The “Neighboring States” Game

OASASinfostats02-02New York has a heroin problem.  A bad one.  In the county I live in, the heroin problem is so big and so prevalent that first responders are being trained on Narcan usage, and in some areas it’s as required to carry as anything else in a standard police, fire, or EMS kit.  The kit has saved dozens of lives.  On a regular basis, stories can be found in the local papers talking about how Narcan is a savior, and praising programs to get it in the hands of first responders.

This is a good thing.

Narcan would not be necessary if heroin wasn’t a growing problem.  In Rockland County, Narcan training is now something the average citizen can get at various locations throughout the area and people are encouraged to get the training because it could potentially save a life.

The interesting part of this all isn’t that local governments have finally figured something out that might help people rather than tax them or put them in cages, although that’s a nice side effect.  The interesting part is that heroin is illegal in New York State.  In spite of that illegality, usage is not only constant, but growing.  As the graphic above notes, admissions for treatment (which only counts people who are seeking treatment, not the overall number of people using) has spiked in the past decade in spite of its illegality.

The penalties for heroin possession are stiff, as are the penalties for its sale.  There is no legal market for heroin in the state.

Above are two maps side by side.  On the left, New York.  On the right?  States that border New York.  Do you know what the green states and the red states have in common?  In all of them, heroin is 100% unequivocally illegal.  In all of them, heroin is a growing problem.

The heroin is coming from somewhere, but nobody knows where.  And it’s coming into states that have harsh penalties in a country with harsh penalties and no one can seem to stop it.  Sounds like a real problem, doesn’t it?

In spite of the fact that the heroin is coming from somewhere, you never hear a politician talk about “heroin trafficking.”

Now compare that to guns.

New York has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and New York City’s laws are even stricter, and yet day after day we hear about shootings in the city.  Strangely, New York City manages to be proud of being a very safe city (admittedly, it is) and at the same time, gun crime rarely raises an eyebrow.  Shootings don’t even make the front page of either of the two local papers any more.  They’re not, by any measure, a thing.

And yet when politicians do talk about gun laws in New York, they still talk about how they need to “enhance” them.  Or “strengthen” them.  Or “close” loopholes.  When you point out that there isn’t much more room to make things tougher, that’s when you get hit with the old common refrain.

“New York has strong gun laws, but surrounding states don’t, and they’re all coming from there.”

It’s a terrible argument, but gungrabbers will use it as if it trumps all other arguments.  In fact, just literally yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo begged the federal government to help him keep guns out of New York using that same specious argument.

Rather than securing the country’s borders to keep Mexicans out, Gov. Cuomo on Tuesday called on the federal government to protect the state’s borders by keeping firearms from entering New York.

“I’m not worried about Mexicans coming over my border. I’m worried about assault weapons coming over my border,” Cuomo said during an appearance on WNYC radio’s “The Brian Lehrer Show.”

“If you want to protect borders, start by protecting the borders of states and respect their gun laws, which this federal government and the (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) have been all but wholly absent on.”

Cuomo said despite New York passing its own gun control law in 2013 in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Conn., illegal weapons continue to flow from other states like Virginia and South Carolina.

“By definition this is an issue a state can’t do on its own,” the governor said. “That’s why the federal government has to act.

So what Cuomo is essentially arguing is that his pride and joy, the New York SAFE Act is not effective, and that without more laws, New York can’t be truly safe.

That argument, of course, is complete crap for many reasons.

Firstly, it’s established that the federal government cannot control any border anywhere ever.  Just ask anyone in any border town in Texas, California, Arizona or New Mexico.  People flout the border on a regular basis and, at best, it’s a symbolic border mostly patrolled on the honor system.

Secondly, trafficking guns is already a crime.  Buying a gun in any state and transporting it across another state’s border is a crime.  There are some exceptions, but few.  If I buy a gun in Virginia and bring it into New York, I’ve already violated the law (oddly, Virginia does not neighbor New York; which means I have to cross multiple states on my way in, nearly all of which prohibit the transport of guns in from out of state except in special circumstances).

Thirdly, buying a gun legally (which, by the way, most of these guns that are transported aren’t in the first place) with the intention of selling it in another state or in some other way giving it to someone else is a strawman sale.  That’s illegal.  Just ask Gabby Giffords’ activist husband how that works.  He caught a lot of crap after purchasing an AR-15 to try and sell to someone else.  Only after the furor over his actions did his story change, but the dealer put the squash on the sale within the waiting period (yep, the waiting period) because of Giffords’ activist views knowing the gun was being purchased to make a political point.

But let’s get to the heart of the matter.


If the argument that the gun problem in New York is due to the lax regulation of the states surrounding it, why is the heroin problem not discussed in the same manner?  I’d argue that the heroin problem, while growing, is more out of control than the gun problem, and yet heroin is not legal in any surrounding states and unless you’re living under a rock, you know that not all heroin in New York is locally made.  Transporting it in any way, locally or across state lines, is a crime.  There are federal, state, and local penalties for possession and for sale.  Heroin is highly regulated in the entire country.

And yet in New York, a state with the most draconian drug laws in the country, we have a heroin problem.

And in New York, a state with some of the most ridiculous gun laws in the country, we have a gun problem.

And in New York City, a city where a law-abiding citizen has essentially been law’ed out of owning a gun at all, there is still a gun crime problem.

What does this tell you?  Two things.

One: That both the drug war and the gungrabber movements simply do not work.

Two: Banning “things,” whatever they are, does nothing to stop them from getting into the hands of people and only turns average people into criminals.

In my next post, we’re going to talk about an interesting thought exercise that Adam Curry recently proposed on the No Agenda Podcast.  You won’t want to miss that.

US Propaganda Arm: The Hospital That Bombed Itself

I’ll bet you didn’t know the US bombed a hospital in Afghanistan over the weekend.  It could be because you were getting your news from CNN or the New York Times, the most reliable branches of the US propaganda machine.

Here’s how CNN presented the story Sunday

FireShot Capture 1 - Afghanistan_ 19 die in air attacks on _ - http___edition.cnn.com_2015_10_03_a

Notice the language.  “Air attack.”  “US investigating.”  A preponderance of vagueries.  CNN even mentions that there were US bombing operations running in the area at the time but never even bothers to point out that the bomb that dropped was a US bomb.  They then “enhance” the story by pointing out that it was out of the area, and so on.  They didn’t know who did it, didn’t report on it, but just in case it was “us” they’re already out to make sure it’s downplayed.

The New York Times contorted the English language even further.  Eventually the story was modified to include possible US involvement:


This “airstrike,” however, was known.  The “insurgents” don’t have planes.  At least the Wall Street Journal had the stomach to call the obvious what it was; a US bombing of a hospital.  Mistake or otherwise, the perpetrators of this “mistake” were not hidden from our eyes.

It’s very troubling when you see the propaganda machine in action.  It’s even more troubling when you take into account the subtlety with which it’s employed and the “trusted” figures it comes from.

Earlier we spoke a lot about what the new propaganda machine looks like and its subtlety.  I laid out a few examples of how the media has become a rubber stamp to the people in power, and how little they really care about getting to the truth of a story.  We all like to believe that in the “old” days this was the main reason for journalistic enterprises, but it’s becoming clearer and clearer with each passing day that the only thing that drives the media now is the agenda of the day.  Which social justice cause?  Which conflict?  Which -ism can they attach to someone to make the story hum?

Then there’s the part that has devoted its existence to protecting the powerful.  If you ever wanted to see what that side looked like and how much it pays to be the “right kind” of “leader” for the talking heads and flittering keys, you only need look at the presidency we’re living under right now.  One of the memes that keeps recurring with regards to the President is that he “ended two wars.”  If that’s the case, he has some explaining to do as to why the US military blew a hospital up in Afghanistan when the “war” was over.

A friend of mine recently related the story of a friend of hers.  One of her Facebook friends was arguing about what a great President Barack Obama has been and specifically mentioned that “things are so much better” and he “ended two wars” and “fixed the economy.”


He ended a war?

He isn’t getting that idea on his own, someone is telling him that.  Who?  The folks who have successfully managed to keep, almost entirely, armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan off the front pages.  The last we heard about them was that there was a draw-down and that the troops were “withdrawing.”  People were coming “home.”  Victory is ours!  Then, to make the point stronger, people like John McCain (who I have no love for in any fashion) were quoted regularly as being upset at the “retreat” and how we were “leaving too early.”  His over-outrage about “leaving” made the claims that the war was ending appear even more valid and yet right now, in spite of what you may have heard about the war being over, there are 3,500 troops in Iraq (give or take a few) and 9,800 troops in Afghanistan.

That’s the “end?”

But the media is careful in how they refer to these troops.  This isn’t the “War in Iraq” or the “War in Afghanistan” any more.  That was only what it was called under George W. Bush, particularly after his “Mission Accomplished” speech.


Ironically, in that speech he talked about the end of “major combat operations” specifically, not an end to all armed conflict in Iraq.  He was mocked mercilessly for that (deservedly, in my opinion) but if you think about it, a few years later, President Obama has coasted along as if the wars in the two countries were over, and yet here we are with over 13,000 troops between the two countries.

If the war is over, why are they still there?  Why are hospitals being bombed?  Why are soldiers still dying?  What in God’s name are we doing there at all?

The answer is that the war isn’t over.  It’s no more over now than it was when President Bush stood on an aircraft carrier deck and said major combat operations were over, but the allies in the media want you to believe it is because their guy is responsible now.

The voice of the opposition has been silenced.  The anti-war movement, in spite of the continuous conflicts going on, has shut down.  There is no anti-war movement.  The Nobel-winning President has involved us in conflicts around the world, drone bombed every country he could at any point he felt like it, and failed to extricate us from the two he inherited and at the same time we’re being told he’s the “peace” President.  A thinker.  An academic.  He’s not some crazy lunatic neocon like the last guy.  He’s different.

He is different in one way: his wars are protected, minimized, covered up, and justified at every turn.  He can do no wrong in the eyes of his media guardians.

We Have An Active Propaganda Department in the United States and No One Seems To Care

When we think of “propaganda,” there are definitely some connotations to it.  We think, usually, of World War II Germany or Soviet Russia where propaganda was not even called that, it was just “news.”  In Germany, propaganda was such an effective tool for shaping the minds of people that the allies actually employed similar propaganda tools.  In the United States, for example, posters imploring people to buy war bonds, grow “victory gardens,” conserve metal for the production of weapons, and so on.

WWII Propaganda Poster

It was an all-out war, being fought in the newspapers, on radio, and in official posters and the war was all around you.  The government couldn’t get away with it for long, though, as people grew wise to it, and eventually the outright rah rah propaganda fell out of favor in exchange for a more subtle form of propaganda: planted news.

While it has a rich and storied history, planted stories are not unique to the past.  In fact, we’ve come to learn in recent years that the government is not only still doing it, but is doing it in such a way that it’s barely discernible from real actual hard news.  Often you’ll see it as the alphabet networks will refer to the same story using the same terms.  Recently, the federal government under George W. Bush was very big on “Video News Releases.”  They were so reviled that a bill was authored in 2005 to try and counteract the practice of pre-packaging news stories for the news networks by the federal government.  Unsurprisingly, that legislation died in committee and never made it to a vote.

What made people so angry about Video News Releases was that they reeked of “propaganda.”  It was a scary word!  We shouldn’t do that sort of thing!  Even the GAO believed that Video News Releases were propaganda unless disclosure statements came along with them.  In 2004 and 2005, the government knew that they were setting themselves up for trouble.  In reality all that happened was that the propaganda went from covert to more covert.

Sometimes it’s a photo op where all the cameras for all the networks just happened to be in the same place at the same time and just happened to catch a politician doing something to humanize them (like the First Lady “surprising” a Target by going in to buy just a few things).

The First Lady at Target

The news media never cops to this, either.  This sort of thing is what they call “news,” now.  It’s newsworthy that the First Lady showed up at Target “unexpectedly” and “surprised” everyone.  No one knew she was coming except for one of the largest news organizations in the world, The Associated Press, (ABC and CBS ran the story into the ground) who, like good little lapdogs immediately snapped photos and shared her shopping trip as a human interest story.

This is the sort of thing that those who are “in the know” refer to as “soft news.”  It isn’t really “news,” in any sense of the word.  There’s no pressing issue, story worthy of note, or narrative that affects all of us.  In this case, it was just a human interest story, but it happened to coincide with an opposing narrative that Michelle Obama is cold and out of touch with every day people.  Her shopping like the regular commoners happened at a time when she was receiving very heavy flak for her anti-obesity campaign, which was soundly ridiculed by nearly everyone including students at schools who found the new “compliant” lunch menus to be inedible and unappealing.

The AP, however, made sure that they were there to show everyone just how in touch she was, and how she shopped at Target just like the rest of us.

Thanks, AP.

While this is mostly an innocuous example of the kind of propaganda we face on a regular basis, it isn’t always.  What if the motive is much more sinister?  More deceptive?

Let’s talk, for a bit, about the Benghazi attacks of 2012.  Within moments of the embassy attack, the media outlets in the United States had the motive clear.  It was retaliation for a YouTube video.  Without exception, every major news outlet ran with the story.  MSNBC (and by extension NBC News) not only went with that explanation but ran wall to wall coverage on just how bad that video actually was.  MSNBC stuck with that explanation for years until leaked documents proved the exact opposite.  Not only did the State Department know that the YouTube video had nothing to do with the attack on the US embassy, but was in fact planned ten days in advance of the attack.


To this day, people still insist that the YouTube video sparked the attack.  Why?  Because the news that it was planned well in advance never made it to the mainstream media until long after it was surpassed by other stories.  When it was combined with the poor handling of security at the embassy, Hillary Clinton called Benghazi “old news,” and like good soldiers, the media fell in line and dropped the subject entirely.  It was over.  Why?  Because Hillary Clinton said it was “old news,” and that was good enough for them.

But what if it wasn’t just the media following along on the “message” that the government was trying to put out?  What if agents inside the US government were actually influencing reporters and their reporting from outside the newsroom?  And even worse, what if the media were actively complying with it?

Now is where we really get into the meat and potatoes of the issue.  On October 1st of this year, an email was leaked from Phillip Crowley at the State Department.  It was addressed to “H,” (Hillary Clinton) and her inner circle at State.  Here’s what was said:


CBS has said that the emails weren’t true and Crowley was just trying to score points with Clinton.  Assuming that’s true (which, frankly, I don’t believe it is), why didn’t CBS run with that story?  If someone from State was trying to influence the reporting of a story and an interview with someone as high-profile as Julian Assange, isn’t that a story in itself?  Even if you completely buy the official CBS explanation of what Crowley intended, isn’t his action worthy of a story?

I sure think it is.  I imagine most Americans would think it is.  CBS, however, did not.  Were it not for a leak, we never would’ve seen this email.  That’s frightening.

Sometimes, though, we don’t even get to hide behind the backroom dealings.  In some cases, the propaganda machine is blatant, obvious, and overtly troubling.  Consider the President’s remarks after the shooting at Umpqua Community College.  In his feigned exasperation, the President exhibited what some could call some cocky arrogance as he smugly told the media…

“I would ask news organizations, because I won’t put these facts forward — have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks in the last decade, and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side by side on your news reports.  This won’t be information coming from me, it will be coming from you.”

Instead of the mainstream media reminding the President that he is not, in fact, a news director, they leaped to his side to help him make his case.  In what could only be called the most blatant example of the media going to bat for the President in our lifetime, they ran the stories (and most of the outlets that did didn’t even bother to provide any kind of critical analysis).

CNN was the least critical, providing a laundry list of Presidential talking points in their piece as fact.  There is not a critical word to be found in the entire piece.  The numbers are taken from the CDC, not broken down in any meaningful way, and a helpful graph is available which, CNN was so proud of, that they ran on their Facebook page.


Essentially their caption amounts to “We were asked, and we complied.  Yay us.”

The Washington Post was somewhat skeptical of the political point of the statement, but still did the research and tossed out a piece of flaming propaganda for all to enjoy.  In its piece, they added even more spin to the statement, including any strengthening they could of the numbers.  They even added extra credit to their homework by digging back further into older stats to buttress their point.  While they earn points for being skeptical in a token way, they lose many for the fact that they not only did the assignment as asked without question, but then did further research to make the point stronger (even with the skepticism added in).

In spite of the fact that The Washington Post does nothing to explain what “gun violence” is (whether it’s one on one crime, self defense, police shootings, suicide, etc.) they arrive at a conclusion that, unsurprisingly, is right in line with the teacher’s:

There are a lot of other factors that can be overlaid here to add some gray space: preventability, trends, definitions. Regardless, it’s clear that terrorism holds an outsized role in political debate for the demonstrated threat it poses to American citizens. It’s less clear, using solely the metric of annual deaths, that gun violence should then necessarily be the first priority.

Yeah it’s less clear, but we all know what you’re saying.  While you’re making a nice point about the specifics of the gun number, you’re at the same time downplaying terrorism.  If you move a see saw by making one side lighter or one side heavier, you’re still moving the see saw in your desired direction.

Then there’s Vox Media.  Liberal to the bitter end, and largely considered to be the next big media outlet.  Reliably in the back pocket of the President since its inception, Vox has no qualms about doing their homework.

Presented as a news story and linked to from his Twitter account, Zack Beauchamp bragged about doing his assignment.

In it, after gushing about the President’s “impassioned” speech, he made sure to praise the President for his statement:

“The point Obama is making is clear: We spend huge amounts of money every year fighting terrorism, yet are unwilling, at the national level, to take even minor steps (like requiring background checks on all gun sales nationally) to stop gun violence.”

The narrative that we don’t address gun violence is a common refrain, and it’s still untrue.  For instance, Beauchamp here calls for background checks completely ignoring the fact that there was nothing in this man’s history that would’ve set one off, his guns were all purchased legally, they were purchased from a federally licensed firearms dealer (which was how they were found to be purchased legally in the first place) and none of the guns violated any laws.

Even though he went to bat swinging at every pitch and got everything wrong aside from the raw numbers, his homework assignment and the thoroughness with which he completed it, earned him a Tweet.


I’m sorry, but if you’re in the media and the President is thanking you for the way in which you framed a story that he told you to write, shouldn’t you be horrified?  A real journalist would be.  Then again, a real journalist probably wouldn’t have done the assignment to begin with.

But a propagandist would!

The time is now and more than ever to pay all media stories the skeptical eye they deserve.  We are being spun, and it’s happening with reckless disregard for the truth or journalistic integrity.  When the White House can plant a story and mainstream media outlets not only run with it but work to make the point stronger, there is a serious integrity issue that should immediately turn us away from what we’re reading.

It’s become cliche to say you shouldn’t trust the mainstream media, but if recent incidents are any indication, that’s a cliche I’ll be more than happy to take into my heart and make a way of life.

Why We Need a Men’s Rights Movement, Like It Or Not

Why We Need a Men’s Rights Movement, Like It Or Not

Left-wing progressive social justice warriors will always argue that men, particularly of the caucasian variety, do not need a “rights movement.”  In fact, they often mock the idea as being the product of the demented minds of a bunch of knuckle-draggers who have nothing better to do than keep brilliant smart talented women down.  At the same time as women complain about things that don’t exist (like the favorite lie of getting paid $0.70 for every dollar a man makes) there is something even more startling going on in this country that’s getting very little play: men are actually demonstrably being treated differently by the government and its systems, and we’re A O K with it.

Let’s start at the beginning.  In spite of the argument by feminists that they simply want equality, they are making no effort to be equal in certain areas.

tumblr_n6sc47yacz1s8seg1o1_1280The chart above represents every service offered by the government that can be denied to males 18 or over for not registering with Selective Service.  At age 26, they lose all opportunity to register and cannot ever receive these benefits.  Women, however, are never kept from any of these things, nor are they ever required to register for the draft.  One attorney (one who, admittedly, I find annoying but who I agree with here) is trying to change that but can’t find any of the equality crowd to try and get in on the suit.  Surprised?  Of course you’re not.  I’m not, either.  The equality crowd would never stand for equality in this case, would they?  So instead, men must become wards of the state at the state’s whim in order to avail themselves of the benefits provided to taxpayers while women can simply receive the benefits solely by benefit of existing and, I might add, while they continually argue for “equality” and being allowed to hold front-line positions in the military; the same military they’re not required to submit to should there ever be a draft.

It wouldn’t be so bad, however, if this was the extent of the inequality, but there are examples of it being far worse than this and more systemic.

In case after case, women are given lighter sentences for crimes where male offenders would have the proverbial book thrown at them.  Time and time again, in case after case, women will commit an act of sexual assault, then serve little to no time.

Take, for instance, the case of Andrea Mears.  Suspecting Austin Haughwout was trying to film people on a beach in Connecticut with his drone, she assaulted him.  She pinned him to the ground, stuck her fingers in his mouth, groped him, and took some big swings with the arm that wasn’t holding him down.  When the police came, they were set to take her word on the story until Haughwout produced video that clearly showed that Mears was the aggressor.  Her punishment for this assault?  Probation.

Or maybe you’d prefer to hear about a Lancaster lunch lady who was convicted of having sex with two boys, both 17 years old, and both special needs children.  Her sentence was a possible 180 days.  She got 3.

Or maybe you think there’s a chance that Hachat, the woman from the story above, actually didn’t do anything wrong and it was consensual, so let me introduce you to Charlotte Parker, a teacher from the UK.  She had a two-year affair with a 14 year old student, an age well below the age of consent in every civilized country in the world.  She plead guilty to sexual contact with a child, but copped a “depression” plea.  Her penalty?  10 years on the sex offender list, a lifetime ban on teaching, and a suspended sentence.  No jail time whatsoever.

Maybe you would like a really obvious and disgusting example of bias when it comes to female offenders.  How about a married couple who got a 15 year old babysitter high, then had sex with her?  That surely couldn’t be more cut and dried, right?  In fact, in this case, the husband of the couple only watched.  The wife had actual intercourse with the babysitter.  The sentences?  3 years for her, 4.5 for him.  It isn’t even like they’re different cases in similar circumstances: this is the same case, the most vile part of it done by the woman, and she still gets a lighter sentence.

Or maybe you would like to hear about a coach abusing players on a basketball team.  Oh, but don’t worry: this is a female coach and a male student.  Megan Mahoney is alleged to have committed criminal sexual conduct with a 16 year old student and faces 30 counts of Statutory Rape.  She was released without bail pending trial.  She goes to court again on December 2nd, but notice how you barely heard about that story and how there’s next to no outrage over it?

Not a bad collection of stories, is it?  It’s ironic that we’re still talking about “equality” like it’s some high-minded goal we’re all seeking, and yet I don’t see one single feminist arguing that any of these women should be sentenced more harshly.  Not. A. Single. One.  And if you need proof that these stories are treated differently, check out the wording when the teacher is a man.


He didn’t “have a relationship that was inappropriate,” my friends.  He molested those boys.

But it’s worse than just some incidences of inappropriate touching and the crappy punishments and idiotic reporting of them.

A while ago I wrote about a piece of trash on the internet named Frogman.  Frogman made big waves when he came out a few months ago, after the Berkeley shooting, said that the idea that men dared defend themselves and not accept their summary judgment, was crazy, telling men that they should imagine the situation if a bowl of M&M’s had 10% of their number poisoned, then take a handful.  The idea, in his mind, is that if you think men aren’t all dangerous predators, you should still have to be judged because some others might be, like it or not.  I demolished that argument here, but I’m bringing it up again because Frog Man is out and about, yet again, being a hypocrite.

In a thread on his blog about victims, watch as he turns sexual harassment and assault into victim blaming with such ease it would make the happiest spinsters in Washington DC Blush:



This is the guy who’s so pro-women that he thinks no men are to be trusted, and yet here he is clearly victim blaming, but this is nothing new, and male victims of this sort of thing are often blamed, belittled, or minimized by a society that simply doesn’t give a damn enough about men to even offer services to them should this kind of thing.

Before I go any further with this, it’s important to note that I don’t necessarily think governments should be providing these services at all to anyone, however if they are going to provide them, they should provide them to everyone. That isn’t showing any sign of happening any time soon, either.  In fact, according to a recently-released NIH study, not only is that not happening, but the exact opposite seems to be happening and men are getting the short end of the victim services stick.

The study sought to examine how men who were victims of IPV (intimate partner violence) felt with regards to the services offered to male victims and how they were treated throughout the process.  Some eye-grabbing facts were made apparent in the study, which is the largest ever done of its kind (302 samples of male victims of IPV).  Here are some of the highlights (if you can call them that).

  • Statistics show that men are as often the victims of IPV as women, but because of societal and systemic biases the help is often hard if not impossible to find.
  • Men who called domestic violence help lines were often told that they could not receive assistance, that it was only available for women, or they outright accused the men of being the aggressors.  Some men seeking help were referred to batterer’s programs (programs designed to help batterers stop).
  • Male victims who were fathers lost custody of their children to the battering mother even when evidence corroborated their story.
  • “In 54.9% of cases, the partner was determined to be the primary aggressor. Among those 62 men, 41.5% said the police asked the helpseeker if he wanted his partner arrested; 21% reported the police refused to arrest the partner, and 38.7% indicated the police said there was nothing they could do and left. The coding of the qualitative accounts found that 25.4% of the men told stories of the police doing nothing and ignoring or dismissing them.”

You can read the study here.

What’s shocking about this, to me, is that we continue to see a push for more services for female victims, while it’s increasingly clear that men are not only regular victims of the same violence, but that because of societal norms, they are not treated equally when it comes to seeking help.

I guess that shouldn’t surprise me, however, because as soon as you bring up the topic, people get hyper defensive.

A few months ago a bunch of celebrities got together to make a video decrying domestic violence, only instead of decrying domestic violence, they turned it into a PSA about violence against women.  It’s normal to see those two things (domestic violence and violence against women) used interchangeably, which essentially erases any male victimization whatsoever and frames the issue as men assaulting women.  I wrote about it then and called it a missed opportunity to shed light on all victims of domestic violence, male or female.  When a relative posted the video on Facebook, I chimed in because I felt that while the video was good, it was a missed opportunity.  I was immediately shouted down.

Dustin Hausner - All women deserve respect and to be treated with... (1)

Notice the tone and the inherent biases in what she says?  “The overwhelming majority of sexual assaults are man against women,” in spite of the article linked right above her comment saying that not only is that not true, but the numbers are almost equal.  Once I pointed out that the video would’ve been more meaningful had it been more inclusive, she turned to mockery and straw-men, proving that in the end, she had no argument and her position was not backed by meaningful research or facts.  She chose, like most others do, to take the tack that if you’re arguing that we have a problem in the lack of support systems in place for men, you’re clearly saying women have it easy and benefit from being assaulted.

I don’t know if she truly believes that or if she was being hyperbolic to make her weak emotional argument stronger, but in the end, her attitude is the pervasive one, and the difference is only a matter of degree.  I would love say she’s the only one that feels this way, but I’m not able to.  In fact, not only am I not able to, but I can find an even more egregious example.

Ray Rice, running back for the Baltimore Ravens, was roundly attacked in the media for assaulting his fiancee (at the time) Janay Palmer.  His actions, along with other cases that came to light at the time, caused a major uproar in the sports journalism game where it was alleged that this was a deep problem covered up by teams and leagues and that professional athletes shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this just because they’re famous, a point I find valid.

However, it’s clear that the people calling for “no special treatment” for professional athletes didn’t really mean it.  At the same time this story was percolating around the water cooler, another story started making the rounds.  In a cut-and-dried case of domestic violence, US Women’s Soccer player Hope Solo was arrested for a domestic violence incident involving her nephew and sister.  She has suffered no ill-treatment for her actions.  She has not lost an endorsement deal, not been suspended, and if you merely mention her name in a conversation about domestic violence, something she will stand trial for, you’re persona non-grata, something Roland Martin learned very quickly.  According to Mediaite:

Citing ESPN “lauding” Solo during a women’s soccer highlight reel, Martin asked, “Domestic violence is a national issue, should we not be questioning why Hope Solo is still playing on the women’s soccer team, and Nike — who dropped Adrian Peterson — has said nothing about Hope Solo?”

“Whoa,” panelist Katty Kay interjected. “I’m a little skeptical of that. Look, that’s one example of one woman beating another woman, with countless examples of men beating women.” She added that Solo should face the same “retribution” as her male counterparts, “but let’s not try and use that as an example to suggest that women are as guilty of domestic violence as men are.”

Ms. Kay, we don’t need that as an example.  We already have statistics to prove it.

What’s ironic is that for the whole conversation, Kay and others were rampantly vigorously against domestic violence, but that was when the aggressor was a man.  Make the aggressor a woman and, well, you see the result.

All of the collected research, double standards, and abuse stories I posted can only draw one conclusion as far as I’m concerned: we need a men’s rights movement.  Not because men don’t have enough power in society or because women need to be kept down from the advances their making.  Simply because the double standard in treatment that created the feminist movement to begin with has now swung so far into the over-compensating end on the other side of the spectrum that it should give us pause.

When I hear feminists argue that they want equality, I have hope.  I’ve met a lot of feminists (real ones, not the social justice warriors who get all the attention) who recognize that being the oppressor isn’t the same as victory or equality.  The problem is that the discussion on men’s rights and equality has been taken over by radfems on one side who think all men are scum (particularly “white cishet males”) and a compliant and terrified media that cowers every time they hear the name Gloria Steinem.  We’re told time and time again that men control the “power structures” and that women are “systematically discriminated against” and yet, when we step outside the “everyone knows” idea of what that means, we often find that the grass is greener crowd simply isn’t taking a fair look at both lawns.

We need a men’s rights movement as much as women need real honest feminism.  The two do not, by default, conflict, and equality is a great goal.  Maybe one day we’ll stop discussing issues in terms of “everybody knows” and start discussing them in terms of the reality on the ground so that we can really achieve equality that’s thorough and benefits everyone.

Ebola Kills Journalism In Syracuse

Ebola Kills Journalism In Syracuse

In this modern world where we rely so heavily on journalism and the media and we consume it in so many different ways, we would hope to have some integrity from journalists.  Unfortunately, we’re getting less integrity and more hyperbole, and if we want to know where it starts, we can look no further than journalism schools because a shockingly uninformed thing occurred last week at Syracuse University and we can all stand to learn from it.

After spending extended time in Liberia documenting the Ebola epidemic there, Michel du Cille was invited to Syracuse University to speak about what it was like but instead of being allowed to speak, du Cille’s invitation was revoked due to the panic over Ebola.  In explaining her panicky actions, the Dean of the school said the following:

I have a responsibility to faculty, staff and most importantly, our students – and their parents. While I don’t want to contribute to the fears about the disease, I believed we needed to exercise due caution. I also knew at least one student was already worried about his visit and that those concerns would quickly spread to other students (and then their parents), as well as staff and faculty. We did not want to create a panic.

Unfortunately, Ms. Branham, that’s exactly what you did.  You’ve stoked the fears and created a panic and you’ve legitimized people’s panic over something they will most likely not be exposed to in the near future.

The problem with her argument, that she was simply exercising due caution and avoiding a panic, is that you could make that argument in basically any circumstance after making an irrational decision.  You could react, make bad decisions, or do something overtly stupid any time you want as long as you’re avoiding a panic.

Is that the kind of journalism we want to teach?  Like it or not, this attempt to avoid a panic is doing exactly that: teaching that you simply allow fear from others (Branham said she was worried about others but never expressed that fear herself) to force you into making decisions you don’t agree with.  That sounds to me like a recipe for disaster when it comes to journalists.

Consider this: Had the Wikileaks and Edward Snowden revelations not been made public out of fear of the panic they would create, would that have been good for society in general?  I’d argue of course not, and so should any journalist worth their salt that isn’t being bought off by a politician in some way.  That’s what real journalism is supposed to be.  Instead, what journalism seems to be becoming is two things: How to get eyeballs with sensational headlines, and how to blow people’s minds with panic over things they really don’t need to panic about.  That, to me, is not journalism.

CNN has finally scaled back its wall to wall panic coverage, and has stopped trying to turn everyone into quivering corner dwellers…


An epic overreaction.  I wonder where that reaction was fomented, though?  If you look at the bullet point list of stories, it talks about how the fear of Ebola has put a bridal shop in chaos.  One of the people who contracted the virus in the US visited a bridal shop.  That bridal shop is now having problems with business due to her visit.  Why are people panicking?  Because for weeks and weeks up until maybe this very headline, CNN and others have been fueling the fear.  How did it reach the US?  How was this person allowed on a plane?  How many people do you incidentally come in contact with that might have had it?  Facts went out the window a long time ago in an effort to internalize the story for people watching soundbites on CNN.

It’s very similar to the way the coverage of earthquakes go when you live in New York.  Every time there’s a major quake in California, invariably a local news outlet will run a story on what would happen if there was one in New York and how much damage it could do.  The answer, of course, is tons of damage, but the reality is that New York is at a very low risk for earthquakes.  None of that matters, though.  The “journalists” at our local news outlets tend to be of the mindset that if they can’t tell you how an earthquake in California can directly affect you and your life in the immediate local sense, you aren’t smart enough to be empathetic and care for your neighbors on the left coast.

You can apply this same logic of “what if it happened here” to major hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and so on.  It’s all interchangeable fear at this point, and it can all be justified as “we’re not trying to make you scared, we’re trying to make you aware.”  In reality, they’re “making you aware” of things that you have the most minute chances of ever having to deal with in the hopes that in your fear of it happening “here” you’ll tune them in.

“Just trying to avoid panic,” they say.

Ducille wasn’t taking this panic quietly, telling News Photographer Magazine

“I am disappointed in the level of journalism at Syracuse, and I am angry that they missed a great teaching opportunity. Instead they have decided to jump in with the mass hysteria.”

Unfortunately, Mr. Ducille, that’s their game.  Mass hysteria.  That’s what draws eyeballs.  Jeff Jarvis, who I admire greatly when it comes to journalism, said the following.


Indeed.  Turn them off.  Expose your kids to journalism instead of hysteria.  Let them choose if they want to be at the talk or not and let their own fears be their guide, but certainly a school of journalism should not shy away from truth in the face of unsubstantiated and unnecessary panic.  Doing so will almost certainly have one victim: the truth.

Careful Katy, Your Confirmation Bias Is Showing

Careful Katy, Your Confirmation Bias Is Showing

Confirmation bias is a powerful thing.  We’re all guilty of it at one point or another, but some of us refuse to even admit we have it or have done something because of our own biases.  Katy Conrad is a perfect example of confirmation bias in action.

In a tweet from October 16th, Conrad couldn’t help but take a shot at Senator Rand Paul for a comment he made about Ebola.


#uhmm indeed, Katy.  In fact, this tweet is pretty embarrassing.

For one, Conrad is a “journalist” for CBS who “lives for #breakingnews.”  Well that’s great, Katy. It’s a shame you haven’t learned what “journalism” actually is, because you didn’t bother to fact check something that is common knowledge.  Rand Paul has been an opthalmologist for 20+ years.  That’s a medical doctor, meaning he went through med school.  He also had to go through additional certification and an internship.  Rand Paul isn’t some hack spewing nonsense, he’s a real deal 100% doctor.  Everyone knows this.  Well, everyone except for Katy Conrad.

Katy Conrad thinks that someone as stupid as a Senate Republican has no right to comment on medical issues, or she’ll hit them with a great big #uhmm because, well, you guys, she’s Katy Conrad and she’s in love with the world and a total journalist you guys.

So as could be expected from someone employed by the organization that fabricated documents to embarrass a former President, Conrad deleted the tweet (apparently this “journalist” hasn’t learned that the internet has a permanent memory) and then posted this after the firestorm really got going…


Poorly researched?  I’m just kinda curious as to what kind of research led her to making a determination on Rand Paul’s ability to comment on medical issues but didn’t also help her arrive at the conclusion that he was, in fact, a doctor.  She is a journalist, after all, so you would think research would have been more fruitful?

No, Katy, this wasn’t a “poorly researched tweet.”  It was a non-researched tweet from someone who sees “Republican” and goes “Too stupid for science” and then, using the power of confirmation bias, makes a statement so ignorant that only a left-wing nut working for a left-wing media outlet could possibly dismiss it as an “oopsie.”

This is confirmation bias in action.  Conrad believes a Republican like Rand Paul is a stupid anti-science fundamentalist, so when he says something she doesn’t think is true, she immediately siezes on the moment to make her “point” of how stupid he is.  The problem, at least in this case, is that her bias showed her to be, basically, an idiot, who didn’t bother to do anything other than take the opportunity to smack a guy she doesn’t like for his party affiliation.

We’ve seen this many times in the past.  On many occasions, for example, Sarah Palin (who I’m no fan of, believe me) would catch hell for every dumb thing she said, but when things were examined further, it was often discovered that she wasn’t even wrong.  The corrections rarely made the media.  The facts never really mattered.  That they could portray “stupid Sarah” as “stupid” was really all they cared about.

Consider her statement about death panels in Obamacare.  She explained what she meant, that there was going to be a board that would examine the financial feasibility of a medical procedure and decide whether or not it would happen.  Everyone mocked her and pretended she was comparing it to the Spanish Inquisition.  In the end, not only was she right, and she had read it correctly (unlike her critics which didn’t read the bill at all) but certain parts of Obamacare were changed afterward and the same media that mocked Palin’s remarks and called her stupid for them unironically reported that the boards would be disbanded in updated legislation.

Or the time she said she wanted to party like it’s 1773 and was jumped all over with stomping rage because, as we all know the country was “born” in 1776, except that isn’t what she was talking about.  She was talking about the Boston Tea Party which, indeed, did happen in, you guessed it, 1773.  “Stupid Sarah” was right again.  Her critics were wrong.  Again.  And yet nobody held them to task for their clear confirmation bias.

Or how about the time that Sarah Palin, on the spur of the moment, couldn’t name a specific magazine she read?  Man, that story sure was important.  Look how stupid she is!  She doesn’t consume mainstream media voraciously!  Unlike Joe Biden who told us that the reason the country didn’t panic during the stock market crash in 1929 was because FDR took to the television and told Americans what was going on.  The problem, of course, is that FDR wasn’t President in 1929, and TV wouldn’t be invented for another 10 years.  That, however, wasn’t stupid.  No.  That was just “Joe being Joe,” a phrase that has come to be used every time Joe Biden says something stupid (which, if you know his record, means really really often), but confirmation bias allows all those aligned with Biden to simply move on with their lives no matter how dumb the words that come out of his mouth are because “he’s not really stupid.”  Unlike Palin who, without an illustrated guide, couldn’t tie her own shoes.

I should point out that I’m not holding Katy Conrad up as an example of all mainstream media, but I do think she shines a light on something that’s been going on for years: the media has an agenda.  They disguise their activism as journalism and use their pulpits to slander their enemies and rivals.  The fact that someone could stand up and say something as uninformed as she did, then follow it up with an apology for it not being “well-researched” is laughable, but that’s the kind of world the media operates in: a politically left-aligned bubble of self congratulatory spin disguised as unbiased news and spewed forth to the masses.

The Remarkable Difference In Use of the Word Hate

The Remarkable Difference In Use of the Word Hate

In April of 2005, a group of 5 black girls attacked another group of girls in Marine Park, Brooklyn.  While doing so, they called them “cracker” and “white bitches,” yelled “Martin Luther King” and so on.  The attack was brutal leaving many of the girls to miss school for days.  The local media outlets barely reported on the story, and the one that did seem to find it even a little interesting was the New York Post, but as is usually the case, they had to report on the beating in the context of a few letters to the editor of a local Brooklyn paper that no one actually reads.

“Anyone stupid enough to invoke the name of Martin Luther King – the modern-day model for tolerance and nonviolence – while stomping a helpless victim needs to be slapped with something more than a simple assault charge.

But there should also be some outrage over a newspaper that would wallow in the racial mud by printing letters that tell blacks to go “back to Africa.”

At least the troublemakers who started the fight in the park were juveniles who can hide, to some degree, behind their youth.

But the race-card-playing publishers who gambled that prejudice would boost their newspaper were presumably adults.

They should know better.”

Like most of the reports on the incident at the time, the paper could not bring itself to simply criticize the girls who attacked and leave it at that.  Instead, they had to find some way to make them victims as well.  So goes the story of hate crimes in New York.  In fact, so ridiculous are the application of “hate crime” statutes in New York City that it took the NYPD a year to declare that this beating was in fact a hate crime, and they did so only after enormous amounts of political pressure from the families who in turn pressured local politicians to get it done.

One year.

In contrast, the NYPD Bias Crimes Unit is often on TV the night of similar cases where the races of the victims and perpetrators are reversed proclaiming to the black community, often led by some local loudmouth like Al Sharpton, how they will not tolerate these types of crimes and how they will find the perpetrators and bring them to justice immediately.  From the second a scratch befalleth a black victim in New York City, the Bias Crimes Unit is involved and it’s up to the white perpetrator to prove that they did not, in fact, commit their crime based on race.

A stupid concept, for sure.

Hate crimes are stupid in general.  The idea that anyone commits a crime with anything but hate in their heart is ludicrous, so in reality, all a hate crime statute accomplishes is sending a message that some lives are more important than others.  The idea of a hate crime is that there’s a certain “extra malice” in a crime that needs to be punished additionally if someone is motivated by race, gender orientation, or any other protected group status.

And, as if the stupidity of hate crimes aren’t overtly obvious, there’s the additional angle of the application thereof.  If you attack a white person and you’re black, there’s a pretty good chance that, in spite of the fact that it could be racially motivated, you will almost always get the benefit of the doubt, as the perpetrators did in this case.  Can you imagine it taking a year for a crime to be declared a hate crime if the victim were black and the perpetrator were white?

If you really want to see New York City’s head explode, have two protected classes attack each other.  In 2013, there was a story of a vicious beating in Chelsea of a gay couple.  It was huge news.  Then they found one of the attackers.  He was a young black man.  All of a sudden, the zeal for hate crime charges subsided.  Why?  Because the hate crime pusher crowd hates it when it isn’t a white male being hit with the scarlet letter of a hate crime.

Further evidence of this reluctance to brand protected groups as even possible of committing a hate crime can be found throughout New York Newspapers.  Recently, a man was arrested for shooting people in Central Park with a pellet gun while yelling “Fuck you, you fucking white bitch” and “Fuck white people.”  How did Gothamist, for example, report it?



Note the scare quotes around “Anti-White”?

And that wasn’t the first time they used them.  In the original story before the arrest:


They just couldn’t bring themselves to commit.

Even though the NYPD properly started investigating it as a hate crime, the idea that something even could be “anti-white” required scare quotes.  It isn’t “really” anti-white.  It just “appears” that way.  Think about the times you use those quotes around terms and what you’re saying when you do.

So the question now becomes “Well, how do we fix it, then?”  Well, the answer is simple.  We abolish the idea of hate crimes legislation altogether.  If we want to make a claim that all lives are equal, then we can’t value some under the law more than we value others.  Assault is assault. Murder is murder.  If I yell “nigger” as I shoot a black man to death, he isn’t “more dead.”  He’s still dead.  And I’m still a piece of garbage for doing it and I should go to jail.

The law needs to be simple and equal, not complex and varying.  It can’t be subjective, and it certainly can’t be as randomly applied as the various hate crime statutes are around the country.  If the law is not consistent, then it is not the law. Hate crime legislation is well-intentioned, but as with most well-intentioned things, it has gone off the rails into creating a multi-tiered justice system which doesn’t serve any good purpose at all.

Header image via Longislandwins on Flickr