The country that used to permit the performance of “Can’t Buy Me Love” on the grounds that it was a song critical of prostitution in the West has no problem pimping out its female athletes to soften its rather uptight image ahead of the Olympic Games. The salacious images portray female athletes in poses more typical of lingerie models, pole dancers, and strippers than skiers, curlers and hockey players.
Russian male athletes have yet to pony up to the cameras and bare near-all.
When asked how photos of nearly naked female athletes will quell the concerns surrounding the Sochi games, including “disputes about homophobia, world leaders refusing to attend, and mega-security at Sochi,” the response received was: “It is democratic to look at half naked women. Women are beautiful. Everyone likes a pretty girl. Which is why we send ugly ones to Siberia.”
Ed Snowden has leaked another trove of documents, and the Huffington Post is generating clicks with it. The upshot is that the NSA monitored the online activities of six people it characterizes as Islamist radicalizers. The NSA built up information on these Islamists’ porn habits, for the purpose of discrediting them.
WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency has been gathering records of online sexual activity and evidence of visits to pornographic websites as part of a proposed plan to harm the reputations of those whom the agency believes are radicalizing others through incendiary speeches, according to a top-secret NSA document. The document, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, identifies six targets, all Muslims, as “exemplars” of how “personal vulnerabilities” can be learned through electronic surveillance, and then exploited to undermine a target’s credibility, reputation and authority.
The NSA document, dated Oct. 3, 2012, repeatedly refers to the power of charges of hypocrisy to undermine such a messenger. “A previous SIGINT” — or signals intelligence, the interception of communications — “assessment report on radicalization indicated that radicalizers appear to be particularly vulnerable in the area of authority when their private and public behaviors are not consistent,” the document argues.
None of this is especially new. The allies built up extensive profiles and dossiers on Hitler’s private and even sexual life during World War II, and I’m sure the axis did the same to allied leaders. The Soviets probably had great fun building up files on J. Edgar Hoover and JFK, among others. They didn’t really have to build up a file on Ted Kennedy. Once he left a woman to drown, there wasn’t much they could expose that would have cost him his Massachusetts Senate seat. Maybe they could have run an op outing him as a closet Republican or something, but he was much more useful to them as a senator.
An attached appendix lists the “argument” each surveillance target has made that the NSA says constitutes radicalism, as well the personal “vulnerabilities” the agency believes would leave the targets “open to credibility challenges” if exposed.
One target’s offending argument is that “Non-Muslims are a threat to Islam,” and a vulnerability listed against him is “online promiscuity.” Another target, a foreign citizen the NSA describes as a “respected academic,” holds the offending view that “offensive jihad is justified,” and his vulnerabilities are listed as “online promiscuity” and “publishes articles without checking facts.” A third targeted radical is described as a “well-known media celebrity” based in the Middle East who argues that “the U.S perpetrated the 9/11 attack.” Under vulnerabilities, he is said to lead “a glamorous lifestyle.” A fourth target, who argues that “the U.S. brought the 9/11 attacks on itself” is said to be vulnerable to accusations of “deceitful use of funds.” The document expresses the hope that revealing damaging information about the individuals could undermine their perceived “devotion to the jihadist cause.”
The tactic of building up personal information on foreign enemies probably dates back, I don’t know, thousands of years. As long as humans have waged organized warfare. Sun Tzu would surely approve, and said as much when he wrote “Know your enemy.” We remain at war and we pay the NSA to conduct SIGINT on people who wish to harm Americans. That’s it’s job.
If you don’t know what twerking is yet, I’ll explain it one more time. To “twerk,” as the kids say, is not your average Jennifer Gray/Patrick Swayze dirty dancing. In fact, it makes their bump and grind look like the foxtrot. I was in Oklahoma last year hanging out with my cousins at a rodeo bar (yeah, I know it’s cliché but when in OK City, it’s A-Ok to go full-on cowgirl). I was beyond perplexed when I realized I brought my red leather cowboy boots down hard on some poor girl’s fingers on the dance floor. What were her fingers doing on said dance floor, you might ask? She was twerking. Imagine, if you can, what kind of position a girl must be in to have her hands on the floor and ass in the air, while gyrating around like an acrobat on LSD. It’s not pretty. In fact, it’s pretty ugly. I can tell you that I and the five other people I was with had a great time discussing and laughing (as was the guy she was twerking on, btw). No one thinks this is sexy. It’s a big joke. It’s as if the guys in the room (not men) are all waiting to see who they can fool into trying this “move,” which is nothing more than a scene from a XXX movie.
This video pretty much sums up how ridiculous and stupid people look while twerking.
So, what can you do about it, you who have daughters and a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach that they too might slide down the way of tongue-out twerking?
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the reports of wealthy Manhattan families hiring disabled individuals to pose as family members so that the guests could cut in line at Walt Disney World. Among the many comments I received disagreeing with me was one dismissing the claim as an urban legend.
The rides, the characters: Disneyland is “the happiest place on earth” — except if you’re waiting in those long lines, you and your kids, waiting hours in the heat.
So how did one family get to skip past everyone? They did it ride after ride after ride, escorted to the front every time.
It’s the outrageous business few even know about: families bypassing the lines by hiring disabled tour guides with special passes. At most theme parks like Disney, they have great policies: The disabled get speedy access to rides. But now healthy families are abusing the system, paying disabled guides to get them in with up to five guests.
On ads we found on Craigslist, tour guides brag about their disabled passes: “Let’s cut the Disney lines together,” “access to … special entrances.”
On the video — which you can view here — two guests who possess the special passes (and who both look quite able-bodied) took a producer and his family to bypass even the longest of lines at Disneyland.
First up was a guide named Mara, who said she got her pass after a car accident. “I’m here to make sure everyone has fun at Disneyland and we get on as many rides as possible,” she told us.
“And you have a secret weapon that’s going to help us?” our producer asked.
“I do. I have a special card that’s going to help us beat the lines,” Mara replied with a wink.
And she charged $50 an hour to do it.
Our second disabled guide, Ryan, charged our family $200 and got them right through another side door at Star Tours, an attraction inspired by “Star Wars.” “I cant believe we’re getting past everybody,” our producer exclaimed.
It’s hard to know if this video is a Spinal Tap style farce, or a freakish collection freeloaders glorifying the retrogression of human progress. They are living as humans in the west lived in the 18th Century, except without the work ethic.
They get free food, produce little, lounge around in tents, pee into hay bales, dumpster dive for food and beg. We know them here in the United States as hobos, bums and the people under the bridge.
One woman says “it wasn’t really a conscious decision” to live like this – how could it be!?
But they’ve adopted the “Eco” label. Eco-This, Eco-That, which buys good press for what is otherwise a shameful waste of time and talent. Their “Eco-village” dispenses with one of the most important human inventions to aid good health: sewage systems. The village represents an environmentalist crusader’s dream – humanity reduced to low impact animals with minimalists footprints. A side benefit, according to one Eco-Hobo, is a “peaceful solution to the problem of humanity.”
Isn’t it great when Marxists eschew the Saul Alinsky strategy of obscuring their unpopular objectives and instead return to the New Left tradition of openly stating their destructive goals?
Please, by all means, start telling us all about how you want to destroy each institution that sustains Western civilization.
Check out this fantastic piece at The New Inquiry by Madeleine Schwartz, “The Anti-Family,” lamenting that MTV’s Teen Mom show “does not attempt radical advocacy”:
In presenting these relationships in with dignity, Teen Mom acknowledges what it viewers may not wish to know: this is the shape of the family in America today. The show does not attempt radical advocacy, but it does understand that the most fundamental patterns in American life can’t be covered up. Teen motherhood, single motherhood, unmarried cohabitation—these are not plagues or social ills that pose a threat to the otherwise normal structures of everyday life. They are our new social reality.
What the show doesn’t get to is that this is a good thing.
There is nothing wrong with teenage or single motherhood. The things children need: economic livelihood, emotional support and an education, are not dependent on a nuclear family structure. Poverty is poverty whether it’s endured by two people or four. A couple cannot raise a child better than one can. Once we get rid of the idea that marriage is the privileged form of cohabitation and that women cannot raise children without the help of a man—ideas that the Left has been working to eradicate for decades—there is no reason that a teen should not be financially and emotionally assisted for her choice to have a family. The potential diffusion of the family (as the New York Times recently reported, it doesn’t look like the trends will stop anytime soon) is one of the most exciting things to happen to the American social pattern since sexual liberation. It means the end of what were just decades ago universal truths: every household must be headed by a breadwinning man; only when married will a woman have social value.
The problem is not teen motherhood. The problem is the legal system that makes the lives of teenage and single parents impossible. The shaming and belittling of teenage mothers is not just rhetoric: Teenage parents are actively discriminated against. Teen parents cannot receive financial assistance unless they live with their parents or marry. They cannot get welfare if they are not enrolled in an educational program.. In some cases, the state can deny all benefits to babies born to unmarried teenage parents. Welfare reform has taken money earmarked for families in need and diverted it toward programs aimed at promoting marriage and abstinence (For example: “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage”). All of this comes on top of the routine discriminations against single parents—higher insurance and tax rates, difficulties in obtaining housing and jobs—and those against the poor, who with the Hyde Amendment may not even have been able to abort if they had wanted. These policies were created with the explicit goal encouraging a two-parent model. They make any other option out of the question.
One almost reads stuff like this and wonders if it’s some Onion-style parody of Marxism. “The problem is the legal system that makes the lives of teenage and single parents impossible.” Translation: the real problem is that the United States has not fully implemented a wealth redistribution apparatus to subsidize teenage moms who “choose” to become single parents. Hmm… How might anyone manage that in the next four years?
I have written for The Believer, The New Yorker online, The New Inquiry and The Daily, among other places. My work has been referenced in The Atlantic and The Economist.
Until May 2012, I was an undergraduate at Harvard, where I studied ancient and Renaissance history. As a student, I wrote a column about women at the university for The Crimson, was an editor at TheAdvocateand worked for the head of the Harvard library. From 2010 to 2011, I was a Ledecky Fellow at Harvard Magazine.
I am currently studying at Oxford as a Henry Fellow.
I wonder how how much money Schwartz has spent on her education…
You know what’s so funny is, I actually think there’s a new feminism that is completely different and I don’t think either is better or worse. Any kind of feminist has valid views for herself about what it means to be a feminist, but, as a new-age feminist, I would say I quite like the transference of strength I feel by submitting to a man – being under him. I actually wrote a song about it on my album, it’s called GUY and it stands for Go Under You. So wearing make-up, smelling delicious and having suckable, kissable, edible things between your limbs is something I find strengthening because I know that when I pick the right guy, I can let him have it. Some women feel oppressed by make-up and clothing, and here’s to them, they have every right to feel that way as well.
Since the Republican War on Women meme gained full strength for the election season, we have seen Julia the faceless cartoon dependent upon government. Then came “Vote Like Your Lady Parts Depend On It” in the Obama campaign’s Tumblr feed. Earlier this week came a CNN article, “Do Women Vote With Their Periods?” Apparently we are slaves to our monthly visitor, so much so that if enough of us are not in our feeling sexy, ovulating phase, then Obama might have trouble with the women’s vote.
Both the Lady Parts and Periods items were pulled within hours of posting, and Julia had launched quite a backlash meme, so one might think that the Obama campaign would be cautious about patronizing women again.
Alas, no. The Obama campaign has plenty more patronizing to do, this time in a plucky commercial. Thursday afternoon the Obama campaign released this spot, “Your First Time.”
In case you are not familiar with the young woman telling voting virgins to have their first time be with Barack Obama, that is Lena Dunham, creator and star of HBO’s Girls. It is Sex in the City for millennials — all the sex and the single girl drama but without the cushy jobs to support the Manolo Blahnik fetishes.
Toddlers and Tiaras breakout star Alana Thompson a.k.a. Honey Boo Boo earned her own reality spin-off, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, this year. Now Comedy Central is turning the 7-year-old into a South Park character.
Cartoon versions of Honey Boo Boo and her mother, June Shannon, will appear in Wednesday’s South Park episode in which “Cartman discovers he has a rival in America’s Sweetheart, Honey Boo Boo.”