By PAUL BOIS
If a feminist like Gloria Steinem or Cecile Richards were to ever find themselves in front of the bench of Judge Judy, the tough, no-nonsense gavel-pounder would send them into the arms of the nearest bailiff crying. Despite her tough edge, however, Judge Judy does not include herself among the ranks of modern feminists. Like Mary Tyler Moore, another strong woman, Judge Judy rejects the feminist label.
Speaking with Megyn Kelly earlier this week, Judge Judy Sheindlin refused to label herself a feminist for a variety of reasons, most especially because it diminishes the individual.
“When I was growing up and going to school and being a lawyer and trying to become a judge and becoming a judge and then becoming a supervising judge, I didn’t do it through any organization,” she said. “I think it takes away from your own self-worth, if you say ‘I did it based on the work of a larger group.'”
Judge Judy said it would be like having the “safety net” of a “large family,” which she admits is nice, but it reduces the agency of the individual.
“It’s nice to have a safety net,” she added, “But if you don’t have your own self-worth, and forge for yourself, that safety net, all it can do is give you the bottom. That’s what makes me say I’m really not a feminist.”
Judge Judy opted to describe herself, instead, as an “individualist.”
“I think that individuals each have within themselves the capacity to be the hero of their own story,” she said. “It doesn’t always have to be a star of a television program to be the hero of your own story. You want be a doctor, a lawyer, an Indian chief. Whatever you want to be, you can be the best at it, be the most recognized in that profession.”
Judge Judy urged people to be great wherever they find themselves: parent, son, daughter, wife, or husband.
“Be a great family person, be a great parent, be a great child, be a great citizen, be a great volunteer,” she added. “That can make you a hero. That doesn’t take a village. That takes an individual spirit.”
“I think everybody has it in within themselves to do that,” she concluded.
Clay Routledge, though a self-professed “big fan of dogs,” suggests at National Review that in recent years, “our society’s relationship with pets appears to have changed in unhealthy ways.” Young adults “who aren’t partnering up or starting families” are “turning to their pets to feel loved and purposeful.”
Indeed, “the lonelier people are,” studies show, “the more inclined they are to perceive pets as having human-like characteristics.” Some companies are even offering “pawternity leave” to let their young talent “spend time bonding and adjusting” to a new pet. And colleges are receiving more and more requests to accommodate emotional-support animals.
Says Routledge: “Pets are great additions to our social world, but they are poor substitutes for the messier human relationships that make life worth living.”
A new exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum blames America’s failure to aid European Jewry during the Nazi era on “public opinion, Herbert Hoover and a couple of bad guys in the State Department — but never on President Franklin D. Roosevelt,” reports Rafael Medoff at the Jerusalem Post.
It claims “the accepted rules of international diplomacy” prevented FDR from speaking out about Nazi persecution during the ’30s, even though six previous presidents publicly denounced foreign anti-Semitism.
It also claims there was “little or nothing” Roosevelt could so because of “anti-Semitism, nativism and isolationism.” Somehow, this “strong, decisive leader” has been turned into “the Incredibly Disappearing President.” Bottom line: The museum “has distorted the historical record in order to make excuses for inexcusable policy decisions.”
On August 23rd, 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact. The pact contained a secret clause to divide the nation of Poland up between them as conquered territory. One week later, Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Thus, the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany started
World War II—as allies.
But brave Polish men and women like Wanda fought back against the bloodthirsty totalitarian invaders that had invaded their homeland. Here is Wanda’s story:
Active shooter incidents are defined as any incident involving one or more individuals who are actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill those within a populated area — gang or drug-related shootings notwithstanding.
There were 50 active shooter incidents in 2016 and 2017 combined, leaving many to question if America is, in fact, safer when armed.
However, a recent investigation by the FBI in April showed that, in numerous incidents involving active shooters, there were people who stopped them by use of a weapon.
“Armed and unarmed citizens engaged the shooter in 10 incidents. They safely and successfully ended the shootings in eight of those incidents,” read the report. “Their selfless actions likely saved many lives.
“The enhanced threat posed by active shooters and the swiftness with which active shooter incidents unfold support the importance of preparation by law enforcement officers and citizens alike.”
Ten active shooters had been confronted by citizens, and eight of them ended successfully, according to The Daily Caller. Four of those eight shooters were stopped by a lawfully armed citizen.
“In one incident, a citizen possessing a valid firearms permit exchanged gunfire with the shooter, causing the shooter to flee to another scene and continue shooting,” the report read.
Yet, in the wake of so many gun shootings and violence, the call for disarming American citizens remains.
According to Timothy Hsiao for The Federalist, it is not a matter of if guns increase violence, but if they are a good means of self-defense.
“What matters is not the risk (or lack thereof) that guns pose to society, but simply whether guns are a reasonable means of self-defense,” wrote Hsiao, adding that to defend one’s life is a basic dignity that cannot be taken away in the name of “social utility.”
“Rights function as moral ‘trump cards’ that override appeals to utility,” he said. “Like our right to life, our right to defend ourselves is a basic dignity that can’t be defeated just because it might produce a net benefit.”
In nearly all national survey estimates, the result saw that defensive gun uses by victims were nearly as common as offensive uses by criminals.
Though millions of Americans are legally permitted to carry firearms every day, most of them cite self-defense as the first and foremost reason to do so.
“The overwhelming majority of the time, those guns are never drawn in anger,” wrote Paul Hsieh for Forbes. “But innocent civilians can and do sometimes use their guns in self-defense.”
Any conversation, Hsieh added, that centers around firearm policy needs to acknowledge those that are saved by the legal use of guns and self-defense, such as those in the active shooter incidents.
“The value of firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens should be measured in terms of lives saved or crimes prevented,” he said, “Not criminals killed.”
By Becky Loggia
On Wednesday February 14th, 2018 at approximately 2:21pm, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 people and wounding 17 survivors.
While many immediately pushed for gun control in the aftermath of this horrible mass slaughter, recent information has made a strong case for a different change in policy. In 2011-2012, Broward County Public Schools had 1,056 total student arrests – 71% for misdemeanor offenses. These were the highest overall numbers in the state of Florida. After concerns over “students of color, students with disabilities and LGBTQ students” being “disproportionately impacted by school-based arrests” – the PROMISE program was created in 2013.
Standing for Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education – the PROMISE program was specifically implemented in an effort to “eliminate the school-to-prison pipeline.”
After the implementation of the PROMISE program, Broward County Public School arrests dropped from 1,056 students in 2011-2012, to only 392 during the 2015-2016 school year.
Federal officials who once mainly prosecuted consumers of illegal pornography now hunt for clues in photos and videos to find the victims—and their abusers
By Del Quentin Wilber WSJ
A federal analyst studied the child pornography videos for clues. Finding none, he turned to mundane photographs the suspected abuser also had uploaded online of the young victim playing in a park and by some bushes.
Using a Smithsonian Institution analysis of the shrubs, the sleuth from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, narrowed his search to one U.S. region. Next, he zeroed in on the park’s playground equipment, making dozens of calls to playground makers and organizations that certify them, finally finding a company that pinpointed the park. A neighborhood search quickly turned up the girl and her abuser, who was arrested.
That recent investigation, described by law-enforcement officials familiar with the case, is part of an ICE victim identification program in northern Virginia that is helping transform child pornography investigations.
In poring over child pornography images, ICE investigators find leads in a unique tree, the logo on a sweatshirt, the name on a pill bottle, the rattling of trains, chirping of birds—or the metadata buried in the photos and videos, including information that reveals time and place. Often, the best clues are found in mundane photographs, like those of the girl in the park, that are uploaded by abusers to prove they have access to the children.
Officials used to focus on prosecuting the consumers of child pornography. That is no longer enough, law-enforcement officials and advocates say. The focus is increasingly turning to identifying and rescuing the victims, an approach that is also netting a rising number of offenders.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says law-enforcement agencies have identified at least 9,400 juvenile victims of online sexual exploitation since 2013. In the preceding decade, there were about 5,000 such identifications, which officials call “rescues” because the children are often removed from abusive environments.
“Law enforcement has really made a huge effort in this area,” said Lindsey Olson of the nonprofit National Center.
The internet and the “dark web”—a portion of the internet that is only accessible with special software and is often used by criminals—are awash in child pornography, with abusers and viewers swapping videos and photographs as if they were baseball cards, law-enforcement officials say. Last year, the National Center reviewed more than 34 million images and videos depicting the sexual exploitation of children 17 and under. Its cyber tip line recorded more than 8 million abuse-related reports.
Agents at ICE, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Postal Inspection Service, as well as state and local police, are all tasked with investigating child pornography. ICE has long had jurisdiction in such investigations, dating back to the decades-long work of U.S. customs agents who targeted the mailing and smuggling of such images and videos into the U.S. from overseas.
In the past, those investigations generally involved arresting people who possessed a stash of child pornography, often after receiving a tip. Little effort was generally directed toward identifying the abusers or victims.
That began to change thanks in part to a push by ICE agent James Cole. In 2006, Mr. Cole had spent months searching for a girl and her suspected abuser in a widely distributed child pornography video.
Canadian police officials leading the effort suspected the abuse had occurred in a motel room in Oregon due to a unique fast-food cup they had analyzed in one of the videos. The victim was clearly identifiable but the abuser was never on screen.
Analysts seek clues into the whereabouts of child victims of sexual predators by examining photos and videos, which abusers use to prove their access to victims.
In videos, the chirping of birds has been used to narrow down a location.
Shrubs, trees and plans can narrow a search to a
In at least one case a fish
determine a location.
Logos, such as those of
universities or companies, can supply valuable information.
can reveal clues about a particular city or town.
Specific items, such as medication containers, can have names on them.
Investigators may turn to playground equipment makers to help locate a park.
Photos taken with smart phones add information like time, date and location to it’s metadata.
Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Mr. Cole examined the room’s furniture and a sweatshirt caught on screen, visited scores of motels and flipped through hundreds of school yearbooks in search of the girl’s face.
Unbeknown to Mr. Cole and Canadian police, the girl had one year earlier reported to local police that her father had been sexually abusing her. Before the father could be arrested, he fled the country. The girl, then 15, appeared on the television show America’s Most Wanted to help locate the fugitive. Canadian police recognized her and called Mr. Cole.
Mr. Cole said he met the teenager and other family members, and apologized for not having found her sooner. He explained how much work he and his colleagues had done to find her. The girl and her family deeply appreciated the effort, he said, and that is when a “lightbulb went off.”
“We had been approaching this all wrong,” said Mr. Cole, a former policeman and U.S. Army intelligence officer. “I saw how impactful this all was, how much they appreciated how hard we tried to find her. I realized we need to be looking at these cases in a victim-centered way. I also thought it would not only help us find the victims, but also the abuser.”
He decided to test his theory by digging into three of his old cases that had resulted in convictions of men with pornography on their computers. As Mr. Cole combed the suspects’ devices more carefully, he discovered two new victims. The men he had arrested, it turned out, had also been recording the sexual exploitation of their own children. The intervention led to counseling for the children and protection from their fathers once they were released from prison, Mr. Cole said.
As the years wore on, Mr. Cole realized that identifying the victims had multiple benefits. The children got badly needed psychological support, they were removed from hostile environments, and the offenders were often apprehended.
“They were just waiting to be found,” he said. “If you just focus on those who possess and traffic in this stuff, you miss the children and the abusers.”
His new approach drew the attention of superiors. In 2012, Mr. Cole founded ICE’s victim identification program outside Washington with a high-tech computer lab, where analysts digest tips, examine evidence and send reports to the field.
The effort has earned praise from advocates and from victims and their families, who say survivors cannot begin to recover until they are discovered.
“The psychological injuries are lifelong and affect their functioning in family life, work life, everything,” said Carol Hepburn, a lawyer who has represented more than a dozen people who were sexually exploited as children. “It means so much to the families and the victims to know that law enforcement had been looking for them. Jim has been a big part of that effort.”
Mr. Cole said credit belongs to ICE agents and those with domestic and overseas law enforcement agencies. He added that the National Center has been particularly instrumental in the search for victims.
His line of work is gratifying, but can be a psychological grind, he said. Not only is it hard to watch the videos, but the search is often fruitless if offenders are careful enough not to include telltale information.
If the information is there, it’s often contained in thefamily-style photos that abusers upload alongside the pornography. “It can be jarring examining horrific videos and then these photos of kids smiling,” Mr. Cole said.
The agent has pushed other law-enforcement agencies to adopt his approach and has spoken at dozens of conventions about finding victims. He now chairs the victim identification experts group at Interpol, an international network of 190 police agencies.
Mr. Cole recently took a job at ICE’s headquarters as part of a standard job rotation that will send him to a field office, where he hopes to continue investigating child exploitation.
For all his rescues, he’s haunted by one of his failures, involving a decades-old video of an abuser raping a female toddler. Mr. Cole said the abuser was exceedingly careful: He erased his face and identifying features, and the crime was committed in a room whose walls were covered in a light-blue cloth.
Despite years of investigative effort, no amount of computer enhancement or frame-by-frame analysis has yielded a single clue. The victim is now likely an adult, but that hasn’t stopped Mr. Cole from trying to find her.
“She can’t start the healing process until being identified,” he said. “She deserves to be rescued.”
Even as pathetic, self-pitying men complain about the problem of involuntary celibacy, pathetic, self-pitying women are now supposedly fantasizing about Flipper. Here’s Claire Fallon:
Time for the easiest game of “if you loved this movie, read this book” ever: If you loved “The Shape of Water,” a movie about fish sex, you should definitely read The Pisces by Melissa Broder, a book about fish sex. The cover literally shows a woman in an amorous clinch with a fish; the novel actually tells the story of a woman who has a torrid love affair with a merman. Now, one fish-f***ing opus in the space of a year might be a blip. Two seems very much like a trend. (We might even call it three, considering last summer’s Made for Love by Alissa Nutting, in which a male romance scammer, after a fantastical sea-bathing accident, becomes exclusively attracted to dolphins. Though, to be clear, dolphins are not fish.)
What explains this sudden love for sexual pescatarians? Men, of course. Horrible, horrible men. Cruel, horrible, evil men. Here’s Fallon:
The Pisces and Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar-winning “The Shape of Water” also seem to have arrived during an inflection point for heterosexual relations, as some straight women have thrown their hands up in despair at the prospect of dealing with straight men. These men, who grope us and talk down to us and consistently fail to clean the bathroom ― we’re supposed to make lives with them? Let them touch us?
Women woke up one day to find that their husbands voted for Donald Trump and their sons have been shitposting on incel boards. Even before we heard the claims about Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment and assault and the ensuing avalanche of other horrifying Me Too allegations, we heard about our president grabbing women “by the pussy,” Bill Cosby feeding women roofies, and R. Kelly allegedly sexually exploiting young girls. So many straight men, we have been forced to accept, are bad to and for us. Why would we take the enormous risk of loving one of them?
The handsome prince (or film star, or cowboy, or doctor) of our imagination has been exposed as a dangerous fraud, but we still need some form of romantic hope and sexual release. One seductive yet impossible fantasy might be the romantic attention of a man who lacks the exhausting baggage of male entitlement. To find such a fantastical being, women ― in fiction, at least ― have turned to the sea.
Fallon goes on to describe in heart-rending detail the story of Lucy, protagonist of The Pisces, who breaks up with her bottom-feeding boyfriend and then carps about it, gets catfished by a dude in an open relationship and nearly left with crabs, and finally finds a solution in a handsome merman. Merman!
Like the creature in “The Shape of Water,” Theo seems to be an exception to the rule of toxic straight maleness. Where other men hurt, threaten and betray, these unhuman beings pleasure, console and conspire with women.
As Fallon points out, The Shape of Water carries similar messages: straight men are evil, while everyone else is just fine. And The Pisces apparently mimics these messages. Fallon writes breathlessly [WARNING NSFW]:
Though there’s an insistent attention on the penis and penetrative, heterosexual intercourse in both love stories ― Lucy’s merman turns out to be human down through the pelvis, including an “ample, beautiful cock, uncircumcised, white and pink, with two round pink balls”; Elisa mimes, to her friend Zelda (Octavia Spencer), a penile unfurling that, she implies, makes penetration possible ― there’s also an unmistakable queerness to these mythical, human-like creatures. They transgress the boundaries of what society traditionally demands from a male body. Lucy even notes a feminine quality to Theo, a scent to his tail and semen that reminds her of p****. “I felt as though … he was female for a moment,” she thinks after he comes in her mouth.
Um, gross, Huffington Post.
In the end, the Huffington Post is looking for a feminist version of a man: an emasculated servant of women who has no independent priorities or mind of his own, and whose masculinity has been reduced down to romantic novel fiction. Such men do not exist, nor should they. Men are human beings, too. And if women are rightly tired of being viewed by the culture as sex objects, perhaps feminists might think once in awhile about applying that same frame to men who might think differently than they do about politics.
But there’s good news. At least there’s a cure for both incels and fish sex ladies.
NOTE: So, you understand the seriousness of his crime. Polanski drugged and anal raped this 13-year-old girl.
Ever since pleading guilty to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old in 1977, says The Atlantic’s Megan Garber, Roman Polanski “has existed in a kind of limbo: of social status, of legality, of celebrity, of morality.”
And geography, having fled the US before he was sentenced. Yet he’s remained “a member of Hollywood’s woozy elite.”
Until this week, he also “retained the most basic avatar of breezy impunity”: his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Making him “a reminder of who loses when celebrity is pitted against decency, and a testament to Hollywood’s great capacity to say one thing about itself and mean, in the end, quite another.”
Unlike other prominent figures, “his criminality had long been known; it had simply been overlooked.”