of all women" are a certain way: stupid, gold-digging, vacuous.  Because I belong to that class it then follows that I share the attributes Rep. Fisher insists on assigning to the group.

In Rep. Fisher's case one or a few women hurt him badly.  Therefore, all women are monsters.  Anecdotal (and unverifiable) evidence is turned into a statement about billions of people.  The arrogance of someone who copes with his own traumas like that!  I used therapy and lots of hard work, but then I'm an inferior creature.

False generalizations are the bread and butter of the misogynists, so I expected no better from Rep. Fisher.  But he also commits several other logical errors, including comparing his own "super-smart" eighteen-year old self to some fuzzy larger number of boring and lackluster young girls without telling us how he picked them.  If it was by their looks alone, well, those don't necessarily correlate with an avid interest in all things scientific.

That would create bias in his sample, but he makes things worse by committing what I call the Hitler vs. Mother Theresa error, though in reverse (it usually is in reverse), where one compares an individual from the top of one distribution to an individual from the bottom of another distribution and then treats the two individuals as if they were representative of their whole distributions.

That's how we get the argument that women are only interested in gossiping and other trivialities, whereas men stare thoughtfully into their beer mugs while contemplating the Big Bang Theory.

Rep. Fisher is also comfortable with picking his evidence on the basis of what he wishes to prove.  Thus, it's men throughout the history, on the Fisher Planet,  who held traditional marriages together and hardly ever strayed or abandoned their children or anything of that sort.  Granted, women had few rights and might have been unhappy, but at least they were barred from hypergamy.

The Manosphere in general loves to employ evidence of that kind, by ignoring all data that works against whatever they wish to prove, or in some cases by just ignoring all data, full stop.  That's one way to create an alternative reality where the Red Pill site now has almost 200,000 subscribers.

Finally, all the anecdotal evidence Rep. Fisher shares with us (or, rather with his fellow-misogynists) is unavoidably colored because we don't know how Rep. Fisher acts with women. 

If his misogyny has hung around for a while he may be extremely unpleasant to meet, and that would make pussy-hunting tougher, even for someone who regards himself an obvious alpha male, entitled to most pussies, and states that he has advertised himself as an alpha, but alas and alack, women didn't like that (8)!

O,  evolutionary psychology, what have you wrought here.  This poor politician has apparently gone around advertising his alpha male status to all those little gold-diggers who, based on his theory, should have been most eager to open their legs for him.

3.  What's going to happen to Rep. Robert Fisher of New Hampshire now?

Who knows.  Who even knows how many worse misogynist we might have straddling various high ladders of power in this Trump Reich?  And who can tell how common Rep. Fisher's declaration of war against women might be?  But Governor Sununu has asked for his resignation.

So far Rep. Fisher has refused.  He tells us that he will not leave his post but will continue working for men's rights.

So it goes.


(1) The reference to me is a stylistic one, to point out that when Rep. Fisher hates on "women," with the exception of his mother and his sisters, he then by definition hates on me.

(2) The Daily Beast:

The Red Pill borrows its name from a scene in “The Matrix” in which Morpheus offers Neo a choice between two realities: “You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill… and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”
In manosphere-speak, the rabbit hole is feminism, which the red pill reveals to be a War on Men. In this reality, the “feminine imperative” reigns; masculinity is its victim. As a result of this power struggle, old gender dynamics formerly seen as mutually beneficial, such as marriage, have all but disappeared, but female expectations of a pedestalled life unfairly remain. A common refrain among men’s rights activists is “take the pussy off the pedestal.”
The Red Pill guides men as they become accustomed to this new “reality.” It advocates self-improvement: the importance of diet, exercise, and constant learning. But this community also subscribes to the beliefs that women lack both intelligence and substance, are programed to cheat on their partners, and expire after the age of 30. Its darkest sections are heavy with rape denial and apologia.

(3)  Here's one example of Rep. Fisher's use of evolutionary psychology:

Fisher was asked if he thought it was creepy for a 40-year-old man check-out a 15-year-old’s breast. He responded by saying:
“In my opinion, no. It’s evolutionarily advantageous and perfectly natural.”
(4)  There is no actual proof of any kind of wiring of that sort, of course, and evolutionary psychologists using the argument ignore the very real obstacles that historically made it almost impossible for women to gain resources through any other means but marriage.  Guild laws were against them, most institutions of higher learning didn't admit them, inheritance and other family laws discriminated against them.  No special wiring is needed, in my opinion, to explain why marrying upward would have been a common strategy for women to gain wealth.  What other options did they have, after all?

(5)   It is generally agreed that false rape accusations, including accusations which were not intended to be false, but were deemed to be so, are less than ten percent of all rapes that come to the attention of the police.  But also note that rapists are pretty unlikely to be sentenced to jail in the first place:

According to an analysis of Justice Department data by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 46 out of 100 rapes are reported to police, nine are prosecuted, and three of those accused serve jail time.

(6)  The Daily Beast:

In 2008, writing under the username FredFredrickson, Fisher posited that the notion that “rape is bad” was not an absolute truth. He wrote, “I’m going to say it—Rape isn’t an absolute bad, because the rapist I think probably likes it a lot. I think he’d say it’s quite good, really.”

(7)  To inject a little bit of evidence from the other side, I draw your attention to the three articles below.  Before you click on any links you should know that the articles are gruesome and describe extreme types of violence. 

This long-form piece describes a case which at first glance looks like a false rape accusation, until the videos taken by a serial rapist prove that he raped the woman who was not believed.

This UK case is an extremely disturbing one, showing that many among the police also believe that women quite often make false claims about harassment or violence.

This case does not prove that a rape took place, but it seems extremely likely, given the other crimes the man described in it had committed.

The point of this footnote is to remind that real rape or real harassment interpreted as false claims can have truly devastating consequences which should not be ignored, either.

(8)  The Daily Beast:

Elsewhere, he wondered why listing his accomplishments on dates, including his status as a candidate and “high level exec,” was apparently a turnoff to women, despite it being characteristically alpha.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Bryce Covert On Reproductive Rights As An Economic Issue

Bryce Covert writes about the false distinctions between "social" or "cultural" and " economic" when political ideas are put into different boxes.  Her context is the recent renewed debate about whether the Democratic Party should support forced birth candidates if otherwise those candidates promote all sorts of yummy dishes on the lefty political menu.

Her point is an important one:  The so-called "cultural" or "social" issues are intertwined with economic issues for all those of us who draw the short stick in the worldview of "social conservatives." 

For instance, if employers or landlords/ladies are allowed to discriminate against LGBT people, well, that has a direct financial impact on that group.  If the forced-birth movement succeeds in making abortion and most woman-controlled forms of contraception illegal, well, that has a direct financial impact on women's ability to control their fertility, to plan their education or their working lives.*

I have always been exasperated by that distinction between "cultural" and "economic" issues in politics, because the former are not about the cuisines, music, art or literature of various cultural groups but partly about which people are allowed to compete in the economic sphere on equal grounds.  To not see that might mean that you didn't draw that short stick in the games the social conservatives play. 

For two extreme examples of the economic impact of cultural or religious rules,  consider societies such as the apartheid era South Africa or today's Saudi Arabia:  The segregation of races or sexes** directly handicaps the less powerful segregated group, because they will be isolated from the ruling powers, the best jobs and the ability to influence societal decision-making.

*  And also because sex discrimination would become more rampant.  Few employer would be willing to promote or train workers who might have to drop out without any notice because of unplanned pregnancies.  This type of statistical discrimination against fertile-age women as a group is already happening, but it would be far stronger in the forced-birth dystopian world.

**  The latter is a clearer example of cultural or social issues than the former.  You might want to think why that is the case.  I suspect it's because sexism is still a fairly acceptable global value with long and deep roots in religions and essentialist thinking.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The New Abnormal

One bad outcome of the Trump era is its possible impact on future standards for US presidents:  There might be none. 

A president can now be openly racist and sexist, a president can now clearly demonstrate that he knows nothing about the job of being a president and that his general levels of knowledge are minuscule.

A president can now demonstrate signs of extreme narcissism, possess a vocabulary of no more than a few hundred words and explicitly show that he is going to use the presidential throne for personal grift, business profits and lots of time spent golfing. 

A president can refuse to show the American people his tax forms, a president can refuse to let the American people know what his actual state of health might be, and a president can have a proven history of corporate malfeasance.

A president can now appoint white male supremacists as his advisers and he can hand much governmental power to his daughter and son-in-law.  A president can simply refuse to separate his business interests from the job of running the country, and a president can create the opaqueness to keep us from knowing how much his firms benefit from his position.

A president can now give an interview like this one:

AP: Do you feel like you've been able to apply that kind of a relationship to your dealings with Congress as well?
TRUMP: I have great relationships with Congress. I think we're doing very well and I think we have a great foundation for future things. We're going to be applying, I shouldn't tell you this, but we're going to be announcing, probably on Wednesday, tax reform. And it's — we've worked on it long and hard. And you've got to understand, I've only been here now 93 days, 92 days. President Obama took 17 months to do Obamacare. I've been here 92 days but I've only been working on the health care, you know I had to get like a little bit of grounding right? Health care started after 30 day(s), so I've been working on health care for 60 days. ...You know, we're very close. And it's a great plan, you know, we have to get it approved.
AP: Is it this deal that's between the Tuesday Group and the Freedom Caucus, is that the deal you're looking at?
TRUMP: So the Republican Party has various groups, all great people. They're great people. But some are moderate, some are very conservative. The Democrats don't seem to have that nearly as much. You know the Democrats have, they don't have that. The Republicans do have that. And I think it's fine. But you know there's a pretty vast area in there. And I have a great relationship with all of them. Now, we have government not closing. I think we'll be in great shape on that. It's going very well. Obviously, that takes precedent.
AP: That takes precedent over health care? For next week?
TRUMP: Yeah, sure. Next week. Because the hundred days is just an artificial barrier. The press keeps talking about the hundred days. But we've done a lot. You have a list of things. I don't have to read it.

For some background on that health care plan:  Trump told us repeatedly during his rallies that he would abolish the ACA and replace it with some cloud-cuckoo-land perfect plan where everyone would have the highest quality health care for practically no money at all.

Later he told us that "nobody knew health care could be so complicated!"

You know all this, of course.  But that preface is useful when looking at the findings of a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll which aims at finding out what voters think of the president now.

Here's the gist of those findings*:  Even though Trump's approval ratings at this point of his presidency are the lowest of any president since 1945, the majority of Republican voters still like him:

Current politics, moreover, are marked by especially sharp partisanship, a central reason for Trump's comparatively poor rating. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents approve of his job performance; just 12 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents agree. Obama at 100 days did better in his base, with 93 percent approval from leaning Democrats, but also had 40 percent from leaning Republicans.
The tribal aspect of voting has never been clearer to me.  And, yes, the Democrats also vote on a tribal basis, but Trump is objectively different from all US presidents in the recent memory:  He is utterly unqualified for the job and something weird is happening under that hairdo of his.

But never mind any of that!  At least he belongs to the right party and wants tax cuts and person-hood rights for egg-Americans.

All this suggests to me that in the future a cheese sandwich would be a viable candidate for running the most powerful country on this earth, as long as the cheese is American cheese and the kind real guys like to eat.


*  Other findings show similar tribal patterns.  White Evangelical Protestants and white Catholics approve of Trump at rates of 73% and 58%, respectively, for example.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ross Douthat's Sermon on Religions for Liberals And Echidne's Counter-Sermon

(This post consists of a coleslaw of thoughts.  I'm trying to write myself out of my blogger's block.)

Did you read Ross Douthat's advice in his Easter Sunday column to all those secular liberals (1)?  That they should go back to church, back to their Protestant roots, so that the so-called Mainline churches could be saved?

Our Ross would prefer all of us to join his type of extreme Guy-Catholicism, of course, because that's the only narrow door to salvation, according to him.  But if secular lefties cannot go quite that far, then they should go back to their wishy-washy loving-kindness churches which are currently suffering  from graying and diminishing congregations.

Why Ross would want that I don't know.  I'm guessing that he had a deadline and had to write something appropriate for Easter, because he also states this:

As a conservative Catholic, I have theories about how this collapse reveals the weaknesses of liberalism in religion.
Let me guess:  Ross likes the war or thunder god of the Old Testament and the types of religious rules which ossified the social hierarchies prevalent in Middle Eastern nomadic cultures a thousand or two thousand years ago.  He likes the idea of a ready-made fixed set of divine rules which inconvenience others a lot more than they inconvenience him.  He likes to be told what god wants, by intermediaries who are almost totally old men, both now and through history.

In that he shares with many other fundamentalists.

Foxy Women, Again

 Fox&Friends anchor Heather Nauert has been named the spokesperson of the US State Department (I guess for when there is a State Department, with actual people in it).* 

This is a video compilation of some Fox discussions about the proper role of women in this world.  It is condensed, sure, but it also covers only a small fraction of these kinds of discussions on Fox (I know, because I have followed them!).  You know, the kinds where people earnestly debate the question:  "Are Women People?"

We know what the powers-that-be at Fox News thought about the proper answer to that question:  If those sluts aren't at home serving their children, then they are here to service us.  Or something slightly less nasty, but along the same lines.

I'm pretty sure that being the spokesperson of the State Department isn't the kind of job Fox News believes women should have, what with lacking ambition and having racks and so on.

It's good to keep in mind that Fox News was established in 1996.  We have had almost one generation's worth of arguments of this type, as a preparation for the Trump era where the president of the country can openly hold similar opinions about women, preferring to rank them by their looks and viewing their bodies as something automatically available to all powerful men who are "stars."

The invisible elephant in that history is the muted and scattered response from other media outlets to Fox News' racist and sexist views.  Initially they ignored Fox, the crazy uncle at the Thanksgiving dinner, then they normalized Fox as just one part of the overall media, and then we got the pussygrabber-in-chief.

But at least he is surrounded by pretty women now.

* This post is not about Nauert herself.  She may be competent for the job, for all I know.  But she comes from the Fox stables where certain views are privileged.