What I’m Reading, September 25, 2015

The terrifying cost of the Planned Parenthood hoax: “I have never seen such a volume, intensity and escalation of hate speech”, Bob Cesca, Salon, September 12, 2015

What’s also perfectly clear is that a series of horrendously edited videos accusing Planned Parenthood of ghoulish criminal activity has effectively amplified the anti-choice outrage machine, which has to include the well-known terrorist fringe of the movement. As with the connection between the protest and the attack, there’s no way to know at this point whether the terrorist or terrorists responsible were specifically incited by the videos, but it’s reasonable to conclude that the videos, while being fraudulently produced, have touched off a new chapter of unmitigated sanctimony and bug-eyed fury over Planned Parenthood and other clinics that offer reproductive services for women.

Of course, the fakery of the videos, as well as the reality that Planned Parenthood saves considerably more lives than abortion services performed is irrelevant in the face of single-minded automatons who are feverishly motivated by the very thought of an aborted fetus. Nothing, in their minds, morally outweighs the photographic images of fetuses. Nothing. Yes, it’s all very graphic to laypeople, but the procedure shouldn’t in any universe morally justify threats or acts of terrorism. The same can be said about too many congressional and state level Republicans who are wasting untold millions of dollars in taxpayer revenue to investigate Planned Parenthood based on completely false charges. No wonder Florida Governor Rick Scott scrubbed the results of his investigation when they ended up showing zero wrongdoing on behalf of the clinics.

Bernie Sanders’s speech at Liberty University wasn’t a stunt. It’s core to his campaign. Andrew Prokop, Vox, September 14, 2015

Throughout much of his presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders has been speaking to friendly, liberal crowds. There’s nothing unusual about that — it’s the best way to win the Democratic primary, and it’s certainly helped him get to the front of the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire.

But Sanders’s theory of change demands more than that. He wants to bring about a “political revolution” in which he mobilizes the American public to back an explicit, full-on challenge to the power of billionaires and corporate interests. He believes his focus on economic and political inequality will appeal to both apathetic non-voters and traditionally Republican constituencies. Only with such broad support, he argues, does he have a shot at passing his agenda.

No, Jeb: George W. Bush Did Not Keep Us Safe, Amanda Marcotte, Talking Points Memo, September 17, 2015

Liberals on Twitter, including myself, sternly disagreed that safety was maintained if you’re standing on a pile of rubble where, just hours before, one of the largest office buildings in the world had stood. In the grander scheme of things, it’s also hard to really buy the idea that safety was best secured by using this terrible terrorist attack as a pretense to start an irrelevant war in Iraq that diverted resources from actually fighting terrorism. Not to say, it’s questionable that anyone is kept safe by the fallout from that war, which led to the deaths of almost half a million people and stoked instability and resentment against the United States.

6 Things We Learned As Legal Male Prostitutes, Robert Evans, Anonymous, Ryan James, Cracked, September 16, 2015

Guys tend to assume that heterosexual male prostitutes would quickly go out of business — after all, if a woman wants to get laid, can’t she just stroll into any bar and say, “Who here wants to get their fuck on?” But, women seek out the pro’s services for all sorts of reasons. “I’ve seen a girl who was studying full time and working a lot, and she was about to turn 21 and wanted to lose her virginity before [then],” Ryan says. “But, she ‘couldn’t be bothered going out’ to find somebody she wanted to sleep with. [I also saw] a 50-year-old lesbian who had ‘sleep with a guy’ on her bucket list. She just wanted to see what it was like.”

Ryan services women only, and our other source, Albert, markets to the dudes. But, he found that servicing male clients is tricky. There is still a significant social stigma associated with homosexuality, so any male prostitute has to build in a certain amount of “expectation of failure” every time a man calls to book them. For instance, a significant number of the folks who contact Albert ask him to do an “in-call”, meaning they want to come over to his house. That’s still illegal in his part of the world [Australia -ed.], unless you’ve paid to have your home brothelized. “Generally, they ask to do an in-call because they’re closeted,” Albert says, “or cheating on their wife/husband, and they just want to remain as anonymous as possible and don’t want a ‘rentboy’ in their house …”

And in general, males just tend to get cold feet at the last minute. “Out of every three clients who book me and say, ‘I want you to come over at X time and fuck me,’ probably about two-thirds of them cancel,” Albert explains. “So, if I have a new client scheduled … I plan that evening as if I don’t have that client. For instance, I have a new client for Wednesday, but there’s a [66 percent] chance he’s going to cancel, so I’ve also got plans with a friend to hang out and watch TV.” Albert basically just has to prepare for a Wednesday evening that could go in one of two wildly different directions.


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