Notes and Comment Blog

It is what it looks like

Sep 30th, 2017 3:12 pm | By

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight tells the media to quit rationalizing the monster.

I’m happy to acknowledge that Trump’s responses to the news are sometimes thought-out and deliberate. His criticisms of the media often seem to fall into this category, for example, since they’re sure to get widespread coverage and Republican voters have overwhelmingly lost faith in the media.

But at many other times, journalists come up with overly convoluted explanations for Trump’s behavior (“this seemingly self-destructive emotional outburst is actually a clever political strategy!”) when simpler ones will suffice (“this is a self-destructive emotional outburst.”). In doing so, they violate both Ockham’s razor and Hanlon’s razor — the latter of which can be stated as “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” One can understand why journalists who rely on having close access to Trump avoid explanations that portray Trump as being irrational, incompetent or bigoted. But sometimes they’re the only explanations that make sense.

Or, rather, irrational, incompetent and bigoted.

It isn’t complicated. What we see is what there is. He’s stupid, he’s malevolent, he has no impulse-control, he’s grotesquely narcissistic. He acts like an enraged toddler because he thinks and feels like an enraged toddler.



Sep 30th, 2017 2:57 pm | By

Speaking of people who want everything done for them…

Meanwhile the mayor of San Juan has been working around the clock.

He’s back

Sep 30th, 2017 2:40 pm | By

Six hours later the monster returns.

“Never mind about the lives of three million people in Puerto Rico, rant about “Fake News” and Democrats instead.”

“I like him but I don’t like her, she can’t come to my party.”

“They say we’re great! It’s all about us and how great we are! Me me me me me me me.”

“She’s a nice Spick Puerto Rican, not like that other one who had the nerve to beg for help.”

“To the people of Puerto Rico: this is all about me. You are thinking about me, aren’t you? In a good way? Don’t be fooled: I’m awesome. Have a nice afternoon!”

“Whew! I finally remembered to say something about the suffering! Close call there.”

“She’s such a whiny bitch.”

A significant step downward

Sep 30th, 2017 10:31 am | By

James Fallows is scathing – and James Fallows is not a guy who scathes easily.

[Trump’s] Twitter outburst this morning — as he has left Washington on another trip to one of his golf courses, as millions of U.S. citizens are without water or electricity after the historic devastation of Hurricane Maria, as by chance it is also Yom Kippur — deserves note. It is a significant step downward for him, and perhaps the first thing he has done in office that, in its coarseness, has actually surprised me. (I explained the difference, for me, between shock and surprise when it comes to Trump, in this item last week.) Temperamentally, intellectually, and in terms of civic and moral imagination, he is not fit for the duties he is now supposed to bear.

That’s been both true and obvious all along, but by god this Twitter outburst does underline the fact.

His first tweet [the one about the mayor being told by the Democrats to be mean to Trump] dramatized his inability to conceive of any event, glorious or tragic, in terms other than what it means about him. People are dying in Puerto Rico; they have lost their homes and farms; children and the elderly are in danger. And what he sees is, “nasty to Trump.”

What he sees, what he reacts to, what he cares about, what he takes deeply to heart.

Then there’s the one about “such poor leadership ability” in the mayor and others who can’t get “their workers” to help – you know, the workers who are struggling to survive and help people near them survive just like everyone else in PR, and who are cut off just like everyone else.

This is an outright attack on the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, whose passionate appeals for her people would evoke compassion and support from any normal person — and from other politicians would stimulate at least a public stance of sympathy. I can think of no other example of a president publicly demeaning American officials in the middle of coping with disaster. There were nasty “God’s punishment!” remarks about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina, but they did not come from the White House or George W. Bush.

And finally there’s the blockbuster about wanting everything done for them.

Want “everything to be done for them.” It is impossible to tell whether this is a conscious racist dog-whistle by Trump—these people! always looking for a handout—or whether it is instinctive. Either way, it is something that no other modern president would have said in public, and that no one who understood the duties of the office could have done.


A man who can say these things—from a golf course, while millions of his fellow citizens are in dire straits, and during an emergency that is worse because of his own narcissistic inattention—does not understand the job.

This has not happened before. It is not normal. It should not be acceptable. The United States is a big, resilient country, but a man like this can do severe damage to it and the world — and at the moment, he is leaving many Americans in mortal peril.

It is not acceptable. I can’t begin to express how not acceptable it is.

He should be removed from office.

He golfs while they die

Sep 30th, 2017 9:16 am | By

Some reactions to President Monster.

President Bully

Sep 30th, 2017 8:30 am | By

He didn’t. He didn’t. Even he can’t be that stupid and petty and egomaniacal. Can he?

Tss. Of course he can. There is no limit to how stupid and petty and egomaniacal he can be. He could run over a bunch of children and complain about the mess on his tires.

Trump responded Saturday morning to harsh critiques from San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz by targeting her personally. The president accused the mayor of playing politics and succumbing to pressure from fellow Democrats to attack his administration. He also, remarkably, directly attacked her and other Puerto Rican officials’ leadership.

“They want everything done for them.”

He typed, from his golf club in New Jersey where he is spending yet another weekend profiteering and playing golf while those pesky little brown people in Puerto Rico keep on being dehydrated and sick and in danger of heat stroke.

There has been anecdotal evidence that Trump doesn’t quite get it. He has repeatedly misstated the size of the hurricane that hit Puerto Rico. He has repeatedly talked about what a tough state the island was in to begin with — as if to shift blame. He has talked repeatedly about how Puerto Rico is an island “in the middle of the ocean” — as if to temper expectations. He has even talked about how Puerto Rico might be made to repay the cost of its recovery. And he’s decided to take a weekend at his golf club in New Jersey right now, even as the scope of the problems in Puerto Rico is growing.

Puerto Rico is, of course, not “in the middle of” the ocean at all – it’s one of a group of large and small islands near the coasts of North and South America. It’s an island, it’s surrounded by water, but it’s not in the middle of the ocean. It has near neighbors.

The man is a monster.

Have an aspirin and some baby Jesus

Sep 29th, 2017 4:56 pm | By

An organization called the American Life League was passing this around in 2014.

Image may contain: one or more people and text

Suffering is a grace-filled opportunity to participate in the passion of Jesus Christ. Euthanasia selfishly steals that opportunity.

But no. The point of laws allowing help in dying is to help people who ask for it. You can’t call suffering any kind of “opportunity” when it’s imposed on people against their will. That’s like saying we’re giving the people of Puerto Rico an “opportunity” to die of dehydration or disease by failing to respond to the hurricane damage promptly. People who want to avail themselves of the grace-filled opportunity to participate in the passion of Jesus Christ by suffering will still be able to do that even when euthanasia is an available option. It’s that simple. It’s not “selfishly” stealing anything to let people decide how much suffering they want to put up with.

Hefner’s natural enemy

Sep 29th, 2017 4:33 pm | By

A bit more on Hefner, by Liz Posner at AlterNet:

Hefner claimed to have been a leader in the sexual revolution, liberating Americans from their puritanical views of sex. At least, that was his moral justification for objectifying women, as he told Vanity Fair:

A new documentary entitled Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel makes a persuasive case for Hefner the liberal who not only agitated for sexual tolerance but, among many good, brave causes, also was an early protagonist for racial equality and gay rights. “But feminists still oppose you for treating women as objects,” I reminded him.

“They are objects!” he insisted. “Playboy fought for what became women’s issues, including birth control. We were the amicus curiae, friend of the court, in Roe v. Wade, which gave women the right to choose. But the notion that women would not embrace their own sexuality is insane.”

And “their own sexuality”=being objects?

But what did Playboy ever do to encourage female sexuality? How does a magazine published explicitly for the male gaze offer sexual liberation?

Defenders of Hefner and his Playboy lifestyle will say that the Playboy bunnies freely chose their destinies, were treated well and that Hefner provided Playboy’s Playmates with career-boosting exposure. But not all the models who appeared in Playboy went on to fame and fortune. A disproportionate number of Playmates have died young from drug overdose, suicide, homicide, or some other unnatural cause. When Gloria Steinem went undercover as a Playboy bunny in 1963, she found the models were forced into painful, body-contorting costumes, poorly compensated and generally treated as though they were disposable. Maybe the bunny costumes are a little looser in the 21st century, but they still promote a retrograde notion that women’s bodies look better when they’re forced into corsets.

Hefner, who is praised for promoting racial equality, hated feminists and pushed a heteronormative, 1950s view of gender division. In an internal memo in 1970, he wrote, “These chicks are our natural enemy. What I want is a devastating piece that takes the militant feminists apart. They are unalterably opposed to the romantic boy-girl society that Playboy promotes.”

Ahhh there it is.

What he means by “romantic boy-girl society” of course is the one in which boy is dominant and girl is subordinate, in which boy pokes and girl is poked, in which boy is any age from 12 to dead while girl is age 3 to 19, in which boy is an actual human being with an inner life while girl is a dolly with no brain. Yeah we are opposed to that understanding of women and men and how they can interact.

Remove the sliver, leave the beam in place

Sep 29th, 2017 3:39 pm | By

Tom “Air Miles” Price is out. If only he’d had the sense to hop on Amtrak he could have stuck around.

But don’t let them tell you this is Trump keeping his promise to drain that swamp.

Mr. Price’s job was on the line since the first of a string of reports by Politico on Sept. 19 about his extensive use of charter aircraft. Mr. Trump has fumed privately and publicly about Mr. Price’s actions, fearing that they undercut his promise to rid Washington of the sort of abuses that have soured the public on its political class. The president made clear on Friday that he also saw it as undermining his promise to save the government money, citing efforts to renegotiate contracts.

fearing that they undercut his promise to rid Washington of the sort of abuses that have soured the public on its political class.

Which is the more significant abuse – a Cabinet secretary chartering jets just because he can, or a president milking the job for every dime of profit he can get his tiny little hands on? Which is more genuinely corrupting? Which is more likely to skew the policies and actions of the government?

I leave it to your wisdom to determine.

Stand up, sit down, rah rah rah

Sep 29th, 2017 3:31 pm | By

Now US high schools are trying to force students to make the Approved Demonstration of Loyalty to a Song [or Piece of Cloth or Man With Strange Hair].

In Long Island, the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which runs a private Catholic school system, said students at its three high schools could face “serious disciplinary action” if they kneel during the anthem before sporting events.

Sean P. Dolan, a spokesman for the diocese, said on Friday that the letter, which was sent to principals, was intended to restate policy that the diocese already had in place.

But he added in an emailed statement: “Although the Diocese does not agree that demonstrations are appropriate in its schools during the playing of the National Anthem — which recognizes the tremendous sacrifices of Americans of all races, ethnicities and religions — it notes that students who seek to challenge racism and racial discrimination are firmly in accord with Catholic teaching.”

Which of course raises a separate question of whether or not education should be expected to conform to “Catholic teaching” in the first place, which I very strongly think it should not – but on the kneeling/standing question, I don’t buy this claim that playing a “national” song “recognizes the tremendous sacrifices of Americans of all races, ethnicities and religions.” I don’t buy the claim that that’s what it’s about. I think it’s a gesture of patriotism or nationalism, and nothing more than that. It’s far from confined to military contexts, so why should we think it’s about the military? Or maybe Dolan didn’t mean military sacrifices alone but sacrifices of any kind…but that would be an even more novel version of what singing a patriotic song is supposed to mean.

I think people are adding all these meanings to the song in order to justify trying to bully people over it. That makes it pretty circular.

“Respect the flag!”


“The war dead!”

“But it’s not about the war dead.”

“It is now!”


“Because respect the flag!”

In northwest Louisiana, Scott Smith, the superintendent of schools in Bossier Parish, said student athletes are expected to stand for the anthem. “It is a choice for students to participate in extracurricular activities, not a right, and we at Bossier Schools feel strongly that our teams and organizations should stand in unity to honor our nation’s military and veterans,” he said in a letter that was obtained by The New York Times.

But the supe’s personal feefees shouldn’t be a rule to the entire student body. Even his strong feefees shouldn’t. Schools are not the army, and students are not supposed to be under military discipline.

Waylon Bates, the principal of Parkway High School in Bossier City, La., a city of more than 60,000 people near Shreveport, outlined the punishment students would face at his school. He sent a letter on Thursday to athletes and parents saying athletes were required to stand “in a respectful manner” during the anthem.


Or they won’t be allowed to play.

“Failure to comply will result in loss of playing time and/or participation as directed by the head coach and principal,” the letter said. “Continued failure to comply will result in removal from the team.”

Just as Trump shouted on Twitter. Trump is controlling what high school athletes can do now.

When the issue is swept up into the public school system, as is happening in Louisiana, it runs up against students’ First Amendment rights and a Supreme Court ruling in 1943, which said public school students could not be forced to salute the American flag or recite the Pledge of Allegiance if it conflicted with their religious beliefs. That ruling involved a case of Jehovah Witnesses who were expelled from school for not reciting the pledge.

“The law does not permit schools to forbid students from to expressing their views, and all schools should be on notice that these policies are in fact unconstitutional,” Marjorie Esman, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, said in an interview on Friday.

The Supreme Court also touched on students’ right to peaceful protest during public school hours in 1969, when it ruled in favor of students who wanted to wear black armbands to protest the Vietnam War.

The 1969 ruling essentially said that students do not lose their constitutional rights to free speech at the schoolhouse gate, said Francisco Negrón Jr., the chief legal officer of the National School Boards Association. If a protest is not disruptive, public schools have to allow it.

Catholic and other goddy schools of course can be as authoritarian as they like. Since “god” is an authoritarian concept in itself, that’s often very authoritarian.

Nice little island you got here

Sep 29th, 2017 2:42 pm | By

Josh Marshall says it looks as if Trump wants to exploit the disaster in Puerto Rico in order to privatize everything. (Can’t you see it? Glorious golf resorts from one end of the island to the other?)

He keeps talking about Puerto Rico’s public debt.

Set aside the irony of someone who has made a career and a fortune out of skipping on his own debts pressing an embattled American territory on its debt obligations. This and other comments about the Puerto Rico crisis make it look very much like Trump plans to use the disaster as a wedge to enforce a massive wave of privatization on the Island. His comments, hints and overall attitude suggest he’s looking at the crisis not as a public emergency on US territory but more like the way a rival business looks at a distressed competitor that needs a rescue, with all the maximization of pressure and advantage that entails. For now, look at the comments collected together here. We’ll be discussing this more. This is a big, big deal, in addition to the obvious and immediate humanitarian crisis which is now unfolding.


While he’s stroking his fragile ego

Sep 29th, 2017 11:18 am | By

The mayor of San Juan doesn’t share the Trump administration’s cheerful view of its work in Puerto Rico.

[T]he idea that there was anything good about the news didn’t sit well with Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan. (Ms. Cruz is a member of the Popular Democratic Party, which advocates maintaining the island’s commonwealth status.)

After CNN played Ms. Duke’s comments for the mayor, Ms. Cruz called them “an irresponsible statement.”

Well, maybe from where she’s standing it’s a good news story. When you’re drinking from a creek, it’s not a good news story. When you don’t have food for a baby, it’s not a good news story. When you have to pull people down from their buildings, because — I’m sorry, but that really upsets me and frustrates me.

I would ask her to come down here and visit the towns and then make a statement like that, which frankly, it is an irresponsible statement. And it contrasts with the statements of support that I have been getting since yesterday when I got that call from the White House.

This is, dammit, this is not a good news story. This is a ‘people are dying’ story. This is a ‘life or death’ story. This is ‘there’s a truckload of stuff that cannot be taken to people’ story. This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen.

It’s more than a little bit narcissistic to shower praise on one’s own process while ignoring the actual outcome. “It’s good news! We got all our engines started!”

Paul Krugman has a column today on this self-centered quality of the Trump admin.

For the trouble with Trump isn’t just what he’s doing, but what he isn’t. In his mind, it’s all about him — and while he’s stroking his fragile ego, basic functions of government are being neglected or worse.

Let’s talk about two stories that might seem separate: the deadly neglect of Puerto Rico, and the ongoing sabotage of American health care. What these stories have in common is that millions of Americans are going to suffer, and hundreds if not thousands die, because Trump and his officials are too self-centered to do their jobs.

He starts with Puerto Rico.

There’s a reason we expect visible focus by the president on major national disasters, including a visit to the affected area as soon as possible (Trump doesn’t plan to visit Puerto Rico until next week). It’s not just theater; it’s a signal about urgent priorities to the rest of the government, and to some extent to the nation at large.

But Trump spent days after Maria’s strike tweeting about football players. When he finally got around to saying something about Puerto Rico, it was to blame the territory for its own problems.

The impression one gets is of a massively self-centered individual who can’t bring himself to focus on other people’s needs, even when that’s the core of his job.

I would call that not so much the impression one gets as the impression Trump creates. We’re not imagining all this. He really did publicly rant and rave about football players while saying nothing about Puerto Rico. He’s said repeatedly that Twitter is his direct line to The People, so that is the message he chose to send us.

A good news story

Sep 29th, 2017 10:55 am | By

Oh good, another heckuva job, Brownie.

“I am very satisfied,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke told reporters outside the White House. “I know it’s a hard storm to recover from but the amount of progress that’s been made, and I really would appreciate any support that we get. I know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane.”

Well, that’s because it takes a few days to die of dehydration and a few more to die of starvation. The deaths are expected to rise sharply as those few days tick by.

Tom Bossert, the White House homeland security adviser, expressed full confidence that the response effort is appropriately led and resourced and unfolding at a good pace.

“What I will tell you is that we are mobilizing and marshaling the resources of the United States of America in a way that is absolutely professional, fast, and adequate to meet the needs,” Bossert said alongside Duke.

“This is textbook and it’s been done well,” Bossert added later from the White House podium.

It’s only those silly people actually in Puerto Rico who don’t see it that way, and what do they know?

Duke’s suggestion that the federal response was a “good news story” struck some as tone deaf and reflected the perils of the Trump administration’s attempts to reassure Americans that the federal government is responding appropriately to the unfolding crisis.

Asked to clarify her comment that the government’s response to the storm is a “good news story,” Duke pointed to effective coordination between federal and local authorities and said there is “unification of command.”

Oh. Well that’s nice, I guess, but it loses sight of the actual goal, which is to keep people in Puerto Rico from dying in the horrible aftermath of the hurricane. It’s nice if everyone wears a clean uniform and all but it’s not really the core issue here.

President Donald Trump did not publicly address the situation in Puerto Rico on Thursday, but acknowledged a day earlier the difficulties of bringing quick relief to the island, calling it “a very difficult situation.”

“That place was just destroyed. That’s not a question of, gee, let’s dry up the water, let’s do this or that. I mean, that place was flattened. That is a really tough situation,” Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House.

One that he didn’t so much as mention in his official Twitter dispatches for several days because he was so laser-focused on the dire emergency of football players kneeling instead of standing for Our Patriotic Song.

Lesbianism explained at last

Sep 28th, 2017 5:20 pm | By

Oh yes, oh yes – a male researcher has worked out (to his own satisfaction at least) that lesbianism is something to do with pleasing men.

A new study that attempted to reveal the origins of lesbianism, is claiming that same-sex relationships in women only exist because it turns men on.

Published on Science Direct, the report by Menelaos Apostolou, a male professor at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus comes to the conclusion that lesbian and bisexual attraction all stems from male desire.

Well that does make sense if you think about it, because only men are actually human. Women are just simulacra, remotely operated from the planet Androcentro.

“My argument in the paper is this: A considerable proportion of men desire same-sex attractions in women, and this is one possible reason why many women have such attractions,” Apostolou told Pink News.

The study also suggests another possible reason for men being attracted to lesbian or bisexual women, is that if their partner cheats on them, they’re still in with a chance of having children.

Deffo. Say you’re a man. You don’t want Your Woman getting pregnant by another man, because kids are expensive, dude. What to do, what to do. Solution! You make it so that she has sex with women instead of men.

Ok but how? How do you make it that she does that?

With the magic of your mind, of course.

“A woman, driven by her sexual desires, may seek sexual contact outside of her long-term intimate relationship,” it writes.

“When this woman has sex with another woman she does not have sex with another man which translates into same-sex contact reducing the risk of cuckoldry.”

Totally. If there are any kids, they’ll be your kids, and thus the expense won’t be so irritating.

More of that civil rights icon stuff

Sep 28th, 2017 4:32 pm | By

Another charming Playboy cartoon:

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Oh ok, here’s 12.5 cents on the dollar

Sep 28th, 2017 4:18 pm | By

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, surprised and a little hurt at the reaction to his habit of chartering planes every time he wants to go anywhere, even if it’s to Philly and the train would get there faster, says he’ll pay us back for the cost of his seat. Not for the cost of the flights, mind you, just for his seat. That would be a fair arrangement if a seat had been all it took to get him there, but the point is that he chartered whole entire planes, so that’s what he owes us for, minus the cost of a normal ticket.

He says he would also like to keep his job, please.

In a statement released on Thursday, he said, “Today, I will write a personal check to the US Treasury for the expenses of my travel on private charter planes. The taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes.”

The expense for his seat on those planes comes out to $51,887.31, according to an HHS spokesperson.

Politico has reported that the total cost of the private jets Price flew on was more than $400,000 and included trips to places where he has friends and family. Price is not covering the cost for support staff and others who flew with him on those charter planes, staff who otherwise would have flown commercial.

But hey, he’s paying 1/8 of the cost, so can’t we just accept that and be grateful? Why are we so grudging?

“What the Secretary has done is say that while all of this travel was approved by legal and HHS officials, the Secretary has heard the taxpayers’ concerns and wants to be responsive to them,” the HHS spokesperson said. “That’s why he’s taking the unprecedented step of reimbursing the government for his share of the travel.”

Ooh, special! Only, the trouble is, all the chartering of planes to go visit family is also unprecedented, and it came first, and he’s not paying it all back. So.

In his statement, Price made it clear he hopes to keep his job. “I have spent forty years both as a doctor and in public service putting people first,” Price said. “It has been my personal honor to serve the American people, and I look forward to continuing that service.”

But he’s working for Trump, so it’s not possible to believe that thing about putting people first. Sorry.

Le pimp célèbre

Sep 28th, 2017 3:21 pm | By

Hefner threatened to sue Suzanne Moore once.

Journalists live in dread of such calls. I had called Hefner a pimp. To me this was not even controversial; it was self-evident. And he was just one of the many “libertines” who had threatened me with court action over the years.

It is strange that these outlaws have recourse in this way, but they do. But at the time, part of me wanted my allegation to be tested in a court of law. What a case it could have made. What a hoot it would have been to argue whether a man who procured, solicited and made profits from women selling sex could be called a pimp. Of course, central to Playboy’s ideology is the idea that women do this kind of thing willingly; that at 23 they want nothing more than to jump octogenarians.

Now that he’s dead, the disgusting old sleaze in the smoking jacket is being spoken of as some kind of liberator of women. Kim Kardashian is honoured to have been involved. Righty ho.

Ah well if Kim Kardashian is cool with it what more is there to say? She has gotten rich by selling herself like so much Wagyu beef, so she’s exactly the right person to decide.

The accounts of the “privileged few” who made it into the inner sanctum of the 29-room Playboy mansion as wives/girlfriends/bunny rabbits are quite something. In Hefner’s petting zoo/harem/brothel, these interchangeable blondes were put on a curfew. They were not allowed to have friends to visit. And certainly not boyfriends. They were given an “allowance”. The big metal gates on the mansion that everyone claimed were to keep people out of this “nirvana” were described by one-time Hefner “girlfriend no 1” Holly Madison in her autobiography thus: “I grew to feel it was meant to lock me in.”

They were given an allowance? Something tells me it wasn’t exactly a fair wage.

The fantasy that Hefner sold was not a fantasy of freedom for women, but for men.

It was never, ever, ever about the women. The women were just the stiffeners for the liberated men. The men were the subjects; the women were the means, the implements, the dolls, the apertures, the lagomorphs.

But this man is still being celebrated by people who should know better. You can dress it up with talk of glamour and bunny ears and fishnets, you can talk about his contribution to gonzo journalism, you can contextualise his drive to free up sex as part of the sexual revolution. But strip it all back and he was a man who bought and sold women to other men. Isn’t that the definition of a pimp? I couldn’t possibly say.

The headlines should all have read Famous Pimp Dies.

The man was a saint

Sep 28th, 2017 12:31 pm | By

The Washington Post just cannot rave about Hefner enough.

The actress Kat Denning remembered meeting Hugh Hefner at his famed mansion, where he was “very nice to my mom.”

Kim Kardashian said she was “honored to be part of the Playboy team.”

Larry King called him a “GIANT in publishing, journalism, free speech & civil rights.”

Pamela Anderson says he taught her everything important about freedom and respect.

visionary editor who for decades threw lavish parties at his home, the Playboy Mansion, Hefner lived a glamorous Hollywood life, sharing time and photo ops with a diverse cast of celebrities, civil rights leaders and journalists.

So glamorous! So much fucking of so many compliant young rabbits!

As The Washington Post’s Matt Schudel wrote: “From the first issue of Playboy in 1953, which featured a photograph of a nude Marilyn Monroe lounging on a red sheet, Mr. Hefner sought to overturn what he considered the puritanical moral code of Middle America.

“His magazine was shocking at the time, but it quickly found a large and receptive audience and was a principal force behind the sexual revolution of the 1960s.”

Yeah, because it’s puritanical to think women shouldn’t be viewed as fuck toys for the consumption of men.

While the magazine helped launch some women’s entertainment careers, it also outraged feminists who found his magazine’s depictions of women degrading.

Crazy feminists, right? So damn crazy. What’s degrading about it? What’s degrading about framing men as the viewers and women as the objects viewed? What’s degrading about this lovely snapshot?

View image on Twitter

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson noted that the magazine editor was a “strong supporter of the civil rights movement,” a part of Hefner’s legacy that others also wanted to highlight.

Because women are just meat.

Selling subordinate female sexuality

Sep 28th, 2017 12:16 pm | By

Samantha Berg wrote about the free pass Playboy got in 2004.

I attended Playboy’s 50th Anniversary Club Tour when it stopped by McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom because as a feminist writer I knew I wanted to do some sort of story around the event. What I encountered there was nothing unexpected; almost wholly white and young male attendees taking many pictures of the far outnumbered “bunnies” and female attendees.

Coverage of the event by Portland’s alternormal media was similarly predictable with lots of nudge nudge wink wink praise of the fifty year history selling subordinate female sexuality to male consumers and talk about how tasteful Playboy’s porn is compared to other types. Neither conservative nor liberal media had a bad word to say about Playboy Magazine and its influence on the not-so-tasteful porny saturation of American culture in 2004.

Smoking jacket. Brandy. Jazz in the background. Move along, nothing to see here.

For decades Playboy Magazine has published child pornography and incest materials which could cause “copy-cat” crimes, wherein consumers criminally act out sadosexual and child abuse scenarios. This is not my declaration, but the ruling of an Amsterdam court in 1994 which defended these statements made on a Dutch television station. When the station reported on a study by the U.S Department of Justice and said Playboy was facilitating child sexual abuse and incest en masse, Playboy Inc. sued for libel and defamation. Presented with the evidence of photographs, illustrations, cartoons, letters, and stories depicting positive portrayals of sex between adults and children as well as incest, the court ruled against Playboy in a case widely reported in the Netherlands but conspicuously unreported in the United States.

National pride.

The September 1988 issue of Playboy Magazine featured the article “The Child-Pornography Myth” by American lawyer Lawrence Stanley in which the harms of child sexual exploitation are downplayed as baseless hysteria. Playboy editors neglected to inform readers the article originally appeared in Paidika,The Journal of Paedophilia, and that Stanley specialized in defending people accused of child pornography. He was also affiliated with Uncommon Desires, a pedophile newsletter calling itself “the voice of a politically conscious girl-love underground.”

One year after his article appeared in Playboy, Stanley was accused of conspiring with photographer Don Marcus to import child pornography into Canada. Marcus is still a wanted fugitive and Stanley was acquitted on his lawyer’s claim that he did not know the suitcase he picked up from Marcus contained child pornography. Two years after his Playboy Magazine article Stanley was charged with “sexual aggression” against a girl in Quebec but Canadian officials never sought extradition.

Ah don’t worry about it, little girls love acting in porn movies.

There are numerous examples to draw from when making the argument that Playboy Magazine has often spread false information to advance its “sexual liberation” agenda. My intent is to open up the question among liberals as to why there is an almost complete lack of media criticism aimed at one of the most widely circulated magazines in the world despite evidence of misinformation and biased “expert” writers.

The complete record on Playboy Magazine’s unethical journalistic standards and role in facilitating child sexual assaults remains to be written as the will to investigate Playboy Magazine and other widely circulated porn publications remains curiously absent from the largest progressive media watchdog groups. Surely it is not at cross purposes with the First Amendment to honestly review and critique the content of pornographic magazines, and such self-imposed censorship by liberals does a disservice to the basic tenets of free speech.

There are also many rape cartoons.

“Civil Rights leaders”

Sep 28th, 2017 11:59 am | By

So I type his name into Google news and the top stories are:

Hugh Hefner, the Pajama Man

‘Godspeed, Hugh Hefner’: Playmates, celebrities, civil rights leaders remember the Playboy founder

Washington Post 7h ago

He sold women as if they were potato chips. He was not a beacon of civil rights unless you simply don’t think women are human beings.