GamerGate and Misandry: GamerGate Reacts to a Kind of Toxic Feminism

From Cathy Young, writing at SpliceToday:

If you’re like many people, you’ve been doing your best to know as little as possible about GamerGate, the hashtag movement that is either—depending on who you ask—a consumer revolt against corruption in videogame media or a harassment campaign targeting women in the videogame world. Who wants to get embroiled in a two-month Internet drama over videogames? But this story is not nearly as frivolous as it might seem. One reason it won’t die is that it’s a battlefield in a larger culture war over issues ranging from gender politics to media bias to social libertarianism versus left-wing moralism.

In the last couple of weeks, the GamerGate story has become front-page news after highly publicized threats to two feminist critics of the videogame industry and gaming culture, media analyst Anita Sarkeesian and game designer Brianna Wu. While there is no evidence connecting these threats to any individuals involved in GamerGate, media coverage has heavily implied such a linkage. Newsweek published an analysis of tweets in the #GamerGate hashtag concluding that it is indeed an anti-female harassment campaign; blogger J.W. Caine responded with a counter-analysis arguing that the vast majority of the tweets the Newsweek reported counted as “harassment” were actually neutral mentions of women who were prominent in the controversy.

The full story of GamerGate is so convoluted it could probably fill a book by now. I’ve done some fact-checking in two previous articles for RealClearPolitics and Reason (and the Know Your Meme website has a fairly detailed chronicle).  While the various charges and countercharges are incredibly difficult to sort out, there are several ways in which the media narrative has been egregiously skewed.

Only a few journalists in the national media, such as Slate’s David Auerbach, have acknowledged that serious harassment, including threats and “doxxing”—posting a person’s private information online—have happened on both sides of GamerGate. Meanwhile, uncorroborated claims by Sarkeesian and Wu that the threats against them are connected to GamerGate have been uncritically repeated. In fact, there are persistent rumors, backed up with screenshots and chat room records, that at least some of the harassment and threats come from trolls who go after both sides to stir things up, because that’s what trolls do. To some extent, journalists have been reluctant to look into these claims because they don’t want to be targeted, but blaming the threats on GamerGate is also convenient. Meanwhile, GamerGaters’ efforts to stop and report harassment have been only rarely acknowledged. (When GamerGate members claimed to have found the man who had sent threats to Sarkeesian, anti-GamerGate blogger David Futrelle responded by accusing them of harboring some of Sarkeesian’s harassers in their midst—citing as his example a netizen known as “thunderf00t,” who has done little more than to engage in sharp criticism of Sarkeesian’s work.)

The online dust-up that eventually grew into GamerGate—a controversy surrounding feminist independent game developer Zoe Quinn—has been reduced to a misogynist attack on Quinn by a vindictive ex-boyfriend who publicized her sexual foibles and by Internet bottom-feeders who falsely accused her of trading sex for positive game reviews. In fact, as I showed inmy first GamerGate piece, the Quinn controversy was a grab-bag of many issues, including Quinn’s own alleged (and fairly well-documented) attacks on another feminist videogame project.

Read the rest of the story at SpliceToday.




Source: Breitbart Feed

Burton Campaign Ad Calls Out Liberal Opponent Willis For Texas Trial Lawyer Ties

DALLAS, Texas — The campaign of Senate District 10 (SD 10) conservative front runner Konni Burton called out Democratic opponent Libby Willis for taking $500,000 from special interest personal injury trial lawyers in an ad on the final days of the state senate race. Outlets like the Texas Tribune and Quorum Report balked at the ad but this is exactly what Willis did.

Willis also received a $350,000 contribution from the Mostyn Law Firm. Founder Steve Mostyn is a Houston-based trial attorney whose firm has contributed generously to Democratic causes including the Wendy Davis campaign, Harris County Democratic Elected Officials PAC, and the Texas Victory Committee, Inc., a joint project of Wendy R. Davis for Governor and Battleground Texas the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The $500,000 campaign donation to Willis was from the Back to Basics PAC, mainly funded by Mostyn, during the reported July 1 to Sept. 25 period, also according to the Star-Telegram.

Of the $2 million the mega donor Mostyns contributed to Democratic candidates and causes, the $500,000 contribution made Willis the largest individual recipient of their money. The intention was to equip her with “a fundraising lead in the campaign’s final month, ” the Houston Chronicle reported.

That fundraising edge, however, has gone instead to Burton in the final month with more than $1.5 million in contributions versus Willis who added only $1 million since the end of September, according to the Texas Ethics Commission. Burton has significant cash on hand: $214,000. Willis lags with $92,000.

Burton, a Colleyville resident, is a longtime grassroots activist and Tea Party favorite. She is the candidate running to take the district seat back for the Republicans. It was abandoned by Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) in her quest to run for governor against the heavily favored Republican candidate Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Willis admitted to the Texas Observer that SD 10 is a Republican-leaning district and her chances of winning are a long shot, but Battleground Texas and high profile Democratic candidates have rallied around her to get people out to vote for her.

Other liberals have lined up to contribute to Willis. They include $230,000 from Annie’s List and $10,000 from the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee in Washington, D.C., also according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article on October 28.

Battleground Texas has donated to Willis in two ways, listing a total June 30 donation for $6,545 and $16,785 of in-kind staff support contributions the news outlet noted.

The Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) PAC gave the Willis campaign $5,000. TSTA is an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA), the largest teachers union in the United States and they support the controversial Common Core standards.

The October 11 Star-Telegram article also included among Willis contributions $10,000 from Fort Worth real estate developer Flora Brewer and nearly $2,000 of in-kind phone banking contributions from U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey’s Congressional Campaign Committee. Planned Parenthood endorsed Willis.

Burton, who better reflects the conservative values of a district, easily beat more middle-of-the-road GOP opponent, former state representative Mark Shelton, during the May runoff.

Senate District 10 includes Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield, Colleyville, and other areas of south and northeast Tarrant County.

Burton’s conservative donors have included $100,000 from W.E. Bosarge Jr. of Houston; $100,000 from Tim Dunn, president of CrownQuest in Midland, and more than $745,000 from the Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC, according to the most recent reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.

The Star Telegram also showed that Burton’s campaign received $20,000 from Empower Texans PAC; $2,500 from the Good Government Fund, run by the Bass family; $300 from Rafael Cruz, father of US Sen. Ted Cruz, who endorsed her in this race; $5,000 from Monty Bennett, a Dallas hotelier suing the Tarrant Regional Water District; about $80,000 in direct and in-kind donations from the Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC; and $10,000 from Alice Walton, daughter of the late founder of the Wal-Mart retail chain.

More than half a dozen lawmakers, including Republican state Sens. Brian Birdwell of Granbury, Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills and Jane Nelson of Flower Mound contributed to Burton’s campaign, they noted.

The Texas Observer’s Can Battleground Texas Save Wendy Davis’ Senate Seat? depicts the mission of Battleground Texas as a numbers game. It is to get as many Democratic voters to the voting booth. “That’s all there is to it,” Willis said.

The article also highlighted Battleground Texas as a “group started by former Obama campaign staffers” working on turning Texas purple followed by blue.

Dallas Liberty Center volunteer and grassroots activist Ken Emanuelson recently addressed the significance of Battleground Texas and their intention to transform Texas into a Democratic state, first on a city level, then a county level followed by statewide.

He told Breitbart Texas, “Texas is the largest red state in the nation. If Texas ever turns Democrat blue, no Republican presidential candidate can hope to win. It’s numerically impossible.”

The aim of Battleground Texas’ Blue Star Project is “to focus the group’s technical expertise and organizing ability on legislative races, with the help of a ‘coordinated field program and a full arsenal of data, digital, and communications expertise'” as the method they hope to swing the election, the Observer article stated.

Big government libs like Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) vying for the Lt. Governor spot, are out stumping for Willis in Fort Worth, pushing “supporters to help get people to the polls,” the Star-Telegram reported on October 28.

“We all need every single vote,” Van de Putte said at the recent Tarrant County Democratic Party headquarters for a get-out-the-vote-rally.

“Don’t believe what they are telling you. This one is going to be close, Van de Putte predicted to Democrats.

Burton still leads in the polls but, no doubt, the Willis camp is working overtime to catch up.

SD 10 may be the most important race in the state. If Burton takes the district from the Democrats, it brings the state legislature one step closer to a Republican majority and farther from Battleground Texas’ vision of a one-party, the Democratic party, nation.

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.




Source: Breitbart Feed

Obama: ‘Let’s Start Demanding Pre-K For Our Kids’

President Barack Obama touted his economic agenda and policy planks that would help women such as equal pay, increased minimum wage, paid family leave, and pre-K programs during his weekly address on Saturday.

Transcript as follows:

Hi, everybody.  On Friday, I had a discussion with working women in Rhode Island about the economic challenges they face in their own lives — challenges shared by many of you.

Thanks to the work we’ve all put in, our economy has come a long way these past six years. Over the past 55 months, our businesses have added 10.3 million new jobs. For the first time in six years, the unemployment rate is below 6 percent. And on Thursday, we learned that over the past six months, our economy has grown at its fastest pace since 2003.

But the gains of a growing economy aren’t yet felt by everyone. So we’ve got to harness this momentum, and make the right choices so that everyone who works hard can get ahead.

In recent weeks, I’ve talked about these choices, from raising the minimum wage to creating new jobs in construction and manufacturing. Today, I want to focus on what I discussed with those women — the choices we need to make to help more women get ahead in today’s economy.

Right now, women make up almost half of our workers. More women are their family’s main breadwinner than ever before. So the simple truth is, when women succeed, America succeeds. And we should be choosing policies that benefit women — because that benefits all of us.

Women deserve fair pay. Even though it’s 2014, there are women still earning less than men for doing the same work. We don’t have second-class citizens in this country — we shouldn’t in the workplace, either. So let’s make sure women earn equal pay for equal work, and have a fair shot at success.

Women deserve to be able to take time off to care for a new baby, an ailing parent, or take a sick day for themselves without running into hardship. So let’s make sure all Americans have access to paid family leave.

Pregnant workers deserve to be treated fairly. Even today, women can be fired for taking too many bathroom breaks, or forced on unpaid leave just for being pregnant. That’s wrong — and we have to choose policies that ensure pregnant workers are treated with dignity and respect.

New parents deserve quality, affordable childcare. There’s nothing like the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your kids are safe while you’re at work. And the benefits that children get out of early enrichment can pay off for a lifetime. But in many states, sending your kid to daycare costs more than sending them to a public university. So let’s start demanding Pre-K for our kids.

And when most low-wage workers are women, but Congress hasn’t passed a minimum wage increase in seven years, it’s long past time that women deserve a raise. About 28 million workers would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage to ten dollars and ten cents an hour. And more than half of those workers are women. The local businesses where these workers spend their money would benefit, too. So let’s do this — let’s give America a raise.

All of these policies are common sense. All of them are within our reach. We’ve just got to speak up and choose them. Because they’ll build a stronger America for all of us.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett




Source: Breitbart Feed

Labour’s PCC Victory In the Rape-Gang Regions of the North Is Proof that Turkeys Do Vote for Christmas

A few weeks ago I spent most of an afternoon glued to my computer screen watching Keith Vaz MP leading the Home Affairs Select Committee investigation into the Rotherham child-rape-gang scandal.

I had only meant to watch for a few minutes but I just couldn’t pull myself away. Nor could my wife, who peeked over my shoulder and found herself inexorably sucked in too, a bit like on that Radiohead Just video where everybody is compelled to do very weird things against their better judgement because of something they have just heard a strange man say.

Why were we so transfixed? Imagine for a moment watching a court case in which the defendants were: Freddy Krueger; the radioactive maggots from Doctor Who and The Green Death; and Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Well that was how it felt watching some of the council workers and senior policemen being grilled over Rotherham. They were  so devoid of integrity, honesty or even basic humanity, so devious, so slippery and mendacious that you couldn’t help watching if only to marvel that the human species is actually capable of plumbing such lows of puke-inducing rankness.

It was hard to decide which of the characters was the most noisome, but among those that particularly caught my eye were:

Joyce Thacker, the former £130,000 per year head of Rotherham Children’s Services (who has since, very grudgingly, resigned with a £40,000 pay off – plus, of course, her full lavish pension rights)

Shaun Wright, another former head of Rotherham Children’s Services who also recently resigned from his new sinecure as South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

Mereddyd Hughes, head of South Yorkshire Police between 2004 and 2011.

It wasn’t what these people had done that was the problem. It was what they had so signally failed to do: their ruddy jobs.

Did I mention that the wretched Thacker woman was on £130,000 a year? I did but I’ll mention it again. Joyce “Rosa Klebb’s less charming elder sister” Thacker was paid £130,000 a year, out of the public purse, to do a job whose requirements presumably included making sure children in the Rotherham area didn’t get plied with alcohol, drugged with heroin, and serially raped and sex trafficked on an epic scale by organised gangs of predominantly Muslim older men.

Not letting children get gang-raped would also, I imagine, have been part of Shaun Wright’s remit when he was the Rotherham councillor in charge of Children’s Services.

And not letting children get gang-raped would, I’m educatedly guessing, also have been among Meredydd Hughes’s responsibilities as head of South Yorkshire Police. (Yes. We know from your track record, Meredydd that you placed a much higher priority on nicking speeding motorists. But child rape is a crime too, you know. Indeed, some of us would consider it almost worse than speeding).

But those 1400 children – and that’s just the conservative estimate; and in one small town – were raped all the same. And the question I asked myself when the scandal was exposed by the Jay inquiry – and the question that certainly hasn’t been answered by any of the investigations since, especially not by the recent semi-whitewash report by Labour MP Ann Coffey, is how come the various authorities which should have stopped it happening instead turned a blind eye to it for well over a decade?

We’re not talking about the odd rotten apple here. We’re talking about an entrenched system of what you might call “institutional child rape apologism” or even “institutional child rape endorsement,” extending all the way from the so-called “Muslim community” through to the local councils, the childcare charities such as Barnardos and even the police. This was one of the things that made that Keith Vaz hearing so compelling: first the bravura stonewalling from the guilty parties (“I cannot recollect” was the phrase you kept hearing); second the evident lack of guilt; third, the almost indignant reluctance to admit that they’d done anything wrong. I wonder if this was how it felt during the Nuremberg trials: watching people who inhabit an entirely different moral universe.

Well in the weeks since I’ve been reflecting on this strange phenomenon and I’ve come up with various theories as to how such things can have come to pass in a modern, civilised society which prides itself on the attention and effort it devotes to the protection of children.

One of these theories can be summed up in a word: Labour.

I’m not suggesting that these crimes couldn’t have occurred in a Lib-Dem governed district. Or even, just possibly, in a Conservative controlled one – though that does strike me as a lot less likely.

But it’s notable in the case of Rotherham that all the players I mentioned above are Labour people through and through – Thacker, obviously, on a Labour dominated council; Wright, who successfully stood as the Labour candidate for the PCC; Hughes who announced his intention to stand as the Labour candidate for the PCC but was beaten to the nomination by Wright.

Why do I think the rape-gang problem is an especially Labour phenomenon? Not because I think the party is swarming with paedophiles (that’s more of a Lib Dem thing) but rather because of its political and moral priorities. As I told Chuka Umunna at the dinner before Any Questions the other week, “the reason I loathe your party is not because you’re a bunch of lefties: I actually quite like and respect, honest old school lefties. No, I hate you because you’re not the party of ordinary working people any more. You’re the party of quangocrats and welfare scroungers and bloated public sector workers with ring-fenced pensions and anyone you can persuade belongs to an oppressed minority”

And I think this very much applies in northern Labour strongholds like Rotherham where brand loyalty is so purblind and instinctive that even were they to exhume Jimmy Savile and stick a red rosette on him he’d win any given election by a mile. By ten miles, probably, once you’d taken into account the postal vote.

Though I’m not a Labour man, it gives me no pleasure saying this. There was a time, I’m sure, when Labour really did do its job by its natural constituency, making sure they were cared for from cradle to grave, improving their rights in the workplace, creating the kind of communities where people looked out for one another and where their kids weren’t routinely raped by gangs, that kind of thing.

But those days are long over and a new hierarchy of New Labour values has been established: one in which, for example, it is far preferable to allow hundreds of white children to be sexually abused by gangs of Kashmiri-Pakistani origin than to risk being considered in any way racist or Islamophobic or culturally judgemental; one in which maintaining high public sector staffing levels is an end so noble that any amount of lying, covering up, bullying, data-destroying, smearing, buck-passing, and money-wasting is forgiveable, nay desirable, if it means getting one over on all those hateful Tory types who believe that jobs should only exist if they’re useful and productive.

Sadly, Labour is still managing to parlay its past reputation into present votes. Look at what happened at the elections to replace the disgraced South Yorkshire PCC man Shaun Wright. The voters of South Yorkshire pondered the issue for all of a fraction of a second and placed their cross where they always have done: in the box next to the Labour man.

Yes, UKIP increased their vote-share dramatically. Yes, there may well be something in their complaint that 80 per cent of the votes were postal votes, which are particularly vulnerable to manipulation. But the fact remains that not even UKIP’s gloriously unsubtle poster on the lines of “Vote Labour, get more rape gangs” was enough to dissuade the people of the north from voting yet again for the party whose ideology, corruption, incompetence, identity-politicking and cynical opportunism are the main reason their kids can’t walk the streets safely at night and the main reason their towns are now divided by ghettos and no-go zones.

You might argue it’s no more than they deserve for being such numbskulls. But I wouldn’t. No one deserves what these once-proud white working class communities are experiencing under the squalid maladministration of those Labour apparatchiks whom they naively persist in imagining represent their best interests.




Source: Breitbart Feed