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Posts Tagged ‘confirmation’

Brouhaha over Kavanaugh as an Accidental Genius Move by Democrats

October 8, 2018 17 comments

Over previous 2-3 days, CONservative media outlets have been masturbating with the pretense of joy over the Kavanaugh confirmation. Even usually non-mainstream CONservative alt-right losers are trying to portray it as some great “victory” for Trump. It is amusing to watch their hilarious Gollum death dance, largely because my understanding of history is large enough to know how this will all end. To understand what I am talking about, let me ask a simple question.. Why are there many policies and regulations, especially in USA, about sexual harassment?

Have you ever wondered if this was always the case? Surely, there must have been a time after women entered the workplace in large numbers when policies and regulations about sexual harassment were largely non-existent. Also, why is the issue of sexual harassment a much bigger deal in North America (especially USA) compared to West-Europe, to say nothing about parts of the world. And what does any of this have to do with moribund establishment Democrats making, what I consider to be, an accidentally genius move by opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

A couple of weeks before Y2K, I was an unusually young M.Sc student at one of those pre-Xmas departmental parties. After mixing among the crowd for a while, I ended up sitting down with two professors. After talking about a variety of topics, we came to the issue of sexual harassment because some well-known professor had been recently disciplined by the university for that infraction. Both told me that things used to be quite different even a decade ago, and one was happily married to a woman he started dating when she was his summer student.

When I asked them about their theories as to why things had changed so much and so fast, they were almost unanimous in blaming it on fallout from the ‘Anita Hill controversy’. At this time, I was vaguely aware that a woman named Anita Hill had accused a nominee to the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas, of sexual harassment. I was also aware that her attempt to stop his nomination was not successful and republicans had tried to get her fired from a university.

I could not however, at that time, make a connection between the fallout of that controversy and the slew of policies and regulations concerning sexual harassment which were rolled out by large corporations as well as governmental institutions in the 1990s. Almost a couple of years passed. Then one Saturday night, I came across an administrative assistant (and her girlfriends?) whose office used to be along the route to my lab as a student. We briefly exchanged pleasantries and I introduced her to my companion as the secretary whose office was two doors away from the office that dealt with sexual harassment claims etc.

We had a quick laugh about it and then I asked her if that office was always there. She replied that they only came into being around 1993 or 1994 and something about Anita Hill. She also said that prior to this, women either did not complain or went through internal departmental channels if the harassment was especially persistent and severe. After a couple of more minutes during which I told her about my new job in a different part of that building complex, we went our own way. Though a bit drunk, something in my mind immediately made the connection between this incident and the one mentioned a couple of paragraphs above.

But I still could not understand how an incident which had occurred a decade ago and on other end of the continent had such a profound and widespread impact. And let us not forget that this was before everybody and their dog was on the internet and social media. Anyway.. the next morning after a cup of tea and with nothing else to do, I decided to spend some time on Google to find out when policies and regulations surrounding sexual harassment (as we know them today) came into being.This was in an era (1999-2011) when Google search was at it peak.

After searching for about an hour, I noticed a few persistent patterns. Firstly, most modern policies and offices to deal with sexual harassment in universities seem to have started in the early to mid 1990s. There were, of course, some outliers which had something like that as early as late 1980s. But the bulk of them came into existence with four to five years of the Anita Hill controversy. The same held true for large corporations. I briefly considered the possibility that this might be an artifact of the modern internet becoming public in 1994, but the clustering of dates was just too tight (and just before 1994).

After that, I decided to go out and get something to eat and walk around the more fashionable parts of that city. By the time I returned, this topic was nowhere in my conscious mind. Without much to do a Sunday night, I ordered a pizza and went about finishing the remaining two beers in my fridge. Because this was in the pre- YouTube era, I decided to watch some documentary on the Vietnam war on TLC\A&E\ History Channel (back when they broadcast stuff other than fake “reality shows” about pawn shops, truck drivers, naked survivalists and similar crap). Anyway.. this one was part of a series about why USA lost the Vietnam war.

One of the talking heads in that documentary was saying something about how USA never paid attention to how the Vietnamese perceived their presence in their country and then he said something to the effect of “we won every battle, but lost the war”. And this when I had my epiphany about how the Anita Hill controversy unintentionally gave rise to the policies and regulations surrounding sexual harassment as we know them today- at least in North America. Republican CONServatives (with the help of Democrats like Joe Biden) did win one battle by confirming that ugly toad, aka Clarence Thomas, to the Supreme Court- but they lost the war.

The attempts by Republicans and some Democrats to publicly humiliate Anita Hill to push through the nomination of that uncle Tom.. I mean Clarence Thomas, made her into an unintentional martyr for the cause of a certain ascendant brand of feminism. It also helped that the guy accused of sexual harassment was seriously lacking in the looks and personality department. Subsequent Googling revealed that women (especially white educated women) saw those hearings very differently from men. It did not help that her subsequent harassment by republicans and attempts to kick her out a university job made Anita Hill into a bonafide martyr for white educated professional women- the same ones who came to populate administrative positions in universities and large corporations.

It then occurred to me that the course of the movement against sexual harassment in North America might have been different if those myopic idiots had spiked the nomination of Clarence Thomas in favor of a less revolting corporate cock-sucker. But no.. those idiots had to “win” that battle. And this is how they lost the war and that is why we now have so many policies, regulations and all the other stuff surrounding sexual harassment. I cannot resist pointing out that “victory” of putting that Uncle Tom on the Supreme Court ended up costing many hundreds of thousands men their jobs, careers and promotions- not to mention social status.

Clarence Thomas was only accused of sexual harassment and most of this occurred before the internet and social media age (at least in their full-blown form). Kavanaugh has been credibly accused of sexual assault and worse. His looks, history, personality and demeanor have not helped sell his case to most women. FYI- most women do not constantly post on social media about supporting CONservative causes with their styled bleached hair or tits hanging half-out. Mark my words, this is going to get much uglier and far more consequential than what happened after Clarence Thomas was pushed through to the Court. And yes, this has very serious potential of helping Democrats in future elections- because face it, women universally and viscerally hate mediocre men trying to force them to into uncompensated sex.

What do you think? Comments?

Kavanaugh Confirmation is American Version of Brezhnev 1979 Speech

October 6, 2018 14 comments

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of my two recent posts about why the nomination and attempt to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court were incredibly bad ideas with huge potential for future disasters due to second/third order effects. To be clear, I have always seen that court as a regressive institution whose primay function is the maintenance of status quo for the wealthy and corporations, at the expense of everyone else. I also wrote that confirming him would be the best surprise gift for establishment Democrats since Trump’s 2016 electoral victory.

Putting an entitled effeminate man credibly accused of multiple sexual assaults and a poor liar, like Kavanaugh, to the Court does wonders for the ability of otherwise moribund establishment Democrats to motivate voters as well as collect donations. And yes.. it does matters a lot how Kavanaugh appears to most women of reproductive age, and not just due to of his stance on abortion. As I keep on saying, he is a living breathing embodiment of the mental image most women have of that rich but unattractive asshole who tried to sexually assault them.

Let us be honest about it, a guy who had to corner women in a room or stick his penis in front of their face was not making them wet in the first place. Sadly, there are more than a few retarded men who want to believe that all CONservative women will steadfastly support that loser because they came across a few photos of a minuscule number of attention-whoring barbie CONservatives pretending to do just that on Twitter. First of all, most CONservative women are post-menopausal, tending towards senility and on their way out. More importantly, most of their daughters don’t share their belief system and never will.

And do not, for one moment, assume that there will be no future revelations about Kavanaugh. On the contrary, we are going to see and hear a lot more about the misadventures of Brett and his friends at Georgetown Prep and Yale. And ya.. establishment Democrats will keep hammering away at him- largely because it increases voter turnout and nets them more donor cash. If you don’t believe me, just look at what they have built out of the ludicrous accusation that Trump is a Russian puppet. This is going to be a long.. long road.

But what does any of this have to do with Leonid Brezhnev‘s now infamous televised address from December 1979? Also who was this guy? For those of you born after mid-1980s, Leonid Brezhnev was the leader of the erstwhile- USSR from 1964 to 1982. In other words, his political career began and ended before many of us were born or old enough to understand things. But as you will soon see, all of this is very relevant to the USA of 2018.

So here is a quick historic primer about the actors and context to this event. Leonid Brezhnev came into power in 1964 after Nikita Khrushchev was deposed by an internal coup. It is fair to say that he was chosen because he was seen as least likely to rock the boat, especially since his predecessor was well.. kinda impulsive and often did things without carefully thinking through the consequences. This is not to say that Khrushchev wasn’t an effective leader. It is just that other people near the top preferred somebody more predictable and boring.

Initially, it looked like a good choice. As some of you know, USSR experienced massive real growth and improvement in living standards for its people from 1946 to the early 1970s. Did I mention that this occurred in spite of the chronic stupidity and short-sightedness of its political elite. Long story short, the first few years of Brezhnev’s “leadership” were good for most people. Then the consequences of previous bad choices and attempts to copy the most disastrous aspects of western capitalism caused economic stagnation.

The later years of his “leadership” were also characterized by a general social and intellectual malaise throughout the country, partially caused by regressive social CONservativism. By the late 1970s, many Russians had started to express serious doubt (in their private circles) about the direction and future of their country. But this being USSR, those doubts were almost never aired in forums larger than your close family and intimate friends. While Gulags were a thing of the past, nobody wanted to risk job promotions or attract extra scrutiny from the security apparatus.

Back to Brezhnev.. as we now know, his health declined a lot in later years to the point where, by 1979, he was a mere shadow of his former self. Of course, he never expressed a serious desire to resign (that we know of) and the other people at top were not especially interested in replacing him before his death. For some years, they were able to hide the extent of his physical deterioration from the public. However, towards the end- it was very obvious. And then he decided to record that televised address in December 1979.

By now, some of you must be wondering.. “what is exact connection between the recent farce of Kavanaugh’s confirmation and some televised address made by an old and sick leader of USSR in 1979”? Well.. both are pivotal moments for the loss of public confidence in existing systems of governance. Confused? Let me explain.

In the very late 1990s to early 2000s period, I performed research at a couple of places alongside many immigrants from the eastern block, including Russia. Almost every one of them was about 10-20 years older than me. We often used to talk about non-research related stuff including how things went south in USSR after 1980. During the course of these discussions I noticed something peculiar. While each one of them reached their moment of epiphany about the future of USSR through an often unique set of circumstances, a majority made at least passing mention of the speeches and public appearances made by Brezhnev from 1979 till his death.

But why would people remember a few routine speeches made during that time period? More importantly, why did they connect them to the final collapse of USSR in 1991? At that time, internet video sites such as YouTube did not exist, and my options for further investigating such stuff on the internet was restricted to reading transcripts, archived newspaper articles etc. A few years later (around 2004 or 2005) I came across a highly edited clip of one such speech while watching some TLC/A&E/History channel documentary about USSR in the 1980s. And yes, it looked like he was not doing too well.

But I still could not understand why people who grew up during time remembered the ambiance of those speeches. A few more years later, I finally came across a YouTube clip of one such speech. It was then that I started to realize why people who were around when that speech was first broadcast associated it with the beginning of end for USSR. Long story short, if you watch the speech, a few things quickly becomes obvious. Firstly, Brezhnev was in pretty bad shape and not just physically. Secondly he seemed unaware of, or did not care about, the severity of his medical problems. Nobody around him was trying to help him beyond doing perfunctory stuff.

To summarize, those speeches (including the one linked below) mass-validated the worst fears people in that country harbored about the system but were afraid to discuss with anyone outside of their close social circle. It was now obvious to almost everyone that those in charge were seriously disconnected from reality and were not even trying to put on a proper dog-and-pony show. It also revealed that almost everyone at the top was looking out for themselves, and nobody else. And don’t forget that this came at the end of almost a decade of economic and social stagnation. Even people who had some real faith in ability of that system to solve problems could no longer believe that was likely. It was all just too hard to ignore and look past.

The Kavanaugh confirmation is the contemporary american version of Brezhnev’s televised speeches from 1979. You cannot look at that shitshow and pretend it was anything but a shitshow. You cannot look at that guy, his bad acting, constant lying and still pretend that he was a good person. You cannot make a plausible case that the guy is anything beyond a sadly mediocre, but born rich, asshole who had sex with unconscious women when he was in high school. But most importantly, you cannot ignore that the system to confirm such an atrocious person to the Supreme Court worked just as it was intended.

FYI- only the edited version of Brezhnev’s speech in this clip was eventually televised. But even it was full of obviously slurred words and odd body language.

What do you think? Comments?