Saturday, February 03, 2018

The Nunes Memo

The Nunes memo was supposed to be a great move in the Republicans' war against the FBI.  I think its release fell flat, for reasons spelled out in several articles which came out after its release, but given the extremely tribal nature of today's American politics, I'm certain-sure that most Republicans found it a real smoking gun (check the comments on that last link!).

I get the importance of any move which could stop the Mueller investigation into the Trump campaign and the Trump administration.  Republicans don't want to go down with the captain of their ship, even if that captain himself drilled the holes in the hull. 

And for the Mueller investigation to stop, Trump needs to get rid of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein:

Rosenstein is key to the Russia investigation because he has the power to fire Mueller, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia matter.

But Rosenstein isn't firing Mueller.  If Trump could replace him with one of his own stooges, that stooge could then fire Mueller, and Trump believes that he would then be safe from further harassment.  The release of the memo had the partial goal of making Rosenstein's firing seem more appropriate.

Friday, February 02, 2018

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos: The Eternally Feminine. Part Three Of My Book Review

Anna Maria van Schurman
By Jan Lievens - National Gallery, London, Public Domain,

Chapter 11:  Masculinity In Peril

If you, dear reader, feel as if I have already written far too much about  how women, the feminine and gender are treated in Peterson's book, fasten your seat belts!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos: The Eternally Feminine. Part Two Of My Book Review

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Playing Hide-And-Seek With Women And the Feminine

Remember how angry the Channel 4 interviewer, Cathy Newman, appeared to be while interviewing Jordan Peterson on this book?  How her questions were almost all about the gender gap in earnings, the scarcity of women on the top rungs of business hierarchies and so on?

I had read ten chapters of the book before I came across what made Newman so angry.  It was the eleventh chapter, supposedly about not bothering children (read: boys) when they are skateboarding, but in reality about the horrors of any attempts to achieve gender-equality.  Because most of the explicit evidence on how Peterson views women and men is packed into that one chapter, my discussion here will also divide into two parts:

This post is mostly about the pervasive atmosphere of the whole book, about the sometimes subtle and often not at all subtle erasures of women's ideas and women themselves from the book, and about the way Peterson assigns sex or gender to abstract concepts.  The next post is explicitly about the material in Chapter 11 of the book.

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos: The Eternally Feminine. Part One Of My Book Review

Fresco showing a woman so-called Sappho holding writing implements, from Pompeii, Naples National Archaeological Museum (14842101892)
By Carole Raddato - Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0,


If you are not familiar with professor Peterson, the new guru of conservative men, you might wish to read my earlier post on him.  His shtick is to give therapeutic advice about how to make one's life better, while firmly placing that advice into a politically and religiously conservative (and, in his case, very dismal) worldview.

For example, the advice to clear your desk and to put your life in order is ultimately explained as the first step in the battle for the Being, in the battle of making the world a better place and in the battle against the next totalitarian wave to come, the postmodernist far left wave breeding and multiplying in universities, which will one day kill millions, just as Stalin, Hitler and Mao did.

Professor Peterson himself has stated that his acolytes are ninety percent male (1).  In one interview he explains that by saying that YouTube itself is a male form of online exchanges, and his lectures are on YouTube.  But I see a different reason for his gendered following:  His messages are equally gendered, though not always bluntly.

This book review is an attempt to look at that gendering.  It's not a review of everything his book says, though I begin (in this post) with a more general overview of what I see as his basic organizing principles and main themes in the book. The remaining two posts will cover the book's views about women, biological sex and gender.