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Author Topic: #MeToo’ism and the age of sexual victimization.  (Read 11161 times)
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Athos_131
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« Reply #510 on: July 19, 2019, 01:18:28 AM »

A judge cited a teen’s ‘good family’ in declining to charge him as an adult for rape. Now, he’s resigned.

Quote
In 2016, a New Jersey judge asked a woman if she had attempted to close her legs to stop a sexual assault. Two years later, another Garden State judge said a 16-year-old boy accused of sexual assault should not be tried as an adult because he came from a “good family.”

When the comments came to light in recent months in judicial rulings, they sparked new national backlash over how the criminal justice system handles sexual assault cases.

Now, neither of the judges who made those statements will be sitting on the bench. New Jersey’s high court has announced that, in addition to new mandatory training for justices, the state has suspended the judge in the 2016 case, while the other judge has resigned.

The Supreme Court of New Jersey said Wednesday that Judge James Troiano of Monmouth County, N.J., had resigned following weeks of protest over his “good family” rationale in declining to try a teen boy accused of rape as an adult. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner wrote in a statement that Troiano’s resignation was “effective immediately.”

That same day, Rabner recommended that Superior Court Judge John Russo Jr. of Ocean County, N.J., be removed from the bench months after local media first reported on his comments to a sexual assault victim about closing her legs. Russo has been suspended without pay from his job, which pays him $181,000 annually, according to NJ.com.

“Sexual assault is an act of violence,” Rabner wrote. “It terrorizes, degrades, and induces fear in victims. Without question, it is a most serious matter in which fault lies solely with the perpetrator, not the victim. And our State has a strong interest in protecting victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.”

The chief justice added: “Every effort must be made not to revictimize a victim.”

The Supreme Court’s decisions were met with praise by state lawmakers, including New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D), who said the discipline would “uphold the reputation of our judiciary and ensure that all who seek justice are treated with dignity and respect.”

The New Jersey cases came to light as Americans have grappled with sexual assault cases where the young men are often seen to be favored over their female accusers. Other judges have also recently lost their gavels over such controversial decisions, as in Stanford swimmer Brock Turner’s six-month sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

Russo, 57, was questioning a woman in 2016 who was seeking a restraining order for the father of her 5-year-old daughter — the man who had sexually assaulted her. According to a transcript from a court advisory panel that was released in this spring, Russo asked, “Do you know how to stop somebody from having intercourse with you?”

“Close your legs? Call the police?” Russo asked. “Did you do any of those things?”

Shortly afterward, Russo reportedly joked about the case with his staff. “What did you think of that? Did you hear the sex stuff?” he asked, according to the panel’s report.

In April, a panel recommended that Russo be suspended for three months, adding that his behavior showed “an emotional immaturity wholly unbefitting the judicial office and incompatible with the decorum expected of every jurist.” On Wednesday, the state also announced that it had started proceedings to remove Russo from the bench for good. The Associated Press reported that Russo has until next month to respond to the state Supreme Court’s order and contest the removal order.

“He has learned his lesson,” said attorney Amelia Carolla, according to the Asbury Park Press. “He will not do this again.”

In 2018, Troiano, 69, was called in from retirement to hear the case of an alleged rape at a pajama-themed party the previous year. Police said a 16-year-old boy, identified as G.M.C. by court documents, filmed himself assaulting a 16-year-old girl from behind. This came after the two teens, who prosecutors say were intoxicated, went off to a dark area, where a group of boys sprayed the girl with Febreze and hit her so hard she found hand marks the next day. According to court documents, G.M.C. allegedly sent a video of the girl, who had slurred speech and stumbled, with the caption: “When your first time having sex was rape.”

But Troiano dismissed those remarks as “just a 16-year-old kid saying stupid crap to his friends.” He then denied a waiver to try G.M.C. as an adult, citing the boy’s pedigree and potential.

“This young man comes from a good family who put him into an excellent school where he was doing extremely well,” Troiano said in his July 2018 decision. “He is clearly a candidate for not just college but probably for a good college. His scores for college entry were very high.”

In addition to expressing doubt about whether the boy showed any “calculation or cruelty on his part or sophistication or a predatory nature,” Troiano also suggested the girl’s allegation did not meet the standard of rape.

“There have been some, not many, but some cases of sexual assault involving juveniles which in my mind absolutely were the traditional case of rape,” the judge said, according to BuzzFeed News, “where there were generally two or more generally males involved, either at gunpoint or weapon, clearly manhandling a person into . . . an area where . . . there was nobody around, sometimes in an abandon[ed] house, sometimes in an abandon[ed] shed, shack, and just simply taking advantage of the person as well as beating the person, threatening the person.”

An appeals court overturned Troiano’s ruling in June. A court spokesman said that Troiano would keep his pension, which would be around $124,000, the New York Times reported.

The state Supreme Court’s disciplinary rulings came as critics have called for another New Jersey judge to leave the bench over her handling of a sexual assault case. In June, an appeals court rebuked Superior Court Judge Marcia Silva who ruled this year that a 16-year-old boy’s alleged sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl was not considered “an especially heinous or cruel offense” and that he should not be tried as an adult.

“The victim did not suffer any physical or emotional injuries as a result, other than the ramifications of losing her virginity, which the court does not find to be especially serious harm in this case,” the Middlesex County judge said, according to NJ.com.

Although at least 14 members of the state Assembly have called for the 44-year-old’s removal, no action has been made against Silva, NJ.com reported. Murphy, the state’s governor, urged caution in moving too quickly to remove judges linked to insensitive comments and procedure on sexual assault cases.

“There’s a process,” he said on Wednesday to WBGO.

#Resist
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Stratton: "A hundred other guys out there like me - what are you going to do, change the world?"

B.J.: "No, just our little corner of it."

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« Reply #511 on: July 19, 2019, 03:16:27 PM »


Yet Brett Kavanaugh sits on the Supreme Court.   facepalm facepalm facepalm
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Athos_131
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« Reply #512 on: July 21, 2019, 07:01:23 PM »

What do ‘Lock her up’ and ‘Send her back’ have in common? It’s pretty obvious.

Quote
Send her back.

For the past three days, the phrase has been repeated so much on the news that it can sound divorced of meaning. We could be talking about an irate customer who has demanded to be escorted to a manager; we could be talking about a poorly cooked lobster. Send her back, bring more clarified butter while I wait .

It’s so plausibly innocuous — there’s not a naughty word in the bunch — which is what ultimately makes it so cunning. You can utter the sentence without sounding like you’re directly slandering someone and yet, in doing so, slander many people.

What made “Send her back” such a horrifying chant was not how specific it was but how generic. It was not only that it targeted a sitting member of Congress, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who is an American citizen. It was that, at President Trump’s rally this week, we saw the dramatic unveiling of a castigation that could now be used against any woman not behaving as she should.

Send who? Send her.

“Send her back” is the granddaughter of “Lock her up,” the chant that populated Trump rallies in 2016 and beyond. For awhile, that phrase also seemed specific and personal, uniquely designed for Hillary Clinton, who, as had been recently revealed, ill-advisedly used a private server for official government business.

In that context, “Lock her up” seemed to be about that woman and that incident, at that moment in time.

But then the chant resurfaced, and it wasn’t in reference to Clinton. It was in reference to Christine Blasey Ford, the professor who accused then-Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh of assaulting her when they were teenagers. From another rally podium, the president mocked her testimony and reprimanded her for leaving Kavanaugh’s life in “tatters.” “Lock her up,” the crowd chanted in response.

At another rally a week later, the chant morphed into an attack on Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), whom the president accused of leaking documents to the media. “That’s another beauty,” the president sardonically said of Feinstein, and his fans called back, “Lock her up!”

Lock up who? Lock up her.

The “her” had become fungible. Any woman could become a woman who should be locked up; it required only running afoul of what Trump thought she should be doing.

“It’s meant as a deterrent to all women,” said Linda Hirshman, author of “Reckoning: The Epic Battle Against Sexual Abuse and Harassment,” when I asked how she thought these slogans worked. “You’re intended to feel vulnerable and be deterred from the...behavior of disagreeing with him.”

I took the same question to a cognitive linguist/philosopher, George Lakoff. “ ‘Send her back’ has the same grammatical structure as ‘Lock her up,’ and the same sound structure — it’s very straightforward,” he said. “And it has virtually the same meaning.”

Lakoff said there was significance in the fact that both chants dispensed with names in favor of pronouns. The pronouns make these women into “not a person,” he said. “She’s this thing that’s out there that should not be paid attention to — that should be gotten rid of.”

On Thursday, the president said he had been unhappy with the chant — though if he’d truly disapproved, it would have been easy to correct on the spot, as Sen. John McCain did when one of his supporters referred to Barack Obama as “an Arab” at a town hall. Instead, Trump “paused to savor it for several seconds before continuing his speech,” noted Jennifer Sclafani, a linguist who studies political discourse and gender. “He even thrice nodded his head back and forth in time with the chant, as if to prod the audience on.”

And, of course, the wording of the chant was cribbed from one of the president’s tweets: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” he’d written.

“They” weren’t named in the tweet, just as they weren’t named in the chants. He had shorthanded his targets as “ ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswomen,” leaving followers to determine that he was likely referring to four women known colloquially as “the Squad” — a whole bunch of hers who had made it their business to criticize him. It’s worth noting, as many have, that these were all women of color and that the chant reserved for Omar was even more antagonistic than the one used for Hillary Clinton. “Lock her up” implies she should be prosecuted under the American legal system; “Send her back” implies she’s not even deserving of due process, that she doesn’t belong here anyway.

On the same day that an arena full of North Carolinians were screaming, “Send her back!” video footage surfaced of the president attending a 1992 party with Jeffrey Epstein, surrounded by cheerleaders for the Buffalo Bills. He laughed, he danced, he flirted with clusters of partying blondes.

At first blush, the two events seemed like opposite ends of the spectrum. Here was the president on stage, basking in the hatred flung toward one group of women. Here was the president on the dance floor, bestowing affection on another.

At one point in the short clip, he posed for a photograph with a cluster of women and then patted one of them on the butt with the same absentmindedness one might use on the rump of a dairy cow before sending her along.

It was a quick pat, barely notable. But it’s what I was thinking of, a few hours later, while watching footage of the rally. The pat had the same kind of dehumanization as did the chants about Ilhan Omar or Hillary Clinton or Christine Blasey Ford. The “good” women, in his book, are rewarded with pats, like pets. The bad ones are punished with prison or deportation, like criminals.

We could think of exceptions to this brutal dichotomy, of course. His daughter Ivanka, or Kellyanne Conway, or Nikki Haley, or Jeanine Pirro, the reality TV judge who has joined the president in maligning Omar. But, in general, his relationships with women are three-syllable ones, easily distilled into chants.

Send her back.

Lock her up.

Pat her butt.

They’re all part of the same world, where women are either cheerleaders to grab or insolent shrews to be put in their place. What they don’t often seem to be, in his mind, is real people.

#Resist
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Stratton: "A hundred other guys out there like me - what are you going to do, change the world?"

B.J.: "No, just our little corner of it."

mash.fandom.com/wiki/Souvenirs_(TV_series_episode)
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« Reply #513 on: July 22, 2019, 03:48:30 PM »


Yeah, he's an equal opportunity asshole, just as long as he enjoys every opportunity.  Women, non-Europeans, and LGBTQ people all must be stopped.  So, his fanbase chants the same hate-speech, it's not just against women, it's against women in positions of Power, speaking openly about the problems with our country. 

"Lock Her Up" was about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"Send her back" was about a Legislator, speaking out in the legislature, literally the job she was Elected to do.

In a word, what they have in common is Hegemony.  That's the threat, to white male oligarchs, and their constituents. 
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Athos_131
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« Reply #514 on: July 27, 2019, 12:51:35 AM »

Twitch Streamer PaladinAmber Does Not Have Time For Your Shit, Internet Creeps

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Make creepy comments in PaladinAmber’s Twitch chat at your own risk. “How much for a hug?” somebody asked during a stream a few days ago. In the blink of an eye, PaladinAmber switched over to an infomercial-style overlay, complete with a (fake) phone number and a list of payment options.

“You wanna know how much it’s gonna be for a hug?” she asked. “That’s right, you guessed it: It’s gonna be nineteen-ninety fuck off.”

In the past couple weeks, PaladinAmber has risen to a place of viral celebrity with these sorts of clips. Usually, it goes something like this: A viewer says one of approximately eight million inappropriate things women on the internet hear on a daily basis, and PaladinAmber roasts them until there’s nothing left but sinew and bone. She does this with an elaborate camera setup, creative overlays, and improvisational humor, generally drawing on tropes from news broadcasts and infomercials. For example, a question about whether she was straight or bi—and, of course, if she was single—led to a faux “breaking news” bit that now has nearly 3 million views.

From her news-channel overlay, she laid into that viewer, and anyone who might have been thinking the same thing, all while seamlessly swapping between camera angles for comedic effect.

“I am a female on the internet, but I don’t want to date any of you,” she said. “This just in: It is possible for people to be on the internet and not want to do the horizontal tango with one another, or with any of you guys. So I’m going to announce that it’s none of your fucking business. It doesn’t matter. I’m a gal being a pal on the internet, and if you like my content, you can hang out. You can even subscribe. You can even just not do that and hang out and watch. That’s cool too. Don’t ask me about about my sexual preferences or dating.”

“Back to you guys!” she said, wrapping up the bit and swapping back to her regular stream view.

PaladinAmber has done numerous similar live segments, addressing everything from requests for her to “sHoW bOoBs pLz” to more out-there demands like foot play and saliva in a cup. This is how she copes with life on a platform where over 80 percent of users are male, and many of them feel like they can say whatever they want to women without facing repercussions. She’s turned their awkward, grating, and sometimes aggressive comments into fodder for elaborate jokes. She is, however, dead serious about the message at the heart of her comedic tirades. She wants people to cut this shit out, and she hopes that her clips inspire other streamers to call out toxic viewers instead of letting them fly under the radar, a status quo that buzzes like flies on garbage.

“This is what content creators should be calling out, and this is what content creators shouldn’t be allowing, and this is how you could go about it if you wanted to tackle the issue that we all face every day when we go live,” PaladinAmber told Kotaku during an interview over Discord yesterday.

PaladinAmber is 23 and a resident of Australia. Besides loving games, she’s also a fan of sci-fi who plans to write and self-publish her own novel with support from the growing community of 30,000 people who follow her on Twitch and nearly 70,000 who follow her on Twitter. She started streaming games all of eight months ago, with nothing but a PlayStation 4 and a “bootleg” setup. It wasn’t long before her humble stream attracted its share of leering dudes. She began receiving creepy DMs on Instagram and the PlayStation Network, so she decided to shine an uncomfortably bright spotlight on the people sending them.

First, it was just basic on-stream call outs. “We’d name them and shame them and say, ‘This is the nasty boy of the week’—that kind of thing,” she said.

The news cast and infomercial angle, she said, got thrown into the pot “purely by accident.” She decided to take Twitch seriously after testing the waters on PlayStation, upgrading to a PC-based setup with three cameras that she switches between on the fly using an Elgato stream deck. Humor had always been a part of her stream, and she had made overlays for other skits and intermissions that she’d deploy between play sessions of games like Rainbow Six Siege. They were never intended to aid in sending weird viewers back to their sewers, but then the stars—if you could call them that—aligned.

“I was trying to do the news one day as a joke, and somebody just happened to say something that was so far-fetched that I couldn’t not make it a headline,” PaladinAmber said. “And then that was it. Everyone was like ‘This is what the news is for. This is the news channel I stand by.’ I was like ‘That’s it. I’ve become the news lady.’”

She’s drawn to these kinds of commercial-like formats because they’re nostalgic vessels for comedic timing. This particular style of humor, she believes, is what sets her channel apart on Twitch, where high-level players rule the roost.

“It kind of gives this really bad 1:00 a.m. TV feel to my channel, which is what I was after, because I don’t want it to be taken seriously because I’m not an esports gamer,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve never been great at video games. I love playing video games, but truth be told, I suck. It’s one of those things where I can’t make a career in esports, but I definitely can put forward some of my really terribly well done ideas and use those to bring that real hearty laugh to people, which is what I was after.”

She does hope that people are getting the message, though, because as is, she doesn’t think Twitch’s culture or suite of moderation tools is doing enough to deter nasty, harassing behavior. Even if a viewer gets banned from one channel, they can keep watching a streamer and see who’s in their chat (and even DM those people), they can make a new account and hop back into their chat, or they can join the chat of another channel and pick up right where they left off.

“I think the main reason Twitch is extremely oversaturated with really disgusting viewers is that, a lot of the time, a simple ban does absolutely nothing to move them on in that respect to a different platform,” she said.

PaladinAmber said that she appreciates the tools that are there, but that ultimately, she feels the culture needs to shift. More streamers, she believes, need to be vocal about over-the-line comments from viewers instead of just letting them fly by in chat.

“If you’ve ever done something stupid, and somebody said to you, ‘Hey, that was really stupid,’ it truly makes you question,” she said. “And whether or not they questioned it right there and then, eventually if enough people start saying, ‘Hey, this behavior is really stupid; you should probably consider changing that or just logging off,’ it starts to sit there with that person, and then hopefully that change comes.”

PaladinAmber has witnessed that change first-hand in her own community.

“I had one viewer who I called out in the very beginning, and he was ban-evading,” she said. “We made it this thing on my channel where it was like a myth. There was lore behind it. And he messaged me a couple of months ago and actually said, ‘I’m so sorry for all of the distress that I caused you. I realize now how bad my actions truly were. I do apologize. I’m no longer on Twitch. I’ve had an IP ban’—all of this sort of stuff, but really owning up to his actions. And so I thought, if one out of 10 people really learn that lesson of ‘It’s the internet, but also your actions have repercussions,’ then my job is done as a comedic entertainer.”

She thinks humor makes the medicine go down easier, inviting people to participate in her stream and her community in more productive ways instead of just giving them the boot for their ugly behavior.

“It’s about softening the blow, not making somebody feel extremely targeted and called out in a negative fashion,” she said. “Because when has negative reinforcement ever worked for anyone? It’s traumatic, it’s unpleasant, and it’s probably going to aggravate the situation…”

“I have a set of things [like racism and sexism] that will not be acknowledged at all and will just be sort of dealt with immediately,” she said. “But then everything else is kind of like, ‘Listen, I hear you, but also you need to stop this if you want to hang out here because this is a really cool place to hang out.’”

Over the past couple weeks, however, PaladinAmber has found herself in an odd spot. On one hand, her segments calling out skeevy viewers are reaching more people than ever, but on the other, people are now feeling emboldened to come into her chat and say the weirdest, grossest stuff they can think of in the hopes that she’ll roast them and that they’ll go viral. PaladinAmber acknowledged that, after a certain point, her approach could become counterproductive. But at the same time, she thinks that, in her own chat, things have improved in some ways.

“I think there’s less of the really bad sort of derogatory behavior that used to come in and more of the ‘Hey, show me your feet’ kind of comedic behavior that’s happening,” she said. “I don’t want the ‘Hey, are you single? Hey baby, date me. What would you do for $1,000?’ stuff, which is such a common occurrence for streamers who aren’t viral or content creators who haven’t yet done anything about it. Yes, it’s counterproductive, but I do think that it’s still going to change the way that a lot of other content creators handle this stuff, which will then sort of start to eradicate the issue in Twitch chat.”

She recognizes, though, that streaming is a deceptively tough job, and not everybody has the mental or emotional bandwidth to add callouts that might incite hate to their schedule of being “on” for much of their day, interacting with chat, managing staffs of moderators, and dealing with the hate that already comes their way as a woman on Twitch. She still encourages people to try speaking up, though, and to seek support in the form of therapy and things of the like, which she views as “absolutely wonderful” tools for streamers to have.

“If somebody is kind of suffering in silence because they don’t have the ability to say these things, and that’s all their chat is saturated with, I would 100 percent say that the sooner you start to call it out and set your boundaries, the easier it is for you as a person to stand back and say, ‘No, I’m not going to accept this sort of interaction with you because I don’t agree with it. And I think what you’ve done is shitty,’” she said.

#Resist
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Stratton: "A hundred other guys out there like me - what are you going to do, change the world?"

B.J.: "No, just our little corner of it."

mash.fandom.com/wiki/Souvenirs_(TV_series_episode)
Athos_131
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« Reply #515 on: July 27, 2019, 12:54:48 AM »

A Navy SEAL Platoon Is Pulled From Iraq Over Misconduct Reports

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An entire platoon of Navy SEAL commandos was abruptly removed from Iraq this week after commanders heard reports of serious misconduct and a breakdown of discipline in the elite unit.

Officials did not release any details. But a senior Navy official with knowledge of the matter said the Navy is investigating reports that the unit, Foxtrot Platoon of SEAL Team 7, held a Fourth of July party where some members consumed alcohol against regulations, and that a senior enlisted member of the platoon had raped a female service member attached to the platoon.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about a continuing investigation.

Jeremiah Sullivan, a civilian attorney representing one of the SEALs in the platoon, confirmed that there was an investigation into reports of sexual assault and unauthorized drinking.

When commanders began investigating the allegations, the entire platoon invoked their right to remain silent, according to a United States official briefed on the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. At that point, the official said, commanders decided to send the whole platoon home, including the lieutenant in command.

The commander of American special operations troops in Iraq, Maj. Gen. Eric Hill of the Air Force, ordered the extremely rare removal of the platoon — the only group of SEALs in Iraq — “due to a perceived deterioration of good order and discipline within the team during nonoperational periods,” according to a statement from Special Operations Command.

“There were allegations of wrongdoing, and the commander initiated an investigation, which is still ongoing,” said Ken McGraw, a spokesman for Special Operations Command. “After the investigation began, the commander lost confidence in the platoon’s ability to accomplish the mission and ordered the platoon’s redeployment.”

The Navy ordered the SEALs to take drug tests, according to a Navy SEAL officer who has been briefed on the matter. The results of those tests are not yet known, the officer said.

Lt. Gen. Paul LaCamera, the top American commander in Iraq and Syria, would not comment on the episode, citing the ongoing investigation. But he said on Friday that the American military in Iraq would “make the adjustment we need to keep the mission going” following the SEAL team’s departure from the country.

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Foxtrot Platoon — including 19 SEALs and four support troops — was in Kuwait on Thursday, en route to Seal Team 7’s base at Naval Base Coronado near San Diego. The unit was not immediately replaced in Iraq, increasing the burdens on other American troops there, but the Navy said in a statement that “the loss of confidence in this case outweighed potential operational risk” from their absence.

Enlisted Navy SEALs at Coronado said that while individuals are occasionally removed from missions for misconduct, they could not recall another instance of an entire SEAL platoon being sent home. Last year, a Green Beret detachment from the Army’s 7th Special Forces Group was withdrawn from Afghanistan after members of the unit were implicated in the abuse of an Afghan prisoner.

The withdrawal of Foxtrot Platoon is the latest in a series of black eyes for the SEAL teams, which have been hit repeatedly over the last year by reports of drug use, misconduct and violence.

Two SEALs and two Marines were charged in the death of a Green Beret who was strangled in 2017 during a hazing incident while the commandos were on a secret deployment in Mali in West Africa. One of the SEALs pleaded guilty and was sentenced in May.

Earlier this week, Navy Times reported that cocaine use was widespread among members of SEAL Team 10, based in Virginia, and that SEALs in the team considered the Navy’s drug testing efforts “a joke.”

Accounts of broad drug use among senior enlisted SEALs emerged in the court-martial of Special Operator First Class Edward Gallagher. He was acquitted earlier this month of charges that he had shot unarmed civilians and stabbed a wounded captive to death while leading a platoon in Iraq in 2017, but he was convicted of posing for photographs with the teenage captive’s corpse.

During the trial, SEALs from his platoon testified that they had constructed a rooftop bar at their safe house in Iraq, and that officers in charge of enforcing regulations drank there with enlisted men, and even took turns acting as disc jockeys.

Bradley Strawser, who teaches ethics in war at the Naval Postgraduate School, said the reports of rogue behavior in the SEALs are partly a product of nearly 20 years of constant special-operations warfare.

“This kind of slide in the ethical culture, standards, ethos and expectations we have been seeing across the service now for several years is yet another cost of this kind of endless war-fighting,” he said. “Our military desperately needs time to circle the wagons, go deep in working out some of the systemic problems, and effectively right the ship. But it’s very hard to do that when we are literally at never-ending war.”

Military regulations forbid the consumption of alcohol in Iraq and Afghanistan, two predominantly Muslim countries. But its presence among American troops serving there is hardly rare, and in many units, including the SEAL teams, leaders sometimes turn a blind eye to moderate use.

But this year, in response to repeated reports of misconduct, the commander of Navy Special Warfare, Rear Adm. Collin Green, took steps to clean up SEAL culture with a focus on accountability, character, and what he called “ethical compliance.”

When Admiral Green heard of the allegations about Foxtrot Platoon, he pushed for the unit to be withdrawn from Iraq, according to two Navy officials with knowledge of the event.

A spokeswoman for the SEALs, Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence, said that in general top commanders are increasingly focused on enforcing discipline.

“Naval Special Warfare insists on a culture where ethical adherence is equally important to tactical proficiency,” she said in a statement. “Good order and discipline is critical to the mission. We’re actively reinforcing, with the entire force, basic leadership, readiness, responsibility and ethical principles that must form the foundation of special operations.”

#Resist
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Stratton: "A hundred other guys out there like me - what are you going to do, change the world?"

B.J.: "No, just our little corner of it."

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« Reply #516 on: July 28, 2019, 10:43:02 PM »

‘I Have a Moral Responsibility to Come Forward’: Colonel Accuses Top Military Nominee of Assault

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Col. Kathryn A. Spletstoser of the Army says she had returned to her hotel room and was putting on face cream on the night of Dec. 2, 2017, after a full day at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in California, when her boss, Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, the commander of United States Strategic Command, knocked on her door and said he wanted to talk to her.

The military’s itinerary of General Hyten’s movements that day in Simi Valley, which was viewed by The New York Times, said he was having “executive time.” Colonel Spletstoser said in an interview this week that her boss “sat on the bed in front of the TV and asked me to sit down next to him.”

According to her account, General Hyten reached for her hand. She became alarmed, and stood back up. He stood up too, she said, and pulled her to him and kissed her on the lips while pressing himself against her, then ejaculated, getting semen on his sweatpants and on her yoga pants.

In April, President Trump nominated General Hyten to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. If confirmed, he would become the country’s No. 2 military officer, helping to oversee the 1.2 million active-duty American troops at home and deployed around the world.

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General Hyten denies Colonel Spletstoser’s allegations of being inappropriately touched several times in 2017, and an Air Force official charged with investigating her complaint declined in June to refer General Hyten to a court-martial.

A Defense Department official who on Friday discussed the investigation only on condition of anonymity maintained that the Air Force’s investigation into the allegations did not unearth any emails, text messages or other supporting evidence, except for the fact that the two were together at each time that she alleges abusive sexual contact took place.

The official said that General Hyten, who oversees the country’s nuclear arsenal as the head of the Strategic Command, is one of the most heavily guarded officers in the American military and is frequently escorted by a security detail.

The official said it would be difficult, though not impossible, for the general to have entered Colonel Spletstoser’s room without his security guards noticing. None of the guards, the official said, reported anything amiss.

Earlier this week, both the general, who is 60, and his accuser, 51, privately testified before members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which is considering General Hyten’s nomination.

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“This is a very serious matter, the accusations are very serious,” Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois, told reporters after General Hyten’s testimony on Thursday. “We’re taking this step by step and being as thorough as we can on both sides of the aisle.”

Senator Jim Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma and chairman of the committee, said he planned to go ahead with hearings on General Hyten’s nomination.

But the case is, once again, highlighting an issue that has plagued the military as it struggles to address sexual assault complaints within its ranks.

The military’s initial investigation into Colonel Spletstoser’s charge was handled by Gen. James M. “Mike” Holmes, the chief of Air Combat Command, who technically is junior to General Hyten.

“The severity of the allegations and the sensitivity and seniority of General Hyten’s billet demand that a senior officeholder — not a peer, and certainly not a peer who is junior in grade to General Hyten — should be the convening authority,” Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Ms. Duckworth wrote in a June 25 letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

The Pentagon has taken pains to praise General Hyten.

Col. DeDe Halfhill, a Defense Department spokeswoman, said that “with more than 38 years of service to our nation, Gen. Hyten has proven himself to be a principled and dedicated patriot.”

Colonel Halfhill said Air Force investigators interviewed 53 witnesses and reviewed thousands of emails and relevant documents after Colonel Spletstoser reported her accusations against General Hyden.

“After meeting with the alleged victim in person, the designated general court-martial convening authority determined there was insufficient evidence to support any finding of misconduct against General Hyten,” Colonel Halfhill said in a statement Friday evening.

The case has drawn the ire of sexual assault victims advocates, who note that the Pentagon has not issued a similar official lauding of Colonel Spletstoser, the alleged victim, despite her own 28 years in the Army, including two combat tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. She remains on active duty in the military.

Col. Don Christensen, who retired from the Air Force and is president of Protect Our Defenders, which advocates on behalf of assault victims, said even after years of public criticism over how the Defense Department handles sex assault cases, the Hyten case shows that the agency still has not gotten it right.

He pointed to the case of Senator Martha McSally, Republican of Arizona, as an example.

Earlier this year, Ms. McSally announced that she was raped while she was a cadet at the Air Force Academy 30 years ago. She did not disclose who raped her, but said that the Defense Department’s handling of her case made her feel as if she were being raped again.

Still, Ms. McSally said she believed the prosecution of such cases should remain within the purview of the Defense Department, a position the Pentagon takes as well.

“It just hit me the differences in the way the military addressed Senator McSally’s disclosure and the way they are dealing with Hyten’s victim,” Colonel Christensen said in an interview. “McSally disclosed she was raped by an unnamed superior officer at an undisclosed time and undisclosed location 20 years after she was raped. McSally received an official apology from the Air Force.”

Colonel Spletstoser, by contrast, told the Pentagon “who it was, when it occurred and where it occurred,” Colonel Christensen said. “She cooperated fully with the investigation and agreed to testify” before the Senate committee.

“She has received no apology,” Colonel Christensen said. “Instead, the Pentagon praised the man she says sexually assaulted her.” He added: “If this were Staff Sgt. Hyten, he’d be getting charged. The only reason he wasn’t charged is because he’s General Hyten.”

In April, after Colonel Spletstoser reported the confrontation in her hotel room, the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations opened an inquiry into whether General Hyten had committed abusive sexual contact. Its review, parts of which were viewed by The Times, includes a redacted interview with General Hyten’s wife, Laura Hyten, in which she says her husband took a lie-detector test administered by a private company and was upset afterward because “it did not go well.”

The report says that Mrs. Hyten later “clarified she did not mean that the polygraph did not go well but rather she understood that the results were inconclusive.” General Hyten declined to take a lie-detector test for the Defense Department’s investigation, two Defense officials said. Colonel Spletstoser said that she was not asked to take one.

At the Strategic Command, based in Omaha, Neb., Colonel Spletstoser has a reputation for being hard-hitting and assertive, traits that she freely acknowledges. An administrative inquiry in 2018 includes statements from her colleagues at Strategic Command that she was “toxic” in her dealings with both subordinates and superiors.

“Col. S. says things in meetings that could be perceived as disrespectful to senior officers and civilians,” the administrative inquiry quoted a rear admiral as saying. “I have not seen Gen. Hyten correct her bluntness nor interruptions to seniors.”

In fact, General Hyten was hugely complimentary of her in performance reviews she provided to The Times, including one that was dated Nov. 14, 2017 — just weeks before the alleged incident in Simi Valley, but after what she said were other unwanted sexual encounters that he initiated.

That review, in which General Hyten was listed as the senior rater, described Colonel Spletstoser as an “exceptionally competent and committed leader with the highest level of character,” and adding that “her ethics are above reproach.”

In her interview this week, the first time that she has agreed to be publicly identified in the case, Colonel Spletstoser said that she had gone back to her colleagues after seeing their comments and “tried to apologize to people for how I behaved.”

But none of that takes away, she said, from what she says her boss did to her over the course of 2017.

On several occasions, she said, General Hyten tried to kiss her, hug her and touch her inappropriately while in her office or on trips. She said she told him no, and even threatened to tell his wife, and that he was often apologetic and emotional afterward.

The unwanted touching continued, she said, escalating to the alleged Simi Valley assault in December 2017.

The festive two-day port of call passes for the glitterati of the military policy wonk world. American lawmakers and former cabinet officials receive “peace through strength” awards, while panel discussions on the Islamic State, combating Russia and China, and how to engage with Silicon Valley unfold on the stage, before participants head to the hotel bars.

Colonel Spletstoser said she was appalled after General Hyten ejaculated while pressing up against her, and she went into her hotel bathroom and threw a towel at him, telling him to clean himself up.

He went into the bathroom and stayed there for several minutes, she said. When he came out, he was again apologetic, and asked her if she would report him.

“I was distraught,” she said. But “who was I going to report it to? Secretary Mattis? Really? All I was trying to do was just survive and not have my life ruined.”

Colonel Spletstoser said that she had believed that General Hyten would retire, and had planned to say nothing about the incident.

When he was nominated to the second highest military job in the country, she said, “I realized I have a moral responsibility to come forward. I could not live with myself if this happens to someone else and I didn’t do anything to stop it.”

Knowing how Trump reacts to sexual assault, he'll probably try to make him SecDef.

#Resist
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Stratton: "A hundred other guys out there like me - what are you going to do, change the world?"

B.J.: "No, just our little corner of it."

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« Reply #517 on: July 29, 2019, 11:37:37 PM »

Twitch Streamers Plan ‘SlutStream’ To Raise Awareness Of Online Harassment

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Tomorrow, a veteran Twitch streamer is organizing a day called “SlutStream” for women gaming online to band together and deflate the power of the word “slut.”

For over a decade, the word “slut” has been under siege. At annual SlutWalks, thousands march in “sexy” attire to protest the idea that women’s clothing or lifestyles could in any way invite sexual violence. In high schools, teenagers are battling the notion that young women who violate dress codes are distractions or unfit for education. Now, Twitch streamers are launching their own effort to highlight how the word “slut,” or slut-shaming generally, can make it hard to live and work online.

“I’ve had a lot of people ask, ‘Why call it SlutStream? That’s just offensive,’” said Kacey “Kaceytron” Kaviness, a longtime Twitch streamer with 500,000 followers. “The whole idea of calling it ‘SlutStream’ is taking the name back and giving less power to it.”

Kaviness, who has mockingly referred to herself as a “titty streamer,” made a name for herself on Twitch around 2013 trolling and mocking Twitch culture. “People who are upset about female streamers wearing low-cut tops will see [my stream] and say, ‘Oh, yeah, she’s making fun of female streamers acting like sluts for views,’” Kaviness told Kotaku for a 2018 profile. “The way I see it is, it’s making fun of the people who get upset about that.” Eliciting fury and vitriol from self-serious gamers, Kaviness has for years satirized the widespread stereotype that women on Twitch are leveraging their goods for clicks.

Tomorrow, Kaviness and fellow streamer Isabella “IzzyBear” O’Hammon are leading a cadre of Twitch streamers in talking about the word “slut” on the interactive gaming platform. Hosted the same day as World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, #SlutStreamDay is raising money for Freedom 4/24, a nonprofit raising awareness of sex trafficking and exploitation.

“We want any and all streamers who stand against the constant harassment and slut shaming of women to stream dressed in ways that make them feel comfortable and raise awareness for a good cause, Kaviness and O’Hammon wrote on Twitter. Kaviness says harassment on Twitch happens no matter how women dress: “If you’re a female on this website, you’re going to be slutshamed by somebody.”

#SlutStreamDay will take place tomorrow. Over the phone, Kaviness and O’Hammon strategized on what to do if Twitch’s algorithms rain on their parade. Despite streamers’ efforts, it’s ultimately on the company to govern the harassment that takes place on it—an effort that’s can clearly be improved as harassers continually bypass whatever protections are currently in place. O’Hammon says she can’t write the word “slut” in a stream title; Kaviness, who is a Twitch partner, says she can. “Just put a dash where the U is,” O’Hammon suggests.

#Resist
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Stratton: "A hundred other guys out there like me - what are you going to do, change the world?"

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« Reply #518 on: August 04, 2019, 05:25:14 PM »

Auerbach: Back from suspension, Urban Meyer still has not learned anything

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The​ past​ two months have​ served​ as​ a referendum​ on​ Urban​ Meyer and​ how he believes men​ should treat​ women.

And​ it’s​​ not “with respect,” as the words he had printed on the walls of the Ohio State football facility may indicate.

Meyer has had multiple chances to respect Courtney Smith and the serious allegations she’s made over the years against Zach Smith, her ex-husband and longtime Meyer assistant who was fired in July. Meyer has had multiple opportunities to apologize to her for what she has endured privately and publicly. He’s had multiple chances to educate himself and discuss the serious nature of domestic violence to help educate others.

He’s taken none of these chances to do the right thing, including a news conference Monday after the end of his three-game suspension. And it’s all because he doesn’t believe Courtney Smith was a victim of domestic violence.

“I feel like he needed to see her with a fat lip and two black eyes to believe her,” Brenda Tracy, one of college football’s leading anti-sexual violence activists, told The Athletic. “He’s not even trying to learn about the dynamics of domestic violence. I see no growth in him from this. He feels put out. He thinks he is the victim.

“It’s frustrating. It’s disgusting. He’s fueling the fire of all of these people who think that domestic victims are liars, that we make stuff up. He is fueling all of these myths.”

Meyer doesn’t seem to understand that domestic violence includes more than just hitting someone, that it looks different in every case and could be financial, mental or emotional abuse, including gaslighting. It’s not just physical violence. It’s threats. It’s intimidation. It’s harassment.

“Research shows that domestic violence survivors are more likely to lie and minimize than to say that something didn’t happen when it did,” Tracy said. “This should be a moment in our history where we are learning about the dynamics of domestic violence. Part of the reason we aren’t learning is because of Urban Meyer. He has so much power and such a big platform that he could be using for good, that he could be using to educate others.

“Instead, he’s using his platform to be stubborn and prop up ideas that need to be changed.”

Stubborn may be the perfect word to describe Meyer’s behavior. Enabling is another.

After nearly two months of lies and inconsistent explanations for his handling of domestic violence allegations against Smith, Meyer now refuses to do anything but dig in his heels. His news conference Monday afternoon showed just as much.

Meyer is still sticking to his story — which was doubted by Ohio State’s own fairly exhaustive investigation — that he didn’t hear directly from his wife, Shelley, that she was “scared” of Smith back in 2015. He’s sticking to a story that he didn’t ask anyone how to delete text messages older than a year off his phone after the first reports of Smith’s alleged history of violence became public, despite investigators finding that he and his director of football operations discussed how to adjust the settings on the phone to delete text messages older than a year. When investigators got access to his phone, they reported that “Coach Meyer’s phone was set to retain text messages only for that period, as Coach Meyer and (director of ops) Brian Voltolini discussed.”

Meyer is even still sticking to the idea that he, alone, could save a staffer’s troubled marriage, even at the same time he’s making a point to say he’s not qualified to investigate allegations like this.

Meyer insists that he doesn’t condone the act of domestic violence and that his core value, that young men in his program respect women, remains unquestioned. But his behavior doesn’t match what he’s saying.

More than once Monday, Meyer compared Courtney Smith’s allegations against Zach Smith to his involvement in other staffers’ “marital issues” or “marriage issues,” not signifying any difference between spousal infidelity or financial problems and serious allegations of domestic violence. More than once, Meyer said “once domestic violence was taken out of the equation,” basing that characterization solely on the lack of charges brought against Zach Smith.

Meyer doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. For example, how hard it is to bring charges in domestic violence cases because so much comes down to he-said, she-said situations with little hard evidence. Or, as Tracy mentioned, how often victims (and others close to them) downplay the violence themselves after the fact for self-preservation and also, sometimes, because of love. Worse than not understanding these things already is that Meyer has had two months to learn. He just hasn’t.

Meyer was asked whether or not he believed that Courtney Smith has ever been a victim of domestic violence.

“I can only rely on what information I received from experts,” Meyer said.

Implicit in that statement is Meyer’s belief that Courtney Smith is not a reliable source of information. Only law enforcement can be, despite how notoriously difficult it is to prosecute cases of domestic violence or sexual assault, not to mention countless examples all over the country over the years of police mishandling such cases. Meyer also is suggesting that an arrest and/or charges are required for taking action. But coaches like Meyer have let assistants and players go for far less.

Meyer isn’t focusing on that larger issue, or the fact that women who have been abused by intimate partners have been watching him and reading about him address these topics for weeks now. He doesn’t seem to understand how him openly questioning the credibility of Courtney Smith hurts them, too.

And he still has the gall to say he respects women. Really.

From "Win The Moment" To "He Said She Said" To "Tuff Perception World": How Urban Meyer And Ohio State Reacted To The Zach Smith News

#Resist
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Stratton: "A hundred other guys out there like me - what are you going to do, change the world?"

B.J.: "No, just our little corner of it."

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« Reply #519 on: August 06, 2019, 07:13:50 PM »

Ocasio-Cortez slams image of young men in 'Team Mitch' shirts 'groping & choking' cutout

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A photo posted of a group of young men in "Team Mitch" shirts appearing to choke and grope a cardboard cutout of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has led to the congresswoman's firing off a response to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-K.Y., and to one of the men pictured apologizing.

In the image, which made the rounds on the internet Monday, one of the men in the photo has his arm around the cutout and appears to be kissing it. Another looks to be putting his hand around the congresswoman’s neck, as if to choke her.

The photo was posted to Instagram with the caption: “break me off a piece of that.” The post has since been deleted.

On Twitter, Ocasio-Cortez retweeted the photo to McConnell, who is up for re-election next year.

"Hey @senatemajldr — these young men look like they work for you," the congresswoman tweeted. "Just wanted to clarify: are you paying for young men to practice groping & choking members of Congress w/ your payroll, or is this just the standard culture of #TeamMitch?

The McConnell campaign said in a statement that it “in no way condones” the image, but it condemned "the far-left and the media" for writing about the incident.

“These young men are not campaign staff, they’re high schoolers and it’s incredible that the national media has sought to once again paint a target on their backs rather than report real, and significant news in our country,” said Kevin Golden, McConnell’s campaign manager, in the statement.

The picture was taken over the weekend at the 139th Annual Fancy Farm Picnic in Kentucky, a political event attended by both Democrats and Republicans.

One of the young men involved appeared to apologize online, posting a picture of a note-card that says, “I was wrong ... I’m sorry." In his caption, he wrote: “My friends and I sincerely apologize to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, Senator McConnell, to our school, St. Jerome Parish, and our community for our insensitive actions at Fancy Farm this past weekend.”

NBC News has reached out to the men in the photo for comment via Instagram and the school referred to in the young man's apology. The Rev. Darrell Venters of St. Jerome Catholic Church told NBC News the young men in the photo do not attend his parish.

#Resist

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Stratton: "A hundred other guys out there like me - what are you going to do, change the world?"

B.J.: "No, just our little corner of it."

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« Reply #520 on: August 25, 2019, 05:30:27 PM »

Video Shows Mateen Cleaves's Accuser Struggling To Flee His Motel Room

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Former Michigan State men’s basketball player Mateen Cleaves was acquitted on Tuesday of four sexual assault charges stemming from an incident with a 24-year-old woman in September of 2015. Video of the incident that was shown in the courtroom has since been released because of a public records request from WXYZ Detroit.

Prosecutors argued in court that Cleaves subdued a drunk woman who tried to run away from his motel room while she was still undressed, brought her back, and raped her. The newly released footage shows what happened outside of the room: Cleaves, who wore only socks, chased down the half-naked woman twice to get her back to his room.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/FZAkij-5YBQ&rel=1" target="_blank">https://www.youtube.com/v/FZAkij-5YBQ&rel=1</a>

One of Cleaves’s attorneys, Mike Manley, categorized the video in his closing arguments as “a gentleman going out to make sure that a lady wasn’t walking around a motel naked.” Manley said the accuser was “an obnoxious, belligerent, remorseful drunk” when she spoke to police, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo was in the courthouse during the closing statements. Izzo, whose son’s middle name is Mateen, told the Free Press that Cleaves “is part of the family.”

I can't wait for the "men are being falsely accused" to explain this.

#Resist

P.S.  This post will probably be psi-splained, because everything is about him.
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Stratton: "A hundred other guys out there like me - what are you going to do, change the world?"

B.J.: "No, just our little corner of it."

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« Reply #521 on: August 26, 2019, 01:20:30 PM »

P.S.  This post will probably be psi-splained, because everything is about him.

Everything?  Did you not notice I stopped, or do you just miss it that much?
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