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Posts tagged Cory Maye

Tuesday Lazy Linking

Around the web in the past couple weeks. Some of the news that’s fit to link.

  • Hopelessly Midwestern (2006-02-03): Petting =/= Popularity: A Shocking Look At The Sex Lives Of Our Children takes on professional anti-feminist Caitlin Flanagan (for background reading, see the profile in Ms.) and her latest foray into the teensploitation genre — a hand-wringing and voyeuristic article about a non-existent teenage oral sex craze amongst our Troubled Suburban Youth, and touches on feminism, amnesiac nostalgia, privileged suburban angst, and Judy Blume in the process.

    Thinking back on my own privileged adolescence, I can remember girls who performed oral sex on boys on a more or less casual basis, girls who denied rumors that they did the above, girls who did it with their boyfriends and related the experience the next morning with a mix of panic and excitement, girls who didn’t think it was a big deal, girls who thought it was a big deal, girls who talked about it loudly at lunchtime and did seductive poses with every potentially phallic food product in sight (including CapriSun straws and granola bars) but had no more than a vague idea what it actually involved, girls who thought it was the grossest thing ever, EVER, oh my God, girls who had no qualms about doing it (it in italics) but thought oral sex was unnatural, girls who tried to freak out self-consciously innocent girls like me by saying, Luke Lepinski is SO CUTE. Don’t you just want to put his DICK in your MOUTH? and then laughing like maniacs at my genuine bafflement, Christian girls who plugged their ears and shrieked if you tried to talk about any kind of genital-related program activity, even in the most abstract and theoretical language, girls who had heard you could get pregnant that way (and might have a cousin who knew someone who did,) and myself. My opinions on the matter were all based on my strong and growing aversion to boys, and were not particularly well-formed, nor did I have occasion to put them into practice. I recite this autobiographical litany as a way of illustrating the complex nature of that steady decline in morals called growing up, and to suggest that gnashing one’s teeth about the unexpected depravities of our formerly delicate rosebud-like daughters may not be the best response thereto. What is the best response? I don’t know, but Caitlin Flanagan is a bit too eager to put down Planned Parenthood for its attempts to give sane and sensible advice on the matter ….

    — Hopelessly Midwestern (2006-02-03): Petting =/= Popularity: A Shocking Look At The Sex Lives Of Our Children

    … and don’t miss the response to Flanagan’s closing remarks — an employment of the old Double Standard so overt and so uncritical that it leaves no avenues of criticism open other than something stodgy like rank sexism:

    Frankly, I’d rather have a daughter who gives out a few undeserved blowjobs of her own volition than a son who thinks sex is his right and privilege as a Hot-Blooded American Male. Oops, there I go slandering men with my insane expectation that they take responsibility for their own desires! Damn insidious radical feminist influence! What won’t it disfigure with its toxic fumes of seething, sulfurous hatred?

    — Hopelessly Midwestern (2006-02-03): Petting =/= Popularity: A Shocking Look At The Sex Lives Of Our Children

    Read the whole thing

  • Sarah Goldstein at Broadsheet (2006-02-03): New hope in the fight against domestic violence gives a shout-out to a new program for rehabilitating men who batter women, called Resolve to Abolish Violence Everywhere. The plan? Stop focusing on anger management, and start tackling male entitlement:

    What’s exciting about this approach to combating domestic abuse is that it tackles the institutionalization of male dominance, looking at the offender’s action within a larger system of violence. Women’s eNews reports, Staffers [in Austin] say this program assumes that violence arises from a decision based on deeply-held beliefs of male dominance, not a flash of uncontrollable emotion. Whereas most anger management classes are just three or four weeks long, this program works with the offender for an entire year after his release.

    — Sarah Goldstein at Broadsheet (2006-02-03): New hope in the fight against domestic violence

    Of course, there’s no magic bullet for ending battery, and this program, like any others, has limitations to worry about (like the institutional limitations imposed on any program run by cops, or the fact that it only catches men once they’ve already tortured one or more women to the point that it reached the criminal justice system). But insofar as there are going to be court-mandated rehabilitation programs, this is certainly a step forward, and I wish them the best.

    Read the whole thing.

  • Twisty at I Blame the Patriarchy (2006-02-07): To Be Hot And Nuts points out a story from this month’s Prospect that will make you want to tear your hair out and then run out in a blind rage and bury the entire psychiatric-pharmaceutical complex under a library of Women and Madness and the collected works of Thomas Szasz.

    But then tragedy strikes. The drug that works also makes her fat. This a horror the doctors find intolerable. Her beauty is destroyed. So they take her off that drug because in a patriarchy a hot girl cannot be fat. So Nia immediately goes nuts again because the new drug, though it does not make her fat, also doesn't work. She is nuts again, but at least she's still a babe. Whew. That was close.

    But she is so nuts that, after a month of hell, doctors reluctantly put her back on the fat drug. The crazy part is that Nia doesn't give a crap about being fat. She's happy as a clam to get rid of the voices. Yet the doctors assume that, because she isn't crying herself to sleep every night over her lost beauty, she isn't really getting well at all. Any 17-year-old in her right mind would be bulimic and wanna slice herself up with razors under these circumstances, right?

    — Twisty at I Blame the Patriarchy (2006-02-07): To Be Hot And Nuts

    Selections from the first five or six comments: Oh give me a fucking break, I don't know what to do besides shout obscenities. Good fucking god, This makes me so mad I can't see straight. That last paragraph … is insulting in about 10 THOUSAND different ways and makes me want to slap the authors and Nia's dr's repeatedly about the head and face, etc. That’s just about right.

    Read the whole damn thing. But only on an empty stomach. Then write a letter to the editor.

  • Amanda at Pandagon (2006-02-02): Vacuums, internalized sexism and yes, that invisibility of privilege looks at the politics of housework, as one of the arenas of in which anti-feminists love to point out how women themselves are deputized as the primary enforcers of sexist standards. Shockingly, she finds that this looks more like classic male privilege than it does some kind of self-imposed drudgery that women have ended up with by being naturally the Fairer Sex.

    You see this sort of thing a lot, where women are judged by a different standard than men, but the appointed judges are technically other women, so the whole thing can be written off as women being weird instead of women trying to adapt to a patriarchal system. That way, not only can men benefit from the thing women are supposed to do to fit into a standard, they have the added bonus of acting like they are simply above such female nonsense. In the case of housework, men can benefit from having a clean home without either working or appearing so uncool as to care if the house is clean, since the work is done by invisible female hands.

    … It's true–make-up, shoes, exercise, dieting, the whole routine is developed by and enforced by women while being sneered at all too often by the very men the entire routine is developed to benefit. The complaint is not so much that women do all these things, of course. It's that men might accidentally be exposed to these things; in the good old days, I suppose, women worked harder at the conspiracy to shield men from having to perceive their own privilege. (For a really great example of this, read Pink Think by Lynn Peril–she excerpts an advice book to women that suggests that women should rise before their husbands to do their make-up and preserve the illusion that they never look any different.)

    … That's the basic argument behind choice feminism, and it's whipped out to explain away every instance of women's second class status, from breast implants to domestic service. And that's the argument that EricP is resorting to when explaining away the difference between expectations on men and women for level of cleanliness. It's easy to look at how women are expected to police ourselves for adhering to a patriachal standard and say that it's our fault. But it's not the cops that are the ones to look at when the laws themselves are suspect.

    — Amanda at Pandagon (2006-02-02): Vacuums, internalized sexism and yes, that invisibility of privilege

    Read the whole thing. I’d also like to add a note from Andrea Dworkin that I came across the same day that I read Amanda’s post. This is from In Memory of Nicole Brown Simpson, in Life and Death (41–50):

    While race-hate is expressed through forced segregation, woman-hate is expressed through forced closeness, which makes punishment swift, easy, and sure. In private, women often empathize with one another, across race and class, because their experiences with men are so much the same. But in public, including on juries, women rarely dare.

    –Andrea Dworkin, Life and Death, pp. 49–50

    Maybe one way to gloss the essential goal of feminism is to create a platform from which that private empathy can erupt into public solidarity and action.

  • BB at Den of the Biting Beaver (2006-02-10): Friday Fun with Sitemeter offers a guided tour to the kind of Google searches that you get when you run a radical feminist anti-pornography website.

  • Roderick at Austro-Athenian Empire (2006-02-03): Tarzan’s Burden mentions Hollywood popcult’s mutilation of the character of Tarzan, and points to an interesting four-part essay by F. X. Blisard on race relations in the Tarzan novels and Edgar Rice Burroughs’ work in general — fairly enlightened for Burroughs' era, it turns out, and far superior to Hollywood's treatment. Read the whole thing.

  • Ken Gregg (2006-02-08) at CLASSical Liberalism: It Usually Begins With… takes another look at Jules Verne, his literary accomplishments, his prescience, the way his politics have been excised from bowdlerized English translations until very recently, and what those politics were (in short, a mixed bag):

    Verne’s novels have contrary trends: support for national liberation movements such as the Irish and Polish, but also a strong pacifist streak; paternalism toward colonial peoples, but a hatred of slavery and imperialism (especially British); sympathy for utopian experiments, but resentment toward state power; affirmation of free enterprise, but assaults on big capitalism (especially American); a celebration of loyalty and community, but sympathy for militant individualism.

    — Ken Gregg (2006-02-08) at CLASSical Liberalism: It Usually Begins With…

    Read the whole thing.

  • media girl (2006-02-10): Spying on Americans is for kids! takes a look at the NSA’s ongoing attempts at cute, furry cartoon outreach to children, which is either a very funny comment on bureaucratic rationality or else a daring new form of avant-garde surrealist theater.

  • The Dominion (2006-01-16): CBC’s true colors discovers that the government-owned CBC is solicitous of the party in power in the government to the point of altering their logo to match the party color scheme. Surprised?

  • Paganarchy (2006-02-04): Serious Organised Crime? Ha Ha Ha! — a squad of clowns takes to the street to protest restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly around Parliament, and a copper stops them from entering Parliament to talk with their MPs:

    Our first port of call was to visit our MPs in the House Of Commons. Just through the security gate and whoa — the duty sergeant stopped us from going in. Alas, we were deemed not dignified enough by a copper calling himself the chief arbiter of style.

    As opposed to the grave dignity of a copper who has appointed himself the chief arbiter of style for the House of Commons and taken it upon himself to make sure the dress of visitors is up to his sartorial standards.

    Read the whole thing.

  • The North Eastern Federation of Anarchist Communists posts links to left-anarchist debate over the iterative Five Year Plan participatory economics.

  • Kevin Carson at the UnCapitalist Journal (2005-09-22): What Can Bosses Know? looks at mutualist anarchism, worker self-management, and the knowledge problems that afflict corporate as well as government bureaucracies. (Yeah, I know it’s from last September. But it’s good, and I just found it in the past couple weeks. Also, you may find it relevant in connection with the debate over Five Year Planning by iterated collective bargaining between the deputies of several massive federations in an appropriately participatory bureaucratic forum.)

    As Samuel Edward Konkin III (SEK3) of the Movement of the Libertarian Left said somewhere (I can’t find it–little help?) organizational inefficiency starts when you have one supervisor taking orders from another supervisor: that is, the point at which hierarchy replaces market contracting.

    … The central problem is that, since the costs of tracking the results of individual decisions becomes prohibitively expensive in a large organization, market incentives must be replaced by administrative ones. Milton Friedman pointed out long ago that people do a better job of spending money on themselves than on other people, and do better spending their own money than other people’s money. That’s the standard, and correct, libertarian argument for why government is so inefficient. It’s spending other people’s money on other people; and unlike a private firm not only can it not go out of business for inefficiency, it gets rewarded with more money. Well, the very same incentive problems apply to the decision-maker in a corporate hierarchy. He’s a steward of other people’s money, and the costs and benefits of any decision he makes can be determined only badly, if at all. Unlike a self-employed actor whose relations with others are mediated by the market, he is motivated by purely administrative incentives.

    — Kevin Carson at the UnCapitalist Journal (2005-09-22): What Can Bosses Know?

  • Russell Roberts at Cafe Hayek (2006-02-09): We Don’t Make Anything Anymore takes on the factory protectionists over the state of industry in America. The worriers like to complain that we don’t make anything anymore. America is being hollowed out. Soon we’re going to be left doing one another’s laundry. Boy, will we be poor then. The problem is an old one: the heavy-industry hand-wringers are measuring the inputs, not the outputs. When you look at the stuff actually being produced, rather than the number of people employed or the size of the pile of resources invested in producing it, you’ll find that we’re making more stuff than ever. (I’d add that there are lots of reasons to worry about what happens to heavy-industry workers as they lose their jobs. And that Roberts’ summary and selective swipes at the unions are unwarranted. But the basic point is well-taken. Our aims should not be to prop up an elaborate industrial make-work program.)

  • David Friedman, Ideas (2006-02-09): Unschooling: The Advantage of the Real World: One point raised in comments on my recent unschooling post was that you sometimes have to do things you don’t like, a lesson we can teach our children by making them study things they are not currently interested in studying. It is an interesting point, and I think reflects a serious error. Friedman challenges would-be educators to help students expose themselves to the natural consequences of effort and fortitude, rather than imposing make-work punishments and rewards on them in order to teach them a lesson where the incentives bear no natural relation to the task at hand. Read the whole thing.

  • Tim Bray, ongoing (2006-02-10) asks, What Do GNU and Linux Mean? in a free software world where the user experience is (praise the Good) further and further removed from the technical wotsits of the kernel, where Firefox, OpenOffice, and GNU software provide an increasingly standard software environment, and where the choice between GNU/OpenSolaris and GNU/Linux is going to be a strictly technical choice with basically no impact on the end-user environment? What should you even call what’s emerging? Tim suggests some deliberate provocations: So you've got the combination of a Solaris or Linux kernel with a mish-mosh of GNU, Mozilla, OpenOffice and other random software, and calling it Linux or Solaris is misleading. I think Sun could legally ship something like this under the name GNU/Unix. Which would be concise, descriptive, accurate, and funny. (Because GNU stands for Gnu's Not Unix and Solaris, after all, is.) I think maybe we should just call it GNU, and encourage ordinary users to leave the worries about what comes after the slash to people who have reasons to care about kernels.

  • August Pollak (2006-02-08): As a white guy, did you just throw up right now? and Mikhaela Reed (2006-02-09): The so-called conservative Doonesbury mention Chris Muir’s imaginary Black friend and the excellent opportunity that having one provides white cartoonists to lecture African-Americans about how they should think of themselves in early 21st century America. A Touch of Ego offers some background context on Muir and Day By Day. Amanda at Pandagon (2006-02-08) calls for fixes to help Chris Muir write a funny strip. My favorite repair job is from Ampersand at Alas (2006-02-09).

  • Claire Wolfe (2006-02-13): Back from the meditation workshop reviews the good, the bad, and the ugly of her two-week long meditation retreat in silence. One of the good things about the retreat was the distance it allowed from the hot air of professional blowhards that passes for News and Views these days: The omnipresent Information Flow also became irrelevant. I worried at times about what was happening to Steve Kubby and Cory Maye, but could have cared less about the monotonous, inevitable sturm und drang that passes for Vital News. Funny, too. They call it news, but the same rot was being broadcast and podcast and web-posted when I left and when I returned. Nothing new about the news. … Time to live. Time to think deeply, rather than think in quick brain bytes between rushed emails and frequent checks of LewRockwell.com, Rational Review, Google News, and TCF. Read the whole thing.

  • Carnival is two weeks from today. In honor of the liturgical occasion, be sure to read up on the latest weblog Carnivals. In particular, the inaugural editions of the Radical Women of Color Carnival and the Big Fat Carnival are up at Reappropriate and Alas, A Blog respectively. Not to mention the eighth Carnival of the Feminists at Gendergeek. Enjoy!

Free Cory Maye

Roderick’s recent post (2006-01-06) reminded me: Cory Maye needs our help, and we need to keep eyes on his case. About a month ago, I mentioned the case of Cory Maye in the course of my commentary on the premeditated murder of Tookie Williams by the state of California. Maye was sentenced to die by poisoning on January 23, 2004. Now, as far as the death penalty is concerned, I just don’t care whether Maye is innocent or guilty. Innocent or guilty, the state of Mississippi has no right to kill him when he poses no threat; that’s premeditated murder, with or without the black hood and the Crown on the heads of those responsible. (See GT 2004-12-15: God damn it and GT 2005-12-13: Murder in the first for further discussion in the context of different cases.)

But there are good reasons to think that Maye is innocent, and that the crime of murdering him would be doubly foul. Radley Balko has been talking this up since discovering the case in early December. There are lots of legalistic worries about the conduct of the police and the progress of the trial. It’s important to keep track of those for the purposes of defending Maye’s life, but it’s also important to remember that the pretext on which the narco-cops were storming Maye’s house in the first place — the so-called War on Drugs — is itself a massive, systematic, and senseless paramilitary assault on innocent people, for committing the crime of taking drugs without a permission slip — an act which is at worst foolish, perhaps a vice, but which can at worst hurt only themselves. The cops, in other words, had no damn right to storm Maye’s house, and the state of Mississippi couldn’t give them one even if they had complied with all the official paperwork (which it seems that they didn’t). Whether or not a judge wrote them a warrant that covered Maye’s home, they had no right to be there. Whether or not they knocked and identified themselves, they had no right to break into Maye’s house by force. And when an armed gang that has no right to be there invades your home without your permission and comes after you, you have a right to defend yourself, by force, if necessary. Balko’s right to say:

Maye’s case is an outrage. Prentiss, Mississippi clearly violated Maye’s civil rights the moment its cops needlessly and recklessly stormed his home in the middle of the night. The state of Mississippi is about to add a perverse twist to that violation by executing Maye for daring to defend himself.

— Radley Balko, The Agitator (2005-12-17): Cory Maye

But it’s important to note that that’s true even if the police and D.A.’s version of the story were (as it almost certainly is not) true from beginning to end. The War on Drugs is indeed a war — but it’s a war on people, not substances, and those people have done nothing to deserve being attacked by the paramilitary forces of the State. The warriors are trying to make Cory Maye its latest casualty. They must be stopped.

WikiPedia’s article on Cory Maye summarizes the details of the case. There’s a new website, MayeIsInnocent.com, that provides a clearing-house for information and news about the fight for Maye’s life. If you want to help, here are three things you can do:

  1. Write a couple letters: Read over the information on Maye’s case at The Agitator, at WikiPedia, and at MayeIsInnocent.com. Write a polite, well-considered letter to Governor Haley Barbour (for an example, see Silent Running (2005-12-10): An Open Letter) mentioning the legalistic details that I’ve mostly set aside here, and ask him to grant clemency or a pardon. Be sure to mention what you’re going to do next: take that letter, pare it down to 300 words or fewer, make it a bit less polite, and send it to your local newspapers. Be sure to include URIs for Balko’s coverage and/or MayeIsInnocent.com. The more heat that Barbour gets, and the more that it makes its way into the Op-Ed pages of newspapers across the country, the more pressure there will be to act. And the more that it appears in those Op-Ed pages, the more people will learn about the case.

  2. Post news or commentary on your website about the case. If you haven’t done so already, get on it. If you have, mention anything that’s new since your last post. Why? Because this is important, but it’s in danger of receding into bloggers’ archive sections and out of public sight. Keep the debate alive online and it will have a better chance of reaching more ears both online or offline. If you’ve written letters, you can post copies online for other people to see. If it’s nothing more than a Cory Maye is still in jail and the state of Mississippi still threatens to murder an innocent man, there’s nothing wrong with that, either. Because he is still in jail and the state of Mississippi is still threatening to murder an innocent man; the sword over his head hasn’t moved away just because your attention has. (If you’re the sort to post buttons or banners at the top of your page, Roderick (2006-01-08) and Laura Denyes (2006-01-04) have some suggestions. Don’t forget to link the image to MayeIsInnocent.com or a similar clearing-house.)

  3. Help Cory defend himself in court. If you have the money, you can help by contributing to [Cory Maye’s legal defense fund]. Even small contributions ($10, $20) can be immensely helpful in a case like this. Maye’s case is on appeal, but his current lawyer is a public defendant and needs financial help to be able to continue his investigative and advocacy work on Maye’s case. Contributions can be sent by mail to:

    Cory Maye Justice Fund
    c/o R.E. Evans
    P.O. Box 636
    Monticello, MS 39654

    See Balko’s post (2005-01-06 for the details.

Battlepanda (2005-12-13) suggests some more ways you can try to raise a ruckus about this. Let’s get on with it: an innocent man’s life is on the line.

Murder in the first

As you probably know by now, mercy was denied, and Stanley Tookie Williams was murdered by the state of California at 12:35 am this morning. In other news, none of his alleged victims came back to life and there are no reports of murders having been deterred in the state of California.

Here are some things I don’t care about today.

I don’t care whether Tookie repented, deep down in his heart, or whether he was trying to put on a good face in order to save his skin.

I don’t care whether Tookie’s trial was fair or not.

I don’t care about whether Tookie was innocent or guilty of the crimes for which he was slaughtered.

I don’t care about whether Tookie was innocent or guilty of a bunch of other crimes that he has or hasn’t copped to.

I don’t give a damn about what kind of message mercy would have sent. Or what kind of message slaughtering him did send.

And if I hear one more goddamned professional blowhard cheerfully pontificating about the calculated electoral pandering that informed Governor Schwarzenegger’s deliberations over a man’s life, as if there were nothing unexpected or wrong with snuffing out a human life in order to make sure that your political base stays behind you, I am going to scream. And cry.

Regardless of the fickle electoral preferences of California Republicans, the messages that the State’s Harrow might inscribe into a man’s body for the edification of unnamed others, his guilt or innocence, the adequacy of his trial, or the inner state of his soul, Tookie would have posed no more credible threat to anyone alive in San Quentin without the possibility of parole than he does now that he has been poisoned to death. I wouldn’t presume to know whether he, or anyone in this vale of tears, deserved to live or deserved to die. What could give me the right to say? More to the point, what ever gave the hangmen and politicians of the state of California the right to say?

I do know that if he did deserve to die, we would have no right to give him what he deserves. Blood vengeance is not ours to dispense. Would you have sanctioned the premeditated murder if one of the other inmates managed to break out and slit Tookie’s throat in the middle of the night, just ’cause he deserved to die? If so, why? If not, what makes the relevant moral difference between the criminal and the State’s hangman?

The death penalty is the definitive expression of what the power of the imperium means. It means that the State claims a special right to control you, to beat you, to tie you down, and to kill you, at its own pleasure and discretion, a claim that would be universally met with indignation and horror if it came from anyone else, if it weren’t covered with the robes and the crown. The death penalty — an act of State-sanctioned murder whether the victim is good or evil, innocent or guilty, redeemed or sinful — shows the State in all of its power and all of its glory, in the mirror that flatters not.

engraving: a ghastly skeleton, robed and crowned, holds a sceptre and a polished glass with the words, THE MIRROR THAT FLATTERS NOT

The State is Death. That is its power. That is its justice. That is its law.

At 12:35 a.m., it claimed Tookie Williams. It must be stopped before it claims even one more life.

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