More Anti-Intellectualism in Advertising? Never, Not in America!

Continuing the grand tradition here at Foster Disbelief of highlighting especially idiotic television commercials/ ad campaigns, which began way back in October of 2014 with this take down of Toyota’s “Bold” campaign for their Camry, then continued recently with Cracker Barrel’s anti-intellectual ad for mac and cheese, I give you “No Debate” for the Dodge Charger and Challenger.

At least the Cracker Barrel spot was kind of amusing?  I don’t get this at all.  I mean, I guess that guy is famous for something, and his fans might enjoy seeing him in a commercial?  And it is funny when he interrupts the debate?  I mean, “NERDS!!!!”, amirite?  And then the girl is the one to slap the notes out of the boys hand at the end, which is supposed to be hilarious because the girl is bullying the boy dork instead of the opposite?

Sure makes me want to buy a Dodge.

 

Future headline:  “Dodge Stock Soars As Trump Supporters Flock To Buy Challengers and Chargers.”

Now I Remember Why I Stay Away From Twitter….

Everything was going fine.  I stopped by Twitter to check out a tweet directed at me that I missed, see who started following me, and follow a few people, when I noticed that #PeopleAreTiredOf was trending.  I clicked on the hashtag to see what was going on, and this was the first tweet I saw….

and then a bit later….

I don’t even have words.

I Kinda Miss the Nigerian Princes.

I get mail:

FROM THE DESK OF MR AWUDU SALLAM
DIRECTOR IN CHARGE OF AUDITING
AND ACCOUNTING SECTION
BANK OF AFRICA (B.O.A)
OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO,
WEST AFRICA.

My Dearest Friend,
 
I am Mr Awudu Sallam, The chief auditor in bank of Africa (boa) Burkina Faso West African, One of our customers, with his entire family was among the victims of plane crash and before his death, he has an account with us valued at $37.5 million u.s dollars(thirty seven million five hundred thousand u.s dollars) in our bank and according to the Burkina Faso law, at the expiration of Thirteen years if nobody applies to claim the funds a grace of one year also will be given before the money will revert to the ownership of the Burkina Faso government.
 
My proposals is that i will like you as a foreigner to stand in as the next of kin or distant cousin for us to claim this money, so that the fruits of this old man’s labour will not get into the hands of some corrupt government officials who will later use the money to sponsor war in Africa and kill innocent citizens in the search for political power.
 
As a foreign partner which this money will be transfer into your account, you are entitle to 40% of the total money while 55% will be for me as the moderator of this transaction and 5% will be mapped out for any expenditure that may be incur during the course of this transaction. Please note that there will be no
problem as my bank has made all effort through to reach for any of his relation but all was fruitless.
 
My position as the chief auditor in this bank guarantees the successful execution of this (deal) transaction. Please send the following: Reply To This E-mail Address  awudusallam@gmail.com
 
1)your full name…..
2) sex…..
3) age…..
4) country…..
5)passport or photo…..
6)occupation…..
7) personal Mobile number…..
8) Personal fax number…..
9) Home & office address…..
 
Thanks.
 
Mr Awudu Sallam.
I reply to mail, because I am that bored.  (Also, because Trump is possibly going to be President and I need to find humor where I can.)

Dear Mr Awudu Sallam,

 

I am greatly saddened to hear of the passing of such a highly respected man, along with his entire family, in a plane crash.  While they say God has a plan, it is at times like this that one has to wonder how a loving God could reach down from Heaven and cruelly snuff out the life of such a great man.  While you do not mention the man’s name, no doubt because of privacy concerns, if it is indeed who I believe you are speaking of, this is a tragedy that God himself will have to answer for.  To take one such as him. in the prime of his life while he still had so much more to give to not only the fine country of Burkina Faso, but to the rest of West Africa, and indeed, to the whole of the African continent.  To die in a plane crash, along side his wife, pregnant with the couples fifth child, their twin sons, the apple of their fathers eyes, only 7 years young, and both of his daughters, lovely Ebele, only 3 years old, and stunning 17 year old Adannaya is enough to cause one to question their faith.  Knowing that the only reason they were even on that plane was to travel to Adannaya’s wedding just makes it all the worse.  What pain must have filled their minds as they realized the plane was going down?  Did they take comfort in being together, or did the knowledge that the whole family would soon die just make it that much worse?

 

I am so sorry, I know you must be very busy, and here I am yammering on pointlessly.  I completely understand your request.  I as well do not want to see this great man’s money stolen by the corrupt government and used to spill the blood of West Africans.  I will be honored to stand in as this great man’s next of kin and save his fortune from the Vultures of Horror.  In fact, I have such great respect for this man and his family that I would feel dirty taking 40% of his fortune.  Rather, in exchange for the solemn promise that you will donate 10% of the money to Médecins Sans Frontières, I will only ask for 10%.  The extra 20% can be done with as you please.

Here is the requested information.

1) Michael Sean Benioff

2) Male

3) 34 years young

4) United States of America
5)……

Upon further reflection, I have decided to only provide you with the rest of the information if you prove yourself legitimate.  While I would never insult you by comparing you to these people, one does remember the classic Nigerian Royalty scam that was so highly effective for so many years.  You of course are not claiming to be a member of a royal family or anything else ridiculous like that, so I am inclined to believe you fully.  That being said, as someone connected with such a respectable man, I know you will not have a problem providing me with a bit more information.  Here is what I require.

1)  A hand written pledge to donate 10% of the money to Médecins Sans Frontières.  It does not need to be notarized or anything, as long as I can see your signature.

2)  Your astrological sign.  Call me crazy, but there are certain signs of the zodiac that I refuse to have financial dealings with under any circumstances.  Let me know your birth date so I can have my astrologer confirm the stars are in the proper alignment for this transaction.

3)  A picture.  Not of you though.  Of your wife or girlfriend.  No, it doesn’t have to be sexy or anything, I’m not a sicko.

4)  One more picture, this time of a hand written note from your mother or father stating that you are trustworthy. If your parents are no longer on this earth, I am very sorry for your loss, and you can substitute a note from either your religious leader or your employer.

I hope that is not too much to ask of you.  I will expect your response shortly and anticipate being able to move on at that time and get this transaction taken care of.  I have my bank account information at the ready to send to you, along with the rest of the information you need, as soon as you provide the reassurances I require.

Thank you for reaching out to me, and thank you for caring about the fortune of such a great man and his family.  I know he would be as proud of you as he was of Adannaya.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Michael Sean Benioff.

Let’s see how desperate scammers in Burkina Faso are right now.  Anyone think I’ll get a response?  Any suggestions of what to ask for in case I do get a response?
I’ll keep you posted.
By the way, I would commit voter fraud for Awudu Sallam before I’d vote for Donald Trump.
Toying with song ideas to post if he wins immediately after the race is called.  So far I’m thinking of “Black and White” by the Subhumans:

which includes these perfect lyrics:

Inquiries, but no solutions
Faceless, empty illusions
Reasons are always pushed aside
Remember the day the country died

or maybe just Black Market Baby’s classic “Potential Suicide” to put everyone’s thoughts into song.

 

And that’s all you get today.  I spent the day with the dogs in the local state park.  It was much too nice to sit in front of a PC all day.

pupsatwater

 

 

Kimmel to Palin: “You Just Got Served!” ($&@#, Do People Still Say That? Am I Just Showing My Age Again?)

So if you’ve been able to peel your eyes away from the trainwreck currently taking place in the GOP presidential primary, then you are probably aware that climate science deniers have a new “movie” out, promoted by esteemed scientist Sarah Palin as well as Weather Channel founder John Coleman.  Climate Hustle is the latest attempt  by the deniers to trick the general public into believing man made climate change is some vast, underpants gnome-like conspiracy the left is using to fuck over white working class Christians, rather than an actual problem that we’ve already ignored for far too long that 97%* of scientists working in related fields agree is definitely taking place.

Look guys, I get it.  Climate change is scary.  It is a serious problem and we’re at the point now that any effective effort to fix it is going to be painful, especially to our wealthy western way of life.  I’m not immune.  I love steak.  Fucking love it.  I run an air conditioner constantly in order to make my attic room livable rather than just moving everything downstairs into a spare room each summer.  I take long, meaningless drives so my Chow can hang her head out the window and have her excitement.  Sure, I’ve taken steps to have a smaller carbon footprint, but the vast majority of changes I made were relatively pain free.  Ignorance is bliss; it means I can run my AC unit as much as I want and eat that 16 oz ribeye guilt free.  But it is happening.  Fast.  It is the climate changing, not necessarily the current weather, so just cause we get some snow doesn’t negate the fact that we keep setting records for hottest year, practically every year.  I don’t want to give climate change credit for things it didn’t cause, and I know we had an el nino this year, but damn, if you live in Pennsylvania tell me this wasn’t the strangest fall/winter/spring you have ever lived through.  Globally, the temperatures are rising, the ice is melting, and the oceans are rising.  And this is all shit that a layperson can figure out without an advanced degree in the relevant science.  What kind of a world are we leaving for the future generations?  Are we really that selfish, that deniers with conflicts of interest that make Andrew Wakefield blush can cause so many of us to doubt 97%* of climate scientists?

But, but, but….the founder of the Weather Channel!!!!  What about him, hmmm?  Checkmate, atheist liberal progressive person who accepts scientific consensus.  Wow, the founder of the Weather Channel?  That’s incredibly….meaningless.  Is John Coleman a climate scientist?  Is he publishing current research that challenges the results the rest of climate science keeps coming up with?

Both Fox News and CNN have recently invited John Coleman, one of the founders of The Weather Channel and former TV meteorologist, to express his views about climate change to their national audiences. Coleman is simply an awful choice to discuss this issue. He lacks credentials, many of his statements about climate change completely lack substance or mislead, and I’m not even sure he knows what he actually believes.

To begin, Coleman hasn’t published a single peer-reviewed paper pertaining to climate change science. His career, a successful and distinguished one, was in TV weather for over half a century, prior to his retirement in San Diego last April. He’s worked in the top markets: Chicago and New York, including a 7-year stint on Good Morning America when it launched. If you watch Coleman on-camera, his skill is obvious. He speaks with authority, injects an irreverent sense of humor and knows how to connect with his viewer.

But a climate scientist, he is not.

“Many people don’t accept my position that there is no significant man-made global warming because I am simply a Television Meteorologist without a Ph.D.,” he admitted in a blog post. “I understand that.”

I urge you all to go and read that whole article, it makes the point perfectly why it is one thing for a non-scientist to examine the data and agree that climate change is man made and happening, yet a completely different animal for them to look at the issue and declare that practically every climate scientist in the world is wrong or lying.  But the main point I’m concerned with is the meaninglessness of John Coleman’s scientific opinion on any subject.

Palin is actually worse.  No matter the subject, there is only one person I trust less than Sarah Palin in the United States and that person lived in Sarah’s womb for 9 months.  Yet sadly, for some reason probably related to why Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee for President, some people out there continue to not only care what she has to say, but actually consider her opinion when forming their own.  And when faced with Sarah Palin’s endorsement of this oil company propaganda film, today’s best course of action is to turn it over to Jimmy Kimmel**.

Boom, mic drop.  (There, that’s more current, right?)


** Yes, those were 13 words I never thought I would write in that order.

*Okay, time to make the climate deniers change their pants.  Saying that 97% of climate scientists agree that man made climate change is real and currently happening is misleading and I will never quote the statistic again after this post.  Why?  Well, sorry deniers, you shot your wads a bit prematurely, which I am sure has never happened to any of you before.***  Let’s go to volume 39.6 of the Skeptical Inquirer to check out an article by James Lawrence Powell: (Bolding is mine, as always.)

Since it is inconceivable that any climate scientist today could have no opinion on the subject, if 97 percent accept AGW it follows that 3 percent reject it. To those outside of science, 3 percent may seem an insignificant percentage. However, we scientists know that a small minority has often turned out to be right, otherwise there would have been no scientific revolutions. In the 1950s, for example, the percentage of American geologists who accepted continental drift was likely less than 3 percent. Yet they were right.

If there were a 3 percent minority on AGW it would matter, but there is not. The “97% consensus” is false. The percentage of publishing climate scientists who accept AGW is at least 99.9 percent and may verge on unanimity.

*cut out tweet from Obama here*

How, then, has nearly everyone from President Obama on down come to buy the claim of a 97 percent consensus? The figure comes from a 2013 article in Environmental Research Letters by Cook et al. titled “Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scientific Literature.” They reported that “Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming” (emphasis added). The 97 percent figure went viral and, not surprisingly, the qualifying phrase “expressing a position”—the fine print, if you will—got dropped. But those three words expose the false assumption inherent in the Cook et al. methodology.

Cook et al. used the Web of Science science-citation research site to review the titles and abstracts of peer-reviewed articles from 1991–2011 with the keywords “global climate change” and “global warming.” They classified the articles into seven categories from “(1) Explicit endorsement with quantification” to “(7) Explicit rejection with quantification.” In the middle was “(4) No position.”

The sine qua non of the Cook et al. method is the assumption that publishing scientists who accept a theory will say so—they will “endorse” it in the title or abstract. To count an article as part of the consensus, Cook et al. required that it “address or mention the cause of global warming.” Of the 11,944 articles that came up in their search, 7,970—two thirds—did not. Cook et al. classified those articles as taking no position and thus ruled them out of the consensus.

Do we need to know any more to realize that there is something wrong with the Cook et al. method? The consensus is what the majority accept; you cannot rule out a two-thirds majority and still derive the consensus.

Moreover, is it true that scientists routinely endorse the ruling paradigm of their discipline? To find out, I used the Web of Science to review articles in three fields: plate tectonics, the origin of lunar craters, and evolution.

Of 500 recent articles on “plate tectonics,” none in my opinion endorsed the theory directly or explicitly. Nor did a single article reject plate tectonics.

…..

What of lunar craters? As recently as 1964, nearly every scientist who had studied the moon believed that its craters were volcanic. Then in July of that year, the first successful Ranger mission returned thousands of photographs showing that the moon exhibits craters ranging in size from the colossal to the microscopic. Except for a few senior holdouts, scientists quickly embraced the meteorite impact theory.

….

I reviewed the abstracts of the most recent 100 articles, which go back to 1997. As with plate tectonics, none explicitly endorsed meteorite impact, nor did any reject it.

…..

Do biologists writing about evolution routinely endorse Darwin’s theory? I reviewed the abstracts of articles in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology from 2000 through 2014. Of 303 articles, 261 had abstracts. Not surprisingly, none of the 261 rejected the modern evolutionary synthesis; neither did any endorse it.

That’s all I’m going to quote from it, but seriously, if you are interested in that 97% number and ever wondered about the apparent 3% who do not accept climate change, you owe it to yourself to read the whole thing.  The actual number is far closer to 99.9%.

***Yeah, I once received constructive criticism that I should leave out little digs like that, or my insinuations that MRAs possess micropenises, and while I understand the critique, in the famous words of Popeye, I yam what I yam.

Liberal Propaganda in Our Schools? Say It Ain’t So! Okay. It Isn’t So.

Those evil liberals.  It seems that liberal propaganda is invading the Hollidaysburg school district, threatening the poor, vulnerable minds of the innocent children of the district who are too young to know any better.  At least, that is the belief of one school board member; Republican Lois Kaneshiki.

What a brave stand she is making for the hearts and minds of our children, probably in the face of a board packed with liberal university professors and bleeding heart soccer moms.  Let’s go to the award winning Altoona Mirror* for the scoop.

Hollidaysburg Area School Board member Lois Kaneshiki voted against the board’s sociology textbook adoption on Wednesday, saying the book was liberal propaganda.

The other eight board members approved the $2,000 expense for new high school sociology books, trusting teachers and administrators’ recommendations.

Kaneshiki reviewed the book and said she was opposed because it presents economically and socially liberal opinion as fact. She took particular issue with the book’s “activities” section.

Okay, my wingnut sense is a tingling.  As someone who has taken a Sociology course or two at the university level, I get the feeling that her problem is with the entire subject of sociology rather than this particular book.  What makes me say that?  I mean, isn’t she a brave conservative warrior standing alone on a school board filled with non-Duck Dynasty watching liberals?  Oh come on.  This is Blair County, Pennsylvania, part of 2010’s most conservative congressional district in the state.  In the last school board election there was a grand total of one registered Democrat on the ballot.  Most of the time the Democratic candidates are Republicans who cross-filed for both parties for the elections.  Here is the Hollidaysburg school board.  Their party affiliations aren’t mentioned, but let’s figure it out.  Vonada, Frye, Yoder, Kaneshiki, and Gregory were all elected in the 2015 election.  You know, the one where Kelly Hinkledire (who got slimed, along with Vonada,  during the race, for what it’s worth) was the only registered Democrat on the ballot.  In 2013, Swope and McClain were both endorsed by the Blair County Tea Party, at least according to this group post made by one Lois Kaneshiki.  Brennemen and Sommer also claimed their seats in 2013, and I’ll be damned if I can find their party affiliations anywhere.  They were both endorsed by the AFL-CIO , so “Democrats” immediately springs to mind, but Sommer ran in 2011 as Vonada’s campaign partner, so…

TL;DR?  The board isn’t stacked with liberals against poor ole Lois.  If the Blair County Dems are wrong, then their is an outside chance the board has three Democrats.  More likely there are between 2 and zero Democratic board members.  (For what it is worth, I personally think school board elections should be non-partisan, but if you want to know where the partisan shit started, I’ll give you a hint:  They take their name from a famous event that took place during the birth of the United States.  And it rhymes with Flea Barky.)

So if the board isn’t full of Ivory Tower liberals, then what did the rest of the administrators think of the book?

High School Principal Maureen Letcher said the book is written like other sociology books. Its “activities” sections, which a teacher can choose not to use, she said, are meant to put students in a certain mindset to begin a discussion on both sides.

Letcher said the book is not the entire curriculum, but only one part.

Yeah, well that’s only the Principal. Who cares what she thinks.

Board member Ron Yoder said he skimmed the book and did not feel it was one-sided.

Ouch.  He’s pretty damn conservative.  I mean, what a RINO!!!!  The article continues with the principal explaining the districts procedure for selecting textbooks.  But we close with Brennemen giving Kaneshiki a condescending pat on the head, so that’s a plus.  I mean, see!!!  He must be a Democrat!

Board member Scott Brenneman, also a teacher at Penn State Altoona, said he applauded Kaneshiki for digging into the book.

The book, “Sociology: The study of Human Relationships,” had been on display for public view for more than 30 days.

Brenneman said after speaking with district administrators and learning about the process of how the book was researched and recommended, he approved.

Oh wait, he is a university professor?  Stone him!!  I mean, why would we care what he thought about a textbook?

Poor Lois.  Won’t someone please stand up for the poor persecuted conservatives and the impressionable children who need to be taught that racism and sexism are over while poor people get what they deserve?

 


*Conflict of Interest notice.  I am an independent contractor for the Altoona Mirror.  They are an award winning newspaper, though I feel that they concentrate on sports to the detriment of actual news far too often, and their political leanings are a bit too obviously right of center for my tastes.  Sorry, no.  Printing the occasional column by Froma Harrop, Mark Shields, or Connie Shultz on days they don’t write anything objectionable to conservative sensibilities does not wash out the usual stream of L. Brent Bozell, Michelle Malkin, Thomas Sowell, George Will, Cal Thomas, Walter E. Williams, Ben Shapiro, and *gag* Jonah Goldberg that normally pollutes the opinion pages.  While I’m at it, why exactly is Doonesbury on the opinion page while Mallard Fucking Fillmore stays on the Sunday Comics page?  Is it because to really teach a kid to hate, you got to get them while they’re young, and what better place than the comics page?

For as conservative of an area that this is, I guess it could be much worse.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a column printed by Ann Coulter, and I mainly trust the actual news coverage.  Well, I trust it more than Fox News or the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, but less than national network news, the Washington Post, New York Times, or the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.  The conservative lean of the paper outside the editorial pages is more selectively choosing which stories to print rather than the Fox method of just outright lying.  It is what it is.

Anyway, that is my conflict of interest when I write about the Altoona Mirror.  With where I live, it is probably the best local paper I could reasonably expect, and I am currently an independent contractor for them.  In the interest of transparency, take that into account when I mention the Altoona Mirror.  And in the interest of not boring myself or any readers to death, that is the last I will ever say of it.

It’s Good to See That NASCAR Was Serious About Embracing Diversity

Remember this?

Calling the Confederate flag an “insensitive symbol” that he finds offensive, NASCAR chairman Brian France said the sport will be aggressive in disassociating it from its events.

……..

“We want everybody in this country to be a NASCAR fan, and you can’t do that by being insensitive in any one area.

How brave.  Good for you, Mr. France.  I’m glad to see you are standing up to the bigots who are fans of your sport. (I was planning on putting “sport” in quotes in that sentence, but then I remember how difficult it is to drive a race car at those speeds surrounded by other cars inches away.  Yeah, as much as I detest the sport, “yawn, did they turn left again?”, it is a sport.)  I wonder if he has blasted North Carolina yet for their bigot bill?  It is so great when someone “gets it.”

What?

Why are you looking at me like that?  What happened at the latest race in Texas?  It couldn’t be that bad.  It’s not like they’d have the Duck Commander give the invocation or anything, right?

Right?

A “Duck Dynasty” star delivered an unusual invocation before a NASCAR race at Texas Motor Speedway over the weekend, praying that “we put a Jesus man in the White House.”

Goddammit.

Phil Robertson, who stars in the reality TV show along with other members of his family, has endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination for president while his son, Willie, has spoken out in support of Donald Trump.

“All right, Texas, we got here via Bibles and guns, I’m fixin’ to pray to the one who made that possible,” the Duck Commander prayed before the Duck Commander 500. “Father, thank you for founding our nation. I pray, Father, that we don’t forget who brought us — You. Our faith in the blood of Jesus and his resurrection. Help us, Father, to get back to that. Help us, dear God, to understand that the men and women on my right are the U.S. military. On my right and on my left. Our faith in the U.S. military is the reason we are still here. I pray, Father, that we put a Jesus man in the White House. Help us do that and help us all to repent, to do what is right, to love you more and to love each other. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.”

Well, at the end he did say that we should all love each other.  That’s a plus, right?  The president of the Texas Motor Speedway was quick to defend Mr. Robertson’s right to be a bigot and tell everyone about it, comparing his invocation to The Boss canceling a concert:

TMS President Eddie Gossage defended Robertson on Saturday, pointing out that Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in North Carolina to protest the state’s new law banning anti-discrimination ordinances. “He said what he felt and believed and there are a lot of people that agree with him and a lot that disagree with him,” Gossage said (via Star-Telegram.com). “Nowadays, you cannot say what you think because of political correctness. So I guess everyone has a right to free speech or nobody does.

“Bruce Springsteen cancels his show in North Carolina on his viewpoints and a lot of people agreed with him and a lot of people disagree with him. I defend Bruce Springsteen’s rights to take his position and, if you do that, then you’ve got to defend everybody else’s, too.”

I’ll take “missing the point” for 1000$, Alex.  No one (rational) is arguing against Mr. Robertson’s right to say whatever he wants to say.  NASCAR is a private entity, so a prayer before the race doesn’t carry with it the disturbing church/state issues that prayers before, say, high school football games does.  If Phil wants to spend the entire invocation explaining how he got the idea for his first duck call while he was fellating a Fulvous whistling duck, and how he never intended anyone to ever kill the ducks they called with his products, how he was just trying to make it easier for fellow duck fetishists to get that sweet, sweet duck semen (allegedly), then that is perfectly fine.  Three cheers, speak your mind, tell us all what you believe to be the truth!

The point is something the religious right seems to have a very difficult time with:  freedom of speech doesn’t protect you from criticism.  He can say whatever he wants, we can call him a bigot and give NASCAR the old side-eye for providing him the stage to air his outdated, historically inaccurate opinions.

I get the position Brian France is in here.  NASCAR is probably the only major sport (okay, men’s golf I guess as well) where appeasing the bigots at the expense of everyone else may be in the sports best interest.  After the pro-bigot flag backlash he suffered after his earlier attempt at inclusivity, I would hate to see the shit-storm he would face if he spoke out against the Robertson’s religious inspired bigotry. Add in the fact that I kinda think he would be lying if he did speak out against it, and I’m just left completely confused as to why he even made the bigot flag comments.  Remember when you read people criticizing NASCAR and Robertson that NASCAR is the one that went with the “We want everybody in this country to be a NASCAR fan, and you can’t do that by being insensitive in any one area” line.  They weren’t pushed into it, the bigot flag was a battle they chose themselves.   It seems like Brian France really thinks he is ushering a new era of diversity to NASCAR.  I just don’t get it.

The France family, which owns the series, has long welcomed political candidates at their events and has a history of making public endorsements. NASCAR founder Bill France Sr. endorsed George Wallace for president. Brian France last month endorsed Trump, and even recruited a handful of drivers to attend a Trump rally in Georgia.

The Trump endorsement was met with significant backlash and France said he was disappointed that his record on promoting diversity had suddenly been called into question. He has spent at least the last decade trying to help his family business shed its image as a sport for intolerant rednecks, but there is no away around it: His Trump endorsement put those efforts at risk.

Then came the Robertson commentary on Saturday night, which Texas Motor Speedway officials said Monday they did not know was coming.

“I can’t believe you!  Jews are always welcome in my theater and I have several Jewish friends, why should it matter that I endorsed Adolf?”  *rolls eyes*

Seriously, what is going on in this guys head?  I would love to hear any thoughts on his strategic thinking.

 

I Wonder What They Talk About on “Gun Owners News Hour”?

Did you know that Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt hosts a show called “Gun Owners News Hour”?  Neither did I!  I wonder what they talk about on that show?  I bet it is about new products the gun industry is bringing out for law abiding, responsible gun owners, such as handguns that can fire legal armor piercing rounds, new triggers to make your AR-15 practically fully automatic (since the evil government has overreached and attempted to stop sales of the ARFA kit to make it full auto.  Thanks, Obama.), 30 round handgun clips (for self-defense.  duh.), youth rifles that come in pink, and children’s books such as “101 Things to Do in the Backseat with Mom’s Handgun.”  (Okay, I made the book up.  I was actually going to make up 4 or 5 crazy gun related products, but I kept finding real ones.  Sigh.)  Anyway, let’s see what the show is all about!

Conservative activist Jesse Lee Peterson appeared on the “Gun Owners News Hour” with Gun Owners of America’s Larry Pratt last weekend, where he repeated the thesis of his most recent book , which is that racism in America does not exist, but rather is a myth perpetuated by people like President Obama who was raised to hate white people and is incapable of feeling love.
God damn it.  Now there’s coffee all over my monitor.  What the fuck did they just say?

Peterson told Pratt that once Americans “dispel that notion that racism exists,” liberals will lose power because “their father the Devil” feeds on such lies.

The two then, for some reason, started comparing and contrasting Dr. Ben Carson, the former Republican presidential candidate, with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the pastor who became a right-wing lightning rod during Obama’s first presidential campaign.

Peterson told Pratt that African American voters didn’t support Carson’s presidential bid because they’re in an “evil state” and “prefer evil over good.”

“And yet, in their fallen state of anger, most blacks see Dr. Carson as the enemy and they see Jeremiah Wright as the good guy,” he said. “And even though Jeremiah Wright speaks evil, he is evil, but because they’re in that evil state, they identify with him over a good, decent man like Dr. Ben Carson. And blacks would never vote for him, the majority would never vote for him because any time a person who’s good like that, they see them as a sell-out, they don’t accept good, they prefer evil over good and they call evil good and they call good evil.”

So blacks who vote Democratic are in an “evil state?”  OMG!  If you add a “n”, it becomes the Demoncratic party!  Why didn’t I ever see that before!  The horror, the horror!

Earlier in the program, Peterson expounded on his theory that President Obama has been sympathetic toward the Black Lives Matter movement because he was raised by a mother who “hated her own race” and grew up without his father so “he doesn’t feel love, he has nothing but anger in his heart.”

Pratt evidently thought this was very perceptive and said that the president “has developed a very cold shell to cover that with and when I see him, it’s almost like looking at a robot, the lack of human emotion that’s on display.” Meanwhile, he said, the president has a “Mt. Vesuvius” of anger bubbling underneath.

Peterson agreed that “Obama is evil, he’s cold-hearted, he doesn’t care about anyone but Obama” but voters have never really understood “how wicked this man is.”

You know, as a 40 year old white man, I’m going to refrain from making the obvious point about who really “hated her(his) own race” and instead just wonder what the fuck any of this had to do with guns.  Oh, yeah.  I forgot.  Obama is coming to take away our guns.  Run for the hills.  Hide your weapons (and your white women).  The bad black President is coming to take them all away.

Any day now.
Definitely before the election.
Or maybe right after.
Or after he declares martial law and makes himself President for life.
Yeah, definitely that last one.  Bet the farm on it.

“Responsible” Gun Ownership. Wait, What?!?

Almost every time I hear an argument supporting private citizen’s right to own firearms, the citizens in question are referred to as “law abiding” and “responsible.”  After all, when defending the right of people to access deadly weapons, it helps to portray those people in the best possible light.  And in a perfect world, they would be right and all gun owners would treat their firearms with the seriousness and respect they deserve, rather than as grown up toys.

Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world, so instead of responsible gun ownership, we have 9 year olds firing weapons way too overpowered for them and killing their sloppy instructors, children shooting their siblings, kids shooting their parents, friends shooting their friends, and men shooting their explosive packed lawnmower…..wait, what the fuck was that last one?

Gruesome video footage has surfaced showing the moment a Georgia daredevil lost his leg shooting a semiautomatic rifle at a lawn mower packed with several pounds of deadly explosives.

David Pressley, 32, can be seen moving closer and closer to the explosive target as he peppers it with bullets. Moments later, the lawn mower suddenly explodes, unleashing a plume of smoke and shrapnel.

Authorities said one piece of shrapnel struck Pressley, severing his leg from below the knee, according to ABC affiliate WSB-TV.

The graphic video, recorded last week, captures blood splattering across the camera’s lens before Pressley yells, “I blew my leg off!”

Another voice says, “Call an ambulance!”

If it would have been his third leg, he would have won a Darwin award without a doubt.  As it stands?  Just more of that “responsible” gun ownership.

Let’s Revisit the Blair County Justice System in Honor of Dawn of Justice.

Long time followers of Foster Disbelief will be familiar with some of the ludicrous prison sentences judges in Blair county dole out to drug dealers.  If not, I’ll wait while you do the required research here and here.

You back?  That was quick.  You must be really intelligent to have a reading speed that high.  I’m quite impressed.

As you learned from your research, I have this strange idea that Blair county judges throw any idea of rehabilitation out the window when a drug dealer, even a non-violent offender, finds himself (or herself, dealing is an equal opportunity employer)in front of the bench while acting like big ol’ softies when deciding a less serious case, you know,  such as the sexual abuse of a child, unwanted sexual assault by an employer, or domestic violence.  I mean, I guess it could just be in my head.  *shrug*  Anyway, on to today’s story.

Remember this guy?

A man’s gun reportedly went off in his pocket in the middle of a church service on Saturday in Altoona, Penn., before he handed the weapon off to someone else who allegedly hid it in the pages of a program.

While unnamed in the linked article, the man in question is one Matthew Andrew Crawford.  Am I bringing up his case just so I can reveal the name to my countless (several, definitely more than a few) readers?  Of course not.  No, it seems that Mr. Crawford enjoys activities other than unsafely carrying a concealed weapon in a house of worship.  You know all those good guys with guns; busy, busy, busy!

 

Records in the Blair County Courthouse show that Crawford in 2015 and 2016 has had PFA orders filed against him by three different women.

His past includes additional PFAs dating back to 2007.

In September 2010, Crawford entered pleas to simple assault and disorderly conduct and received nine months’ probation for pulling a .40-caliber Glock handgun on an older stepbrother during an argument over his use of a family vehicle.

It was also reported that he was expelled last year from Mount Aloysius College for possessing two guns while on campus.

Are you keeping track? More illegal possession of firearms? Check! (Damn gun-free zones.  This is Merikkka, dammit!)  Collecting protection from abuse orders as if they were baseball cards?  Check!  (Baseball cards are like the cards in a collectible card game, except each card represents a real player in MLB, and they aren’t part of an addictive game.  I know, us old people are weird.  No, I can’t quite remember why we bought them*.)  Pleading down to an insanely low charge after drawing a deadly weapon on a relative over a meaningless disagreement?  Why of course that’s a check!

I bring this all up because our Mr. Crawford found himself in court recently, and it is important that you understand his previous record to understand why the judge handed down such a harsh sentence to this misunderstood good guy with a gun.  Got it?  On to the latest incident!

In the most recent incident, his girlfriend went to the home to pack in preparation of moving out.

Crawford arrived when she was there. He shut the bedroom door and would not allow her to leave.

Charging documents said he hit her 10 to 15 times with the plunger.

The documents stated he tackled her on the bed and was choking her.

He said he was going to kill her.

In her PFA, the girlfriend said Crawford physically abused her in the past and becomes so angry at the young children in the home that be begins to shake.

Wow.  I don’t want to sound morbid here, but my mother watches a hell of a lot of Investigation Discovery and this sounds like at least 10 different true crime stories I’ve seen there.  Of course, those stories all end when the guy finally and predictably kills his poor estranged wife/girlfriend.  Thankfully in this case, the justice system stepped in, took control, and dealt this guy a severe punishment that will hopefully serve to deter him from the use of violence in the future.  I almost feel sorry for him, knowing how harshly non-violent drug dealers are dealt with in Blair county.

Oh shit.

Wait, that’s my whole thing with the Blair county justice system.  How they, to steal a jailhouse phrase, “knock drug dealer’s dicks into the dirt” while turning a blind eye to crimes I feel are a bit more serious.  No, absolutely not, not here, not now.  It didn’t happen this time.  I’m sure of it.  Judge Kagarise (a county judge who ran for election by stressing his pro-life beliefs, which says more about my area than anything else I could say) had to have crushed this guy, right?  I mean, look at his record!  The PFA’s!  The threats!  The fact that he’s drawn a gun in anger before!  Come on, Blair county, even blind justice gets one right every now and then…….

Blair County Judge Wade A. Kagarise placed Matthew Andrew Crawford, 30, on probation for four years after he entered pleas to terroristic threats and simple assault stemming from a Feb. 6 confrontation with the girlfriend.

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

The girlfriend appeared with other family members in court Thursday to ask the judge to order Crawford, as part of his probation, to follow whatever mental health treatment is recommended following an upcoming evaluation.

She said she fears not only for herself and her household but also for the safety of the public because of Crawford’s violent personality.

His mental health status is not good, she told the judge.

She said he doesn’t take his medication.

Sounds like some good recommendations.  I’d add five to ten up state on their, but I guess you can only ask for the possible.  Hmm, I wonder how the woman in question feels about the sentence of probation?  Maybe she asked the court to go easy on him….

She added that she was also “not thrilled” about the probationary sentence.

Well now, that is one serious understatement, ya think?  How could she be thrilled?  She probably gets Investigation Discovery as well.  She knows which path this story follows to the finish more times than not.

You know, I never do this, but this is a story that you may have a chance to influence.  You see, when Mr. Crawford hopped on down the bunny trail at the Cathedral last Easter eve, causing his gun to get excited and blow its load, he committed a crime.  (Yes, even though we can be sure that was far from the only load blown at a Catholic church in Blair county, if we go by the Grand Jury report.  But those were priests blowing those loads, and no one told the cops to ignore the one Mr. Crawford blew, so a punishment was due.  It was a weak one, but it was still punishment.

Kagarise in December placed Crawford on two years’ probation for the gun blast in the cathedral.

Why is this important?  Because, as I will be the first to tell you, based on personal experience, when you are on county probation, the county owns your ass.  In fact, even though Mr. Crawford was sentenced to only 4 years probation for beating his girlfriend with a plunger (out of love, I’m sure), he is currently in Blair county prison for violating his probation.

While Crawford received probation, he remains in the Blair County Prison because he was on probation for the church shooting incident when the most recent arrest occurred.

He told Kagarise he wanted a probation violation hearing on Thursday. Kagarise indicated he would have to wait awhile longer for that hearing.

“It’s time you got your act together, Mr. Crawford,” the judge said as he explained to Crawford that he could be sentenced to prison for violating terms of his probation.

When the probation hearing occurs, 3 things could happen.  (That’s assuming it’s his Gagnon 2 hearing, which is pretty safe since Gagnon 1’s have to be held 7 to 10 days after the arrest.)

  1.  The Judge decides he has done enough time for the violation and sets him free.
  2.  The Judge decides to sentence him to a jail term that cannot exceed his current probation sentence.  (So since he violated a probation sentence of 2 years, he could conceivably be sentenced to sit in jail until the day his probation was supposed to end.)
  3.   The Judge can take the nuclear option and Revoke and Re-sentence the offender.  In this instance, the Judge scraps the original sentence entirely and substitutes a different reasonable sentence.

In my opinion, the third option is the least likely one.  R&R’s are usually used against, you guessed it, non-violent drug offenders who fuck up on probation as a way to extend the probation.  For a personal example, my original sentence was 18 months of probation.  After being revoked and re-sentenced 4 times, I turned that 18 months into a total of 18 months in county jail, 13 months in state prison, to go with 4 and a half years on county probation followed by 11 months on state parole**.  Yeah, R&R’s can add up fast.  (For those curious, 2 of my R&R’s were caused by getting kicked out of 12 step based treatment facilities due to my atheism.  The other 2 were legit.  *shrugs*)

While I personally feel that 2 years is too light of a sentence for this man, after weighing his past charges, his violent history, the threats he made while assaulting someone he supposedly loved, and the fact that he fucking pulled a gun on someone in anger before, it is still two years.  I do not want to read the paper next month and learn of a murder committed by this jerk.  I do not understand why he wasn’t sent up state yesterday to be honest.  The quickest reason I can come up with is that Judge Kagarise doesn’t really think beating up your girlfriend is a crime, but I’m not going to make that accusation at this point, over one case.  I’m not sure if my voice will matter at all in this instance, but I will be reaching out to Judge Kagarise to let him know that I think Mr. Crawford is a danger to the community and needs to spend a bit more time on ice to pay for his crimes.  And hell, if you feel like chiming in, Judge Wade Kagarise can be reached at his law office, (814) 696-1108.  You can reach out to Blair county probation and parole from this page here, and from this one you can find links to many different departments at the Courthouse to annoy, er, respectfully question.

Maybe someone can explain to me why such serious crimes are met with a “meh” while a bag of heroin turns the judiciary into Judge Dredd.  Until then, remember the following:  Matthew Andrew Crawford got 4 years of probation for threatening to kill his girlfriend while keeping her against her will and beating her with an object.  I got 1 to 2 years in a maximum security state prison for scratching 100$ worth of lottery tickets off at work and then offering to pay for them.

Smells like justice to me.

*Actually, I remember exactly why I bought baseball cards.  Because I had invented a collectible card game to play using them.  Amazing what you can come up with when you have time, imagination, and ten sided dice.

** For those wondering, I finished walking off my state parole in 2007 or 2008.  Since then my only trouble with the law was a speeding ticket.

 

WotW-Gate: Why are We So Quick to Call Rape Victims “Liars?”

Unless your mind is unconsciously, or consciously for some reason, choosing to ignore reality, you have probably noticed that practically every rape case covered in the media includes some element insinuating, if not outright declaring, that the victim is lying about the crime in question.  In fact, if you were to form an opinion only from the information presented in the media, you could be forgiven for assuming that the United States was experiencing an avalanche of false rape accusations.  And yes, people do lie about being raped.  People have been known to lie about being the victims of just about every crime short of murder, and I’m sure a few enterprising liars figured out ways to claim they were murdered as well.  But the idea that we are experiencing an epidemic of false rape allegations would be laughable if it didn’t make it more difficult for the victims to get justice.

How many rape victims are lying?  The truth is, sadly, that we don’t know.  A quick spin at Google University  gives numbers ranging from 2% or 8% on the low end to 25% or 40% on the misogynist MRA end.  Megan McArdle  at Bloomberg View tried to make sense of it in 2014, yet, in my opinion at least, fell victim to her ideology filter, quickly dismissing the 2% number:

Here’s what we do know: The 2 percent number is very bad and should never be cited. It apparently traces its lineage back to Susan Brownmiller’s legendary “Against Our Will,” and her citation for this figure is a single speech by an appellate judge before a small group of lawyers. His source for this statistic was a single area of New York that started having policewomen conduct all rape interviews. This is not data. It is an anecdote about an anecdote.

In the very next line she goes on to praise a study MRA sites point to that sets the number at 41%, although to her credit she does point out that study’s incredibly small sample size.  (Small like the average penis size of MRAs.)  She then dismisses the 8% statistic as well as just about every other statistic, citing the ideology of the study’s author.

This number should be used only with grave caution.

But so should any other numbers, such as the 8 percent figure that is commonly attributed to the FBI. When you dig into the research itself, you find it is often heavily inflected with the authors’ prior beliefs about what constitutes the “real problem”: unreported cases of rape or false reports?

I agree with her to a certain extent.  Statistics can be made to say just about anything you want them to, and the higher percentages cited almost certainly owe much to author bias.  The problem, however, is that there are some good studies out there, and she seems to flippantly dismiss the lower numbers, especially the 2% number, which I have a hard time believing only comes from an old, minor speech.  The truth is probably somewhere in the 2% to 8% range, which is where most studies I have seen seem to put it.  I tend to think it is higher than 2%, not because women be lying, but because the vast majority of rapes go unreported, which I think would skew the data a bit.

From a South African site:

MYTH: Women say they have been raped to get revenge on a man.

The truth is that women very rarely do this, as reporting rape to the authorities and going through a rape trial are very traumatic. It takes a lot of courage to report a rape and go through with a rape trial. Other people often make rape victims feel ashamed or guilty about the rape, which makes it even less likely that a woman would lie about rape. Statistics show that number of false reports of rape is the same as any other crime.

TRUTH: People lie about all crimes, not just rape. The number of people that lie about being the victim of a crime is very small.

From a feminism 101 site:

For those who stubbornly wish to believe that bitches be lyin’, I can point them at studies. I have before and will again. But in the future, I will first make them chew on this “false” rape allegation statistic until their teeth break.

CONTENT NOTE FOR ABOVE LINK: Massive trigger warning for graphic description of violent sexual assault and horrific treatment by law enforcement

Now, some of them will spit out that report along with their shattered teeth and flap their bleeding gums at me: “That’s just an anecdote.” And that is true. It is just one data point behind the 2-8%. Since we are Good Skeptics™, we know to look beyond anecdotes.

So let me add in a study of police attitudes toward rape victims. It would seem EEB isn’t alone, then. And if we could factor in the victims who never reported at all because of shit like this, that “false” rape allegation statistic would drop like a rock. Since they don’t, the statistics are skewed, making “false” allegations look more prevalent.

Now add the horrific treatment victims experience from defense attorneys who believe they’re scum. I can tell you from experience this can be worse than the rape. It can be a form of torture, and like torture victims, some rape victims will recant just to make the pain stop. Magically, their allegation is now “false.” But they’re no less raped, and the rapist is no less a sexual predator.

Add in the fact that some rapists have the lock on society, and can crush their victims. If their victims had the courage to report, they’ve soon got their buddies to sweep the crime under the rug. And another several ticks are added in the “false” rape allegation column.

Add in children who receive such a terrifying reaction to their attack that they recant just to protect themselves. More “false” rape allegations.

What about victims who aren’t supported by friends and family because many cultures make it easier to believe the victims are filthy, disgusting, crazy liars rather than people suffering from sexual assault? I think you know what happens to the statistics by now.

Add in the fact that some police departments don’t make a distinction between “reports that are actually, genuinely, provably false” and “reports that can’t be prosecuted due to statute of limitations, lack of evidence, or some other reason, but no doubt the victim was assaulted.” Both numbers end up counting under “false” allegations, although a sizable percentage weren’t false at all.

Back in 2014, after the Rolling Stone rape article debacle, a graphic was making the Twitter rounds that claimed to visually show rapes, false accusations, trials and convictions.  While popular (no, I’m not posting it because it is huge and I’ve already taken up a lot of space for this post.  You can see it at the upcoming link.), it received 3 Pinocchios from the Washington Post’s fact check site, which claimed that it was misleading and contained incorrect data.  I bring this up not because of the infographic itself, but rather this quote the Washington Post made while slamming the chart: (bolding by me)

False reporting is a difficult number to measure. The Enliven Project uses 2 percent of “falsely accused” cases, out of the 100 reported cases of rape. There is an important distinction that must be made here, between accusations and reports. “Accusations” may refer to claims that were not made in official police reports, whereas “reports” generally refer to cases that were filed with law enforcement.

That, again, seems to be the lower end of the estimate range. The “Making a Difference” Project, which used data collected by law enforcement agencies over 18 to 24 months, found 7 percent of cases that were classified as false. That study is the “only research conducted in the U.S. to evaluate the percentage of false reports made to law enforcement,” according to the National Center for the Prosecution of Violence Against Women. Other studies also estimate somewhere between 2 and 10 percent.

It’s quotes like that that convince me the truth is far closer to the 2% to 8% range than the MRA nightmare numbers.  Unless you called the police to report that your illegal drugs were stolen, I have a hard time imagining a crime where the victim is treated as poorly as we treat rape victims.  Even then, they wouldn’t ask you what you were wearing or if you asked the thief to steal your drugs then changed your mind.  Honestly, knowing the way victims are blamed, questioned, looked at, and outcast in many cases, along with the incredible likely hood that the rapist is going to get away with it anyway, I’m surprised the number of rapes reported isn’t, sadly, even lower.

When someone reports a burglary, we do not immediately assume the victim trashed their own house and hid the valuables in order to commit insurance fraud.  When someone is hit by a hit and run driver, we don’t immediately jump in with the thought that maybe they wrecked their car and injured themselves in an attempt at claiming disability.  When a store says they are having problems with shoplifters, we don’t assume they are lying so they have an excuse to raise prices.

Yet every single rape case that is covered by the media, I have to listen to someone accuse the victim of lying.  The women who are accusing Cosby?  They all just want money apparently.  Jameis Winston and Ben Roethlisberger?  Innocent little angels who almost fell victim to evil gold-digging whores.  It doesn’t matter what the facts are of the case, someone will claim the victim is lying.  Did a 14 year old girl get filmed being raped while passed out by three members of the high school football team?  (Hypothetical case here, not making mistakes about Steubenville)  Oh, that girl was a slut who consented before she passed out and just doesn’t remember.  And this isn’t only an issue with women victims, either.  Every time a new priest is accused of sexually assaulting a child in the past, the victim is accused of only wanting to cash in on the molestation gravy train.  Living as close to State College as I do, where Joe Paterno was treated at the minimum as a minor deity, I heard claims about the men accusing Jerry Sandusky ranging from the usual “they just want money” to the batshit tinfoil insane “they were paid by a shadowy Penn State booster who realized the team could never be great again with Paterno as coach to start a scandal that would force PSU to fire him, an act most locals considered unthinkable. Hell, it may even have been Penn State’s own athletic director!”

Even if the rape is believed, or in the cases where there is undeniable proof, the rapist can receive more sympathy than the victim.  I’ve heard very little sympathy for Jerry Sandusky after the facts of the case all came out, although it sadly still exists, but as a cultural Catholic I have heard many justifications for the child molesting priests, which, anecdotally of course, seem to mainly consist of “yeah, he made a mistake, but look at all the good he has done!  Doesn’t that kind of even it out?  And I’m sure he confessed his sins to God and was forgiven, so who are we to judge.”  And how can anyone forget this quote out of the Steubenville case?  (Hopefully no one can, and if they can, I will do my part in reminding people of it when I can.  Seriously, was CNN channeling their inner Fox News?

During the course of the delinquent verdict on March 17, 2013, CNN’s Poppy Harlow stated that it was “Incredibly difficult, even for an outsider like me, to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believed their lives fell apart…when that sentence came down, [Ma’lik] collapsed in the arms of his attorney…He said to him, ‘My life is over. No one is going to want me now.'”

Aw.  Were their promising little futures all derailed?  O M G, we are so mean to convicted rapists, seriously!

How did we get to this point?  What can we do about it? WTF is WotW-gate anyway?

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series that HBO’s Game of Thrones is based on.  I was a huge fan of the show as well, and I am not ashamed to admit that I only found the books through the show.  WotW-gate is just a fandom kerfluffle that, to be quite honest, is probably meaningless to most of my readers.  But I did want to touch on it mainly because of this “trend” our culture seems to be following now of insinuating that rape victims, even non-pregnant ones who are not seeking an abortion, are lying about the rape.  I want to be clear that I do not know any of the people involved.  I have had a few quick conversations (and even calling them that is a stretch) with the blogger at GoTgifsandmusings about other subjects, have had even shorter conversations with the blogger at The Cultural Vaccum, and started to get my news about Game of Thrones exclusively from Watchers on the Wall once they broke away from Winter is Coming, although my visits to WotW have shrunk significantly since the horror that was Season Five.  (WotW is way too show apologetic for my tastes, so I mainly avoid it now.  I don’t blame them for that though, if my actual job was running a GoTs fan site, I wouldn’t chase away my traffic by harshly criticizing the show either.  I’d like to say that I would quit instead, but that is an easy claim to make when you have no skin in the game.)  While I find myself occasionally enjoying a tweet from AngryGoTfan, we are pretty much opposites politically and have never communicated.  I also do not know the author of A Rape Victim Speaks Out on the Sansa Scene, which is the post that started WotW-gate.  Never met her, never talked to her, and have no idea as to her identity.  What I am saying is that I do not have proof to rub in anyone’s face over this idiocy.

Here’s the story in a nutshell.  (You can find much more information on it at GoTgifsandmusings, I am just giving the bare bones of the situation.)

  • The “Let’s rape Sansa Stark for no real reason” episode of GoT’s aired, causing several members of the fandom to give up on the show.
  • AngryGoTfan published an anonymous, long post from a rape survivor detailing the emotions watching that scene caused her to have.
  • Some show apologists in the fandom responded to this post in several ways, including comments like “shut up,” “nuh uh,” “people get raped in the books, why doesn’t that make you cry,” “grow a thicker skin,” and “wow, you are lying about getting raped to critique my show?  I call foul!”
  • A conspiracy theory evolves that states the whole 6500 word article was actually written by AngryGoTfan, sock-puppetting as a rape victim so he can…..? Continue bitching about a show he was already bitching about?
  • WotW’s Editor-in-Chief Sue the Fury decides that the above conspiracy theory is the truth and claims to have proof that AngryGoTfan is the author.
  • The author of the post, who has been in internet contact with GoTsgifsandmusing for a while now, attempts to convince Sue the Fury that she actually exists.  She is instead blocked on Twitter.
  • The author reaches out to GoTgifsandmusings, who attempts to contact Sue the Fury and is blocked.
  • Sue the Fury states these people are all AngryGoTfan’s minions sent to attack her.
  • The author of the article continues feeling marginalized and victimized, and now can’t even seem to convince people of her existence without outing herself on the internet or giving her personal information to someone she obviously can’t trust not to reveal that information.

Now I will admit that it is possible that Sue the Fury, and the conspiracy theory are correct.  But read that 6500 word post and ask yourself if it sounds like the words of a rape victim, or a conservative male pretending to be a rape victim.  If that is really AngryGoTfan, then I am impressed.  Disgusted of course, but impressed as well, because to me, it sounds legitimate.

So yeah, it is possible that Angry wrote that post just to add on to his criticism of the show, and I suppose it is possible that he then opened up a conversation with GoTgifsandmusing and convinced her, through in depth written conversations, that he was actually a woman who was raped in the past.  I just don’t think it’s very likely.  Criticism of season five wasn’t exactly hard to come up with.  Why take the risk of sock-puppetting the tale of a rape survivor?

But what really confuses me in this case, honestly, is Sue the Fury’s response.  The post wasn’t going to hurt Game of Thrones and then trickle down into hurting WotW’s page views.  Not only has the show survived criticism over rape in the past, but it remains the darling of critics.  Those of us book readers who feel the show jumped the shark are an extreme minority when compared to the massive audience that watches the show, legally and illegally.  I don’t see why this got a response from Sue in the first place.  Sure, if she really hated AngryGoTfan that much, if she had proof that he wrote the post and released it she could single-handedly  strip his site of all credibility,  but that proof hasn’t been posted, just the accusation.

And without that proof, I just do not see an upside for Sue, in a sea of possible land mines.

But that’s the rape culture we apparently live in, where every rape victim is a liar until proven honest.

Sigh.