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Aljazeera:

Chile court orders Catholic Church to compensate abuse victims of homosexual predator priest

The unprecedented ruling comes amid an ongoing clerical sex abuse scandal engulfing deeply religious Chile.

Unprecedented investigation

Karadima, now 88, lives in a nursing home in Santiago.

Due to the statute of limitations on sexual crimes under Chilean law, he was never charged by civilian authorities.

He was, however, found guilty of sexual abuse in a Vatican investigation in 2011, which meant that he remained a priest but could no longer administer in public.

His case is one of an increasing number of civil suits against clergymen Chile, where allegations of abuse and cover-ups have dogged the Catholic Church for years.In the last year, an unprecedented investigation has ramped up efforts to identify victims and perpetrators, with more than 100 clergymen being placed under investigation by state authorities. It is the largest clerical sex abuse probe in Latin American history and spans all of Chile’s 15 mainland regions.

On Saturday, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago and the highest-ranking member of Chile’s Catholic Church. Ezzati was accused of covering up abuse but denies all wrongdoing.

Daily mail:

A new PC game that lets players rape and kill women as they progress through its story of ‘violence, sexual assault, necrophilia and incest’ is due to be released this month despite outrage.

The developer of ‘Rape Day’ claims the game is aimed at the ‘four per cent of the general population [who] are sociopaths’ and would enjoy playing a ‘menacing serial killer rapist during a zombie apocalypse’.

Desk Plant, the one-man developer, even brags about its twisted story line in the description on gaming platform Steam.

It wrote: ‘Annoy, murder and rape women as you continue the story. It’s a dangerous world with no laws. The zombies enjoy eating the flesh off warm humans and brutally raping them but you are the most dangerous rapist in town.’

How much do you want to bet that this guy thinks homosexuality is normal? I’m betting all the money in the world. Liberals are just vermin of people. Thinking rape and homosexuality are normal is perfectly compatible – they are both vile. For sexually perverted people, nothing is perverted. And all perversions must be normalized and be considered individual freedom.

There’s also a highly hypocritical attitude here from anyone who protests this game but not pornography, especially any kind of pornography involving sexual harassment, any kind of insult, humiliation, or rape.

Daily Beast reports:

The Shady Hollywood Producer Enabling Accused Sexual Predator Bryan Singer

Despite the sex-misconduct allegations against Singer, Millennium Films is keeping him on as director of ‘Red Sonja.’ And its owner, Avi Lerner, has a questionable past of his own.

These people form networks, and yes, they do enable and protect each other.

But liberals can always clap at them at their turdy Pride Parades to feel better about themselves.

“The accusations against Singer cover a spectrum. Some of the alleged victims say they were seduced by the director while underage; others say they were raped. The victims we interviewed told us these experiences left them psychologically damaged, with substance-abuse problems, depression, and PTSD.” (Singer denied the allegations, branding the article a “homophobic smear piece” in a statement that The Daily Beast’s Tim Teeman deemed “absurd.”)

Millennium Films’ CEO Avi Lerner is now publicly defending his director, telling THR that, “I continue to be in development for Red Sonja and Bryan Singer continues to be attached.” The producer added, “The over $800 million Bohemian Rhapsody has grossed, making it the highest grossing drama in film history, is testament to his remarkable vision and acumen. I know the difference between agenda driven fake news and reality, and I am very comfortable with this decision. In America people are innocent until proven otherwise.” (Titanic is actually the highest-grossing drama in film history; Gone with the Wind is when adjusted for inflation.)

THR went on to note that, “Sources say Millennium had been inundated with calls and emails over the past day calling Millennium complicit if it continued to work with Singer, but Lerner decided to stay the course.”

This will not be Lerner’s first brush with accusations of complicity. Last February Terry Crews, the actor whose sexual assault suit against Adam Venit eventually led to the agent leaving WME, tweeted, “Management got a call last week from Avi Lerner producer of EXPENDABLES 4 saying I could avoid any ‘problems’ on the sequel if I dropped my case against ‪@WME. Guess who’s Sly’s agent? ADAM VENIT.” “Sly” refers to Sylvester Stallone, who had reportedly clashed with Avi Lerner over The Expendables series. Terry Crews declined The Daily Beast’s request for comment on this alleged intimidation attempt.

 

BBC:

In England, relationships education will be compulsory for all primary pupils from September 2020. Sex education will also be compulsory for all secondary pupils from that date.

It’s always about domination and censoring everyone else, always about trampling on people’s most fundamental human rights. LGBTs are the enemy of every decent person, of fundamental freedoms, and of a healthy sexuality, ideology, and life.

For now, parents cannot ‘veto’ sex education lessons, education secretary says.

Parents have been protesting against lessons about LGBT relationships, leading to an assistant head receiving death threats.

But if Sky News were honest, they would explain that the reason this assistant head has received death threats is because he is violating the fundamental rights of parents and of children. He is forcing children to be the target of this nasty, trashy homosexual propaganda. And that is criminal.

 

USNEWS:

Public health officials say rural counties across the Midwest and West are becoming the new battleground. While syphilis is still concentrated in cities such as San FranciscoAtlanta and Las Vegas, its continued spread into places like MissouriIowaKansas and Oklahoma creates a new set of challenges. Compared with urban hubs, rural populations tend to have less access to public health resources, less experience with syphilis and less willingness to address it because of socially conservative views toward homosexuality and nonmarital sex.

So who are the culprits again? LGBTs and liberals having sex outside marriage. And liberals promoting homosexuality and promiscuity as normal.

In Missouri, the total number of syphilis patients has more than quadrupled since 2012 — jumping from 425 to 1,896 cases last year

You tell people that being a homosexual or bisexual pig is normal, this is what happens.

Back in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had a plan to eradicate the sexually transmitted disease that totaled over 35,000 cases nationwide that year.  By focusing on the epicenters clustered primarily throughout the South, California and in major urban areas, the plan seemed within reach. Instead, U.S. cases topped 101,500 in 2017 and are continuing to rise along with other sexually transmitted diseases.

Some men haven’t told family members they’re having sex with other men. And still more have no idea their partner may have cheated on them — and their doctors don’t want to ask, according to Highfill.

That’s American liberal society for you. Do doctors think it’s a problem that people want to be homosexual and bisexual pigs? The problem is drug use, lack of education, whatever, but the big elephant in the room simply will not be addressed.

The increased use of anonymous apps gives people greater access to more sexual partners, she said.

Yes, it does. Because sexuality pigs will always go after their degenerate kicks. But if these people weren’t being egged on to be sexual pigs, they would care less about any app. The problem is their turdy liberal sexuality culture, not the app.

The worst thing that can happen to any country is to emulate US culture.

 

From a good article on Jezebel – which is usually just ideologically awful, more on the letter trying to defend the bisexual pig Avital Ronell regarding her sexual harassment:

The letter lays out a series of defenses for Ronell similar to the arguments used to justify sexual misconduct committed by powerful men: “We wish to communicate first in the clearest terms our profound an enduring admiration for Professor Ronell whose mentorship of students has been no less than remarkable over many years. We deplore the damage that this legal proceeding causes her, and seek to register in clear terms our objection to any judgment against her,” the letter states.

Lauding her “brilliant scholarship” and “intellectual generosity” and noting that the French government recently bestowed a prestigious award upon her, the writers continue, “We testify to the grace, the keen wit, and the intellectual commitment of Professor Ronell and ask that she be accorded the dignity rightly deserved by someone of her international standing and reputation.”

If she were to be fired or “relieved of her duties,” they continue, “the injustice would be widely recognized and opposed.”

The insular world of academia, like many other industries in which a hierarchical power structure offers rewards and protection to those at the top and enacts a steep price on those with little institutional clout, is beginning to reckon with the rampant sexual harassment and abuses of power that are endemic within its walls. In October of last year, The Atlantic posed the question, “When will the ‘Harvey effect’ reach academia?” Two months later, a crowdsourced project asked people to submit stories of sexual harassment they had experienced while in academia; to date, it has collected more than 2,400 entries.

More students—almost always women—are beginning to speak out about the harassment they face from professors and those in power—almost always men. The institutional response has been unsurprisingly uneven, often determined by the value of individual faculty to a university.

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And, more on Ronell’s defense:

In a statement to the Times, she described the email exchanges as mutual conversations between two consenting adults. (It’s worth noting that she doesn’t dispute the content of their emails, but rather Reitman’s framing of them as harassment): “Our communications — which Reitman now claims constituted sexual harassment — were between two adults, a gay man and a queer woman, who share an Israeli heritage, as well as a penchant for florid and campy communications arising from our common academic backgrounds and sensibilities. These communications were repeatedly invited, responded to and encouraged by him over a period of three years.”

She doubled down on those claims in a response published in the German publication Welt, describing the emails they exchanged as “hyperbolic gay dialect.”

“I never touched or hurt Reitman,” she told Welt, before labeling him “miserable” and “needy.” As for their student-mentor relationship, Ronell claims that Reitman asked her to help turn his dissertation into a book. In rough translation, she said: “He was incredibly angry because I did not have time for that.” She added, “I did not expect the unstoppable attacks that came then.”

Ronell has continued to go on the offense. On Thursday, she released a statement through her attorney that detailed her interactions with Reitman and the language he used in email communications with her. In the emails, Reitman purportedly called her “beloved and special one,” “baby,” “sweet beloved.” Her statement questions why he waited until graduating to file his complaint and notes that he was unable to find a tenure-track position before concluding that “[t]he inability of Reitman to find a job and not any actual or perceived, sexual harassment of him by email, is what this case is about.”

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There are lots of very good comments to the article. Here are some:

Ugh. Enough already with the damn “this person has done a lot of good, therefore they could never have done anything wrong” letters. I can understand it’s hard to accept that a friend or idol might not be who you thought they were but keep yourthoughts to yourself.

Anyway, even if it were true that it was all consensual, there was a clear power imbalance.

Yup. I’m also v tired of the “—of Jewish heritage—” shit casually thrown in there. Like, who gives a flying fuck about your heritage, not sure how it’s germane to possible sexual harassment, etc.

Yup. This line really says it all to me: ‘“People know that she is very friendly and open and crosses traditional boundaries in relationships with her students,””

WHY DID YOU FUCKING LET THAT GO, UNIVERSITY. THAT IS NOT OK.

I found it a bit eerie that you could just search-and-replace the names in this article with those of any of the recent powerful-man-harasses-woman-at-work stories and have it be pretty much identical, right down to the “but he/she is really good at their job!” defenses.  Yay equality?  Also:  yuck.

Also, let’s retire the “This is how she is!  You just don’t GET her!” argument. Nope, sorry— being wacky is not a good excuse to sexually assault your graduate student.

Yeah, what does that even mean? She’s more communicative than other profs?Cool. More handsy? Ew.

The things she said to him are NOT ok to say to a student let alone an advisee. Those things alone without taking into account her intentions or his consent makes her in the wrong here.

Yep. If your personality is built around whackiness and lack of boundaries you probably shouldn’t be in a supervisory role.

DON’T CROSS BOUNDARIES!! That’s a blatant act of aggression, Ronell.

Exactly. How do you solve a problem like Avital? Fucking fire her.

Thank you. The messages exchanged are horrendously inappropriate for any advisor to send to any advisee under any circumstances. That said, the awful victim-blaming responses by her colleagues are embarrassing, but not surprising. I work in academia and it regularly closes ranks around abusers, particularly tenured ones with power. The reason they’re so quiet about #MeToo is because they’re terrified of what will happen if it ever hits their institutions.

I don’t care how great you are, if you call your student your “cock-er spaniel” there is something fucked up going on

I cannot understand how anyone past the age of 20 can still cling to the notion that outer appearances mirror the inner person. You simply don’t know what a person get up to in their personal life, and you take that as a given and go from there. If anything, the more a person tries to perfect their outer persona the more their actual person is rotted out.

And what someone may actually think matters very little. LBJ was pretty racist, and yet he still passed the Civil Rights Act. The idea that someone’s “inner beliefs” matter more than their actions is the usual bullshit version of “enlightenment” that gets passed off as some sort of deep insight.

Actions matter, the rest is totally meaningless.

Lauding her “brilliant scholarship” and “intellectual generosity” and noting that the French government recently bestowed a prestigious award upon her,

Roman Polanski won an Oscar.

Bill Cosby had multiple honourary degrees.

Kevin Spacey was knighted.

That prestigious award doesn’t mean shit.

“Everything I say is queer hyperbole”…. FU lady. Your student felt pressured to engage with you and get sexually harasssed bc you held their future in your hands and then you say he resents you bc he didn’t get a job or any gains from being harassed by you for years…. yeah no shit he’s angry and feels violated, no shit he feels used and hurt, what victims will deal with in order to get through life is absolutely horrifying. When scumbags say “ Well, how come they put up with it for so long if they felt violated?” Or “How come they didn’t need report what happened right away? How scared could they have truly been?”….. I just want to burn it allllll down bc to me it’s common sense, we will do anything to keep our abusers at bay, we will nod, we will laugh at their dumb jokes, we will pretend to be ok with their behavoir if it means we can eventually make a safe exit, knowing what an abuser can do to you once you tell another person (the police, a friend, a neighbor etc) is terrifying.

Right? There is nothing to “make”of this beyond another sexual harasser protected by their shitty friends. Being female, queer, feminist or Jewish doesn’t preclude anyone from being an abuser. And any person of any gender is entitled to file a Title IX claim. This isn’t rocket science. I am also annoyedthe article gives SO much editorial space to said shitty friends’ victim blaming nonsense, and buries the victim’s actual testimony (the most compelling part of the article) way down near the bottom. This is no anomaly, it’s classic abuse of power.

I don’t know if anyone outside academia understands how uniquely terrifying it is to go up against the machines of institutional power there, especially as a grad student. You pour your entire life’s work into your degree and (if your advisors are unscrupulous) put up with all types of abuse because you know these people are the gatekeepers of your entire professional future. It doesn’t matter if your complaints are justified; the minute you raise your voice, you’re done. His career was over the second he filed that Title IX claim. The fact that such high-ranking intellectuals have chosen to pile on further is disappointing but not surprising.

All of this. I had no idea academia was so fucked up until I started working in it. So much is excused by “But they’re brilliant at their research!” Or even worse, “They were so brilliant 20 years ago. Saying/doing something now would tarnish their legacy.”

I was a graduate student around the same time with the alleged victim, in a different department. I cannot give you much detail, because I would like to stay anonymous. I took Avital’s classes, but she was not in my diss committee. I’m commenting on an article for the first time, but I felt like what I know should be part of the conversation. Avital loves power games, she has groupies, she adores male students, and many other things I can list here on this academic whose power went into her head. BUT, the alleged victim, man, he was also something. He enjoyed every bit of power and privilege of being Avital’s pet. He thought he had a right to treat his peers like sh*t, while hanging out with the super famous theory bunch, whose one word would make careers. He blamed people for being antisemitic, when someone called him out on his actions. He demanded special treatment, because he was Avital’s pet. They are both miserable pieces of humanity. But we need to remember, in such cases of power abuse, there are always others down the ladder that suffer the consequences.

They both sound like utter assholes, but the onus is on the person with power not to initiate inappropriate communications and relationships.

 

But it’s interesting to hear the inside scoop. And yes, I’m sure being shat on by both of them was a nightmare for the other students in the vicinity.

Very true, but let’s play devil’s advocate and assume Honeyfoot’s account of this guy is spot on, and he’s just a creep. So what? Not all abuse victims are pleasant people. It isn’t just the saintly who get abused. Even bullies can be assaulted.

I think, as a society, we have a tendency to dismiss abuse claims made by anyone who hasn’t led a perfectly spotless, middle class, upwardly mobile existence. That’s a real problem.

We certainly see this attitude directed at female accusers.

Oh, she sleeps around. She couldn’t have been abused.”

“She’s done drugs at some point. We can’t trust her.”

“She’s a bitch. She’s probably just trying to cause trouble.”

yeeeeeeeah, nothing I’ve seen makes me think this is a “well what should we do” handwringing type situation. she was shitty and abusive, she should lose her job

Well, she did get suspended for a year, aka what every academic wants so they have time to write another book that they can assign to their students as required reading. She’ll learn her lesson, I’m sure.

In this case the people who wrote the letter in support of her clearly hadn’t seen any of the evidence that we’ve now been privy to, and they didn’t expect their letter to go public. I would like to think that if they’d had that information, they may have refrained from making any statement, however private.

How is that different than any other shitty defense-of-abuser letter?

“I have no idea what happened here, but I know my friend would never do anything bad so I support her 100%!”

“I would never have supported this awful person in writing if I knew people would find out!”

It’s only now, with the language around the MeToo movement, that I’ve been able to look back at what happened to me in graduate school and recognize that it was sexual harassment. Because my advisor was a woman (as am I) everyone just said “she’s hard to work with.” Without a doubt, that experience changed my career trajectory (I ended up have to drop out of a top-rated PhD program) and while I’m very happy with where I’ve ended up, I am still kind of angry that *that* is the thing that made those decisions for me. And I’m angry that even I didn’t have the words at the time to call her out as a sexual harasser.

Women do not get a pass on this because they’re women. Certain kinds of people will abuse their power when their victims have no recourse. Maybe men are more likely to take advantage of that situation, or maybe it’s just that men have traditionally, and currently, occupy almost all positions of power. Either way, we need to hold women to the same standard of professionalism and consent as we are starting to do with men.

I don’t know why it’s so hard for people to believe the victims. People with power can abuse that power – regardless of gender or sexual identity.

I understand that it’s difficult for people to reconcile seemingly disparate sensibilities – scholarly feminist and sexual abuser – but how many times have we looked at murderers, rapists, and other criminals and said, “But they come from such a good family! / There were no warning signs! / They were always kind and gentle!”

None of these cases are easy or clear-cut.

Oh, she was clearly trying to fuck him. Also, she’s not a lesbian – she identifies as queer. Not the same.

Intriguing that Zizek says he knows male professors who do much worse, but appears to have little inclination to condemn, intervene or protest THEIR behavior. “Well, men are much nastier, so Avital Ronel gets a pass.”

There is a real danger the right could use harassment cases to intimidate leftist thinkers, but there is little evidence offered of that here (one way or the other); in fact, without knowing the full particulars of the case, it is impossible to make anyjudgment. One thing is absolutely true in academia, however: if your rock-starthesis advisor is not supporting your search for a faculty position, you’re pretty much toast in the field for which you just earned a PhD.

1. Believe victims. He was a victim.

2. Women in power abuse their power, just like men. Why? Because PEOPLE with power, if they are weak or fucked up, always abuse their power.

3. I love my dissertation advisor. LOVE him. Ours is perhaps the most intellectually stimulating relationship I’ve ever had. He has never touched me. He has never said anything inappropriate or remotely sexual to me. He does not even know where I live or have my home phone number. I genuinely don’t know what he thinks of me personally, but I know he genuinely wants me to succeed. And that is all. That is how it should be for EVERYONE. I am so, so sorry for anyone who experiences harassment during the most precious and formative experience of their academic lives.

I’m reading this article thinking “Okay, but did she harass him or not? Who cares if she was a good teacher or not.” Then I get about halfway through and read the actual behavior and messages, which she doesn’t deny, and think “What the holy fuck where those people doing trying to defend her?”

Academia is one of the most fucked up work environments on the planet. I’d be very happy if a shipload of the biggest offenders were removed. And you can bet that some of the people who came to her defense are also harassers and abusers. I saw the same thing happen in a religious institution involving rape and molestation. They always stand up for each other.

Professor here. There are several rules we cannot break without jeopardizing everything. On this list is “Don’t do anything with students that can be misconstrued as a sexual advance” or whatever formulation you’d like. I’ve had students drunk email me, stop by my office to give me gifts and then want to study there, etc. Once, when I had a tiny little office with all my books everywhere, barely room to turn around, a young woman seemingly intentionally dropped a pencil and very slowly picked it up (this is long ago, when I was young and not so droopy). I’ve never tried to reprimand a student for this (although perhaps I should), but I definitely run away. It’s not just losing your job, it’s also realizing that any such behavior is always misguided, either through motive or the power of the relationship. I’m not necessarily attractive or unattractive, but sometimes professors who are introducing people to exciting material can be powerfully attractive. It’s not me, it’s the role I’m playing in their lives. I suppose you could confuse the two, but you’d have to stupid, high, or extremely vain. I mean, this pertains to all my work. Sitting around talking I’m just me, but when I start talking about my studies I feel like a spiritual medium, connected to all my teachers, the scholars I’ve read, and the artists I’ve studied.

Here endeth the lecture.

 

In a Chronicle of Education article, some Slovenian “philosopher” jumped to defend the bisexual pig, Avital Ronell, who was convicted of sexually harassing a NYU student (see recent posts on this subject). (bolding below is mine)

Avital definitely is a type of her own,” Slavoj Žižek, a Slovenian philosopher, wrote. “In short, she is a walking provocation for a stiff Politically Correct inhabitant of our academia, a ticking bomb just waiting to explode.”

He argued that the professor’s “eccentricities” are all on the surface. “There is nothing sleazy hidden beneath her affected behaviour, in contrast to quite a few professors that I know who obey all the Politically Correct rules while merrily screwing students or playing obscene power games with all the dirty moves such games involve.

First point, and a somewhat minor one, but a point nevertheless, this guy is from Slovenia, you know, that bastion of the crusade against sexual harassment and assault, the world’s leading country in the fight against sexual harassment, right? Oh yes, when you think of fight against sexual harassment, what comes to your mind? Eastern Europe, of course!

But now, the important point, and my question. Notice the part I have bolded in his statement: in contrast to quite a few professors that I know who obey all the Politically Correct rules while merrily screwing students or playing obscene power games with all the dirty moves such games involve.

Apparently no one took notice of what this professor stated, or they simply don’t care. This Žižek not only knows of several professors that are “screwing around students” (with all the entanglements and lack of ethics that usually accompany that practice), but more importantly, he also knows of several professors who are “playing obscene power games with all the dirty moves such games involve.”

“Obscene power games”? “All the dirty moves such games involve?” What does that sound like to you? It sounds like this guy knows of a lot of sexual harassers or perpetrators of other activities that violate students’ fundamental rights. And Mr. Žižek, also like all those vile bishops in the Catholic sexual abuse scandal, keeps his little mouth shut to protect the guilty professors.

Isn’t it striking that no one (no one!) asks Mr. Žižek who is playing these “obscene power games with all the dirty moves such games involve?

Who exactly is Mr. Žižek protecting with his silence?

 

 

 

Brian Leiter reports (excerpt):

Avital Ronell affair makes NY Times, which adds new details to the case

The NYT has published an informative, front-page article about the case that was first revealed on this blog back in June after a philosopher in Europe sent me the now notorious “letter of support” for Ronell by the “theory illuminati.”  Among the new revelations from the NYT article (some of which contradict earlier reports):

2.  Among the details of the harassment revealed:

In the Title IX final report…Mr. [Nimrod] Reitman [the victim] said that she had sexually harassed him for three years, and shared dozens of emails in which she referred to him as “my most adored one,” “Sweet cuddly Baby,” “cock-er spaniel,” and “my astounding and beautiful Nimrod”….

Mr. Reitman…says that Professor Ronell kissed and touched him repeatedly, slept in his bed with him, required him to lie in her bed, held his hand, texted, emailed and called him constantly, and refused to work with him if he did not reciprocate…

The problems began, according to Mr. Reitman, in the spring of 2012, before he officially started school. Professor Ronell invited him to stay with her in Paris for a few days. The day he arrived, she asked him to read poetry to her in her bedroom while she took an afternoon nap, he said.

“That was already a red flag to me,” said Mr. Reitman. “But I also thought, O.K., you’re here. Better not make a scene.”

Then, he said, she pulled him into her bed.

“She put my hands onto her breasts, and was pressing herself — her buttocks — onto my crotch,” he said. “She was kissing me, kissing my hands, kissing my torso.” That evening, a similar scene played out again, he said.

3.  Professor Ronell adopts what we might call “the McGinn defense” (minus the Israeli bit!); I here quote:

Professor Ronell, 66, denied any harassment. “Our communications — which Reitman now claims constituted sexual harassment — were between two adults, a gay man and a queer woman, who share an Israeli heritage, as well as a penchant for florid and campy communications arising from our common academic backgrounds and sensibilities,” she wrote in a statement to The New York Times. “These communications were repeatedly invited, responded to and encouraged by him over a period of three years.”

Professor Ronell’s lawyer denied the story about physical contact and NYU did not find her guilty of sexual assault.

4.  As I suspected, NYU is, according to the Times article, now investigating the “retaliation” issues raised by the now infamous letter.  I would not be surprised if the one-year suspension turns into an early retirement under the circumstances.

5.  Part of Prof. Ronell’s defense was to suggest the complainant was simply “frustrated because he just wasn’t smart enough”:

“His main dilemma was the incoherency in his writing, and lack of a recognizable argument,” Professor Ronell said in a January 2018 interview submitted to the Title IX office.

I admit this did make me laugh:  it’s really hard to imagine that anyone’s writing could be less coherent and less lacking in recognizable argument than that of the “theory illuminati”!

One thing that goes unnoted in the NYT article (I assume because they were unaware of it) is that the former Chair of the NYU German Department has written a damning account of Professor Ronell’s tenure in the department that will appear in a German magazine early next month.  I was sent a copy, and will post about it, and translate some bits, when it offically appears in early September.

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Can’t wait to read it.

 

So…! I hadn’t heard about this scandal until yesterday. And boy, did I ever enjoy reading about it, especially because if it wasn’t for an incident that no one was really counting on, the whole case would have been kept under wraps, just like the majority of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse cases are.

And now the sheep has hit the fan! Big time, on major news media.

In a nutshell:

Professor Avita Ronell, a world-renowned professor of German and comparative literature, released a statement on Friday in response to a lawsuit filed against her this week by the former student and advisee, Nimrod Reitman.

In the lawsuit, Reitman said he was subjected to unwanted kissing and groping, and he said he received many messages that made him uncomfortable.

Ronell denied having any sexual contact with her former student and said their emails contained “exaggerated expressions of tenderness” because they are both gay, not because she was sexually harassing him. [Note: it appears that Ronnel uses the word “queer” to describe herself, not lesbian and not gay, which would most naturally be interpreted as a bisexual pig].

She also said her messages were reciprocated. In her statement, she included several purported excerpts of their emails, in which she alleges Reitman referred to her as “beloved and special one,” ”Baby” and “Sweet Beloved.”

Reitman, who received a doctorate from NYU in 2015, said the professor created “a fictitious romantic relationship” and sabotaged his efforts to get a teaching position. He also is suing the university, alleging administrators failed to take action after he told a vice provost about the misconduct while still a student. He is seeking unspecified damages.

NYU’s Title IX office concluded that Reitman was sexually harassed and suspended the professor for a year and stipulated that any future meetings with students be supervised. It cleared her of allegations that her actions amounted to sexual assault.

It said it did not believe that filing a lawsuit against it “would be warranted or just.”

In the lawsuit, Reitman accuses the professor of demanding he address her in “over-the-top, effusive language, including that he constantly express his love for her, and his failure to do so would result in Ronell angrily reprimanding him and refusing to work with him.”

Ronell said she uses the same type of flowery language in her emails with many others. She said that Reitman reciprocated this language to her while simultaneously telling others she was a “witch,” ”evil” and a “monster.” Ronell said the lawsuit is really about “the inability of Reitman to find a job,” and not sexual.

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Her former student, Nimrod Reitman, now 34, accused the 66-year-old of physical and verbal harassment, detailing how she kissed and touched him repeatedly, slept in his bed with him, demanded he lie in her bed, held his hand, texted, emailed and called him constantly, and refused to work with him if he did not reciprocate.

In emails, she referred to him as “my most adored one,” “Sweet cuddly Baby,” “cock-er spaniel,” and “my astounding and beautiful Nimrod.”

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Mr Reitman says he is “gay” and is now farcically “married” to a man; Ms Ronell says she is “queer”.

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She denied accusations of harassment, telling The New York Times: “Our communications — which Reitman now claims constituted sexual harassment — were between two adults, a gay man and a queer woman, who share an Israeli heritage, as well as a penchant for florid and campy communications arising from our common academic backgrounds and sensibilities. [as in both of them are sexual pigs!]

“These communications were repeatedly invited, responded to and encouraged by him over a period of three years.”

The university, however, upheld Mr Reitman’s complaints of sexual harassment, although she was cleared of sexual assault, stalking and retaliation. 

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Then there is this great development in the case, which made the sheep hit the fan. After word of the sexual harassment complaint got out to other academic “colleagues”, a “feminist” lesbian pig called Judith Butler (name slightly familiar) jumped to simultaneously rally a defense of Ronnell and carry out a vicious attack on Reitman. And she did so by asking several other famous academics, who are her pals, to co-write a letter that was sent to NYU’s President and Provost, no less. Fortunately for society, the letter ended up being publicly posted on some professor’s blog. And that’s how we in the public know today of Butler’s actions.

In the letter, Mr Reitman was described as “the individual who has waged this malicious campaign” against Ronnel. The letter, however, totally mimics the support shown to prominent men accused of harassment and assault as part of the #MeToo movement. Not only the #metoo guys, but also child abusers such as Polanski, Woody Allen, Frédéric Mitterrand, etc.

Apparently the professor who posted the letter is Brian Leiter. Anyways, he has a great blog post on it (excerpt):

Blaming the victim is apparently OK when the accused in a Title IX proceeding is a feminist literary theorist

That would seem to be the takeaway from this remarkable letter (written, I am told, by Judith Butler) in support of Avital Ronell, who teaches in German and Comparative Literature at NYU:   Download BUTLER letter for Avital Ronell.   The signatory list reads like a “who’s who” of “theory” (as they call bad philosophy in literature departments), from Butler to Zizek (with a few honorable exceptions, of course).  But far more revealing is the content of the letter.

From the remarkable first paragraph (boldings added by me):

Although we have no access to the confidential dossier, we have all worked for many years in close proximity to Professor Ronell and accumulated collectively years of experience to support our view of her capacity as teacher and a scholar, but also as someone who has served as Chair of both the Departments of German and Comparative Literature at New York University.  We have all seen her relationship with students, and some of us know the individual who has waged this malicious campaign against her.  We wish to communicate first in the clearest terms our profound an enduring admiration for Professor Ronell whose mentorship of students has been no less than remarkable over many years. We deplore the damage that this legal proceeding causes her, and seek to register in clear terms our objection to any judgment against her.  We hold that the allegations against her do not constitute actual evidence, but rather support the view that malicious intention has animated and sustained this legal nightmare.

Imagine that such a letter had been sent on behalf of Peter Ludlow, Colin McGinn, John Searle, Thomas Pogge or anyone other than a feminist literary theorist:  there would be howls of protest and indignation at such a public assault on a complainant in a Title IX case.  The signatories collectively malign the complainant as motivated by “malice” (i.e., a liar), even though they admit to knowing nothing about the findings of the Title IX proceedings–and despite that they also demand that their friend be acquitted, given her past “mentorship of students”.  (I imagine many faculty members found guilty, correctly, in a Title IX proceeding have also mentored lots of students, chaired a department, and produced notable scholarship.)  If Professor Ronell had any role in soliciting this letter, it looks to me like a clear case of retaliation against the complainant that will compound her and the university’s problems.

But you get a real sense of the hypocrisy and entitlement of these precious “theorists” in the concluding paragraph of the letter addressed to the NYU President and Provost:

We testify to the grace, the keen wit, and the intellectual commitment of Professor Ronell and ask that she be accorded the dignity rightly deserved by someone of her international standing and reputation.  If she were to be terminated or relieved of her duties, the injustice would be widely recognized and opposed.

We may put to one side that Professor Ronell’s “grace,” “keen wit” and “intellectual commitment” are irrelevant in a Title IX proceeding.  What is truly shocking is the idea that she is entitled to proceedings that treat her with “the dignity rightly deserved by someone of her international standing and reputation.”  Apparently in the view of these “theory” illuminati dignity in Title IX proceedings is to be doled out according to one’s “international standing and reputation.”  So while Professor Ronell “deserves a fair hearing, one that expresses respect, dignity, and human solicitude,” other “lesser” accused can be subject, without international outcry, to whatever star chamber proceedings the university wants.  Moreover, only one outcome of the process is acceptable, regardless of the findings:  acquittal.  Any other result “would be widely recognized and opposed,” I guess because grace, wit and intellectual commitment are a defense against sexual misconduct and harassment.

With friends like these….

ADDENDUM:  Several readers asked how I got the letter.  A Continental philosopher in Europe was solicited as a signatory (he declined), and passed it on to me.

FURTHER THOUGHTS:  On the retaliation issue, even if Prof. Ronell had nothing to do with the letter (I have no reason to think she did), its signatories include many NYU faculty, thus making NYU liable for retaliation (I am not a Title IX expert, but from what little I do know, this looks like classic retaliation in violation of the law).   In addition, of course, the letter is probably defamatory, since it basically calls the complainant a liar (though without naming him/her).

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As I have been blogging here for years, LGBT pigs corrupt every organization they infiltrate, they are constantly perpetrating sexual harassment and violence.

The West is a sewer.

 

 

 

 

 

I Was Banned for Life From Twitter

I became persona non grata after a heated exchange over the media’s complicity with the government. The mob won.

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So starts Peter Van Buren’s article complaining about being banned from Twitter. I completely agree with most of what he writes, and I have written or thought the same for a long time, and had written something on this very subject this week. Namely that as modern communication becomes increasingly mediated by the Internet/phones, when the corporations who own these media/technologies censor you, they effectively prohibit you from interacting with others, and violate your freedom of speech. Thus, it’s plain to see, that the government is only one of the actors who can exercise censorship and curtail freedom of speech in modern society.

My first reaction to his complaint, ‘I Was Banned for Life From Twitter’, was: just Twitter? Try so many sites/platforms that you even start a blog just to list all the sites you were banned from (Censored at First Things), which is what I did, and basically abandoned it after awhile, because it’s too much work, and the problem is so widespread, and, more importantly, it robs my energy and time from other more important things. Although, since I didn’t use my real name on Twitter, I *only* had two accounts banned and then stopped using the platform altogether. I guess I might not be in the “banned for life” category, but that’s most likely because they don’t read this blog! 😉

Very ironically, I have also been banned from The American Conservative. More egregiously, by none other than Rod Dreher, the Christian hypocrite (supports homosexual perversion and violence, unless it’s perpetrated by Catholic priests).

So Mr. Van Buren, welcome to the club! Yes, the magazine for which you write is no different than Twitter. While you probably have nothing to do with my being banned there, it’s just comical to read your complaint about Twitter.

So here are a few points about his article.

Mr. Van Buren, trying to raise support for his plight, starts his article by making a nationalist appeal, which, by the way, is totally untrue: “Speech in America is an inalienable right, and runs as deep into our free society as any idea can”.

Americans never had free speech, there are countless examples of how the powerful (whether in the government or non government category) persecuted and silenced the powerless, while they all blabbered about free speech. And I should mention here anything that falls under “national security” – for which Americans want absolute censorship, no transparency, and no accountability.

But Van Buren knows that Americans love to tell themselves lies about their own country, and “having free speech in America” is one of their favorites.

He then says something very important:

“The government remains a real threat to free speech. But there is another menace now: corporate censorship, often dressed up in NewSpeak terms like “deplatforming,” restricting “hate speech” and “fake news,” and “terms of service.” This isn’t entirely new: corporations have always done as they please with speech.”

In a nutshell, that’s it. Then he continues with a big lie:

‘Our protection against corporate overreach used to rely on an idea Americans once held dear, best expressed as “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.” This ethos was core to our democracy: everyone supports the right of others to throw their ideas into the marketplace, where an informed people push bad ideas away with good ones. That system more or less worked for 240 years.’

No, it never worked, but it worked more for privileged people like Mr. Van Buren. Power always spoke and the weak and oppressed were forced into silence, by all kinds of  tactics, whether overt or covert, non violent or violent. The “marketplace” was always dominated by the speech of the powerful, who claimed that, because they didn’t completely murder and silence *all* dissent, it meant they had this incredibly rosy unrestrained system of free speech. If there is one thing about Americans is that they are always lying, especially about their own country.

Van Buren further adds about recent changes in American society:

“Large numbers of Americans [liberals] began not just to tolerate, but to demand censorship.”

Yes, for liberals this is a new development, I’ll agree. And an important one, because they control many of these communication platform corporations, plus the media, plus higher ed, and many legislatures.

Van Buren:

“So in 2018, whenever old tweets clash with modern-day definitions of racism and sexism, companies fire employees. Under public pressure, Amazon recently removed “Nazi paraphernalia and other far-right junk” from its store. This was just some nasty Halloween gear and Confederate flag merchandise, but the issue is not the value of the products—that’s part of any free speech debate—it’s corporate censorship being used to stifle debate by, in this case, literally pulling items out of the marketplace. Alex Jones’ InfoWars was deplatformed from networks where it had been available for years, including Apple, YouTube (owned by Google), Spotify, and Amazon. The Huffington Post wondered why even more platforms haven’t done away with Jones.

“Hate speech,” clearly not prohibited according to the Supreme Court, is an umbrella term used by censorship advocates to describe anything they don’t want others to be able to listen to or watch. It is very flexible and thus very dangerous.

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The part about “hate speech” being “very flexible and thus very dangerous” is one of the best points of his article. Indeed, that’s exactly what it is – just in-your-face, old-fashioned censorship, the unabashed silencing of dissent.

In a heterogeneous society that is born out of the horribly dysfunctional European model, power will always decide who will win the freedom of speech game.

Van Buren: ‘As during the McCarthy-era in the 1950s when one needed only to label something “communist” to have it banned, so it is today with the new mark of “hate speech.”’

Yes, it’s the most base exercise of power, completely anti-democratic, and an exercise in domination.

Van Buren describes the problem correctly:

“Once upon a time an easy solution to corporate censorship was to take one’s business elsewhere. In 2018, the platforms in question are near-global monopolies. Pretending Amazon, which owns the Washington Post and can influence elections, is just another company that sells things, is to pretend the role of unfettered debate in a free society is outdated. Censored on Twitter? Try Myspace, and maybe Bing will notice you. Technology and market dominance have changed the nature of censorship so that free speech is as much about finding an audience as it is about finding a place to speak. Corporate censorship is at the cutting edge of a reality targeting both speakers (Twitter suspends someone) and listeners (Apple won’t post that person’s videos made off-platform). Ideas need to be discoverable to enter the debate. In 1776, you went to the town square; in 2018, it’s Twitter.

[…]

Let me end on a personal note. I was this week permanently suspended from my Twitter account, @wemeantwell. […] Twitter sent an auto-response to me saying that what I wrote “harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence someone else’s voice.” I don’t think I did any of that, and I wish you didn’t have to accept my word for it. I wish instead you could have read my words and decided for yourself. But Twitter won’t allow it. They have eliminated everything I wrote there over the past seven years, all down the Memory Hole. That’s why censorship is wrong: it takes the power to decide what is right and wrong away from you and gives it to someone else.”

 

Indeed, and The American Conservative does exactly the same thing. I also wish that TAC readers could decide on their own the merit of my views, but that is not happening. So Van Buren, welcome to the club – Twitter and TAC are no different when it come to the censorship game.

As if often happens on TAC, there were a few excellent comments:

Will Harrington says:

Solving the problem of corporate censorship is really pretty easy. Break up the monopolies and declare the means to send and receive signals to be public utilities, thereby bringing the internet under first amendment protections. That, of course, would be easy if we had a democracy.

Think about it: worldwide, corporations lobby for international legislation that removes democratic accountability of government to their own country’s citizens, replacing it with global corporate elitist rule and veto over what voters decide. These people hate populism and democracy, as it hobbles their quest for profit above all else. No wonder the corporate model is to censor, and claim that the First Amendment is of no legal account to how they order lives in a privatized public square. They have bought the politicians, and buy the laws that favor them,

polistra says:

“But the biggest issue is that companies exist to make money. ”

No, you’re wrong, and this is exactly the problem. These tech companies exist to RAISE SHARE VALUE, which is negatively correlated with profit.

Small or privately held companies seek profit, which guides them to seek the maximum number of customers through good products and good service. They want more customers, so they don’t arbitrarily shut the door on large categories of buyers.

Tech corporations seek to draw in more shareholders. Shareholders have the same values as Deepstate. Global is good, secular is good, religion is bad, nationalist is horrible.

The best way to raise share value is to eliminate the wrong sort of customers. This cuts profits, but profits are IRRELEVANT to a share-based firm.

Kent says:

This writer is finally finding out about corporate censorship? It’s been that way sense the founding. It’s by design. In the early years, only the rich could afford a printing press, so debate was only topics important to the rich. Later, and today, only the rich can afford the kind of mass media that influences elections.

This is a republic, not a democracy. Only the wealthy and well-educated get real input, not the rabble. Getting banned from twitter lets you know in which category you fall.

 

 

 

 

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