Censorship


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For Such a Time by Kate Breslin My rating: 1 of 5 stars Recommended for: Anne Rice; anyone who thinks that the dislike of this book is unfounded; bigots I’ve read many books that I could classify as “bad books” over the years, but this one is quite special in how awful it truly was. There was nothing enjoyable about Kate Breslin’s debut novel For Such a Time. First, let’s tackle something that was brought up repeatedly in the book and in its official descriptions. The lead female character Hadassah Benjamin (known through most of the novel as Stella Muller) has blonde hair and blue eyes. On the back of the copy I checked out of the local library, it is specifically described as, “her Aryan-like looks allow her to hide behind the false identity of Stella Muller.” According to the official description on Amazon’s app, the description starts, “In 1944, blonde and blue-eyed Jewess Hadassah Benjamin feels abandoned by God when she is saved from a firing squad only to be handed over to a new enemy.” On page 14 of the story, she is described this way, “Morty once told her that her beauty would save her–a “changeling,” he’d called his young niece, Stella’s blond hair and blue eyes a rarity among their people.” Early in the war, this might have protected her, but it wouldn’t have been guaranteed. When you consider that Werner Goldberg, the man who was literally the poster boy for the Aryan ideal, was expelled from the army in 1940 when it was discovered he was a “1st degree Mischilinge” and had to help his father escape a hospital in 1943 so that he wouldn’t be deported to Auschwitz, you can be sure that appearance wouldn’t guarantee the safety of a non-influential light-haired, light-eyed Jewish girl. And the supposed rarity of the trait is questionable due to the fact that now 32% of German-Jewish children also have blond hair. Brown (light and dark) and black hair each have slightly percentages than that. One would assume that the dark hair stereotype is just that, a stereotype. By focusing so much attention on the appearance of this woman who is also described as a savior, it is promoting a white supremacist ideal of beauty and moral value, while simultaneously justifying that ideal’s belief of punishing those who don’t fit their narrow standards of beauty. Somehow her beauty is able to trick Aric into believing that she isn’t really Jewish and that the papers that have been stamped saying that she is must have been wrong. Aric will eventually blame her for not telling him that she is Jewish and for not telling him that she did not support the Nazi’s cause. This is after he has seen her traumatized at the brutal killing of Anna while in a camp. He saw that this broke her spirit, but he believes she still might be willing to support Hitler and his group of bigoted, sociopathic thugs. Her beauty and position as Aric’s secretary also seem to convince every Nazi officer that she must be a prostitute. She even calls herself a “brazen hussy” when she is forced to kis Hermann in order to save the life of Joseph, Aric’s houseboy. And Hermann muses that she is a sorceress using her beauty to bewitch the Commandant into sympathizing with the prisoners. (Of course, Hermann also calls women weak-minded and mere vessels for man’s use, so he’s not exactly a great example of non-sexist thinking.) Another serious issue is the repeated use of rape and assault as a way to threaten Hadassah/Stella into doing things & the underlying Stockholm Syndrome-esque quality of the relationship between her and Aric. When she first meets Aric von Schmidt, she tells him that the Gestapo assaulted her in some way and suggests that it may have been a sexual assault attempt. He classifies their behavior as a prank. Twenty five pages into the book, he threatens her with being returned to Dachau while he tries to seduce her. She is reminded over and over that she is essentially his prisoner, that she has no true sense of free will or personhood, but that she should be thankful for his saving her and for his attraction to her. When she has a traumatic flashback in a nightmare around page 47, Aric expects her to be thankful that he’s moved her to Czechoslovakia with him, but he’s threatening her with being sent back. He even uses sexual innuendo in these conversations, while having no regard for the suffering that she has been through. All that he cares about is that attraction he has. And he tries to make that attraction seem more important than what he knows, as he witnessed some of it, she’s been through. He threatens her when she doesn’t want to do as he has told her, tells her he will send her to Dachau for not eating, forces her to eat food pork, forces her to type of the lists sending prisoners to Auschwitz, forces her to sit through meals as Aric and other SS officers talk about the benefits of slave labor in the camps and ghettos, threatens to kill people unless she kisses him, and forces her to agree to marry him. As I read the story, I saw his behavior as similar to Christian Grey’s behavior in the Fifty Shades series, only Aric was so much more vile. When the book started, Hadassah saw Aric as a “Jew Killer” and a potential threat to her safety. By page 82, she has begun to trust him, while knowing that he could turn on her at any moment if he found out who/what she really is. This is so reminiscent of Stockholm Syndrome. She is living in the home of an SS-Commandant and sees him as a good person who doesn’t really want to hurt Jews. She doesn’t recognize that he continuously fails to show real compassion for the prisoners in […]

Review: For Such a Time


Anyone who likes Christina Hoff Sommers should probably leave this blog. I see people talking about her debunking of the wage gap and her “equity feminism” beliefs without mentioning that she isn’t exactly the best source of what is good/bad economics- and equality-wise. Why? Well, her current job, for one. (Her previous job of ethics professor doesn’t really mesh with it.) Christina Hoff Sommers works for The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), which is a “think tank” for rich white people who don’t like to think. On AEI’s Board of Trustees, there is the totally equal ratio of 24:1 (men to women). That sure sounds like equity has already been achieved there. AEI’s interests aren’t in actual equality, but in fighting America’s “culture war” and reforming education, affirmative action, and welfare. They have also been advancing their causes of making sure all voters have photo ID (potential poll tax), doubting the reality that is climate change, opposing regulation of the financial system, opposing increases in minimum wage, and defending big tobacco. “Scholars” of AEI have written articles in favor of government censorship of art. I can almost hear the goose stepping now. When he was in office, George W. Bush appointed over a dozen people from AEI to senior positions within his administration and they helped promote his war machine. Reportedly, they offered money to scientists who would dispute a climate change study. They’re big on the whole “anti-lobbying” thing and I’m guessing that that’s because you don’t need to lobby when you’ve already got people in positions of influence within the actual government. Once upon a time, Kenneth Lay (of Enron fame) and Dick Cheney were on the board of trustees; Dinesh D’Souza is a fellow there. And its current incarnation has ties to both ALEC and the Koch brothers. AEI’s affiliate, Charles Murray, published The Bell Curve in the 1990s; it established IQ was a determinant of socio-economic status. But that’s not the only issue.  

IDGI: Christina Hoff Sommers Fans



It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. The easiest thing to do when you disagree with ideas promoted by LDS Church members and by the church itself is to leave. It’s what I did. There were a lot of reasons that I went inactive within the church, but one was that I found myself feeling more and more uncomfortable with what was being promoted. I admire Kate Kelly and John Dehlin for feeling able to stand up to the church and continue to go there while being threatened with disciplinary actions, including excommunication. I don’t think I will be going back any time soon. There are certain things that happened while I was active that I never felt comfortable with, as well as things that happened before I was a member that made me feel funny. Right after my mom joined, some members tried to pressure her into getting me to join. Because she didn’t, she faced some ostracism. When Stephanie was baptized, I wore a dress that may have been a little low-cut. I was 16 and a non-member. It didn’t show anything off, but there were comments about it. When I was doing my interview with a missionary and had to answer questions to determine my readiness, some of the questions included my chastity and if I’d had an abortion or helped someone else to get one. I hadn’t had sex and I decided that being adamantly pro-choice didn’t count toward helping someone get an abortion, but the questions made me feel funny. I was told within weeks of joining that I was basically bastard-born because my parents weren’t sealed in the temple. They were married. My mom converted to the church when I was about 10. My dad never did. According to the church, my birth is illegitimate. At an Institute lesson, within weeks of my joining, we were taught that any person who questions the church’s teachings in any way is like gangrene. They’re a gangrenous limb that can be cut off. It made me feel like I had no way of learning about the church. This man also said people who watch horror films are more touched by “the Adversary”, aka Satan; he also said that women’s positions as mothers made them equal to men in their roles as Priesthood holders. Another of his fun teachings, that is actually church doctrine, is that if you have to choose between paying for your medicine or groceries and paying your monthly tithing, you should always pick tithing because Heavenly Father will always provide for you if you do this. Technically, if you pay the tithing, the Church is supposed to help you get by with aid programs. They don’t always do that. And if they do help, it isn’t without even more strings. On the way to a regional (though not our region) YSA conference, shortly after crossing into Tennessee, the co-rep for the Stake’s YSA started calling Barack Obama “Korihor”–aka a Mormon anti-christ.1 The other people in the car agreed with her. Because of her position of power and my tendency in non-internet social situations to be extremely quiet, I just sat and listened to them. I was told that if I really believed in God and in the Church that my mental and physical health problems would be miraculously cured. When friends were talking about homosexuality being unnatural, I said that they were wrong. I brought up that I had 1 guinea pig that had been gay and 1 that had been bisexual, so I knew that homosexual behavior was a natural thing. I was told that was inappropriate to talk about. It seemed odd that it was okay to talk about it being unnatural, but it was horrifying for me to say it was normal. At that same conversation, these two friends were talking about the upcoming election. This was at Halloween 2008. They were talking about how one’s sister had told her class that she supported McCain and had heard little support for Obama. They were talking about how it was nice that so many people in the area were Republicans. They didn’t even know any Democrats. This was when I told them that I was actually a Democrat. They said that wasn’t popular in the church and I should consider changing parties. At the dance, the same member2 who had called Obama “Korihor” was in a costume that seemed to include blackface. She said it wasn’t, but it was pretty clear that she had blackened her face and taken on a costume of an underprivileged person so she could promote some pretty anti-black feelings. I contemplated talking to someone about her doing this at a church dance, but I knew that with the conservative leanings of local Mormons that I might be the one who would be disciplined for not respecting the leader of the group I was under.3 At 2 Break the Fast meals for the Ward’s YSA, there was some political discussion going on. Yet again when I just mentioned supporting another party, the discussion was shifted without any acknowledgement that I said anything. At a combined session of Relief Society and Priesthood, which rarely happens, the wife of the then First Counselor of the Church went on a little rant about how we needed to be especially good about building up our Food Storage because Obama had been elected. After giving a lesson on tolerance during FHE for the group’s YSA, I was unfriended by blackface girl. I also saw that she (and other YSA people) had “Facebook flair” that said gingers had no souls. Though I knew the reference was a South Park one, it felt a little personal. On Internet postings by Ward and Stake members in 2008 and 2012, people threatened to leave the country or suggested that the world was going to end because Obama was elected. Anytime he’s […]

Different Types of Courage




I have seen a lot of posts, not just the ones I mentioned yesterday, blaming the death of Christian Adamek on feminism. Why? Well, because the mistaken claims that he would have been charged with a sex crime were the result of “Chris was born with two strikes against him: (1) He was a boy, and (2) his battery was too big for his body. Too much energy, too much masculinity, the perfect feminist scapegoat”. OMFG, people. This is Alabama. If you think that feminism is a prevalent thing here in this state, then you are sadly mistaken. If you think that we have any sort of liberalized views on sexuality or rape or anything, then you are again sadly mistaken. Don’t believe me on any of this? Let me introduce you to Section 13A-12-200.2, aka the Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1998, which oddly enough was started by the State Senator for Madison County, where Christian was from. Section 13A-12-200.2 – Distribution, possession with intent to distribute, production, etc., of obscene material prohibited; penalties; distribution of fines. (a)(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly distribute, possess with intent to distribute, or offer or agree to distribute any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for any thing of pecuniary value. Material not otherwise obscene may be obscene under this section if the distribution of the material, the offer to do so, or the possession with the intent to do so is a commercial exploitation of erotica solely for the sake of prurient appeal. Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and may also be imprisoned in the county jail or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than one year. A second or subsequent violation of this subdivision is a Class C felony if the second or subsequent violation occurs after a conviction has been obtained for a previous violation. Upon a second violation, a corporation or business entity shall be fined not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) nor more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). (2) It shall be unlawful for any person, being a wholesaler, to knowingly distribute, possess with intent to distribute, or offer or agree to distribute, for the purpose of resale or commercial distribution at retail, any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for any thing of pecuniary value. Material not otherwise obscene may be obscene under this section if the distribution of the material, the offer to do so, or the possession with the intent to do so is a commercial exploitation of erotica solely for the sake of their prurient appeal. Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) and may also be imprisoned in the county jail or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not more than one year. A second or subsequent violation of this subdivision is a Class C felony if the second or subsequent violation occurs after a conviction has been obtained for a previous violation. Upon a second violation, a corporation or business entity shall be fined not less than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) nor more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000). (3) It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly produce, or offer or agree to produce, any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs for any thing of pecuniary value. Material not otherwise obscene may be obscene under this section if the distribution of the material, the offer to do so, or the possession with the intent to do so is a commercial exploitation of erotica solely for the sake of prurient appeal. Any person who violates this subsection shall be guilty of a Class C felony. (4) If a person is held under this section in the county jail, one-half of any fines collected and due to be deposited to the State General Fund for violations of this section shall be paid by the Comptroller to the general fund of the county where the person is held for the operation of the county jail. (Acts 1989, No. 89-402, p. 791, §4; Act 98-467, p. 893, §6.) This law is backed by Conservative Christians. It has been challenged by the ACLU and the owner of an “adult novelty” store called Pleasures. Adult clothing ends up being marketed as costumes. And you pretty much have to have a prescription in order to buy a toy legally in this tate. And guess what happens in strip clubs? Strippers have to keep their clothing on until they strip, and then they can only take them off if they have liquid latex covering their nipples. If feminists really had the upper=hand in state politics here, it would probably be legal for the citizens in this state to have vibrators. The state also might not try to pass draconian abortion laws that force trans-vaginal ultrasounds. (The lawmaker who was behind that was from North Alabama, too.) Feminism wouldn’t be to blame for this kid’s death anyway. I’ve never talked to a feminist who thought that a person who streaked at an athletic event needed to be charged with a sex crime. The only time I’ve heard indecent exposure referred to as a sex crime is when an adult man used to expose himself to small children as they would walk home from school. As far as I know, he did get charged with a sex crime. And feminism isn’t about oppressing men. I know a lot of people like to say that it is, but it really isn’t. Feminism is about equality. And I know there […]

Don’t Give Us Too Much Credit


“New Rule: The White House doesn’t have to release the dead Bin Laden photos, but don’t pretend we can’t take it. We’ve seen pictures of Britney Spears’s vagina getting out of a car. Television has desensitizes us to violence, and porn has desensitized us to people getting shot in the eye.” – Bill Maher, The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass


If you run a Facebook page, there is a way to delete individual items without deleting a whole thread of comments.  If someone is violating TOS, then you have an obligation to get rid of these posts.  This obligation does not mean that you have the right to delete benign comments.  In fact, when you delete all comments, it gives off the appearance that you are trying to censor the public. Much the same way that an individual can delete individual comments on their profile, pages also give you the option to only remove posts that you find to be offensive.  Instead of clicking the gear-shaped symbol on the page, you would just have to go to the comment that is believed to be in violation and click the “x”  that appears when you hold your cursor over that post.  See, it isn’t difficult.  It isn’t something that is impossible for you to do. If you continue to delete all posts when you should only be deleting a few, then you are going to inflame the public.  It is bad enough when people feel that the government isn’t listening to them, but when the “free press” is asking for their opinions and then deleting any opinion posted, people will begin to feel that they do not live in a land where they can vocalize their complaints.  It is odd when you participate in a mass deletion of posts, which could violate the right to free speech that many people cherish, but you complain about your own rights being violated when someone’s court files (including mental health records) are sealed.  If you’re really for the First Amendment, shouldn’t you be interested in protecting everyone’s rights? Because of a certain page determining that they had the right to delete any post that mentioned illegal immigration or cussed, I am now more annoyed that this post still exists.  The page went through and deleted comments made within a 24-hour time period, including ones that violated no Facebook rule and no laws concerning harassment, issuing threats toward another person, advocating discrimination, etc.  The page went further by threatening to ban anyone who they viewed to be violating their (non-Facebook endorsed) standards. The page did not delete his comments calling for a state-sponsored hunting party in every county which would be given “unlimited hunting rights to hunt them down and get rid od [sic] them.”  This is the equivalent of asking for the state to sponsor a lynch mob or a special police force that could legally kill someone here illegally from another country.  This would violate Alabama Code 13A-5-13, the actual violation has been bolded: (1) It is the right of every person, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability, to be secure and protected from threats of reasonable fear, intimidation, harassment, and physical harm caused by activities of groups and individuals. (2) It is not the intent, by enactment of this section, to interfere with the exercise of rights protected by the Constitution of the State of Alabama or the United States. (3) The intentional advocacy of unlawful acts by groups or individuals against other persons or groups and bodily injury or death to persons is not constitutionally protected when violence or civil disorder is imminent, and poses a threat to public order and safety, and such conduct should be subjected to criminal sanctions. (b) The purpose of this section is to impose additional penalties where it is shown that a perpetrator committing the underlying offense was motivated by the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or physical or mental disability. Violating this law in Alabama, which Mr. Hardin, a resident of the state of Alabama, is advocating is illegal.  If he actually were to go through with the crime he suggested (or someone else decided to go through with it after his advocacy of it), then he could be found guilty of committing a hate crime.  This crime could range from being considered a misdemeanor to a Class A felony, meaning he could receive a minimum of three months (misdemeanor) to no less than fifteen years (Class A felony). His call for a “hunting party” (lynch mob/riot) would also violate Alabama Codes 13A-11-3 (riot) & 13A-11-4 (incite to riot), which state: 13A-11-3: A person commits the crime of riot if, with five or more other persons, he wrongfully engages in tumultuous and violent conduct and thereby intentionally or recklessly causes or creates a grave risk of public terror or alarm. 13A-11-4: A person commits the crime of inciting to riot if he commands, solicits, incites or urges another person to engage in tumultuous and violent conduct of a kind likely to cause or create a grave risk of public terror or alarm. What was said by him was bad enough, but the fact that the news station refuses to remove it from the Facebook page, in spite of it violating state laws, is completely disturbing.  It is more disturbing that less volatile statements have be deleted left and right, including one that encouraged the station to look into the increasing racist sentiment in the area. Despite the fact that the comments made by Mr. Hardin violate Facebook’s Terms of Service, with specific violations of rules 3.7. 3.12, and 5.1, that page has not deleted the comments that are in violation.  These three violations are significant enough that they would fall under violations that can result in the loss of his account.  Not only is his comment violating the site’s TOS, but by leaving it up the Facebook page that it is on violates the rights of the persons who were included in Hardin’s diatribe.  That would be a violation the TOS rule 9.5 and 3.12.  The page also violates rules 8 and 9 of the Pages Terms.  Rule number 8 is violated by Mr. Hardin’s call for a lynch mob.  Rule number 9 is violated by that media outlet setting up rules that go beyond […]

Dear Media


[Trigger Warning: Sexism, racism, and telling someone to ‘go kill themselves’] Hey, STFUConservatives, Redlightpolitics, advocating censorship is a very feminazi thing of you to do; you’re both pathetic scum. Not only that, but you’re also idiots too stupid to see how easily a right-winger could use your argument against you; right-wingers can just as easily make a case to Tumblr that it is promoting left-wing extremists practicing Hate Politics. And you want to complain that he’s “undermining your rights” while you’re trying to undermine his First Amendment right? Really, cunts? Finally, for the record, MOST people on BOTH SIDES of the political aisle reject your racist, sexist notion of privilege; it’s only left-wing fringe radicals like you trash who buy into that nonsense. Do the world a favor: Go kill yourselves you feminazi twats. — Ryking Alexander Ryking (via stfuconservatives) Dear dumb fuck ryking; People on the left are aware of privilege. People on the right, consistently deny it. Feminism is not equal to a genocide, and you should kindly check your fucking privilege before you start talking shit about people who ACTUALLY DID FUCKING DIE IN THE FUCKING HOLOCAUST YOU IGNORANT TWIT. Now, kindly go fuck yourself, stfu, and gtfo. The end. (via stfuhypocrisy) There’s a difference between feminism and feminazism, and you’ve just proven which camp you’re in. Sieg Heil, cunt! You should take your own advice and STFU you racist, sexist hypocrite. And no, not all people on the Left believe in privilege. I’m living proof. — Ryking (via ryking) So I don’t think this guy knows what racism and sexism are (via angrybees) You summed up your entire worth in that last sentence. Go kill yourselves you feminazi twats. Ryking, you are an arrogant fool that is so deeply seeped into the cultural rot designed to maim independent thought, souls and bodies and subsequently destroy even the ones working for it. You do not win anything by lowering yourself to hate speech. The First Amendment does not protect hate speech. It doesn’t protect slander or libel either so if you or any other public official has yet to take that basic law class or grasp that concept that you have no business speaking about things you don’t understand. Otherwise, that’s a little something we call bullshit. Furthermore, about that last line, you’ve finally degraded yourself into nothing more than troll scum. Granted, you’re still human but one who thinks he’s somehow superior to everyone else around him. You have no fucking right to tell someone to go kill themselves. And what if they actually did? What if someone actually took you serious. What would you accomplish? What do you win when someone looses everything? In a world ruled by chaos and violence and suffocating in the stench of apathy that even you have helped to pollute, what do you gain by presenting a message filled with slurs and enough hate that wishes for another person to take their own life? You don’t win shit. Fuck you. Love, Taylor (via thecuntmentality) I’m wondering if Ryking is having some kind of personal issue.  Didn’t he used to at least try to be decent towards people he didn’t agree with?  Telling people to kill themselves or calling them “cunts” is unacceptable.  All he’s been doing in the past few hours is arguing and throwing barbs.  I know that he could claim that other people started it, but is that really a legitimate excuse?  If other people are saying things that you don’t like or that you’re offended by, you don’t have to resort to such bad behavior. Honestly, this behavior is not something I would’ve expected from his blog.

When Tumblr Editors Get Rage-y