Friday, July 28, 2017

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Cops Serve Warrant at Wrong House, Kill Innocent Man and Shoot His Dog

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media. 

 

Southaven, Mississippi — In a case that has witness accounts contradicting those of the authorities, a Mississippi man with no warrants out for his arrest was shot and killed over the weekend after officers went to the wrong address.

Forty-one-year-old Ismael Lopez, who was asleep in bed with his wife when cops arrived at his door to serve a warrant, was a former mechanic who had lived in his Southaven home for 13 years.

That home is across the street from the address police were supposed to visit that night. Attorney Murray Wells, who represents Lopez’s family, says the house of Samuel Pearman — the man cops were seeking — is particularly hard to miss as it has a large “P” over the door.

“Someone didn’t take the time to analyze the address,” Wells told local media. “This is incredibly tragic and embarrassing to this police department that they can’t read house numbers.”

At a press conference, district attorney John Champion stressed that Lopez had “absolutely no warrant for his arrest and that he “wasn’t wanted for anything at all.”

The two officers involved in the shooting claim Lopez opened his front door only a crack the night they approached the residence and that the man pointed a gun at them through the crack. They further claim Lopez refused to drop the firearm after repeated commands and that this is when they fired three shots through the door, killing him.

However, Wells hired an investigative team and says its findings, along with witness statements, greatly contradict the police’s version of events.

“You can track the trace of the bullets,” Wells told reporters Wednesday. “Three bullets went into that door and the door was shut when those bullets went into the door.  My investigative team has concluded it was a direct line. There were three bullets. There is no way the door was cracked open and someone was there.”

Additionally, Lopez’s wife, who stayed in bed as her husband went to the front door when they were awakened by their barking dogs, says she never heard police shout any commands for Lopez to drop a weapon. This falls in line with an account from a next-door neighbor, who also says he heard no such warnings from police.

Further, Wells claims that while cops did recover a gun from the victim’s home following the shooting, Lopez was not armed when he approached the door.

The girlfriend of the man police were seeking that night, Samuel Pearman — who has since been arrested — told local media she considered Lopez a friend and said he was someone who always looked out for her:

“He has always protected me, always. And now he is dead because it sounds like police shot him. That was good man.”

Highlighting the seemingly random nature of the tragedy, Wells says “this could have happened to anyone,” as nothing in Lopez’s past or present necessitated a visit from police that night:

“The only time the police had ever been there was when they had been robbed. No criminal history whatsoever. A long-standing employee of the city of Bartlett, mechanic. Loved in the neighborhood.”

As to the reports from police that seem to contradict the evidence and witness statements, Wells implied to reporters that “officers had reasons not to tell the truth in their account of what happened” because “they could face consequences for shooting Lopez,” according to WMC Action News 5.

Wells, who has yet to file a lawsuit on behalf of the family but still may, according to news outlet WREG, says Lopez’s wife didn’t approach him seeking a monetary award. He says she wants only justice and for people to know that her husband was a decent man.

Leftism As Upper Middle Class Privilege

More anecdotal evidence that leftism is a phenomenon of upper middle class social prerogatives.

In review, I define leftism’s essential characteristic as magical thought applied to the social and political realms.  In response to any emergent social problem, leftism seeks to solve it by “wishing” it would go away.  While this is my attempt to simplify the concept, I don’t mean to say that leftism is burying heads in sand.  Rather, problems are solved by assertion of belief.  And since magic isn’t real, problems get blamed on those who hold wrong beliefs.  And so the real solution becomes to reeducate and organize revolutions against non-believers.  It’s a psychological and sociological phenomenon.  But, I think it’s probably sophomoric to associate leftism with some of its modern proximate characteristics like workers’ revolutions or this or that economic theory.

Leftism itself is not necessarily an upper middle class phenomenon, but upper middles possess unique traits that favor them to it.  It is their ideology.  If the lower upper class are the bourgeoisie and the lower middle class the “petit bourgeoise”, then the upper middles are the administrators. Ayn Rand spoke of Atilla and the witch doctors.  The state or warlord, and the court mystics, ideologues and rationalizers. The upper middles are the witch doctors.  They are patronized by the oligarchs and chieftains, and are not directly responsible for their own wealth.  Thus, they live detached from reality. And indeed, it’s their job to craft unreal narratives to justify and rationalize the power of the state.

These form a core, around which a culture emerges, which goes on to define the entire class who holds that level of wealth.  Not all upper middles are academics or bureaucrats, but anyone with their level of wealth is bound to live in their neighborhoods and feel the pressure of their culture.

I would contend that the Calvinists of Zurich were upper middles.  The Marxists of France and Germany the children of upper middles.  The transcendentalists of New England.  And eco-justice social equity warrior princesses of today.  Che was an upper middle child.

If there’s an exception to this rule, it has to be in the cases when the upper class itself gets involved in leftist politics.  But, history shows that this happens when the agents of their networks act to spawn, sponsor, or lead revolutionary movements.  This is only natural.  It’s Atilla searching for new witch doctors, and creating them – maybe to seize power from other uppers in a game of thrones.

Why then is the upper middle class so revolutionary?  To a degree, they aren’t.  Their politics is profoundly conservative and represents a desire to maintain and promote their class interest.  Much of leftist politics isn’t well-thought out (if we ignore irrelevant fringes), and amounts to little more than demanding more money from Atilla.  Revolution seems to occur when the upper middle class collapses (Atilla runs out of money), and then out of desperation asserts itself upon a probably already vulnerable polity.  If leftism’s violence is noteworthy, it’s probably because of the unreality of their worldview.

Atilla himself doesn’t actually believe his own witch doctor, and constantly makes pragmatic tough choices as needed.  The leftists in their revolutions attempt to rule by their system of wishful thinking, and this departure from Atilla’s realist politics is where the extreme violence comes from – as Atilla himself has created a state structure of massive, but relatively contained, violence.

It’s not leftism that creates violence but rather leftism’s inability to rule that’s unleashes the full horror of state violence.  The violence of leftism is the inherent and invisible violence of the state.

News Roundup 7/27/17

  • The vote on the clean repeal of Obamacare failed in the Senate 45-55. [Link]
  • A federal judge in Michigan continued to prevent the deportation of 1,400 of Iraqi nationals living in the US. [Link]
  • New documents reveal the Obama Administration violated the law while spying on Americans. [Link]
  • Tucker Carlson and Glenn Greenwald discuss Russiaagte and US foreign policy. [Link]
  • The US placed sanctions on 13 members of the Venezuelan government. [Link]
  • US Special Forces carried out a raid with Somalian forces and captured an American citizen accused of working with al-Shabaab. [Link]
  • Trump refused to sign off on McMasters’ plan to add more US troops to Afghanistan. [Link]
  • Two Pakistan diplomats, who were kidnapped, have been recovered in Afghanistan. [Link]
  • The Taliban attacked an Afghan military position and killed at least 26 members of the Afghan military. Other sources put the death toll at 40 or 70. At least seven other soldiers were kidnapped and 21 are missing. [Link]
  • Iraqi soldiers admit to killing women and children in the final days of the assault on Mosul. [Link]
  • US coalition airstrikes killed at least 18 civilians in Raqqa in two days. [Link]
  • Russia says four military police battalions are deployed to de-escalation zones in Syria. [Link]
  • A subsidiary of the UK’s National Health Service will no longer provide knee and hip replacements to obese people and people who smoke. [Link]
  • The UN says 80% of Yemeni children are in need of humanitarian aid. [Link]

On Foreign Policy Focus #71, I talk about some of Trump’s recent tweets. Trump announced a change to the US policy on allowing trans people into the military. Trump also tweeted about ending the CIA funding to Syrian rebels. I look at the content and effects of Trump’s tweets. I also update Mosul, Israel, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. LISTEN HERE!!

CIA threatens regime change in North Korea, North Korea threatens nuclear retaliation

 

North Korea — Less than a week after C.I.A. chief Mike Pompeo suggested that regime change in North Korea would be a good thing for the Trump administration, the East Asian country said Tuesday it was ready and willing to strike the U.S. with a “nuclear hammer” if that proves to be the Trump team’s agenda.

“Should the U.S. dare to show even the slightest sign of attempt to remove our supreme leadership, we will strike a merciless blow at the heart of the U.S. with our powerful nuclear hammer, honed and hardened over time,” writes state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), quoting a spokesman from the Foreign Ministry.

Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado on July 20, C.I.A. director Pompeo said it would be “a great thing to denuclearize the peninsula, to get those weapons off of that, but the thing that is most dangerous about it is the character who holds the control over them today.”

Continuing, Pompeo appeared to hint that there’s a consensus within Washington, D.C. that ousting Kim Jong-un is something that “ultimately needs to be achieved” in order to combat the North Korean nuclear threat:

“So from the administration’s perspective, the most important thing we can do is separate those two. Right? Separate capacity and someone who might well have intent and break those two apart.”

The C.I.A. director further stated that citizens of North Korea would be appreciative if Kim’s finger was off the nuclear button:

“As for the regime, I am hopeful we will find a way to separate that regime from this system. The North Korean people I’m sure are lovely people and would love to see him go.”

On that subject, KCNA wrote Tuesday that North Korea’s “army and people have never thought about their destiny and future separated from their supreme leadership” and that the “first and foremost mission of our revolutionary armed forces with the nuclear force as their backbone is to defend the leader at the cost of their lives.”

The comments come at a time when the mainstream media is reporting that North Korea could produce a nuclear-capable missile in far less time than previously estimated.

As Anti-Media highlighted last week, however, the second-highest ranking U.S. military official, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Paul Selva, stated recently that North Korea lacks “the capacity to strike the United States with any degree of accuracy or reasonable confidence of success.”

 

This post originally appeared at Anti-Media. 

Pentagon gives fake police agency $1.2 million in military equipment for free

 

Those who take issue with the Pentagon’s 1033 program — the avenue through which excess military hardware is distributed to police forces all across the United States — now have another reason to object.

A recent sting operation conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that just about anybody can apply for and receive the equipment, and they can do so without even speaking to a person from the Department of Defense.

After creating a fake law enforcement agency and website to accompany it, GAO investigators were able to get their hands on over $1.2 million in military gear, including night vision goggles and simulated rifles and pipe bombs.

In its application, the GAO used an address that representatives of the Pentagon’s Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) would have discovered was a dirt lot — had they bothered to verify it.

In fact, throughout the entire process, LESO made no efforts at all to physically verify the legitimacy of the fake agency. All communication was carried out through email, the GAO says.

Even when investigators arrived at warehouses to obtain the requested equipment, LESO agents — who operate within the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency — neglected to verify identification. What’s more, the investigators received more gear than they’d asked for.

Since its creation in 1997, the 1033 program has transferred upwards of $6 billion in military hardware to nearly 9,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S. Items handed over include mine-resistant vehicles, armored trucks, and firearms like M-16s and shotguns.

Critics of the program tie it directly to the growing militarization of U.S. police forces. Perhaps a more immediate concern, however, is the notion that seemingly anyone can acquire military-grade hardware from the government without proper vetting.

Reporting on the GAO’s findings, Techdirt writes that attempts by the Department of Defense to retroactively address identified weaknesses within 1033 would be of little comfort considering how long the program has been up and running:

“Yes, all of this appears to be changing going forward, but considering the 1033 program has transferred billions of dollars of equipment already, there’s really no telling how many others have obtained equipment with fictitious entities or simply ended up with a bunch of items they never ordered.

 

This post originally appeared at Anti-Media. 

Trump wants to install military-industrial complex lobbyist as Army chief at the Pentagon

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media. 

 

Last Wednesday, it was reported that Donald Trump was moving to nominate Raytheon lobbyist Mark Esper for secretary of the Army. Raytheon is one of the “big five” defense contractors, and the president’s decision comes at a time when concerns are being raised over the idea of defense industry executives being placed in senior positions at the Pentagon.

Esper, who holds a master’s degree from Harvard and a doctorate from George Washington University, has been Raytheon’s vice president of government relations since 2010. Before that, he held a slew of positions in both the public and private sectors. His resume is extensive, but The Hill managed to succinctly package the high points:

“Esper graduated from West Point in 1986 and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel before retiring. His Army career includes a combat tour in Iraq during the Gulf War.

“His Capitol Hill experience includes serving as director of national security affairs for then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.). He was also policy director for the House Armed Services Committee and a senior professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

“From 2002 to 2004, he was the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for negotiations policy. In that role, he was responsible for arms control, nonproliferation, international agreements and matters with the United Nations.

“Esper’s resume also includes serving as national policy director for Fred Thompson’s 2008 presidential campaign and as chief of staff at conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.”

The Washington Examiner, which broke the news in an exclusive after speaking with unnamed D.C. sources, reported that Pentagon officials “privately expressed confidence that Esper, with his military, Pentagon and Capitol Hill experience, will win quick Senate confirmation.”

That would be a change of pace. Esper’s nomination is Trump’s third attempt to fill the position of Army secretary.

A ROCKY ROAD

Trump’s first choice, New York billionaire and owner of the Florida Panthers hockey team, Vincent Viola, withdrew back in February over concerns of financial conflicts of interest. Like Esper, Viola is a West Point graduate, and he served as an officer with the Army Rangers for years before retirement.

The president’s second pick was Tennessee state senator Mark Green, a West Point grad and retired Army flight surgeon. Green withdrew in May after controversial comments he made in the past about the LGBT community and Muslims came back to haunt him.

In a statement, Green said his words had been “mischaracterized” but that he had to withdraw, expressing his belief that it’s “critical to give the president the ability to move forward with his vision to restore our military to its rightful place in the world” without distractions.

Assuming Mark Esper hangs in there and keeps his name in the running for Army secretary, he’ll need to pass vetting by the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC). That hearing isn’t expected to take place until September. But it was within that committee, back in June, that SASC chairman John McCain first voiced concern over members of the defense industry taking key positions at the Pentagon.

THE CHAIRMAN MAKES NOISE

In a hearing Defense News called “surprisingly contentious,” McCain threatened to block the SASC confirmation of Patrick Shanahan for deputy defense secretary, the number two spot at the Pentagon below defense secretary James Mattis. One of the reasons, the Arizona senator made clear, was Shanahan’s ties to industry contractors.

Shanahan had been with Boeing since 1986 before accepting Trump’s nomination. He was a member of the Boeing Executive Council and had even earned the nickname “Mr. Fix-it” within the corporation for his ability to turn around troubled projects.

At the hearing, McCain cited Shanahan’s industry past, saying he was “not overjoyed” that the would-be deputy secretary spent so much time at one of the big five defense contractors. He also said Shanahan’s ilk serving at the Pentagon was “not what our Founding Fathers had in mind.”

McCain, a Republican, went further weeks later, bluntly stating in a hallway interview in Congress that he “did not want people from the top five corporations” to fill positions at the Pentagon. Party politics aside, at least some lawmakers across the aisle appear to share his concern.

Senator Jack Reed, a Democrat who sits on the SASC, told Defense News in early July that “real concern about the concentration of these people” exists because decision-making processes may be “influenced by [their] prior employment.”

Similarly, Senator Richard Durbin, another Democrat, said the Trump administration has “turned a blind eye to the whole question of conflicts of interest from start to finish.”

Despite such criticisms, the SASC gave Shanahan the green light, and the Senate officially confirmed him last Tuesday. This means that right now, the two most powerful men at the Pentagon have significant past connections to the defense industry.

For those unaware, for years Secretary of Defense James Mattis was a board member of one of the big five contractors, General Dynamics, and up until the point of his nomination had nearly $600,000 in vested stock options with the corporation, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings.

LUCKY BREAK

In a convenient bit of timing, John McCain was absent at Shanahan’s full Senate confirmation on July 18, as he was recovering after surgery to remove a blood clot, which ultimately revealed a brain tumor. The same could be said for Ellen Lord, who went through SASC vetting relatively unscathed on the very same day and now awaits the committee’s nod to move on to a full Senate vote.

Lord has been CEO of Textron Systems, a global aerospace and defense conglomerate, since 2012. As with what happened to Shanahan, Lord likely would have faced a harsh grilling from McCain. Commenting on Lord’s smooth sail through her SASC hearing, Defense News wrote:

“That may have been due to the absence of Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who chairs SASC. McCain, recuperating at home from a recent surgery, previously told Defense News he is concerned about the number of defense industry figures entering key Pentagon roles.”

The same good fortune was bestowed upon a former Lockheed Martin vice president on Thursday. Ryan McCarthy passed his SASC vetting for undersecretary of the Army, and if the Senate eventually confirms both him and Mark Esper, it would mean the top two Army positions at the Pentagon would be filled by defense industry executives.

It was speculated that former Lockheed Martin attorney David Ehrhart would come under heavy scrutiny at his SASC hearing for Air Force General Counsel, the department’s chief legal officer. The same would have surely gone for John Rood, Trump’s expected pick for undersecretary of defense for policy and current head of international sales at Lockheed.

But with the SASC confirming defense industry figures in McCain’s absence, it now appears the Arizona senator’s leeriness was the only substantive thing holding up the show.

DOWN A DARK PATH

Like Senator Richard Durbin and others in Congress who don’t like the emerging trend under Donald Trump, most in the mainstream media will only go so far as to highlight the myriad conflicts of interest between the Trump administration and the corporate world.

Right now, for example, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is catching fire for being the CEO of ExxonMobil when it violated sanctions on Russia back in 2014. The U.S. Treasury Department just hit Exxon with a $2 million fine for that move, and Exxon promptly filed a lawsuit against the government in response.

There are some, however, like Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder, who are willing to follow the logic to its inevitable conclusion. In a July 15 piece for The Guardian titled “Trump is ushering in a dark new conservatism,” Snyder pointed to far greater — and far more dangerous — implications for the United States.

Breaking down how, due to ignorance and passivity, the conservative government of Germany essentially handed control over to a populist leader in the 1930s, Snyder observed that this is exactly what’s happening within the Republican Party right now. In his closing, the history professor noted the urgency with which the matter should be addressed:

“One of the reasons why the radical right was able to overcome conservatives back in the 1930s was that the conservatives did not understand the threat. Nazis in Germany, like fascists in Italy and Romania, did have popular support, but they would not have been able to change regimes without the connivance or the passivity of conservatives.

“The last time around, the old right chose suicide by midwifery, and it seems to be doing so again. If Republicans do not wish to be remembered (and forgotten) like the German conservatives of the 1930s, they had better find their courage — and their conservatism — fast.”

To be clear, Snyder appeared to talking about the rise of the American Fascist State.

THE SHAKE UPS BEGIN

Everyone understood very clearly that it would be more of the same under Hillary Clinton had she been elected president. The military campaigns, the arms sales, and the progressive domestic policies would have continued in Barack Obama’s footsteps.

A Trump presidency was the unknown variable. No one could really predict what might happen if The Donald actually made it to the Oval Office, though the quickness and vehemence with which he was labeled a fascist during the 2016 campaign speaks to a considerable body of individuals who sensed and were concerned over his far-right leanings.

Now that he’s in the White House, it’s abundantly apparent that those concerns were justified. In his short time in office, Donald Trump has demonstrated his intention to run his government with his own people and in his own way. And his way — as with Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany — means a restructuring of the government.

For more on this, we can again turn to Rex Tillerson, whose past as a CEO at an oil conglomerate and current position as head of the U.S. State Department make him ideal for highlighting the rapidly developing synergy between government and the corporate world.

Back in May, Tillerson revealed plans for a restructuring of the U.S. State Department. Since then he’s chosen the point man he wants to lead that effort, and as of July 17, has even hired two consulting firms to assist in the process.

Reporting on the story on July 5, Politico wrote that Tillerson is “widely viewed within his department as isolated from and dismissive of career staff” and “considered unapproachable and largely isolated except for a few political appointees who tightly restrict access to him.”

Politico noted that it’s the “career staff,” staff that was already in place at the State Department when Tillerson took over, who feel unappreciated. And with Donald Trump looking to cut the State Department’s budget by 30 percent — estimates suggest this would require the elimination of around 2,300 positions — it’s not hard to imagine the types likely to get canned when Tillerson starts handing out pink slips.

A CHOICE PRESENTED

In an opinion piece back in February, I wrote the following:

“People call Donald Trump Hitler without really considering the words. They just know Hitler was a bad guy and, to them, so is Donald Trump. Few know how he came to power. Few truly understand how he rose to that position.

“Well, look around, folks. Here’s how it happened.”

Ignorance and passivity, as Timothy Snyder noted for The Guardian. Either willingly or unwillingly turning a blind eye to what’s happening around you. This goes not for those in the political arena alone, but for everyone. After all, Nazi Germany couldn’t have happened if the masses hadn’t given in to it.

Americans find themselves at that stage now. It cuts to the very heart of awareness and an awakening to reality. The American Fascist State is rising under the Trump administration. That’s a reality the American people need to start recognizing.

Through either ignorance, indifference, or fear, Republicans have failed to step up and challenge Trump’s push toward the far-right, and the Democrats, still sore over losing last year’s elections, appear content to just keep blathering on about Russian collusion. That puts the onus on you and me.

The internet has given us an advantage over Germans of the 1930s. An interconnected world provides little cover for those with agendas. And if we do have the ability to bear witness to the new system being created long before it’s established and humming along, then that means we also have the ability — and the time — to do something about it.

The Creature Of Philadelphia Is A Failure: Reject The “Republic”

Philadelphia gave us an oligarch devised Constitution.  Benjamin Franklin told an inquirer that the framers had given us, “a republic, if you can keep it.”  May we never have had it.

The Inherent Exploitativeness of Polyamorous Threesomes

Because God loves to fuck with me, yesterday Snapchat pushed a two-year-old Refinery29 essay into my feed that threw me into a very late-to-the-party rage, which I tweeted rabidly. Its subject matter was polyamory — namely, one couple’s selfish quest to find a unicorn, i.e. a single queer woman who will meet their sexual and emotional needs without asking anything for herself. (The term itself could use a great deal of unpacking, but I’ll save that for when this site turns into a sociolinguistics blog.)

The article demonstrates an astounding lack of self-awareness. It’s bad enough that even though it’s old, the issues it discusses haven’t gone away in the slightest. I’m here to address them — nay, to shank them with a burning pitchfork of lesbian feminist righteousness — today.

Here is a general outline of the situation: in our modern world of free love in a would-be free society, polyamorous heterosexual couples seem to have this collective obsession with finding a hot single bisexual woman to enter their relationship in a mostly only-sexual capacity. The idea, I guess, is that we’re sufficiently liberated these days to go for these kinds of nonconventional relationships.

The problem is that in their efforts to find a third, these couples do not typically present their intentions honestly either to themselves or to potential, er, unicorns. Whether they realize it or not, they want a woman without the social security of a man in her life who can essentially function as their plaything and maintain a perpetual subordinate status to their precious little union. Beneath the facade of a happy-go-lucky, stable, self-contained heterosexual relationship lies a truly sinister creature: a chauvinistic sense of entitlement to the exploitation of a vulnerable subgroup of sexual minority women.

I was once lesbian sidepiece to a woman in a cishet relationship by which I discovered this ugly truth for myself. Though I wasn’t the textbook definition of a unicorn (since I won’t do the D), my experience is sufficient to demonstrate the essential failings of this hamfisted treatment of single queer women. Things were cool for a while; I would go down to Orange County to spend the afternoon with A. and her fiance, G. She and I would hang out with him for a little and then go into their bedroom, alone. The chemistry with her was lovely, and what’s wrong with a little meaningless fun if everybody’s all right with it? But I sensed that I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Eventually it did.

After a few times, she asked if G. could watch. I balked; we’d floated the idea before, but I really was not into this guy at all, not even like, in an “I’ll try anything once” kind of way. Things got weird after that. A. would make fun of me for how I lived my life — I’m single, I love my cats, I’m super sensitive (a trait considered by the unenlightened to be both negative and feminine). This kind of treatment, other things she’d say to subtly or not subtly remind me that G. came first in her world, plus her increasing pillow princess tendencies, made it obvious to me that in every sense, I was there only to give, not to receive.

What’s worse, our lovemaking was always only on the condition that the human with the penis, sitting in the other room, gave us both permission to do what we wanted with our bodies. When things fell apart after I said I didn’t want G. to watch, that revealed that in a sense, this was all for his amusement anyway. I’d crept back under the old male gaze, lured by the prospect of hot lesbian sex.

What I eventually realized, after kicking A. and G. to the curb, is that I had been in an inherently subordinate position around them. It’s not just because I was the third; it’s because I was the female third, the unicorn. They existed in a socially viable coupling that would allow them to get ahead in life, together. As a single, visibly queer woman with no backup, I was in danger just walking from my car to their apartment building. (Yes, even in Southern California. Never underestimate violent homophobia.)

When we’d first started talking, A. had actually said she believed that if she hadn’t been so strongly socialized to heteronormativity by her conservative family, she might be a full-on lesbian. At the time I wondered why she would live in denial of her true feelings if that was the case. Now I understood: it was more comfortable to be with G., in their 18th-floor condo with a 4K television, two fluffy white dogs, and a destination wedding just around the corner, than to live the way I lived.

So you see, I really have no patience for these cishet couples on a quest for a mythical beast of a third. I have even less patience for them when it blows up in their faces and they blame the girl they’d tried to rope into their weird dynamic. Women’s sexuality doesn’t exist just for men’s amusement, and homosexual love doesn’t exist just for heterosexual exploitation. The sooner that gets through the thick skulls of the adherents to our little contemporary sexual revolution, the better.

News Roundup 7/26/17

  • Trump tweets on the ending of arms and assistance to Syrian rebels. Trump said the program was dangerous and wasteful. [Link]
  • A Florida police officer was fired for having several complaints against him and tampering with evidence. The officer was rehired by the same police force a month after he was fired. [Link]
  • The Senate is looking to pass a clean repeal of Obamacare. [Link] The Senate moved closer to a repeal bill with a 51-50 vote to repeal. [Link]
  • This article looks at Representative Barbar Lee’s history of opposing war. [Link]
  • Senators are looking at changing some of the text of a bill that will make it illegal to support the BDS movement. The bill as written can lead to a $1 million and 20 years in prison for people who support BDS. Before the ACLU exposed the punishment, a bipartisan group of Senators had signed on to co-sponsor the bill. [Link]
  • The House passed a bill that will add sanctions to Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The bill also places more restrictions on the president’s ability to remove the sanctions. [Link]
  • A US Navy ship fired warning shots at an Iranian ship in the Persian Gulf. [Link]
  • A libertarian group in Cuba continues to face aggression from the Cuban government. Several members of the group have been arrested, and one member was recently kidnapped and beaten. [Link]
  • Worldwide 159 million people do not have access to safe water. [Link]
  • The Libyan Unity Government signed a ceasefire with the Libyan National Army. In the agreement, the two sides will focus on attacking terror groups rather than each other. [Link]
  • The UN warns of escalation if there is not a solution to the unrest over the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Friday. [Link]
  • Israel removed the metal detectors at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The Israeli government then put up security cameras at the mosque. A Muslim cleric is calling for the removal of the cameras. [Link]
  • Talks between the EU and Turkey failed to ease tensions. [Link]
  • During America’s 16 years long war in Afghanistan, the Taliban have built up a large number of US weapons and vehicles. [Link]
  • The al-Qaeda linked Syrian rebel group HTS controls almost all of the Idlib Province. [Link]
  • Venezuela’s National Assembly has appointed new justices to the supreme court. The Venezuelan government’s intelligence service has arrested some of these judges. [Link]

News Roundup 7/25/17

  • Trump has announced Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be the new Press Secretary and Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. [Link]
  • The US just commissioned its largest warship ever. The US now has 11 aircraft carriers in its fleet. [Link]
  • Someone has posted signs around the Twin City warning that startled police officers may shoot people. [Link]
  • The leader of the Libyan National Army has been receiving support from Israel through the UAE. [Link]
  • Ten people have died in clashes in Darfur. The UN and the African Union are planning to reduce their peacekeeping role in the region. [Link]
  • Iraq and Iran agree to a military corporation deal. [Link]
  • Israel is removing metal detectors from around the Al-Aqsa Mosque. [Link]
  • Turkey has started the trial for 17 members of an opposition news paper. [Link]
  • A member of the Afghanistan Taliban carried out a suicide bombing in the capital of Kabul killing 24. [Link] Other sources put the death toll at least at 38. [Link]
  • Will Porter looks at Trump’s choices for Afghan troop levels. [Link]
  • A member of the Pakistan Taliban carried out a suicide bombing in Pakistan killing 26. [Link]
  • In Mosul, ISIS had access to dangerous materials but never used them. [Link]
  • Robert Fisk argues that there is an alliance between the YPG, Assad, and Russia. [Link]
  • The Houthi fired a missile from Yemen into Saudi Arabia and hit power transformer. Hitting the power transformer disable the Saudi mobile refinery. [Link]

On Foreign Policy Focus #70 I discuss the new travel ban is preventing Americans from going to North Korea. The travel ban can have a lot of outcomes and consequences. I update the possibility of Trump starting a private war in Afghanistan. Look into the unrest and protests in Israel. I also update Mosul, Nigeria, and Yemen. LISTEN HERE!!